North Carolina seed company joins class-action lawsuit against Monsanto that seeks protection against predatory patent lawsuits

Thursday, February 23, 2012
by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

Filed by the Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association (OSGTA) on behalf of more than 300,000 organic and non-GMO farmers, the lawsuit addresses an important issue for which few people are aware. Besides polluting the environment with toxic herbicides and tainting the food supply with untested genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), the Monsanto Co. has a history of actually suing non-GMO and organic farmers whose crops have become contaminated with genetically-altered materials for supposed patent infringement.

“Monsanto has a monopoly over crops and over seed. And currently as the law exists, Monsanto can actually sue family farmers,” said Kristen Wartman, co-founder of Occupy Big Food, in a recent documentary short put together by the GRACE Communications Foundation.

“If their seed, which is genetically-modified, and if the pollen from that seed drifts on the family farmers’ crops, and then pollinates their seed, Monsanto can then go ahead and sue these family farmers for patent infringement. So this (lawsuit) is just basically so family farmers can protect their own livelihood and their own crops from Monsanto.”

“Unlabeled and untested, pollen drifting from GE crops is a threat to the integrity of organic and non-genetically modified crops. This is in direct conflict with our right to produce and consume pure, natural food.”

via North Carolina seed company joins class-action lawsuit against Monsanto that seeks protection against predatory patent lawsuits.

Advertisements

Should Pregnant Women Avoid Cell Phone Use?

February 23 2012
By Dr. Mercola

Cell phones have been used widely for only about a decade, and unfortunately their use became commonplace before their true health effects were revealed.

As a result, we are only now beginning to see the potential repercussions, which include a number of potential health concerns for adults, including brain tumors, cognitive impairment, DNA damage, fertility risks and more.

Children, due to their thinner skulls, smaller brains, softer brain tissue and far more rapidly dividing cells, are even more susceptible to damage from cell phone use than adults, which suggests that babies in the womb, who are perhaps the most vulnerable population of all, may be at similar or greater at risk.

In fact, new research sheds light on the impacts of chronic cell phone use on the fetal brain in animals, and the effects are clearly detrimental.

Cell Phone Use During Pregnancy Shown to Cause “Certain Harm” to Fetal Rat Brains

A new study in Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine by Jing et al sought to evaluate the intensity of oxidative stress and the levels of neurotransmitters in the brains of fetal rats chronically exposed to radiation from cell phones.

Four groups of pregnant rats were exposed to different intensities of cell phone microwave radiation — one group that was left unexposed, and three groups that were irradiated three times daily for either 10, 30, or 60 minutes at a time.

After three weeks, the fetal rats were examined for changes in their brains. 

All of the irradiated groups exhibited significant neurological differences, with researchers noting:

“Through this study, we concluded that receiving a certain period of microwave radiation from cellular phones during pregnancy has certain harm on fetal rat brains.”

Should Pregnant Women Avoid Cell Phones?

It will be a long time before these findings are thoroughly explored or publicized, but in the meantime there is reason to believe that cell phones could have a negative impact on a developing fetus, just as they may have a negative impact on you and your children. In 2008, researchers analyzed data from nearly 13,000 children and found that exposure to cell phones while in the womb, and also as children, was linked to more behavioral difficulties.i

Pregnant women using handsets just two or three times a day was enough to raise the risk of their babies developing hyperactivity and difficulties with conduct, emotions and relationships by the time they reached school age — and the risk became even greater if the children also used the phones themselves before age 7.

