Agent Orange en los Alimentos

Por Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
February 12, 2012

Agent Orange fue creado por Monsanto y Dow Chemical para destruir la jungla en Vietnam durante la guerra.

Durante este tiempo, millones de galones de este químico tóxico fue rociado sobre árboles y plantas lo cual dejó miles de vietnamitas enfermos, niños con defectos al nacer y un número creciente de veteranos estadounidenses con enfermedades relacionadas a su exposición al Agente Orange, incluyendo cáncer y Parkinson.

El Agente Naranja es una mezcla horrible de químicos que nunca debería haber sido creada y menos usada. Si usted quiere ver algunos de sus efectos en niños, quienes fueron contaminados mientras estaban en el vientre de sus madres, puede verlos aquí. Le alertamos que las imágenes son muy fuertes.

Agent Orange no se produce más, entonces porque es aún relevante?

Porque DowAgroSciences – una subsidiaria de Dow Chemical – que fue uno de los fabricantes originales de Agent Orange, desarrolló una nueva generación de cultivos genéticamente modificados – soya, maíz y algodón – que están diseñados para resistir ingredientes contenidos en Agent Orange: El herbicida llamado 2.4-Acido Diclorofenoxyacetico (2.4-D).

El uso de 2.4-D, no entanto, no es nuevo, pues es uno de los herbicidas más usados en el mundo. Lo que es nuevo, es que ahora la soya y el maíz, entre otros cultivos, sean creados para resistir el 2.4-D, que pronto serán aplicados en suelo norteamericano y el resto del mundo a una escala sin precedentes.

El objetivo de diseñar cultivos genéticamente modificados que son resistentes a un herbicida, es desde luego el poder rociar masivamente campos enteros de cultivos, dejando vivos solamente los cultivos resistentes a este herbicida. Esos cultivos son después vendidos a las personas como Frankencomidas. Este sistema va en contra de los que muchos llaman el modo orgánico y sustentable de producir alimentos; de manera que se roten las plantaciones y se use materiales como húmus para reducir el número de patógenos que puede atacar una plantación. Esta iniciativa también respalda las políticas de monocultivo, las cuales son famosas en Estados Unidos y Brasil, entre otros.

De hecho, si se aprueba la plantación de cultivos 2.4-D y el uso de herbicidas con 2.4-D para reemplazar los fallidos cultivos resistentes a Roundup – como Dow Chemical quiere – es muy probable que millones de toneladas de serán necesarias ademas de los niveles insanos de Roundup que están siendo usados en la actualidad (1,6 billones de libras fueron usadas en 2007 solo en Estados Unidos).

Ingrediente de Agente Naranja será usado en cultivos genéticamente modificados

El nuevo producto de Dow llamado “Enlist,” es una semilla que contiene tres genes tolerantes al herbicida, junto con glifosato y 2.4-D. La corporación, se espera, ganará 1.5 billones de dólares en lucro adicional en 2013, si consigue vender esta semilla resistente al los ingredientes antes citados. Como es citado por el Departamento de Asuntos de los Veteranos de Guerra de Estados Unidos:

“Los dos ingredientes activos del Agente Naranja en el herbicida, eran cantidades iguales de 2.4-D y 2.4.5-T, que contenían residuos de 2.3.7.8 Dioxina P Tetraclorodibenzo (TCDD).

Irónicamente, mientras las nuevas semillas de Dow seriamente aumentarían el uso de 2.4-D, Monsanto está enfrentando actualmente un juicio relacionado al uso del otro ingrediente del Agente Naranja, 2.4.5-T. La denuncia hecha contra Monsanto dice que las casas y escuelas cercanas a una de las plantas productoras de 2.4.5-T están contaminadas con dioxinas que causan cáncer, un producto de desecho del proceso de manufactura de 2..4.5-T. Esto debería ser un llamado de atención a quienes desean aplicar este toxico de manera masiva y generalizada.

Dow Chemical, sin embargo, presenta su producto como una solución a los cultivos resistentes de Monsanto, los cuales han dominado el mercado de productos genéricamente modificados, pero que ahora están siendo abandonados por problemas de resistencia que muchas malahierbas han desarrollado contra Roundup (sin mencionar que glifosato es también increiblemente toxico, y ha sido relacionado a infertilidad y muchos otros problemas de salud.

