Brazil Has Now Refused All Imports Of US-Grown Genetically Modified Crops

Christina Sarich
June 15, 2016

The list of countries refusing Monsanto’s genetically-modified crops continues to grow. Highlighting the world divide on the issue, Brazil recently refused all U.S.-grown GM crops. While we are continually force-fed genetically modified foods — since they are in approximately 80 percent of all packaged, conventional foods in grocery stores in America — other countries are refusing to import them, grow them, or sell them within their borders.

As more nations pass laws that impose trade regulations on genetically modified goods, despite World Trade Organization back room deals, Monsanto and their cut-outs opt for ever-more devious strategies to insinuate their wares onto the world.

Despite this, as a Bloomberg article points out, “In recent years, some of the largest commodity trading companies have refused to take certain GMO crops from farmers because the seeds used hadn’t received a full array of global approvals, something that can lead to holdups at ports or even the rejection of entire cargoes.”

For example, Brazil.

In this instance, it is Brazil’s chicken farmers who won’t feed their birds GM corn; but there are other countries opting out of GM crops, too.

Ironically, Brazil is the the second largest producer of GM crops in the world after the U.S., and grows 29 varieties of GM corn, so they are likely pulling rank for trade rather than hoping to save their population’s health — but at least the chicken farmers see the detriment from using GM corn.

This doesn’t mean that a resistance in Brazil isn’t growing as well. Female Members of the Landless Worker’s Movement (MST) broke into a São Paulo State lab and destroyed millions of samples of GM prototypes not long ago that contained a carcinogenic pesticide.

There is a good reason for banning GM crops, even if they are only meant for livestock to consume. A new Seralini study says that the very first GM crop, introduced way back in 1996, was highly toxic to farm animals over the long-term.

Seralini highlights problems such as partial paralysis (paresis) accompanied by great fatigue, and problems in the kidneys and mucosal membranes in the animals, followed by death in 10% of cases,” all from feeding the animals GM crops like corn, soy, and alfalfa. Not surprisingly, he finds that GM maize (like Monsanto’s highly touted Bt variety) are the most toxic of all.

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Monsanto’s GM Wheat in Development Despite Consumer Push Back


Christina Sarich
February 24, 2016

Some think that with minimal market saturation, GM wheat could become a strong seller in the US, just like genetically modified corn, soy, canola oil, cottonseed, and other GM crops. Monsanto ditched the efforts to develop this particular crop 10 years ago, but has relatively recently begun working to create a new strain of the crop. Why the sudden interest again in GM wheat? [1]

Monsanto has been working hard to create new GM wheat over the last year. This, after abandoning efforts in the 1990’s. At its Chesterfield Village Research Center, scientists say they can create a wheat-strain that is resistant to a trio of herbicides. Despite consumer push-back, the company will spend more than $150 million to alter just one gene in a wheat seed.

That $150 million could go a long way to teach farmers around the world how to grow food sustainably. Why does Monsanto wish to put that money toward genetically modifying nature when we know that we are destroying our farmland at unprecedented rates by using so many pesticides and herbicides (via genetically modified crops engineered to withstand copious amounts of the chemicals)?

The agriculture giant was on the verge of seeking regulatory approval for a Roundup Ready version of hard red spring wheat, typically used for bread flour in the 1990’s, but in May 2004, Monsanto halted the program citing changing market conditions. It was clear that growers — worried about consumer backlash — weren’t ready.

“There was massive opposition,” said Bill Freese, a GMO critic and science policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety.

Have farmers also come to the conclusion that Monsanto’s promises about GM and Bt toxic crops producing higher yields are empty? The cost of GM seeds keep going up, so even if another strain of GM crop was developed – wheat – could farmers even profit from growing it?

As reported by STL Today:

“It didn’t take long, however, before wheat farmers grew tired of watching neighbors switch to more profitable corn and soybeans — both having seen greater yield increases fueled by stronger breeding programs and genetic modifications. By 2006, the number of U.S. acres planted with wheat had dropped to 57 million, down from 75 million a decade earlier. Soybeans, on the other hand, surged from 64 million to 75 million during the same period, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

“We came to the conclusion that we had to do something,” said Paul Penner, president of the National Association of Wheat Growers. “It’s no fun raising wheat if you are making a loss on it.”

Consumers have demanded GM labeling, and nations across the world are banning GM crops. Where does Monsanto plan on selling a GM wheat variety with so many countries passing legislation that support a GM-free agricultural environment?

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Russia Bans All U.S. Corn and Soy Imports Due to GMO Contamination


Christina Sarich
February 15, 2016

Russia’s food safety regulator Rosselkhoznadzor just announced a complete ban starting February 15 on all US corn and soy imports. This is a huge blow to organic and GM farmers alike, though the ban will be instated due to genetically modified crop and microbial contamination.

Though the total exports to Russia from the US are small in comparison to soybean exports, totaling over $156 million in recent years, with Russia importing only 4,742 metric tons of U.S. corn, the ban will still hurt US farmers.

Assistant Director of the Rosselkhoznadzor, Alexey Alekseenko said:

“Restrictions will be imposed on imports starting from February 15. They (the US) have to establish a system to ensure safety of products imported to Russia.”

China has issued similar bans in the past due to GM contamination, and only recently did an “about face” on the issue. US corn exports to the country recently dropped by 85% after a report detailing GM contamination was released.

Putin recently said that Russians need to be protected from GM crops. The food latest ban follows that credo. According to the regulator, the corn imported from the US is often infected with dry rot of maize. In addition, according to the Russian watchdog, corn can be used for transgenic crops in Russia. The potential damage from import and spread of quarantinable objects on the territory of Russia is estimated at 10-15 bln rubles ($126 mln-189 mln) annually.

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