GMO Salmon Approved by FDA

The FDA declared that GE-salmon is as safe to eat as non-GE salmon and has given its approval for it to be sold to consumers.

Despite the fact that:

csiro_scienceimage_7478_atlantic_salmon– Over 400,000 comments were submitted demanding that genetically-engineered salmon be rejected.

– More than 300 environmental, consumer, health and animal welfare organizations, salmon and fishing groups and associations, food companies, chefs, and restaurants filed joint statements with the FDA opposing approval.

– More than 40 members of the U.S. Congress have repeatedly urged the FDA to conduct more rigorous reviews of environmental and health safety, and halt any approval process until concerns over risks, transparency and oversight have been fully satisfied.

……….the FDA refused to listen to consumer opinion and environmental concerns, and it completely placated the well-funded biotech industry.

Not only is this the first GE-fish approved, but it is the first GE-animal approved for human consumption. (This “FrankenFish” is injected with a gene from the Pacific Chinook salmon and can reach adult size in 16 to 18 months instead of 30 months for normal Atlantic salmon.)

Read the entire article:

We are a GMO-Free County


I would like to thank all of the people who helped make this a reality; financial contributors, signature gatherers, event sponsors, our calling team, our Facebook and website teams, GMO Actions in San Juan County, each and everyone of you who voted and all of the people willing to start the dialog with your friends and neighbors about what this initiative is really about.

This is about protecting our futures, protecting our farmers and protecting our environment. This is about standing up to corporate bullying. This is about preserving the integrity of our food and the freedom to grow it, but most important this is about our community getting together, educating ourselves and standing up for our rights as farmers and citizens. One small step against GMO domination, but a very important one.

Now for the next step. Label it Washington ( ) needs our help. They are still gathering signatures in an effort to require mandatory GMO labeling in Washington State. We need to keep at it, not just for the political victories, but for the dialog and to help our country reach the tipping point in GMO awareness and rejection.

Ken Akopiantz
Chair GMO-Free San Juans

Bill Gates’ support of GM crops is wrong approach for Africa

By Glenn Ashton
Special to The Times

Bill Gates’ support of genetically modified (GM) crops as a solution for world hunger is of concern to those of us involved in promoting sustainable, equitable and effective agricultural policies in Africa.

There are two primary shortcomings to Gates’ approach.

First, his technocratic ideology runs counter to the best informed science. The World Bank and United Nations funded 900 scientists over three years in order to create an International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). Its conclusions were diametrically opposed, at both philosophical and practical levels, to those espoused by Gates and clearly state that the use of GM crops is not a meaningful solution to the complex situation of world hunger.

The IAASTD suggests that rather than pursuing industrial farming models, “agro-ecological” methods provide the most viable means to enhance global food security, especially in light of climate change. These include implementing practical scientific research based on traditional seed varieties and local farming practices adapted to the local ecology over millennia.

Agro-ecology has consistently proven capable of sustainably increasing productivity. Conversely, the present GM crops generally have not increased yields over the long run, despite their increased costs and dependence on agricultural chemicals, as highlighted in the 2009 Union of Concerned Scientists report, “Failure to Yield.”

For example, experimental “drought-resistant” corn, supported by Gates and Monsanto, is far less robust than natural maize varieties and farming methods requiring less water. Thus, Gates’ GM “solutions” depend on higher-cost inputs — such as fertilizers, pest controls and the special seeds themselves — distracting attention from proven, lower-cost approaches.

Secondly, Gates sponsors compliant African organizations whose work with multinational agricultural corporations like Monsanto undermines existing grass-roots efforts to improve local production methods. He has become a stalking horse for corporate proponents of industrial agriculture which perceive African hunger simply as a business opportunity. His Gates Foundation has referred to the world’s poor as the “BOP” (bottom of pyramid), presenting ” … a fast growing consumer market.”

Olivier De Shutter, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on the right to food, reinforces the IAASTD research. He, too, concludes that agro-ecological farming has far greater potential for fighting hunger, particularly during economic and climatically uncertain times.

Poverty is the result of a dominant global economic system that considers traditional farmers, who produce mainly for local consumption, not export, as not contributing to the gross domestic product. To force these “BOPs” into the industrial agriculture system ignores their requirements. Gates’ philanthropy is undemocratic at both ideological and practical levels. It ignores democratically derived African solutions to our food security problems. Further, it runs counter to the traditional methodology of bi- and multilateral foreign aid, which is obliged to consider local policies and sensitivities.

Africa suffers from well-intended but poorly considered agricultural policies imposed by external “experts.” For one of the world’s wealthiest men to presume he can provide all of the solutions is arrogant. His “near-religious faith in technology” (as described in a recent business journal) conflicts with the practical work of the IAASTD, De Shutter and grass-roots democratic agronomic movements.

While successful in his chosen field, Gates has no expertise in the farm field. This is not to say that he and his fellow philanthropists cannot contribute — they certainly can. However, some circumspection and humility would go a long way to heal the rifts they have opened. Beating Africans with the big stick of high-input proprietary technology has never been requested; it will perpetuate neo-imperialism and repetition of foreign-imposed African “failure.” Africans urge Bill Gates to engage with us in a more-broadly consultative, agro-ecological approach.

Glenn Ashton is a South African agricultural consultant and researcher who has worked with grass-roots organizations across a broad range of social interests in the region. He may be reached at

for original article please click here.

Brazil fines Monsanto $250,000 for misleading ad

AFP – A Brazilian court fined US biotech giant Monsanto $250,000 on Wednesday for what a judge said was the company’s misleading advertising concerning GM soy.

Monsanto released an advert lauding GM seeds in 2004 — a time when their use in Brazil was banned — suggesting that they benefited the environment.

But Judge Jorge Antonio Maurique in Porto Alegre, capital of Rio Grande do Sul state, slammed the commercial as “abusive and misleading propaganda,” dubbing the scientific benefits of Monsanto’s product as “very questionable.”

Monsanto can appeal the court ruling but a representative refused to comment on the decision issued on Wednesday, saying the company was awaiting official court notification of the ruling before considering its next steps.

The first GM soy seeds were illegally smuggled into Brazil from neighboring Argentina in 1998 when their use was officially banned and subject to prosecution.

The ban has since been lifted and 85 percent of Brazil’s soybean crop (25 million hectares or 62 million acres), is now genetically modified, making Brazil the world’s second producer and exporter, behind the United States.

for original article go here.