Category Archives: GMO

GE Hemp Interest

say no

In a recent NCBI publication entitled ‘Cannabis sativa: The Plant of the Thousand and One Molecules‘, it was pointed out the great interest that the pharmaceutical industry and the agriculture industry has on hemp.

What is most alarming in this article was the following statement with respect to the article’s coverage:

“Biotechnological avenues to enhance the production and bioactivity of hemp secondary metabolites are proposed by discussing the power of plant genetic engineering and tissue culture.”

In Canada, Hemp production is controlled by the Industrial Hemp Regulations.

Included in Canada’s Industrial Hemp Regulations is the type of cultivar or seed Canada allows. Section 14 (3) states:  “On and after January 1, 2000, an approved cultivar referred to in subsection (1) must be of a pedigreed status …”

Pedigree status is further defined in subsection 2(2) as: “with respect to seed, means seed that is of foundation status, registered status, or certified status, or seed that is approved by the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association (CSGA) as being breeder seed or select seed. Foundation, registered, and certified status are further defined for seed that is produced in Canada or elsewhere. Seed that is not produced in Canada must meet the standards for varietal purity established by an official certifying agency and be approved by the CSGA.” 

This legislation further states that the only two official systems recognized to produce seed of pedigreed status includes:

  1. AASCO- The Association of American Seed Control Officials – and
  2. OECD – The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

 

According to Science Central, crop genetic engineering is now defined as:

“a technology where the genome of a host crop is engineered with a foreign donor gene regulated by certain gene regulatory sequences (promoter, terminator, etc.). Crop genetic engineering started in 1983 [1] via expressing of a bacterial gene in tobacco, and the first transgenic (genetically modified or GM) food crop (i.e. Flavr Savr tomato) was commercialized by Calgene Company in 1994 [2]. In crop genetic engineering, genes are randomly inserted into a host plant genome.
Although scientists add genes to crops via crop breeding, the breeding progeny is not considered a GM crop because the inserted genes and their regulatory sequences belong to the same host crop genus or in rare cases (for example, in case of cross breeding of oat and barley), to the host’s cross breedable crop.
If the donor gene and all of transgene’s regulatory sequences belong to the same crop species or belong to the host’s cross breedable species, the resulting crop is called “cisgenic”. In the cisgenic technology, the cisgene must be an identical copy of the host’s native gene cassette, including its regulatory sequences integrated in the host plant in the normal-sense orientation.
The crop intragenic is a technology that inserts gene cassettes containing specific genetic sequences from crops that are belonging to the same breedable gene pool into a host crop genome. In this case, the gene coding sequences (with or without introns) can be regulated by promoters and terminators of different genes as far as those genes that contribute towards the transgene regulation belong to the same cross breedable gene pool [3].”

 

 

 

PLU Codes: FYI – a Must Know

omg

The sticker on your produce is very important as it reveals a lot about how the produce was grown. The sticker is called a PLU or price look-up code. The sad news is that PLU codes are not mandatory, thanks to our governments that are in bed with Monsanto and its array of subsidiaries (including Cargill, American Seeds, Kruger, Western Seed, Ontario Seed, and many more). Click here for a list of Monsanto subsidiaries

The PLU code for conventionally grown US produce have traditionally maintained an individually unique four digit PLU code. Traditional or conventionally grown produce is grown using pesticides. When the dangers of GE crops became known, organic produce gained in value and consequently, it became paramount to distinguish products grown traditionally, organically and those grown by genetic modification.

A four-digit PLU code begins with a three (3) or four (4) and means the produce is ‘probably’ conventionally or traditionally grown with the use of chemicals such as chemical fertilizers, fungicides and/or herbicides. The word ‘probably’ was mandated by lobbyists as a way to downplay the use of chemicals on food products. These four digits represent the type of produce it is. As an example, large lemons conventionally grown in the US have a PLU code of 4053.

lemon plu code

In the above image, the lemon has a five digit “price look-up” code that begins with a nine (9). A five digit code beginning with a nine means that the produce is grown organically and is not genetically modified. This is the sticker or PLU code that you want to find when feeding your loved ones.

gmo-apple

A five digit code that begins with an eight (8), as in the above apple example, means that the apple IS genetically modified (it contains genes from other organisms). The most commonly sold GE produce with a PLU code beginning with an eight (8) are various species of corn, soybeans, canola, cotton, papaya and squash.

There is a problem with this system in that product labelling for GE produce is not mandatory. As a result,it is rare to see a five digit PLU code that begins with the digit eight (8). Why? The simple answer is that any consumer who knows the dangers of genetically modified produce would certainly refuse to buy those identified as such (i.e. produce that contains five digits and starts with an 8, as laid out in the present system). In fact, many subsidiary seed companies of Monsanto do not even want any gardener to know which of their seeds are genetically modified.

Genetically Modified Pot?

MMAR home grown
homegrown

Under the MMAR (Canada’s old Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations), it allowed patients in Canada to choose their medicine. After all, are we not masters of our own domain? Able to determine what our body needs? When did we give that up, if we did?

The above “thin layer chromatography” (TLC) chromatogram (a.k.a. bud footprint) clearly identifies more than just THC in three bud samples tested  (including a sample of BC Bud). These are buds grown under the MMAR regulations, when patients in Canada had a choice and could choose their medicine.

Compare being Masters of our own Domain, above,  with what Health Canada has regulated, below:

LP pot
LP pot

LP Pot (pot from Licensed Producers), is the second chromatogram and shows three samples from Licensed Producers’ pot, under the MMPR. Please take a minute to compare the two chromatograms, both shown above.

LP pot, second example, only shows THC and in a very strange way. Genetically altered?

The question that needs an answer is this:

Are patients in Canada guaranteed that the Health Minister has not again sold out out health to genetically altered cannabis cultivars to and from Big Pharma?

Say No to Monsanto

gm corn

Monsanto claims their GE crops are safe and “substantially equivalent” to other food and therefore, does not need disclosure in food labels nor extra regulation. On the other hand, they claim their GE seeds are a novel invention that requires a patent.

Their Bt Corn  is genetically crossed with material from a bacteria known as Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). This corn is also registered as a pesticide.

Is genetically engineered food safe? Consider the scientific studies from Professor Seralini in France.

A professor of molecular biology at the University of Caen in France, Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini conducted a long term scientific study on the effects of Bt corn on rats and concluded that this corn or roundup ready fertilizer has the effect of causing cancer and severe organ damage. When these findings were first published in 2012 in Food and Chemical Toxicology (Elsevier), it caused such an uproar that Food and Chemical retracted the story on the basis that the study was full of faults and therefore unfounded. However, the study was found credible and was republished in 2014 in the open-access journal Environmental Sciences Europe.

Corporations need to understand that it is necessary to learn to live in harmony with nature. Corporations like Monsanto threaten the future of nature and the lives of everyone and everything with their attempts at controlling nature.

When buying seeds for your home garden, ensure you are not buying Monsanto seeds by checking out this list of Monsanto Free Seed Companies