Tag Archives: GMO

GMOs by Nation

Dear Canada and the USA

We *will* join the other ~5 billion people in the world  who know if their food contains GMOs.  This includes nations that outright ban GMOs to those who require Labelling.  Here is the full list  by nation below.  Canada and the USA are the only developed nations in the world that don’t require labelling.  Powerful lobby groups are preventing us from knowing what’s in our food.  This explains why despite 90% N. Americans (across all political stripes) wanting to know if it’s GMO, it has yet to happen.  But it’s going to – We are going to make enough noise and demand out of this mass experiment!

70% of the world lives in countries that have protected themselves with some kind of legislation either restricting GMOs or labelling them.  Given the hype, I assumed it was just Europe, Russia, China and a few others.  When I examined the issue, closely for first time, I was pleased to discover not only European Countries (4 dozen) are protecting themselves, but EURASIAN Countries (18), Latin American Countries (7), African Countries (11) and Australia and New Zealand.  Here are the results below.  Total world population who legislate GMOs : about 5 billion.

I was pleased to discover upon closer inspection that the list has grown recently from Mexico (who has banned GMO corn), to Bhutan (first nation to go organic) to Hawaii’s Big Island as of this last week.

Aloha to Hawaii’s Big Island!  May your population of 185,000 inspire 317 million Americans to do away with this failing and dangerous technology all together!

EUROPE
Russia              143,455,000
Germany                80,640,000
UK                64,231,000
France                63,820,000
Italy                59,798,000
Spain                46,958,000
Ukraine                45,461,000
Poland                38,548,000
Romania                19,858,000
Netherlands                16,795,000
Belgium                11,162,000
Greece                10,758,000
Portugal                10,609,000
Czech Republic                10,519,000
Hungary                 9,894,000
Sweden                 9,595,000
Belarus                 9,460,000
Austria                 8,477,000
Switzerland                 8,075,000
Bulgaria                 7,261,000
Serbia                 7,203,000
Denmark                 5,612,000
Finland                 5,436,000
Slovakia                 5,413,000
Norway                 5,077,000
Iceland                 4,662,000
Croatia                 4,258,000
Bosnia and Herzegovina                 3,847,000
Lithuania                 2,956,000
Slovenia                 2,062,000
Latvia                 2,011,000
Kosovo                 1,826,000
Estonia                 1,283,000
Luxembourg                   542,000
Malta                   419,000
Iceland                   324,000
Jersey (UK)                   100,000
Isle of Man (UK)                    87,000
Andorra                    75,000
Guernsey (UK)                    63,000
Faroe Islands                    48,000
Liechtenstein                    37,000
Monaco                    36,000
San Marino                    32,000
Gibraltar                    30,000
Aland Islands                    29,000
Svalbard and Jan Mayen (Norway)                     3,000
Vatican City                       800
EURASIA
India         1,257,476,000
Bhutan                 728,000
China         1,357,379,000
Cyprus                 888,000
Indonesia           248,731,000
Japan           127,350,000
Jordan              6,157,000
Kazakhstan            17,030,000
Malaysia            30,476,000
Saudi Arabia            30,476,000
Singapore              5,437,000
South Korea            50,394,000
Sri Lanka            20,462,000
Taiwan            23,344,000
Thailand            67,357,000
Turkey            76,081,000
Vietnam            89,702,000
LATIN AMERICA
Bolivia            10,517,000
Brazil          195,632,000
Ecuador            15,779,000
Peru            30,476,000
Mexico          118,419,000
Costa Rica             4,667,000
El Salvador             6,635,000
AFRICA
Burkina Faso           17,323,000
Cameroon           20,930,000
Ethiopia           86,614,000
Kenya           43,291,000
Mali           16,678,000
Mauritius            1,273,000
Senegal           13,567,000
South Africa           52,982,000
Togo            6,675,000
Tunisia           10,889,000
Zambia           14,129,000
OCEANIA
Australia           23,105,000
New Zealand             4,462,000
Plus Hawaii’s Big Island               185,000
 TOTAL     4,967,704,800
   
 WORLD POPULATION     7,120,000,000
 % of the WORLD WHO HAS RIGHT TO KNOW           70%
 

 * SOURCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_countries_by_population

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Eurasian_countries_by_population

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African_countries_by_population

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Latin_American_countries_by_population

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Oceanian_countries_by_population

* USED THIS MAP AS A STARTING POINT, FROM CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/ge-map/#

Kauai Kudos

The people of Kauai have spoken yet again.

