Saturday, October 5, 2013



The biotech industry has conveniently interfered with your right to know how these varieties are produced by removing patent numbers from named varieties in seed catalogues and all references.  This prevents anyone from viewing how the varieties were produced, the techniques used and referenced to the US Patent office.

Most of the new varieties coming to market today have been produced by techniques of genetic engineering many using site directed mutagenesis, oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis and mutagenesis by RTDS (Rapid Trait Technology System).   These methods do not require any government approvals as the USDA, FDA and EPA recognize these as one in the same with classical plant breeding.  The industry boasts that this type of breeding is the same as classical breeding or sexual reproduction and has been occurring for thousands of years.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  Moving traits by the above method mentioned is not classical breeding.

Now, here is the list of synthetic substances allowed in organic agriculture as of September 2013.  I hope this answers your question.


Anthony Samsel
Scientist / Consultant
P.O. Box 131
Deerfield, NH 03037

CFR Data is current as of September 27, 2013

§ 205.601   Synthetic substances allowed for use in organic crop production.

In accordance with restrictions specified in this section, the following synthetic substances may be used in organic crop production: Provided, That, use of such substances do not contribute to contamination of crops, soil, or water. Substances allowed by this section, except disinfectants and sanitizers in paragraph (a) and those substances in paragraphs (c), (j), (k), and (l) of this section, may only be used when the provisions set forth in § 205.206(a) through (d) prove insufficient to prevent or control the target pest.
(a) As algicide, disinfectants, and sanitizer, including irrigation system cleaning systems.
(1) Alcohols.
(i) Ethanol.
(ii) Isopropanol.
(2) Chlorine materials—For pre-harvest use, residual chlorine levels in the water in direct crop contact or as water from cleaning irrigation systems applied to soil must not exceed the maximum residual disinfectant limit under the Safe Drinking Water Act, except that chlorine products may be used in edible sprout production according to EPA label directions.
(i) Calcium hypochlorite.
(ii) Chlorine dioxide.
(iii) Sodium hypochlorite.
(3) Copper sulfate—for use as an algicide in aquatic rice systems, is limited to one application per field during any 24-month period. Application rates are limited to those which do not increase baseline soil test values for copper over a timeframe agreed upon by the producer and accredited certifying agent.
(4) Hydrogen peroxide.
(5) Ozone gas—for use as an irrigation system cleaner only.
(6) Peracetic acid—for use in disinfecting equipment, seed, and asexually propagated planting material. Also permitted in hydrogen peroxide formulations as allowed in § 205.601(a) at concentration of no more than 6% as indicated on the pesticide product label.
(7) Soap-based algicide/demossers.
(8) Sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate (CAS #-15630-89-4)—Federal law restricts the use of this substance in food crop production to approved food uses identified on the product label.
(b) As herbicides, weed barriers, as applicable.
(1) Herbicides, soap-based—for use in farmstead maintenance (roadways, ditches, right of ways, building perimeters) and ornamental crops.
(2) Mulches.
(i) Newspaper or other recycled paper, without glossy or colored inks.
(ii) Plastic mulch and covers (petroleum-based other than polyvinyl chloride (PVC)).
(c) As compost feedstocks—Newspapers or other recycled paper, without glossy or colored inks.
(d) As animal repellents—Soaps, ammonium—for use as a large animal repellant only, no contact with soil or edible portion of crop.
(e) As insecticides (including acaricides or mite control).
(1) Ammonium carbonate—for use as bait in insect traps only, no direct contact with crop or soil.
(2) Aqueous potassium silicate (CAS #-1312-76-1)—the silica, used in the manufacture of potassium silicate, must be sourced from naturally occurring sand.
(3) Boric acid—structural pest control, no direct contact with organic food or crops.
