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Monsanto Keeps Up Attack on Seed Saving Farmers

 
Old MacDonald
04/21/2005 12:58 PM
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Monsanto Keeps Up Attack on Seed Saving Farmers
[link to www.organicconsumers.org]

As if U.S. farmers weren´t in enough trouble, now the "seed police" are after them. Monsanto, the world leader in genetically modified grains, is pursuing fines and jail sentences for farmers who use their seed in noncontractual ways-such as saving it and sowing it the next season. The Center for Food Safety has released an investigative review of Monsanto´s use of U.S. patent law to crack down on farmers. Monsanto has filed 90 lawsuits against U.S. farmers in 25 states that involve 147 farmers and 39 small businesses or farm companies, according to the report.

*500: The number of U.S. farmers under investigation annually by Monsanto.

*$10 million: Monsanto´s annual budget (plus 75 staff) devoted to investigating and prosecuting U.S. farmers.

*$15,253,602: The total recorded judgments granted to Monsanto for farmer
lawsuits.

*$3,052,800: The largest recorded judgment in favor of Monsanto as a result of a farmer lawsuit.

*8 months: The prison sentence given to a Tennessee farmer convicted of violating an agreement with Monsanto.

Sources: "Monsanto vs. U.S. Farmers 2005" (The Center for Food Safety); The Associated Press. [link to www.centerforfoodsafety.org]

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This GMO news service is underwritten by a generous grant from the Newman´s Own Foundation, edited by Thomas Wittman and is a production of the Ecological Farming Association www.eco-farm.org < [link to www.eco-farm.org]
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Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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You Americans are more trouble than you´re worth. Good riddance as the rest of the world flushes you bye-bye.

flushflushflush
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Fuck you 157. What is being done to the American Farmers is completely and utterly WRONG!.
157
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Well DOH! What do you think Monsanto is? An Afghan corporation or something? For shitsake when are you americans (dishonorific small case)
going to wake up?
going to wake up?
going to wake up?
going to wake up?
going to wake up?
going to wake up?
going to wake up?
going to wake up?
going to wake up?
going to wake up?
going to wake up?
going to wake up?
going to wake up?
going to wake up?
going to wake up?
going to wake up?
going to wake up?
going to wake up?
going to wake up?
going to wake up?
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Re: Monsanto Keeps Up Attack on Seed Saving Farmers
BAR1BAR1BAR1
Octo
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Agrifood News Archive

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EU - GMO BANS TO BE REVIEWED

EU to review national GMO bans from moratorium era
September 5, 2004 - Reuters

BRUSSELS - Officials were cited as saying on Tuesday that six EU governments face pressure to scrap national bans on certain gene-spliced foods that had been approved for growing and processing before the bloc began its 1998-2004 biotech ban.

The story says that Austria, Britain, France, Germany, Greece and Luxembourg used a get-out clause in one of the EU´s various laws that regulates the environmental risk of GMO crops.

That allows an EU government to restrict, provisionally, the use or sale of a specific GMO product on its territory if there are grounds for concern over a possible risk to human health or the environment. The country must also justify its concern.

In every case, EU scientists were cited as saying the bans were unjustified and the European Commission -- the EU´s executive arm -- told the country concerned to lift it. But this never happened.

Now, diplomats say, the Commission wants to sort out what it sees as an anomaly from the period of the EU´s biotech ban -- a de facto moratorium that effectively blocked any new GMO approvals but ended in May.

The story explains that part of the rush to lift the bans, they say, is due to a case filed against the EU by the United States, Canada and Argentina at the World Trade Organisation. The three GMO producers say the EU´s moratorium flouted world trade norms.

One EU diplomat was quoted as saying, "Now that the (new) legislation is in force, in theory everything should be working fine. But the Commission can see that the safeguard clauses are not necessarily the easiest way to defend the WTO case. My impression is that they (the Commission) are keen to get them off the agenda or take decisions on them."

[link to www.afaa.com.au]

Official European Union policy on genetically modified organisms stands to protect the health of consumers as well as the environment. In 1990, the first major EU order on GMO´s was issued. Directive 90/220/EEC banned the deliberate release of GMO´s into the environment (JO, 1990). For the next 8 years, however, this directive was amended several times to allow the production and sale of certain GMO´s. This included the authorization of 18 GMO´s in 1991 (Europa, 2004).

In January 2004, the EU lifted its ban on a certain type of Bt corn, Bt11. This was seen as a victory for pro-GMO lobbyists and many Europeans feel the sanctioning of Bt corn will pave the way for the approval of other GMO´s. Along with Bt approval came stringent labelling rules. In 1997, the EU has required the labelling of GMO´s sold on the market. Beginning in April 2004, new regulations will require the labelling of all GM foods and seeds (Regulation 1829/2003) and traceability of GMO´s sold on the market (Regulation 1830/2003) (Europa, 2004).

