Tag Archive: Soybean


Credit DS Pugh / Wikimedia Commons

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ScienceDaily: Your source for the latest research news

 

Increased drought portends lower future Midwestern U.S. crop yields

May 1, 2014
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Increasingly harsh drought conditions in the US Midwest’s Corn Belt may take a serious toll on corn and soybean yields over the next half-century, according to new research. Corn yields could drop by 15 to 30 percent, according to the paper’s estimates.

Increasingly harsh drought conditions in the U.S. Midwest’s Corn Belt may take a serious toll on corn and soybean yields over the next half-century, according to research published today in the journal Science.

Corn yields could drop by 15 to 30 percent, according to the paper’s estimates; soybean yield losses would be less severe.

North Carolina State University’s Roderick Rejesus, associate professor of agricultural and resource economics and a co-author of the Science paper, says that corn and soybean yields show increasing sensitivity to drought, with yields struggling in dry conditions in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana during the 1995 to 2012 study period.

“Yield increases are getting smaller in bad conditions,” Rejesus said. “Agronomic and genetic crop improvements over the years help a lot when growing conditions are good, but have little effect when growing conditions are poor, like during droughts.”

U.S. corn and soybeans account for approximately 40 and 35 percent of global production, respectively, making the results important to the world’s food supply.

 

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File:Soybeanvarieties.jpg

Varieties of soybeans (Glycine max). Soybeans are practically as much a part of American life as baseball. They’re grown today in more than half the United States. Yet, a hundred years ago, they were virtually unheard of-raised only by a handful of innovative farmers. These seeds, from the National Soybean Germplasm Collection housed at Urbana, Illinois, show a wide range of colors, sizes, and shapes.

Image Source  :  Wikimedia.org

Author Scott Bauer

USDA Image Number K5267-7

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PreventDisease.com

Jan 27, 2014 by NATASHA LONGO

Whether Labeled Organic, Non-GMO or Conventional, Here Are 12 Reasons To Avoid Any Kind of Soy

Soy has become a major source of toxicity for human beings, especially in the last three decades. Not only is more than 99% of soy genetically modified, but sources labeled organic or non-GMO are often exposed to the same problems as conventional soy. If you consume processed foods, soy is almost impossible to avoid. With the exception of wheat, there are few foods that are causing as many health problems as soy in the food supply. Here are 12 reasons to avoid any kind of soy.

1. Soy Reduces Assimilation of Minerals
Phytic acid is present in the bran or hulls of all seeds and when we compare the phytate of soy to many other types of beans and nuts, the percent mass is not that far off, but that’s not the problem. The problem is how much we are consuming. Most people stuck on the soy bandwagon are consuming far more phytate by the sheer volume through mass consumption of things like soy milk, tofu, cereals, and processed foods. It doesn’t even compare to the amount they would consume through seeds and nuts. The effect of phytic acid on iron absorption has been thoroughly studied. As evident in a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, as phytic acid increases, it has a diminishing impact on iron while inhibiting its absorption. This applies to almost every major mineral including zinc–one of the most important minerals for the human body. Two billion people may now have zinc deficiency. Phytates bind to zinc and thereby decrease its bioavailability. Phytic acid levels in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc.

2. Soy Causes Growth Problems and Even Cancer In Children
The phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. Consequenty thse high phytate diets have caused growth problems in children. Combined with the presence of both phytoestrogens and arsenic, soy-based formulas are a disease promoting ticking time bomb for infants. A study published in the peer-reviewed journal The Prostate, revealed that humans exposed to a combination of both toxicants were almost twice as likely to develop cancerous cells in their prostate. While it is established that both arsenic and estrogen can cause cancer, the research raises concerns about the dangers of chemicals in combination, and the efficacy of regulations that are established by testing one chemical at a time. True cancer of the prostate, carcinoma, is seldom seen in infants and children, but other forms of malignant tumors may develop and more cases are appearing in developed nations where the link appears to center around soy infant formula. While many claims have been made about the health benefits of these estrogen-like compounds, animal studies indicate that soy (both conventional and organic) contain powerful endocrine disrupters that alter growth patterns and cause sterility. Soy formula is also laden with toxic chemicals such as aluminum and manganese, which can cause both physical and mental health problems, learning disabilities, brain damage, and behavioral problems. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the highly concentrated phytoestrogens in soy formula weaken the immune systems of babies. Toxicologists estimate that an infant exclusively fed soy formula receives the estrogenic equivalent of at least five birth control pills per day.

