H/t reader squodgy.
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Burkina Faso’s cotton association is seeking 48.3 billion CFA francs ($83.91 million) in compensation from U.S. seed company Monsanto after it said genetically modified cotton led to a drop in quality, association members said on Monday.
Cotton is the second-biggest source of revenue for the impoverished West African country after gold.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, over 50 American women were killed by their tampons. Although the FDA and the feminine hygiene industry have gone to tremendous lengths to try to memory hole this true history (and label it just a “rumor”), tampons made from certain non-natural fibers were found to harbor deadly bacteria and release a sufficient quantity of chemicals to kill or injure over a thousand women.
The worst offenders were Procter and Gamble’s ultra-absorbent Rely tampons. According to the book Soap Opera: The Inside Story of Procter and Gamble, the company dismissed consumer complaints about the tampons for years. A 1975 company memo disclosed that Rely tampons contained known cancer-causing agents and that the product altered the natural organisms found in the vagina. Rely tampons were taken off the shelves in 1980, but many women claim they left a legacy of hysterectomies and loss of fertility.
The World According to Monsanto is a 2008 documentary film directed by Marie-Monique Robin. Originally released in French as Le monde selon Monsanto, the film is based on Robin’s three-year long investigation into the US agricultural giant Monsanto corporation’s practices around the world.
– 20 GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS COMING TO YOUR PLATE (World Truth TV):
If the need to halt GMOs were not urgent enough, this article should scare the pants off you. Here we glimpse some of the potentials for the unabated and bizarre proliferation of GMOs. Some of these developments you will already know about (hopefully), but some will come as a surprise. As I see it we are now at a crossroads where we can still dismantle this dangerous and perverted manipulation of the very fabric of life, the sacred code of nature, which will undoubtedly affect each and every one of us in profound ways now and in the future.
– Chinese buy up big in Australia (Sydney Morning Herald, Sep 3, 2012):
CHINESE investment in Australia almost doubled last year as the world’s second-largest economy flexed its economic muscles abroad, according to new data from the Ministry of Commerce.
Recent Chinese investment in Australia includes the sale of Australia’s largest cotton producer, Cubbie Station, to a Chinese-led consortium, approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board on Friday.
Chinese companies – both private and state-owned – invested a total of $3.2 billion in Australia in 2011, an 86 per cent increase from 2010. Australia is the third-most-popular investment destination behind the European Union and the ASEAN countries.
YouTube Added: 30.08.2012
Watch on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1bjdWTFMUM
or on journeyman here: http://vodsite.journeyman.tv/store?p=4885
For downloads and more information visit: http://www.journeyman.tv/?lid=63220
Our morning ritual speaks of our love affair with cotton: we throw off crisp cotton sheets, shower and dry ourselves with thick cotton towels, sweep fluffy cotton balls over our face, then slip on cotton panties, socks, t-shirts, jeans and jackets. With cotton so much in demand, we ask growers and seed developer Monsanto if the trade is fair, in a film that beats to the ancient rhythms of cotton production.
India is the world’s second largest producer, one of the largest consumers and one of the largest producers of organic cotton. Rural life revolves around it. Barefoot farmers plough their cotton fields. Traditional handlooms work the yarn – weavers working for wages their children would never accept. When the cotton is “sized” huge swathes of fabric run through the village.
Since 2002 India has replaced almost all its native varieties with genetically modified seeds – known as BT cotton – containing toxins that destroy pests. The price of cotton seed has soared from 9 rupees a kilo to a staggering 4,000. The cotton farmer’s life is a hard one; they treat their crops “like children,” since wildlife may destroy them and “man is so dependent on money.” Children toil in the fields for less than $2 a day.
Monsanto says farmers buy seeds developed with its technology as they have confidence in their yields. But Greenpeace claims GM farmers get into 80% more debt. Farmers blame suppliers when their seed turns out to be sterile: “Everything they said was a lie.” Experts examine plants and fail to find male/female parts to them. Monsanto denies its seeds carry a “Terminator” gene but Tiruvadi Jagadisan – former head of Monsanto India – alleges they do: “Introducing genetically modified seeds is murder!”
Nearly all of the processed foods in the US contain GMO.
