Lethal Beauty: Transgenders Obsession to Look Feminine Can be Deadly

One thing way to many people starting transition fail to understand is that it can take three to five years for hormones to complete the physical changes.  Just like the period of puberty which extends from roughly 13-18.

People expect instant magical change and do stupid things when that change doesn’t happen rapidly enough.

From  South Florida Gay News: http://www.southfloridagaynews.com/sfgn-columnists/guest-columnists/6793-lethal-beauty-transgenders-obsession-to-look-feminine-can-be-deadly.html

Victoria Michaels
Monday, 06 August 2012

Oneal Ron Morris, 32, the pre-op transsexual female accused of giving illegal, bogus silicone injections to numerous victims across South Florida has finally been arrested and charged with manslaughter in connection with the untimely death of Shatarka Nuby, one of the victims who went to the police after receiving injections filled with a concoction of products bought at Home Depot.

Nuby had become increasingly concerned after receiving the ersatz injections and was so worried that she told friends the injections made her skin feel hard and hot—eventually the spots turned black. She got so worried she even went so far as to write a letter to the Florida Department of Health investigators before her death in March in Tallahassee.

An assistant medical examiner said Nuby suffered “massive systemic silicone migration” from the injections, according to a release from the sheriff’s office. Nuby had a history of taking chances in the cosmetic black market to surgically improve her body.  Sadly, she too was arrested for operating a scam to get breast implants because she couldn’t afford them and was so desperate to transition.  This is an overwhelming problem that plagues our transgender community as there just aren’t any LGBT organizations willing to assist transgenders in their desperate need to transition.

All too often in recent months, we are hearing of t-girls resorting to silicone injections because this is all they can afford.  We need assistance now.

I called Nadine Smith, executive director of LGBT rights group Equality Florida, for assistance when a female-to-male transgender named Beck Lewis Rosato contacted me desperately seeking help for transitioning.  Beck was suicidal at the time and wanted to become a male.  Equality Florida referred me to a group called FORGE in St. Petersburg which was a complete dead end.  They couldn’t assist any trans-people seeking financial aid for transitioning.  The t-community needs assistance and that seems to have gone unnoticed until now.

Being transgender is a rough road as surgeries to transition are very costly.  Since silicone injections tend to be rather affordable—each treatment is about $200 to $300—most people transitioning are able to squeeze that into their budget.  Breast implants alone are $5,000 to $7,000, as opposed to silicone injections, which are simply a few hundred dollars per treatment until you reach your cup size goal.

Continue reading at:   http://www.southfloridagaynews.com/sfgn-columnists/guest-columnists/6793-lethal-beauty-transgenders-obsession-to-look-feminine-can-be-deadly.html

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‘Going Stealth’: A Complicated and Dynamic Family Decision

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wayne-maines/transgender-children_b_1740140.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices&ir=Gay+Voices&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009


Father, storyteller, and advocate for change
08/06/2012

A few years ago we had to move to a new town, to a new school. Ongoing bullying, harassment and discrimination left us with no choice but to leave our beautiful home, our friends and our community. We are not alone. Families raising transgender children face the same plight throughout the nation. Many live in secrecy and we all must make difficult decisions to keep our children safe.

One of the first decisions is whether to tell others that our children are transgender. This decision is often dynamic, as the environments change, we have to change, too. Not telling our schools and community is called “Going Stealth.” Going stealth often starts as early as preschool. It is a simpler time in many ways. No one need’s to know except family, doctors and a small inner circle of friends. Later, in elementary school, we often decide to leave stealth mode to inform teachers, staff and sometimes community leaders that we have a transgender child. It is not an easy decision. Doing so creates new challenges and bigger fears.

We thought it was necessary to tell our school administrators, teachers, staff and coaches that Nicole was transgender. We relied upon them to protect her at school, on the playground, during sports and field trips. We were still well-aware that telling the wrong person could ruin her day, risk her safety and have dire consequences that we might not understand. In the end, disclosure prevailed. Asking them to keep us in a semi-stealth world seemed like the right choice.