3. Soy Linked To Cancer
The Chinese did not eat unfermented soybeans as they did other legumes such as lentils because the soybean contains large quantities of natural toxins or “antinutrients”. First among them are potent enzyme inhibitors that block the action of trypsin and other enzymes needed for protein digestion. These inhibitors are large, tightly folded proteins that are not completely deactivated during ordinary cooking. They can produce serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors cause enlargement and pathological conditions of the pancreas, including cancer. What about the Japanese? The Japanese, and Asians in general, have much higher rates of other types of cancer, particularly cancer of the esophagus, stomach, pancreas and liver. Asians throughout the world also have high rates of thyroid cancer. The logic that links low rates of reproductive cancers to soy consumption requires attribution of high rates of thyroid and digestive cancers to the same foods, particularly as soy causes these types of cancers in laboratory rats. Just how much soy do Asians eat? A 1998 survey found that the average daily amount of soy protein consumed in Japan was about eight grams for men and seven for women – less than two teaspoons. Americans are consuming amounts far exceeding this quantity. Thousands of women are now consuming soy in the belief that it protects them against breast cancer. Yet, in 1996, researchers found that women consuming soy protein isolate had an increased incidence of epithelial hyperplasia, a condition that presages malignancies. A year later, dietary genistein was found to stimulate breast cells to enter the cell cycle – a discovery that led the study authors to conclude that women should not consume soy products to prevent breast cancer.

4. Soy Promotes Infertility
Soy beans contain genistein, a natural compound that has estrogenic effects because it binds the estrogen receptor with relatively high affinity. A study in the Journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology showed that dietary genistein exhibits a strongly increased estrogenic effect and cautionary attitude towards the consumption of large amounts of soy or soy supplements is warranted to prevent infertility. Another study in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology International found that soy ingestion increases amniotic fluid phytoestrogen concentrations in female and male fetuses. Phytoestrogens daidzein and genistein may, alone or in combination with other chemicals, function as endocrine disruptors, with potentially adverse effects on male reproductive function.

5. D-Glutamic Acid
Natural glutamate in plants and animals is known as L-glutamic acid. Our normal digestive process slowly breaks down this natural or “bound” glutamic acid and it is then delivered to glutamate receptors in our body and brain. Broken down this way, it is harmless. However, factory, artificially bound D-glutamic acid in soy is broken down or made “free” by various processes (hydrolyzed, autolyzed, modified or fermented with strong chemicals, bacteria, or enzymes) is toxic to the human body. Since free glutamate can be a component part of certain food additives, such as hydrolyzed soy protein and cheap soy sauce, it is essentially unregulated when it comes to labeling standards. Many people who are very sensitive to D-glutamic acid experience respiratory, neurological, muscular, skin, urological and even cardiac symptoms.

6. High Levels of Aluminum
Soy has to go through a process to become soy protein isolate. Acid washing in aluminum tanks, which is designed to remove some of the antinutrients (but the results often vary widely), leeches aluminum into the final product. Aluminum can have adverse effects on brain development and cause symptoms such as antisocial behavior, learning disabilities. alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Harsh alkaline soaking solutions are used mainly in the production of modern soy foods such as soy protein concentrates, soy supplements, soy protein shakes, textured soy protein (TSP), etc. Much of the trypsin inhibitor content can be removed through high-temperature processing, but not all. Trypsin inhibitor content of soy protein isolate can vary as much as fivefold.

7. Blocks Production of Thyroid Hormone
In 1991, Japanese researchers reported that consumption of as little as 30 grams or two tablespoons of soybeans per day for only one month resulted in a significant increase in thyroid-stimulating hormone. Soy foods have a high concentration of goitrogens which block production of thyroid hormones. Scientists have known for years that soy-based formula can cause thyroid problems in babies. Scientists Daniel Sheehan and Daniel Doerge, from the National Center for Toxicological Research presented findings from rat feeding studies, indicating that genistein in soy foods causes irreversible damage to enzymes that synthesise thyroid hormones. Soy consumption is associated with thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism, goiter, and autoimmune thyroid disease (ATD) as well as increased iodine requirement in certain cases.