[link to www.bio.davidson.edu]



EU investigates accidental release of unauthorised GMO

[link to www.euractiv.com]


It´s so easy to say "you stupid Americans" instead of addressing this as a problem that concerns us all.
It is coming no matter where you are.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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not only coming, but already there...
zacksavage
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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This story should be on the front pages,...they are trying to control all of our food,...fer christ sake.

But no,...we have the freaking pope,...M Jackson,...and whatever other ´wag the dog´ scheme needed to dupe the public.





Z
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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not only coming, but already there...
Octo
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Yes, my advice for everybody is TO READ THE LABELS.


stoner
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Iraqi farmers have been told by their US controllers that they are not allowed under news Iraqi laws to keep ANY of their seed from year to year. Most of these farmers have been using ancient seed stocks developed over millennia, but now under American laws they will have to purchase ALL of their seed, every year, from Monsanto. Talk about a captive market. No wonder the Iraqis can´t blow enough Americans sky high.

It is a pandemic. European farmers and Canadian farmers have been fighting this struggle for years. In Europe iti s illegal to save seeds, no matter WHAT stock they come from. In Canada and now in the US the Monsanto guys from farm to farm. If your neighbour´s farm had Monsanto seed last year and you are unlucky enough to get even ONE stray volunteer seedling in your crop, you lose the WHOLE CROP. Monsanto goes to court and gets the right to come and spray your crop with Roundup. SO once sprayed, only THEIR seed stock plants survive. If the whole crop dies you are innocent. You don´t have crop anymore, but you are innocent. When is the world going to wake up and kill all the MOnsanto people?
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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so, let´s see..if we can get rid of the good seeds all that will be left are corporation genetically changed seed and genetically changed animals, etc.

isn´t that what you´ve all wanted?

so what have you done to prevent it?
Octo
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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I saw a couple of Indian women interviewed on TV about this. They too were forced to use Monsanto seeds, but they said "Fine, we will be criminals then, but we´re not gong to use their seeds"


headbang

Demand clean food. That´s something each and everyone of us can do at our local store or wherever you shop. Be a pain in the butt.

flower
Old MacDonald
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Octo, I agree 100%.

Read the Labels
Demand Clean Food

We can all make the difference.

Your choices can make or break a food supply company. So choose wisely.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Octo and 691,
very good advice!
so how many will listen?
Octo
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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I got my mom & dad and one of my sisters to listen. It is possible.

I guess we need more wavemakers...

peace
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Inhaled GM Maize Pollen
May Cause Disease
By Jeffrey M. Smith
Seeds Of Change.com
4-20-5


Bt-maize (corn) during pollination, may trigger disease in people living near the cornfield.

Virtually an entire village of thirty-nine people living adjacent to a large field of Bt-maize (Dekalb 818 YG) on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines were stricken by a disease with respiratory, intestinal, and skin reactions, and fever. The symptoms occurred during the period when the maize was producing airborne pollen. The residents, some of whom lived only a few meters from the plants, certainly inhaled the pollen. The maize was genetically engineered to produce the insecticide called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). In response to Bt-toxin, IgA, IgG, and IgM antibodies were detected in their blood samples, indicating an immune reaction to GM maize pollen.

Local authorities had proposed that the disease was infectious, but could not identify the cause. The symptoms of four families, however, subsided after they left the area to stay with friends or relatives. Upon returning, the members of all four families once again exhibited the symptoms. Such a response contradicts the claim that the disease was infectious, and points to environmental causes.

The Norwegian Institute for Gene Ecology learned about the incident during the fall of 2003 and arranged for blood samples to be taken in October. The IgA and IgM reactions in their serum indicate a recent exposure to Bt within the previous three months and are consistent with an interpretation that the disease might have been created by inhalation of the Bt -pollen from the field.

The maize variety Dekalb 818 was popular in the area. According to members of the village, seed representatives offered them an improved version of Dekalb 818, called Dekalb 818 YG. This is a hybrid between Mon 810, a Bt -crop from Monsanto, and the conventional Dekalb 818 variety. This past year was the first time that Bt maize was planted in the region. Some villagers said they were never told it was a genetically engineered variety, and did not know that it was creating its own pesticide.

An additional finding from the study showed that the level of expression of the Bt -toxin Cry1AB varied considerably in the corn kernels, even from the same plant. The levels ranged from 0.014 ug to 0.9 ug, with other kernels expressing levels both above and below the limits of detection of the study.