In the fifth grade, stealth world ended. There was no holding Nicole back. She openly attended school as her real self, proudly saying I am transgender. She was well-received by her classmates and school community. She was full of joy and confidence until people that fear these beautiful young children turned her world upside down. To keep our family safe we moved and returned to stealth world.

It was a very difficult time in so many ways. Imagine a brother and sister keeping this vital secret at such a young age. Every day we worried that someone might find out and we would have to move again. Of course there were a few positives. Nicole was allowed to use the girls bathroom, she made new friends, went to school dances and our family was no longer in the news. But she had no close friends, no sleepovers and constantly worried that she might slip up and break the family code. This new stealth world was safer, but still very harmful.

Continue reading at:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wayne-maines/transgender-children_b_1740140.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices&ir=Gay+Voices&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

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Madonna calls for release of Pussy Riot

Meanwhile that tired old washed up queen Elton was whoring at Limbaugh’s wedding and making catty remarks about Madonna.

When was the last time he performed anything interesting?  1978?

From The Guardian UK:    http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/aug/06/madonna-pussy-riot-putin-russia

Pop star said during a concert tour of Russia: ‘I’m against censorship, so I hope that the judge is lenient with them’

Associated Press
guardian.co.uk, Monday 6 August 2012

Madonna has voiced hope that three feminist Russian rockers from the band Pussy Riot who are on trial for performing a “punk prayer” against Vladimir Putin are released soon. The pop star told the Associated Press during her concert tour of Russia: “I’m against censorship, so I hope that the judge is lenient with them and that they are freed soon.”

Two weeks before Putin’s return to the presidency in March’s election, Pussy Riot danced in Moscow’s main cathedral while singing “Virgin Mary, drive Putin away!” The three were arrested, and have spent five months in custody on charges of hooliganism. They face seven years in prison if convicted.

Complete article at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/aug/06/madonna-pussy-riot-putin-russia

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The Birth Control Benefit and The Bad Faith Religious Liberty Gambit

From RH Reality Check:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/08/05/bad-faith-religious-liberty-gambit

by Amanda Marcotte, RH Reality Check
August 5, 2012

Make no mistake: All the squalling about how “religious liberty” means employers and schools should be able to withhold earned and/or paid for benefits from women is about the right wing making its move on contraception. The anti-choice movement has internally opposed contraception for a long time now, but hasn’t really had an opportunity to make a big public move towards restricting access. That’s because the right rarely argues for their positions straightforwardly, but instead tries to find an angle: abortion becomes about “life,” racism becomes “states rights,” homophobia becomes “traditional marriage.” Now, the hope is that opposing contraception can be “religious liberty.” But it’s utterly transparent.

That became doubly obvious when Wheaton College, a Christian university, decided to grandstand about how much they opposed contraception insurance coverage, only to find that they won’t be getting the religious institution extension on non-coverage because their insurance plan was already covering contraception. Apparently, their deep moral convictions against providing this benefit only kicked in when the opportunity to politically grandstand about the evils of contraception came up. Which in turn suggests that this has nothing to do with religion, but that’s just the cover story for what is really a cynical exploitation triggered by the phrase “free contraception,” which the right knows is the sort of thing that whips up their base into a frenzy of imagining hot young sluts sleeping around (with everyone but the conservative men engaging these fantasies) on the public dime. But since they can’t win that argument on the merits, “religious liberty” was ushered in to confuse the issue.

Of course, as Jodi Jacobson pointed out last week, “free” contraception isn’t free; women are paying for their insurance by earning it through labor, paying for it with premiums, or a combination of both. The entire reason for the HHS regulation requiring insurance companies to cover it without a copay is that it’s part of a larger set of regulations geared towards getting Americans to utilize more preventive care, which controls costs by preventing more expensive conditions down the road, and, more importantly, saves people unnecessary suffering. The regulation will help control costs in a couple of other valuable ways. First, insurance companies have the right to set parameters on what brands they’ll cover under this regulation, which will encourage more use of generics and lower-cost brands, which in turn will lower the upfront cost of preventing the high costs of unintended pregnancy. There’s also an expectation that this will encourage more women to turn to long-term solutions like IUDs, which are incredibly inexpensive in the long run, but prior to the HHS regulations had prohibitively expensive upfront costs for many women.

