The EU has been slacking as a global purchaser of genetically modified foods.  For some strange reason, they think they can survive as a civilization without eating Frankenfood?  Absurd. The United Corporations of America United States and other countries like Canada and Argentina are complaining that the EU has setup unfair market barriers to keep GM food from entering the continent.  A six year moritorium on importing GM foods ended in 2004 and last year the World Trade Organization ruled that banning this gene-altered food was illegal.

“If we fail to implement our own rules, or implement them inconsistently, we can — and probably will — be challenged,” Mandelson said in a speech today in Brussels. He also said the EU may undermine European industries such as livestock by falling behind in endorsing products in the $6 billion global biotech crop market.

The European Commission, the 27-nation EU’s regulatory arm, faces resistance to gene-modified foods from member states including Austria and Greece. Surveys show opposition to such foods by more than half of European consumers, who worry about risks such as human resistance to antibiotics and the development of “superweeds” impervious to herbicides."

I bet you’d never guess who’s behind all this commotion?  Did you guess Monsanto?  Ding, ding, You are correct!  Our friends at Monsanto (and BASF) want to force their infamous wears on a group of countries that don’t want them.  That’s like if a telemarketer called you up to sell you insurance,  when you tell them you’re not interested…they sue you. 

Hopefully, the EU can get some rules and guidelines in place quickly to avoid potential repercussions.

read the news story here. (bloomberg)


GM Food

This is a short on GM food (genetically modified, not Chevrolet).  It is quick paced and interesting.  One part of the video discusses a seed genetically modified by Monsanto that uses a protein to produce its own pesticide.  This seed MON863 was approved for human consumption in 2006 in Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, and the United States.  Both the USDA and the FDA do not mandate that genetically modified foods be labeled as such.  Studies have shown that the GM corn causes liver and kidney toxicity as well as hormonal imbalances in rats.  In some cases the toxins in this corn cause cell walls to perforate.  (you can’t make this stuff up)

Greenpeace has recently released a document discussing the toxicity of this corn.  To find out more information on genetically modified foods, check out the Union for Concerned Scientists. 

Genetically Modified (GM) food is some pretty scary stuff.  Recently there have been a couple of cases where these crops have turned out to be toxic for consumption.  The main company responsible for dolling out GM seeds is Monsanto.  They have produced a version of alfalfa that resists their own weed killer "Roundup".  A judge has just ordered that the seeds be taken off the market because an environmental study has not been conducted and the pollen from this GM alfalfa may contaminate organic and conventional alfalfa and cause unknown effects.

The really bad news about GM food is that unless you live on a secluded farm and grow your own food…you (we) have been eating this stuff for years.  In the United States the USDA does not require these foods to have any special labels that identify they have been genetically modified (unlike Japan and Europe).  This article from Time Magazine discusses how difficult it is to ensure "organic" stays organic as farmers battle to keep this GM crap out of their crops.

By Jyoti Thottam-   When you buy a gallon of organic milk, you expect to get tasty milk from happy cows who haven’t been subjected to antibiotics, hormones or pesticides. But you might also unknowingly be getting genetically modified cattle feed.

Albert Straus, owner of the Straus Family Creamery in the small northern California town of Marshall, decided to test the feed that he gives his 1,600 cows last year and was alarmed to find that nearly 6% of the organic corn feed he received from suppliers was "contaminated" by genetically modified (GM) organisms. Organic food is, by definition, supposed to be free of genetically modified material, and organic crops are required to be isolated from other crops. But as GM crops become more prevalent, there is little that an organic farmer can do to prevent a speck of GM pollen or a stray GM seed from being blown by the wind onto his land or farm equipment and, eventually, into his products. In 2006, GM crops accounted for 61% of all the corn planted in the U.S. and 89% of all the soybeans. "I feared that there weren’t enough safeguards," Straus says.

So Straus and five other natural food producers, including industry leader Whole Foods, announced last week that they would seek a new certification for their products, "non-GMO verified," in the hopes that it will become a voluntary industry standard for GM-free goods. A non-profit group called the Non-GMO Project runs the program, and the testing is conducted by an outside lab called Genetic ID. In a few weeks, Straus expects to become the first food manufacturer in the country to carry the label in addition to his "organic" one. With Whole Foods in the ring, the rest of the industry will soon be under competitive pressure to follow.

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