Implications for human health

There has been great concern that genetically engineered crops might increase allergies or immune sensitivity in the population. Soon after Monsanto´s genetically engineered soy was imported into the UK, for example, soy allergies skyrocketed by 50 percent. (No follow-up studies were conducted to confirm a link.) At a Russian press conference held on 11 December 2003, a group of scientists announced that the number of people with symptoms of allergy increased by three times over the past three years, and that the increased consumption of genetically engineered foods by the population might be the cause. Allergies are similarly on the rise in the U.S., where genetically engineered foods are eaten regularly.

Many scientists are concerned that crops genetically engineered to create the Bt-toxin may, in particular, have adverse immune and allergenic effects on humans.

A U.S. government-funded study published in 1999 confirmed that farm workers exposed to Bt insecticide sprays exhibited skin sensitization and the presence of IgE and IgG antibodies, both considered part of an allergic response. The workers with a greater reaction were those with more exposure to the spray - another allergy signal.

While the workers did not exhibit respiratory symptoms, the period of exposure was relatively short, and the amount of Bt that they were exposed to from the spray was quite small. Bt-crops, on the other hand, create 10 to 100 times the amount of exposure. And the seeds of some of those Bt -crops have yet another 10 to 100 times that amount.

Three mouse studies were conducted on a Bt-toxin, Cry1Ac, similar to that found in GM cotton and maize varieties. Two of these mouse studies showed that the Bt -toxin triggers an antibody response in the blood and mucous membranes of mice; the third demonstrated that Cry1Ac boosts the immune response to other antigens as powerfully as cholera toxin. This study verified that Bt also acts as an adjuvant. An adjuvant is an enabling agent, which increases a person´s susceptibility to other allergens and immunogens. In other words, allergic reactions as a whole might theoretically increase in a population that is exposed to an adjuvant. This might explain the increased rate of allergies described above.

In a study published in Natural Toxins, mice were fed a diet spiked a natural Bt -protein. When the researchers analyzed tissue sections from the ileum (the lower part of the small intestine) by electron microscopy, they found significant structural disturbances and intestinal growth.

All of these animal studies conclude that Bt is active in mammals, doesn´t degrade, may bind to the intestines, and therefore may pose a threat to human health. These studies suggest that feeding the Bt-crops to humans and animals may be premature.

Bt-corn would not pass the FAO/WHO recommended tests

In spite of the evidence that Bt creates reactions in mice, regulatory authorities such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have stated that Bt-toxin is not supposed to survive long enough to even get into the small intestine. It´s supposed to be degraded in the stomach. They base their claim on test tube experiments conducted by the biotech companies. The Bt -protein is put into a test tube containing simulated gastric fluid - a mixture of hydrochloric acid and pepsin, a digestive enzyme - which, they claim, mimics the act of digestion in the stomach. The longer the protein stays intact, the greater the opportunity for it to elicit the antibody response associated with allergy.

The FAO/WHO likewise propose a test-tube evaluation of protein stability. Although Monsanto´s test on its own Bt-maize protein (Cry1Ab) resulted in over 90 percent degradation after just two minutes, critics point out that the strength of the acid and the relative amounts of enzyme and Cry1Ab Monsanto used in their test tube was unrealistic and specifically designed to destroy the protein as quickly as possible. Monsanto used a pH of 1.2, as compared to the considerably milder 2.0 recommended by the FAO/WHO. Also the ratio of pepsin to Cry1Ab used was about 1,250 times greater than the FAO/WHO standard. When that same Cry1Ab was independently tested using a different solution, 10 percent of Monsanto´s Bt-toxin protein lasted one to two hours, not two minutes. If the researchers had used the FAO/WHO guidelines, however, more of the protein would have lasted even longer. Furthermore, another test tube study showed that Cry1Ab only breaks down to sizeable fragments - large enough to remain potentially allergenic and larger than the maximum size specified by the FAO/WHO. (In any case, many scientists have pointed out that the test-tube studies as a whole are flawed, as they do not approximate actual conditions, and survival of Bt -protein has already been confirmed in animal models.)

A second method for investigating allergenicity recommended by the FAO/WHO and others involves comparing the structure of the foreign protein to those of known allergens. The reasoning is that if a section of the GM protein´s amino acid sequence is similar or identical to that of a known allergen, it might trigger a reaction. A researcher at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discovered such a similarity between Cry1Ab and an egg yolk allergen.

Genetic instability makes allergy testing even more problematic

The finding that corn kernels express different levels of the Bt -toxin make existing allergy safeguards much more problematic. The level of protein that is tested by scientists may not represent the actual level the public is exposed to.


