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• GE Labeling in Vermont
• Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act
• Cereals Made Without GE Ingredients
• GE Crop Contamination Suit in Australia
• EWG's Shopper's Guide to Avoiding GE Food
• GE Labeling in the UK
• Dow Introduces GE 2,4-D-resistant Crops
• USDA Report on Genetic Engineering
• GE Contamination Difficult to Avoid
• GE Alfalfa Approved Despite Dangers
• Fast-tracking GE Crops in UK
• Chile Withdraws Plant Growers Law
• Western Corn Rootworms Resist Bt
• Monarch Butterfly Population in Precipitous Decline

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Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., based in Summerland, British Columbia, has genetically engineered (GE) two varieties of “non-browning” apple to resist enzymatic browning.  Enzymatic browning is the oxidation of apple flesh once it’s cut open and exposed it to oxygen in the air. Anyone who’s ever cut an apple has observed this process, as it results in browning.

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In recent years both the USDA and Maine Department of Agriculture have openly pushed a program of coexistence between organic farmers and farmers who choose to use transgenic technology (genetically engineered crops – also called GE crops or GMOs). In 2011 the USDA reconvened the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21) following its highly controversial approval of GE alfalfa. The USDA has asked for public comments on the recommendations in the AC21 report. Following are my slightly abridged comments.

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• Kaiser Permanente advises limited exposure to GE crops
• Average American consumes 193 lbs. GE food per year
• OSGTA vs Monsanto appeal is heard
• U.S. Supreme Court hears case involving GE soy
• U.S. Dept. of Justice ends antitrust investigation
• States pursue labeling of GE foods
• Former GE crop critic Mark Lynas
• Insure crops against GE contamination, says USDA
• Dow will wait until 2014 to sell GE 2,4-D corn
• Consumers Unions criticizes FDA approval of GE salmon
• Antibiotic resistance genes found in Chinese rivers
• Gene VI widespread in GE foods
• GE Golden Rice researchers fired
• Monsanto supported by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
• Publisher pressured to retract GE publication
• GE insects designed to kill plant pests

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• Rats fed GE Roundup Ready corn develop cancers
• Video: GMOs: the moment of truth?
• Rats fed GE Bt corn grow fatter
• Tufts University study of GE Golden rice in China
• Occupy Monsanto blocks shipments and deliveries
• Wal-Mart Stores selling Monsanto’s GE sweet corn
• Opposition to Enlist dropped
• Weeds resistant to herbicides
• Nestlé chief says GE food not necessary to feed the world
• Non-GMO corn production flourishes during drought
• Monsanto wins lawsuit against DuPont
• Court stops GE canola in Willamette Valley
• USDA allows GE sugar beet variety
• Supreme Court hears farmer case against Monsanto
• Draft report considers compensation for GE pollen drift

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• Groups seek reversal of GE suit dismissal
• Organic Standards Board seeks protection from GE
• Right to Know initiative to label GE foods in Calif.
• Conn. GE bill undermined by opponents
• AMA calls for pre-market safety testing of GE foods
• “GMO Myths and Truths”
• GE cows in Mongolia
• Dr. Michael McNeill on glyphosate
• Danish farmer’s pigs harmed by GE feed
• Bt toxins harm two-spotted ladybird beetle
• Corn rootworm survived GE Bt corn
• GE cotton in China studied
• GE ‘Golden Delicious’ and ‘Granny Smith’ apples
• Drug Elelyso produced in GE carrot cells.

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• Organic Seed Growers and Trade Assn. et al. v. Monsanto dismissed
• Australian farmer sues a neighboring farmer for allegedly contaminating his farm
• Americans support labeling GE foods
• Moves to label GE foods in 18 states
• 41 percent farmers violate refuge requirement
• Faster review of GE crops under new rule changes
• Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi forms fewer bonds with GE Bt corn than with non-Bt corn
• Edible plants contain residues of glyphosate herbicides and Bt insecticidal toxins
• Use of GE herbicide-resistant crops parallels a decline in monarch butterfly populations
• Wheat engineered with a gene from peppermint
• Research on the GE “Enviropig” halted in Canada

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• New GE corn is resistant to 2,4-D
• USDA deregulates MON 87460 GE drought resistant corn
• Family Farmers vs. Monsanto
• MicroRNA in conventional rice
• Deregulation of GE Roundup Ready alfalfa upheld
• AquaBounty Technologies’ GE salmon contaminated
• H.R. 3554, The Genetically Engineered Safety Act
• Peru approves 10-year moratorium on GE crops and animals
• Western corn rootworm resistant to GE corn
• GE canola thriving in the wild in North Dakota
• Ohio will not limit labeling of organic dairy products
• Dr. Don Huber: problems with glyphosate herbicides and GE crops

