Friday, November 29, 2013

MY MAGICAL TERRACE ORGANIC VEGETABLES' GARDEN


The First Lauki / Bottle Gourd...


The Baby Lauki / Bottle Gourd...



Cabbages & Cauli Flowers transplanted in a bigger space...


 Cabbages & Cauli Flowers...



Onions...  


Blooming Lettuce...


Brinjals... / One Cauli Flower...


Red cabbages...


Garlic...


My Small Organic Vegetables' Garden in My Magical Terrace...


Tomatoes are growing well...


Tomatoes are fast multiplying...


Compost Tea maturing well in hot Sun...

Start growing your own Vegetables in your Balcony, Terrace, Backyard or Front yard... With the prices soaring & escalating day after day... a small Vegetables' Garden will give you Pure Chemical Free Healthy Vegetables for your good health... and a lot Cheaper !!!

What are you waiting for???






Monday, November 25, 2013

MONSANTO'S DARK HISTORY - 1901-2013 - PART VIII


1990: EPA chemists allege fraud in Monsanto's 1979 dioxin study, which found exposure to the chemical doesn't increase cancer risks.

1990: Monsanto spends more than $405,000 to defeat California's pesticide regulation Proposition 128, known as the "Big Green" initiative. The initiative is aimed at phasing out the use of pesticides, including Monsanto's product alachlor, linked to cancer and global warming.

1990: With the help of Roundup, the agriculture division of Monsanto was significantly outperforming Monsanto's chemicals division in terms of operating income, and the gap was increasing. But as Glover notes, while "such a blockbuster product uncorks a fountain of revenue", it "also creates an uncomfortable dependency on the commercial fortunes of a single brand. Monsanto's management knew that the last of the patents protecting Roundup in the United States, its biggest market, would expire in the year 2000, opening the field to potential competitors. The company urgently needed a strategy to negotiate this hurdle and prolong the useful life of its 'cash cow'."

1991: Monsanto is fined $1.2 million for trying to conceal discharge of contaminated waste water into the Mystic River in Connecticut.

1993: By April, the Department of Veterans Affairs had only compensated 486 victims, although it had received disability **CLAIMS** from 39,419 veteran soldiers who had been exposed to monsanto's Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. No compensation has been paid to Vietnamese civilians and though some compensation was paid to U.S. veterans, according to William Sanjour, who led the Toxic Waste Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "thousands of veterans were disallowed benefits" because "Monsanto studies showed that dioxin [as found in Agent Orange] was not a human carcinogen." An EPA colleague discovered that Monsanto had apparently falsified the data in their studies. Sanjour says, "If [the studies] were done correctly, they would have reached just the opposite result."
 
1994: the first of Monsanto's biotech products to make it to market was not a GMO crop but Monsanto's controversial GMO cattle drug, bovine growth hormone - called rBGH or rBST, Monsanto granted regulatory approval for its first biotech product, a dairy cow hormone. Monsanto developed a recombinant version of BST, brand-named Posilac bovine somatropin (rBST/rBGH), which is produced through a genetically engineered GMO E. coli bacteria. Synthetic Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), approved by the FDA for commercial sale in 1994, despite strong concerns about its safety. Since then, Monsanto has sued small dairy companies that advertised their products as free of the artificial hormone, including Ben & Jerry's ice cream and most recently bringing a lawsuit against Oakhurst Dairy in Maine.
 
1995: Genetically engineered canola (rapeseed) which is tolerant to Monsanto's Roundup herbicide was first introduced to Canada. Today 80% of the acres sown are genetically modified canola.

1995: Monsanto is sued after allegedly supplying radioactive material for a controversial study which involved feeding radioactive iron to 829 pregnant women.

1995: Monsanto ranked 5th among U.S. corporations in EPA's Toxic Release Inventory, having discharged 37 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the air, land, water and underground. Monsanto was ordered to pay $41.1 million to a waste management company in Texas due to concerns over hazardous waste dumping.
 
1995: The Safe Shoppers Bible says that Monsanto's Ortho Weed-B-Gon Lawn Weed Killer contains a known carcinogen, 2,4 D. Monsanto officials argue that 'numerous studies have found no link to cancer'.

1996: Monsanto introduces its first biotech crop, Roundup Ready soybeans, which tolerate spraying of Roundup herbicide, and biotech BT cotton engineered to resist insect damage.
As Monsanto had moved into biotechnology, its executives had the opportunity to create a new narrative for Monsanto. They begun to portray genetic engineering as a ground-breaking technology that could contribute to feeding a hungry world. Monsanto executive Robb Fraley, who was head of the plant molecular biology research team, is also said to have hyped the potential of GMO crops within the company, as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Monsanto to dominate a whole new industry, invoking the monopoly success of Microsoft as a powerful analogy. But, according to Glover, the more down-to-earth pitch to fellow executives was that "genetic engineering offered the best prospect of preserving the commercial life of Monsanto's most important product, Roundup in the face of the challenges Monsanto would face once the patent expired."