8. Causes Allergic Reactions
Soy is one of the top allergens–substances that cause allergic reactions. Today, soy is widely accepted as one of the “big eight” that cause immediate hypersensitivity reactions. Some 28 different proteins present in soy have been found to bind to IgE antibodies. It’s also worth noting that the more soy protein you eat, the more likely you are to develop allergies to it — and the more severe those allergies are likely to become. Delayed allergic responses to soy are less dramatic than the top allergens like peanuts or shellfish, but are even more common. These are caused by antibodies known as immunoglobulins A, G or M (IgA, IgG or IgM) and occur anywhere from two hours to days after the food is eaten. These have been linked to sleep disturbances, bedwetting, sinus and ear infections, crankiness, joint pain, chronic fatigue, gastrointestinal woes and other mysterious symptoms. Food “intolerances”, “sensitivities” and “idiosyncrasies” to soy are commonly called “food allergies”, but differ from true allergies in that they are not caused by immune system reactions but by little-understood or unknown metabolic mechanisms. Strictly speaking, gas and bloating–common reactions to soy and other beans–are not true allergic responses. However, they may serve as warnings of the possibility of a larger clinical picture involving allergen-related gastrointestinal damage. The soybean industry knows that some people experience severe allergic reactions to its products. In a recent petition to the FDA, Protein Technologies International (PTI) identified “allergenicity” as one of the “most likely potential adverse effects associated with ingestion of large amounts of soy products”.

9. Genetically Modified
Any ingredient listed as soybean or soy on any product ingredient list has a 93% chance of being GMO if it is not listed as organic. But even organic soy cannot be trusted. Soy is very problematic crop. Non-organic sources of soy in many agricultural practices are being passed off as organic. In 2011, the USDA uncovered a plot to import fraudulent organic certificates produced by an uncertified supplier in China. The Chinese firm used the counterfeit certificate to represent non-organic crops, including soybeans, millet and buckwheat, as certified organic. These types of things are happening every year and only a fraction are being discovered. Even domestically sourced organic soybean crops are now being investigated for having GMO origins. Organic soy also does not change the toxicity of unfermented sources so abundant in the food supply.

10. Most Soy is Unfermented
Phytates in unfermented soy products actually obstruct absorption of protein and four key minerals: calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc better than fermented sources. In their natural form, soybeans contain phytochemicals with toxic effects on the human body. The three major anti-nutrients are phytates, enzyme inhibitors and goitrogens. These anti-nutrients are the way nature protects the soybean plant so that it can live long enough to effectively reproduce. They function as the immune system of the plant, offering protection from the radiation of the sun, and from invasion by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. They make the soybean plant unappetizing to foraging animals. All plants have some anti-nutrient properties, but the soybean plant is especially rich in these chemicals. If they are not removed by extensive preparation such as fermentation or soaking, soybeans are one of the worst foods a person can eat. The net protein utilization of unfermented soy is 61 which quite low. The most common soy (99%) sold at major grocery retailers in soy milks and processed foods is unfermented soy. It is deadly. Unfermented soy has been linked to digestive distress, immune system breakdown, PMS, endometriosis, reproductive problems for men and women, allergies, ADD and ADHD, higher risk of heart disease and cancer, malnutrition, and loss of libido. Fermented sources of soy such as natto, miso, tempeh and some fermented tofus are likely the only types of soy that should be consumed by humans and that’s only if you can get around the crap shoot that they’re non-GMO and organic (which there is no guarantee despite labeling).

11. Enzyme Inhibitors
When food is eaten, digestive enzymes such as amylase lipase and protease are secreted into the digestive tract to help break it down and free nutrients for assimilation into the body. The high content of enzyme inhibitors such as trypsin in unfermented soybeans interferes with this process and makes carbohydrates and proteins from soybeans impossible to completely digest. When foods are not completely digested because of enzyme inhibitors, bacteria in the large intestine try to do the job, and this can cause discomfort, bloating, and embarrassment. Anyone with naturally low levels of digestive enzymes such as elderly people would suffer the most from the enzyme inhibiting action of soy. In precipitated products, enzyme inhibitors concentrate in the soaking liquid rather than in the curd. Thus, in tofu and bean curd, growth depressants are reduced in quantity but not completely eliminated.

12. Immunotoxic
The prevalence of autoimmune diseases has significantly increased over the recent years. It has been proposed that this epidemiological evidence could be in part attributable to environmental estrogens, compounds that display estrogen-like activity. Environmental estrogens can be found in phytoestrogens which occur in soy. There is a considerable burden of evidence both in vitro and in animal models that these compounds exert immunotoxic effects. Phytoestrogens drastically reduce not only the size of the thymus, but also the bone marrow cavity as well, the sites where most deletion of autoreactive cells occur. Isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens present in large quantities in soy and soy-derived products, inhibit protein tyrosine kinase, and exert other effects in the body such as exacerbating the clinical course of this autoimmune disease.

