Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Friday, 4 May 2012

Human genes engineered into experimental GMO rice being grown in Kansas -

Human genes engineered into experimental GMO rice being grown in Kansas - 

Unless the rice you buy is certified organic, or comes specifically from a farm that tests its rice crops for genetically modified (GM) traits, you could be eating rice tainted with actual human genes. The only known GMO with inbred human traits in cultivation today, a GM rice product made by biotechnology company Ventria Bioscience is currently being grown on 3,200 acres in Junction City, Kansas -- and possibly elsewhere -- and most people have no idea about it.

Since about 2006, Ventria has been quietly cultivating rice that has been genetically modified (GM) with genes from the human liver for the purpose of taking the artificial proteins produced by this "Frankenrice" and using them in pharmaceuticals. With approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Ventria has taken one of the most widely cultivated grain crops in the world today, and essentially turned it into a catalyst for producing new drugs.

Originally, the cultivation of this GM rice, which comes in three approved varieties (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/brs/biotech_ea_permits.html), was limited to the laboratory setting. But in 2007, Ventria decided to bring the rice outdoors. The company initially tried to plant the crops in Missouri, but met resistance from Anheuser-Busch and others, which threatened to boycott all rice from the state in the event that Ventria began planting its rice within state borders (http://todayyesterdayandtomorrow.wordpress.com).

So Ventria's GM rice eventually ended up in Kansas, where it is presumably still being grown for the purpose of manufacturing drugs on 3,200 acres in Junction City. And while this GM rice with added human traits has never been approved for human consumption, it is now being cultivated in open fields where the potential for unrestrained contamination and spread of its unwanted, dangerous GM traits is virtually a given.

"This is not a product that everyone would want to consume," said Jane Rissler from theUnion of Concerned Scientists (UCS) to the Washington Post back in 2007. "It is unwise to produce drugs in plants outdoors."

Though receiving tens of thousands of public comments of opposition, many rightly concerned about the spread of GM traits, the USDA approved open cultivation of Ventria's GM rice anyway. This, of course, occurred after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had refused approval for Ventria's GM rice back in 2003 (http://www.kansasruralcenter.org/publications/PharmaRice.pdf).

GM 'pharmaceutical' rice could cause more disease, suggests report
Besides the threat of contamination and wild spread, Ventria's GM rice, which is purportedly being grown to help third-world children overcome chronic diarrhea, may conversely cause other chronic diseases.

"These genetically engineered drugs could exacerbate certain infections, or cause dangerous allergic or immune system reactions," said Bill Freese, Science Policy Analyst at the Center for Food Safety (CFS), who published a report back in 2007 about the dangers of Ventria's GM rice.

You can view that report here:

Sources for this article include:





Squirrel tests positive for plague at California campsite -

Squirrel tests positive for plague at California campsite - 

A ground squirrel trapped at a popular campground in southern California has tested positive for plague.
According to health officials, the rodent was tested during routine monitoring at the Cedar Grove Campground on Palomar Mountain, 75 miles (120km) northeast of San Diego.
The bacterial disease is sometimes carried by rodents, which can be transmitted to humans through infected flea bites, according to the Department of Environmental Health (DEH).
DEH officials downplayed any serious threat to campers, however, saying there had never been any known human cases of plague contracted anywhere near the site.
"It is not unusual to find plague in our local mountains in the summer months, so campers should always avoid contact with squirrels and their fleas," DEH Director Jack Miller told KGTV Friday. "Set up tents away from squirrel burrows, do not feed the squirrels and warn your children not to play with squirrels."

Read more: http://www.10news.com/news/31009375/detail.html

IKEA Allegedly Used Cuban Prison Labor to Make Furniture -

IKEA Allegedly Used Cuban Prison Labor to Make Furniture - 

Swedish home furnishing giant IKEA is under fire after a German newspaper revealed allegations that the company used Cuban prison labor in the 1980s to manufacture its products.
According to the German broadsheet Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), former Stasi secret police files revealed that IKEA struck a deal with the Castro government in 1987 after an East German trade mission went to Havana for talks with the Cuban interior ministry.
The Stasi files state that Ikea production sites were “incorporated in the prison facilities of the interior ministry in Cuba.”
“This is what happens when the interest of big business and the dictatorship are on the same page,” said Omar L√≥pez, the human rights director of the Cuban American National Foundation. “Cuba is a good place to make business because they have a labor force with no rights at all.”
The contract between IKEA and the Cuban government paved way for the production 35,000 dining tables, 10,000 children's tables, and 4,000 three-piece suites. However the deal did not go as smoothly as in early 1988 -- the first delivery of the furniture was delayed due to poor quality and production subsequently resumed several months later.
IKEA already faces allegations that it used former communist East German prisoners to make its furniture. The company said that it has already started its own inquiry into the matter and is interested in viewing the Stasi files for evidence as well as for comparison with its own records.
“The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung article refers to events that supposedly took place around 25 years ago and we will immediately look deeper into this as part of the ongoing investigation in GDR, as well as Cuba,” An IKEA statement said. “We are now accelerating this investigation and have also taken in external expertise. Before the investigation is complete, we will not speculate on the outcome.”

Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2012/05/04/ikea-allegedly-used-cuban-prison-labor-to-make-furniture/?test=latestnews

Woman discovers cocaine hidden in tampons purchased at Salt Lake City store... -

Woman discovers cocaine hidden in tampons purchased at Salt Lake City store... - 

A woman who purchased a box of tampons Sunday at a Utah store returned home to find that the feminine care products were filled with cocaine, police report.

The discovery by shopper Cindy Davidson has prompted an investigation by Salt Lake City cops, who suspect that the stuffed tampons were part of a drug smuggling scheme that somehow went off the rails.

Davidson purchased the tampons at the NPS Store, which describes itself as a “salvage and freight recovery company that sells its products in two stores in Salt Lake City.” The cut-rate retailer sells a variety of merchandise that it obtains from “misdirected or damaged freight.”

Davidson, who had gone to the store to purchase Crest Whitestrips, bought the Boots brand tampons “bcuz they were cheap,” according to a posting on her Facebook page. Davidson, a 39-year-old mother of two, added that she had never heard of Boots, which are produced by a British-based health and beauty conglomerate.

After discovering the stash hidden inside the applicators of individual tampons, Davidson (pictured at left) called police, who conducted a field test and confirmed that the powdery substance was cocaine.

After cops left with the narcotics and the tampons, Davidson sent her 300 friends a Facebook message “No one would ever believe what has happened 2 me 2nite. I bought a package of tampons filled with cocaine bags,” she wrote. “I have had hazmat and the police at my house all night. I will post details as they become available. Totally tripping out.”

The remaining Boots tampons have been removed from the Utah store's shelves as police attempt to backtrack the source of the cocaine (and to determine whether other packages contain narcotics).

Read more -