– GMO alert: top 10 genetically modified foods to avoid eating (Natural News, May 01, 2012):
There is a conspiracy of selling out happening in America. Politics and personal interest it would seem determine government policies over and above health and safety issues. When President Obama appointed Michael Taylor in 2009 as senior adviser for the FDA, a fierce protest ensued from consumer groups and environmentalists. Why? Taylor used to be vice president for Monsanto, a multinational interested in marketing genetically modified (GM) food. It was during his term that GMO’s were approved in the US without undergoing tests to determine if they were safe for human consumption.
The danger of GMO’s
The question of whether or not genetically modified foods (GMO’s) are safe for human consumption is an ongoing debate that does not seem to see any resolution except in the arena of public opinion. Due to lack of labeling, Americans are still left at a loss as to whether or not what is on the table is genetically modified. This lack of information makes the avoiding and tracking of GM foods an exercise in futility. Below are just some of the food products popularly identified to be genetically modified:
Soybeans, corn, cotton and canola — most of the acres planted in these crops in the United States are genetically altered. “Transgenic” seeds reduce the use of some insecticides. But herbicide use is higher, and respected experts argue that some genetically engineered crops may also pose serious health and environmental risks. The benefits of genetically engineered crops may be overstated.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, February 17, 2011 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 19 Editorial Desk 1 inches; 32 words Type of Material: Correction
Seeds: In a Feb. 13 Op-Ed about seed-company barriers to independent research on genetically modified crops, the owner of the seed company Pioneer was incorrectly identified as Dow Chemical. DuPont owns Pioneer.
We don’t have the complete picture. That’s no accident. Multibillion-dollar agricultural corporations, including Monsanto and Syngenta, have restricted independent research on their genetically engineered crops. They have often refused to provide independent scientists with seeds, or they’ve set restrictive conditions that severely limit research options.
This is legal. Under U.S. law, genetically engineered crops are patentable inventions. Companies have broad power over the use of any patented product, including who can study it and how.
Agricultural companies defend their stonewalling by saying that unrestricted research could make them vulnerable to lawsuits if an experiment somehow leads to harm, or that it could give competitors unfair insight into their products. But it’s likely that the companies fear something else as well: An experiment could reveal that a genetically engineered product is hazardous or doesn’t perform as promised.
Last week, when commenting on cotton’s torrid YTD performance, we noted “A retest of the $2 psychological price barrier is now guaranteed and is on next week’s docket.”
This despite the ICE’s 25% hike in initial and maintenance margins.
Sure enough, as expected, cotton has just passed the $2 price (an all time record obviously).
And clothing prices will continue to rise:
The era of falling clothing prices is ending. Clothing prices have dropped for a decade as tame inflation and cheap overseas labor helped hold down costs.
Retailers and clothing makers cut frills and experimented with fabric blends to cut prices during the recession. But as the world economy recovers and demand for goods rises, a surge in labor and raw materials costs is squeezing retailers and manufacturers who have run out of ways to pare costs.
Cotton has more than doubled in price over the past year, hitting all-time highs. The price of other synthetic fabrics has jumped roughly 50 percent as demand for alternatives and blends has risen.
Clothing prices are expected to rise about 10 percent in coming months, with the biggest increases coming in the second half of the year, said Burt Flickinger III president of Strategic Resource Group.
… or else:
Enjoy US GM cuisine without fear?
Far more Europeans, than Americans, are aware of the fact that GM food alters the DNA, changes brain waves, destroys the immune system, the organs and makes people infertile.
And when travelling to the US, to enjoy that GM junk cuisine, Europeans have the choice to get either radiated or sexually assaulted by the TSA.
At least 80 percent of ‘food’ in the supermarkets is contaminated with GMOs in the US, with no labeling required, although the vast majority of Americans wants it, because this would make Americans insecure, says the US government.
These are all good reasons to pay the land of the free a visit, where the rule of law has no meaning anymore, right?
Europeans know exactly that the elite plans to turn the EU into one Big Brother, fascist police state, feeding its citizens GM junk, adding mind-control chemicals into the water that make people docile and infertile like in the US, where 70% of the drinking water is fluoridated.
Hitler and Stalin did that in their concentration camps and gulags.
Wake up America and Europe stay awake!
