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Judge in California Could Halt Planting of Genetically Modified Sugar BeetsTim King Salem-News.com
Case in front of San Francisco federal judge could change future of 'mad scientist' food products on our dinner plates.
(SAN FRANCISCO) - A case involving genetically modified (GM) food will be in front of a federal judge Friday in San Francisco.
Researchers say the future of generations of Americans hangs in the balance, as the judge could order a halt to the planting or harvesting of any GM “Roundup Ready” sugar beets in the U.S.
This would strike a blow to growers in the Red River Valley, where more sugar beets are grown than any other region. Most of these growers have already been using Roundup Ready seed varieties for two years.
Scientists say that is no type of positive proof. GM foods are put through a complicated unnatural process. Our reporter April Scott took this on just a few days ago in her article, While We Were Sleeping... GM Food and the Brink of No Return
"The process behind genetically modified food involves a careful re-configuration of genes combining e-coli bacteria, soil bacteria and the cauliflower mosaic virus that causes tumors in plants. They add an antibiotic and then artificially force it into plant cells with a gene invasion technique. All this is so farmers can douse nearly unlimited amounts of Roundup Herbicide on the crops and the plants won’t die."
The Organic & Non-GMO Report published an article in January, stating that scientists are finding many negative impacts of Roundup Ready GM crops.
They say the USDA doesn’t want to publicize studies showing negative impacts.
They spoke to Robert Kremer, a microbiologist with the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and an adjunct professor in the Division of Plant Sciences at the University of Missouri.
He is co-author of one of five papers published in the October 2009 issue of The European Journal of Agronomy that found negative impacts of Roundup herbicide, which is used extensively with Roundup Ready genetically modified crops.
Kremer has been studying the impacts of glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, since 1997.
The Organic & Non-GMO Report interviewed Mr. Kremer about his research and the reluctance of the USDA to publicize the findings of the five papers.
Please give me an overview of your research
What types of things are you seeing in the Roundup Ready system?
What are glyphosate’s impacts on beneficial soil bacteria?
What about research showing increased incidence of Fusarium in Roundup Ready GM crops?
Your paper also mentioned the potential of glyphosate to contaminate groundwater.
What about glyphosate resistant weeds?
With so much glyphosate being used, what types of long-term impacts do you think could occur?
Are many researchers looking at the possibly negative impacts of glyphosate or Roundup Ready crops?
The papers published in the European Journal of Agronomy received no publicity in the United States. Why is that?
What about your future research?
One of the primary proponents behind GM food is the Monsanto group, they brought Americans and Vietnamese the memorable cancer causing Agent Orange, a defoliant sprayed over the jungles during the Vietnam War. It has caused terrible birth defects and abnormalities in the children of those exposed to it.
Our writers Chuck Palazzo and John Paul Rossie, both report about the issues facing human beings as a result of the extensive military use of Agent Orange.
No Vietnam Veterans will tell you Monsanto is a good company.
The research says they are doing it to us again with GM foods, and roping the farmers into using these controversial methods because there is more profit involved, with no regard for what ingesting these things really does or will mean to the human body, already overwhelmed by so many preservatives and questionable ingredients.
The judge’s decision could affect many in agriculture. Besides the growers and other share owners, thousands of people work in the plants and drive beet-hauling trucks, an article in the Grand Fork Herald explains.
So lawyers from the group American Crystal will be on hand to do everything they can to persuade the judge not to put forth the order halting the planting of the controversial products.
It seems a tall order to believe that something controversial and fairly new could have such an impact, they have always grown sugar beets, but they never profited the way they do now.
The company's lawyers will use the fact that many people could potentially lose their jobs as a bargaining chip, along with "we have already been doing this for two years" as if that is any kind of proof.
Proof of profit perhaps, by tricking nature, in a nation that freaks out over stem cell research to save human lives, but allows the corporate sector to go mad and bring these potentially dangerous products to our dinner tables.
And they are trying all over the world to get governments and companies to buy in. It is a travesty and sooner or later somebody is going to put their foot down over these reckless attempts to push profits by selling products that are not fully tested or evaluated.
Good decisions have emerged from the San Francisco Federal Court in the past, we will see what happens.
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: email@example.com
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