Saturday, February 11, 2012

Genetic Manipulated Foods Are Not Healthy! (Part 2)

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Don't Eat it: Linked to Cancer and Gets into Your Blood
By Dr. Mercola
February 07 2012
In November 2011, about 250 Boulder County residents attended a public meeting to discuss the planting of GM (genetically modified) crops on county-owned land.
Their turnout, together with an anti-GMO (genetically modified organism) recommendation from the county's Food and Agriculture Policy Council, led county officials to vote for a phase out of genetically engineered crops on open space.
This is a powerful testimony to the influence residents can have on their local regulations when they stand together for a cause; you, too, can work toward enacting such a phase out in your area as well.
Boulder Residents, County Officials Say "No" to GMOs
Boulder's Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee voted 5-4 in support of the Food and Agriculture Policy Council's recommendation to phase out the planting of GM crops on the county's open space.
Currently, about 16,000 acres of county-owned land are planted with genetically engineered corn; the new rule will mean these crops will be transitioned out in favor of traditional GMO-free farming practices.
The area has been a hot-spot for GMO debate since 2009, when local farmers wanted to plant genetically engineered sugar beets in the county.
Following public outcry, County commissioners delayed the farmers' request. Since then, a local survey showed that 56 percent of Boulder County residents supported a ban on GM crops, and now their voices have been heard. As reported by the Boulder Daily Camera2, Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee member John Nibarger said:
"There's the voters' side of this, and there's the farmers' side of this … I think we heard rather strongly ... (that a lot of voters) don't want to see GM crops."
Americans Already Eating GM Foods, While Other Countries Have Banned Them
GM corn, soybeans, canola, and sugar beets have made their way into approximately 80 percent of current U.S. processed grocery store items, now that up to 90 percent of several U.S. grown crops are grown with genetically engineered seed. So if you live in the United States, you have most certainly already been exposed to GM foods -- most likely a lot of them.
This is why Boulder's move to phase out GM crops is such a breath of fresh air, as finally a governing body in the United States is stepping up to protect its residents from this massive, uncontrolled experiment -- a move that has already taken place in other parts of the world, and in four counties in California and a city in Maine.
Genetically engineered seeds are banned in Hungary, as they are in several other European countries, such as Germany and Ireland. Peru is also following the precautionary principle, and has even passed a law that bans genetically modified ingredients within the nation for 10 years.
The issue of protecting farmland from invading GMOs is a serious one, so much so that Hungary recently destroyed nearly 1,000 acres of corn crops because they were found to be mistakenly grown with GM seeds. The discovery that the farmland was planted with GM seeds came when the season was already underway, so the harvest was completely lost.
What would prompt the Hungarian government to take such a drastic step?
Perhaps it is the fact that GM crops simply cannot be contained, and inevitably will contaminate the environment with GM DNA. Or it could be that they do not want superweeds, triggered by the overuse of Roundup herbicide on GM Roundup Ready crops, overtaking their farmland the way they are now doing in the United States. Then again, it could be the unknown threats to human health -- and the fact that new research shows toxins from GM crops are now appearing in human blood -- that made them think twice.
The other, and more serious issue, is the hidden one. Nearly all GM crops are designed with genes to resist a potent herbicide called Round Up or glyphosate. The newest science is showing that glyphosate is actually FAR more dangerous than people realize. It just is not widely appreciated yet, and the U.S. is spreading massive amounts of it every year. The consequences of this chemical abuse will have profoundly devastating consequences and the longer we wait to remove this toxin the worse it will be.
Either way, they, and a growing number of people around the world, are clearly well educated about the dangers of GM foods … which is a lesson the U.S. government still needs to learn.
Genetically Engineered "Pesticide" Toxin Now Found in Human Blood
Upwards of 65 percent of U.S. corn crops contain a special gene added that allows them to produce an insecticide. This way, when bugs attempt to eat the corn they're killed right away (specifically their stomach is split open) because the plant contains an invisible, built-in pesticide shield.
The particular gene added to most corn crops is a type of Bt-toxin -- produced from Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria. Genetic engineers remove the gene that produces the Bt in bacteria and insert it into the DNA of corn (and cotton) plants. They claim that Bt-toxin is quickly destroyed in human stomachs -- and even if it survived, it won't cause reactions in humans or mammals...
