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GorDoom
10-23-2010, 10:57 AM
Good News – Monsanto Finally Reaping Its Just Desserts
Posted By Dr. Mercola | October 23 2010 | 13,765 views

Monsanto, the giant biotechnology agriculture company that created genetically modified corn, soybeans and herbicides, isn't riding so high this year in the stocks department, as news comes in that its products aren't working like they'd hoped.

According to the New York Times, weeds are becoming immune to Monsanto's herbicide Roundup, and its latest genetically modified, 8-gene corn is a flop, producing yields no higher than the company's less expensive corn, which contains only three foreign genes.

"Monsanto has already been forced to sharply cut prices on SmartStax and on its newest soybean seeds, called Roundup Ready 2 Yield, as sales fell below projections," the Times said. "And the Justice Department is investigating Monsanto for possible antitrust violations."

"Until now, Monsanto's main challenge has come from opponents of genetically modified crops, who have slowed their adoption in Europe and some other regions. Now, however, the skeptics also include farmers and investors who were once in Monsanto's camp."

Monsanto was named "company of the year" by Forbes Magazine in December. Last week, television stock market commentator Jim Cramer said it "may be the worst stock of 2010," the Times said.

Sources:
New York Times October 5, 2010


Dr. Mercola's Comments:


Since the 1980s, Monsanto has become the world leader in genetic modification of seeds, succeeding in at least 674 biotechnology patents, more than any other company -- and they showed no signs of stopping … until now.

It seems Monsanto's glory days may be coming to an end, which is a refreshing turnaround from last December, when Forbes declared this evil corporation "company of the year" -- for reasons that truly boggle the mind.

Now, the tide is turning, and as the Times pointed out, signs are suggesting that Monsanto's "winning streak" is over:

Monsanto's newest genetically modified (GM) product, SmartStax corn, provides no greater yields than older products, despite being more expensive
Weeds are growing resistant to Monsanto's Roundup
The Justice Department is investigating Monsanto for possible antitrust violations
Already, shares of Monsanto's stock have fallen 42 percent since January, and earnings for the fiscal year are expected to be well under projections.

To say this news makes me overjoyed is an understatement, as this company represents one of the biggest threats to your future health, and that of the planet.

Monsanto Monstrosities Swept Under the Rug

Why is Monsanto top on my hit list of evil corporations? Here is just a short list of the many improprieties and outright crimes committed by Monsanto:

Suing small farmers for patent infringement after Monsanto's GM seeds spread wildly into surrounding farmers' fields, contaminating their conventional crops
Secretly discharging PCB-laden toxic waste into an Alabama creek, and dumping millions of pounds of PCBs into open-pit landfills for decades after PCBs were banned in the US for being a possible carcinogen.
Being found guilty of bribery to bypass Indonesian law requiring an environmental assessment review for its genetically engineered cotton.
Last year, the supreme court of France found Monsanto guilty of falsely advertising its herbicide Roundup as "biodegradable" and "environmentally friendly." Scientific evaluation discovered that glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp, is acutely toxic to fish and birds and can kill beneficial insects and soil organisms that maintain ecological balance. Additionally, the surfactant ingredient in Roundup is more acutely toxic than glyphosate itself, and the combination of the two is even more toxic.
In 2007, the South African Advertising Standards Authority also found Monsanto guilty of lying when advertising that "no negative reactions to Genetically Modified food have been reported."
According to one EPA scientist, Monsanto doctored studies and covered-up dioxin contamination of a wide range of its products. She concluded that the company's behaviour constituted "a long pattern of fraud."
In 1999, the New York Times exposed that Monsanto's PR firm, Burson Marsteller, had paid fake "pro-GMO" food demonstrators to counteract a group of anti-biotech protesters outside a Washington, DC FDA meeting.
This should give you a clue as to why I'm thrilled that Monsanto appears to be falling out of favor, at least in the stock market realm.

Be Warned: Monsanto Has People on the Inside

Despite their falling stock prices, I don't expect Monsanto to disappear from the radar. They will continue to produce as many genetically modified crops and chemicals as the world population will accept.

And they've got help at every turn, including from leaders in the U.S. government. Michael Taylor, a former vice president of public policy and chief lobbyist at Monsanto Company, is the deputy commissioner for foods at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Who is Michael Taylor? He is the person who "oversaw the creation of GMO policy," according to Jeffrey Smith, the leading spokesperson on the dangers of GM foods. Smith continues:

"If GMOs are indeed responsible for massive sickness and death, then the individual who oversaw the FDA policy that facilitated their introduction holds a uniquely infamous role in human history. That person is Michael Taylor. He had been Monsanto's attorney before becoming policy chief at the FDA. Soon after, he became Monsanto's vice president and chief lobbyist."

