New Directions in Philanthropic Funding of Genetic Manipulation Raise Serious Questions of Unknown and Unintended Consequences

Jane Goodall and other scientists are currently warning about “Emerging Ag”, which appears to involve one of a new generation of PR-driven genetic engineering approaches  (CRISPR- Cas9) characterized by scientists around the globe as “potentially dangerous” and lacking sufficient understanding of unintended consequences.  There are signs that “Emerging Ag” may be agenda-driven and backed by PR “science”.  Does the financial power of philanthropic funding entitle these entities to push open the gates of this new gene drive technology to the masses?  With sizable financial support from philanthropic decisionmakers, can people and the planet be protected from unknown adverse impacts raised by scientists,  particularly when such philanthropic decision making lacks adherence to scientific risk protections afforded by the Precautionary Principle to help safeguard global populations from adverse consequences?

“Funding for Emerging Ag first began after the last full meeting of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Cancún, Mexico in December 2016 which witnessed calls from Southern countries and over 170 international organizations for a UN moratorium on gene drives. Adding to the pressure was a letter titled, “A Call for Conservation with a Conscience: No Place for Gene Drives in Conservation,” signed by 30 environmental leaders, including Jane Goodall. The letter asked for a “halt to all proposals for the use of gene drive technologies, but especially in conservation.”  To read more from Independent Science News, click here


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How Academic Institutions and Scientists are Tarnished by Monsanto’s Steady Degradation of Scientific Integrity – Farmers and Consumers Bear the Brunt of Serious Consequences

Science and scientists for hire to lie to the public?  Tracy Malkan has done a meticulous sleuthing job to expose the layers covering Monsanto’s capture of academics and their “contrived industry PR -driven science”substituting for authentic science in agricultural food biotechnology. Her recent piece, exposes the farmer and consumer deception since 2010 in a report  titled “Academics Review” and passed off as an independent source from a nonprofit industry organization.  Ms. Malkan had to employ the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to get access to the information.

“Academics Review has no conflicts-of-interest associated with this publication, and all associated costs for which were paid for using our general funds without any specific donor’ influence or direction.What was not mentioned in the report, the news release or on the website: Executives for Monsanto Co., the world’s leading purveyor of agrichemicals and genetically engineered seeds, along with key Monsanto allies, engaged in fund raising for Academics Review, collaborated on strategy and even discussed plans to hide industry funding, according to emails obtained by U.S. Right to Know via state Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. 

Monsanto’s motives in attacking the organic industry are obvious: Monsanto’s seeds and chemicals are banned from use in organic farming, and a large part of Monsanto’s messaging is that its products are superior to organics as tools to boost global food production.”

If there is a glimmer of hope, it is that Monsanto is choking on its own  pesticide-dependent GMO technology , employed since the 1990’s, and fostered by a mostly captured and compliant US regulatory framework.  However, as Monsanto has been working on a merger with German Bayer to spread its global influence and profits, there are growing problems of more weed and pest resistance to the chemical crop technology.

F. William Engdahl, a strategic risk consultant recently authored an article in NEOWill Superweeds Choke GMO to a Timely Death in USA? As nature revolts with chemical resistant weeds, and farmers choke on the endless cost path to using more and more chemicals to try to kill the super weeds, their soils health and fertility declines.  As a consequence the nutritional content of crops and foods produced from this GMO chemical dependent agriculture has been declining and human health and fertility issues have been on the upswing.  Additionally chemical toxins from Roundup, 2,4-D, Dicamba and pre-harvest dousings with more Glyphosate mount on the way to consumers’ food plates.  An alarming study from University of Illinois researchers found 75% of fields contain resistant weeds.  Coupled with USDA’s November 2016 deregulation action to a runaway resistant GMO bent grass, more GMO infiltration of organic crops is inevitable and containment cost burdens are being shifted from the federal government to states at an inopportune time.  More and more farmers are shifting back to sustainable and organic farming methods  as the GMO cost affordability and weed problems have exposed GMO as a flawed, failing, and unsustainable agricultural technology.

“It seems that the lies of Monsanto-Bayer, Dow-Dupont, ChemChina-Syngenta are coming back to haunt them. Far from their widely advertised claim that their patented GMO seeds need far less chemical weed-killers, USA farmers are finding out, over a period of years, that their crop acreages sprayed with ample doses of Roundup or other glyphosate-based weed-killers are fostering the growth of toxic Superweeds. Those superweeds are “glyphosate-resistant” meaning the Monsanto and other glyphosate weed-killers are useless. Farmers are forced to pour on other toxic weed-killer options to salvage their crops.”

What can you do to expedite the end of GMOs in our food ?  Contact food companies such  as with Nestle in this link .  Current federal law allows food labeling and companies listen to consumers to protect their brands.

