Colin Todhunter reports:
“In 2017, the then Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Robb Fraley argued that his company made a mistake in not reaching out to the public about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) when they first appeared on the market in the 1990s.
He felt consumers had been unduly swayed by an anti-GMO movement and the industry got its PR campaign wrong first time around.
Fraley said the industry and universities currently involved in rolling out genome editing technology have done a much more extensive communication to both the public and key regulatory and policy makers.
The industry’s message is that gene editing can precisely delete and insert genes in an organism’s DNA and presents no risks.
However, there is sufficient research indicating that the technology is error prone, the effects of editing are not controllable and there is no simple pathway between gene and trait. Gene editing has unexpected outcomes and risks, and unintended mutations and off-target effects occur.
These issues have been noted in various articles, reports and papers which are listed on the GMWatch website. Even intended modifications can result in traits which could raise food safety, environmental or animal welfare concerns.
Various scientific publications show that new GM techniques allow developers to make significant genetic changes, which can be very different from those that happen in nature. These new GMOs pose similar or greater risks than older-style GMOs.
Despite gene editing being touted by the industry as ‘precision breeding’, it is anything but.
In addition to these concerns, researchers say that what we can expect is just more of the same – GM herbicide-tolerant crops and increased herbicide use.
However, the industry is seeking the unregulated commercial release of its new technologies…”
Learn more: Reimagining Food, Farming & Humanity: Ecomodernism’s Dystopia
Representatives from OCA and Regeneration International attended the COP27 Global Climate Summit in Sharm Al-Sheikh, Egypt in November. The Summit ended with an agreement for a “Loss and Damage” fund without any implementation plans or consensus to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In other words, there was very little progress in terms of solid recommendations for climate action and achieving net-zero emissions urged by the UNFCCC to avoid the catastrophic tipping points of a +1.5C warmer planet.
In Egypt, OCA and RI joined forces with friends and partners such as AFSA, IPES-Food, IFOAM Organics International, SEKEM, ONAMIAP and the “4 per 1000” Initiative to discuss concrete examples of how agroecology, regenerative agriculture and indigenous agrobiodiversity (preserving traditional seeds) can reverse global warming and revitalize communities. RI conducted a series of interviews with global organic leaders including the following:
Interview with Karen Mapusua, President of IFOAM Organics International
Interview with Africa Farm Leader Bridget Mugambe
Interview with Uganda Parliament Member Kayaa Christine Nakimwero
RI was also an official partner of the Future Economy Forum organized by the Egyptian organic farm organization SEKEM. A series of dialogues and events offered a space for the organic and regeneration movement to discuss our strengths, strategies, and ideas and move forward together for regenerative agriculture and ecosystem restoration.
For the first time in COP history, Regenerative agriculture and food systems were highlighted as a top priority. Yet, much of the COP misused the term “regenerative,” and very few side events promoted genuine regenerative and agro-ecological practices. GMOs, lab meat, and no-till glyphosate-drenched practices were on the menu of most side events, with the Food Systems Pavilion opening with pro-GMO/industry rhetoric from various members of the Bill Gates-funded AGRA network and other so-called “green revolution” advocates.
RI participated in several side events, including the “4 per 1000” workshop promoting tangible and shovel-ready regenerative practices such as holistic planned grazing and regenerative agroforestry via our Billion Agave Project.
Despite the circus like confusion of hosting an expensive Climate Summit in a poverty ridden African country, we are glad we were there, together with our allies. Despite the obvious shortcomings of COP27, we look forward to COP28, hopefully with a much stronger participation from the organic and regenerative movement.
Read more: We Are in Egypt for COP27
Araiane Pfoutz writes in Organic & Non-GMO Report:
“There’s a buzz around regenerative organic agriculture, says Elizabeth Whitlow, executive director of the Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA). Farmers, scientists, big food companies, and even the U.S. government are paying keen attention to soil—its health, its availability, and its huge potential to repair a ‘broken’ agricultural system and help alleviate the dire impacts of global warming.
The ROA launched Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC) to build on existing organic rules and set a “high bar” standard for agricultural practices. The label has three pillars: soil health, animal welfare, and social fairness. With food experts worried about a weakening of the organic standard the regenerative organic standard solidifies organic while going further—to lessen greenhouse gas emissions, regenerate soil, halt animal abuse, and empower farmers with stable living wages and fair policies. Industrial agriculture and factory farming are top contributors to climate change and environmental degradation, Whitlow says. In turn, climate change is making it harder to farm.