Continue reading at:   http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/08/05/bad-faith-religious-liberty-gambit

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Happiness is about Respect, not Riches

From The Greater Good:  http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/happiness_is_about_respect_not_riches

A study shows that admiration from peers—not wealth or economic status—is what really makes us happy.

By Stacey Kennelly
July 13, 2012

Money really can’t buy happiness, research shows. Instead, a new study suggests, those pursuing a happier life would be smart to sharpen their social skills.

In a series of four experiments, researchers found that it is the level of respect and admiration we receive from peers—not overall wealth or success—that more likely predicts happiness. They refer to this level of respect and admiration as our “sociometric status,” as opposed to socioeconomic status (SES).

In one experiment, 80 college students from 14 different student groups rated how much they respected and admired the other people in their group, and how respected and admired they felt themselves; they also answered questions about their family’s income and their own level of happiness.

The results, published in the journal Psychological Science, show that people with higher sociometric status reported greater happiness, whereas their socioeconomic status was not linked to their happiness.

In a similar experiment, more than 300 people answered questions about the respect and admiration they received within their friends, family, and work circles. They also reported their personal sense of power in those social circles, and how liked and accepted they felt, along with their income and happiness.

Continue reading at:  http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/happiness_is_about_respect_not_riches

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White Terrorism at Oak Creek: The Paranoid Style in American Violence

From Juan Cole:   http://www.juancole.com/2012/08/white-terrorism-at-oak-creek-the-paranoid-style-in-american-violence.html

By Juan Cole
Aug. 6, 2012

We still have only rumors about Wade Michael Page, the gunman who walked into a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin near Milwaukee and opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon (weapons that should be illegal) on men women and children beginning to gather for a day of worship, singing and feasting. He killed 6 Americans and critically wounded 3 others, including a Wisconsin policeman kneeling to help one of the Sikh victims. Others were more lightly wounded and went to ordinary hospitals rather than to the trauma unit.

Page is said to have served in the military, discharged for misconduct in 1998.

He is said to have had a 9/11 tattoo.

He was in a white supremacist punk band, “End Apathy.”

He likely thought he was targeting American Muslims. He operated in an atmosphere of virulent hate speech against American Muslims. A discourse of Islamophobia has plagued the United States in the past decade, pushed by unscrupulous bigots in public life and by entire media organizations such as Fox Cable News and other media properties of billionaire yellow press lord Rupert Murdoch. Among them is also Rush Limbaugh, who, incredibly, is still broadcast to US soldiers abroad.

Among the hatemongers are Frank Gaffney, and his acolyte Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn), Rep. Peter King (R-NY) Daniel Pipes, James Woolsey, Robert Spencer, Steve Emerson, John Bolton, and sometimes Rudi Giuliani, Mike Huckabee and others, most associated with the Republican Party. The push for hate speech against American Muslims is funded by a small group of billionaires through their foundations. Some of the Muslim-haters are connected to the US arms industry and are hoping for profits from further wars in the Middle East. Others are Israel-firster fanatics. Others are looking for a bogey man to scare Americans with, so as to convince them to vote against their interests, as they used Communism during the Cold War to convince ordinary Americans to give up their constitutional rights.

It is legitimate to criticize Muslim organizations and parties, and to work against violent groups like al-Qaeda. But al-Qaeda is a tiny fringe religious-nationalist movement; far fewer Muslims have been involved in it than white southerners have been involved in the Ku Klux Klan. Nevertheless, American politicians at least implicitly attempted to tar all Muslims with its brush. Like anti-Semitism, racist anti-Muslim discourse has illegitimate properties. It shouldn’t be acceptable to attribute to Muslims a vast general conspiracy. It shouldn’t be acceptable to assert that they are all dishonest and lying about their real beliefs. It shouldn’t be acceptable to lie and allege that they believe in casually murdering non-Muslims. Their religious law, or sharia, shouldn’t be demonized more than the Talmud or Roman Catholic canon law. It shouldn’t be acceptable to accuse them all of waging jihad or holy war.