Monsanto eventually achieved this by introducing into crop plants genes that give resistance to glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup). This meant farmers could spray Roundup onto their fields as a weedkiller even during the growing season without harming the crop. This allowed Monsanto to "significantly expand the market for Roundup and, more importantly, help Monsanto to negotiate the expiry of its glyphosate patents, on which such a large slice of Monsanto's income depended." With glyphosate-tolerant GMO crops, Monsanto was able ├Čto preserve its dominant share of the glyphosate market through a marketing strategy that would couple proprietary "Roundup Ready" seeds with continued sales of Roundup.

1996-1999: Monsanto sold off its plastics business to Bayer in 1996, and its phenylalanine facilities to Great Lakes Chemical Corporation (GLC) in 1999. Much of the rest of its chemicals division was spun off in late 1997 as Solutia. This helped Monsanto distance itself to some extent not only from direct financial liability for the historical core of its business but also from its controversial production and contamination legacy.
 
1997: Monsanto introduces new GMO canola (rapeseed), GMO cotton and GMO corn (maize), and buys foundation seed companies.

1997: Monsanto spins off its industrial chemical and fibers business into Solutia Inc. amid complaints and legal claims about pollution from its plants. Solutia was spun off from Monsanto as a way for Monsanto to divest itself of billions of dollars in environmental cleanup costs and other liabilities for its past actions - liabilities that eventually forced Solutia to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to a spokesman for Solutia, "(Monsanto) sort of cherry-picked what they wanted and threw in all kinds of cats and dogs as part of a going-away present," including $1 billion in debt and environmental and litigation costs. Some pre-bankruptcy Solutia equity holders allege Solutia was set up fraudulently as it was always doomed to fail under the financial weight of Monsanto's liabilities.

1997: The New York State Attorney General took Monsanto to court and Monsanto was subsequently forced to stop claiming that Roundup is "biodegradable" and "environmentally friendly".

1997: The Seattle Times reports that Monsanto sold 6,000 tons of contaminated waste to Idaho fertilizer companies, which contained the carcinogenic heavy metal cadmium, believed to cause cancer, kidney disease, neurological dysfunction and birth defects.

1997: Through a process of mergers and spin-offs between 1997 and 2002, Monsanto made a transition from chemical giant to biotech giant. Monsanto's corporate strategy led them for the first time to acquire seed companies. During the 1990s Monsanto spent $10 billion globally buying up seed companies - a push that continues to this day. It has purchased, for example, Holden's Foundations Seeds, Seminis - the largest seed company not producing corn or soybeans in the world, the Dutch seed company De Ruiter Seeds, and the big cotton seed firm Delta & Pine. As a result, Monsanto is now the world's largest seed company, accounting for almost a quarter of the global proprietary seed market.
 
1998: Monsanto introduces Roundup Ready corn (maize).

1998: In the UK, Monsanto purchased the seed company Plant Breeding International (PBI) Cambridge, a major UK based cereals and potato breeder, which Monsanto then merged with its existing UK agri-chemicals and GMO research businesses to form Monsanto UK Ltd. Monsanto UK has carried out field trials of glyphosate-tolerant sugar / fodder beet, glyphosate-tolerant oilseed rape, and glyphosate-tolerant and male sterility / fertility restorer oilseed rape.

1998: "Survey of aspartame studies: correlation of outcome and funding sources," unpublished: Ralph G. Walton found 166 separate published studies in the peer reviewed medical literature, which had relevance for questions of human safety. The 74 studies funded by industry all (100%) attested to aspartame's safety, whereas of the 92 non-industry funded studies, 84 (91%) identified a problem. 6 of the 7 non-industry funded studies that were favorable to aspartame safety were from the FDA, which has a public record that shows a strong pro-industry bias.

1999: After international criticism, Monsanto agrees not to [PUBLICLY] commercialize "Terminator" seeds.

1999: Monsanto opens its Beautiful Sciences exhibit at Disneyland.

1999: Monsanto sells their phenylalanine facilities to Great Lakes Chemical Corporation (GLC) for $125 million. In 2000, GLC sued Monsanto because of a $71 million dollar shortfall in expected sales.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

SOARING PRICES OF VEGETABLES COMPELS PEOPLE TO LOOT VEGETABLES' MARKETS IN BENGAL

MALDA: Like the ration riots that singed Bengal in 2007, anger over price rise seems to be spreading like wildfire. People looted three more weekly haats in Malda on Tuesday, triggering panic among vegetable traders who have threatened to call a strike unless they get police protection.


