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applesIn BC, please contact your Member of the Legislative Assembly before February 28! Before the Legislature breaks for the election, ask your MLA to take a stand against the genetically modified (GM) apple. You can search for your MLA’s contacts using your postal code here:  Thank you for taking this important action!

This year, the small BC company called Okanagan Specialty Fruits could get approval in the US and Canada for its GM “non-browning” apple, engineered to keep from going brown after being cut. Contamination from GM apples threatens the future of BC apples, and the farmers who grow them. BC apple growers have already rejected the GM apple and polls show 69% of Canadians oppose it! For more information on the GM apple please see  Sign up to get action alerts in the BC campaign here

PEI residents have started a facebook site against the GM salmon! Calling all Islanders! 

GM SALMON DECISION STALLED IN THE USThe US Food and Drug Administration has extended its public comment period on the genetically engineered Atlantic salmon by another 60 days, as requested by 7 US Senators.

FARMER MANAGEMENT TRUMPS GM SEEDS: RICENew management practice of small farmers increases rice yields in India, could begin a “new green grassroots revolution” that rejects the scientific focus on GM seeds and fertilizers. GM rice is not currently on the market anywhere in the world.

Monsanto to be challenged in US Supreme court – farmer sued by Monsanto for “soybean laundering” for planting feed grain. Earlier court ruled that “farmers cannot ‘replicate’ Monsanto’s patented technology by planting it in the ground to create newly infringing genetic material, seeds, and plants”

“Farmer’s use of genetically modified soybeans grows into Supreme Court case” AJ Mast, Washington Post, Feb. 6, 2013.

“Supreme Court Appears to Defend Patent on Soybean”, Adam Liptak, New Year Times, Feb 19, 2013


The new report “Seed Giants vs U.S. Farmers” investigates how the current seed patent regime has led to a radical shift to consolidation and control of global seed supply and how these patents have abetted corporations, such as Monsanto, to sue U.S. farmers for alleged seed patent infringement. It also examines broader consequences of the patent system including links to loss of seed innovation, rising seed prices, reduction of independent scientific inquiry, and environmental issues.

    • As of January 2013, Monsanto, alleging seed patent infringement, had filed 144 lawsuits involving 410 farmers and 56 small farm businesses in at least 27 different states.
    • Today, three corporations control 53 percent of the global commercial seed market.
    • Seed consolidation has led to market control resulting in dramatic increases in the price of seeds. From 1995-2011, the average cost to plant one acre of soybeans has risen 325 percent; for cotton prices spiked 516 percent and corn seed prices are up by 259 percent.
    • The report notes:  86% of corn, 88% of cotton, and 93% of soybeans farmed in the U.S. are now genetically-engineered (GE) varieties, making the option of farming non-GE crops increasingly difficult.
    • While agrichemical corporations also claim that their patented seeds are leading to environmental improvements, the report notes that upward of 26 percent more chemicals per acre were used on GE crops than on non-GE crops, according to USDA data.



Monsanto is promoting its new “killing machine” pesticide formula – watch their ad here:  “It truly is the ultimate killing machine” says Monsanto. “Nothing will escape this highly efficient destructive force.”

Glyphosate-based herbicides (like Roundup) more toxic than declared, new research shows (1) – CRIIGEN Press Release:

Caen, Feb. 21st, 2013 – In a new research published in the high ranked scientific journal Toxicology, Robin Mesnage, Benoît Bernay and Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini, from the University of Caen, France, have proven (from a study of nine Roundup-like herbicides) that the most toxic compound is not glyphosate, which is the substance the most assessed by regulatory authorities, but a compound that is not always listed on the label, called POE-15. Modern methods were applied at the cellular level (on three human cell lines), and mass spectrometry (studies on the nature of molecules). This allowed the researchers to identify and analyze the effects of these compounds.

Context: Glyphosate is supposed to be the “active ingredient” of Roundup, the most widely used herbicide in the world, and it is present in a large group of Roundup-like herbicides. It has been safety tested on mammals for the purposes of regulatory risk assessment. But the commercial formulations of these pesticides as they are sold and used contain added ingredients (adjuvants). These are often classified confidential and described as “inerts”. However, they help to stabilize the chemical compound glyphosate and help it to penetrate plants, in the manner of corrosive detergents. The formulated herbicides (including Roundup) can affect all living cells, especially human cells. This danger is overlooked because glyphosate and Roundup are treated as the same by industry and regulators on long-term studies. The supposed non-toxicity of glyphosate serves as a basis for the commercial release of Roundup. The health and environmental agencies and pesticide companies assess the long-term effects on mammals of glyphosate alone, and not the full formulation. The details of this regulatory assessment are jealously kept confidential by companies like Monsanto and health and environmental agencies.

Conclusion and consequences: This study demonstrates that all the glyphosate-based herbicides tested are more toxic than glyphosate alone, and explains why. Thus their regulatory assessments and the maximum residue levels authorized in the environment, food, and feed, are erroneous. A drink (such as tap water contaminated by Roundup residues) or a food made with a Roundup tolerant GMO (like a transgenic soya or corn) were already demonstrated as toxic in the recent rat feeding study (2) from Prof. Séralini team.  The researchers have also published responses to critics of the study (3).  This new research explains and confirms the scientific results of the rat feeding study.

Overall, it is a great matter of concern for public health. First, all authorizations of Roundup-type herbicides have to be questioned urgently. Second, the regulatory assessment rules have to be fully revised. They should be analyzed in a transparent and contradictory manner by the scientific community. Agencies that give opinions to government authorities, in common with the pesticide companies generally conclude safety. The agencies’ opinions are wrong because they are made on the basis of lax assessments and much of the industry data is kept confidential, meaning that a full and transparent assessment cannot be carried out. These assessments are therefore neither neutral nor independent. They should as a first step make public on the Internet all the data that underpin the commercial release and positive opinions on the use of Roundup and similar products. The industry toxicological data must be legally made public.

Adjuvants of the POE-15 family (polyethoxylated tallowamine) have now been revealed as actively toxic to human cells, and must be regulated as such. The complete formulations must be tested in long-term toxicity studies and the results taken into account in regulatory assessments. The regulatory authorization process for pesticides released into the environment and sold in stores must urgently be revised. Moreover, since the toxic confidential adjuvants are in general use in pesticide formulations, we fear according to these discoveries that the toxicity of all pesticides has been very significantly underestimated.

This study was conducted in the University of Caen with the structural support of CRIIGEN in the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER

Contact:; phone +33 (0)231565684 (France).
Notes :
(1) Mesnage R., Bernay B., Séralini G-E. (2013, in press). Ethoxylated adjuvants of glyphosate-based herbicides are active principles of human cell toxicity. Toxicology
(2)  Séralini G. E., et al. (2012). Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Food and Chemical Toxicology 50 (11): 4221-4231.
(3)  Séralini G. E., et al. (2013). Answers to critics: Why there is a long term toxicity due to NK603 Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize and to a Roundup herbicide. Food and Chemical Toxicology

Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)
Collaborative Campaigning for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
Suite 206, 180 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 1P5
Phone: 613 241 2267 ext. 25
Fax: 613 241 2506

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