Escaped Scott’s GMO Grass Genes NOT Controlled by USDA Regulation -Will Federal Containment Failure Shift Open-Ended Costs onto States?

Can badly  risk-assessed GMO grass genes be contained?  It looks like Oregon will unfortunately be the 1st test case of the federal government shifting the  job of managing GMO grass escapees to a state.  Federal government regulatory failure, exacerbated by Obama’s USDA Secretary Vilsack, has essentially backed shifting GMO  escapee control costs to states.  In November of 2016, at the request of Scott’s and Monsanto, the USDA APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Services section deregulated the grass stating: ” there is no longer any authority for APHIS to require a permit or notification for the importation, interstate movement, or environmental release of the regulated article pursuant to 7 CFR part 340.” In short, the federal government mismanaged the GMO grass control, and came up with this scheme for states to bear a dreadful burden.  Can the promiscuous GMO genes be controlled or has the federal government  opened up a wild Pandora’s Box?

A couple of years ago, the Connecticut legislature, under the forward looking leadership of Senate President Pro Tem Don Williams, put forth a pre-emptive initiative to keep promiscuous and pesticide-dependent GMO bluegrass genes out of CT lawns and ecosystems.   However, Scott’s seed company, biotech industry interests and other political and industry interests, worked behind the scenes to stymie the legislation despite approval at the legislative committee level.  Not only is GMO grass gene spread a critical  issue wherever it has been tested, but containment is very problematic.  The Federal government should not unfairly offload costly and risky control burdens to states via deregulation of the GMO grasses.  Many states do not have the wherewithal to address these Pandora’s Box runaway genes, which independent scientists, researchers and  many legislators have warned about for years.  Instead , with the Oregon bentgrass deregulation and USDA easing the way, Scott’s has exploited a loophole  to test the viability of  GMO pesticide-dependent bluegrass  in undisclosed locations, without  public knowledge and lacking robust risk assessment. Instead of due diligence employing the Precautionary Principle as Europe has done to protect the public, the federal government has allowed Scott’s and other companies to situate test plots  in unposted areas (unbeknownst to adjacent land owners) which could result in contamination of neighboring lands, nonGMO farm produce and more.

Consumers are at a serious disadvantage of being informed about Scott’s GMO pesticide-dependent lawn seed because  is unlabeled due to negligent government risk assessment and industry-orchestrated PR science.  It will also contribute to homeowner well water and surface water toxin contamination from applications of  Roundup. And what if stronger pesticides like 2,4-D, Dicamba (and worse!) are used in a fruitless attempt to contain the Kentucky bluegrass and other GMO escapee grasses?  Pesticide resistance is continuing to increase and more will have to be applied. Additionally, risks of export crop infiltration by unknown GMO genes could continue to result in losses to American export crops, particularly as many nations that will not accept GMO gene contamination.

2017 Alert! All nonGMO Farmers, Individual Garden Plots, Ecosystems at Higher Risk of Harm from New GMO Pesticide-Dependent Plant Technology!

Do you like your food, wine, and other beverages pesticide free?  GMO-related approvals lacking robust risk assessment, and open marketplace experimentation (without consumer consent!),  will continue to pose obstacles to source healthy, untainted food…..unless consumers  keep wallets closed to GMO.  Monsanto’s flawed and failing GMO technology continues to be exposed with increasing pesticide resistance to Roundup’s active Glyphosate ingredient.  Meanwhile,  USDA continues to dangerously greenlight triple-stacked GMO pesticide tolerant and next generation engineered plants, with inadequate risk assessment.   Resultant casualties can include those individuals growing and wanting to eat crops from organic and sustainable farming methods, as well as toxic pesticide fallout on whole ecosystems!  Unless a plant is genetically engineered  to tolerate 2 additional chemical  sprays (that have been approved for GMO crops without appropriate consideration to farmers’ non GMO plants and homeowner gardens), all vegetation can be harmed due to atmospheric drift of volatile Dicamba and 2,4-D.

Soils and ecosystems  will also be receiving much higher pesticide dousings in the New Year as more toxic pesticide technology is rolled out. As a consequence, health care costs  will likely rise from the toxic spray drift residues ending up on food you consume.  The US government doesn’t routinely measure or inform consumers about such contamination.

In a further development to expand this pernicious GMO monoculture agricultural technology,  a Monsanto merger with Bayer, will likely  expedite the global spread of this newer genetically engineered plant technology. What is very sinister about this new triple stacked GMO pesticide-dependent technology is that it is truly intolerant of native plant ecosystems and nonGMO farming, including your backyard garden patch.  You won’t know you’re on the receiving end of pesticide toxins until your plants silently succumb or your health is compromised.  So in this new year we must all remain vigilant and actively hold our decision makers to be accountable to the American people, especially when health care and agriculture are on the table.