Mientras Monsanto ha fallado en algunos aspectos, otras corporaciones químicas como DuPont, Syngenta y Bayer (que también trabajan en sus propias semillas genéricamente modificadas y resistentes a herbicidas) ven una oportunidad. Dow Chemical ahora cabalga en su nuevo caballo blanco ofreciendo una nueva variedad de cultivo genéricamente modificado, el cual, según la corporación, eliminara el problema de resistencia de las malas hierbas que los productos de Monsanto no han podido eliminar; y que en realidad han creado y expandido en todos los lugares donde se usan semillas Roundup-Ready.

Pero las afirmaciones de Dow no son verdaderas según un articulo de Procedimientos de la Academia Nacional de Ciencia de los Estados Unidos, cuya investigación dice que el sugerir que 2.4-D no producirá una resistencia generalizada de las malas hierbas es un engaño y una mala respresentación de lo que puede y no puede hacer el ácido diclorofenoxyacetico y una exageración sobre la sustentabilidad del sistema que Dow quiere implantar y eventualmente suplantar en el que es ahora una serie de hierbas que han desarrollado resistencia a productos con glifosato.

La investigación cita 28 especies que se esparcen por 16 familias diferentes de plantas que ya han desarrollado resistencia a herbicidas similares al creado por Dow y cuyo ingrediente principal es 2.4-D. Además, como es citado en GreenMedInfo, las nuevas semillas “Enlist” de Dow Chemicals están creando un ambiente aun mayor de resistencia simultanea al uso de herbicidas, con consecuencias a la salud humana que son aun desconocidas:

“ En lugar de aprender de los errores colosales de Monsanto, (que sucede cuando se juega a Dios con la genética, en un espectro amplio de terminar con hierbas que no sean las suyas) la solución de Dow AgroSciences multiplicara los problemas y creara la primera generación de plantas y hierbas resistentes a herbicidas con tres genes diferentes. Lo que esto significa es que en lugar de usar solamente un herbicida toxico como Roundup, serán usados tres simultáneamente, lo cual aumentara el riesgo de exposición considerable a estos químicos, y escalara las condiciones para que exista una toxicidad sinergística – algo que las evaluaciones de toxicología realizadas en herbicidas establecen como “un nivel aceptable del daño”, que nunca antes se ha visto.”

Estudios Muestran aumento en Cáncer, Defectos de Nacimiento con el uso de 2.4-D

Lo que se sabe sobre 2.4-D no es positivo si se considera el poder devastador del Agent Orange (Agente Naranja). Según la Agencia de Portección Ambiental (EPA) el 2.4-D especiaficamente:

“Los efectos a la salud de la exposición aguda a 2.4-D reportados en adultos, incluyen toxicidad en la sangre, el hígado y los riñones. Efectos específicos incluyen la reducción de la hemoglobina y el numero de glóbulos rojos, disminución de la actividad enzimática del hígado y aumento de tamaño de los riñones. La exposición aguda puede causar irritación de la piel y los ojos. Exposición a concentraciones altas de 2.4-D puede causar síntomas clínicos como letargo, coma, tos, sensaciones de quemaduras en los pulmones, perdida de coordinación muscular, nausea, vomito y mareos.

Estudios hechos en animales, los cuales fueron expuestos de manera aguda a 2.4-D, reportaron efectos adversos en los ojos, tiroides, riñones, ovarios y testículos. Además, otros estudios en animales también reportaron efectos teratogénicos (defectos al nacer) en dosis altas, incluyendo muerte del feto, malformación del tracto urinario y la aparición de un numero mayor de costillas.

Cuando animales adultos hembras fueron expuestos a 2.4-D durante periodos de gestación y lactancia, sus crías presentaron efectos neurológicos negativos, incluyendo desarrollo neuronal tardío y cambios anormales en la actividad neurotransmisora en varios niveles, así como en los niveles gangliósidos del cerebro. Los cambios anormales en la actividad neurológica se manifestó como la adquisición tardía de habilidades motoras como por ejemplo incapacidad de enderezarse.”

