The Conspiracy on GMO’s and Factory Farming
What s the standard definition of a¬†¬†GMO?A genetically modified organism (GMO) is a bacterium, yeast, insect, plant, fish, or mammal whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. GMOs are the source of genetically modified foods and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce goods other than food.
NON GMO (activist against GMO‚Äôs) Definition is slightly different: GMOs, or ‚Äúgenetically modified organisms,‚ÄĚ are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.
Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.
Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers‚Äô and consumers‚Äô rights.
Protestors argue that industrialized agriculture is a threat to the environment, biodiversity and the livelihood of small family farmers. They demand change towards more environmentally friendly farming, protection of bees, fair prices for farmers, better policies against hunger, against food scandals, against monocultures, against land grabbing and against GMOs. The organizers of the demonstrations also criticized heavily for the TTIP. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a series of SECRET TRADE ALLIANCES between the EU and US. As a bi-lateral trade agreement, TTIP is about reducing the regulatory barriers to trade for big business, things like food safety law, environmental legislation, banking regulations and the sovereign powers of individual nations. John Hilary, who is the Executive Director of the campaign group known as War on Want, said: ‚ÄúThis is an assault on European and US societies by transnational corporations.‚ÄĚ
TTIP negotiations that began in February 2013 have been secretive and undemocratic. This secrecy is on-going, with nearly all information on negotiations coming from leaked documents and FOIA. Freedom of Information requests.
What does this tell the consumer?
TTIP‚Äôs ‚Äėregulatory convergence‚Äô agenda is currently seeking to¬† bring EU standards on food safety and the environment closer to those of the US, which is not good. But US regulations are much less strict than the EU BECAUSE 70% of all processed foods sold in US supermarkets CONTAIN genetically modified ingredients.
ARE GMO‚Äôs safe? In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale.
Are GMOs labeled? No
In the U.S., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed foods. So how do we know the difference?
Agricultural Crops That Have a Risk of Being GMO
Agricultural two groups: (1) high-risk¬† GMO Crops because they are already currently in commercial production, and (2) those that have a¬†monitored risk¬†because we suspect or know if contamination incidents have occurred in the past¬† and/or the crops have genetically modified relatives in commercial production with which cross-pollination (and consequently contamination) is possible.
- Alfalfa¬†(first planting 2011)
- Canola¬†(approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
- Corn¬†(approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Cotton¬†(approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Papaya¬†(most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres) **TELL STORY**
- Soy¬†(approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Sugar Beets¬†(approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
- Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash¬†(approx. 25,000 acres)
Monitored Crops¬†(those for which suspected or known incidents of contamination have occurred, and those crops which have genetically modified relatives in commercial production with which cross-pollination is possible; we test regularly to assess risk, and move to ‚ÄúHigh-Risk‚ÄĚ category for ongoing testing if we see contamination):
- Beta vulgaris (e.g., chard, table beets)
- Brassica napa (e.g., rutabaga, Siberian kale)
- Brassica rapa (e.g., bok choy, mizuna, Chinese cabbage, turnip, rapini, tatsoi)
- Cucurbita (acorn squash, delicata squash, patty pan)
Common Ingredients Derived from GMO Risk Crops
Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ethanol, Flavorings (‚Äúnatural‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúartificial‚ÄĚ), High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products.
- Tomatoes: In 1994, genetically modified Flavr Savr tomatoes became the first commercially produced GMOs. They were brought out of production just a few years later, in 1997, due to problems with flavor and ability to hold up in shipping. There are no genetically engineered tomatoes in commercial production, and tomatoes are considered ‚Äúlow-risk‚ÄĚ by the Non-GMO Project Standard.
- Potatoes: Genetically modified NewLeaf potatoes were introduced by Monsanto in 1996. Due to consumer rejection by several fast-food chains and chip makers, the product was never successful and was discontinued in the spring of 2001. There are no genetically engineered potatoes in commercial production, and potatoes are considered ‚Äúlow-risk‚ÄĚ by the Non-GMO Project Standard.
- Salmon:¬†A company called AquaBounty is currently petitioning the FDA to approve its genetically engineered variety of salmon, which has met with fierce consumer resistance.
- Pigs: A genetically engineered variety of pig, called¬†Enviropig¬†was developed by scientists at the University of Guelph, with research starting in 1995 and government approval sought beginning in 2009. In 2012 the University announced an end to the Enviropig program, and the pigs themselves were euthanized in June 2012.
What is Morgellons Disease and do you have it?
ENVIRO PIG PROGRAM: Loss of funding
Ontario Pork ended its support for the Enviropig program in April 2012.¬†The¬†U of G¬†¬†killed the pigs, from the 10th generation of the project, in June 2012 after it ¬†couldn‚Äôt ¬†find a new partner to fund the project. However, the genetic material will be stored at the Canadian Agricultural Genetics Repository Program.
**Intensive animal farming¬†or¬†industrial livestock production, also called¬†factory farming**
Confinement at high stocking density is one part of a systematic effort to produce the highest output at the lowest cost by relying on¬†economies of scale, modern machinery,¬†biotechnology, and¬†global trade. Confinement at high stocking density requires¬†the use of antibiotics¬†and¬†pesticides¬†to mitigate the spread of disease and pestilence exacerbated by these crowded living conditions.¬†In addition, antibiotics are used to stimulate livestock growth by killing intestinal bacteria.
How much of our farming is done this way?