And Mrs. Sapiro …
BRUSSELS – A top US trade official said she will bang down the door of the European Commission Thursday in a bid to break a long-standing impasse blocking the march of genetically-modified foods.
“When Europeans come to the United States, they come and enjoy our cuisine without any fears,” Deputy US Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro told an audience of policymakers in Brussels ahead of talks with European Union trade commissioner Karel De Gucht’s senior officials.
“Why should we have different standards in Europe? That alone is a reason to change position.
“I will be raising that issue today — it is important to address, and to continue to press the commission to go the right way. Decisions on GM foods need to be science-based,” she insisted, underlining her confidence in US safety standards.
A day earlier, a committee of experts from the 27 EU states pushed back a commission proposal to lift import restrictions on animal foodstuffs containing traces of GM crops, up to a certain threshold, due to opposition from France and Poland.
Similarly, intra-EU divisions meant authorisation for growing was not granted for three new strains of GM maize and one of GM cotton, marketed by Syngenta and US giant Dow AgroSciences, although the commission will try again on March 1.
– US cotton rises for third day as mills rush to buy (Reuters):
NEW YORK, Feb 2 (Reuters) – U.S. cotton futures jumped for
the third straight day on Wednesday, settling up the daily
limit, as Asian mills fueled the rally on average volume.
Cotton futures have rallied almost 25 percent since the
middle of January, the latest wave of a historic run that began
in 2010 and sent cotton prices to their loftiest levels in
almost 150 years.
“It’s basically mills panicking,” said Lou Barbera, a
cotton analyst for brokerage VIP Commodities. “Overseas mills
are getting the ball rolling.”
Instead, mounds of cotton are piled up in two empty rooms of Mr. Yu’s home, and the homes of many of the farmers in his small township of Yujia, which is part of the bigger township of Huji in northern Shandong province, 220 miles southeast of Beijing. The farmers are holding out for higher prices, aiming to help overcome higher costs of labor and fertilizer, which are up about 20% in the past year.
“I think there’s still hope for prices to go higher,” he said.
The amount of cotton held in hamlets throughout China is unknown, but, with 25 million cotton farmers, a Chinese cotton agency estimates it could amount to about 9% of the world’s cotton supply. And the situation is occurring throughout the supply chain. Many ginners and merchants in China are keeping warehouses full, according to the agency, in an attempt to obtain higher prices.
Expectations that prices will rise are driving the apparent stockpiling, which causes short-term shortages and leads prices to rise further. The situation is complicating an already volatile picture for cotton, which has jumped to 140-year highs in the U.S. and has become a symbol of brewing commodity inflation around the globe.
Farmer Yu Feng tends his stockpile of roughly 7,700 pounds of cotton that he is storing in his home in Huji, China.
In a just-released position paper on GMO foods, the AAEM states that ‘GM foods pose a serious health risk’ and calls for a moratorium on GMO foods. Citing several animal studies, the AAEM concludes ‘there is more than a casual association between GMO foods and adverse health effects’ and that ‘GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health.’ The report is a devastating blow to the multibillion dollar international agribusiness industry, most especially to Monsanto Corporation, the world’s leading purveyor of GMO seeds and related herbicides.
In a press release dated May 19, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, which describes itself as ‘an international association of physicians and other professionals dedicated to addressing the clinical aspects of environmental health,’ called immediately for the following emergency measures to be taken regarding human consumption of GMO foods:
* A moratorium on GMO food; implementation of immediate long term safety testing and labelling of GMO food.
* Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community and the public to avoid GMO foods.
* Physicians to consider the role of GMO foods in their patients’ disease processes.
* More independent long term scientific studies to begin gathering data to investigate the role of GMO foods on human health.
The AAEM chairperson, Dr Amy Dean notes that ‘Multiple animal studies have shown that GM foods cause damage to various organ systems in the body. With this mounting evidence, it is imperative to have a moratorium on GM foods for the safety of our patients’ and the public’s health.’ The President of the AAEM, Dr Jennifer Armstrong stressed that ‘Physicians are probably seeing the effects in their patients, but need to know how to ask the right questions. The most common foods in North America which are consumed that are GMO are corn, soy, canola, and cottonseed oil.’ The AAEM’s position paper on Genetically Modified foods can be found at http:aaemonline.org.