El problema más significativo es, que con la aprobación de las nuevas semillas genéricamente modificadas de Dow Chemicals, que usan 2.4-D, el uso de este toxico aumentaría a niveles fuera de control. Como lo reportó el Instituto Cornucopia:

La preocupación es que, justo como Monsanto uso semillas genéricamente modificadas que eran resistentes a Roundup, la aprobación de cultivos con 2.4-D causara el uso exhaustivo de este producto químico,” dijo Mark A. Kastel, Analista de Políticas Agropecuarias del Instituto Cornucopia.

Como la EPA lo reconoce, este es un químico que no es nada benigno. El Instituto Cornucopia continua diciendo: “2.4-D is un herbicida clorofenoxil, y los científicos de todo el mundo reportaron aumento del riesgo de cáncer cuando hay exposición a este químico, especialmente cáncer del tipo sarcoma y linfoma maligno. Cuatro estudios separados en los Estados Unidos reportaron asociaciones de los herbicidas con clorofenoxil con non-Hodgkin linfoma.

Una investigación de la EPA encontró que los bebes nacidos en países con altas concentraciones de 2.4-D tenian una probabilidad mucho mayor de nacer con defectos físicos en los sistemas circulatorios y respiratorios, así como defectos del sistema musculoesqueletal. Los resultados también muestran una lata probabilidad de defectos en bebes concebidos en la primavera, cuando el uso del herbicida es mayor.

Científicos dicen “Se lo dijimos”

De la misma forma en que Dow Chemical ahora dice que sus nuevas semillas genéricamente modificadas no causaran la aparición de “super hierbas” resistentes a su producto, Monsanto también dijo los mismo cuando comenzaran a comercializar sus semillas Roundup-Ready.

Desde luego, ahora que el uso masivo de estas semillas ha sido adoptado universalmente, Estados Unidos y otros países están viendo las consecuencias de tener 13 super hierbas resistentes al herbicida Roundup, con plantaciones de 11 millones de acres cubiertas de productos Monsanto donde el herbicida es usado. En todo el mundo, hay 21 especies de hierbas que son resistentes al glifosato, cuando en 1996 no había ninguna.

El creciente numero de “super hierbas” hace que la afirmación de Monsanto, de que el uso de herbicida se reduciría masivamente, una afirmación ridícula, pues los agricultores están siendo forzados a multiplicar el uso de este producto para mantener a las famosas “super hierbas” lejos de sus cultivos – y están convirtiéndose en la mas dolorosa espina clavada en el corazón de Monsanto.

La solución de Monsanto es similar a la de Dow… “use plantas con genes mas resistentes a los herbicidas para que mas de este producto tenga que ser usado en los campos de cultivo. Según el CEO de Monsanto, Hugh Grant, la compañía planea adicionar productos resistentes a Dicamba, otro producto contra las malas hierbas con tecnología Roundup-Ready para el año 2015.

El Calvario que Viene

El calvario esta llegando. Por desgracia estas corporaciones trabajan para el otro lado, con su “guerra contra las malas hierbas”, que causa efectos colaterales masivos y que ponen en riesgo el medio ambiente y las poblaciones humanas y animales. William G. Johnson, un especialista en hierbas de Purdue University le dijo a BusinessWeek que estas nuevas tecnologías pueden controlar a las malas hierbas resistentes a Roundup, “eliminandolas for 15 años, pero que la misma tecnología esta destinada a encontrar su propia perdición:”

“Ahora que su efecto ha sido eliminado, puedo decir que alertamos sobre las consecuencias que resultarían.”

Pero las consecuencias no terminan allí. Johnson explica que Dicamba y 2.4-D tienden a volatilizarse, haciendo que el herbicida se evapore y se disperse a lugares aledaños… “matando plantas que están cerca de las áreas rociadas y poniendo en peligro a las personas y animales que viven cerca de los campos envenenados con estos productos químicos.

No olvidemos que todas las hierbas que estos químicos irían a eliminar también representan biodiversidad, sin la cual tendríamos apenas unos pocos cultivos – y que como consecuencia causaría el resquebrajamiento del actual sistema de subsistencia en el que todos dependemos. Solo porque no vemos ningún valor en una planta, no significa que no exista.

Emerson dijo una vez: “¿Qué es una hierba? Una planta cuyas virtudes no han sido descubiertas.”

