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GMO Chicken that Produces Drugs in Eggs Approved

The floodgates are open for more genetically modified animals—possibly even humans. Last week saw the approval of another genetically modified animal— this time a chicken genetically altered to produce a drug in its eggs. The drug is designed to replace a faulty enzyme in people with a rare genetic condition that prevents the body from breaking down fatty molecules in cells. This is the stuff of dystopian science fiction stories, and we may be approaching such a world faster than we think.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eilish Cleary Put on Leave After Revealing Toxicity of Glyphosate Herbicide

New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health was working on a study of the controversial herbicide glyphosate when she was put on leave, CBC News has learned. Dr. Eilish Cleary wrote to a Kent County resident in August that her office would be "developing a plan to further explore" the herbicide, which is used in New Brunswick by forestry company J.D. Irving Ltd. and by NB Power. Cleary confirmed in an email to CBC News Wednesday that "This is not a situation where I requested a personal leave." She said she was not allowed to discuss the reasons for the leave.

Trans-Pacific Partnership Undermines Safety of Food Supply – Gives Power to Biotech Monopoly

A few weeks ago, the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal was finally released after many years of closed-door negotiations between officials from the US and eleven other countries, all of whom border the Pacific Ocean. Its provisions were apparently kept secret from all but the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Details of the long-secret Trans-Pacific Partnership are public at last: it will undermine the safety of our food supply, make medicine more expensive, and give power to the biotech monopoly.

Are GMOs a “Natural” Food?

The FDA recently announced that it would be accepting public input on how—or whether—to define the term “natural” on food labels. This action came about as a result of a number of petitions filed by the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA) and Consumers Union. The GMA asked the FDA to redefine “natural” so that foods derived from biotechnology (read: GMO foods) could use the label, while Consumers Union separately filed a petition asking the FDA to prohibit the use of “natural” on food labels altogether since the term is vague and misleading to consumers. The FDA is asking for public input on a variety of questions revolving around which foods should be allowed to bear the term “natural” and what kinds of things—such as processing and different manufacturing methods—should bar a food from being called “natural.” The GMA petition is a case in point—what meaning does the label have if genetically manipulated foods doused with herbicide can be called “natural”?

Tropical Traditions Offers First Pastured Turkeys Raised on GMO-tested and Glyphosate-tested Feed

Tropical Traditions announced this week that they will soon be shipping their 2015 pastured turkeys raised on pastures in Wisconsin. This year's batch offers something new: the specially formulated Cocofeed that the birds consumed was not only soy-free this year, but also corn-free, and tested for the presence of GMOs and glyphosate.

PhD Plant Biologist Speaks Out Against GMOs

By training, I am a plant biologist. In the early 1990s I was busy making genetically modified plants (often called GMOs for Genetically Modified Organisms) as part of the research that led to my PhD. I was not, at the outset, concerned about the possible effects of GM plants on human health or the environment. I now believe, as a much more experienced scientist, that GMO crops still run far ahead of our understanding of their risks. I have become much more appreciative of the complexity of biological organisms and their capacity for benefits and harms. As a scientist I have become much more humble about the capacity of science to do more than scratch the surface in its understanding of the deep complexity and diversity of the natural world. To paraphrase a cliché, I more and more appreciate that as scientists we understand less and less. I have read numerous GMO risk assessment applications. These are the documents that governments rely on to ‘prove’ their safety. Though these documents are quite long and quite complex, their length is misleading in that they primarily ask (and answer) trivial questions. Furthermore, the experiments described within them are often very inadequate and sloppily executed. Scientific controls are often missing, procedures and reagents are badly described, and the results are often ambiguous or uninterpretable. I do not believe that this ambiguity and apparent incompetence is accidental. To any honest observer, reading these applications is bound to raise profound and disturbing questions: about the trustworthiness of the applicants and equally of the regulators. They are impossible to reconcile with a functional regulatory system capable of protecting the public.

Pastured Soy-free Chickens and Other Products Added to Glyphosate-tested Product Line

Tropical Traditions has added several products into their glyphosate-tested line of products. Late in 2014, when Tropical Traditions started to test some of their certified organic products for the presence of glyphosate, and found out much to their horror that many USDA certified organic products were contaminated with glyphosate, they also tested their certified organic poultry feed. Unfortunately, the level of glyphosate contamination was very high, much higher than any of the organic grains they had tested. So the search for glyphosate-tested feed that returned a zero result for glyphosate began. Due to the GMO contamination of USDA certified corn as well, it was determined to drop organic corn from the feed. It has now been replaced with milo (sorghum), a popular poultry feed ingredient in southern cultures. The Tropical Traditions Cocofeed is also soy-free, and includes coconut pulp. Tropical Traditions had to test each ingredient separately, and be sure that the test represented the entire batch from a specific harvest sourced back to the producers. This week (September 2015), pastured chickens raised on this glyphosate-tested feed are now available for purchase by the public.

Science Is No Longer Truth: Death of Democracy and Knowledge

Our society is largely built on the idea that science can help us make good, solid decisions. But now we're facing a world so rife with problems caused by the very sciences that were supposed to keep us healthy, safe, and productive, it's quite clear that we're heading toward more than one proverbial brick wall. In a sense, the fundamental role of science itself has been hijacked for selfish gain. Looking back, you can now see that the preferred business model of an industry was created first, followed by "scientific evidence" that supports the established business model. When the science doesn’t support the company’s economic gains, it’s swept under the rug, even if people are dying and the planet is becoming irreparably poisoned as a result. Today we live in a world where chemical companies and biotech giants can easily buy and pay for their own research studies, as well as the lobbying to support whatever legislation they need passed in their favor. Conflicts of interest have become the norm within virtually all fields of science, which creates a completely unworkable – and dangerous – situation in the long run.

Citing GMO-Herbicide Link, Renowned Children’s Health Expert Calls For GMO Labeling

An article published today in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine by two of the nation’s most respected experts on pesticides and children’s environmental health calls for the Food and Drug Administration to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GMO) food. This comes after the House of Representatives passed a bill last month that would block states from enacting their own labeling laws and make it nearly impossible for the FDA ever to implement national mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. Titled “GMOs, Herbicides, and Public Health,” the paper by Philip J. Landrigan, M.D. and Charles Benbrook, Ph.D. focuses on the widespread adoption of GMO crops across the U.S. and the resulting explosion in the use of toxic herbicides – some of them, like Monsanto’s glyphosate, linked to cancer – and argues that labeling these foods is a matter of protecting public health.

Human Breast Milk Found Unsafe – High Levels of Glyphosate

The Green party made their warning after testing the breast milk of 16 women from a variety of German regions. Traces of glyphosate, a chemical used in weed-killers, amounting to between 0.210 and 0.432 nanograms per mililitre were recorded. In drinking water a quantity of no more than 0.100 nanograms of the substance is allowed. Irene Witte, professor of toxicology at the University of Oldenburg described the findings as “intolerable.” “I would never have guessed that the quantities are so high,” she said.