[link to www.seedsofdeception.com]


MainPage
[link to www.rense.com]
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Good article. Thanks for posting. It´s a nightmare out there. I can´t believe that people actually do this to each other. But then, there´s the Depleted Uranium thing to consider also, but that´s another story.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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>Read the Labels
Demand Clean Food<

Do you think its only this?

Controling the seeds you control the World by Hunger.
The ultimate weapon.

Controling or destroying the seeds is an act of war.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Genetically Modified Organisms


GMO/Monsanto foods for all

Who wants the first bite of the ´produce´ that is a genetically modified organism??? I will pass as many of these foods kill your organs and potentially change your dna. Only the ignorant are laughing.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Feed this crap to all of the politicians who have through the years let this stuff get into market.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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157 Remember you may hate Americans but your country still wants our bread basket foods-and when our basket crashes so will the food supply be diminished in massive ways-IN YOUR COUNTRY


We are not unique in the USA regarding the abuse our leaders dump on the populace. It happens the world over.
Octo
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Demand clean food, yes I think it´s one of the most effective, yet legal weapons we have to fight these corporations. You don´t have to be anybody special to go to your store, ask the manager if this product is available WITHOUT poison? He probably says no, but get back to him, ask again. He will eventually have to do some research on these things (availability) to provide you with answers...

Yes, I do believe it makes a difference. It makes a difference to me...
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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yep control of the food is a scary thing. Who owns monsanto? Is it owned/controlled by a particular ethnic group?

Seems to me that the Europeans are the ones most fucked. They can´t seem to stand up for anything anymore.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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go to archives link at the top of this page. Go to November 2004 , type in seeds, or full title "Iraqi Farmers are OUTLAWED to save their own seeds" We were warned to save our own NON GM seeds. You can´t get them now easily. Remember not only is the food that GM seeds produce destroying your body, but the crops will not produce viable seeds.



or click here

[link to makeashorterlink.com]
Stan Fuller
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Should any problems arise with the seeds
Monsanto probably wants to be the only one liable. Their position must be to protect
the farmers and consumers from the saved seed,
so it does not mutate. Surely it is not greed alone that motivates them. Monsanto should buy back all unused seed after planting at market prices. If they will not do that, then farmer should go to details not to over-buy.
When one makes a deal with the Devil, he must live with his rules, however, the U.S. Patent laws should not be included with a devilish deal. Ultimately the other shoe will drop.
Stan Fuller
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Should any problems arise with the seeds
Monsanto probably wants to be the only one liable. Their position must be to protect
the farmers and consumers from the saved seed,
so it does not mutate. Surely it is not greed alone that motivates them. Monsanto should buy back all unused seed after planting at market prices. If they will not do that, then farmer should go to details not to over-buy.
When one makes a deal with the Devil, he must live with his rules, however, the U.S. Patent laws should not be included with a devilish deal. Ultimately the other shoe will drop.
Stan Fuller
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Should any problems arise with the seeds
Monsanto probably wants to be the only one liable. Their position must be to protect
the farmers and consumers from the saved seed,
so it does not mutate. Surely it is not greed alone that motivates them. Monsanto should buy back all unused seed after planting at market prices. If they will not do that, then farmer should go to details not to over-buy.
When one makes a deal with the Devil, he must live with his rules, however, the U.S. Patent laws should not be included with a devilish deal. Ultimately the other shoe will drop.
Stan Fuller
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Re: Monsanto Keeps Up Attack on Seed Saving Farmers
Should any problems arise with the seeds
Monsanto probably wants to be the only one liable. Their position must be to protect
the farmers and consumers from the saved seed,
so it does not mutate. Surely it is not greed alone that motivates them. Monsanto should buy back all unused seed after planting at market prices. If they will not do that, then farmer should go to details not to over-buy.
When one makes a deal with the Devil, he must live with his rules, however, the U.S. Patent laws should not be included with a devilish deal. Ultimately the other shoe will drop.
Stan Fuller
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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Re: Monsanto Keeps Up Attack on Seed Saving Farmers
Should any problems arise with the seeds
Monsanto probably wants to be the only one liable. Their position must be to protect
the farmers and consumers from the saved seed,
so it does not mutate. Surely it is not greed alone that motivates them. Monsanto should buy back all unused seed after planting at market prices. If they will not do that, then farmer should go to details not to over-buy.
When one makes a deal with the Devil, he must live with his rules, however, the U.S. Patent laws should not be included with a devilish deal. Ultimately the other shoe will drop.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:07 AM
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178, you Americans basically feed yourselves. You are not responsible for feeding the world. Where do you GET such crap? If Americ sunk into the ocean tomorrow the world would be better fed almost immediately.

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