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Living Maxwell

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Genetically-Engineered Trees????? Yes, and Why Humanity Should be Petrified

The more time that you spend in the organic industry, the more you learn about what is truly going on and what you find is pretty scary.

While I try to remain as optimistic as possible, the reality is that the organic industry is under a constant existential threat from genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).

Even though organic food has never been more popular, nearly 80% of the food on supermarket shelves contains GMOs and organic remains less than 1% of all farmland acreage in the U.S. While 64 nations around the world require GMOs to be labeled, the U.S. does not. Why?

Because the ag-biotech industry has “purchased” agricultural policy in our country, by spending $572 million on campaign contributions and lobbying from 1999-2010.

Furthermore, we have a President who is fully on board the GMO-train, despite having made a campaign promise in 2007 to label GMOs.

Yet, if you think the ag-biotech industry is solely concerned with controlling the world’s food supply, think again. As I wrote about a while ago, there is now genetically-engineered grass.

But what should really frighten all of us, because of the huge ecological risks, is the emergence of genetically-engineered trees. Yes, genetically-engineered trees.

Genetically-engineered trees are very different than GM-crops, such as soybeans or corn, because they can last for decades or centuries in the wild. Furthermore, they have the potential to spoil native forests, destroy organic ecosystems, are very flammable, and will further deplete our already small and precious water supply. (The U.S. Forest Service has released findings that certain GE-trees would use twice the water of native forests.)

Humanity relies on these native forests to serve as the “lungs of the Earth,” by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. If this were somehow jeopardized, how would we survive?

ArborGen, the leading company in this space who has a request pending with the USDA to commercialize genetically-engineered, freeze-tolerant eucalyptus seedlings and is run by ex-Monsanto executives, doesn’t seem concerned at all about any potential side effects or risks. They see GE-trees as a way to produce paper in a more cost-effective manner, regardless of the dire environmental consequences.

To learn more about what is going on with genetically-engineered trees, please read my Organic Insider story about the frightening movement to approve genetically-engineered American chestnut trees.

And also be sure to check out the site Campaign to Stop GE-Trees.

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Living Maxwell

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Why Organic is a MUST for Women — Pesticides Linked to Lower Chance of Pregnancy and Higher Risk of Pregnancy Loss

Each year when the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases its “Dirty Dozen”  – the 12 most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables that people should avoid – the major pesticide companies and their front groups launch a major PR campaign demanding that EWG stop publishing these annual lists, insisting that chemicals are not harmful.

The organic industry and health advocates completely scoff at these ridiculous claims. Furthermore, the State of California has declared that glyphosate, the most widely used chemical in the world and one that is routinely sprayed on our food supply, causes cancer.

And now we have a new report out of Harvard which reinforces the notion that pesticides can cause real harm, particularly for women.

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A message from Tradin Organic

Why Tradin Organic is Prioritizing Regenerative Organic Farming

At Tradin Organic, we believe that regenerative organic farming is key to growing healthy and nutritious food ingredients — for now and for future generations.

And in Sierra Leone, we have grown the world’s first Regenerative Organic Certified cacao.

Learn more.

Living Maxwell

Must-Read

Why Organic Food is a MUST for Men — Pesticides Have Been Linked to Lower Sperm Count and Quality

As someone who has eaten close to 100% organic since 2001, my personal experience is that women are more concerned than men about the quality of food they are putting into their bodies.

While this is based on anecdotal evidence, there are a few data points to back this up.

The Pew Research Center’s recent report called The New Food Fights: U.S. Public Divides Over Food Science concluded that women are more likely to care about GMOs than men.

According to Google Analytics, approximately 2/3rds of Living Maxwell readers – people reading about organic – are women.

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Organic Insider

Must-Read

Study Links Pesticides in Water to Food Allergies

Just the other week, I wrote about a California farming community that MUST buy bottled water because the tap water is so polluted from pesticides and other contaminants.

Well, the news about the horrid quality of our drinking water continues.

Trying to figure out why food allergies have exploded over the past 20 years, a team of researchers published a study in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology which said that there is a relationship between the use of a group of pesticides called dichlorophenols and food allergies.

TIME Magazine explained that the study’s participants who had high levels of dichlorophenols in their bodies were 80% more likely to have food sensitivity than those with lower levels, and the authors believe the exposure to the chemicals may be contributing to a hyper-sensitive immune system that recognizes even common food proteins as foreign.

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