"All the World's a Stage We Pass Through" R. Ayana

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Transgene Escape: GMOs Spreading Uncontrollably Around the World

Transgene Escape: GMOs Spreading Uncontrollably Around the World


Image from testbiotech.org

Testbiotech, a nonprofit organization started with independent (‘non-biased’) biotech research in mind, recently released a report on the spread of genetically altered plants. The organization says GMOs are spreading throughout the world without any controls in place to stop them. They have escaped their intended areas and are moving into the environment and even infringing on wild plant populations. This is happening everywhere and something must be done to stop it before it worsens.

In the U.S., Canada, Central America, Japan, China, Australia, and Europe, genetically modified organisms are spreading into the food system. This is happening with corn, rice, cotton, flaxseed, bentgrass, and poplar trees, according to the Testbiotech report.

“Coexistence between genetically engineered crops and biodiversity is not possible if crops are spreading into wild populations without control. Industry is contaminating biodiversity and our future seeds – who will hold them responsible?” says Margarida Silva from the GMO-free Platform in Portugal, according to GM Watch.

Just 3 examples of GM contamination can be seen here:

  • GM Wheat – An unapproved strain of genetically modified wheat was discovered in an Oregon field earlier this year. The Roundup Ready strain was nixed in 2005 when global resistance to Monsanto forced the company to stop working on it. It was never approved for use, let along growing and exporting.

  • GM Rice – During 2006 and 2007, three different strains of genetically modified rice were found in US rice exports and subsequently the world over. There were three specific strains of rice—one of which was approved in the U.S. and the other two which were not. Still, none of the strains were approved for cultivation or consumption anywhere else in the world. In total, the GM rice was found in more than 30 countries.

To make matters worse, the USDA now considers GMO contamination “normal”.

Testbiotech says there are several reasons for “transgene escape”. They say the future impact of this unregulated spread of GM technology is, quite simply, unknown.

Apart from commercial cultivation and experimental field trials, losses from the import and transport of viable grains for food and feed production are a source of uncontrolled dispersal. The consequences cannot be reliably predicted, and from the cases documented in the overview it is evident that no prediction can be made on how these plants will behave in the long-term or interact with biodiversity.

The organization is calling on EU Commissioner Tonio Borg, who is pushing for GMO authorization throughout the EU, to honestly assess the consequences of GM technology.

Christoph Then for Testbiotech says, “EU Commissioner Tonio Borg who is currently pushing for the authorisation of genetically engineered plants in the EU, should be aware of the consequences of this technology on a global scale. We need regulations to ensure that the release of genetically engineered organisms is prohibited unless they can be removed from the environment if required.”

But, if they’ve infiltrated even wild plant relatives, removal is doubtful.

The entire report, entitled “Transgene Escape: Global atlas of uncontrolled spread of genetically engineered plants,” can be found here.

Unapproved GM Rice Contaminates Global Supply


As we fight to put an end to genetically modified crops (or at least be told when they are in our food), another batter wages on. This battle is being fought by huge corporations like Monsanto and Bayer CropScience—they are fighting to ensure their genetically modified seeds take over the world’s agricultural supply regardless of what the people want. Just like the unapproved GM flax NaturalSociety reported on, genetically modified rice is contaminating the global supply despite having never been approved for growing or eating.

As the GM Contamination Register reports, during 2006 and 2007, three different strains of genetically modified rice were found in US rice exports and subsequently the world over. There were three specific strains of rice—one of which was approved in the U.S. and the other two which were not. Still, none of the strains were approved for cultivation or consumption anywhere else in the world. In total, the GM rice was found in more than 30 countries.

It’s believed the initial contamination began in the U.S. during field trials of the herbicide-resistant rice made by Bayer Crop-Science. The trials were abandoned in 2002 and although two different strains were deregulated by officials, the rice was never placed on the market.

According to the USDA, these field trials, which took place between the mid-1990s and 2002, are to blame for the eventual global contamination. Interestingly, they were unable to determine if the contamination occurred because of cross pollination or mechanical mixing.

The discovery of GM rice in their U.S. imports has led countries from across the globe to pull U.S. rice from their shelves, and understandably so. Just as in the seemingly-rogue GM wheat discovered in Oregon or the GM-flax found worldwide—no one wants these lab-created monsters in their countries.

Experts say this contamination is inevitable and that it will continue. No doubt, GM-giants like Monsanto and Bayer CropScience are okay with this.

“Scientific studies confirm that GM contamination is unavoidable once GM crops are grown in a region,” explains the Earth Open Source report GMO Myths and Truths (pdf). “‘Coexistence’ rapidly results in widespread contamination of non-GM crops … through cross-pollination, spread of GM seed by farm machinery, and inadvertent mixing during storage.”

While the future may look bleak for traditional non-GM crops, people across the globe are continuing to fight back—letting it be known that we won’t allow these corporations to take over agriculture without a fight. To show your support, involve yourself in the Monsanto Video Revolt taking place on July 24th, where millions of people around the world will voice their opposition to GMOs and Monsanto alike all over the internet.

GM Flax may Have Already Contaminated World Food Supply Since 90s



Genetically modified wheat found in an Oregon field has many people talking about the potential for GM crops to contaminate the traditional, non-GMO food supply. But these rogue wheat seeds from Monsanto aren’t the only problem. As a matter of fact, genetically modified flax seeds from the late 1990s are still being found across the globe.

The GM flax (FP967), later renamed to Triffid, was authorized for use in the late nineties in both the U.S. and Canada. But before it could be produced and sold for commercial production, concerns of the European market stopped Triffid in its tracks. In other words, European countries would have likely stopped importing flax from the West. Now, however, the same countries who were concerned about the safety of Triffid are dealing with contamination.

Triffid was first found in Germany in 2009. Since then, it’s turned up in Romania, Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Slovenia, France, Greece, Switzerland, and dozens of other countries around the world. In total, the seed—which was never produced commercially—has found its way into at least 30 countries around the world.

In 2001, after it was determined the seeds would not be profitable and production on a mass scale was nixed, Triffid was de-registered and was supposedly destroyed. Obviously, that wasn’t the case. The spread of this GM seed variety is a clear example of how genetically modified crops and traditional crops simply can’t coexist.

“GE contamination is already costing the taxpayer,” said Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network. “Contamination is inevitable and these costs will keep recurring.”

Some have suggested the GM flax being found globally isn’t Triffid but a similar, non-approved strain. Testing is underway to determine with certainty, but whether it’s the previously approved-the-nixed seed or another unapproved strain, the seriousness of this contamination is frightening.

By hook or by crook, genetically modified seeds and their makers are bent on taking over the global supply. How else can we explain the proliferation of a seed never put into commercial production? How else can we explain Monsanto’s GM wheat, never approved for use, showing up in an Oregon wheat field? While the seed makers would have you believe their hands are clean, they would also have you believe their products are safe—something we know to be a farce.

Additional Sources:


From Natural Society @ http://naturalsociety.com/gmos-spreading-uncontrollably-around-world/ and http://naturalsociety.com/unapproved-gm-rice-contaminates-global-supply/ and http://naturalsociety.com/gm-flax-contaminated-world-food-supply-since-90s/

For more information about genetically modified foods see http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com/search/label/genetically%20modified%20food
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