The FDA policy being referred to is the 1992 GMO policy, which stated:

"The agency is not aware of any information showing that foods derived by these new methods [genetic engineering] differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way."

In reality, there was major concern among FDA scientists that GM foods were in fact different than natural foods, and that their creation could prompt unknown and unpredictable health problems.

Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, now the Secretary of Agriculture, is also widely regarded as a shill for biotech giants like Monsanto (he even reportedly often travels in Monsanto's jet). There are other less noticeable connections too, such as Sharon Long, a former member of Monsanto's board of directors who was part of Obama's scientific advisory team during the election/campaign.

Let's Really Give Monsanto the Boot

This could be the beginning of the end for Monsanto … if we can continue to drive the momentum that's forming against the creation and proliferation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The first step you have already done, and that is to get informed. You can continue to spread the word further by sharing this article with your friends and family.

Next, hit Monsanto where it counts ... their bottom line. By boycotting all GM foods and instead supporting organic (and local) farmers who do not use Monsanto's GM seeds, you are using your wallet to make your opinions known.

Most people want to avoid GMOs but it is virtually impossible to do so, since the government prevents GMO labeling.

However, Jeffery Smith has compiled a resource for you to avoid the government block of information. It is the free Non-GMO Shopping Guide. We realize that with the challenging economy it is very difficult for many to donate money to help this cause, so we are merely asking for your time and connections with your family and friends.

You can really help by making this message go viral. So if you are convinced that GMO foods should not be in the US, please send this information to everyone you know; post it on Facebook and Twitter…

You can also print out the Non-GMO Shopping Guide and give it to your friends and family.

If you feel more ambitious you can also order the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure in bulk, and bring them to the grocery stores in your area. Talk to the owner or manager and get permission to post them in their store.

October is Non-GMO Month! Here's How to Get Involved …

There are a number of different ways for you to get actively involved during Non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) Month … which may as well be called Non-Monsanto Month, too, given that they're the leader in the GMO industry. Here is a list of Action Item for you to pick and choose from:

Distribute WIDELY the Non-GMO Shopping Guide to help you identify and avoid foods with GMOs. Remember to look for products (including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal to be sure that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMO content.
Download the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure and keep it with you whenever you shop, or download the free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.

You can also order the Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure in bulk and give it to your family and friends.

Urge food manufacturers to join the Non-GMO Project and become Non-GMO Project Verified. This is currently the only way for manufacturers to get around the fact that there's no GM-labeling system.
Urge your local food retailers to join the Non-GMO Project's Supporting Retailer Program.
If your budget allows support this urgent mission by generously donating to the Institute of Responsible Technology.
Bring the film Hidden Dangers in Kid's Meals to your local access TV station, or perhaps your child's school, along with some educational material specifically designed for teachers and educators.
Share Your Milk on Drugs - Just Say No!, and Jeffrey's lecture, Everything You Have to Know About Dangerous Genetically Modified Foods with everyone you know. Post them to your Facebook page, or email the links to your network of friends and family.
Join the Non-GMO Project on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
Together, We Control the Future of Our Food

Please join us in this important campaign. Do as much or as little as you can. Maybe you can't make a donation to IRT, but you can distribute 20 Non-GMO shopping guides to your closest family and friends.

Plus, all orders placed through Mercola.com, starting October 6th, will receive a FREE, printed 16-page Non-GMO Shopping Guide.*

No purchase necessary. You may also download the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, for free, here.

Please, support this urgent mission by donating to the Institute of Responsible Technology, a non-profit organization.

Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can reach the tipping point and push GMOs out of our food supply.

GorDoom
10-23-2010, 10:59 AM
Why are Monsanto Insiders Now Appointed to Protect Your Food Safety?
Posted By Dr. Mercola

As I write this I am in Washington DC for the International Vaccine Conference and I just did a 12 hour amazing tour of the Capitol that I will describe later, along with pictures that I will post on Facebook. So politics and patriotism is fresh in my mind.

When President Obama took office, many Americans welcomed what was supposed to be an era of much needed change not only for the economy but also for the food industry and U.S. health care system.

Time magazine put it quite well when they described current farm policy as "a welfare program for the megafarms that use the most fuel, water and pesticides; emit the most greenhouse gases; grow the most fattening crops; hire the most illegals; and depopulate rural America."

