The Next Genocide: GMO Grass

Are you ready for some Kentucky Bluegrass? Kentucky Bluegrass isn’t the name of a band touring the South, easing work-a-day blues with a little ditty, it’s the name of a toxic new GMO lawn grass being engineered by Scotts to withstand copious amounts of Monsanto’s vile RoundUp chemicals. If that’s not something to sing the blues about, then I don’t know what is.

Monsanto and Scotts have teamed up to create genetically engineered lawn grass intended for both consumer and commercial use. If people actually start using this stuff, we may as well book B.B. King for some funeral performances in advance. Kentucky Bluegrass will be entirely unregulated, will not be labeled “GMO,” and because of the ease with which grass seed spreads, could in short order contaminate lawns, parks, golf courses, and pastures everywhere.

Just when you thought fighting Monsanto on GMO corn, soy, sugar beets, and alfalfa was enough of a headache, now they want you and your dog to roll in a green carpet of glyphosate-tolerant grass. In one breath, biotech companies tell us they are trying to feed the world and grow crops which will be resistant to weeds. In their very next step to control the natural world, biotech suggests we all grow poisonous weeds. It starts to make you wonder if the people behind Monsanto, Bayer, Scotts, Syngenta, et al, aren’t just a hybrid themselves – a genetically mutated beast.

The next time you head to the country club to play some golf or a park to walk your dog, you could be exposed to GMO grass without even knowing it. And who gave Scott’s and GMO permission to grow lawns everywhere with toxic GM grass? Our own United States Department of Agriculture in July of 2011 – no regulation required, whatsoever! By utilizing rules written in the 1950s that allowed companies to create organisms from plant genes, Monsanto and Scotts are now ready to spread their jacked up seeds everywhere.

In at least once instance, genetically modified grass has been identified as the culprit of taking the lives of livestock. Shockingly (and quite disturbingly), the GMO grass actually produced toxic cyanide and sent the cattle into a life-ending fit that included painful bellowing and convulsions. The deaths have led to a federal investigation centered in Central Texas, where the cattle had resided.

According to EcoWatch:

“Because genetically modified crops use DNA material derived from natural plant pathogens, they technically qualify as ‘plant pests.’

Scotts got around this level of restriction [by the USDA] because they avoided using plant pests in the development of the Kentucky Bluegrass. Instead, the glyphosate-resistant gene originated from other plants that were not considered pathogens. Furthermore, the gene was fired in with a gene gun, instead of being carried by a plant pest bacterium. By avoiding the use of plant pests in the engineering process, Scotts has also avoided that regulation trigger.” …

Chemical producer lobbies for increase in allowed levels of pesticide linked to ‘Beemageddon’

Seed giant Syngenta is asking federal regulators in the United States to raise the allowable levels of a certain pesticide used on select crops despite warnings from critics.

According to a Sept. 5 document published on the Federal Register, the agri-business corporation wants the US Environmental Protection Agency to increase the amount of thiamethoxam that can legally be used on certain crops, raising concerns among pesticide opponents who say a surge in chemical use could cause widespread problems. Syngenta developed the chemical, and the compound was first approved for use in the US in 1999.

Among the requests made by Syngenta earlier this month are that EPA increase the amount of thiamethoxam that can be used on sweet corn crops from 0.1 parts per million (ppm) to 5.0ppm — a 50-fold increase — and raising the allowable amount on hay from wheat by 400 times over. The company is also asking that the EPA make changes to the thiamethoxam tolerance levels concerning alfalfa and barley.

Ann Bryan, a spokeswoman for the company, told E&E News that Syngenta is seeking the changes because it would allow the chemical to be used as a leaf spray and not just a seed treatment, in turn letting farmers douse crops with thiamethoxam in an effort to treat late- to midseason insects.

But as Tiffany Stecker reported for E&E, the chemical in question is part of a family of insecticides that has previously come under attack for being linked to adverse effects on ecosystems of all sorts.

“Neonicotinoid pesticides are one of many factors that scientists say have caused a dramatic decline in pollinators, insects and animals that help crop production by carrying pollen from one plant to another,” Stecker wrote, adding that more than half of the managed honeybee colonies in the US have vanished during the last decade, according to the Pollinator Partnership nonprofit group.

“Scientists say neonicotinoids can suppress bees’ immune systems, making them more vulnerable to viruses and bacteria. The Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to phase out neonicotinoids on wildlife refuges nationwide starting in January 2016,” she added. …