After the mayor of Kauai sided with the interests of the chemical companies, the people were shattered in disbelief.    So was I, to tell the truth.  This was two weeks ago.

Four GMO companies Dow, Sygenta, Basf and Pioneer account for 98% of Kauai’s restricted use pesticides – 18 tons per year (pre-diluted).  I shudder when I think of the amount of pesticides in the air, the soil and the water of continental US.   Millions upon millions of acres of farmland are given to GMO agriculture, subsidized by us, the taxpayers.

The people of Kauai wanted to know what toxins are used on Kauai with respect to GMO agriculture.  They weren’t even looking to ban GMOs but provide buffer zones next to schools and hospitals and pesticide disclosure.  For a list of these pesticides you can go to this link http://www.stoppoisoningparadise.org/#!restricted-use-pesticide-kauai/c1rjc This was fought by the chemical companies every millimetre of the way.  With stalling, delay tactics.  The mayor even vetoed bill 2491 which he was supposed to sign.

Moms weren’t having it.  Dads weren’t having it.  Children born in the zones where pesticides are sprayed routinely have more defects.  I’ve heard testimony that in one school every child is on medication for respiratory problems….  The rates of cancer are greater where GMOs are grown…  This is a bitter sweet post because I feel for all the mom’s and dad’s whose kids have died, or are suffering from cancer and poor health.  When a child suffers the community is affected.  In the deepest way.  What the people did in a special session this very day: they over-rode the mayor’s veto.  They passed the bill.

In case you haven’t made the connection, GMOs that are currently grown are either classified as pesticides by the EPA or have herbicide resistance spliced into the DNA.   They are not nutritionally superior.  In both cases they are treated with carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and toxins.  GMOs don’t increase yields over the long-run and pesticide use has gone up exponentially, defeating their raison-d’etre.  It is important to pull apart the golden promise of GMOs from their bleak reality.

For someone who fell in love with Kauai, who climbed Waimea Canyon with my family, who discovered the exhilaration of catching waves on Kauai’s stunning shores, this is important to me. I feel especially close to Kauai and the aloha I was shown by the people there.  We are one big family, the Earth our mother.

To my brothers and sisters in Kauai: mahalo.

An apple a day

People have called it, but actually the outcome of Washington’s GMO labelling VOTE YES on 522 is still far from over.  Percentage of YES climbed steadily the last few days from 45 to 46 to 47 to 47.85.  The Ballots will not be counted until after the long weekend.   There are still 147, 000 ballots left to be counted!

Til we know more, take that righteous No GMO energy over to Artic Apple.  7, 500 Apple cultivars are not enough?  69 million tons of apples and they had to create one that doesn’t brown? We already have varieties that don’t brown.   Not yet released, not yet given the green light for deregulation, we are now in a public commenting period. Tell the makers what you think about their GMO apples.

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=APHIS_FRDOC_0001-1532

What I Wish My Grandmother Knew

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about my grandmother Gwen.  When I wear her pink fuzzy nightgown, when I pass the photos of her in my house.  She was a glamorous woman who happened to spend much of her life farming (organically) with my granddad on Goldstream Berry Paradise.  She loved the feel of the Earth in her hands.  Here she is on the farm:

GWEN-20hay-20field-20copy

Here she is after she retired in California.

Gwen with cigarette holder 1960

I’m going to leave that image of My Grandmother up.  Because that is the way I’d like to remember her.  I don’t want to envision her with breathing tubes, oxygen wheeled to her bed.  Suffering agony with each and every breath.

Granny was a smoker.  At the time it was perfectly normal to smoke.  Doctors even encouraged it in pregnant patients as a form of stress release.  Scientists and doctors were in consensus that it was perfectly safe.  Granny smoked for all her life thinking that it was good for her.  Black Cat Court tipped cigarettes. When she quit in the 70s, she got emphysema which was brought on due to a genetic pre-condition called Alpha-1-Anti- Trypsinase.  She died when I was 13.