But studies are now showing that this is not the case, as Bt toxin is readily passing into the human bloodstream and animal studies have already shown that Bt-toxin does cause health effects in animals, including potentially humans. As Jeffrey Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, wrote:
"Mice fed natural Bt-toxin showed significant immune responses and caused them to become sensitive to other formerly harmless compounds. This suggests that Bt-toxin might make a person allergic to a wide range of substances. Farm workers and others have also had reactions to natural Bt-toxin, and authorities acknowledge that "People with compromised immune systems or preexisting allergies may be particularly susceptible to the effects of Bt."
In fact, when natural Bt was sprayed over areas around Vancouver and Washington State to fight gypsy moths, about 500 people reported reactions—mostly allergy or flu-like symptoms. Six people had to go to the emergency room.
The Bt-toxin produced in the GM plants is probably more dangerous than in its natural spray form. In the plants, the toxin is about 3,000-5,000 times more concentrated than the spray, it doesn't wash off the plants like the spray does, and it is designed to be more toxic than the natural version. In fact, the GM toxin has properties of known allergens and fails all three GM allergy tests recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and others."
It's reasons such as this why the precautionary principle should absolutely be used in regard to exposing humans and the environment to GM crops. Unfortunately, it appears Cry1Ab, a specific type of Bt toxin from GM corn, is already quite prevalent in humans; upon testing 69 pregnant and non-pregnant women who were eating a typical Canadian diet (which included foods such as GM soy, corn and potatoes), researchers found Bt toxin in:
93 percent of maternal blood samples
80 percent of fetal blood samples
67 percent of non-pregnant women blood samples
Other potential dangers have also been uncovered, including:
GM peas caused lung damage in mice - Offspring of rats fed GM soy showed a five-fold increase in mortality, lower birth weights, and the inability to reproduce
GM potatoes may cause cancer in rats - Male mice fed GM soy had damaged young sperm cells
Bacteria in your gut can take up DNA from GM food - The embryo offspring of GM soy-fed mice had altered DNA functioning
GM foods lead to significant organ disruptions in rats and mice, specifically the kidney, liver, heart and spleen Several U.S. farmers reported sterility or fertility problems among pigs and cows fed on GM corn varieties
Bt corn caused a wide variety of immune responses in mice, commonly associated with diseases such as arthritis, Lou Gehrig's disease, osteoporosis, and inflammatory bowel disease Investigators in India have documented fertility problems, abortions, premature births, and other serious health issues, including deaths, among buffaloes fed GM cottonseed products
Intense Lobbying Efforts Aim to Keep Americans in the Dark about GM Foods
The food and agriculture biotechnology industry has spent more than $572 million in campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures in just over a decade, according to an analysis by Food & Water Watch.5 Key among the goals of this intense lobbying effort is to prevent GM food labeling and keep Americans in the dark about the contents of their food. The analysis states:
"The food and agriculture biotechnology industry has been flexing its financial political muscle to ease the regulatory oversight of genetically modified foods. Lobbying efforts for some of these firms and groups have included approval of cloned food and genetically engineered food, animals and livestock.
Companies are also fighting to eliminate or prevent labeling on genetically modified foods in the United States and preventing other countries from regulating genetically modified foods. These efforts have dovetailed with lobbying to tighten intellectual property law protections over patented seeds and animals in attempts to further benefit the biotech industry."
Over 95 percent of Americans polled said they think GM foods should require a label, stating it's an ethical issue and consumers should be able to make an informed choice.
Like Europeans, Americans are suspicious of GM foods, and a large part of why many continue to buy them is because they are unaware that they're already in the food. A prominent GM food label would be a death sentence to U.S. GM crops, which are right now enjoying a free for all when it comes to entering the food market.
Industry lobbying is clearly working, as to date biotech companies have evaded mandatory labeling laws (although a new California initiative may change all of that). They also succeeded in getting GM alfalfa approved, which quite literally threatens the entire organic industry.