The paper further states that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) technology ‘abrogates natural reproductive processes, selection occurs at the single cell level, the procedure is highly mutagenic and routinely breeches genera barriers, and the technique has only been used commercially for 10 years.’
The AAEM paper further states, ’several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signalling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system.’
Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) — The fundamentals of commodities are “unimpaired” and prices will rebound when a lack of new supply leads to shortages, said Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings.
“Commodities will be the place to be if and when we come out of” the downturn, Rogers said yesterday in an interview from Miami. “The only thing where fundamentals are unimpaired are commodities. Farmers cannot get loans for fertilizer now. Nobody can get a loan to open a zinc mine. So we are going to have some serious, serious supply problems before too much longer.”
The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 commodities has plunged 53 percent from a record in July on concern that a global recession will sap demand for raw materials. The index almost doubled between its low in 2001 and the end of last year.
Rogers said crude oil and agricultural commodities were the most likely to have shortages and the outlook for zinc and cotton had “improved.” “I haven’t sold any commodities since the bull market began,” he said.
“I own some gold and if gold goes down I’ll buy some more and if gold goes up I’ll buy some more,” Rogers said. “Gold during the course of the bull market, which has several more years to go, will go much higher.”
China has said it must urgently step up the development of genetically modified crops as it faces mounting challenges to feed its 1.3 billion people due to shrinking arable land and climate change.
Newly-approved plans aim to cultivate high-yielding and pest-resistant genetically modified species, the State Council, or cabinet, said in a statement posted on its website late Wednesday
At a meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao, Chinese leaders said the plans were “of strategic significance” in the country’s drive to make its agricultural sector more efficient and competitive internationally, the statement said.
“Departments must fully understand the importance and urgency of this significant project, further improve the programme and waste no time to carry it out,” it said.
It gave no details on which crops should be developed, but analysts said the plans were likely to focus on developing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, including corn and rice.
China has become a major producer of genetically modified cotton and vegetables such as peppers and tomatoes, but it has yet to begin large-scale production of genetically modified rice, corn and soybeans.
Life running out of control – consequences of genetically modified plants and animals:
On March 11 a new documentary was aired on French television (ARTE – French-German cultural TV channel) by French journalist and film maker Marie-Monique Robin, The World According to Monsanto – A documentary that Americans won’t ever see. The gigantic biotech corporation Monsanto is threatening to destroy the agricultural biodiversity which has served mankind for thousands of years.
I highly recommend this video. This is so important.
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.
Gary Rinehart clearly remembers the summer day in 2002 when the stranger walked in and issued his threat. Rinehart was behind the counter of the Square Deal, his “old-time country store,” as he calls it, on the fading town square of Eagleville, Missouri, a tiny farm community 100 miles north of Kansas City.
The Square Deal is a fixture in Eagleville, a place where farmers and townspeople can go for lightbulbs, greeting cards, hunting gear, ice cream, aspirin, and dozens of other small items without having to drive to a big-box store in Bethany, the county seat, 15 miles down Interstate 35.
Everyone knows Rinehart, who was born and raised in the area and runs one of Eagleville’s few surviving businesses. The stranger came up to the counter and asked for him by name.
“Well, that’s me,” said Rinehart.
As Rinehart would recall, the man began verbally attacking him, saying he had proof that Rinehart had planted Monsanto’s genetically modified (G.M.) soybeans in violation of the company’s patent. Better come clean and settle with Monsanto, Rinehart says the man told him-or face the consequences.
Rinehart was incredulous, listening to the words as puzzled customers and employees looked on. Like many others in rural America, Rinehart knew of Monsanto’s fierce reputation for enforcing its patents and suing anyone who allegedly violated them. But Rinehart wasn’t a farmer. He wasn’t a seed dealer. He hadn’t planted any seeds or sold any seeds. He owned a small-a really small-country store in a town of 350 people. He was angry that somebody could just barge into the store and embarrass him in front of everyone. “It made me and my business look bad,” he says. Rinehart says he told the intruder, “You got the wrong guy.”
When the stranger persisted, Rinehart showed him the door. On the way out the man kept making threats. Rinehart says he can’t remember the exact words, but they were to the effect of: “Monsanto is big. You can’t win. We will get you. You will pay.”