De hecho, cuando intentamos eliminar una determinada planta, usando herbicidas para erradicarla, básicamente estamos declarando la guerra a la biosfera, y con esto estamos iniciando las condiciones para el colapso de nuestro sistema de producción de alimentos mientras nos intoxicamos a nosotros mismos. Sin la biodiversidad verdadera – no de la que se habla en los pasillos de las Naciones Unidas – el monoculturismo “pone todos los huevos en la misma cesta,” virtualmente garantizando el colapso de los futuros sembradíos y por ende el inicio de hambrunas. En resumen, herbicidas industriales (y las plantas diseñadas geneticamente para sobrevivir a estos) son un callejón sin salida – figurativamente y literalmente.

Por esto es necesario tomar acciones que determinen la eliminación del uso de herbicidas como Roundup y de los productos contaminados con Agente Naranja. Es necesario hacerle saber a los representantes en el Congreso que el uso de estos químicos debe ser prohibido en su totalidad. Esta es la única forma de garantizar que tendremos alimentos sanos para nuestra y las próximas generaciones.

Escuche la entrevista completa con Mark Kastel, co-fundador del Instituto Cornucopia, sobre como Monsanto y Dow Chemical pretenden usar Agent Orange en los alimentos.

Para más información visite el sitio del Instituto Cornucopia http://www.cornucopia.org/

Agent Orange in your Food

by Dr. Mercola
Dr. Mercola.com
February 11, 2012

Agent Orange, produced by both Monsanto and Dow Chemicals, was used to defoliate jungles during the Vietnam War.

During that time, millions of gallons of the toxic chemical mixture were sprayed on trees and vegetation, and the aftermath left hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese sick, with countless numbers of their children suffering birth defects, and a still growing group of U.S. veterans with related diseases ranging from cancer to Parkinson’s disease.

Agent Orange was a horrific chemical concoction that never should have been used, and if you want to see some of its effects on children who were exposed in the womb, you can do so here — but I warn you the photos are very graphic and upsetting.

Agent Orange is no longer produced — so why am I bringing it up now?

Because Dow AgroSciences (a subsidiary of Dow Chemicals), who was one of the original manufacturers of Agent Orange (AO), has developed a new generation of genetically modified (GM) crops — soybeans, corn and cotton — that are designed to resist a major ingredient in AO: the herbicide called 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D).

The use of 2,4-D, however, is not new, as it is actually one of the most widely used herbicides in the world.

What is new – and disturbingly so – is that now that staple crops like soy and corn have been engineered to be resistant to 2,4-D, it may soon be applied to U.S. arable land on an unprecedented scale — not unlike its indiscriminate application during Vietnam.

The whole point of engineering resistance to an herbicide within a GMO plant, of course, is so that you can “carpet bomb” an entire field, leaving only your “Frankenfoods” standing, without having to exert even a fraction of the effort required raise crops organically and sustainably.

In fact, if 2,4-D resistant crops receive approval and eventually come to replace Monsanto’s failing Roundup-resistant crops as Dow intends, it is likely that billions of pounds will be needed, on top of the already insane levels of Roundup now being used (1.6 billion lbs were used in 2007 in the US alone!).

Agent Orange Ingredient to be Used in GMO Crops

Dow’s new GM product, dubbed “Enlist,” is a three-gene, herbicide-tolerant soybean that has been engineered to be resistant to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s popular Roundup herbicide, along with glufosinate and 2,4-D. The company expects to earn $1.5 billion in additional profit in 2013 by selling these triple herbicide-resistant seeds. As noted by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs:

“The two active ingredients in the Agent Orange herbicide combination were equal amounts of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T), which contained traces of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD).”
Ironically, while Dow’s new crops would seriously escalate the use of 2,4-D, Monsanto is currently facing a class-action lawsuit involving the other Agent Orange ingredient, 2,4,5-T. The suit alleges that homes and schools near one of its 2,4,5-T chemical plants are nowcontaminated with cancer-causing dioxin, a byproduct of the manufacturing process. This should be a wake-up call to those considering widespread application of any toxic Agent Orange ingredient.

Dow, however, is touting the new product as a solution to Monsanto’s Roundup Ready GM crops, which currently dominate the GM seed market but are now being overshadowed by problems with weed resistance (not to mention that glyphosate itself is also incredibly toxic, and has been linked to infertility, among other serious health problems).