A large part of the problem, and one of the reasons why the United States has not taken a precautionary stance the way other countries have, is that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are heavily influenced by biotech giant Monsanto. In the first quarter of 2011 alone, Monsanto spent $1.4 million on lobbying the federal government -- and this was a drop from a year earlier, when they spent $2.5 million during the same quarter.
The FDA, the USDA, and the U.S. Trade Representative all have a special set of revolving doors leading straight to Monsanto, which has allowed this transnational giant to gain phenomenal authority and influence, as well as get their genetically engineered crops planted on the lion's share of U.S. farmland.
However, just as changes in Boulder could prove to be a tipping point that begins a trend toward eliminating GM crops from American soil, a 2012 ballot initiative has been launched in California, which will require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods and food ingredients -- also an important step toward ultimately eliminating these toxic foods from the market.
You Can Join the Fight Against GMOs
The people of Boulder County have made it clear that they will not tolerate GM crops on their local land; now you, too, can let your opinion be heard. Several organizations, including Mercola.com, the Organic Consumers Association, the Institute for Responsible Technology, and the Environmental Working Group, are working to generate a tipping point of consumer rejection to make GMOs a thing of the past.
Here's how you can get involved:
If you live in California and are willing to attend a short training session and then start collecting petition signatures (you will be part of a team of 2-4 people) for the California Ballot Initiative, sign up here. (For more information see: The California Ballot Initiative: Taking Down Monsanto.) Also remember to share this information with family and friends in California!
Whether you live in California or not, please donate money to this historic effort
Talk to organic producers and stores and ask them to actively support the California Ballot. It may be the only chance we have to label genetically engineered foods.
Distribute WIDELY the Non-GMO Shopping Guide to help you identify and avoid foods with GMOs. Look for products (including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal to be sure that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMO content. You can also download the free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.
For timely updates, please join the Organic Consumers Association on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter
Look for in-depth coverage of the issue at the Institute for Responsible Technology, subscribe to Spilling the Beans, and check out their Facebook or Twitter.
You can also join the Non-GMO Project on Facebook, or Twitter
In the meantime, the simplest way to avoid GM foods is to buy whole, certified organic foods. By definition, foods that are certified organic must never intentionally use GM organisms, must be produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers and come from an animal reared without the routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs. Additionally, grass-fed beef will not have been fed GM corn feed, although now that GM alfalfa is approved, grass-fed will not always mean GMO free.
You can also look for foods that are "non-GMO verified" by the Non-GMO Project.
Important Action Item: Support California's Ballot Initiative to Label GMO's!
In 2007, then-Presidential candidate Obama promised to "immediately" require GM labeling if elected. So far, nothing of the sort has transpired.
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Fortunately, 24 US states have (as part of their state governance) something called the Initiative Process, where residents can bring to ballot any law they want enacted, as long as it has sufficient support. California has been busy organizing just such a ballot initiative to get mandatory labeling for genetically engineered foods sold in their state. The proposed law will be on the ballot for 2012.
Michigan6 and Washington are also starting similar campaigns.
Since California is the 8th largest economy in the world, a win for the California Initiative would be a huge step forward, and would affect ingredients and labeling nation-wide. Last month, a coalition of consumer, public health and environmental organizations, food companies, and individuals submitted the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act to the State Attorney General. Now, they need 800,000 signatures to get the Act on next year's ballot.
I urge you to get involved and help in any way you can.
If you live in California, volunteer to gather petition signatures. If you live outside of California, please donate to help support this Initiative and spread the word to everyone you know in California. Be assured that what happens in California will affect the remainder of the U.S., so please support this important state initiative, even if you do not live there!
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White House, US Courts & EPA Shaft Veterans to Protect Monsanto
Cassandra Anderson
NaturalSociety
February 7, 2012
http://naturalsociety.com/white-house-us-courts-and-epa-shaft-veterans-to-protect-monsanto/
American veterans and the entire country of Viet Nam affected by Agent Orange have been shafted beyond imagination due to corruption within the US government and US courts. US courts have protected Monsanto and Dow Chemical from liability and criminal prosecution. The US government has shielded Monsanto and Dow from the massive cost of medical treatment for victims and environmental remediation cleanup costs that would drive these corporations into bankruptcy.
