Labelling Laws Re GMO’s and Moratoriums Not Dead, Even in Europe
Ronnie Cummins, Director of Organic Consumers Association,
in an interview, stated that the latest non-move by
the European Communities was tactical to evade WTO penalties, not to junk labelling laws and moratoriums on GMO’s.
We reported to you most recently that the European Communities [EC] backed off, deciding NOT to fight a World Trade Organization [WTO] dispute panel
ruling concerning genetically altered foods and crops. In the WTO world, which was born in 1995, just in case you think it has been around forever, precaution is not
the primary concern if money and profit are threatened. Your health be damned, the corporations have a right NOT to abide by multinational environmental treaties.
Specifically, in this case, we were talking about the United Nations’ Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, a treaty that 130 countries have signed onto. One of the main points in this important agreement that the United States, Argentina and Canada have NOT signed onto, is that a precautionary approach is to be used in regulating genetically altered crops when there is scientific uncertainty or insufficient data about a product. The “precautionary principle.” For example, when a drug kills people, it is too late. It is taken off the market, and the drug companies often, but not always, have to pay compensation to the families of
the dead due to the effect of their product. Drug companies know this will happen, so they are careful when they bring out their latest greatest erectile dysfunction or purple Nexium pills. Proper studies should be done to see what might happen to animals or humans, as far as toxicity and morbidity might be concerned. Or bad things might transpire.
Precaution, to prevent adverse outcomes, like birth defects
or destroyed livers.
However, the rogues who are trying to patent their unnaturally genetically “engineered” crops and foods say they do not have to abide by this principle. No way! In fact, Monsanto declared they “don’t have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is selling as much of it as possible.” as quoted in the New York Times in 1999. Fantastic, is it not?
So I was down in the dumps, thinking how could the EC just stand by and let the greedy hooligans stomp all over global justice, and what is right and wrong?
[See the post re EU Backing Down To USA Challenge In WTO Court:]
But then I spoke with Ronnie Cummins, director of the Organic Consumers Association [OCA], one of our most valuable organizations on this shrinking planet.
Mr. Cummins told me this non-action was basically a tactical move to avoid WTO penalties. For when you lose a WTO dispute panel decision, there usually are fees to pay to the challenging countries to make the losers comply
with corporate-won injustice. And guess which countries
brought the dispute to the secret panel of just three people behind those undemocratic WTO walls: the main producers of genetically altered crops >> the USA, Argentina and Canada!
Apparently, since Europeans are so opposed to allowing genetically altered crops and additives into their food chain, the labelling laws they have legislated in their various countries are NOT being relaxed. Well, maybe for animal feed, Mr. Cummins says. For most animal feed is just about totally contaminated with genetically altered soy and corn as thrown together in the USA. Because even Americans and American grocers are wary of genetically altered tainting of their profits. Err, products.
What is wrong with genetically altered foods and crops?
Check many articles on this website, or go to
http://www.seedsofdeception.com to find out more specifics.
Basically, the imprecise gene-gunning of gene sequences does not always work as hoped for. And the genes end up in our bodily organs, although it was promised this could never happen >> by Monsanto et al, of course. Or our intestinal linings might be damaged. As happened to Arpad Pusztai’s innocent rats, force-fed genetically altered potatoes. Whose testicles, brains and livers developed into smaller sized organs than did control rats’, which were not fed genetically altered potatoes in his experiment over in Scotland. For which Pusztai was fired by the Rowett Institute, where he had worked for 35 years.
My book has this in much more detail, written simply, as
Emergency Room doctor to layman patient, in
everyday language. You can go to
to get it, if you wish.
Right now, Mr. Cummins informed me, there are 30 nations,
comprising the MAJORITY of the world’s population, that
have labelling laws for foods containing genetically altered
ingredients, or GMO’s [Genetically “Modified” Organisms].
This includes China, the planet’s most populous country. Well, yes, China is not the best at enforcing these laws. On the other hand, the labelling laws ARE in place. And China is afeared that their reputation could be adversely affected if something like the embarrassing
rice-GMO contamination scandal, or the rampant-spread-
of-GMO-grass-into-the-environment scandal, that occurred
this year might happen to one of their otherwise reputable
products or crops. As are most nations.