Where Monsanto has failed, Dow and other chemical rivals like DuPont, Syngenta, and Bayer (which are also working on their own herbicide-resistant GM seeds) see opportunity. So Dow has trotted in on their white horse to offer a new variety of GM crop, which they say will not pose the “superweed” problem that Roundup Ready crops have created.

This is not so, according to an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in which researchers state that suggesting 2,4-D will not lead to widespread weed resistance “misrepresented the potential for 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D)–resistant weeds in 2,4-D–resistant cropping systems and exaggerated the sustainability of their approach to addressing glyphosate-resistant weed problems in agriculture.”

They, in fact, note 28 species across 16 plant families that have already evolved resistance to similar herbicides to 2,4-D. Further, asstated on GreenMedInfo, the new Enlist crops are setting the stage for even greater and simultaneous herbicide use, the health ramifications of which are completely unknown:

“Instead of learning from Monsanto’s colossal mistakes (which happens when you play geneticist-as-God and use a broad spectrum poison to kill all but your “chosen” plants) Dow AgroScience’s solution is to multiply the problem by a factor of three, creating the “first-ever, three-gene,” herbicide-tolerant staple crops.

What this means is that instead of using only one highly toxic herbicide (Roundup), three will be used simultaneously, further increasing the risk of serious exposures, and setting up the conditions for synergistic toxicities – something that toxicological risk assessments on singular herbicide ingredients, which establish “an acceptable level of harm,” never account for.”

Studies Show Increases in Cancer, Birth Defects With Use of 2,4-D

What is known about 2,4-D so far is not reassuring, considering the devastation caused by Agent Orange. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding 2,4-D specifically:

“Health effects of chronic or acute 2,4-D exposure reported for adults included blood, liver, and kidney toxicity. Specific effects included a reduction in hemoglobin and red blood cell numbers, decreased liver enzyme activity, and increased kidney weight. Acute exposure can result in skin and eye irritation. Acute exposure to very high concentrations of 2,4-D can cause the following clinical symptoms: stupor, coma, coughing, burning sensations in lungs, loss of muscular coordination, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness.

Experimental animal studies of chronic oral exposure have reported adverse effects on the eye, thyroid, kidney, adrenals, and ovaries/testes. In addition, some experimental animal studies have reported teratogenic effects (birth defects) at high doses, including increased fetal death, urinary tract malformation, and extra ribs.

When adult female experimental animals were exposed to 2,4-D during their pregnancy and lactation periods, their exposed offspring exhibited neurological effects, including delayed neurobehavioral development and changes in several neurotransmitter levels or binding activities and ganglioside levels in the brain. Delayed neurobehavioral development was manifested as delays in acquisition of certain motor skills such as the righting reflex.”

The glaring problem, of course, is that with approval of Dow’s new GM crops, the use of 2,4-D could skyrocket out of control. As reported by The Cornucopia Institute:

“”The concern is that, just like Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn that is resistant to RoundUp™ (glyphosate) herbicide, the approval of a cultivar resistant to 2,4-D will cause an exponential increase in the use of this toxic agrichemical,” says Mark A. Kastel, senior farm policy analyst with The Cornucopia Institute.

And again, as the EPA acknowledges, this is far from a benign chemical. The Cornucopia Institute continues:
“2,4-D is a chlorophenoxy herbicide, and scientists around the world have reported increased cancer risks in association with its use, especially for soft tissue sarcoma and malignant lymphoma. Four separate studies in the United States reported an association with chlorophenoxy herbicide use and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

… Research by the EPA found that babies born in counties with high rates of 2,4-D application to farm fields were significantly more likely to be born with birth defects of the respiratory and circulatory systems, as well as defects of the musculoskeletal system like clubfoot, fused digits and extra digits. These birth defects were 60% to 90% more likely in counties with higher 2,4-D application rates. The results also showed a higher likelihood of birth defects in babies conceived in the spring, when herbicide application rates peak.”

Weed Scientist Says, “We Told You So”

In the same way that Dow is now certain that its new three-gene, herbicide-tolerant soybean will not spur the creation of more herbicide-resistant “super weeds,” Monsanto was also historically adamant that Roundup Ready crops would not cause weed resistance either.

Of course, now that the die has been cast, the United States is reaping the consequences with 13 resistant weed species covering more than 11 million acres, mostly those planted with Monsanto’s GM soy, corn and cotton crops. Around the world, 21 weed species are now resistant to glyphosate, up from zero in 1996.