Before we delve further into the issue, it’s important to detail what exactly dioxin is. Dioxin has a half life of 100 years or more when it is below the surface, leached into soil or embedded in river or stream sediment. Dioxin was generated as a byproduct of herbicide 2,4,5-T made by Monsanto and Dow, the top 2 producers of Agent Orange. It causes cancer, birth defects, liver damage and other major health problems.
Monsanto & Dow’s 2,4,5-T dioxin laden-herbicide was used in the US for agricultural purposes in the 1940′s before it was used for chemical warfare in Viet Nam from the early 1960′s through 1971. It was phased out in the late 1970′s. Now, let’s discuss the political situation behind this carcinogen.
US Government and US Court Dioxin Cover-Ups
· President Reagans’s administration, in cahoots with the CDC, thwarted a $43 million Congressional Study of Agent Orange in 1987 to protect itself and its corporate pals Monsanto & Dow from accountability to US veterans and the people of Viet Nam.
· US Courts dismissed veterans’ Agent Orange lawsuits based on a Supreme Court precedent, known as the Feres Doctrine, freeing the government of responsibility for deaths and injuries related to military service.
· The Supreme Court refused to hear American and Vietnamese victims’ lawsuits against Monsanto, Dow and other Agent Orange manufacturers on 3 separate occasions. Remember that the Supreme Court collects their checks from the federal government.
Atrocious Criminal Acts By Monsanto & Dow
· Agent Orange makers hide behind government contractor immunity, despite the fact that dioxin contaminated herbicide 2,4,5-T was produced long before they were contractors for the government (50 million tons of the herbicide was sprayed in the US per year). No modifications were used for Monsanto & Dow’s herbicide — half the ingredients in Agent Orange — so the immunity defense falls flat.
· Boehringer, a German 2,4,5-T herbicide producer notified Dow in 1957 about dioxin hazards and that dioxin could be eliminated by slow cooking the herbicide for about 12 hours. It appears that Dow and Monsanto continued cooking 2,4,5-T quickly in 45 minutes. Higher output led to higher profits. Monsanto’s formula contained high levels of dioxin and was dirtier than Dow’s product.
· Monsanto was not only aware in 1950 that dioxin was a health danger, but they also created a fraudulent health study.
· In 1965 Dow met in secret with other Agent Orange manufacturers to discuss the toxicity hazards of dioxin and their fear over a government investigation and restrictive regulations.
US Veterans Shafted By the Kangaroo Court
Judge Jack Weinstein of the US Federal Court of the Eastern District of New York committed the following offenses in several class action suits filed by veterans against Monsanto & Dow:
· Weinstein appointed attorneys to represent the veterans and then intimidated the attorneys into agreeing to a ‘nuisance’ settlement of $180 million- nowhere near enough money to cover the medical treatment of hundreds of thousands of injured vets.
· Weinstein rejected the veterans’ expert studies, instead of allowing a jury to decide on the credibility of the expert witnesses; Weinstein created a new rule of law from the bench.
· Weinstein based his ruling on Monsanto’s expert study that was later proven to be fraudulent.
· Weinstein dismissed all other veterans’ lawsuits against Monsanto and Dow.
· Weinstein took over a case that was unlawfully transferred to his federal court as it had been filed in the state of Texas. He dismissed that case.
· Astonishingly, Weistein created a second new rule of law to protect Monsanto and Dow. Weinstein invented immunity for government contractors!
Weinstein’s excuse for the government contractor defense was that if contractors were made to pay, they would pass the cost on to the government, so they were therefore immune. Weinstein’s new law was created from the bench instead of law passed through Congress!
Weinsteins’s law has now been extended to all government supply contractors (even non-military contractors) in the courts.
Viet Nam
Approximately 11 million gallons of Agent Orange was dumped on Viet Nam between 1962 to 1970. It is estimated that Agent Orange is responsible for 400,000 deaths, 3 million victims of disease and 500,000 children born with birth defects.
Over 14 million acres of Vietnamese forests were sprayed. Agent Orange was also dumped in water supplies.