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• USDA deregulates GE cotton, soybean
• GE in India has increased chemical use and superweeds
• Center for Food Safety demands labelling of GE foods
• India sues Monsanto over GE eggplant
• EU court regulates GE-tainted honey
• Iowa rootworms resistant to Bt
• Cabot Creamery fined for use of rBST
• Monsanto GE sweet corn to enter U.S. market
• Research grant awarded for GE salmon

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• Dr. Don Huber details concerns about GE corn and soy
• Obama White House supports agricultural biotechnology industry
• Codex Alimentarius drops opposition to labeling GE foods
• Nations limit or endorse GE
• GE Golden Rice
• PUBPAT amends suit against Monsanto’s patents on seed
• Monsanto awarded patent on conventionally bred melons
• Court limits Roundup Ready sugar beets
• Monsanto to field test GE wheat
• USDA exempts GE Roundup-tolerant Kentucky bluegrass from regulation

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• Poll shows demand for labeling of genetically modified foods
• Organic Consumers Association offers “Oh No! Is It GMO?” labels
• Public Patent Foundation challenges Monsanto's patents on genetically modified seed
• USDA sued for its approval of GE Roundup Ready alfalfa
• USDA deregulates Roundup Ready sugar beet root crop
• Fact sheets about GE alfalfa and sugar beets
• USDA to deregulate GE corn for ethanol
• Dow AgroSciences to introduce corn, soybeans and cotton engineered to resist 2,4-D
• Researchers in China have engineered human genes into cows
• Data shows liver and kidney problems in rats due to GMO diet
• Soil scientist Don Huber writes Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to report plant diseases and abortions and infertility in livestock due to GE crops
• Canadian researchers find link between maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides and GE foods
• National Organic Coalition offers 7 steps for fair farming in relation to GE crops

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Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) board has approved a Policy on GMO Contamination of Organic Seed; the Organic Farming Research Foundation board of directors made the following statement of principles on preventing contamination of organic agricultural systems by GE organisms and crops; Jeffrey Smith’s Institute for Social Responsibility has started a Non-GMO Tipping Point Network; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has agreed to stop planting GE crops on all its refuges in a dozen Northeastern states; GE crops that tolerate the herbicide glyphosate; a GE apple that resists browning; Monsanto’s GE Roundup Ready alfalfa; preliminary injunction ordering destruction of hundreds of acres of GE Roundup Ready (RR) sugar beet seedlings.

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Nine articles on GE Roundup Ready sugar beets, Monsanto's falling stock share prices, the Gates Foundation’s investment in Monsanto, the private security firm Blackwater working for Monsanto, a bacterial gene inserted into GE corn found in streams in Indiana, GE plants growing wild in North Dakota, a find that non-Bt cornfields are losing less corn to borers, silkworms engineered to contain spider DNA, and FDA's deferred approval of "AquAdvantage" salmon.

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Nine articles related to genetic engineering.

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Twelve articles about genetic engineering.

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Articles on the following topics: Irish Government banning cultivation of GE crops; "Out of Hand" report on the consolidated seed industry; deregulation of Monsanto's Roundup Ready beet seeds; rice contaminated with GE herbicide-tolerant Liberty Link rice; study finds transgenic DNA from Roundup Ready corn in all animal groups; French study regarding rats fed GE corn varieties; safety of high-lysine transgenic corn questioned; 25 percent of U.S. farmers growing GE Bt corn fail to comply with federal rules; Washington state wheat growers start a petition drive against GE wheat; Roundup Ready alfalfa; weed species in the US now resistant to glyphosate; glyphosate resistance in Amaranthus palmeri; GE herbicide-tolerant cotton is changing prevalent weeds.

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Monsanto sells Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) to Eli Lilly; California makes manufacturers of GE crops liable for contamination of surrounding fields; court delays planting of Roundup Ready alfalfa; Union of Concerned Scientists denounces proposed rules on food crops engineered to produce pharmaceutical and industrial products; FDA declines to require labeling of GE animals sold as food; activist Jeffrey Smith says schools should get GE foods out of cafeterias; Japan's No! GMO Campaign.

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28-page report from the Institute for Responsible Technology, is available free online.

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Switzerland extends moratorium on GE crops; Syngenta, BASF, Bayer and Monsanto seek 530 patents on genes; farmers report problems with GE soy; Organic Consumers calls for boycott of Kellogg's products; OTA challenges Ohio rule that prevents rBST labeling; labeling of GE products important in tracking potential health problems, such as Morgellons Disease.