Later when I went to The University of Chicago, I met Pascal, my French husband.  He was a social smoker (everyone in France and their dog smoked at the time!) and I remember our raging scientific debates when we first met.

“You’re studying science Gurdeep, you know better.  You just can’t equate correlation wiz causation,” he would say in his delightful French accent.  (It was so fun to argue with him, given how he would mispronounce common words.)

“I don’t need scientific proof that cigarettes cause damage.  You’re putting smoke and tar in your lungs when you breathe it in.  On that basis alone you should agree with me.”

He didn’t, suggesting that the scientists couldn’t attribute smoking with cancer because correlation doesn’t equal causation.  He was proved wrong when the tobacco industry whistle-blowers came out.  Big tobacco spent years and years covering up and discrediting reports science and data that smoking was perfectly safe.  Common sense dictates.

There is a parallel between Big Tobacco and with what’s going on in Big Biotech/Big Agriculture.  In this case the public is being told that there’s no harm in using the Pesticides and Herbicides, that there is no link between cancer and GMOs, despite peer-reviewed mounting evidence to the contrary.  GMOs have never been tested in humans.  Every peer-reviewed, long-term study of GMOs gives off red flag warnings.  We should be banning this stuff, not growing more of it.  There is no consensus among the scientific community for safety of GMOs yet Big Biotech and Big Agriculture continues to pour toxins into the soil, water and air.

I shocked a bright engineer friend yesterday when I told him that GMO Yields don’t increase and pesticide use has gone up 10 fold.  “Why are we growing them then?” he asked, “If what you say is true that GMOs don’t increase Yields and don’t decrease Pesticide use?”

Why indeed?

Why do you think that the grass root are ablaze?

Don’t just take why word for it. Here is a link to Just the Science of GMOs.  GM-Crops-just-the-science (1)

Tomorrow Washington States votes on whether to GMOs should be labelled.  Vote Yes on 522.  Although this measure won’t ban GMOs or stop their production, it will allow consumers to make informed decisions about the hidden GMOs in their food.  It follows international standards for GMO labelling.  Knowledge is power.  It could save your life over the long-run, the health of your nearest and dearest.

I wish my grandmother knew the perils of smoking, that they weren’t covered up by the tobacco industry.  Today is Granny’s birthday.  I wish she had lived to hear me record my grandfather’s songs, meet her grandchildren who share her love of music and her dramatic flair for life…..  I wish I could just hug her.  Usually I say a word to her silently on her Birthday.  If I remember I call my dad.

This year I dedicate this post to her.

The Failed Promises of GMOs

It has been a David vs Goliath fight.  Consumers against corporations.  An epic struggle between truth and deceit, darkness and light, wrong versus right.

How about the fact that the GMA (Grocery Manufacturer’s Association) is again flouting campaign laws in Washington State?  They continue to not declare the donors of their last set of contributions for Initiative 522, the campaign to label GMOs. This recent set of money laundering by corporations denying consumers the right to know, begs the question:

What do they want to hide about the way GMOs are currently grown?

Is it that golden rice and drought resistant rice are not actually available?  That not one of these nutritionally superior poster children for the GMO movement actually works after countless years of research?  And none are actually grown commercially in N. America?  Despite the marvellous magnificent hype, almost all GMOs crops currently grown in N. America have no superior qualities apart from being able to withstand toxins?  The residues of those toxins which we eat?  That they are poisoning the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soils we grow our food in?

Or could it be that glyphosate, being sprayed by the millions of pounds, is not harmless?  It is found in the blood of the unborn?  Moreover that in response to superweeds and superpests which are now found in 73 million acres across America, chemical companies have made an application with the FDA to blast our fields with 2,4 D the active component of agent orange?

What about yields, You may say?  We grow these GMOs because of higher yields, right?  I have news for you. Over the long term, organic yields are higher.  Don’t take my word for it.  Do your own research.  Seek out the literature that is not funded by the chemical companies.

I’m not going into the ethical and moral arguments here about patenting life.  But we swallowed that pill based on promises that have failed to materialize.  We were growing these mono-crop GMOs in the first place because of the promise of increased yields and decreased pest/herbicides use and nutritionally superiority.

Those are no longer valid reasons for growing GMOs here in N. America.

Let’s stop.