The weeds are making Monsanto’s promises that their GM crops would reduce pesticide use completely laughable — since farmers are being forced to use multiple, and more, pesticides to keep weeds in their GM crops under control — and are turning out to be a very big thorn in Monsanto’s proverbial side.

Monsanto’s solution is similar to Dow’s … add more herbicide-resistant genes to the plants so even more potent herbicide cocktails can be poured over U.S. farmland! According to Monsanto Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant, who was interviewed in Business Week, the company plans to add resistance to Dicamba, another weedkiller, to Roundup Ready crops by 2015, noting that:

“The cavalry is coming.”

The cavalry is coming indeed … unfortunately they are working for the wrong side, with their “war on weeds” causing massive collateral damage to environmental and human health alike. William G. Johnson, a weed scientist at Purdue University, told Business Week, these new technologies may control Roundup-resistant weeds and leave us in “wedded bliss for 10 or 15 years” but “they do select for their own failure:”

 “Now that it has kind of blown up, it’s like, ‘We told you so,'” he says.

Adding further insult to injury, Johnson explains that “Dicamba and 2,4-D both tend to volatilize, turning the chemicals into vapor that can drift onto neighboring land … ” accidentally killing nearby crops and exposing greater expanses to its toxic effects.

Let us also not forget that all the “weeds” these herbicides were designed to kill represent biodiversity, without which we would be left with only a handful of staple crops — upon which our entire subsistence now precariously depends. Only because we do not find obvious value in a plant, does not mean it is not there.

Emerson once said: “What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.”

Indeed, when we target as “the enemy” any living plant that does not bear the favored qualities of a GM plant, and use the slash-and-burn, herbicidal approach to eradicate any competing plant life form, we are basically declaring war on the biosphere itself, and thereby setting up the future conditions for the collapse of our entire food production system, as well as poisoning ourselves in the process. Without biodiversity, monoculturing puts “too many eggs in one basket,” virtually guaranteeing future crop collapses and famine. In a nutshell, industrial herbicides (and the GM plants designed to thrive when exposed to them), are a dead end – both figuratively, and literally.

Now’s the Time to Take Action!

Dow has applied for non-regulated status of its 2,4-D-resistant corn, and you have until February 27, 2012 to comment on the petition. Please let your opinion be heard that approving more herbicide-tolerant crops is not the solution to ending “super weeds”; the real solution lies in eliminating the genetically modified crops that created them in the first place!

As Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides told The Cornucopia Institute:

“In 2012 the USDA is proposing approving a new GE corn variety that is resistant to a different toxic herbicide, escalating the toxic treadmill in chemical-dependent agriculture. This is nothing more than a band-aid solution to a serious problem, and will only give rise to more superweeds, more herbicide pollution in our environment, more herbicide poisoning, while likely leading to the need for even more toxic herbicides a couple of years down the line. This foolish circle has to end.”

It’s quite clear that genetically engineered foods are not only threatening the food supply with the creation of herbicide-resistant weeds, but they can also pose potentially serious threats to animal and human health when consumed. Fortunately, now you, too, can let your opinion be heard on this issue. Several organizations, including Mercola.com, the Organic Consumers Association, the Institute for Responsible Technology, and the Environmental Working Group, are working to generate a tipping point of consumer rejection to make GMOs a thing of the past.

Here’s how you can get involved:

In the meantime, the simplest way to avoid GM foods is to buy whole, certified organic foods. By definition, foods that are certified organic must never intentionally use GM organisms, must be produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers and come from an animal reared without the routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs. Additionally, grass-fed beef will not have been fed GM corn feed, although now that GM alfalfa is approved, grass-fed will not always mean GMO free. You can also look for foods that are“non-GMO verified” by the Non-GMO Project.

Important Action Item: Support California’s Ballot Initiative to Label GMO’s!

In 2007, then-Presidential candidate Obama promised to “immediately” require GM labeling if elected. So far, nothing of the sort has transpired.

U.S. dropped 83 million liters of Agent Orange on Vietnam

by Fabiola Perez
Pravda.ru
January 6, 2012

Agent Orange: Cursed legacy of the U.S. in Vietnam afflicts the 3rd generation of victims…a cowardly act of devastation in the account of U.S. history. There will be no compensation?

