Tag Archives: GMO’s

Putin Bans All GMO Production, Imports

The following news article, reprinted in its entirety, was posted recently on the web site Natural News. This site bills itself as “The world’s top news source on natural health.” It seems to be produced by one man, Mike Adams, who couldn’t have a lot of time for sleeping: He produces a prodigious amount of information, all with a strong bias toward health (of course!) and ‘green’ products to enhance health. Make your own (advised) decisions on whether things he’s ‘pitching’ are things you want to ‘catch’.

Russia has adopted a new law that prohibits all GMO crop cultivation and GMO animal breeding in the Russian Federation, to prevent the release of GMOs into the environment. Furthermore, the new law allows the Russian government to restrict the import of GMO products that may pose a threat to human health or the environment.
In 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the Russian Parliament that the country should become the world’s largest supplier of organic foods. Later that year, Russia enforced a law that required strict labeling of products that contain GMOs, while the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich announced that Russia would not use genetically modified organisms to increase productivity in agriculture.
“Russia has chosen a different path. We will not use these [GMO] technologies,” he said.
As a result, a bill for a full ban on the cultivation of GMO crops was sent to the State Duma, which has now been fully approved.

Cleanest agricultural products in the world

The new law is a big win for anti-GMO advocates, including the Minister of Agriculture, Alexander Tkachev, and President Putin himself. Putin and Tkachev believe that the new law will aid Russia in becoming the world’s largest supplier of healthy, environmentally friendly and high-quality clean food – especially since the global demand for organic products is rising quickly.
Opponents of the new law are blaming the current Russian agricultural lobbyists of being afraid of competition and the development of new technologies.
As reported by We Are Anonymous, the first draft of the GMO legislation was a topic of heated debate. In an attempt to stop the law, pro-GMO lobbyists published a report claiming GMOs to be healthy and safe.
The study was written by ill-qualified scientists who used articles influenced by Monsanto and other GMO companies for their analysis. The researchers included Alexander Y. Panchin, of the Institute for Information Transmission Problems (IITP) of the Russian Academy of Science, and Alexander Tuzhikov, a research associate at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami specializing in Computer Science, Bioinformatics.
“We performed a statistical re-analysis and review of experimental data presented in some of these studies and found that quite often in contradiction with the authors’ conclusions the data actually provides weak evidence of harm that cannot be differentiated from chance,” Panchin and Tuzhikov wrote in their abstract.
Scientists from the All-National Association for Genetic Safety (OAGB) noted that the methods used for their report did not allow scientists to identify the toxic effects of GMOs; on the contrary, it disguised the toxic effects. Given the flawed nature of their results, Panchin and Tuzhikov’s report didn’t have the effect they were hoping for, which was to halt the non-GMO law.
In a last attempt to block the ban, GMO opponent and president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Fortov, requested a meeting with President Putin to try and convince him of all the benefits GMOs might have. It would seem, however, that the report and the meeting didn’t have much of an effect on Putin’s choice for organic, non-GMO food.

The ultimate GMO-ban

After almost half of the European Union countries opted-out of the decision to start cultivating GMO crops last year, Putin’s ban takes it a step further.
According to some experts, Russia’s ban on the cultivation, breeding and import of GMO crops may have long-term consequences for the global GMO industry. According toCapital Press, the new law could give Russian farmers a leg up with exports to the U.S. and Europe.
As the demand for clean, organic products continues to rise, Russia will be in a prime position to export its products to the world, while the GMO-orientated U.S. market will struggle to get rid of its ‘Frankenfoods.’
To avoid any of these altered foods ending up on your plate, make sure your produce comes from a reliable organic source, or start growing your own. Even if you don’t have a garden, your windowsill or balcony will do just fine.

Sources for this article include:
AnonHQ.com
SustainablePulse.com
NewScientist.com

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Those For and Against GMO Labeling Lost With the Defeat of a Senate Bill

 

corn_seed--monsanto

Increasingly, scientists are modifying, or altering, organisms (such as seeds) for any of several reasons. Seeds are modified to make them more resistant to diseases. They also are altered to speed the growth of whatever a given seed was ‘designed’ to produce.

Other reasons for modifying an organism can include [1] to either speed or slow its ripening process and [2] to improve its ‘stability’ on long journeys from its place or origin to the place it will be processed or consumed.

Some segments of the public believe that any modification done to an organism, for whatever reason, should be disclosed. Many of those people believe that such disclosures of a Genetically Modified Organism, or GMO, should be on a product’s label – either, from one perspective, identical labels comprising details established at the federal level (in the U.S.) or, from another perspective, state-mandated labels that could, in any number of ways, vary from state to state.

