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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Monsanto's reported goal is to replace all seeds with their own GM seeds

  • >:-[Monsanto has a reported goal to replace all seeds with their own GM seeds
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    Monsanto (Photo credit: arbyreed)
    The goal of Monsanto is to replace all natural seeds and have only GM (Genetically Modified) seeds available to the global market. We can stop them– watch this video and share it with friends and family.

    For forty years Monsanto dumped PCB in a river in Anniston, Alabama, nobody said a thing. Later Monsanto was working with rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone) given to dairy cows which ended up in the milk. Recently a $93 million dollar lawsuit was settled for Virginia residents who were exposed to Monsanto’s Agent Orange. Whatever it takes to make a profit is Monsanto’s plan.

    The biotech companies, including Monsanto, are spending millions of dollars to keep us in the dark and avoid telling us what’s in our food…what do they have to hide now?   Research

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

British beekeepers protest in Parliament Square...

  • _67268885_b3d0ed29-7457-466c-9d83-abb5ef349f63
    Beekeepers and their supporters have protested in Parliament Square to call for the government to support a ban on pesticides linked to the death of bees.
    Research suggests that neonicotinoid pesticides have significant adverse affects on the survival rate of bees.
    The protest comes ahead of a vote on a European Union proposal to ban the use of the chemicals.
    Britain has previously refused to back the ban saying the effect of these chemicals on bees is unclear.
    'Finely balanced'
    Matt Shardlow, chief executive of nature conservation organisation Buglife, said: "Britain abstained last time and has made no commitment this time, but we want them to support a ban across Europe."
    According to Mr Shardlow 73% of the British public support the proposed ban.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Earth Day 2013: Bring out the clones...

Humboldt State University/Public Domain

Earth Day 2013: Bring out the clones

Here's a catch 22 for you: Let's say that some trees have great genes that allow them to live for millennia and grow to be almost as big as skyscrapers, but that because they are so big, they are ideal targets for lumberjacks so they almost all get cut down (a kind of inverse natural selection -- destruction of the fittest, so to speak). The folks at the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive think this is a tragedy, and they want to try to undo the damage as much as possible by, first, creating a genetic library of as many tree "success stories" as possible (it's sometimes possible to find viable shoots coming out of the stumps of trees that have been cut down long ago!), and then cloning them to repopulate forests around the world with these proven super-trees.

Public domain/Public Domain
According to its website, the mission of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive is to:
-Propagate the world’s most important old growth trees before they are gone.
-Archive the genetics of ancient trees in living libraries around the world for the future.
-Reforest the Earth with the offspring of these trees to provide the myriad of beneficial ecosystem services essential for all life forms to thrive including releasing oxygen, sequestering carbon dioxide, providing beneficial aerosols and medicines, and to fight global warming.

Today, on Earth Day 2013, the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive group is taking an important step in implementing its mission. It will begin planting redwood clones on nine locations on Earth: Germany, Ireland, Wales, Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and in United States – California & Oregon.
Our changing climate had to be taken into account to decide where to plant them:
Locating these trees in multiple locations worldwide will help to ensure their chance of long-term survival in the face of climate change. Declining rainfall and snowpack, and higher temperatures are putting these trees under great stress in their native range. The worldwide locations were chosen as surrogates for the ideal type of climate projected for the future to give these trees a greater chance for long-term survival. This practice is known as assisted migration, which allows with human intervention, a species to relocate to more favorable location in the face of our rapidly changing climate.
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Thursday, April 18, 2013

The 10 most endangered rivers in the US...