Check here for more on the contaminated rice fiasco:
Thus, the road does not look so bleak after all. Genetically
altered crops shalt never be planted on any scale in Europe
if labelling laws remain in place there. Plus there also exist
national moratoria against such planting in several
European countries. Which are not being overturned
or challenged. Though the WTO corporatophiles
would love to see this happen.
Mr. Cummins sees more barriers against GMO’s forthcoming
with scientific safety testing of them about to be
amplified. Right now there are about 70 scientists working
in Parma, in Sicily, Italy, to do this, with 300 scientists
being the projected number that the EC wants eventually.
Plus, we have written about “marker-assisted breeding” of crops on this website as being a much better advancement in crop development. This discipline is gaining steam for many reasons including safety of such cross breeding, and
“stronger patent control,” as Mr. Cummins states. Instead
of wantonly shooting the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus into
your foods, hoping it lands somewhere on the DNA strand
where it will work acceptably, marker-assisted breeding
involves mapping out various genes in current diverse
crops and more carefully cross-breeding what the breeder
thinks will conjoin successfully to result in an improved
hybrid. No wild irresponsible misfiring of genetic material
by corporate-funding force into some place whence it
does not belong.
For more on marker-assisted breeding, please see, from
this website January 2005:
We know that everyone wants to sell organic food now,
including even Walmart. Can you believe that Walmart is
now demanding fluid milk which is free of recombinant [read: genetically altered] bovine growth hormone [rBGH]!? Starbucks is now 37% rBGH-free, working toward being 100% rBGH-free in the foreseeable future. Dean Foods controls 35% of “conventional” fluid milk at present, and is also pushing for rBGH-free milk. rBGH contaminated milk has been connected to cancers of the breast, colon and prostate in various studies. Young mothers and fathers, even in fast food America, do NOT want
to feed their babies this crap. That is why organic milk
is the most prominent organic product being sold today at
accelerating rates across our corporate-slighted nation.
Just in case you didn’t know, farmers and corporate-monster dairies are cutting down overall on their biweekly injecting of cows with rBGH from 22% to about 18% today, and definitely declining according to Mr. Cummins. You should know that only THREE industrial nations do NOT ban such rBGH injecting of cows: USA, Mexico and Brazil. So, read your milk cartons, and if you or your family members or roommates must drink milk from a cow, make sure it is organic. And that does not include Horizon milk, because Horizon keeps their cows inside, NOT feeding on natural grass outside, but more probably on antibioticked GMO-contaminated animal feed. Organic Consumers Association has been publicizing a ban of Horizon products for this reason, due to the company’s phonily claiming to treat their cows humanely, in an “organic”
manner, while certainly not doing this.
At present, though genetical alterers such as the Monsanto
corporation claim brightly that the billionth acre of
genetically altered crops has now been planted, this is
happening mainly in three countries: USA, Argentina, Canada; plus China, with GMO-cotton.
Mr. Cummins told me that he and his organization are
now taking a broader approach to the assault on the environment by various corporate interests and entities. In other words, the WTO and GMO’s and nanoparticles and contaminated synthetic vitamin feedstock and all the other machinations to make that money without responsibility to the people and nature for what happens detrimentally are on OCA’s radar to be revealed and reviled and held to account via regulation, as they should be. Uncorrupted governments DO have a function in this picture, don’t they?
In addition, watch out for a USA labelling law to be sponsored by 100 representatives, to come to Congress in January 2007. Also, Senators Barbara Boxer [California] and Bernie Saunders [Vermont] will be championing such a bill in the Senate. It is about time. Though our pitiful media portray none of the above to the American people.
Refer back to
for more information on the WTO-induced fiasco that
we are talking about here.
And recall that the WTO over-ruling international treaties
for the benefit of corporations, instead of the people of
the Earth, in an undemocratic fashion, should not be
blindly accepted just because it exists today. Twelve
years ago there was no WTO. For more on this go to:
which goes into a brief history of what happened to
set us on this disastrous resource-raiding path we are
now apocalypting through today.
Copyright 2006 Conrad Miller M.D.