Hope2012


Monsanto News Round-Up

Frankenfoods giant Monsanto plays bully over consumer labeling – Alternet 3/6/08

EXCERPT: “Since 1901, Monsanto has brought us Agent Orange, PCBs, Terminator seeds and recombined milk, among other infamous products. But it’s currently obsessed with the milk, or, more importantly, the milk labels, particularly those that read “rBST-free” or “rBGH-free.” It’s not the “BST” or “BGH” that bothers them so much; after all, bovine somatrophin, also known as bovine growth hormone, isn’t exactly what the company is known for. Which is to say, it’s naturally occurring. No, the problem is the “r” denoting “recombined.” There’s nothing natural about it. In fact, the science is increasingly pointing to the possibility that recombined milk is – surprise! — not as good for you as the real thing.”

 

Monsanto’s Raid in Brazil: Resisting Agrofuels and Biotech – CounterPunch 3/22/08

EXCERPTS: “On March 7th-International Women’s Day-dozens of Brazilian women occupied a research site of the U.S.-based agricultural biotechnology giant Monsanto in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, destroying the greenhouse and experimental plots of genetically-modified – GM corn. Participants, members of the international farmers’ organization La Vía Campesina, stated in a note that the act was to protest the Brazilian government’s decision in February to legalize Monsanto’s GM Guardian® corn, which came just weeks after the French government prohibited the corn due to environment and human health risks.” …
 
“Hours before the decision by the Brazilian government to legalize commercialization of Guardian® corn on February 12th, Brett Begemann, executive vice president of global commercial business for Monsanto, told investors at Goldman Sachs in New York that the company’s 40% share of the Brazilian corn seed market “serves as a foundation” for the introduction of the corn , “once approved by Brazilian officials.” Begemann also highlighted that Monsanto’s GM Roundup Ready® soybean seeds account for 55% of total soybean acres planted in Brazil this season, and that the company expects 90% penetration of the country’s soybean seed market by the end of the decade.”
 
“Begemann did not, however, mention that the expansion of Monsanto’s GM crops into Brazil has been accomplished illegally. In January, the Brazilian minister of science and technology acknowledged that GM soybeans and cotton were legalized only after they had already been smuggled into and planted in the country by large farmers.6 Various civil society organizations and social movements claim that Monsanto participated in this process illegally through fait accompli.7 Monsanto began legally selling and collecting royalties for Roundup Ready® soybean seeds in the country in the 2003-04 growing season. In May 2003, about 800 people occupied the company’s research station in Ponta Grossa, Paraná, destroying several hectares of GM crops and the laboratory. The MST occupied the site for over a year. Roundup Ready® soybean seeds are genetically engineered to resist glyphosate, the world’s most commonly used herbicide and the primary ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup®. Glyphosate has been shown to cause reproductive problems in rats, including spontaneous abortions, and liver damage.8 Begemann boasted that Roundup® could deliver up to $1.4 billion in profits for Monsanto in 2008, due to higher acreage planted to Roundup Ready® soybeans.”

 

Monsanto’s Genetic Food Gamble – CounterPunch 3/19/08

EXCERPT: “There have been few experiments as reckless, overhyped and with as little potential upside as the rapid rollout of genetically modified crops. Last month, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications – ISAAA, a pro-biotech nonprofit, released a report highlighting the proliferation of genetically modified crops. According to ISAAA, biotech crop area grew 12 percent, or 12.3 million hectares, to reach 114.3 million hectares in 2007, the second highest area increase in the past five years. For the biotech backers, this is cause to celebrate. They claim that biotech helps farmers. They say it promises to reduce hunger and poverty in developing countries. “If we are to achieve the Millennium Development Goals – MDGs of cutting hunger and poverty in half by 2015,” says Clive James, ISAAA founder and the author the just-released report, “biotech crops must play an even bigger role in the next decade.” In fact, existing genetically modified crops are hurting small farmers and failing to deliver increased food supply — and posing enormous, largely unknown risks to people and the planet.”

 

Monsanto Whistleblower says GMO crops may cause disease – Global Research 11/19/06

 

Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear – Vanity Fair 5/08

EXCERPT: “Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Now it has targeted milk production. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics–ruthless legal battles against small farmers–is its decades-long history of toxic contamination.”

 

Monsanto uses child labor – Forbes 3/10/08

 

Sowing for Apocalypse: The Quest for a Global Seed Bank – New Yorker 8/27/07

 

Video: Harvest of Fear – PBS/Nova/Frontline

In “Harvest of Fear,” FRONTLINE and NOVA explore the intensifying debate over genetically-modified – gm food crops. Interviewing scientists, farmers, biotech and food industry representatives, government regulators, and critics of biotechnology, this two-hour report presents both sides of the debate, exploring the risks and benefits, the hopes and fears, of this new technology.
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