Continue reading at:   http://www.juancole.com/2012/08/white-terrorism-at-oak-creek-the-paranoid-style-in-american-violence.html

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Right-Wing Plan for Defeating Obama: Gin Up the Hate

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/right-wing-plan-defeating-obama-gin-hate

Stuck with a lackluster candidate, Tea Partiers focus their rage on the president.

By Adele M. Stan
August 6, 2012

Politics is an ugly business, the saying goes, and one aspect of that ugliness are the votes a devoted activist must cast for a candidate he doesn’t much like. Take candidate Mitt Romney, for instance. But if the big-money donors of the right have anything to say about, those right-wing voters will be turning out for Mitt Romney on election day.

At a conference staged by David Koch’s Americans For Prosperity Foundation, Tea Party activists from around the country gathered in Washington, D.C. last weekend to hear famous right-wingers harangue President Barack Obama, and to learn what part they can play in securing the president’s defeat. This year, the anti-Obama rhetoric was typically sharp, while mentions of the Republican presidential candidate were few and far between.

As Stephen Moore, columnist and member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, told a roomful of activists at a breakout session: “I’m not here to promote Mitt Romney; I think he’s fine — I don’t think he’s the world’s greatest, most charismatic candidate…But I do think that this is such a critical, critical election…And none of us want to wake up on November 5th and think that we didn’t do everything that we could to make sure that the community organizer goes back to community organizing.”
It was a sentiment echoed by activists from around the country. Ken Aschenbrenner, a petrochemical salesman, rode a bus up from North Carolina, which is often described as a battleground state. I noted that the conference attendees didn’t seem to be enthusiastic about Romney.
“No, they’re not,” he said. “And I’ll be honest: he was not my first choice during the primary. However, he is who we have now, and we have to stand behind him. This election is not about electing Mitt Romney; it’s about getting President Obama out and saving our country — and recapturing our country.”
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Pat Robertson Blames Sikh Temple Shooting on Atheists

One of the main purveyors of hatred and bigotry refuses to take credit for the evil that sprang from seeds he and others sowed.

From Right Wing Watch:  http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/pat-robertson-blames-sikh-temple-shooting-atheists

by Brian Tashman
on Mon, 08/06/2012

Today on the 700 Club, Pat Robertson said that “Satanic” atheists were to blame for the shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Robertson claimed that “people who are atheists, they hate God, they hate the expression of God,” and are responsible for the massacre, which was committed by a white supremacist. “They’re angry with the world, angry with themselves, angry with society and they take it out on innocent people who are worshiping God,” Robertson continued. He recommended that people “talk about the love of God and hope it has some impact” to stop violence.

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As A Sikh-American I Refuse To Live In Fear And Negativity

From The Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/simran-jeet-singh/as-a-sikh-american_b_1745333.html


08/05/2012

As a Sikh-American, I am absolutely heart-broken.

As soon as news broke about the massacre in Wisconsin, my parents called me to make sure I was safe. Our conversation was eerily similar to the moments immediately after 9/11.

After making sure I was safe, they asked me to be careful walking around the streets of New York City. They pointed out that: “You never know what someone might do.”

While I accepted their advice, their words crushed me.

As a Sikh, I believe that people are inherently good. Our faith instills a sense of perpetual optimism, and our traditions teach us to always make the best of a tough situation.

Fear and negativity are foreign to our vocabulary. Sikhs are not a God-fearing people; we are God-loving.

The commitment to love and optimism shapes the way that Sikhs interact with their societies, and I’m concerned that becoming cynical and negative might lead us down a slippery slope.

So I am making a conscious decision. I am refusing to accept that human beings are malicious and hateful, and I am rejecting the notion that we need to live in fear.

Continue reading at:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/simran-jeet-singh/as-a-sikh-american_b_1745333.html

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Shootings at Sikh Temple Test the Founding Faith of America

From The Nation:  http://www.thenation.com/blog/169242/shootings-temple-test-founding-faith-america#

John Nichols
on August 6, 2012

President Obama echoed the sentiments of the essential founder of the American experiment in his response to Sunday’s horrific killings at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.