Devastated by a confrontation that lasted nearly 20 years, Vietnam has seen its population in the marks of a most remarkable of wars in the last century. The conflict, fought by the United States, left 2,300,000 missing and invalid. The 83 million liters of Agent Orange – highly toxic herbicides – dumped by Washington over thousands of hectares of Southeast Asia, is already in the third generation of those in the country affected.

With the objective to debate the consequences of Agent Orange left over for decades in the population of Vietnam, between the next 7th to the 10th of August, the 2nd International Conference of Victims of Agent Orange will take place, and Brasil will be represented by the Brazilian Center of Solidarity to the Peoples, Struggle for Peace (Cebrapaz) and the World Peace Council (WPC).

According to the President of Cebrapaz and WPC, Socorro Gomes, movements around the world will gather to demand that the UN declare itself in favor of compensation for the victims. “We want compensation for damage caused. Those responsible must be identified and punished for the crime committed during the war and is still being perpetuated to this day,” she affirms.

According to estimates, Washington launched the chemical on more than 25,000 kilometers of Southeast Asia. Known as Agent Orange, the liquid contained great quantities of dioxin, a carcinogen that caused disease and disability in both soldiers and civilians. Currently, more than two million Vietnamese suffer the effects of this contamination in their body.

Socorro recalls that “Entire families were affected. It was a criminal action, a genocide against the Vietnamese people. There was a genetic mutation that caused various types of cancer, skin diseases, lung cancer and mental disabilities, among other anomalies,” she recalls. “Even today thousands of people continue to suffer these consequences. Children and grandchildren of the victims were affected by the changes,” she remembers.

Without responsibility – No liability

Movements and Vietnamese associations bring charges in the United States for a redress and compensation for the damages of the war. The White House, however, denies liability in the case and assigns the harm to the product manufacturers. In 2004, victims’ associations in Vietnam and the United States filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York against 36 companies that supplied the herbicide. The petition was denied in the first instance, by Judge Jack Weinstein.

For the president of Cebrapaz, “we did not win in the American court because it would cause a precedent for cases in other countries where the product was also released” – with the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Humanity cannot forget it. This was one of the crimes for which the United States has never been tried, as well as the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And doctors consider the current compensation of $18 offered by the United States absolutely insufficient to maintain the victims,” she emphasizes.

Many victims’ associations survive, according to Socorro, thanks to state support. “The families have nowhere to turn, therefore, the associations maintain schools, hospitals and shelters for children,” she says. “The state is seeking to rebuild the country and the big challenge is to achieve social and economic development, reducing poverty in the countryside,” she says.

Besides the debate about the consequences of the chemical still present in the life of the population, Socorro points out that Cebrapaz will have to use the Conference to discuss the elimination of chemical weapons use in conflicts.

Minefield today

On the last day of August, three people died in Vietnam due to the explosion of a bomb from the time of the war with the United States in the center of the country. The incident occurred on Saturday, in Binh Chau province of Quang Ngai, after three peasants found a 105 millimeter artillery shell, said the local chief of police, Tieu Viet Thanh.

The bomb exploded when the three men, between 51 and 57 years of age, tried to dismantle the bomb with a saw to sell the scrap metal. Two of them died in the act, and the third soon after he was taken to the hospital, police said.

Since the war ended in 1975, because of the abandoned bombs, about 40,000 Vietnamese were killed, a third part of them seeking to defuse bombs and sell the metal. Nearly15 million tons of bombs were dropped during the war, of which 10% failed to detonate, according to the organization, Renew, dedicated to the deactivation of explosives.

Translated to English by Lisa Karpova

 

