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Pesticide-producing GM eggplant fails farmers in Bangladesh

GM eggplant

(NaturalNews) Genetically modified Bt seeds produce plants that create their own pesticides. Independent testing has discovered that Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) proteins adversely affect friendly insects and pollinators as well as endanger animals and humans because the Bt cry protein crystals are not denatured in the gut as was previously assumed and promoted. [1]

These independent tests rarely get any publicity. When they do, they are viciously attacked by biotech industry goons and sometimes even removed from the journals in which they appeared. Such is the influence of Monsanto and its agrochemical colleagues in the biotech industry.

Perhaps GMO crop failures are what's needed to wake up farmers who are enchanted enough to sign contracts with Monsanto and others while ignoring the fine print that will enslave them. Such a crop failure appears to have happened in Bangledesh, a nation with 155 million residents bordering India to the west and Burma to the east.

The Bangledesh eggplant Bt project

They call eggplant binjal or aubergine in Southeast Asia. Eggplant, technically a fruit and not a vegetable, is used frequently in Southeast Asian cooking. But it is also where the eggplant shoot and Fruit borer, Leucinodes orbonalis exist to eat up those eggplant crops.

This pilot project in Bangledesh is considered an important step toward getting approval in Southeast Asia for "Golden Rice", which some rightly claim is mostly a PR move by the biotech industries to soften their image by showing concern for insufficient vitamin A in poor Asian children's diet.

The GMO eggplant project is owned and run by the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI). Its $600,000 cost is covered by USAid and is technically supported by a major GMO research institute, Cornell University. [1]

But the technology is owned by Monsanto. Just as money they provided made it easier for Bangladesh officials to approve the project, free seeds and saplings with a payment made it easier for 20 farmers who are ignorant of GMO technology and the ways of Monsanto to permit the trial on their land.

According to the Guardian's tepid "balanced" but leaning-toward-GMOs-in general article, the reviews on crop yields were "mixed" among the 20 small farms visited. [2]

The anti-GMO blog Volitility countered with a well written article "Even the Corporate Media Can't Defend Bt Brinjal [eggplant]." This article claimed the Bangladesh BARI project was farcical because it ignored the guidelines set by the Ministry of Health, which included labeling the GMO eggplants in the market place.

The Volatility article also mentioned that even if all crops survived, the long term effects on the environment and humans would be negatively affected. And they don't know that the borer larvae will probably develop a resistance to the genetically produced insecticides. [3]

A few farmers removed some of their existing plants to be part of the project funded by USAid and experienced total failure of the Bt crop with nothing to back up the loss.

Yet, after all the "balanced" reporting and GMO shill shouts of "anti-science" condemning anti-GMO "activists" who will cause world hunger to worsen, a high BARI official admitted that out of 20 farms involved, 13 failed.

Partial success reports are not available, but even the few that did better had come under attack from the principal target of Bt eggplant, the eggplant fruit and shoot borer. [4]

Muddying the waters of reality and truth

The star media cheerleader for GMOs is Biotech industry media shill Mark Lynus. His articles will appear in almost any Google search on Bt eggplant and Golden Rice topics, as he is an official GMO "communicator". He often claims anti-GMO activists, journalists, and scientists "lie all the time". That's called projection Mark.

Mark was a former environmentalist and climate change advocate who wrote a book claiming nuclear power is needed to clean up the environment and lessen global warming. He staged a public mea-culpa for being "partly instrumental" with initiating the European anti-GMO movement. He claimed he converted from "hating GMOs" to finally understanding the "science".

The mainstream media ate it up. But anti-GMO activists claim Mark was hardly involved with them and he already seemed to support GMOs.

There is strong evidence that Mark, always game for attracting attention to himself with publicity stunts, was recruited by EuropaBio for it's "ambassador program", an effort to mollify growing anti-GMO sentiment and influence Europe toward accepting GMOs.[5]

Such a publicly high profile environmental journalist/author would work well as a pro-GMO ambassador, even though he hardly covered agriculture previously. Here's the leaked document that confirms this suspicion (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/interactive/2011/oct/20/gm-food).

Sources for this article include:

[1] http://www.greenpeace.org

[2] http://www.theguardian.com

[3] http://www.theguardian.com

[4] http://newagebd.net

[5] http://www.alternet.org

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