The 2008 study revealed that mothers who used mobile phones were in fact 54 percent more likely to have children with behavioral problems. When the children also later used the phones themselves, they were:

80 percent more likely to suffer from difficulties with behavior

25 percent more at risk from emotional problems

34 percent more likely to suffer from difficulties relating to their peers

35 percent more likely to be hyperactive

49 percent more prone to problems with conduct

Behavioral Problems in Children Exposed to Cell Phones in Utero Confirmed

In 2010, the researchers then looked at a larger group of children — nearly 29,000 — and also considered additional variables that could be swaying the results, and the association was found once again.ii

In that study, children whose mothers used cell phones while pregnant were 40 percent more likely to have behavioral problems, and this rose to 50 percent when the children also used cell phones themselves. The researchers even accounted for family history of behavioral problems, inattention of the mother, breastfeeding and time spent with the child — and the association remained.

Autonomic nervous system expert Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt has noted this radiation may easily flip certain genes in the mitochondria. If this gene sequence is altered in a pregnant woman, she can pass her damaged mitochondria on to her child. The child can then develop a mitochondrial disorder, which can include muscular atrophy and severe developmental problems.

via Should Pregnant Women Avoid Cell Phone Use?.

Monsanto Caught Illegally Planting GM Corn in India

February 8th 2012
By IndiaGmInfo

Ahead of a regulators’ meeting on February 8th 2012, and reacting to the confirmed reports of Monsanto’s illegal planting of Herbicide Tolerant (HT) maize in its GM maize trial, the Coalition for a GM-Free India demanded that Monsanto be blacklisted immediately. The violation was revealed in a response of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee to an RTI application. “This agri-business corporation has been caught violating the law and norms repeatedly. The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) has also been caught failing in its duties. GEAC, in spite of violations brought to its notice earlier also, has never taken up any deterrent and penal action against this Multi National Company”, said the Coalition in a press statement issued in Delhi and a Press Conference held in Bengaluru. Monsanto’s illegal planting was known to the regulators (as the information was obtained through an RTI response from GEAC), but they chose not to look into the matter pro-actively and the regulators were in effect protecting Monsanto, alleged the Coalition.

“Monsanto’s GM maize trials have been going on for several seasons now in various locations around the country. It took a rare scientist in one monitoring team to point out the fact that planting of the herbicide-tolerant GM maize took place without permission from competent authorities! What is more damning is that there is no evidence of any discussion or action by the regulators on this finding. This clearly demonstrates that the regulators are unconcerned about biosafety violations or contamination and are protecting and supporting offenders like Monsanto”, said Kavitha Kuruganti, Member, Coalition for a GM-Free India.

“This appears to be a repetition of an earlier episode of herbicide tolerant cotton (Roundup Ready Flex – RRF cotton) planted by Monsanto’s affiliate, Mahyco, without permission. The GEAC, in that instance, found the clarifications submitted by Mahyco highly unsatisfactory and warned that any non-compliance in future would attract punitive actions under EPA 1986, sought a resolution adopted by the Mahyco Board of Directors expressing regret and reaffirmation that such lapses would not be repeated, and that the data generated during the BRL II trials using the unapproved GMO shall not be considered for regulatory purpose. All of these were decisions recorded in the July 2011 meeting of the GEAC”, reminded the Coalition.

Monsanto has also been caught violating several biosafety norms in its GM maize cultivation plot in Bijapur in early 2011, around the same time as this Monitoring Team’s finding of illegal planting inside the University in Dharwad. The Bijapur episode, documented by Greenpeace and a Kannada TV Channel had been brought to the notice of the regulators and no investigation has been completed so far into this complaint. Egregious violations were also found during various other field trials from 2005 onwards.

In the face of such impunity from these seed corporations and irresponsible inaction by the regulators, it is ironic that when civil society groups try to prevent contamination from these untested GMOs by objecting to such trials like in the case of the Bayer GM rice trial in Patancheru or DuPont GM rice trial in Doddaballapur, they are being treated as criminals! The history of GM crop regulation in India is replete with violations and illegal plantings and repeated failure on the part of the regulators in checking these or even taking serious action post facto. Therefore citizens are forced to step in to uphold biosafety.

via Monsanto Caught Illegally Planting GM Corn in India | Wake Up World.

« Older entries

%d bloggers like this: