GMO Production is Terrorism, Russian MPs Draft a Bill

no-gmo1GMO production and distribution is likened to terrorism by the authors of a draft bill submitted to the Russian parliament earlier this week. It's not the first comparison of the kind, according to Elena Sharoykina, director of the Genetic Safety Public Association (GSPA), a 10-year-old NGO in Moscow, Russia's major campaigner for GM-free food and agriculture.

In an interview to RT, Sharoykina recalled a statement made by the NATO Committee on the Challenges to Modern Society in the Belgian city of Liege in 2004, in which it warned that GMOs may be used as a genetic weapon.

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Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Still Clings to Lives

Exxon-Valdez-oil-in-shoreline-sedimentsThe herring of Prince William Sound still have not recovered. Neither have killer whales, and legal issues remain unresolved a quarter of a century later. Monday is the 25th anniversary of the disaster, in which the tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef and spilled at least 11 million gallons of oil into the pristine waters of the sound.

Prince William Sound today looks spectacular, a stunning landscape of mountainous fjords, blue-green waters and thickly forested islands. Pick up a stone on a rocky beach, maybe dig a little, though, and it is possible to still find pockets of oil.

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Rootworm Beetle Can Now Eat GMO Corn Designed to Kill It

20110816 rootworm-beetles 33Western corn rootworm beetles in the United States have grown immune to biotech crops that were originally designed to target the pests. The genetically modified organism (GMO) seeds, often referred to as Bt corn, were introduced in 1996—yet the rapid pace at which the insect has grown resistant has scientists and farmers worried.

Wired magazine explained the situation: "Until Bt corn was genetically altered to be poisonous to the pests, rootworms used to cause billions of dollars in damage to U.S. crops. Named for the pesticidal toxin-producing Bacillus thuringiensis gene it contains, Bt corn now accounts for three-quarters of the U.S. corn crop. The vulnerability of this corn could be disastrous for farmers and the environment."

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Mercury Found In Fish In Western National Parks

all-alaska-salmon-speciesFederal scientists have found high amounts of mercury in sport fish caught in remote areas of national parks in the West and Alaska, according to a study released Thursday.

Researchers for the U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service said that most fish they caught had acceptable levels of mercury, but 4 percent exceeded healthy levels.

Mercury occurs naturally, but scientists say its presence in national parks, which are supposed to leave wildlife unimpaired for future generations, was cause for concern.

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Slide erased their homes, but maybe not their loans

oso mudslideA community bank with branches on both sides of the Snohomish County mudslide says it'll forgive uninsured debts for customers affected by the catastrophe.

But bigger banks aren't offering a blanket reprieve, leaving homeowners — many of them with large mortgages — in financial limbo.

"It's really going to take all of the banks helping to get that market back on its feet," said Eric Sprink, CEO of Everett-based Coastal Community Bank, which has branches in Arlington and Darrington . "If insurance doesn't help them, Coastal stands ready and willing to write off our debt."

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