Monday, April 15, 2013

     Continued From Last Post.

    The final recommendations come as no surprise to those well-versed in the
many issues involved. It’ll be interesting to see if the EU will follow them
or cave to industry pressure like the US. The report concludes:

        "In light of the effects caused so far as a result of GE crop
cultivation in the United States, the following recommendations can be made:

        There must be no large-scale, commercial cultivation of GE
herbicide-tolerant or insecticide-producing crops. Such crop cultivation is
unsustainable and will lead to a ‘race’ to step up their cultivation.

        Ensure that all potential situations are retrievable. Cultivation of
crops such as rapeseed, which is extremely susceptible to spread through the
environment, should be banned as a matter of principle. An absolute
prerequisite for any release of such crops is that it must be possible to
control their spread and their persistence in the environment.

        Prevent cases of contamination. A particular focus on clean seed is
needed because otherwise farmers will lose control over the cultivation of GE
crops in their fields and it will no longer be possible to adequately
differentiate between products in the subsequent stages of the food
production chain.

        Risk assessments and risk research should not be geared to economic
interests. Under EU law, environmental and consumer protection clearly take
precedence over other interests. This must be applied more rigidly in
practice. Directives based on EFSA risk assessments must be tightened up
significantly and the preconditions for independent risk research must be
specifically fostered.

        The health effects of consuming products made from GE crops must be
monitored. Under EU law, the monitoring of the impact on public health and
the environment of products authorized for marketing in the EU is compulsory,
but has only been partially implemented.

        To allow for the differentiation of products on the feed markets,
labeling should be extended to include animal products. The EU should also
focus specifically on the search for alternatives to existing feed production
and import markets.

        To prevent further concentration on seed markets, seed patenting must
be stopped.

        A plan for research into alternatives must be mapped out. In many
areas conventional breeding is a cheaper, more productive and safer
alternative for the production of new seed varieties. This approach should be
specifically fostered in the future."

Keep Fighting for Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods

    While California Prop. 37 failed to pass last November, by a very narrow
margin, the fight for GMO labeling is far from over. The field-of-play has
now moved to the state of Washington, where the people's initiative 522, "The
People's Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act," will require food
sold in retail outlets to be labeled if it contains genetically engineered
ingredients. As stated on

        "Calorie and nutritional information were not always required on food
labels. But since 1990 it has been required and most consumers use this
information every day. Country-of-origin labeling wasn't required until 2002.
The trans fat content of foods didn't have to be labeled until 2006. Now, all
of these labeling requirements are accepted as important for consumers. The
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also says we must know with labeling if
our orange juice is from fresh oranges or frozen concentrate.

        Doesn't it make sense that genetically engineered foods containing
experimental viral, bacterial, insect, plant or animal genes should be
labeled, too? Genetically engineered foods do not have to be tested for
safety before entering the market. No long-term human feeding studies have
been done. The research we have is raising serious questions about the impact
to human health and the environment.

        I-522 provides the transparency people deserve. I-522 will not raise
costs to consumers or food producers. It simply would add more information to
food labels, which manufacturers change routinely anyway, all the time. I-522
does not impose any significant cost on our state. It does not require the
state to conduct label surveillance, or to initiate or pursue enforcement.

The state may choose to do so, as a policy choice, but I-522 was written to
avoid raising costs to the state or consumers."

    Remember, as with CA Prop. 37, they need support of people like YOU to
succeed. Prop. 37 failed with a very narrow margin simply because we didn't

have the funds to counter the massive ad campaigns created by the No on 37
camp, led by Monsanto and other major food companies. Let's not allow
Monsanto and its allies to confuse and mislead the people of Washington and
Vermont as they did in California. So please, I urge you to get involved and
help in any way you can, regardless of what state you live in.

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God Bless Everyone & God Bless The United States of America.
Larry Nelson


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