The environmental group American Rivers has released its annual list of the 10 most endangered rivers in the United States, with the Colorado River topping the list. The river is threatened by outdated water-management techniques that allow an unsustainable amount of water to be taken out of the river basin, the group said.
As a result, the mighty Colorado, which carved the Grand Canyon, dries up long before it comes close to the ocean.
"This year's [report] underscores the problems that arise for communities and the environment when we drain too much water out of rivers," Bob Irvin, president of American Rivers, said in a statement. [10 Most Endangered US Rivers]
About 36 million people depend on the Colorado River for their drinking water. The river also irrigates 4 million acres of land, where 15 percent of the country's crops are grown, according to the release.
The overdrawing of water and the severe recent drought, are stressing the river and causing it to run at lower levels — which, in turn, threatens endangered fish and wildlife, as well as the river's $26 billion recreation economy, according to the group.
Outdated water management, which results in lower water levels in rivers, is one of the biggest problems facing U.S. waterways, according to American Rivers. But pollution from coal plants and mining activities also represent a significant threat. The group notes that copper and nickel mining, for example, threaten Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (which ranks No. 6 on the list), the most visitedwilderness area in the country, according to American Rivers. Mining is the primary threat facing four of the 10 rivers on the list.
Pollution from coal ash is the reason why the Catawba River is on the list (in the No. 5 spot). The river, which supplies millions in the Southeast with drinking water, is threatened by pollution release from large ponds that store coal ash, a byproduct of power generation.
Here is American Rivers' list of the 10 most endangered U.S. rivers:
1. Colorado River (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming)
3. San Saba River (Texas)
4. Little Plover River (Wisconsin)
5. Catawba River (North Carolina and South Carolina)
6. Boundary Waters (Minnesota)
7. Black Warrior River (Alabama)
8. Rough & Ready and Baldface Creeks (Oregon)
9. Kootenai River (British Columbia, Montana and Idaho)
10. Niobrara River (Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming)
To alleviate the problems facing these rivers, the group has called on various levels of government to put policies in place and, in some cases, enforce existing laws to better safeguard drinking water and pristine areas.
"American Rivers and its partners urge Congress to immediately follow the Bureau of Reclamation's recent study with bold action and funding to build a future that includes healthy rivers, state-of-the-art water conservation for cities and agriculture, and water-sharing mechanisms that allow communities to adapt to warmer temperatures and more erratic precipitation," the group said in a statement.
Email Douglas Main or follow him @Douglas_Main. Follow us @OAPlanetFacebook or Google+. Original article on LiveScience's OurAmazingPlanet.
Related on LiveScience and MNN:
This story was originally written for LiveScience and is republished with permission here.Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company.s

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Monsanto has sued hundreds of small farmers in the US in attempts to protect its patent rights...

Over 53% of the world's commercial seed market is controlled by just three firms – Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta. Photograph: Afp/AFP/Getty Images
The agricultural giant Monsanto has sued hundreds of small farmers in the United States in recent years in attempts to protect its patent rights on genetically engineered seeds that it produces and sells, a new report said on Tuesday.
The study, produced jointly by the Center for Food Safety and the Save Our Seeds campaigning groups, has outlined what it says is a concerted effort by the multinational to dominate the seeds industry in the US and prevent farmers from replanting crops they have produced from Monsanto seeds.
In its report, called Seed Giants vs US Farmers, the CFS said it had tracked numerous law suits that Monsanto had brought against farmers and found some 142 patent infringement suits against 410 farmers and 56 small businesses in more than 27 states. In total the firm has won more than $23m from its targets, the report said.
However, one of those suits, against Indiana soybean farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman, is a potentially landmark patent case that could have wide implications for genetic engineering and who controls patents on living organisms. The CFS and SOS are both supporting Bowman in the case, which will be heard in the Supreme Court later this month.
"Corporations did not create seeds and many are challenging the existing patent system that allows private companies to assert ownership over a resource that is vital to survival and that historically has been in the public domain," said Debbie Barker, an expert with SOS and one of the report's co-authors. Another co-author, CFS legal expert George Kimbrell, said victory in the Bowman case could help shift that balance of power back to farmers. "The great weight of history and the law is on the side of Mr Bowman and farmers in general," he said.
The report also revealed the dominance that large firms and their genetically altered crops have in the US and global market. It found that 53% of the world's commercial seed market is controlled by just three firms – Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta.
Meanwhile genetically-altered commodity crops – and thus the influence of patent protection – have spread to become overwhelmingly dominant. In the US some 93% of soybeans and 86% of corn crops come from such seeds.
The Bowman case has come about after the 75-year-old farmer bought soybeans from a grain elevator near his farm in Indiana and used them to plant a late-season second crop. He then used some of the resulting seeds to replant such crops in subsequent years. Because he bought them from a third party which put no restrictions on their use, Bowman has argued he is legally able to plant and replant them and that Monsanto's patent on the seeds' genes does not apply.
Monsanto, which has won its case against Bowman in lower courts, vociferously disagrees. It argues that it needs its patents in order to protect its business interests and provide a motivation for spending millions of dollars on research and development of hardier, disease-resistant seeds that can boost food yields.
On a website set up to put forward its point of view on the Bowman case, the company argues that if the supreme court rules against it, vast swathes of research and patent-reliant industries will be under threat. Strong patent protection that covers genetic innovations, and is passed on in subsequent generations of crops, is vital to preserving the motivation for developing new agricultural products, the firm insists.
"If Bowman prevails, however, this field of research could be altered severely, as would many others in medicine, biofuels, and environmental science, as easily replicable technologies would no longer enjoy any meaningful protection under the patent laws," the firm said in a statement.

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