Those who looted Dharampur , Achintola and Balupur bazaars on Tuesday are ordinary people driven to desperation by the unbridled rise in vegetable prices. It's also an indication that the government has failed to restore confidence among buyers.

On Monday, villagers had looted the Sovanagar haat in Malda after a quarrel with potato sellers who refused to sell at the government rate of Rs 13 a kg. The fire spread to Dharampur with people ransacking stalls and running off with all the vegetables they could lay their hands on. The administration, which had brushed off the Sovanagar looting, tried to play down the Dharampur incident as well, calling it a mere scuffle between a seller and some customers . "Some potatoes and spinach were snatched, which was blown out of proportion ," said an official.

Traders reacted angrily, accusing the administration of being ignorant or deliberately suppressing the looting. While the blame-game was on, two more haats - Achintola and Balupur in Ratua - were looted. A worried administration has called a meeting on Wednesday.

Vegetables worth 4 lakh looted in Malda

The trigger in Dharampur was the same as Sovanagar - potato being sold at Rs 20. Newly harvested potato was selling for a whopping Rs 60 a kilo and onion at Rs 80. Even the humble kochu (yam) was priced at Rs 45 per kg and raw banana at Rs 5 a piece. To top it all, there was little of everything. People flew into a rage and started looting the market. Some sellers began to hide their goods but the frenzied mob snatched everything. Even bundles of spinach were torn from hand to hand. It was a free for all.

Police from Manikchak reached around 9.30am but there wasn't anything left. Traders alleged that vegetables worth Rs 2-3 lakh were looted. In Balupur and Achintola , the loss was Rs 1 lakh each. Worryingly, clashes broke out at Achintola, and police had to lathicharge the looters.

SP Kalyan Mukherjee said police are trying to hold negotiations to clear the "misunderstanding between sellers and buyers" . District magistrate G Kiran Kumar was not willing to acknowledge the lootings as "big incidents" . "They were blown out of proportion . We have already taken measures to keep prices in check and have opened two stalls in each block for selling vegetables. We have decided to convene a meeting between the administration, Malda Merchant Chamber of Commerce and police on the present unrest. Ministers will also be present in the meeting," Kumar said. Additional DM Nilkamal Biswas said BDOs have been asked to monitor the village haats personally.

Jayanta Kundu, secretary of Malda Merchant Chamber of Commerce, said, "The administration is sitting idle on the crisis of traders. Retailers and wholesalers are scared after a series of hooliganism. If this goes on we'll have to stop business in the district."
 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

MONSANTO'S DARK HISTORY 1901 to 2013 - PART VII

1980: September 30, FDA Board of Inquiry comprised of 3 independent scientists, confirmed that aspartame "might induce brain tumors". The Public Board of Inquiry concludes NutraSweet should not be approved pending further investigations of brain tumors in animals. The board states it "has NOT been presented with proof of reasonable certainty that aspartame is safe for use as a food additive." The FDA had actually banned aspartame based on this finding, only to have Searle Chairman Donald Rumsfeld (Ford's Secretary of Defense 1975-1977, Bush's Secretary of Defense 2001-2006) vow to "call in his markers," to get it approved in 1981.

1980: Monsanto established the Edgar Monsanto Queeny safety award in honor of its former CEO (1928–1960), to encourage accident prevention.

January 1981: Donald Rumsfeld, CEO of Searle, states in a sales meeting that he is going to make a big push to get aspartame approved within the year. Rumsfeld says he will use his political pull in Washington, rather than scientific means, to make sure it gets approved.

May 19, 1981: 3 of 6 in-house FDA scientists who were responsible for reviewing the brain tumor issues, Dr. Robert Condon, Dr. Satya Dubey, and Dr. Douglas Park, advise against approval of NutraSweet, stating on the record that the Searle tests are unreliable and not adequate to determine the safety of aspartame.
 
1981: Ronald Reagan is sworn in as President of the United States. Reagan's transition team, which includes Donald Rumsfeld, CEO of G. D. Searle, hand picks Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes Jr. to be the new FDA Commissioner. On January 21, the day after Ronald Reagan's inauguration, GD Searle re-applied to the FDA for approval to use aspartame in food sweetener, and Reagan's new FDA commissioner, Arthur Hayes Hull, Jr., appointed a 5-person Scientific Commission to review the board of inquiry's decision. It soon became clear that the panel would uphold the ban by a 3-2 decision, but Hull then installed a 6th member on the commission, and the vote became deadlocked. He then personally broke the tie in aspartame's favor. Hull later left the FDA under allegations of impropriety, served briefly as Provost at New York Medical College, and then took a position with Burston-Marsteller, the chief public relations firm for both Monsanto and GD Searle. Since that time Hull has never spoken publicly about aspartame.

