Genetically Engineered Foods: A History of Deception - 9/14/16
Steven Druker is a public interest attorney who initiated a lawsuit that forced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to divulge its files on genetically engineered foods. This revealed that politically influenced administrators had covered up the extensive warnings of their own scientists about the abnormal risks, misrepresented the facts, and then ushered these novel products onto the market in violation of explicit mandates of federal food safety law.
“The attempted takeover of Monsanto by Bayer is a threat to all Americans. These mergers boost the profits of huge corporations and leave Americans paying even higher prices. Not only should this merger be blocked, but the Department of Justice should reopen its investigation of Monsanto’s monopoly over the seed and chemical market.”
The Monsanto–Bayer tie-up is just one of seven; Mega-Mergers and Big Data Domination Threaten Seeds, Food Security
Policymakers could still block the agribiz mergers; peasants and farmers will continue the fight for seeds and rights
“These deals are not just about seeds and pesticides, but also about who will control Big Data in agriculture,” says Pat Mooney of ETC Group, an International Civil Society Organization headquartered in Canada that monitors agribusiness and agricultural technologies. “The company that can dominate seed, soil and weather data and crunch new genomics information will inevitably gain control of global agricultural inputs – seeds, pesticides, fertilizers and farm machinery.”
Neth Daño, ETC’s Asia Director, continues, “Farmers and regulators should be watching out for the seventh M&A – John Deere and Company’s bid to merge its Big Data expertise with Monsanto-owned Precision Planting LLD. After the Bayer-Monsanto merger, it’s not clear whether Precision Planting will go to Deere and Co. or if Bayer will protect its future in agricultural data.” Daño, based in the Philippines, points out that “Deere started connecting its farm machinery to GPS in 2001 and since then has invested heavily in sensors that can track and adjust seed, pesticide and fertilizer inputs meter by meter. The company has 15 years of historic data as well as access to terabytes of other weather, production and market data. Quite literally, Deere and the other farm machinery companies (the top three account for half of the world market) own the box in which the other input enterprises have to dump their products. That means Deere also owns the information.”
Silvia Ribeiro, Director of ETC’s Latin American office, agrees that the latest news confirming Monsanto agreement has “created alarm throughout Latin America and raised big concerns about increased input prices, more privatization of research and huge pressure from these Giant companies to make laws and regulations in our countries that allow them to dominate markets, crush farmers’ rights and make peasant seeds illegal.”
In examining honey samples from various locations in the United States, the FDA has found fresh evidence that residues of the weed killer called glyphosate can be pervasive - found even in a food that is not produced with the use of glyphosate. All of the samples the FDA tested in a recent examination contained glyphosate residues, and some of the honey showed residue levels double the limit allowed in the European Union, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. There is no legal tolerance level for glyphosate in honey in the United States.