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Montville, Maine, bans genetically engineered (GE) crops; Maine farmers win a battle against GE seed corporations; Percy Schmeiser settles his lawsuit with Monsanto; USDA, EPA and FDA recall ‘Event 32’ corn and instruct Dow Agrosciences to recall its unapproved GE crop; journalist Jeffrey Smith says studies show organ damage in rats fed GE foods; fewer farmers growing biotech corn are including refuges of non-GE corn; GE crops have increased pesticide use without increasing yield or alleviating world hunger and poverty; Roundup Ready soybeans yield 6% less than conventional soy; bollworms have evolved resistance to the Bt toxin; farmers, food safety advocates and conservation groups challenge USDA’s deregulation GE herbicide-tolerant beets; industry wants state legislatures to stop dairies from labeling milk as coming from cows that were not treated with rBGH; farmers testify before House subcommittee hearings about the costs of GE crops to U.S. growers; GE plants persist ten years after research trial; Brazilian women occupy Monsanto research site; Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear and video The World According to Monsanto.

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Pennsylvania moves to ban labeling for dairy products from cows not treated with recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH); genetically engineered sugar beets; GE corn; banning GE crops in France; allowing GE crops in Australia; GE canola in Japan; grazing wild animals can spread GE canola seed; Jeffrey Smith warns that Australians’ health is at risk from GE crops; GE trees.

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On Jan. 23, 2008, farmers, food safety advocates and conservation groups filed suit in federal court challenging the deregulation of genetically engineered, herbicide-tolerant, Roundup Ready sugar beets by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Six articles: Maine BPC approves Bt corn; pollen, leaves and cobs from Bt corn is shown to wash into streams near corn fields; MOFGA opposed the Bt corn registration; native peoples in Minnesota worry about the legal future of traditional wild rice; Peruvian farmers pass an ordinance restricting transport and production of GE potatoes and other crops; American Crystal and other U.S. sugar providers will source sugar from genetically engineered sugar beets.

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At its July 2007 meeting, the Maine Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) voted to approve registration applications for seven genetically-engineered (GE) Bt field corn products, and it directed BPC staff to draft a rule addressing concerns about insect resistance and pollen drift associated with Bt corn.

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John Jemison found himself in a difficult position this summer, as the scientist on the Maine Board of Pesticides Control (BPC), trying to balance scientific research with the needs of Maine’s diverse agriculture, and as a MOFGA board member. While he abstained from voting on permitting genetically-engineered Bt corn at a BPC meeting, he did suggest that the product would reduce pesticide use.

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Six articles: Genes work as complex networks; rice containing human genes; broad-leafed plants engineered to resist the herbicide dicamba; effects of Bt cotton and maize on nontarget invertebrates; reactions after widespread Bt applications included flu-like symptoms; EU Agricultural Ministers say that organic food contaminated with up to 0.9% GE organisms can still be labeled "organic."

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At its April 2007 meeting, the Maine Board of Pesticides Control discussed pending registration requests from three companies covering seven Bt corn products (corn that has been genetically engineered to express a toxin produced by the Bacillus thuringiensis bacterium).

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Three articles: Judge Orders Moratorium on GE Alfalfa; USDA: No Undue Risk from Rice with Human Genes; Monsanto Wants to Make rBGH Labeling Illegal

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Five articles: U.S. Rice Supply Contaminated by Unapproved GE Rice; Genetically Engineered Grass Escapes; USDA Violates Law with GMO Field Tests; UN Questions Biotech; New Technology May Make Genetically Modified Crops Obsolete

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The genetically-engineered hormone rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone) is injected into about one-third of U.S. dairy cows, according to its manufacturer, Monsanto. The Organic Consumers Association puts the figure at 18 percent. Whatever the use rate, the synthesized hormone, banned in all 25 European countries, Japan, Australia and Canada, is under increasing attack as U.S. consumers demand pure milk.