“As we mourn this loss which took place at a house of worship,” said Obama, as the nation learned of a shoooting spree by an alleged white supremacist at a place of worship in suburban Milwaukee, “we are reminded how much our country has been enriched by Sikhs, who are a part of our broader American family.”

That notion of the Sikh community as “part of our broad American family” is not a new one. Sikhs have been a part of the American religious fabric for the better part of two centuries.

The members of this religion, which preaches tolerance and places high emphasis on the protection of the religious and political rights of all people, fit comfortably within the Jeffersonian ideal of religious diversity and regard for genuine religious freedom.

Thomas Jefferson, who knew that the essential protection of religious freedom involved a national commitment to guard against threats to worshipers, would surely have been aghast at the level or hatred and violence that has been directed at the roughly 500,000 American Sikhs in recent years. Though the Sikh faith is the fifth-largest religion in the world, its followers are sometimes confused for Muslims and targeted with the same sorts of discrimination and violence that has afflicted followers of Islam. Since September 11, 2001, the Sikh Coalition, the largest civil rights group for Sikhs in the United States, says it has received thousands of requests for assistance from members of the Sikh community related to employment discrimination, hate crimes and school bullying. That this violence has now shaken not just one community or state but the nation should be recognized as a particular affront to the ideals espoused by Jefferson—and to the hopes of the most enlightened founders.

Continue reading at:  http://www.thenation.com/blog/169242/shootings-temple-test-founding-faith-america#

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Get Tested Or Get Out: School Forces Pregnancy Tests on Girls, Kicks out Students Who Refuse or are Pregnant

From ACLU: http://www.aclu.org/blog/reproductive-freedom-womens-rights/get-tested-or-get-out-school-forces-pregnancy-tests-girls

By Tiseme Zegeye
Aug. 6, 2012

In a Louisiana public school, female students who are suspected of being pregnant are told that they must take a pregnancy test. Under school policy, those who are pregnant or refuse to take the test are kicked out and forced to undergo home schooling.

Welcome to Delhi Charter School, in Delhi, Louisiana, a school of 600 students that does not believe its female students have a right to education free from discrimination. According to its Student Pregnancy Policy, the school has a right to not only force testing upon girls, but to send them to a physician of the school administration’s choice. A positive test result, or failure to take the test at all, means administrators can forbid a girl from taking classes and force her to pursue a course of home study if she wishes to continue her education with the school.

This is in blatant violation of federal law and the U.S. Constitution.

Today, the ACLU of Louisiana and the ACLU Women’s Rights Project asked Delhi Charter School to immediately suspend this discriminatory and illegal policy.

The policy’s complete disregard for Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities, is astonishing. Title IX and its regulations explicitly mandate that schools cannot exclude any student from an education program or activity, “including any class or extracurricular activity, on the basis of such student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy or recovery therefrom.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.aclu.org/blog/reproductive-freedom-womens-rights/get-tested-or-get-out-school-forces-pregnancy-tests-girls

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Congress doesn’t care about the unemployment?

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Meatless Mondays: My conversation with founder Sid Lerner

From The Foodie Journal:  http://thefoodiejournal.com/2012/08/06/meatless-mondays-my-conversation-with-founder-sid-lerner/

by
Aug. 6, 2012

“I’ll start on Monday.”

It’s one of my favorite sayings. For my wife, not so much! It’s just how it is, though. Whenever we plan to make a change in our lives we traditionally plan to do so on Mondays. That is what Sid Lerner thought as well!

Sid is the founder and chairman of Meatless Mondays and the Monday Campaigns, a non-profit organization dedicated to the idea of “starting anew” on Mondays. Meatless Monday is simple to understand: Keep meat out of your diet, for all three meals, on Monday. You, and not to mention the environment, can benefit from it!

I had a chance to speak with Sid last month. During our conversation we discussed how Meatless Mondays came to be, what the reception has been from those in the food industry, and one of Sid’s own personal food memories.

Foodie Journal: So how did you get your start with the idea of Meatless Monday? How did Meatless Monday come to exist?

