Unless we're careful, opponents of genetically-modified food warn

that decades from now, this could be you on a walk in the country.



'Reject TTIP, Say No to GMOs': 50 Million Americans Warn Europe (Polityka, Poland)


"I don't recall ever having received a letter from so many people at once – and you probably can't either. … Step by step, talks between the E.U. and U.S. on the so-called TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) are progressing toward completion. The concept is great, but as always, the devil's in the detail. … . Unfortunately, we don't know the details because the talks are being held in the strictest secrecy. … The Americans have already lost their battle against biotech corporations when it comes to agricultural and food products. Now they are warning us about the effects of adopting American rules under the guise of TTIP."


By Jacek Żakowski



Translated By Karol Rosoliński


December 7, 2014


Poland - Polityka - Original Article (Polish)

Last week, 57 million Americans sent a letter to Europeans and almost no one in Poland noticed. The senders are celebrities, including Susan Sarandon, Robert Kennedy Jr., Tommy Hilfiger and dozens of consumer, agricultural, scientific and family organizations with a total of nearly 60 million members. I don't recall ever having received a letter from so many people at once – and you probably can't either.


I understand that the recent elections were very important, but luckily they are behind us, and we can again deal with an issue that will be important not only this week, this year or this decade, but for much longer. The letter from "57 million" relates, as one might guess, to matters of such importance.


The thing is that step by step, talks between the E.U. and U.S. on the TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) are progressing toward completion. The concept is great, but as always, the devil's in the detail.


Unfortunately, we don't know the details because the talks are being held in the strictest secrecy, similarly to those for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. It is known, however, that one of the key stumbling blocks is agriculture, namely freedom of movement for agricultural products and technologies - mainly foods. That includes foods containing GMOs, or genetically modified organisms.


And here's the rub: a free trade area means uniform standards, and American and European standards on GMOs differ significantly. Briefly speaking, we are much more skeptical, cautious and mistrustful toward GMOs in Europe. We defend ourselves against genetically modified foods by labeling them and limiting their cultivation and importation. The Americans have already lost their battle against biotech corporations when it comes to agricultural and food products. Now they are warning us about the effects of adopting American rules under the guise of TTIP.




Opera Mundi: GMO's Benefit No One but Multinationals Like Monsanto

La Jornada, Mexico: Monsanto and DuPont-Pioneer Threaten Food Security in Mexico

Le Monde, France: U.S. Diplomats Force-Feed 'Frankenfoods' to Unwilling World

La Jornada, Mexico: WikiLeaks 'Spills Beans' on U.S. Push for 'Frankenfood'


There are arguments and alarming conclusions to be drawn from the American experience with GMOs are legion. It is worth knowing about them, thinking them through and discussing them before the laboriously negotiated TTIP leaps out at us like the devil.

Posted by Worldmeets.US


There isn’t much point in me quoting these arguments to you. However, I very strongly recommend that you read the letter. Not just because we should read letters when they are received - especially when it's from such a large group - but first of all, because the media debate on GMOs is distorted by tremendous legal, public relations, economic and corrupt pressure from interested corporations. It is uncommon under such circumstances to get to know a more prudent position first-hand, i.e.: without any distortions.


Those who prefer to read it in English will find it here (or below).


Those who prefer Polish, you can find the translation here.


May you read in peace. It will undoubtedly be interesting.



Living with GMOs - a letter from America


The Undersigned


NGOs, scientists, anti-GM groups, celebrities, food manufacturers, and others representing 57 million Americans today publish an Open Letter to the UK and the entire EU warning of the serious and manifold hazards of GMO crops - and promising their support in our fight against them.


We are writing as concerned American citizens to share with you our experience of genetically modified (GM) crops and the resulting damage to our agricultural system and adulteration of our food supply.


In our country, GM crops account for about half of harvested cropland. Around 94% of the soy, 93% of corn (maize) and 96% of cotton grown is GM. i


The UK and the rest of the EU have yet to adopt GM crops in the way that we have, but you are currently under tremendous pressure from governments, biotech lobbyists, and large corporations to adopt what we now regard as a failing agricultural technology.


Polls consistently show that 72% of Americans do not want to eat GM foods and over 90% of Americans believe GM foods should be labeled. ii


In spite of this massive public mandate, efforts to get our federal iii and state iv governments to better regulate, or simply label, GMOs are being undermined by large biotech and food corporations with unlimited budgets v and undue influence.


As you consider your options, we'd like to share with you what nearly two decades of GM crops in the United States has brought us. We believe our experience serves as a warning for what will happen in your countries should you follow us down this road.


Broken promises


GM crops were released onto the market with a promise that they would consistently increase yields and decrease pesticide use. They have done neither. vi In fact, according to a recent US government report yields from GM crops can be lower than their non-GM equivalents. vii


Farmers were told that GM crops would yield bigger profits too. The reality, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, is different. viii Profitability is highly variable, while the cost of growing these crops has spiraled. ix


GM seeds cannot legally be saved for replanting, which means farmers must buy new seeds each year. Biotech companies control the price of seeds, which cost farmers 3-6 times more than conventional seeds. x This, combined with the huge chemical inputs they require, means GM crops have proved more costly to grow than conventional crops.