In 2004, Vietnamese victims filed a lawsuit against Dow, Monsanto and other manufacturers of Agent Orange. Judge Weinstein (yes, the same Judge Weinstein) presided over this case and dismissed it. Weinstein used the excuse that Monsanto and Dow had government sovereign immunity that extended to them because they were government contractors. He also ruled that Agent Orange was not considered a poison during that period, under international law.
The Supreme Court refused to hear this case, too.
The stated purpose of using Agent Orange was to deny the enemy cover in forested areas through defoliation. However, the US Army did contract studies in 1943 of the effects of 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D (the other ingredient of Agent Orange) on cereal grains, including rice, and developed the concept of using aerial herbicide spraying to destroy enemy crops to disrupt the food supply. Obviously, poisoning the enemy, farmland and civilians was a chemical warfare strategy used by the US government.
Monsanto Immunity
Currently, there is a court case pending against Monsanto’s dioxin contaminated 2,4,5-T herbicide filed by parties who lived near the plant where it was produced in West Virginia. The judge in that case, Paul G. Gardephe, denied Monsanto immunity! Judge Gardephe asserted that because Monsanto burned dioxin waste in open pits and the US government was not aware of this practice, nor did they evaluate it for hazard, Monsanto’s contractor defense was denied.
Fate of US Veterans
In 2003, the Supreme Court affirmed a lower court decision allowing veterans to sue Monsanto, Dow and other Agent Orange manufacturers directly.
The government has responded, under the Obama regime, by passing the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, which allows the automatic funding of veterans’ Agent Orange claims. While Monsanto & Dow appear to have considerable liability, the cost of healthcare and hospitalization of affected veterans is paid by American taxpayers.
More than 2 million Americans served in Viet Nam. The Veterans Administration claims they have no idea how many vets have been treated for Agent Orange injuries, or how much taxpayer money has been spent. The EPA is also involved in the cover-up and has been delaying an assessment report on dioxin since 1985 to protect plastic, chlorine, paper, herbicide and agricultural industries.
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Why did Monsanto's latest GE foods get a free pass into Canada?
By Lucy Sharratt
September 10, 2009
Health Canada has begun permitting genetically engineered (GE, also called genetically modified or GM) foods onto the market without any health safety assessment. Our government has never adequately examined the safety of GE foods and crops but has now dropped the pretence altogether.
After almost 15 years of approving the varieties of GE soy, canola and corn that we now eat, Health Canada has stopped bothering with the formalities. This complete lack of safety evaluation is not an oversight or loophole in the regulation of GE crops and foods however. Rather, it is the deliberate extension of a regulatory system that relies on corporate data and was designed to support the industry.
On July 15, Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences announced that they had received approval to introduce their new eight-trait GE corn 'SmartStax' into Canada and the U.S. But Health Canada did not assess 'SmartStax' for human health safety and didn’t even authorize it. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) officially approved the environmental release of 'SmartStax' but didn’t conduct an environmental risk assessment. Furthermore, the CFIA actually substantially weakened a critical environmental stewardship rule just for the introduction of ‘SmartStax’ -- without publishing a justification.
Canada’s approval of ‘SmartStax’ corn without health safety evaluation contradicts an international guidelines that our government helped to negotiate. “Stacking” multiple GE traits together is accomplished by crossing GE plants and the UN Codex food safety guideline explicitly states that conventional breeding of GE plants can give rise to unintended effects and that safety assessments should therefore be conducted. Canada is wilfully ignoring this guideline because following it would require fundamental change.
Canada excluded ‘SmartStax’ from safety assessment because the eight GE traits stacked together in the GE corn were previously approved individually in other GE foods. As far as Canadian regulators are concerned, if single GE traits have already been approved in separate crops, there’s no need to evaluate the safety of new stacked-trait crops. Canadian regulations, such as they are, merely limit safety assessments to so-called “novel traits”, which includes GE traits. Even the combination of eight traits in the case of ‘SmartStax’ did not warrant examination.
For Health Canada, GE foods are not regulated as the products of genetic engineering but are regulated as “Novel Foods”, identified by their “Novel Traits”. Health Canada does not classify ‘SmartStax’ as a “Novel Food” because its traits are not novel, having been approved earlier in separate foods. If the traits are not novel, the regulations are not triggered.