Sid Lerner: Well, I was semi-retired and doing some pro bono consulting. I was at a conference about 9 years ago at Johns Hopkins. At the time obesity wasn’t the headline. Cholesterol was, as were saturated fat, heart disease, cancer, etc. So the question was raised as to how much meat we were eating, you know? How much is too much? Well the FDA and USDA were saying about 15% of our diet would be the recommended amount. Well, we’re eating about twice the meat per capita than we probably should, about double what we were eating in the 40′s and the 50′s when I was growing up. That was a major contributor to a lot of the growing health issues we have been seeing. So for the past 9 years it was something we started to talk about. Trying to cut down on the amount of meat that people consume. We did the math and found that cutting down to get to that 15% recommendation meant cutting out 3 meals worth of meat each week. Just one day a week! So if we cut out meat for just one day a week we’d get closer to where we needed to be.

I remember from my childhood during World War II President Roosevelt instituted a conservation program called “Meatless Monday”. We did some research and found that it was something he had taken from Woodrow Wilson and Herbert Hoover during World War I, when it was also instituted as a conservation program. We really liked the name, so we used it to start a new campaign to cut back on meat one day a week. So we built a non-profit organization around the idea and called it the Monday Campaigns. It was the perfect day cause so many people look at Monday as a fresh start, you know? “Well I screwed up last week, how can I do right this week? [LAUGHS] But we’ve had some great success with it. We have 23 countries that have picked it up around the world.

Continue reading at:   http://thefoodiejournal.com/2012/08/06/meatless-mondays-my-conversation-with-founder-sid-lerner/

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Biotech Giants Are Bankrolling a GMO Free-for-All

From Mother Jones:  http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/08/biotech-gmo-deregulation

By Mon Aug. 6, 2012

The so-called “Big Six” agrichemical companies—Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow Agrosciences, BASF, Bayer, and Pioneer (DuPont)—are sitting pretty. Together, they control nearly 70 percent of the global pesticide market, and essentially the entire market for genetically modified seeds. Prices of the crops they focus on—corn, soy, cotton, etc.—are soaring, pushed up by severe drought in key growing regions. Higher crop prices  typically translate to increased pesticide sales as farmers have more money to spend on agrichemicals and more incentive to maximize yield.

The companies operate globally—and have gained a stronghold in that emerging center of industrial agriculture, Brazil—but the biotech-friendly US is their profit center. They’ve got a big chunk of US agriculture pretty well sewn up—their GMO seeds dominate our corn, soy and cotton crops, which account for more than 53 percent of US farmland, and have won approval for GMO alfalfa (hay), which accounts for another 19 percent. The vast annual US corn crop—which accounts for 40 percent of the globe’s corn most years—is a particular bonanza, not just for GMO seeds but also a stunning amount of insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides.

But two things could mess up the Big 6 here in the US: 1) any delay in the regulatory process for a new generation of seeds engineered for resistance to multiple herbicides; and 2) any major move to require labeling of foods containing GMOs, a requirement already in play in many other countries—including the European Union, China, Japan, and South Korea—and one for which the US public has expressed overwhelming support. Unsurprisingly, the Big 6 are investing millions of their vast profits into forestalling both of those menaces.

Speedy deregulation of the new-generation herbicide-tolerant crops is important for a simple reason: Monsanto’s blockbuster Roundup Ready technology—featuring corn, soy, cotton, sugar beet, and alfalfa (hay) seeds engineered to resist Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide—is failing. Roundup-resistant superweeds are galloping out of control throughout big-farm country. The industry’s only solution to the problem is to roll out seeds resistant to multiple herbicides at once, adding old, toxic ones like 2,4-D and dicamba to the Roundup mix. (Roundup itself, now the most widely used herbicide in the US by a wide margin, has long enjoyed a reputation as mostly harmless chemical, but that status has been quietly crumbling in scientific circles.)

In a paper released in January, a team of Penn State scientists assessed the biotech-industry’s strategy, and its conclusion was stark:

Continue reading at:  http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/08/biotech-gmo-deregulation

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