Sources:
westonaprice.org
medscape.com
wholesoystory.com
mercola.com

Natasha Longo has a master’s degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.

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Midwest hot, dry spell brings back drought worries

In this Aug. 28, 2013, photo drought-stressed corn grows on a farm near Oregon, Mo. A growing season that began unusually wet and cold in the Midwest is finishing hot and dry, renewing worries of drought and the impact it may have on crops according to the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, by the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

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Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A growing season that began unusually wet and cold in the Midwest is finishing hot and dry, renewing worries of drought and its impact on crops.

Temperatures soared to records in recent days in parts of the region, reaching nearly 100 degrees in some areas. The heat wave struck many farm states — from the Dakotas to Wisconsin, down through Missouri — that have seen too little rain this growing season.

“It’s about the worst case scenario we could have with these high temperatures and the lack of water with soil moisture declining,” said Roger Elmore, an agronomy professor at Iowa State University.

A wet, cool spring delayed planting and slowed crop growth — but it also replenished soil moisture in many crop producing states, causing some of last year’s widespread drought to retreat. The rain stopped in July in many of those states, however, and as the soil dried out, the heat set in and stressed corn and soybean crops.

The southeast Iowa city of Burlington, which is surrounded by corn fields, had its wettest spring on record at 19.23 inches of precipitation, nearly 8 inches above normal. Yet it’s now on track to have its driest summer on record, with only 3.86 inches so far, 8.41 inches below normal.

Wayne Humphries farms about 1,000 acres about 45 miles north of Burlington at Columbus Junction. He grows corn and soybeans and raises hogs.

He said he delayed planting by about 30 days because of wet fields and now is watching the lower leaves of cornstalks turn brown from lack of moisture. He hasn’t seen a measurable rain for 30 days.

Soybean plants are suffering too as seeds are developing in the pods.

“I have solace in the fact that we did everything we could and we did it to the best of our ability and now whatever happens, happens,” he said. “It’s sort of a philosophical moment.”

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Expanding U.S. Drought, Excessive Heat Hurt Iowa Corn, Soy Crops

High heat and little rain during the past week led to an unusual, quick expansion of drought conditions in Iowa and Illinois, damaging crops in the biggest U.S. corn- and soybean-growing states.

About 25 percent of Iowa had a moderate drought on Aug. 27, up from 7.9 percent a week earlier, while Illinois jumped to 20 percent from none, the U.S. Drought Monitor said yesterday in a report. Parts of Iowa received less than 25 percent of normal rain during the past 60 days, and much of Illinois got less than half of normal since June 30, data from the High Plains Regional Climate Center show.

After a wet May and June delayed planting, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cut its soybean-crop forecast by 4.8 percent on Aug. 12 and reduced its corn estimate for a third straight month. July was the 20th coldest in 119 years in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, National Weather Service data show. Soybean futures are up 17 percent from an 18-month low on Aug. 7 on forecasts for dry weather, and corn rose 7.5 percent from a 35-month low on Aug. 13.

“The heat and drought are speeding crop development and reducing yield potential daily,” Roger Elmore, an agronomist at Iowa State University in Ames, said in a telephone interview. “We are skipping over critical stages of development that probably can’t recover even if temperatures cool and a little rain falls.”

While the crops need hot weather to develop, temperatures that approached 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) from Nebraska to Indiana in the past five days can cut corn yields at least 3 percent a day while reducing the number of seeds and seed weight in soybeans, Elmore said.

Yield Loss

Cool weather during the first 19 days of August masked the stress that the dry spell was causing to crops over most of the Midwest, Planalytics Inc. said in a report yesterday. The epicenter of the crop damage is in Iowa, based on the vegetative growth index that the forecaster constructs biweekly from satellite images.

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Crossroads News : Changes In The World Around Us And Our Place In It  –  Environmental

by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) When considering the various factors that are most responsible for widespread environmental pollution and ecosystem destruction in today’s world, most people probably envision things like industrial manufacturing facilities spilling chemicals into nearby waterways, coal-fired power plants billowing plumes of black smoke into the blue sky, and thousands of miles of major highways occupied by millions of gas-guzzling, fume-emitting vehicles. It turns out, though, that agriculture, at least the industrialized type, is actually one of the biggest contributors to the destruction of the planet in the modern times.All across the globe, large swaths of otherwise pristine rainforests and jungles are literally being clear-cut and turned into mega-plantations for growing major cash crops like soy, corn, canola, and wheat, all of which are used to formulate various ingredients and additives used throughout the processed food supply. In other words, there is big money to be made in growing such crops precisely because their derivatives are added to almost every type of processed food available — and in the eyes of the unscrupulous opportunist, rainforests and other natural habitats are merely inconvenient obstacles to be defeated, rather than natural treasures.

