Category Archives: Government

A fishy return on public investment: The policy collision over genetically modified salmon

The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network

Canadians are the first in the world to eat a genetically engineered (genetically modified or GM) fish, thanks in part to over $8 million in federal government funding behind its development. The government is set to receive 10% royalties from sales relating to the GM salmon research, as part of a $2.8 million funding agreement in 2009 between the GM fish company AquaBounty and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. 38% of Canadians say they would “definitely not eat” if given the choice, and so the product’s success, arguably, depends on the government maintaining its position against mandatory labelling of GM foods. Published in the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives magazine Monitor, Sept/Oct 2018.

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Scientists Sound Alarm Over Mysterious Gov’t Plan to Spread Viruses Using Bugs

A team of scientists sound the alarm in a new Science Policy Forum report about a mysterious US government program that is developing genetically modified viruses that would be dispersed into the environment using insects. The virus-infected or ‘Frankenstein’ insects are being developed as countermeasures against potential natural and engineered threats to the US food supply. The program is operated by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) could be viewed as an attempt to develop an entirely new class of bioweapons that would prompt other nations to seek similar weapons, they cautioned.

The researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology and the University of Freiburg both in Germany, and the University of Montpellier in France suggest DARPA’s program could likely breach the Biological Weapons Convention, the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the development, production, and stockpiling of biological and toxin weapons.

Dubbed the “Insect Allies” program, DARPA began modifying insects in 2017, with the plan to produce more resilient crops to help farmers deal with climate change, drought, frost, floods, salinity, and disease, said Gizmodo. The technology at the center of the program is an entirely new method of genetically modifying crops. Instead of modifying seeds in a lab, farmers would send swarms of insects into their crops, where the genetically modified bugs would infect plants with a virus that passes along the new resilience genes, a process known as horizontal genetic alteration. Hence the technology’s name—Horizontal Environmental Genetic Alteration Agents (HEGAA).

For HEGAA to work, Gizmodo explains that DARPA labs develop a virus that is inserted into the chromosome of a target organism. Scientists would use leafhoppers, whiteflies, and aphids genetically altered in the lab using CRISPR, or a variant of a gene-editing system, to carry the virus into crops. Each plant would then be infected by the insect, triggering the intended effects of protecting crops from natural and or human-made threats.

However, the lead author of the report, Richard Guy Reeves from the Department of Evolutionary Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, says DARPA’s Insect Allies program is disturbing and an example of dual-use research in which the US government, in addition to aiding farmers’ crops, is also developing a biological weapon.

Read on…

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What is GMO?

What is a Genetically Modified Organism, who should care about it and what does it have to do with a cosmetic site?

From the cosmetic perspective, plants are a significant contributor to natural cosmetics. Fruits, herbs, trees and seeds are only a few examples of the many parts of a plant used in natural cosmetics, for thousands of years now.

Have a quick browse at some natural cosmetic recipes to see for yourself.

Genetically modified organisms have been around for a few decades already and has been quietly moving into our lives without much attention. Bacteria’s, yeasts, insects, plants, fish and mammals have all been genetically modified.

This engineering principle of playing in unknown territory has been traditionally limited to scientific research and producing goods, and only in the last few years has the industry realised the financial benefits of using GMO in food production.

Because of this “new product” in the GMO portfolio, it has become the centre of a lot of controversy and it is important to have a clear understanding of both sides so that you can make an educated decision and get on with your life without having to be sucked into this controversy.

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Chemical Madness! by Robert Hunziker / April 23rd, 2018

All of humanity currently risks exposure to toxic chemicals all over creation in a similar vein to the Mad Hatter of Alice in Wonderland fame.  And, maybe, as

a result, goin’ kinda looney and getting horribly, dreadfully sick!

As soon as the Spring of 2018, the EPA will decide whether to risk the slaughter of birds and bees and pollinators that serve critical functions in crop production, as well as goosing-up the likelihood of chronic illnesses of citizens. The issue behind this flirtation with disease, sickness, pain, and death is regulation, or lack thereof, of chemical pesticides.

Meanwhile on a grand scale, and following decades of superfluity, the planet gurgles, drowning in a massive saturation of chemicals found far and wide, as high as Mt. Everest (arsenic and cadmium) as deep as PCB-infested squid in the Mariana Trench, glowing bright shiny toxicity.

This article discusses only a tiny smattering of chemical madness that haunts the world yet a subject of thousands of articles of research discussing potential dangers to health of which the public is dreadfully unaware.

Thus, the overriding thesis herein: Unwittingly, society is poisoning itself.

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Government reaping royalties from GM Atlantic salmon

Common Ground – March 30, 2018

The Canadian government is receiving 10% royalties from sales of the world’s first genetically modified (GM or genetically engineered) animal, a GM Atlantic salmon.

“We’re concerned that the government is responsible for regulating this GM fish and also has a stake in its success,” said Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN).

The royalties are part of a 2009 $2.8 million-dollar grant agreement between the company AquaBounty and the federal government Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. The royalties will be paid to the Government of Canada until the grant amount is paid back. If the GM salmon is not a commercial success, there is no requirement for the company to repay the government funds.

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Genetically modified rice from China approved by the FDA — without independent testing

The debate raging around the genetic modification of food crops is likely to heat up even more now that the Food and Drug Administration h

as declared a new GM rice known as Huahui 1 to be safe, despite performing none of its own independent tests. The rice was developed by a research team from Huazhong University in China, and has been engineered to be more resistant to pests like the rice stem borer.

The Chinese government has thrown billions of dollars at the development of GMOs, but the unpopularity of such crops with consumers in China has prevented their large-scale agricultural production in that country. Waking Times recently reported that massive demand for organic produce in China has caused food shortages because of the country’s issues with pollution, and has led to the production of “fake organics.”

Unfortunately, a lack of demand at home has also led to a flood of questionable Chinese products flowing into other countries, including the United States.