“We established Regenerative Organic Certified® to help keep the organic program strong,” Whitlow said. “None of these new REGEN certifications require organic, and we wanted a label with integrity that couldn’t be watered down. We (wanted) to protect the term ‘regenerative,’ from being greenwashed by corporate interests. We believe ‘regenerative’ and ‘organic’ should always go together, so we created ROC to make sure they would always be linked.”
To date, 91 farms, 33,151 smallholder farmers, and 237,404 acres have received ROC certification—representing 151 crop types across four continents. Forty-three food brands have been licensed to make ROC product claims. ROC now has 12 approved certifying bodies and 85 auditors—poised to triple its on-the-ground capacity next year…”
Read more: Regenerative Organic Certification: The “Going Beyond Organic” Label Gains Traction
OCA helped found Regeneration International (RI) in 2014, along with Mercola.com, Navdanya, Dr. Bronner’s, the Rodale Institute, and other organic leaders. RI has since become the largest global network of Organic and Regenerative producers and organizations in the world, with over 450 affiliates in over 60 nations.
Cristen Hemingway Jaynes summarizes the basics of Regenerative Agriculture in EcoWatch:
In regenerative agriculture, the physical, biological and chemical integrity of the soil is preserved through minimal disturbance.
Indigenous cultures maintain and have maintained a regenerative relationship with their natural environments, including the soil, for thousands of years.
Regenerative farming helps build healthy soil and increases plant diversity.
Through regenerative agricultural practices like using cover crops and no-till farming, nutrient-dense, chemical-free foods are produced.
Healthy soils maintained through regenerative farming trap water and nutrients and maximize the efficiency of water use.
Regenerative agriculture improves water quality and helps to restore and protect rivers, lakes and streams.
In the 1980s, Pennsylvania’s Rodale Institute began using the term “regenerative agriculture”; its founder, Bob Rodale, wanted to not only incorporate sustainability into farming, but regeneration.
Regenerative soil practices can reverse climate change by restoring the degraded biodiversity of soils and rebuilding organic matter, resulting in increased carbon sequestration and a healthier water cycle.
Making the shift to holistic and regenerative agricultural and grazing practices can help restore the grasslands that cover a third of the surface of the Earth, 70 percent of which have been degraded.”
Read more: Regenerative Agriculture 101: Everything You Need to Know
OCA’s Via Organica and Milliones Contra Monsanto (Millions Against Monsanto) sister organizations in Mexico have campaigned for years, as part of a large anti-GMO and organic Movement, to ban GMOs and glyphosate. After years of litigation, protests, and campaigning the MORENA (Movement for the National Regeneration of Mexico) ruling party in Mexico has banned GMO corn and soy and announced it is moving to stop the importation of GMO corn from the U.S. and ban the use of Monsanto/Bayer’s glyphosate.
Ken Roseboro writes:
“Mexico plans to contract with farmers in the U.S., Argentina, and Brazil to buy non-GMO yellow corn as the country moves closer to its scheduled ban of genetically modified corn in 2024, according to the country’s deputy agriculture minister, Victor Suárez. In an interview with Reuters, Suárez said Mexico is on schedule to cut its U.S. imports of yellow corn, used primarily for animal feed, by nearly half. The government is working to make agreements with the country’s corn growers to increase yellow corn production to 6 million tons.
‘We do believe that we will achieve it,’ Suárez said.
Mexico currently imports some 17 million tons of U.S. corn each year, most of it is yellow GMO corn.
Mexico is relying on its small- and medium-scale farmers who show significant growth potential in their yields per acre, Suárez says.
To make up the other 50%, Suárez says Mexico will look to contract with farmers in other countries, including the U.S., to grow non-GMO corn.”
Learn more: Mexico Plans To Buy Non-GMO Corn From the U.S., Other Countries as It Moves Ahead With GMO Ban
Ian Birrell reports in UK’s Daily Mail:
“The top British scientist who played a central role in crushing suggestions that COVID could have originated in a laboratory privately condemned ‘Wild West’ research being carried out in Wuhan, the Chinese city that saw the world’s first outbreak of the virus.
Sir Jeremy Farrar’s damning indictment, sent to two leading scientists in the United States [in Feb. 2020], shows that the head of the Wellcome Trust admitted to fears the new virus emerging in China might have been tied to research even as he coordinated an influential paper dismissing ‘any type of laboratory-based scenario.’
