Manataka American Indian Council

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Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides


This month Europe fought back against powerful chemical companies and took a big step to protect bees by putting into effect a ban of the top bee-killing “neonic” pesticides. Now it’s our turn!


Bees are critical in producing the majority of our food crops and the evidence is mounting that Bayer and Syngenta’s pesticides are a key contributor to mass bee die-offs. However, the EPA continues to ignore even its own scientists and has delayed action until 2018.

But the bees can’t wait -- and neither can we! 


USDA: ‘Not Enough Evidence’ to Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) spent god-knows-how-many of our tax dollars to study Colony Collapse Disorder, or more simply, why all the honeybees are dying.


Their conclusion? There are a lot of contributing factors—including pesticides—to the mass die-off of bees. But “not enough evidence” to ban the pesticides. The study called for more research before any meaningful action is taken.


Meanwhile, the European Union isn’t taking any chances. Researchers there will do more experiments to find out if pesticides are responsible for the bee die-off. But in the meantime, officials there have instituted a two-year ban on the use of neonicotinoids, the pesticides most frequently implicated in the bee die-off. Unlike here in the U.S. Where the pesticides will continue to flow.


U.S. beekeepers have been consistently losing 40-100 percent of their hives. This winter, beekeepers are likely facing yet another season of historic bee die-offs.  


We can’t let the EPA wait another five years to address this crisis. 

This season, give your loved ones the gift of a healthy food future. Help save the small creatures that  make possible one out of every three bites of our food -- from almonds to strawberries.


Please take action today and tell the EPA to ban bee-killing pesticides.

Lisa Archer,
Friends of the Earth


Who Smells a Rat?

What do you do when your scientific journal publishes a study that Monsanto doesn’t like? And the industry bombards you with complaints?


You hire a new editor. And retract the study.


In September 2012, the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT) published the findings of the first long-term study of rats fed genetically modified corn. The study’s authors, led by Gilles-Eric Séralini of the University of Caen, France, concluded that the GM corn caused cancerous tumors in the test rats.


The biotech industry wasted no time attacking the study, which was released about a month before Californians were set to vote “yes” or “no” on an initiative to require labels on foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The attacks were predictable. But who would have predicted what followed next?


Not long after the study came out, FCT created a new editorial position—Associate Editor for Biotechnology—and appointed none other than a former Monsanto employee, Richard E. Goodman, to the post.


Fast-forward to November 28, 2013, when the publisher of FCT announced it was retracting the study. Not because of fraud or misrepresentation of data. But because, upon further review, the journal’s editors had decided the study was “inconclusive.”

The biotech industry is puffing out its chest and throwing around a lot of “I told you so’s.” But the scientists who don’t have a vested interest in GMO technology are calling the retraction “unscientific and unethical.”


If there was no evidence of fraud or misrepresentation, why did FCT retract the study? Because, the journal said, “there is legitimate reason for concern about both the number of animals tested in each group and the particular strain of rat selected.”


But as Séralini and his supporters point out, “the offending strain of rat (the Sprague-Dawley) is used routinely in the United States—including sometimes by Monsanto to study the carcinogenicity and chronic toxicity of chemicals.” What’s more, Séralini told Sustainable Pulse, the FCT in 2004 published a study by Monsanto finding the same strain of GMO corn (NK603) safe after measuring its effects on only ten Sprague-Dawley rats for three months only.


“Only studies pointing to adverse effects of GMOs are rigorously scrutinized on their experimental and statistical methods,” he said, “while those who say GMOs are safe are taken at face value.”

FCT and Séralini are battling it out in the media for now. But the battle could move to the courts, if Séralini follows through on threats to sue the journal.



Biotech’s Christmas Present—a GMO Apple

This time, the biotech industry isn’t even pretending that its technology will make life better for farmers, or feed the world, or reduce the use of pesticides, or any of the other lies it routinely feeds to consumers. This time, the industry is promising only one thing—that its latest darling, a genetically engineered apple, will look prettier after it’s been sliced. Because it won’t turn brown (like a normal, natural apple)


This latest biotech miracle food could be approved by Christmas.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is set to approve the Arctic Apple®, engineered for the purely cosmetic purpose of preventing browning after it’s been sliced, sometime this month. Scientists say that not only does the frankenapple offer no real benefit to consumers, but the technology used to create it is untested and inherently risky.


Dr. Hart Feur, a Senior Researcher at the University of Bonn, Germany, outlined for the USDA a host of reasons why, from an agricultural perspective, the agency should reject the Arctic Apple.

Unless the USDA heeds consumers, environmentalists and apple growers, all of whom are speaking out against deregulation of the Arctic Apple, the first GMO apple could soon turn up in fast-food restaurants, school cafeterias—even baby food. With no labels to warn consumers.



Tell the FDA: GMOs Aren’t ‘Natural’!

In its latest underhanded (desperate?) move to thwart the anti-GMO movement, Big Food’s lobbying arm has petitioned the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to rule that food companies can officially label their GMO-contaminated products as “natural” or even “all natural.”

To be clear, food companies are already doing this. Even though the FDA says the word “natural” means “nothing artificial or synthetic . . . has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in the food.” But now the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), representing more than 300 food manufacturers and trade groups, wants the FDA to guarantee food companies the right to continue misleading consumers with its fraudulent labeling schemes.

So far the FDA has dodged the question of whether or not food companies are lying to customers when they say their products are “natural” even when they contain genetically engineered ingredients. But in July, facing a barrage of lawsuits from consumers furious that food companies have been allowed to hide GMOs in popular “natural” brands, the courts asked the FDA to weigh in. Big Food wants to be sure the FDA rules in favor of the junk food industry.

More than 43,000 concerned consumers have already signed our petition to the FDA, launched earlier this year. If you haven’t already, please sign today!

TAKE ACTION: Tell the FDA that GMOs Aren’t “Natural”!