And as has been recently disclosed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), between 2003 and 2006, millionaire farmers received $49 million in crop subsidies, even though they earned more than the $2.5 million cutoff for such subsidies. In a speech given at the end of 2008, President Obama stated that this was a prime example of the kind of waste he intends to end when he takes office.

Meanwhile, American medical care is the most expensive in the world.[1] The United States spends more than twice as much on each person for health care as most other industrialized countries. And yet it has fallen to last place among those countries in preventing avoidable deaths through use of timely and effective medical care.

That the system is fatally flawed and in need of a radical overhaul is self-evident.

In fact, according to a 2008 report published in the New England Journal of Medicine[2], 90 percent of Americans believe our medical system should be “completely rebuilt” or that “fundamental changes” are required.

And many are looking toward the Obama Administration to carry out these fundamental changes -- changes that appear, on the surface at least, to be in the works.

But while health care reform is finally on the table, and an organic farm has, for the first time, been planted on the White House lawn, there are an unsettling number of foxes being appointed to guard the U.S. health care and food industry hen houses … foxes that have entirely too many connections to Monsanto, the chemical manufacturer turned agricultural giant that is slowly gaining control over the world’s population, one seed at a time.

The New Secretary of Agriculture is a Fan of Factory Farms, GM Crops and More

Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack is now the Secretary of Agriculture, an appointment that took place despite massive public outcry. What was needed for an effective Secretary of Agriculture was someone who would develop and implement a plan that promotes family-scale farming and a safe and nutritious food system with a sustainable and organic vision.

What we got was yet another politician who’s already made room in his bed for the industry lobby. As the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) points out:[3]

Vilsack has been a strong supporter of genetically engineered crops, including bio-pharmaceutical corn

The biggest biotechnology industry group, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, named Vilsack Governor of the Year. He was also the founder and former chair of the Governor’s Biotechnology Partnership.

When Vilsack created the Iowa Values Fund, his first poster child of economic development potential was Trans Ova and their pursuit of cloning dairy cows.

The undemocratic and highly unpopular 2005 seed pre-emption bill was Vilsack’s brainchild. The law strips local government’s right to regulated genetically engineered seed (including where GE can be grown, maintaining GE-free buffers or banning pharma corn locally)

Vilsack is an ardent supporter of corn and soy-based biofuels, which use as much or more fossil fuel energy to produce them as they generate, while driving up world food prices and literally starving the poor.

Overall, Vilsack’s record is one of aiding and abetting Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) or factory farms and promoting animal cloning.

You may also be interested to know that Vilsack is widely regarded as a shill for biotech giants like Monsanto (he even reportedly often travels in Monsanto’s jet)![4]

The New Senior Advisor for the FDA is a Former Monsanto VP!

Michael Taylor, a former vice president of public policy and chief lobbyist at Monsanto Company, is the new senior advisor for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Who is Michael Taylor? He is the person who “oversaw the creation of GMO policy,” according to Jeffrey Smith, the leading spokesperson on the dangers of GM foods. Smith continues:

“If GMOs are indeed responsible for massive sickness and death, then the individual who oversaw the FDA policy that facilitated their introduction holds a uniquely infamous role in human history. That person is Michael Taylor. He had been Monsanto's attorney before becoming policy chief at the FDA. Soon after, he became Monsanto's vice president and chief lobbyist.”[5]

The FDA policy being referred to is the 1992 GMO policy, which stated:

"The agency is not aware of any information showing that foods derived by these new methods [genetic engineering] differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way."

In reality, there was major concern among FDA scientists that GM foods were in fact different than natural foods, and that their creation could prompt unknown and unpredictable health problems.

Along with being a key player in the initial pushing of GM foods onto Americans’ plates (without any required safety studies), Taylor also oversaw the policy regarding Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH/rbST).

This growth hormone, which has been banned in Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand because of cancer risks and other health concerns, was approved in the United States while Taylor was in charge at the FDA. Smith writes:

“Taylor also determined that milk from injected cows did not require any special labeling. And as a gift to his future employer Monsanto, he wrote a white paper suggesting that if companies ever had the audacity to label their products as not using rbGH, they should also include a disclaimer stating that according to the FDA, there is no difference between milk from treated and untreated cows.”

Taylor’s white paper, which again was untrue as even FDA scientists acknowledged differences in the rbGH milk, allowed Monsanto to sue dairies that labeled their products rbGH-free.