The emails released under Freedom of Information rules also disclose that the then chief medical adviser to the White House, Anthony Fauci, was so alarmed by one unusual feature detected on the coronavirus that he advised colleagues they might need to tip off the FBI and MI5…
The latest disclosures fuel concerns that the scientific establishment colluded to stifle suggestions that Sars-CoV-2 – the virus that causes Covid-19 – might have resulted from cutting-edge research the US helped fund in China.
The email discussions took place among an elite group of scientists rounded up by Fauci and Farrar after the media began to probe research into bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where scientists were engaged in ‘gain of function’ experiments that can boost infectivity. Such work was banned for three years in the US amid fears it might spark a pandemic.
Although the Wuhan laboratory was the first in China with maximum-level biosafety clearance, the group of experts confirmed that researchers there carried out risky experiments under ‘BSL-2’ conditions with much lower level safety protocols…”
Read more: Top British Scientist Who Publicly Dismissed COVID Lab Leak Theory Had Privately Condemned ‘Wild West’ Research Being Carried Out in Wuhan
Sign and Circulate the OCA Petition to Ban the Weaponization of Viruses and Pathogens and Stop the Next Pandemic Before It Starts
For 30 years we’ve fought against pesticides, environmental destruction, genetically engineered foods and crops, unjust wars, and more recently, genetically engineered biological weapons and disastrous COVID policies and mandates, while promoting organic and regenerative food, farming, land-use, Fair Trade, and natural health.
Now OCA and our allies are preparing to step up the pace in 2023. Focus activities in January will include Congressional briefings and a nationwide education, media, and mobilization campaign to “Stop Weaponizing Pathogens” under the theme of “Stop the Next Pandemic Before It Starts.” In addition, in January and February we will launch a global campaign against Frankenfoods 2.0: genetically engineered fake meat, milk, and dairy products.
We need your volunteer support and donations to carry out these strategic campaigns as well as all of our work in 2023 and beyond.
If you can afford it, please give us a donation today.
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Former U.S. marine intelligence officer and Chief UN weapons inspector, Scott Ritter, famous for exposing the fact that there were no “chemical weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq since 1991 (and thus no justification for the bloody U.S. war and occupation) has been a leading voice for negotiations, rather than escalation, in Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February of 2022. Ritter has been a sought-after source of reporting and analysis ever since the U.S., NATO, and the Zelensky Kyiv Ukraine regime (put in place by a U.S./CIA backed coup in 2014) basically provoked the Russia invasion. As Ritter and others have pointed out, Russia basically was forced to invade the pro-Russian region of Eastern Ukraine to protect their security (from a would-be nuclear armed NATO member Ukraine) and to defend the pro-Russian separatist’s communities in the Eastern Ukraine (where 14,000 people had been killed by the Zelensky regime) in the Donbass region who were seeking autonomy from Kyiv. The Zelensky regime, egged on by the U.S. and NATO, basically broke the 2014 Ukraine/Russia agreement, the Minsk Accords, in which the Ukrainian government had pledged to stay neutral rather than joining the NATO military (nuclear-armed) alliance.
As Ritter explains on Scheerpost.com:
“The conditions for a settlement on U.S. and Ukrainian terms — such as Russia withdrawing from the four territories it recently annexed as well as Crimea, paying reparations and turning over senior military and civilian leaders for prosecution as war criminals — have almost no chance of happening.
Such thinking only underscores the hubris-laced fantasy world Washington has crafted for itself. The notion that Russia is somehow losing its military conflict with NATO-backed Ukraine, and its economic war with the West, is belied by the increasing desperation inherent in the growing calls for a negotiated settlement by senior U.S. officials [including General Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff].
At the moment, Russia is shutting down the Ukrainian economy and Ukrainian society by destroying large sectors of Ukraine’s electrical power grid, throwing much of Ukraine into a cold darkness just as winter sets in.
Russia has stabilized the battlefield, withdrawing from untenable terrain while pouring 87,000 recently mobilized troops into the front lines to solidify its defenses. Meanwhile, it continues to undertake offensive operations in the Donbass, destroying Ukrainian forces while capturing territory that is part of the Donetsk.… Anyone attempting to breathe life into the concept of a [Biden administration]-driven “back channel” designed to bring Russia to the negotiating table must first discount Russia’s improving military posture. Russia simply will not be drawn to a negotiation designed to negate the advantages it has been accruing on the battlefield and beyond... Russia’s negotiation will be on the battlefield…”
Learn more: Scott Ritter: The Back Channel
Learn more on Substack: Where is the Ukraine Russia War Going?
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