The U.S. Senate refused to give the go-ahead to a bill that would have allowed voluntary GMO labeling at the federal level – for products distributed nationwide, in other words – and disallowed another approach to labeling: Mandatory labeling at the state level.

gmo_label

It’s hardly surprising that a leader among those opposing state-level GMO labeling is the Grocery Manufacturers of America, a trade group. Their view is based on the not-unreasonable assumption that state-level labeling would be a nightmare for manufacturers, since states’ standards could conflict with each other both as regards the information GMO labels must include and, for example, the size and positioning of the type to be used. Then there’s the issue that a plethora of existing label rules already get in the way of each other and, even setting that aside, often tend to leave consumers worse off rather than better-informed.

Two examples:

[1] [portion sizes, relative to their content. An 8-ounce (226g) bag of Ritz Toasted Corn Chips declares a serving size to be 13 chips, or an ounce of chips. Thus, there are eight servings per bag.

‘Reminds me of an old potato chip (crisp) commercial, “Bet you can’t eat just one!”

But you should limit yourself to one ‘serving’ in this and many similar instances: Each of those in this bag contains 160 calories, 60 of them from fat. And that serving also contains 140mg of sodium – 6% of the governments ‘recommended daily allowance’ (RDA) for that mineral.

Compare that to a 3.5 ounce (100g) box of Nabisco’s Gluten Free Rice Thins. Its serving size is 18 pieces, or thins, containing 130 calories, 15 of them from fat. And its 84mg of sodium are said to represent 4% of the RDA for salt.

Is the portion size, on many packages, truly reflective of consumer behavior? Or is it, more accurately, a measure designed to let manufacturers/packagers express, in the most favorable way, an ingredient content level they anticipate consumers will view as ‘reasonable’ relative to their own health or their RDA?

[2] label size/contents. As it happens, both of the above-described products are served up in packages large enough to include all the details – some of them ‘optional,’ where the label is too small for all the details – spelled out in the government’s existing labeling standards.

Those standards are up for revision under the Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2015, which has been kicking around since it was the Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2013.

Among that Act’s provisions is one that would require manufacturers and/or importers foods of introduced into the U.S. to provide the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) “information that must be included in the labeling of food (the NFB, or Nutrition Facts box; ingredient statement, and any natural or artificial flavoring; any applicable allergy statements; nutrient content claims; health claims; a copy of the principal display panel; and whatever else FDA might request),” the FDA Law Blog website of the Hyman, Phelps & McNamara law firm says.

So, the already-crowded (and not-as-informative-as-was-originally-intended) NFB is likely to get more crowded, or not feature more ‘optional,’ potentially-valuable bits of information.

GMO labeling came into effect in Europe in 2004. At that time, the just-cited website gmo-compass.org initiated an online survey for “stakeholders with interests in the risks and/or benefit assessment of GMO’s.” Scheduled to end last July (2015), the survey’s aim was “to identify which research needs should be prioritized, thereby contributing to the commissioning of research on the health, environment and economic impacts of GMO’s.”
Results of that survey haven’t been announced, but you can count on one thing: The “research needs” identified by European participants, at whom the survey was directed, will vary, perhaps significantly, from comparable GMO-related findings in the U.S.

That’s as sure as the fact that the just-defeated bill in the U.S. Senate was applauded by the website NaturalNews.com, reflecting its labeling of that bill as The DARK Act – with DARK standing for Denying Americans the Right to Know Act – because it would have outlawed state-level GMO labeling laws.

It’s one thing to argue for the public’s right to know this, that or the other thing. But it’s another thing altogether to favor legislation that would have, beyond a doubt, push food prices up because of manufacturers’/packagers’ higher costs due to their need to comply with various states’ differing rules.

Yes, genetically modifying organisms has both proponents and opponents. As is usually the case, the argument for one or the other side of that position will no doubt continue – possibly long beyond the working or even actual lives of the arguers.

But here’s the thing: It would make no sense, from anyone’s perspective, to have a patchwork of GMO labeling laws, conflicting with each other in any number of ways. Sadly, unless Congress (which can’t, these days agree on anything) acknowledges the need for and passes legislation for a nation standard, people like Mike Rogers, the guy behind the NaturalNews.com website, will continue to favor faulty public, state-level policy not likely to truly benefit anyone.

Just as he promotes dietary supplements that may, perhaps, be just as beneficial.