Because of the disproportionate emphasis on GM crops, conventional seed varieties are no longer widely available leaving farmers with less choice and control over what they plant. xi


Farmers who have chosen not to grow GM crops can find their fields contaminated with GM crops as a result of cross pollination between related species of plants xii and GM and non-GM seeds being mixed together during storage.


Because of this our farmers are losing export markets. Many countries have restrictions or outright bans on growing or importing GM crops xiii and as a result, these crops have become responsible for a rise in trade disputes when shipments of grain are found to be contaminated with GM organisms (GMOs). xiv


The burgeoning organic market here in the US is also being affected. Many organic farmers have lost contracts for organic seed due to high levels of contamination. This problem is increasing and is expected to get much bigger in the coming years.


Pesticides and superweeds


The most widely grown types of GM crops are known as 'Roundup Ready' crops. These crops, mostly corn and soy, have been genetically engineered so that when they are sprayed with the herbicide Roundup (TM) - the active ingredient of which is glyphosate - the weeds die but the crop continues to grow.


This has created a vicious circle. Weeds have become resistant to the herbicide, causing farmers to spray even more. Heavier use of herbicides creates ever more 'superweeds' and even higher herbicide use.


A recent review found that between 1996 and 2011, farmers who planted Roundup Ready crops used 24% more herbicide than non-GMO farmers planting the same crops. xv


If we remain on this trajectory with Roundup Ready crops we can expect to see herbicide rates increase by 25% each year for the foreseeable future.


This pesticide treadmill means that in the last decade in the US at least 14 new glyphosate-resistant weed species have emerged, xvi and over half of US farms are plagued with herbicide-resistant weeds. xvii


Biotech companies, which sell both the GM seeds and the herbicides, xviii have proposed to address this problem with the creation of new crop varieties that will be able to withstand even stronger and more toxic herbicides such as 2,4-D and dicamba.


However it is estimated that if these new varieties are approved, this could drive herbicide use up by as much as 50%. xix


Environmental harm


Studies have shown that the increased herbicide use on Roundup Ready crops is highly destructive to the natural environment. For example, Roundup kills milkweeds, which are the key food source for the iconic Monarch butterfly xx and poses a threat to other important insects such as bees. xxi


It is also damaging to soil, killing beneficial organisms that keep it healthy and productive xxii and making essential micronutrients unavailable to the plant. xxiii


Other types of GM plants, which have been engineered to produce their own insecticide (e.g. "Bt" cotton plants), have also been shown to harm beneficial insects including green lacewings xxiv, the Daphnia magna waterflea xxv and other aquatic insects, xxvi and ladybugs (ladybirds). xxvii


Resistance to the insecticides in these plants is also growing xxviii, creating new varieties of resistant "superbugs" and requiring more applications of insecticides at different points in the growth cycle, for instance on the seed before it is planted. xxix In spite of this, new Bt varieties of corn and soy have been approved here and will soon be planted.


A threat to human health


GM ingredients are everywhere in our food chain. It is estimated that 70% of processed foods consumed in the US have been produced using GM ingredients. If products from animals fed GM feed are included, the percentage is significantly higher.


Research shows that Roundup Ready crops contain many times more glyphosate, and its toxic breakdown product AMPA, than normal crops. xxx


Traces of glyphosate have been found in the breastmilk and urine of American mothers, as well as in their drinking water. xxxi The levels in breastmilk were worryingly high - around 1,600 times higher than what is allowable in European drinking water.


Passed on to babies through breastmilk, or the water used to make formula, this could represent an unacceptable risk to infant health since glyphosate is a suspected hormone disrupter. xxxii Recent studies suggest that this herbicide is also toxic to sperm. xxxiii


Likewise, traces of the Bt toxin have been found in the blood of mothers and their babies. xxxiv


GM foods were not subjected to human trials before being released into the food chain and the health impacts of having these substances circulating and accumulating in our bodies are not being studied by any government agency, nor by the companies that produce them.


Studies of animals fed GM foods and/or glyphosate, however, show worrying trends including damage to vital organs like the liver and kidneys, damage to gut tissues and gut flora, immune system disruption, reproductive abnormalities, and even tumors. xxxv


These scientific studies point to potentially serious human health problems that could not have been anticipated when our country first embraced GMOs, and yet they continue to be ignored by those who should be protecting us.


Instead our regulators rely on outdated studies and other information funded and supplied by biotech companies that, not surprisingly, dismiss all health concerns.


A denial of science


This spin of corporate science stands in stark contrast to the findings of independent scientists.


In fact, in 2013, nearly 300 independent scientists from around the world issued a public warning that there was no scientific consensus about the safety of eating genetically modified food, and that the risks, as demonstrated in independent research, gave "serious cause for concern." xxxvi


It's not easy for independent scientists like these to speak out. Those who do have faced obstacles in publishing their results, been systematically vilified by pro-GMO scientists, been denied research funding, and in some cases have had their jobs and careers threatened. xxxvii


Control of the food supply


Through our experience we have come to understand that the genetic engineering of food has never really been about public good, or feeding the hungry, or supporting our farmers. Nor is it about consumer choice. Instead it is about private, corporate control of the food system.