(4) Copper sulfate—for use as tadpole shrimp control in aquatic rice production, is limited to one application per field during any 24-month period. Application rates are limited to levels which do not increase baseline soil test values for copper over a timeframe agreed upon by the producer and accredited certifying agent.
(5) Elemental sulfur.
(6) Lime sulfur—including calcium polysulfide.
(7) Oils, horticultural—narrow range oils as dormant, suffocating, and summer oils.
(8) Soaps, insecticidal.
(9) Sticky traps/barriers.
(10) Sucrose octanoate esters (CAS #s—42922-74-7; 58064-47-4)—in accordance with approved labeling.
(f) As insect management. Pheromones.
(g) As rodenticides. Vitamin D3 .
(h) As slug or snail bait. Ferric phosphate (CAS # 10045-86-0).
(i) As plant disease control.
(1) Aqueous potassium silicate (CAS #-1312-76-1)—the silica, used in the manufacture of potassium silicate, must be sourced from naturally occurring sand.
(2) Coppers, fixed—copper hydroxide, copper oxide, copper oxychloride, includes products exempted from EPA tolerance, Provided, That, copper-based materials must be used in a manner that minimizes accumulation in the soil and shall not be used as herbicides.
(3) Copper sulfate—Substance must be used in a manner that minimizes accumulation of copper in the soil.
(4) Hydrated lime.
(5) Hydrogen peroxide.
(6) Lime sulfur.
(7) Oils, horticultural, narrow range oils as dormant, suffocating, and summer oils.
(8) Peracetic acid—for use to control fire blight bacteria. Also permitted in hydrogen peroxide formulations as allowed in § 205.601(i) at concentration of no more than 6% as indicated on the pesticide product label.
(9) Potassium bicarbonate.
(10) Elemental sulfur.
(11) Streptomycin, for fire blight control in apples and pears only until October 21, 2014.
(12) Tetracycline, for fire blight control in apples and pears only until October 21, 2014.
(j) As plant or soil amendments.
(1) Aquatic plant extracts (other than hydrolyzed)—Extraction process is limited to the use of potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide; solvent amount used is limited to that amount necessary for extraction.
(2) Elemental sulfur.
(3) Humic acids—naturally occurring deposits, water and alkali extracts only.
(4) Lignin sulfonate—chelating agent, dust suppressant.
(5) Magnesium sulfate—allowed with a documented soil deficiency.
(6) Micronutrients—not to be used as a defoliant, herbicide, or desiccant. Those made from nitrates or chlorides are not allowed. Soil deficiency must be documented by testing.
(i) Soluble boron products.
(ii) Sulfates, carbonates, oxides, or silicates of zinc, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and cobalt.
(7) Liquid fish products—can be pH adjusted with sulfuric, citric or phosphoric acid. The amount of acid used shall not exceed the minimum needed to lower the pH to 3.5.
(8) Vitamins, B1 , C, and E.
(9) Sulfurous acid (CAS # 7782-99-2) for on-farm generation of substance utilizing 99% purity elemental sulfur per paragraph (j)(2) of this section.
(k) As plant growth regulators. Ethylene gas—for regulation of pineapple flowering.
(l) As floating agents in postharvest handling.
(1) Lignin sulfonate.
(2) Sodium silicate—for tree fruit and fiber processing.
(m) As synthetic inert ingredients as classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for use with nonsynthetic substances or synthetic substances listed in this section and used as an active pesticide ingredient in accordance with any limitations on the use of such substances.
(1) EPA List 4—Inerts of Minimal Concern.
(2) EPA List 3—Inerts of unknown toxicity—for use only in passive pheromone dispensers.
(n) Seed preparations. Hydrogen chloride (CAS # 7647-01-0)—for delinting cotton seed for planting.
(o) As production aids. Microcrystalline cheesewax (CAS #'s 64742-42-3, 8009-03-08, and 8002-74-2)-for use in log grown mushroom production. Must be made without either ethylene-propylene co-polymer or synthetic colors.
(p)-(z) [Reserved]
[65 FR 80637, Dec. 21, 2000, as amended at 68 FR 61992, Oct. 31, 2003; 71 FR 53302 Sept. 11, 2006; 72 FR 69572, Dec. 10, 2007; 75 FR 38696, July 6, 2010; 75 FR 77524, Dec. 13, 2010; 77 FR 8092, Feb. 14, 2012; 77 FR 33298, June 6, 2012; 77 FR 45907, Aug. 2, 2012; 78 FR 31821, May 28, 2013]