Toxins from GM crops showing up in human blood

Anna Knapp
Examiner.com
June 7, 2011

GM (genetically modified) crops have been thrust into our food supply without much thought for the consequences. Major corporations like Monsanto have modified crops so that they can grow faster and are more resistant to pests. Not only that, pesticides are sprayed onto the food in amazingly large quantities. The pests are developing resistance to these pesticides (which are already strong) and so Monsanto has been forced to spray stronger chemicals, at the potency of Agent Orange.
As appalling as that is, a new study was just released that cast more doubts on the safety of genetically modified crops. The research found that the Bt toxin found in genetically modified foods makes crops toxic to pests, while also claiming that the toxin posed no threat to the environment or human health. The argument for the safety of GM foods has focused on the idea that the protein breaks down in the human gut.
According to Dr. Mercola, “Scientists…have detected the insecticidal protein…circulating in the blood of pregnant as well as non-pregnant women. They have also detected the toxin in fetal blood, implying it could pass on to the next generation.”
This ‘insecticidal protein’ has been found in human blood, thus proving that genetically modified crops are, in fact, harmful to our health.
Knowing the results of this study, now more than ever it is essential to seek out alternative sources for food. There are so many places in our community to get good quality food, and now is the time. At the Farmer’s Market, the Purple Porch Co-op, and the New Road Natural Farm CSA, you can talk directly to the farmers and find out exactly how the crops were grown. At the Monroe Park Grocery Co-op, they have good organic food at affordable prices. There are also some great health food stores, such as Down to Earth in Granger, and Garden Patch in Mishawaka, who are also committed to providing the best quality products to our community.
The scary part of all this is that through natural pollination, and the fact that Monsanto is trying to spread its genetically modified evil throughout the country, we may not be able to avoid it. That is why it is so essential to take steps now to protect our food supply. We cannot let Monsanto and others win (those who are contaminating our food supply irresponsibly). We need to fight for our right to buy food of the highest quality, and to know whether that food is genetically modified or not. Let’s demand full disclosure and labeling all food that contains genetically modified organisms.
If you would like to receive updates and ideas for how to fight the decline of our food supply, check out the Organic Consumers Organization. You can join the Millions against Monsanto campaign, find out about organic standards, and locate groups in your community that are gearing up in the fight to label our food.

Monsanto declares war on Food, Inc film

Cult of Green

The Monsanto Co. is leading Big Ag’s PR offensive against Food Inc., the searing documentary on industrial agriculture that opened monsanto vs food incFriday. That’s not surprising. The chemical giant comes off as the biggest bogeyman in the film, which focuses on the company’s genetic seed patents, alleged bullying of farmers and efforts to influence politicians.

What is surprising is that Monsanto is tying its response to the movie to a discredited front group called the Center for Consumer Freedom. It seems too obviously payback for at least $200,000 that Monsanto has contributed to the supposedly nonprofit organization.

The company’s PR offensive against Food Inc. is no ham-handed reaction. It includes a very slick (of course) web page featuring an interactive seven-question quiz and the following characterization of the movie:

Food, Inc. is a one-sided, biased film that the creators claim will “lift the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that’s been hidden from the American consumer.” Unfortunately, Food, Inc. is counter-productive to the serious dialogue surrounding the critical topic of our nation’s food supply.

A couple of points may undermine Monsanto’s message, however. A core theme on the company’s site is that Food Inc. “demonizes American farmers.” But the movie actually positions itself as siding with family farms against agribusiness and accuses the ag industry of doing precisely what Monsanto is doing in response to the movie: conflating its interests with those of small farmers.

Maybe this is smart on Monsanto’s part. Both sides in the Great Food Debate brandish the “family farmer” as a talisman against the claim that they’re elitists. But Monsanto inherently will have a more difficult time maintaining that it’s the friend of farmers — especially, family farmers — at the same time it’s aggressively going after farmers in lawsuits.

And that standing-up-for-the-little-ol’-farmer line gets a bit harder to take when you consider that Monsanto is directing readers from its own website to the Center for Consumer Freedom. The center is one of a dozen or so front groups created by Washington lobbyist Rick Berman to push the interests of some of America’s least popular industries.

You may have read about Berman earlier this year, when his son, former Silver Jews front man David Berman, quit his band on the same day that he wrote a statement calling his father “a despicable man” and “sort of human molester” for the “evil” work he does.

He props up fast food/soda/factory farming/childhood obesity and diabetes/drunk driving/secondhand smoke.

He attacks animal lovers, ecologists, civil action attorneys, scientists, dieticians, doctors, teachers.

His clients include everyone from the makers of Agent Orange to the Tanning Salon Owners of America.

Among other causes, Rick Berman has fought against  minimum wage increases, tougher drunk-driving laws and tobacco regulations. He’s claimed the nation’s rising obesity rate is a “myth” created by “food police” and that there’s a “lack of evidence that second-hand smoke causes cancer.”  More…