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Backers of Proposition 37, which would require food producers who knowingly use genetically modified crops to disclose such use, is for the second time in recent weeks touting the release of a new study to drum up support for the measure.

On September 19, the French University of Caen released a study finding serious health problems in rats fed a lifetime diet of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn and water with levels of the herbicide Roundup considered safe for human consumption. That study was quickly panned by labeling opponents, who pointed to other scientists who have since called the study’s controls and ultimate findings into question.

The new report, from Charles Benbrook, a research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University, was published over the weekend in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences Europe, and examines the levels of pesticide and herbicide use in the U.S. since lab-engineered crops were introduced in 1996.

During that time, pesticide use has dropped by 123 million pounds, as the genes of crops such as corn and soybeans have been altered to be resistant to insect damage. But 527 million more pounds of pesticides such as Monsanto’s Roundup have been sprayed on crops, resulting in an overall net increase of 7 percent in the amount of chemicals sprayed on American crops.

“Contrary to often-repeated claims that today’s genetically-engineered crops have, and are reducing pesticide use, the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds in herbicide-resistant weed management systems has brought about substantial increases in the number and volume of herbicides applied,” the report concludes, stating that if new corn and soybean seed variations currently in the works are approved, herbicide use could rise another 50 percent.

The news service Reuters reports that more than two dozen weed species have become resistant to glyphosate, the chief ingredient in Roundup. These so-called “superweeds” are forcing farmers to spray more plant killers on their crops in order to tame the invasive species, and as the weeds continue to evolve the demand for more potent herbicides in larger quantities is only expected to increase.

“Things are getting worse, fast,” Benbrook told Reuters. “In order to deal with rapidly spreading resistant weeds, farmers are being forced to expand use of older, higher-risk herbicides. To stop corn and cotton insects from developing resistance to Bt [Bacillus thuringiensis, a soil-dwelling bacteria effective as a pesticide], farmers planting Bt crops are being asked to spray the insecticides that Bt corn and cotton were designed to displace.”

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Comments

JRuss Oct. 4, 2012 @ 5:57 p.m.

The more potent herbicide is 2,4-D. It was one of the two active ingredients in Agent Orange. Agent Orange still contaminates the soil in Viet-Nam resulting in massive amounts of miscarriage and birth defects. [Just Google "Agent Orange, Viet-Nam.] Do also remember that glyphosate [RoundUp] works by binding with metal nutrients in the soil so they cannot be used. Lack of metal nutrients can cause type 2 diabetes and stunted growth. For more information: [http://Opinion.FarTooMuch.Info/GMHC.htm]

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Dads4Prop37 Oct. 11, 2012 @ 11:19 p.m.

Nearly 50 countries require labels on Genetically Engineered food (GMOs), and many of these also have severe restrictions or bans against GMO food production or sale. Countries with mandatory labeling include Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Russia and all of the countries in the European Union. Some of the countries with severe restrictions or bans against GMO food production or sale are Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Ireland, the Philippines, Australia, Peru and Japan. What do they know that we don’t?

The U.S. and Canada are two of the only developed nations in the world without GMO labeling (for political not scientific reasons). The biotech and food industry supports labeling of GMOs in other parts of the world but not in America. What are they hiding from us? We deserve to know and have the same level of protection and information as citizens in other nations around the world! VOTE YES on PROP 37 to demand this right to know what’s in the food we buy in California.

Proposition 37 (The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act) is a common sense initiative that would require non exempt foods and beverages sold in California retail stores to be labeled if they are produced with Genetic Engineering or contain Genetically Engineered ingredients. The initiative simply requires that a notation be added either on the front or back package stating that the food is "Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering", or "May be Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering". For whole foods that are not packaged, such as sweet corn or fresh fish, store shelves would be required to post a sign or label stating the phrase "Genetically Engineered". In addition to this disclosure, Genetically Engineered foods would be prohibited from being advertised as ‘Natural’. This makes sense since Genetically Engineered food by definition of their creators is not natural.

Packaged foods already have labels showing nutrition, allergy information and other facts consumers want to know. Contrary to the misrepresentations of our greedy corporate opponents, Prop 37 is easy to comply with and does not create new bureaucracies, force manufactures to change ingredients or ban the use of genetic engineering. Independent, unbiased studies show Prop 37 will not add cost to farmers, manufacturers or consumers.

Don’t believe the crafty deception from Monsanto and the other chemical and junk food companies . . . get the facts about Prop 37 and read the proposed law yourself.

It’s simple . . . You have a Right To Know what’s in your food!

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Dads4Prop37 Oct. 11, 2012 @ 11:19 p.m.

The most common Genetically Engineered crops are Corn, Soy, Canola, Sugar Beets, Cotton, Hawaiian Papaya, Alfalfa, and Squash (zucchini and yellow). However GMOs are also processed into common food ingredients such as: Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins and Yeast Products.

Proposition 37 will make it easier for consumers to know if the food they buy contains GMOs without having to make sense of a long list of unfamiliar ingredients.

The founder of PROP 37, a Grandmother from Chico, is joined by thousands of Californian citizens fighting for honesty and transparency in our food supply. Unlike the multinational corporate opponents of PROP 37, who fear loss of profits from the rejection of their never proven safe GMOs, we have nothing to financially gain or loose by the outcome of PROP 37. Join us in the fight for our right to know what’s in the food we’re eating and feeding to our families . . . we deserve to be able to make a fully informed choice about what we eat!

Visit any of these sites to learn more about the medical, environmental, political and social issues associated with Genetically Engineered food . . .

EarthOpenSource.org

ResponsibleTechnology.org

CenterForFoodSafety.org

GMO-Journal.com

NonGMOProject.org (Certified Non GMO Food products)

CARightToKnow.org (Prop 37-Label GMOs Campaign site)

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