News-in-Transition

27 March 2017

 - Contamination from GMOs can cause farmers to have dramatic economic losses. They run the risk of being rejected by export markets that have banned genetically modified organisms. GMO chemicals can also lead to highly resistant weeds and insects that are nearly impossible for farmers to eradicate, and are too time-consuming for them to manage. Farmers who own organic crops could be subjected to losing their organic certification if their produce becomes contaminated, which would diminish the premium earned on their product.

For years Monsanto has bullied farmers when their GMO seeds ended up on the farmers’ land. While contamination can occur many different ways, by no fault of their own, the companies that own the seed patents typically win these cases, leaving farmers with few options. This bill, if passed, would give power back to landowners who want to continue to have GMO-free farms.

Plaintiffs who decide to sue these companies could receive up to three times the amount of damages caused by the GMOs that harmed their land under the guidelines of HB 2739.

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7 February 2017

 - The next generation of genetically modified organisms may not involve produce at all. It appears that the next phase of GMOs will involve living things: insects. Genetically altered bugs could indeed be coming to an environment near you.

Experimental releases of GM insects were already approved in 2014, but now there are growing concerns over what such bugs mean for the food supply — especially organic foods. Can organic food grown with or near GM bugs still be considered “organic,” or is that one bridge too far? Will organic produce grown in the United States still be able to be exported to countries like Europe if these GM bugs have developed on them — or will organic produce growers be forced to forfeit their organic label?

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1 February 2017

 - There has been all sorts of talk in recent days about the incoming Trump administration’s refusal to let other countries continue taking advantage of the United States in unfair trade deals. But what about when other countries decide to stop doing trade with the U.S. because the goods we trade them are toxic and destructive?

This is the current situation with the South American country of Brazil, which appears poised to ban all imports of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) from the U.S. because a great number of them have never undergone proper safety approvals. Brazil has rather strict guidelines for GMO approvals that the U.S. does not have, thus there is a major holdup, particularly in the chicken industry.

While Brazil currently grows some 29 different varieties of genetically-modified (GM) corn, as well as GM soybeans, there is a shortage of these commodities in the country that is causing chicken producers, who require such grains as feed, to look elsewhere. But the most obvious trade partner, the U.S. — which currently has a glut of GM corn ready to ship elsewhere — will not be gaining Brazil as a customer.

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1 February 2017

 - Values-based disagreements over genetic engineering are likely to be a major source of conflict between states in the coming decades, warns a recent report from the National Intelligence Council.

“How people think about the very nature of life and how people love and hate is likely to be challenged by major technological advances in understanding and efforts to manipulate human anatomy, which will spark strong divisions between people, country, and regions,” the report reads.

The National Intelligence Council provides long-term strategic analysis for the U.S. intelligence community and the Director of National Intelligence.

The more advanced the technologies of genetic engineering and human bodily modification become, the less likely that different nations will be able to find common ground, the report says.

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27 December 2016

conflict_of_interest_1200x600 - Researchers affiliated with France’s National Institute for Agricultural Research recently announced the results of their study regarding potential conflicts of interest and published studies on GM crops.

The study was published by the journal PLOS One and determined that a large portion of studies on genetically modified crops were rife with conflicts of interest.

Most of these studies were tainted because someone working on the study was also an employee of a GM-producing company either as an author or having received funds directly from the company.

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12 October 2016

monsanto-southafricans-rise - Over the Weekend of 14 – 16 October, South Africans will be joining their voices in a call against Agro chemical Giant Monsanto and others like them, in support of the international Tribunal in the Hague.

With organic markets, seed swaps, garden project initiatives, celebrating organic farmers, talks by doctors in the field, environmental lawyers, practicing permaculture implementers, environmental activists, parents, teachers, farmers, farm workers who have either been drastically effected, seen the effects of or who are working on the solutions to the problems which these agro chemical companies have caused in our country.

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4 October 2016

monsantotribunal - On the heels of the revelation that the Pentagon paid a UK PR firm to produce fake terrorism videos for the purposes of manufacturing civil unrest and conflict (like we didn’t know that already) in Iraq, it’s nice to see that more and more of the ruling elite’s plans are now being widely revealed for the world to see who the bad guys are and how they operate.

In an information war which guarantees to be a roller-coaster of emotions for truth seekers involving both moments of hopefulness and helplessness it is now revealed that the environmental terrorist organization known as Monsanto will officially be the target of what amounts to a crimes against humanity (and the planet) tribunal in Hague Netherlands officially beginning on Friday October 14, 2016.

This tribunal will consist of five international judges listening to the testimonies of thirty witnesses and experts from around the world as they tell their stories profiling the nature of Monsanto’s environmental terrorism on humanity and the planet. A website dedicated to this tribunal details some of the background and specifics surrounding the goals of this upcoming tribunal...

