October, 2011 | VIEW IN BROWSER

Jeffrey Smith

Hundreds rally in Washington to demand GM labeling

Hundreds of people from around the United States rallied in front of the White House on Sunday 16 October, urging the government to require compulsory labeling of GM foods.

"Most Americans agree they have a right to know what is in the food they put in their own and their children's bodies, but current federal policy favors the pesticide industry and hides the facts," said Katherine DiMatteo of the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements. "It's time to reset US policy on GMOs," added DiMatteo, who served as a coordinator of the event.

The rally marked the end of a 16-day, 504-km march from the United Nations in New York City to the White House in Washington DC, which DiMatteo said was "an unprecedented effort to win genuine transparency on genetically engineered foods."

The US is the world's largest commercial grower of GM crops, and more than 70 percent of its processed food contains GM ingredients. [Read the Article]

See the Right2Know website for photos and more. See the anti-GM World Food Day events across theĀ USA.

Monsanto's Bt corn failing in several states

The Western rootworm beetle - one of the most serious threats to corn - has developed resistance to Monsanto's Bt corn and entire crops are being lost. The rootworm beetle was the primary target pest of this type of corn. Resistant populations of the beetle have been reported in the cornbelt states of Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and South Dakota. Monsanto shares tumbled nearly 4 percent after the news emerged.

The bug's larvae eat corn roots. If enough roots are destroyed, the plants cannot stand up and they tip over - a process known as lodging. [Read the Article]

Monsanto has responded to the news with a denial of the science. "Our [Bt corn] is effective," Monsanto scientist Dusty Post said. "We don't have any demonstrated field resistance," he added, pretending away a entire study conducted in Iowa, to speak nothing of the cornfields that are "toppling over" in Illinois and Minnesota. [Read the Article]

Perversely, such failures simply generate more business for GM firms, which get to sell stronger chemicals to control the resistant pests. What a brilliant business model!

It's raining Roundup!

Glyphosate, the chemical ingredient of Roundup herbicide, and its breakdown product aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) are frequently found in rainfall and rivers in the Mississippi Basin, where most GM crops tolerant to glyphosate are grown, according to findings by the US Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS reports that glyphosate use rose by more than eightfold, to 88,000 tons, in the 15 years to 2007, further eroding the myth that GM crops reduce chemical use.

The USGS found glyphosate in more than 60% of air and rain samples taken in Mississippi, Iowa and Indiana, with AMPA found in more than 50% of samples. Researchers from the USGS estimate that about 1% of glyphosate sprayed ended up in surface waters in the four areas where monitoring was conducted in streams and rivers. The highest median level of glyphosate detected was 5.7ug/litre. In Europe, this level would not be allowed to enter the public water supply.
[Read the Article]

Published studies on the findings:
- Glyphosate in the atmosphere. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 30: 548-555

- Glyphosate in surface waters of agricultural basin. Pesticide Management Science 67: doi: 10.1002/ps.2212

US pushing GMOs worldwide - Wikileaks latest

Dozens of US diplomatic cables released in the latest WikiLeaks dump reveal new details of the US effort to push foreign governments to approve GM crops and promote the worldwide interests of GM giants like Monsanto and DuPont. The cables further confirm previous reports on the diplomatic pressure the US has put on Spain and France, two countries with powerful anti-GM crop movements, to speed up their biotech approval process and quell anti-GM sentiment within the European Union (EU).

Several cables describe "biotechnology outreach programs" in countries across the globe, including African, Asian and South American countries where GM agriculture has yet to gain a foothold. In some cables, US diplomats ask the State Department for funds to send US biotech experts and trade industry representatives to target countries for discussions with high-profile officials. The cables also list countries to be targeted in the US push for market access for GM products. [Read the Article]







Pitch In for a Non-GMO Future

October... The leaves are falling. The days are becoming shorter. It's the time of year in much of the country when things start to slow down and cool down in preparation for winter. But not at the Institute for Responsible Technology! Our volunteers and staff are picking up the pace and working up a sweat (in their non-GMO cotton sweatshirts), educating their neighbors, their healthcare providers, their church groups, and their legislators about the health risks of GMOs. And they're marching and rallying from coast to coast in support of labeling initiatives. As a result, demand for our speaker training workshops and lectures is heating up, as is the demand for our compelling educational articles, brochures, books and DVDs.

So please make a tax-deductible contribution today. Help us keep up the pace. This is no time to slow down. (Although an occasional rest beside the fire, enjoying a warm bowl of non-GMO soup, is recommended.)


Action Alerts

Tell the FDA to Label GMOs

A legal petition has been filed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calling on the FDA to label genetically engineered (GE) foods. This is the first time a LEGAL petition has been filed. Join with us and over 350 other organizations and businesses in the Just Label It! Campaign, to direct one million comments to the FDA in support of the petition.[Sign the petition]

Attention Californians!

The 2012 California Ballot Initiative for mandatory GMO labeling papers are being filed the third week of October with the California Attorney General's office and the official petition gathering of 550-700,000 registered voters will begin at the first of December. This initiative has the potential to kick GMOs out of the US food supply, since manufacturers know that most Americans would refuse GM products if labeled. Join this important campaign by pledging to gather signatures, and spreading the word!


More that 100 events and rallies were held during October - Non-GMO Month. Here's a report from an organizer in Idaho showing how the momentum is growing in one local community.

GMO-Free Idaho

by Jenny Easley
We had a great event on World Food Day, with 50 to 60 people attending notwithstanding pouring rain. Two news channels showed up as a result of our press release, and the event was featured the following evening. We suspect the station managers are not aware of the hornet's nest they kicked by doing so - Monsanto, Forage, American Crystal Sugar and Syngenta are strong forces here in Idaho. [Read More]

Individuals around the country describe how the GMO alarm went off, waking them up to the dangers in our food supply and getting them active. Here's one person's story from Florida. There are untold other such stories unfolding all around us.

GMO-Free Florida

by Trish Sheldon
On World Food Day, I've seen more participation than ever: nine separate rallies across Florida! And 100 rallies nationwide, making this the biggest single day of action for labeling GE foods in U.S. History! And the culmination was the Right2Know March from NY to DC. Environmental groups are talking about GMO's and the media are now more receptive to interviewing and reporting such rallies, as we saw with the Broward and Palm Beach New Times, Sun Sentinel, and WLRN! [Read More]

In The News

Federal funding of Frankenfish exposed - GM company received millions of taxpayer dollars
 California Progress Report

Safety of wild fish stocks questioned if GM salmon eggs hatchery gets OK

Tolerance for GM fish and animals falling in Canada
 Montreal Gazette

Ending corporate control of the food supply: Occupy Wall Street and the food movement
 Civil Eats

GM canola goes wild
 Vancouver Sun

GM cotton genes found in wild species in Mexico

China says "No" to commercialisation of GM rice, wheat
 Biosafety Information Center

We really are what we eat - study

Roundup, the all-round destroyer
 GM Watch

"Extended life" non-GM rice could quadruple yields, cut costs

Non-GM antiviral solution to dengue fever
 ABC Science

The Institute for Responsible Technology is working to end the genetic engineering of our food supply and the outdoor release of GM crops.

Click here to check out the excellent newsletter from Organic Consumers Association called Organic Bytes.

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