Monday, September 30, 2013


Taxpayer Dollars Are Helping Monsanto Sell Seeds Abroad

| Sat May. 18, 2013 3:00 AM PDT
Then-US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Kenya, 2009 
Nearly two decades after their mid-'90s debut in US farm fields, GMO seeds are looking less and less promising. Do the industry's products ramp up crop yields? The Union of Concerned Scientists looked at that question in detail for a 2009 study. Short answer: marginally, if at all. Do they lead to reduced pesticide use? No; in fact, the opposite.
And why would they, when the handful of companies that dominate GMO seeds—Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Dow—are also among the globe's largest pesticide makers? Monsanto's Roundup Ready seeds have given rise to an upsurge of herbicide-resistant superweeds and a torrent of herbicides, while insects are showing resistance to its pesticide-containing Bt crops and causing farmers to boost insecticide use. What about wonder crops that would be genetically engineered to withstand drought or require less nitrogen fertilizer? So far, theyhaven't panned out—and there's little evidence they ever will.
Yet despite all of these problems, the US State Department has been essentially acting as a de facto global-marketing arm of the ag-biotech industry, complete with figures as high-ranking as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mouthing industry talking points as if they were gospel, a new Food & Water Watch analysis of internal documents finds.
The FWW report is based on an analysis of diplomatic cables, written between 2005 and 2009 and released in the big Wikileaks document dump of 2010. FWW sums it up: "a concerted strategy to promote agricultural biotechnology overseas, compel countries to import biotech crops and foods that they do not want, and lobby foreign governments—especially in the developing world—to adopt policies to pave the way to cultivate biotech crops."
The report brims with examples of the US government promoting the biotech industry abroad. Here are a few:
The State Department encouraged embassies to bring visitors—especially reporters—to the United States, which has "proven to be effective ways of dispelling concerns about biotech [crops]." The State Department organized or sponsored 28 junkets from 17 countries between 2005 and 2009. In 2008, when the US embassy was trying to prevent Poland from adopting a ban on biotech livestock feed, the State Department brought a delegation of high-level Polish government agriculture officials to meet with the USDA in Washington, tour Michigan State University and visit the Chicago Board of Trade. The USDA sponsored a trip for El Salvador's Minister of Agriculture and Livestock to visit Pioneer Hi-Bred's Iowa facilities and to meet with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack that was expected to "pay rich dividends by helping [the Minister] clearly advocate policy positions in our mutual bilateral interests."
The State Department hotly pushed GMOs in low-income African nations—in the face of popular opposition.
Another example: This 2009 cable, referenced in the FWW report, shows a State Department functionary casually requesting US taxpayer funds to combat a popular effort to require labeling of GMO foods in Hong Kong—and boasting about successfully having done so in the past. Why focus on the GMO policy of a quasi-independent city? Hong Kong's rejection of a mandatory labeling policy "could have influential spillover effects in the region, including Taiwan, mainland China and Southeast Asia," the functionary writes, adding that her consulate had "intentionally designed [anti-labeling] programs other embassies and consulates" could use.
The report also shows how the State Department hotly pushed GMOs in low-income African nations—in the face of popular opposition. In a 2009 cable, FWW shows, the US embassy in Nigeria bragged that "U.S. government support in drafting [pro-biotech] legislation as well as sensitizing key stakeholders through a public outreach program" helped pass an industry-friendly law. Working with USAID—an independent US government agency that operates under the State Department's authority—the State Department pushed similar efforts in Kenya and Ghana, FWW shows.
Yet, as FWW points out, in so aggressively pushing biotech solutions abroad, the State Department is bucking against the global consensus of ag development experts as expressed by the 2009 International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), a three-year project convened by the World Bank and the United Nations and completed in 2008 to assess what forms of agriculture would best meet the world's needs in a time of rapid climate change. The IAASTD took such a skeptical view of deregulated biotech as a panacea for the globe's food challenges that Croplife America, the industry's main industry lobbying group, saw fit to denounce it. The US government backed up the biotech lobby on this one—just 3 of the 61 governments that participated refused to sign the IAASTD: the Bush II-led United States, Canada, and Australia.
So why are our corps of diplomats behaving as if they answered to Monsanto's shareholders with regard to ag policy? My guess is GMO seed technology, dominated by Monsanto, as well as our towering corn and soy crops (which are at this point almost completely from GM seeds) are two of the few areas of global trade wherein the US still generates a trade surplus. The website of the State Department's Biotechnology and Textile Trade Policy Division puts it like this:  
In 2013, the United States is forecasted to export $145 billion in agricultural products, which is $9.2 billion above fiscal 2012 exports, and have a trade surplus of $30 billion in our agricultural sector.
I guess US presidents, Democratic and Republican alike, are bent on preserving and expanding that surplus. President Obama altered much about US foreign policy when he took over for President Bush in 2009, but he doesn't seem to have changed a thing when it comes to pushing biotech on the global stage. And the impulse is not confined to the State Department. Back in 2009, when Obama needed to appoint someone to lead agriculture negotiations at the US Trade Office, he went straight to the ag-biotech industry, tapping the vice president for science and regulatory affairs at CropLife America, Islam A. Siddiqui, who still holds that post today.
Meanwhile, the State Department operates an Office of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Textile Trade Affairs, which exists in part to "maintain open markets for US products derived from modern biotechnology" and "promote acceptance of this promising technology." The office'sbiotechnology page is larded with language that reads like boilerplate from Monsanto promo material: "Agricultural biotechnology helps farmers increase yields, enabling them to produce more food per acre while reducing the need for chemicals, pesticides, water, and tilling. This provides benefits to the environment as well as to the health and livelihood of farmers."