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How Different Is GMO Corn?

Touch the Soil News #580 The reason for GMO corn is to make corn tolerant to Glyphosate – a chemical used in the herbicide Roundup. Thus, when controlling weeds in corn fields, you can spray a chemical lethal to living plants and not kill the corn. The USDA has classified GMO corn as “Generally Recognized as Safe.” This makes us consumers believe that the GMO corn is generally the same as regular real corn. A recent technical study (1) on NK603 – Roundup Ready GMO corn, revealed that the GMO corn was materially different than normal Non-GMO corn. The study was led by Dr. Michael Antiniou of King’s College London.…

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World’s Largest Food Company Stiffs GMOs

Touch the Soil News #529 Before we talk about our feature story, a little background. As we speak, six of the world’s largest GMO seed and agricultural chemical companies are seeking to merge. Chem China is merging with Syngenta. Bayer of Germany is merging with Monsanto and Dow Chemical is merging with Dupont. Are these mega-corporations in denial? They believe the world will step up and continue to support their empires of chemicals and GMO crops. While chemical and GMO giants plot their strategies, the world’s largest food company – Nestle – just announced they are coming forth with new brands that ensure customers of GMO-free ingredients. From their own…

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Vermont GMO Label Victory – U.S. Senate Seeks to Undermine

Touch the Soil News #426 For the first time in U.S. History, food manufacturers have to label foods containing GMO products. The Vermont Law requiring GMO labeling went into effect on July 1, 2016. The Consumerist published a number of photos showing food labels in Vermont. One wonders why all the fuss by national politicians to do away with this basic reporting of food ingredients? https://consumerist.com A can of Spaghettios showing the GMO label used to comply with Vermont law (photo courtesy of the Consumerist) Depending upon which statistics you read, food manufacturers and GMO seed companies have spent up to $100 million over the past few years thwarting individual…

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Striving for Power Via Farm Chemicals, GMOs and Seed Patents (part 2 of 2)

Touch the Soil News #380 Unlike private-sector mergers, the pending ChemChina acquisition of Syngenta will not only become a powerful market force, it will be politically charged as the Chinese Government will be the sole owner. Unlike other mergers, where the stockholders of the company being sold often get most of their payment in the form of stock in the new company – this deal is all cash.   Being able to write a check for $43 billion at one time – to payoff Syngenta stockholders – will further establish the Chinese Government as being one of the singularly most powerful capitalistic forces in the world.   ChemChina is betting…

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Striving for Power Via Farm Chemicals, GMOs and Seed Patents (part 1 of 2)

Touch the Soil News #379 Historically we have followed the Monsanto company whose operations have ignited domestic and global protest. Operating at a lower public profile are two other companies (Syngenta and ChemChina) whose business lines are similar to Monsanto’s – genetic modification of plants, agrochemicals and patenting seeds for private corporate ownership. In an unsuccessful attempt last year (2015), Monsanto tried to acquire Syngenta – to create the world’s largest biotech and agrochemical company. Syngenta management spurred the deal, essentially saying Monsanto was not a suitable partner. Earlier this year, ChemChina (China National Chemical Corporation) – a state-owned enterprise by the Chinese government – made a bid to acquire…

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GMO Industry – In Triple Retreat

Touch the Soil News #337 Retreat #1: The U.S. House passed a bill prohibiting individual states from requiring labeling of GMO ingredients in foods – an effort heavily lobbied and funded by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Monsanto and other GMO interests. The bill then went to the U.S. Senate. After several months of reviewing the bill, the Senate rejected the bill which is now dead. This was the first national-scope legislation promoted by GMO interests that failed. Approximately 88 percent of Americans wanted this bill to fail and want GMO labeling – making the defeat of this bill a major victory for the American public.   Retreat #2: With the…

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A Shock – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Says Mandatory GMO Labeling

Touch the Soil News #326 The tensions have been high as the State of Vermont is set to require mandatory labeling of foods containing GMO ingredients on July 1, 2016. Trying to circumvent that process, the U.S. Senate has been in debates over making labeling voluntary – against the wishes of most Americans and overturning Vermont’s rights to know. In a sweeping public announcement last Friday (3/4/16), Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack went of record on his position the nation should pass a mandatory GMO labeling law. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack shocked the nation with his Mandatory GMO labeling position. Vilsack’s position – requiring mandatory labeling of GMOs…

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Move Over Monsanto – Make Room for Syngenta

Touch the Soil News #315 Monsanto, arguably one of the most hated corporations in the world, is not alone in the GMO realms of dissatisfaction. Syngenta, an agrochemical company equal in size to Monsanto is being accused of leading tens of thousands of farmers in the U.S. astray by encouraging them to raise Vipter – a GMO corn. According to a report by Food Democracy Now, at the heart of the controversy is that Syngenta led farmers to believe that this variety of GMO corn would be accepted in China – a large importer of corn. Unfortunately for Syngenta, that was not the case and China backwashed on the American…

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$80 Million Fine on Pumped-Up Earnings Figures – Another Chip Against Monsanto

Touch the Soil News #310 Recently we were alerted that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had been investigating Monsanto for civil account violations after it allegedly misstated its earnings in connection with its top-selling Roundup product. Recall that Monsanto’s Roundup is under global scrutiny and attacks after an international panel of doctors said glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup was a possible human carcinogen). From its 2/9/2016 press release, the SEC announced that St. Louis-based agribusiness Monsanto Company agreed to pay an $80 million penalty and retain an independent compliance consultant to settle charges that it violated accounting rules and misstated company earnings as it pertained to its flagship…

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The GMO War

Touch the Soil News #284 Monsanto – Global overproduction in corn and soybeans coupled with continued growth of anti-GMO sentiment is hurting Monsanto profits. In response, the company plans to cut 3,600 jobs over the next two years – 16 percent of its global workforce.   Recently it came to surface that a 2009 federal spending bill requires the Food and Drug Administration to create guidelines for the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered salmon. Would you buy GMO salmon?   President Obama’s family avoids conventional soy and corn – 90 percent of the world’s soy and corn products are GMO products with concerns about allergies and digestive issues.   In…

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