This control extends into areas of life that deeply affect our day-to-day well-being, including food security, science, and democracy. It undermines the development of genuinely sustainable, environmentally friendly agriculture and prevents the creation of a transparent, healthy food supply for all.


Today in the US, from seed to plate, the production, distribution, marketing, safety testing, and consumption of food is controlled by a handful of companies, many of which have commercial interests in genetic engineering technology.


They create the problems, and then sell us the so-called solutions in a closed cycle of profit generation that is unequalled in any other type of commerce.


We all need to eat, which is why every citizen should strive to understand these issues.


Time to speak out!


Americans are reaping the detrimental impacts of this risky and unproven agricultural technology. EU countries should take note: there are no benefits from GM crops great enough to offset these impacts. Officials who continue to ignore this fact are guilty of a gross dereliction of duty.


We, the undersigned, are sharing our experience and what we have learned with you so that you don't make our mistakes.


We strongly urge you to resist the approval of genetically modified crops, to refuse to plant those crops that have been approved, to reject the import and/or sale of GM-containing animal feeds and foods intended for human consumption, and to speak out against the corporate influence over politics, regulation and science.


If the UK and the rest of Europe becomes the new market for genetically modified crops and food our own efforts to label and regulate GMOs will be all the more difficult, if not impossible. If our efforts fail, your attempts to keep GMOs out of Europe will also fail.


If we work together, however, we can revitalize our global food system, ensuring healthy soil, healthy fields, healthy food and healthy people.


Add your signature (U.S. only):


Forward the letter to your MP:


Signed by


    Susan Sarandon

    Daryl Hannah

    Robert Kennedy Jr.

    Frances Fisher

    Ed Begley Jr.

    Amy Smart

    Tommy Hilfiger

    Vani Hari (Food Babe)

    Adam Gardner

    Raj Patel

    Wendell Berry

    Alain Braux

    Rachel Parent

    Daniel Bissonnette

    Alicia Serratos

    Alice Waters

    Paul Hawken

    Anna Lappe

    Philip L. Bereano

    Howard Vlieger

    Devon G. Peña, PhD

    Ken Roseboro

    Bob Streit, CPCS, CCA

    Peter Defur PhD

    Robyn O'Brien

    Evaggelos Vallianatos

    Chensheng (Alex) Lu, PhD

    Miguel Robles

    Temra Costa

    Will Allen

    Dr Joseph Mercola

    Dr Michelle Perro

    Carole Bartolotto, MA, RD

    Dr Margaret Flowers

    Dr Andrew Weil

    Sayer Ji

    Sally Fallon

    Melissa Diane Smith

    Mamavation/ ShiftCon

    Allergy Kids Foundation

    Mom's Voices

    Friends of the Earth US

    Waterkeeper Alliance

    Organic Consumers Association

    Sierra Club

    Food & Water Watch


    Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA)

    Rachel Carson Council

    Food Democracy Now

    Cornucopia Institute

    Weston A Price Foundation

    Move on

    Farm & Ranch Freedom Alliance

    Council for Responsible Genetics

    Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund

    Biosafety Alliance

    Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)

    Green America

    Institute for Social Ecology

    Citizen's Trade Campaign

    Popular Resistance/Flush the TTP

    The Berry Center

    Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association

    etc group

    Demeter USA

    Slow Food USA

    Rodale Institute

    Organic Seed Alliance

    Institute for Responsible Technology

    Corporate Accountability International

    Healthcare Without Harm

    National Black Farmers Association

    Ecological Farming Association

    Food Chain Workers Alliance


    The Acequia Institute (TAI)

    Environmental Stewardship Concepts

    Earth Open Source

    Farm Food Freedom Coalition

    Our Family Farms Coalition (OFFC)

    American Academy of Environmental Medicine

    Alliance for Natural Health US (ANH-USA)

    Healthy Child, Healthy World

    Physicians for Social Responsibility


    Label GMOs

    GMO Free USA

    GMO Inside

    Teens Turning Green

    Kids right to know

    GMO Free Maryland

    NH Right to Know GMO

    Citizens for GMO Labelling

    GMO Free CT

    GMO Free PA

    California Certified Organic Farmers

    GMO Free New Jersey


    Oregonians for Safe Farms and Families

    GMO Free Canada

    Moms Across America

    Moms Advocating Sustainability

    Californians for Pesticide Reform

    Babes Against Biotech

    Green Lifestyle TV

    GMO Free Planet

    GMO Free DC

    Wood Prairie Farm

    GMO Free Florida

    California State Grange

    Living Seed Company

    Seed Library of Los Angeles

    Sweetly Seeds/Taos Seed Exchange



    Hawai'i Seed

    GMO Free Arizona

    Heirloom Seed Exposition

    GMO Free Nevada

    NOFA New Hampshire

    GMO Action Alliance


    Nature's Path



    Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps

    Annmarie Gianni Cosmetics

    NYR Organic

    Good Earth Natural Foods



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[Posted by Worldmeets.US Dec. 7, 8:39am]







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