The category of “Novel Foods” and “Plants with Novel Traits” is unique to Canada and includes non-GE foods and crops, like products of conventional plant breeding and mutagenesis. It was created to regulate GE foods and crops without naming or singling out the technology of genetic engineering. By constructing an approval process that is limited to evaluating the “novelty” of traits rather than identifying risk questions raised by the process of genetic engineering, the government is supporting quicker GE product approvals.
In authorizing release of ‘SmartStax’ without approval from Health Canada, the CFIA has also ignored a safeguard it established in the wake of the first major GE food recall. In response to the contamination of our food system with ‘Starlink’ corn which was approved for animal feed but not for humans, the federal government decided to only approve GE crops for growing if they were also approved for human consumption. This was designed to protect public health, the food industry, and farmers from contamination by unapproved GE foods.
‘Starlink’ corn was not approved for human consumption because the insecticidal toxins in Bt (insect resistant) crops show similarities to proteins that cause food allergies. ‘SmartStax’ contains 6 of the Bt insecticidal toxins and will mean greater human exposure to toxins that may be allergenic. In a statement released only to the media, Health Canada said that there is no need to examine ‘SmartStax’ for unintended effects because, “If there was a change, the company would have to provide the necessary information to Health Canada.”
Without mandatory labeling of GE foods or post-market monitoring of the population, Health Canada is not tracking any possible health impacts. This is helpful to Health Canada if they are going to continue allowing GE foods on the market without requesting and assessing safety data.
The scandal of ‘SmartStax’ extends further than health questions, however, as the CFIA not only failed to assess the environmental risks of this GE corn but also significantly reduced one of its only environmental stewardship requirements for ‘SmartStax’. Without providing a rationale, the CFIA reduced the required size of refuge areas to 5 from 20 per cent. These refuge areas are a percentage of a Bt crop area that is planted with non-Bt crops as a strategy to slow insect resistance. By giving insects somewhere to go, some insects remain susceptible to the Bt toxins. Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) is a naturally occurring soil borne organism that can be used topically by organic farmers to control pests. The genes from Bt have been genetically engineered into corn to make the plant act as a pesticide, and are speeding the development of insect resistance because the GE plants express the Bt toxin in every cell, all the time.
The reduction of the refuge area means that Monsanto can sell 15 per cent more ‘SmartStax’ seeds to farmers. This is a tremendous coup for Monsanto and Dow which between them own eight patents in the one seed and will charge up to 45 per cent more for ‘SmartStax.’ ‘SmartStax’ will quickly replace other GE corn on the market and will rapidly enter the food chain as livestock feed and processed food ingredients (not to mention being turned into ethanol for fuel).
Industry has always assured Canadians that GE foods are safe because the regulatory system has approved them. But the federal government cannot make the claim that stacked trait GE foods are safe because they have not evaluated their safety -- Health Canada has not even officially approved them.
This outcome is not a design flaw in our regulatory system but is an illustration of the limitations that were deliberately designed into the system. The regulation of GE crops and foods in Canada is constructed to be flawed in order to permit the predictable and speedy approval of GE products. The system fails from the perspective of public health and environmental protection but works perfectly well for Monsanto and other huge biotech seed companies.
Unless the government is content to entirely abandon its claim to protect public health and the environment in relation to GE foods and crops, the CFIA must withdraw authorization for ‘SmartStax’ pending environmental and human health safety risk assessments. But to do so should trigger deep structural change.
There has never been a democratic debate over the introduction of GE crops and foods in Canada, there is no mandatory labeling of GE ingredients and, despite 58 recommendations for change from a Royal Society of Canada Panel in 2001, there has never been an attempt to reform our regulatory system. With ‘SmartStax,’ Canadians are faced with the urgent need for this reform.
Lucy Sharratt is Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.
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Also See:
Genetic Manipulated Foods Are Not Healthy!
(Part 1)
24 May 2009
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2009/05/genetic-manipulated-foods-are-not.html
and
Vitamins, Genetic Food, Health
03 April 2007
http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=12454184&postID=752623199071178666
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