Thursday, May 26, 2016

Royal Society calls for review of European GM ban

bbcnews |  In a statement, the Soil Association said it believed that the Royal Society guide was neither neutral nor unbiased as it claims.

"Everyone knows that there are at least some scientific controversies, and disagreements about evidence concerning GM crops. None of these are mentioned in the Royal Society document," the statement read.

"This may not be surprising, given that there are no scientists who have consistently expressed scepticism about the application of GM technology to agriculture listed among the authors.

"Scientific enquiry normally proceeds by open discussion of disagreements about evidence - the Royal Society's involvement in GM has been consistently one-sided, ignoring scientists with dissenting views, and overlooking facts which do not fit with the views of supporters of GM crops."

An analysis of 900 pieces of published research into GM technology by the US National Academy of Sciences concluded that GM food was safe to eat - though it did highlight some environmental concerns.

Prof Ramakrishnan said he recognised that the answers in the Royal Society guide would not end the controversy.

"But we hope that they will inform people about the science and allow those who might previously have felt excluded from the discussion to form a view," he said.

The Royal Society will hold a series of public panel discussion events (Growing tomorrow's dinner - should GM be on the table?) across the UK during the summer and autumn.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Conflict of interest? Members of UN panel on glyphosate have Monsanto ties...,

RT | Two people on the UN panel that just ruled the herbicide glyphosate “unlikely” to cause cancer in humans have ties to groups that have accepted over $1 million from Monsanto and another industry group representing agrochemical giants. 

The people in question are Professor Alan Boobis, chairman of the UN panel investigating glyphosate – the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup and other similar products – and Professor Angelo Moretto, the panel’s co-chair, the Guardian reported.

Boobis is the vice president of the International Life Science Institute (ILSI Europe). Moretto, meanwhile, is a board member of ILSI’s Health and Environmental Sciences Institute and of its Risk21 steering group. Notably, Boobis is a co-chair of Risk21.

ILSI Europe accepted a donation of $500,000 from Monsanto back in 2012, according to a document released by the US Right to Know campaign. The group also accepted donations from CropLife – which represents agriculture companies such as Monsanto, Dow, DuPont and Syngenta – totaling more than $528,000.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

gotta get some o'that all-natural biocide into me before the first cigarette of a morning..,

RT |  The use of glyphosate in herbicides has increased by more than 250 times in the United States in the last 40 years, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. Long-term exposure to glyphosate has been linked to kidney and liver damage, as well as cellular and genetic diseases. 

Monsanto and defenders of glyphosate use called the World Health Organization's carcinogen classification too "dramatic" and have pointed to assurances that the chemical is, indeed, safe.

Last month, the European Parliament approved the seven-year re-authorization of glyphosate, though it recommended the chemical should be used only by professionals and not in public places.
In September, Monsanto was sued by two agricultural workers in the US who claimed Roundup had caused their cancers.

In February, the US Food and Drug Administration said it would begin to test some products – including milk, corn, eggs, and soybeans, among possible others in the future – for glyphosate.

In 2013, the EPA approved Monsanto's plea for use of increased levels of glyphosate, which was first created in 1970 by Monsanto. In 1974, the company began selling the chemical in Roundup, which has become a top bioicide for both farming, especially regarding genetically-engineered crops, and home and garden uses.