Dennis Wolff, Another Monsanto “Yes Man,” May be the Next Under-Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety

In another ironic turn of events, it’s rumored that Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff may be appointed the new Under-Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety -- the top food safety post at the USDA.

Wolff declared that labeling products rbGH-free was against the law, and ordered all such labels to be removed from Pennsylvania. Fortunately, due to consumer demand Pennsylvania's Governor Ed Rendell stepped in and stopped the ban on rbGH-free labels (although he did require such claims to include Taylor’s FDA disclaimer that there is no difference between milk from treated and untreated cows).

As Jeffrey Smith explains:

“Rumor has it that the reason why Pennsylvania's governor is supporting Wolff's appointment is to get him out of the state -- after he "screwed up so badly" with the rbGH decision. Oh great, governor. Thanks.”[6]

Not only did Dennis Wolff attempt to ban rbGH-free labels, but OCA points out that he has “also worked to deprive communities the right to ban toxic sewage sludge, factory farms, and GMOs.”[7]

Monsanto’s Long-Reaching Grasp on the U.S. Government

Clearly, Monsanto -- the world leader in genetic modification of seeds -- has worked its way into varying high-level positions in the U.S. government. There are other less noticeable connections too, such as Sharon Long, a former member of Monsanto’s board of directors who was part of Obama’s scientific advisory team during the election/campaign.[8]

Monsanto is a very dark cloud hanging over the future of health and food safety in the United States. This powerful entity has already managed so many reprehensible acts it boggles the mind, including:

Leading the world into a new age of potentially hazardous genetic modification of seeds.

Patenting not only their own GMO seeds, but also a huge number of crop seeds, patenting life forms for the first time -- without a vote of the people or Congress.

Not allowing farmers to save their seeds to replant the next year -- a practice that has been done for generations. Instead, they aggressively seek out and sue farmers they suspect of doing so.

Suing farmers who have not been able to prevent the inevitable drift of Monsanto’s GE pollen or seed onto their land for patent infringement!

Producing two of the most toxic substances ever known -- polychlorinated biphenyls, known as PCBs, and dioxin (Agent Orange).

Perhaps their biggest assault to your food supply already is what’s known as terminator technology. These are seeds that have been genetically modified to “self-destruct.” In other words, the seeds (and the forthcoming crops) are sterile, which means farmers must buy them again each year.

The implications that terminator seeds could have on the world’s food supply are disastrous: the traits from genetically engineered crops can get passed on to other crops. Once the terminator seeds are released into a region, the trait of seed sterility could be passed to other non-genetically-engineered crops, making most or all of the seeds in the region sterile.

If allowed to continue, every farmer in the world could come to rely on Monsanto for their seed supply!

So What Can You Do?

The first step you have already done, and that is to get informed. You can continue to spread the word further by sharing this article with your friends and family.

Next, hit Monsanto and industrial agriculture where it counts ... their bottom line. By boycotting all GM foods and instead supporting organic (and local) farmers who do not use Monsanto’s GM seeds, you are using your wallet to make your opinions known.

This means abstaining from virtually all processed food products (most are loaded with GM ingredients) and sticking to fresh, locally grown, organic foodstuffs instead.

You can join the fight to truly revamp the FDA as well, by signing this petition from the American Association for Health Freedom (AAHF). AAHF is leading a campaign to reform the FDA, and your help is urgently needed, as a large number of signatures are required to compel Congressional Action.

Finally, you can voice your opinion directly to the Obama Administration. Simply use this form from the Organic Consumers Association to send a message to President Obama, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (oversees FDA) demanding Michael Taylor's resignation, and letting them know you oppose Dennis Wolff's appointment.

TAKE ACTION to Demand Michael Taylor’s Resignation and Oppose Dennis Wolff’s Appointment Now!

GorDoom
10-23-2010, 11:00 AM
Monsanto's Many Attempts to Destroy All Seeds but Their Own
Posted By Dr. Mercola


Some say that if farmers don’t want problems from Monsanto, they simply shouldn’t buy Monsanto’s GMO seeds. But it isn’t quite that simple. Monsanto contaminates the fields, trespasses onto the land taking samples, and then sues, saying they own the crop.

Meanwhile, Monsanto is taking many other steps to keep farmers and everyone else from having any access at all to buying, collecting, and saving of normal seeds:

1. They’ve bought up the seed companies across the Midwest.

2. They’ve written Monsanto seed laws and gotten legislators to put them through, that make cleaning, collecting and storing of seeds so onerous in terms of fees and paperwork that having normal seed becomes almost impossible.

