Dr. Rath Health Foundation

Dr. Rath Health Foundation

Responsibility for a healthy world Dr. Rath Research Institute 100+ Studies Published In PubMed

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Big Picture News

The business plan of the pharmaceutical and chemical industries is almost entirely based around patented products. The existence and increasing popularity of non-patentable, naturally occurring, safe alternatives to these products represents a serious threat to the future profitability of these industries. Whilst the threat to synthetic, patented drugs is already fairly widely understood in the case of natural food supplements, there are also many other examples of patented products produced by these industries that are similarly threatened by natural alternatives. Awareness of this aspect of the bigger picture is fundamental to understanding the full extent of the threat that the pharmaceutical and chemical industries pose to our health.

October 28, 2007

GM: The Secret Files
Ministers are secretly easing the way for GM crops in Britain, while professing to be impartial on the technology, startling internal documents reveal. The documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, show that the Government colluded with a biotech company in setting conditions for testing GM potatoes, and gives tens of millions of pounds a year to boost research into modified crops and foods. The information on funding proved extraordinarily difficult to get, requiring three months of investigation by an environmental pressure group, a series of parliamentary questions, and three applications for the information. Friends of the Earth finally obtained still partial information last week which shows that the Government provides at least £50m a year for research into agricultural biotechnology, largely GM crops and food. This generosity contrasts with the £1.6m given last year for research into organic agriculture, in spite of repeated promises to promote environmentally friendly, "sustainable" farming.
Read Geoffrey Lean's article in the Independent on Sunday (UK)

July 18, 2007

Seed sense
Hundreds of vegetable varieties have been lost from UK soils and are now illegal to grow.
Read article in the Guardian (UK)
Comment: If a variety has been dropped from the European Union's approved common catalogue, then its seeds cannot be bought or sold in the EU. The key beneficiaries from these restrictions are the GM industry and their close allies in the pharma industry, the long-term profits of whom are threatened by the continued existence of non-patentable and organic seeds.

June 21, 2007

Monsanto, Bayer team up on herbicide tolerance
Agro-firms Monsanto and Bayer CropSciences have entered into a series of new agreements, which could result in crops that contain two of the leading herbicide technologies - Roundup Ready and LibertyLink. The long-term business and licensing agreements relate specifically to corn and soybean crops, the two largest field crops in terms of acreage in the United States.
Read article at nutraingredients-usa.com
Comment: Further evidence of the growing relationship between big biotech and big pharma.

June 12, 2007

Ministers open door for GMOs in organic food
GM contamination in imports affects EU organic standard
At the Agriculture Council today EU Ministers decided to allow contamination of organic food with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The Ministers adopted a new law which allows organic food containing up to 0.9 percent "adventitious or technically unavoidable" GMO content to be classed and labelled as organic. Environmental groups criticised the decision as it goes against the principle of consumer choice. Organic farming is the most competitive and environmentally friendly agricultural sector. In Europe it is creating new jobs and has wide public support. Helen Holder, GMO Campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, said: "Now that the EU has declared traces of genetic contamination in organic crops acceptable, organic farmers will find it increasingly difficult to keep their crops GM-free. The EU must urgently introduce cross-border legislation to protect organic and conventional farmers from genetic pollution." The European Parliament and environmental groups had called for the threshold of contamination of organic food to be 0.1 percent, which is the lowest level at which genetically modified organisms can be technically detected.
Read press release on the Friends of the Earth Europe website

March 22, 2007

Monsanto and BASF sign R&D agreement
Monsanto and BASF have entered into an R&D agreement that aims to pool the companies' resources. Announced today, the collaboration will focus on the development of high yielding crops and crops that are more tolerant to adverse environmental conditions such as drought. The two companies said they will dedicate a joint budget of potentially $1.5bn (€1.2bn) to fund a pipeline of yield and stress tolerance traits for corn, soybeans, cotton and canola. The joint pipeline will include the companies' existing and planned yield and stress tolerance programs and be comprised of projects generated by independent plant biotechnology discovery and research from each company.
Read article at nutraingredients.com
Comment: Big biotech and big pharma begin to deepen their relationship, but the beneficiaries will not be consumers.

February 8, 2007

Organic food sector under threat from new GM rules
New UK government proposals to allow up to 0.9 per cent GM in organic food without it being labelled threatens a highly lucrative industry, claim campaigners. The Soil Association said that businesses with turnover of £950m were "left in the cold" by the government consultation, which examined the coexistence between GM crops, non-GM crops and organic crops in England . A delegation representing 74 organic businesses met at the House of Commons to express their concerns this week.
Read article at nutraingredients.com

January 24, 2007

Cropwatch vs. IFRA
Cropwatch (an independent watchdog for natural aromatic chemical companies) has accused the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) of favouring synthetic ingredients and discouraging the use of natural products in fragrance applications.
Read article at perfumerflavorist.com

January 1, 2007

EPA Asked to Crack Down on Natural Pesticides
The makers of conventional pesticides are asking the US Environmental Protection Agency to require proof that natural alternatives such as peppermint oil and thyme actually work.
Read article at redorbit.com

July 22, 2006

Meacher: GM will ruin organic farms
Michael Meacher, the former Labour environment minister, said last night that the Government's "arrogant" decision to pave the way for genetically modified food to be produced commercially in Britain would lead to organic farms being wiped out "within a few years". Mr Meacher said that GM crops would "contaminate" organic farms and make it impossible for the fast-growing organic food industry to survive. Ian Pearson, the Environment Minister, said last week that organic farms would have to put up with some GM cross-pollination and called for "precautionary, science-based and pragmatic co-existence".
Read article in Daily Telegraph (UK)

Comment: Unlike the seeds for organic foods, the seeds for GM foods can be patented. This, essentially, is the real key to why the companies manufacturing these products are so desperate for GM foods to be forced onto world markets, as the potential long-term profits are so colossal as to compare quite favorably with the market in pharmaceutical drugs. The contamination of organic farms with GM material, and the subsequent wiping out of the organic food industry, can thus be seen as being potentially beneficial to the profits of GM seed manufacturers. Revealingly, therefore, some of the major players in the pharmaceutical industry, such as Bayer and BASF, are also major players in the GM industry.