‚ÄúThe practice is widespread in developed nations. According to the Worldwatch Institute, as of 2006, 74 percent of the world’s poultry, 43 percent of beef, 50 percent of pork, and 68 percent of eggs were produced this way.‚ÄĚ
Keep in mind¬† THAT
In the U.S., as of ¬†THE ¬†YEAR 2000 ¬†four companies produced 81 percent of cows, 73 percent of sheep, 60 percent of pigs, and 50 percent of chickens and according to its National Pork Producers Council, 80 million of its 95 million pigs slaughtered each year are reared in industrial settings.
In the United States, farmed animals are excluded by half of all state animal cruelty laws including the federal¬†Animal Welfare Act. The 28 hour law enacted in 1873 and amended in 1994 states that when animals are being transported for slaughter, the vehicle must stop every 28 hours and the animals must be let out for exercise, food, and water. The United States Department of Agriculture claims that the law does not apply to birds. The Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act is similarly limited. Originally passed in 1958, the Act requires that livestock be stunned into unconsciousness prior to slaughter. This Act also excludes birds, which make up more than 90 percent of the animals slaughtered for food, as well as ¬†rabbits¬†and fish. Individual states all have their own animal cruelty statutes; however many states have a provision to exempt standard agricultural practices¬† (This why Farm raised grass fed cows, chickens, pigs, and turkeys are so much healthier ¬†for us!)
Fish and Seafood:
In the US, approximately 90% of all shrimp consumed are farmed and imported.¬†In recent years salmon aquaculture has become a major export in southern¬†Chile¬†especially in¬†Puerto Montt¬†¬†and¬†Quellon, Chile’s fastest-growing city.
Farmed fish are kept in concentrations never seen in the wild, e.g. 50,000 fish in a 2-acre (8,100¬†m2) area,¬†with each fish occupying less room than the average bathtub. This can cause several forms of pollution. Packed tightly, fish rub against each other and the sides of their cages, damaging their fins and tails and becoming sickened with various diseases and infections.
Some species of sea lice have been noted to target farmed coho and farmed Atlantic salmon specifically.¬†Such parasites may have an effect on nearby wild fish. For these reasons, aquaculture operators frequently need to use strong drugs to keep the fish alive (but many fish still die prematurely at rates of up to 30%) and these drugs inevitably enter the environment.
The lice and pathogen problems of the 1990s facilitated the development of current treatment methods for sea lice and pathogens. These developments reduced the stress from parasite/pathogen problems. However, being in an ocean environment, the transfer of disease organisms from the wild fish to the aquaculture fish is an ever-present risk factor.
THE BIG LIE: There is a shortage of food in the world. Fact:¬†Global consumption promotes global¬†consumerism.
Animal welfare¬†impacts of factory farming can include:
- Close confinement systems (cages, crates) or lifetime confinement in indoor sheds
- Discomfort and injuries caused by inappropriate flooring and housing
- Restriction or prevention of normal exercise and most of natural foraging or exploratory behaviour
- Restriction or prevention of natural maternal nesting behaviour
- Lack of daylight or fresh air and poor air quality in animal sheds
- Social stress and injuries caused by overcrowding
- Health problems caused by extreme ¬†selective breedingand management for fast growth and high productivity
- Reduced lifetime (longevity) of breeding animals (dairy cows, breeding sows)
- Fast-spreading infections encouraged by crowding and stress in intensive conditions.
- Debeaking(beak trimming or shortening) in the poultry and egg industry to avoid pecking in overcrowded quarters.
- Forced and over feeding (by inserting tubes into the throats of ducks) in the production offoie gras.
- Deforsitation¬†for animal feed production
- Unsustainable pressure on land for production of high-protein/high-energy animal feed
- Pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer manufacture and use for feed production
- Unsustainable use of water for feed-crops, including groundwater extraction
- Pollution¬†of soil, water and air by nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizer used for feed-crops and from manure
- Land Degradation¬†(reduced fertility, soil compaction, increased salinity, desertification)
- Loss of ¬†biodivirsity¬†due to ¬†eutrophication, acidification, pesticides and herbicides
- Worldwide reduction of ¬†genetic diversity¬†of livestock and loss of traditional breeds
- Species ¬†extinctions¬†due to livestock-related habitat destruction (especially feed-cropping)
- Participate in your local Farming and Animal rights & Welfare groups.
- Use this website or others like it to find ¬†VERIFIED non GMO food sources: http://www.nongmoproject.org/find-non-gmo/search-participating-products/?catID=1
¬† ¬†¬†11 ¬†REASONS to¬†Buy Organic Meat & Dairy
- Free of antibiotics, added hormones, GMO feed and other drugs; no GMO animals
- Mad cow safeguard: Animals aren‚Äôt forced to be cannibals
- More humane, ethical treatment of animals
- Animals free-range and graze
Small farms use it, industrial farms pollute with it.
- Animals are integral to small farms
- Fewer chemicals used
- Diversity because small sustainable farms tend to raise a wider variety of livestock
- Factory farms use huge amounts of resources, organic farms Organic farms uses less energy with careful ecological management, and using natural ecological balances to solve pest problems. Buying animal products from local farms further reduces energy by reducing the amount of miles the food travels to your table.
- Your dollars support the farm you buy from: If you buy your meat from an organic farmstand at a farmer‚Äôs market you support that farm. On the other hand, if you buy non-organic meat that isn‚Äôt local, free-range, or ranch-raised from a supermarket chain, you most likely support a multinational food conglomerate. You can contribute to the well-being of your community by supporting small, local, diverse organic farms.
- Because it tastes so much better, vibrates so much higher, and it’s damned good for you!
Highlights:¬†Buying organic animal products is better for your health, your local community, and the larger community as a whole.