Cash crop plantations replacing native forests throughout Third World

Many areas of South America, for instance, are experiencing great losses in rainforest acreage as corporate agriculture giants move in to replace them with soy and corn fields (http://www.greenpeace.org). Native forests throughout Asia are also being greatly damaged by the palm oil industry, which happens to produce one of the only relatively healthy cash crops being cultivated on a larger scale. (http://environment.yale.edu)

Whether it is the soybean oil and refined wheat flour added to processed cookies and crackers, or the corn syrup and soy lecithin added to processed chocolate bars and candies, the processed food industry as a whole is directly fueling demand for the very same crop plantations that are destroying the natural world at a devastatingly alarming pace. Even the fuel we put in our cars, a percentage of which comes in the form of “biofuel,” is promoting rapid deforestation and the ruination of natural habitats worldwide.

“You may not consume large quantities of soy directly, but the animals you eat do,” adds WWF Global about how conventional meat production also fuels environmental destruction. “80 percent of the world’s soybean crop is fed to livestock, especially chickens. So if you eat meat, cheese or eggs, or drink milk, chances are you’re indirectly consuming soybeans grown in biodiverse ecosystems that have been greatly reduced and fragmented to make space for soy plantations.” (http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/soy/)

Standard American Diet fueling global deforestation, habitat destruction

Since the Standard American Diet (SAD) consists largely of processed, factory-farmed foods that are loaded with various derivatives of soy, corn, canola, cottonseed, and wheat, Americans as a whole are also contributing, albeit indirectly, to the devastating consequences of cash crop plantations. These consequences including things like soil erosion, water contamination, deforestation, and poverty. (http://www.naturalnews.com/030390_GMO_soy_poverty.html)

Avoiding conventional meat and dairy products, and instead choosing local and organic alternatives, is one way to help fight deforestation. Steering clear of foods that contain ingredients derived from conventional soy, corn, cotton, canola, and wheat is another way to “vote with your wallet” against environmental mismanagement and destruction.

Sources for this article include:

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/soy/

http://www.greenpeace.org

http://environment.yale.edu

 

Taking Matters Into Our Own Hands

 

How Genetically Engineered Soy Threatens Ecological Stability


By Dr. Mercola

Soybeans are touted by the food industry as the answer to world hunger. But very few pieces of propaganda could be more misleading. Not only does soy consumption lead to a number of health problems, but its production is leaving a trail of ecological devastation beyond belief.

While most people know the Amazon is under threat, few know that one of the principal perpetrators is soy.

One of the regions hardest hit by soy monoculture is Brazil, home of the largest expanse of precious Amazon rainforest. For several years, Greenpeace has been involved in an intense investigation of Amazon soy production using satellite images, aerial surveillance, previously unreleased government documents and on-the-ground monitoring, to expose the links in the soy chain.

Many of their findings are presented in the documentary “Soy: In the Name of Progress,” which you can watch in its entirety in the link above. For more information, you can also read their final report, Eating up the Amazon1.

Agricultural multinational bullies are rushing into Brazil to flatten forests into massive soy farms, expelling native peoples from their land by any means possible, legal or otherwise.

Peaceful community protests are met with violent beatings from large soy producers and their hired thugs, and individuals speaking out the loudest have been assassinated. The Brazilian government is sadly absent, uninvolved, and ineffective on this issue.

Not only is the soy takeover harming the Brazilian people and their native culture, but it’s having a devastating ecological impact that could potentially affect the rest of the world.

Soy Monoculture Could Alter Global Climate Patterns

The Amazon is the largest expanse of tropical rainforest on the planet, but deforestation is occurring at an alarming rate. An area the size of France has been destroyed thus far. Not only does the Amazon contain some of the richest biodiversity in the world, but it’s being destroyed before it can even be studied — so we don’t even know what treasures have been lost.

The rainforest is tied into climatic patterns worldwide and provides a major source of the water vapor that ends up falling on your garden as rain. Some estimate that, if trends continue, the entire Amazon rainforest could be gone in 30 to 40 years. Consequences would be far reaching to the world’s climate, including the U.S. and Europe — a climate that is already undergoing significant stress.