July 15, 1981: In one of his first official acts, Dr. Arthur Hayes Jr., the new FDA commissioner, overrules the Public Board of Inquiry, ignores the recommendations of his own internal FDA team and approves NutraSweet for dry products. Hayes says that aspartame has been shown to be safe for its' proposed uses and says few compounds have withstood such detailed testing and repeated close scrutiny. G.D. Searle gets FDA approval for aspartame (NutraSweet). Monsanto completes its acquisition of Searle in 1985.

1982: Monsanto GMO scientists genetically modify a plant cell for the first time!

1982: Some 2,000 people are relocated from Times Beach, Missouri, which was found to be so thoroughly contaminated with dioxin, a by-product of PCB manufacturing, that the government ordered it evacuated. Dioxins are endocrine and immune system disruptors, cause congenital birth defects, reproductive and developmental problems, and increase the incidence of cancer, heart disease and diabetes in laboratory animals. Critics say a St. Louis-area Monsanto chemical plant was a source but Monsanto denies any connection.

October 15, 1982: The FDA announces that GD Searle has filed a petition that aspartame be approved as a sweetener in carbonated beverages and other liquids.

July 1, 1983: The National Soft Drink Association (NSDA) urges the FDA to delay approval of aspartame for carbonated beverages pending further testing because aspartame is very unstable in liquid form. When liquid aspartame is stored in temperatures above 85°F degrees Fahrenheit, aspartame breaks down into known toxins Diketopiperazines (DKP), methyl (wood) alcohol, and formaldehyde.

July 8, 1983: The National Soft Drink Association drafts an objection to the final ruling which permits the use of aspartame in carbonated beverages and syrup bases and requests a hearing on the objections. The association says that Searle has not provided responsible certainty that aspartame and its' degradation products are safe for use in soft drinks.

August 8, 1983: Consumer Attorney, Jim Turner of the Community Nutrition Institute and Dr. Woodrow Monte, Arizona State University's Director of Food Science and Nutritional Laboratories, file suit with the FDA objecting to aspartame approval based on unresolved safety issues.

September, 1983: FDA Commissioner Hayes resigns under a cloud of controversy about his taking unauthorized rides aboard a General Foods jet. (General foods is a major customer of NutraSweet) Burson-Marsteller, Searle's public relation firm (which also represented several of NutraSweet's major users), immediately hires Hayes as senior scientific consultant.

Fall 1983: The first carbonated beverages containing aspartame are sold for public consumption.

1983: Diet Coke was sweetened with aspartame after the sweetener became available in the United States.

November 1984: Center for Disease Control (CDC) "Evaluation of consumer complaints related to aspartame use." (summary by B. Mullarkey)
 
1985: Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle, the chemical company that held the patent to aspartame, the active ingredient in NutraSweet. Monsanto was apparently untroubled by aspartame's clouded past, including a 1980 FDA Board of Inquiry, comprised of three independent scientists, which confirmed that it "might induce brain tumors". The aspartame business became a separate Monsanto subsidiary, the NutraSweet Company.

1986: Monsanto found guilty of negligently exposing a worker to benzene at its Chocolate Bayou Plant in Texas. It is forced to pay $100 million to the family of Wilbur Jack Skeen, a worker who died of leukemia after repeated exposures.

1986: At a congressional hearing, medical specialists denounce a National Cancer Institute study disputing that formaldehyde causes cancer. Monsanto and DuPont scientists helped with the study, whose author provided results to the Formaldehyde Institute industry representatives nearly six months before releasing the study to the EPA, labor unions, and the public.

1986: Monsanto spends $50,000 against California's anti-toxics initiative, Proposition 65. The initiative prohibits the discharge of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects into drinking water supplies.

1987: Monsanto conducted the first field tests of genetically engineered (GMO) crops.

1987: Monsanto is one of the companies named in an $180 million settlement for Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

1987: Monsanto consolidated its AstroTurf management, marketing, and technical activities in Dalton, Georgia, as AstroTurf Industries, Inc.

November 3, 1987: U.S. hearing, "NutraSweet: Health and Safety Concerns," Committee on Labor and Human Resources, Senator Howard Metzenbaum, chairman.

1988: A federal jury finds Monsanto Co.'s subsidiary, G.D. Searle & Co., negligent in testing and marketing of its Copper 7 intrauterine birth control device (IUD). The verdict followed the unsealing of internal documents regarding safety concerns about the IUD, which was used by nearly 10 million women between 1974 and 1986.