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20 September 2016

 - “The supreme art of war  is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Monsanto is finally succumbing to the peaceful, world-wide revolt against its Malthusian plans to control every last seed we plant. Monsanto paints itself simply as an agricultural company, yet its acts of war are too numerous to name.

We were supposed to believe the company’s tag line:

“Producing more, Conserving more, Improving farmers lives.”

Instead, slowly, but surely, the planet has protested, voted with their dollars, and when necessary, physically stood in the path of construction for yet another Monsanto seed plant, in order to stop them. The quintessential David and Goliath story reverberates through Mexico, India, Africa, and elsewhere around the globe.

Why is the company finally retreating after spending billions trying to poison the planet?

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16 September 2016

 - Perhaps Monsanto thinks that if it changes its name, we will forget its sordid past. Think again Monsanto.

On October 14-16, Monsanto’s crimes against humanity will be exposed at the Monsanto Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Monsanto, a US-based company, has developed a number of highly toxic products, which have permanently damaged the environment and caused illness or death for thousands of people.

According to its critics, Monsanto is able to ignore the human and environmental damage caused by its products and maintain its devastating activities through a strategy of systemic concealment: by lobbying regulatory agencies and governments, by resorting to lying and corruption, by financing fraudulent scientific studies, by pressuring independent scientists, by manipulating the press and media, etc. The history of Monsanto would thereby constitute a text-book case of impunity, benefiting transnational corporations and their executives, whose activities contribute to climate and biosphere crises and threaten the safety of the planet.

The Monsanto Tribunal, which will be held in The Hague from 14 to 16 October 2016, aims to assess these allegations made against Monsanto, and to evaluate the damages caused by this transnational company.

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14 September 2016

 - Monsanto has finally agreed to be purchased by Bayer AG in a historic $66 billion all-cash takeover. The agreement, which both corporations have confirmed, will form the largest seed and pesticide company in the world. 

The German pharmaceuticals and chemicals giant had been courting the St. Louis-based seed maker for roughly four months, with the aspirin-maker sweetening the pot with ever-growing sums of money. Bayer finally plans to pay $128 a share for Monsanto, up from its initial May offer of $122 a share.

Not only is this the largest foreign corporate takeover ever by a German firm, it's the largest cash bid on record, as Reuters reported. A successful merger would create the world's largest agrichemical firm, which will control more than one-fourth of the combined global market for seeds and pesticides.

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1 September 2016

 - Monsanto has an infamous history of marketing toxins such as DDT, Agent Orange, Roundup, dioxin, PCBs and aspartame.

Once the largest producer of PCBs in the U.S., Monsanto is now being sued on multiple fronts for health and environmental damage from PCB pollution.

Chemical poisoning begins before your baby is even born as these chemicals pass the placental barrier, affecting neurological and hormonal development.

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8 July 2016

- California’s “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” (AUMA) is a voter initiative characterized as legalizing marijuana use. But critics warn that it will actually make access more difficult and expensive, squeeze home growers and small farmers out of the market, heighten criminal sanctions for violations, and open the door to patented, genetically modified (GMO) versions that must be purchased year after year.

As detailed in Part I of this article, the health benefits of cannabis are now well established. It is a cheap, natural alternative effective for a broad range of conditions, and the non-psychoactive form known as hemp has thousands of industrial uses. At one time, cannabis was one of the world’s most important crops. There have been no recorded deaths from cannabis overdose in the US, compared to about 30,000 deaths annually from alcohol abuse (not counting auto accidents), and 100,000 deaths annually from prescription drugs taken as directed. Yet cannabis remains a Schedule I controlled substance (“a deadly dangerous drug with no medical use and high potential for abuse”), illegal to be sold or grown in the US.

Powerful corporate interests no doubt had a hand in keeping cannabis off the market. The question now is why they have suddenly gotten on the bandwagon for its legalization.

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26 June 2016

  - The war on cannabis that began in the 1930s seems to be coming to an end. Research shows that this natural plant, rather than posing a deadly danger to health, has a wide range of therapeutic benefits. But skeptics question the sudden push for legalization, which is largely funded by wealthy investors linked to Big Ag and Big Pharma.

In April, Pennsylvania became the 24th state to legalize medical cannabis, a form of the plant popularly known as marijuana. That makes nearly half of US states. A major barrier to broader legalization has been the federal law under which all cannabis – even the very useful form known as industrial hemp – is classed as a Schedule I controlled substance that cannot legally be grown in the US. But that classification could change soon. In a letter sent to federal lawmakers in April, the US Drug Enforcement Administration said it plans to release a decision on rescheduling marijuana in the first half of 2016.

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