Soy’s Cycle of Destruction in the Amazon

Between 2007 and 2008, almost three million acres of Brazilian rainforest were lost to illegal logging, soy plantations, and cattle ranching2. Soy traders encourage farmers to cut down forest vegetation and plant massive soy monocultures. The traders then take the soy and ship it to Europe where it’s fed to animals like chickens and pigs. The animals are then turned into fast food products.

Before soy can be planted, soy farmers have to remove the most valuable timber from areas they illegally occupy. According to Greenpeace2 :

“As one of the first steps in the cycle of destruction, land grabbers build logging roads into pristine rainforest. Once accessible, these roads open the door to further devastation of the forest ecosystem through clearing for agricultural operations, fuel wood gathering, and mining.”

The illegal timber trade supports the cheap sale of once-valuable tree timber. Then deforested lands are set on fire to clear any remaining debris. So not only is the rainforest destroyed, but tons of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere by these burnings. Profits from this illegal logging are then used to seed soy plantations and line the pockets of a few select multinationals.

Three major companies account for 60 percent of the total financing of soy production in Brazil: ADM, Bunge and Cargill3. These enormous corporations build soy silos and terminals at the rainforest edge and buy soy from illegally cleared and operated farms, including those implementing slave labor.

As if this cycle of destruction is not bad enough, most of the soy crops are genetically engineered, which introduces an entire new set of dangers to you and the food chain. Genetically engineered crops come with serious risks, including resistant super weeds and super pests, uncontrollable cross contamination and serious health hazards, including allergies, infertility, birth defects, bizarre mutations and cancer, just to name a few.

Brazil Sees Fastest Climb in GE Soybean Share

The United States is the world’s top soybean producer (33 percent), with Brazil running a close second (27 percent), followed by Argentina (21 percent)4. As of 2007, more than half of the world’s soybean crops (58.6 percent) were genetically engineered (GE).

GE soybeans contain a gene that confers herbicide resistance, engineered by Monsanto. “Roundup ready soy” is being cultivated on a massive scale across the globe, having devastating effects in many countries, such as Argentina, where people are being sickened daily by massive herbicide spraying. According to GMO Compass5, at one time, GE soybeans were not permitted in Brazil, but that isn’t the case today. GE seed was smuggled in from neighboring countries and planted illegally.

Unfortunately, the GE soybean share has risen faster in Brazil over the past decade than in any other major soy-producing country, as you can see in the following graphic illustrating GE soybean share trends over time.


GE Soybean Share: From GMO-Compass

Strategies for Avoiding GE Foods

There are some measures you can take to make sure the foods you select are not genetically engineered. Soy is one of only nine common GE food crops, but their derivatives are in over 70 percent of supermarket foods, particularly processed foods. So, the more fresh, organic and local foods you eat, the less likely you’ll be consuming GE ingredients. Also, look for the USDA Certified 100% Organic seal: This green or black seal assures the product is certified organic by the USDA, which means it contains at least 95 percent organic ingredients that are free of genetically engineered ingredients.

URGENT ACTION NEEDED: Support California’s Ballot Initiative to Label GMO’s!


One of the best strategies for reducing or eliminating GE foods is to force food manufacturers to list them on the label. You have a right to know if the foods you’re eating contain GE ingredients. As it stands now, there is no labeling law.

This November, we have a great opportunity to change that with California Ballot Initiative Prop 37, which would require labeling of all genetically engineered foods and food ingredients, and ban the routine industry practice of labeling and marketing such foods as “natural.” Voting day is fast approaching — if you’re going to act, the time is now! They need funds and volunteers. Remember, since California is the 8th largest economy in the world, a win for Prop 37 would be a huge step forward, likely affecting ingredients and labeling nationwide. As the campaign says, “As goes California, so goes the nation.”

Right to Know GMO Prop 37

I urge you to support this bill in any way you can. Here are a few suggestions as to how you can help pass this important initiative:

  • Whether you live in California or not, please donate money to this historic effort, through the Organic Consumers Fund. If you live outside of the United States, you can still donate!  For International Donations, please call (218) 353-7651!
  • If you live in California and want to get involved, please contact CARightToKnow.org. They will go through all volunteer requests to put you into a position that is suitable for you, based on your stated interests and location.
  • No matter where you live, please help spread the word in your personal networks, on Facebook, and Twitter. For help with the messaging, please see CARightToKnow.org.
  • 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.

For timely updates, please join the Organic Consumers Association on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.

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