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Five articles: GE Corn May Result in Herbicide Production in Human Intestines; Chickens Engineered to Produce Medicines; Santa Cruz County to Adopt GE Moratorium; CFS Sues FDA Re GE Foods; Churches Say Stop Terminator

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Five articles:
• Glyphosate Linked to Environmental, Health Problems
• Study of GM Corn Reveals Health Damage and Cover-up
• First U.S. Labeling Law for Genetically Engineered Food Passes in Alaska
• Plants Can Repair Errors in Genes
• Testing Finds No GM Corn in Mexico

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• Perspectives on Genetic Engineering
• Engineered Genes in Human Gut
• Biopharm Crops Will Contaminate Food Supply
• Genetically Engineered Corn Contaminates Food Aid
• U.S. Media Opinion Pages Present Biased View of Biotech
• What’s Out There?
• Genetic Contamination Spreads
• Commoner Contradicts Simplistic Genetics

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For almost a year now, the unintended release and widespread distribution of genetically engineered (GE) StarLink corn has shown just how uncontrollable and potentially harmful GE foods can be. StarLink contains a powerful, engineered protein from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) called Cry9C; the variety was approved for animal consumption but not for human consumption because it is 50 to 100 times more potent than other Bt-spliced varieties and could trigger allergic reactions.

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On January 17, 2001, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced two new proposals regarding biotech foods. One is a proposed regulation that would require biotech companies to give the FDA 120 days advance notice of their intent to market a new genetically engineered food and require them to provide information regarding their product. The other is a proposed “guidance” on how to voluntarily label foods as containing GE ingredients or being free of GE ingredients.

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For two years now, the National Family Farm Coalition has sponsored a Farmers’ Summit on Genetic Engineering in Manassus, Virginia, in conjunction with the Farm Aid concert. Last year, I was stranded in the Bangor airport with no way to get there on time. This year, I was delighted to make it, representing both MOFGA and NESAWG (Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group).

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Acreage of two GE crops declined in the United States this year relative to last. Soy acreage dropped from 57 to 54%; and corn from 33% to 20 percent. Engineered cotton, on the other hand, increased to an estimated 61% of this year’s crop compared with 55% last year. While consumers associate cotton with clothing, much of the crop ends up in the food chain. Cottonseed is fed to dairy cows, especially in the Northeast; and cottonseed oil is in many salad dressings, baked goods and snack foods.

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Genetic contamination has begun. In May, Advanta Seeds, a division of AstraZeneca, said that genetic drift from engineered canola in Canada had contaminated the company’s certified "non-GE seed" that was shipped to Britain, France, Germany and Sweden. This variety of canola, which was planted on tens of thousands of acres in Britain alone, has not been approved for commercial planting in Europe.

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Dear Senator/Representative: I am writing on behalf of the members and supporters of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), to request that you consider cosponsoring [or supporting] the Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act, HR 3377, introduced by Dennis Kucinich. The bill would require that foods that contain genetically engineered material or are produced with genetically engineered material must be labeled.

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Genes from organisms that would never cross with plants without human intervention can now be put into plants in two general ways, both known as genetic engineering. In one, genes are inserted using viruses or bacteria as vectors. The desired gene from an organism is removed by the action of enzymes, while the DNA of the bacteria or virus is split with other enzymes. Yet another enzyme "glues" the desired gene into the bacteria or virus, then these carry it into the plant, where it may or may not become part of the plant genome.

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There is a touch of unreality about sitting in Orono, getting much of my information about developments in agro-biotechnology from news stories circulated on various e-mail networks. So as a reality-check, I attended an international conference on biotechnology policy hosted on September 2-3 by Harvard University.

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Hans HosbachLast April, a story was zapped to me over the internet about a Swiss prohibition of trials of genetically modified maize and potatoes. According to Hans Hosbach, head of the biotechnology section of BUWAL, Switzerland’s environmental ministry, this made Switzerland “a unique island within Europe, where most states, including neighboring Germany and Italy, permit growing genetically modified crops.”

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• Field of Genes
• Risky Business
• Gene Blues – Dilemmas of DNA Testing

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• MOFGA Pushing Harder Against Engineered Organisms
• Chefs Support Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food
• IFOAM Rejects Genetic Engineering
• Canada to Nix rBGH

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The Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), a Canadian-based rural advocacy organization, has uncovered over three dozen new patents describing a wide range of techniques that can be used for the genetic sterilization of plants and seeds.

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The simplest ways to avoid genetically engineered foods are to buy certified organic foods and to grow your own crops from seeds that are known not to be engineered (or, in the future, contaminated by engineered crops). The following list of common foods that are engineered and are on the market shows why it is easier to take this positive approach than to avoid specific crops or ingredients.

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As more crops become genetically engineered, more questions about the safety of those crops arise. Moving genes from species that never before crossed may, for example, hasten the development of resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis, a valuable biological insecticide for organic growers; may have deleterious effects on insect ecology and other aspects of the environment; may result in cross pollination with conventional and/or organic crops, putting growers at risk without their permission; or may affect human health in ways that haven’t even been considered yet.

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