Monday, June 18, 2012

Syngenta Charged Over Covering Up Animal Deaths from GM Corn

June 18th, 2012


By Anthony Gucciardi

In a riveting victory against genetically modified creations, a major biotech company known as Syngenta has been criminally charged for denying knowledge that its GM Bt corn actually kills livestock. What’s more is not only did the company deny this fact, but they did so in a civil court case that ended back in 2007. The charges were finally issued after a long legal struggle against the mega corp initiated by a German farmer named Gottfried Gloeckner whose dairy cattle died after eating the Bt toxin and coming down with a ‘mysterious’ illness.

Grown on his own farm from 1997 to 2002, the cows on the farm were all being fed exclusively on Syngenta’s Bt 176 corn by the year 2000. It was around this time that the mysterious illnesses began to emerge among the cattle population. Syngenta paid Gloeckner 40,000 euros in an effort to silence the farmer, however a civil lawsuit was brought upon the company. Amazingly, 2 cows ate genetically modified maize (now banned in Poland over serious concerns) and died. During the civil lawsuit, however, Syngenta refused to admit that its GM corn was responsible. In fact, they went as far as to claim having no knowledge whatsoever of harm.

The case was dismissed and Gloeckner, the farmer who launched the suit, was left thousands of euros in debt. And that’s not all; Gloeckner continued to lose many cows as a result of Syngenta’s modified Bt corn. After halting the use of GM feed in 2002, Gloeckner attempted a full investigation with the Robert Koch Institute and Syngenta involved. The data of this investigation is still unavailable to the public, and only examined one cow. In 2009, however, the Gloeckner teamed up with a German action group known as B√ľndnis Aktion Gen-Klage and to ultimately bring Syngenta to the criminal court.

Using the testimony of another farmer whose cows died after eating Syngenta product, Gloeckner and the team have charged the biotech giant for the death of over 65 cows, withholding knowledge of the death-link, and holding the corporation liable for not registering the cattle deaths. The team is even charging Hans-Theo Jahmann, the German head of Syngenta , personally over the withholding of knowledge.

The charges bring to light just how far large biotechnology companies will go to conceal evidence linking their genetically modified products to serious harm. Monsanto, for example, has even threatened to sue the entire state of Vermont if they attempt to label its genetically modified ingredients. Why are they so afraid of the consumer knowing what they are putting in their mouths?

Read more:

Vagina. Can't Say it? Don't Legislate It.

Because Freedom Can't Protect Itself

"I'm flattered you're all so interested in my vagina. But no means no."

With those words, Michigan state representative Lisa Brown told the Speaker of the House exactly what she thought of the vicious anti-choice measure he was trying to push through the legislature.

Here's what happened next. She was banned from speaking as the legislation moved forward. So was another female legislator, Rep. Barb Byrum, who reportedly shouted "vasectomy" out of turn.

They were silenced as the House of Representatives passed war on women legislation that could, among other things, shut down clinics that provide safe, legal abortions and end medication abortions throughout the state.

Silencing female legislators is a direct violation of their First Amendment rights and limits their ability to directly serve the people they represent. We can't let it stand.

Tell leaders of the Michigan Senate to protect freedom of speech and stop silencing women's voices.

Women deserve a seat at the table especially when legislation impacts our bodies and our health. Clearly we have much work to do if using an anatomically correct word causes such moral panic that it derails us from examining the larger issue: women are still being excluded from conversations about women's health.

We can't legislate on reproductive health if we aren't allowed to talk about our bodies. Stand with the ACLU in declaring: If you can't say it, don't legislate it. Remind leaders of the Michigan Senate to protect all of our First Amendment rights and defend women's reproductive health care.
Thanks for taking action,

Kary Moss
Executive Director, ACLU of Michigan
P.S. — This isn't the first time House majority leadership has denied women a voice on the issues that impact us the most. During a committee hearing last week, no woman — nearly 90 were present — was allowed to testify against the bills. Only women in support were given the time to speak out. We must send a message loud and clear: stop silencing women's voices.

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