3. Monsanto is pushing laws that ensure farmers and citizens can’t block the planting of GMO crops even if they can contaminate other crops.

4. There are Monsanto regulations buried in the FDA rules that make a farmer’s seed cleaning equipment illegal because it’s now considered a “source of seed contamination.”

Monsanto has sued more than 1,500 farmers whose fields had simply been contaminated by GM crops.

Sources:
Surviving the Middle Class Crash February 5, 2009


Dr. Mercola's Comments:


There is a reason why I believe Monsanto to be one of the most evil companies on the planet, and this is in large part due to its activities relating to controlling food production through controlling the seeds to produce it.

For nearly all of its history the United States Patent and Trademark Office refused to grant patents on seeds, viewing them as life-forms with too many variables to be patented. But in 1980 the U.S. Supreme Court allowed for seed patents in a five-to-four decision, laying the groundwork for a handful of corporations to begin taking control of the world’s food supply.

Since the 1980s, Monsanto has become the world leader in genetic modification of seeds and has won at least 674 biotechnology patents, more than any other company.

This is not surprising, considering they invest over $2 million a day on research and development!

But Monsanto is not only patenting their own GMO seeds. They have also succeeded in slapping patents on a huge number of crop seeds, patenting life forms for the first time -- again without a vote of the people or Congress. By doing this, Monsanto becomes sole owner of the very seeds necessary to support the world’s food supply … an incredibly powerful position that no for-profit company should ever hold.

How do they defend this blatant attempt to control the food supply? They write on MonsantoToday.com:

“Patent protection allows companies to see a return on their investment which enables further investment in R-and-D and product development. This profit-investment cycle drives product innovation that is responsive to farmer needs.”

Farmers’ needs?

Farmers who buy Monsanto’s GM seeds are required to sign an agreement promising not to save the seeds or sell them to other farmers. The result? Farmers must buy new seeds every year, and they must buy them from Monsanto.

Meanwhile, these same farmers who Monsanto is claiming to help are being aggressively targeted and pursued for outrageous patent infringements on these same seeds.

The “Seed Police”

Monsanto employs an arsenal of private investigators and agents who secretly videotape farmers, snatch crop samples from their land and even fly helicopters overhead to spy -- all to catch farmers saving or sharing seeds.

As of 2005 Monsanto had 75 employees and a $10-million budget solely to investigate and prosecute farmers for patent infringement.

And until recently, Monsanto has even been known to sue farmers for GM crops growing on their land that got there via cross-contamination. In other words, a neighboring farm’s GM seeds blew over onto their land, and Monsanto slaps them with a lawsuit.

I realize this seems incredible, but it is true.

Have You Heard of Terminator Seeds?

Creating and promoting GM crops is, in my opinion, a major threat to public health. Patenting those same seeds takes it to an even higher level of evil. But there is another reason why I don’t believe for one second that Monsanto has the virtuous intentions they claim: terminator seeds.

Monsanto is considering using what’s known as terminator technology on a wide-scale basis. These are seeds that have been genetically modified to “self-destruct.” In other words, the seeds (and the forthcoming crops) are sterile, which means farmers must buy them again each year.

This solves their problem of needing “seed police,” but they are obviously looking the other way when it comes to the implications that terminator seeds could have on the world’s food supply: the traits from genetically engineered crops can get passed on to other crops, and often do.

Once the terminator seeds are released into a region, the trait of seed sterility could be passed to other non-genetically-engineered crops, making most or all of the seeds in the region sterile.

Not only would this mean that every farm in the world could come to rely on Monsanto for their seed supply, but if the GM traits spread it could destroy agriculture as we now know it.

How Can You Get Through to Monsanto?

First, I urge you to get informed on the issue by watching The Future of Food. This in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind genetically modified foods is one of the best documentaries I have ever viewed. It will help you understand the very real threat that ALL future generations face as a result of genetic engineering.

Next, hit Monsanto where it counts … their bottom line. By boycotting all GM foods and instead supporting organic (and local) farmers who do not use Monsanto’s GM seeds, you are using your wallet to make your opinions known.

This means abstaining from virtually all processed food products (most are loaded with GM ingredients) and sticking to fresh, locally grown, organic foodstuffs instead.

If you want to help keep Monsanto from expanding their stronghold on the world’s food supply, please also continue to stay informed and boycott all GM foods. This is made easier by this Non-GMO Shopping Guide.

I’ve also compiled an excellent list of resources where you can still find pure, GM-free foods, and I encourage you to refer to it often and also share it with your friends and family.