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Larry Cyna
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Mr. Cyna is an accomplished investor in the Canadian public markets for over 20 years, and has managed significant portfolios. He is a financing specialist for private and public companies, and has expertise in real estate and debt obligations. He has assisted private companies accessing the... More
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  • Corn & Soy Beans Are Genetically Altered Foods – They Ain't What They Used To Be. 0 comments
    Jul 18, 2012 2:56 PM

    A Change in Regulations
    There is an uproar in the US currently. Buried in the House Farm Bill, approved by the House Agriculture Committee on Friday, is the agribusiness industry's latest attempt to shed regulations restricting new genetically engineered (NYSE:GE) crops. While the bill's massive food stamps cuts elicited widespread outcry, the industry quietly inserted provisions to rush new crops onto the market after only a cursory review of their safety. The uproar comes as lawmakers are attempting to reduce spending in the wake of the massive US deficit. Groups opposed to genetically altered foods are protesting the elimination of controls over genetically altered foods.

    We Have Previously Cautioned Readers About Genetically Altered Foods
    On April 8, 2012 We published an article questioning whether Genetically Modified Foods are Safe? One of the leaders in exposing the dangers to our food supply and the health of our children is Robyn O'Brien, who is dramatically effective when you listen to her speaking about what is happening in the US as a result of the gene altered foods. We attach a link to her website.

    Genetically Altered Foods - The Dramatic Rise in Autism and in Allergies
    If one searches the web, there is a growing body of opinion describing genetically altered foods, the poor supervision of them, the lack of available independent research on them, and the trend in North America which differs dramatically from the trend in Europe where genetically altered foods are viewed with alarm.

    A Striking Coincidence of the Dramatic Rise in Autism and Allergies
    There has been a dramatic rise in Autism and in Allergies in North America which remains a mystery. Strikingly, the time frames of the growth in these medical issues is similar to the time frame of the growth in genetically altered foods.

    Understanding the Issue
    Pick up a box of cereal or other packaged food at the grocery store, and chances are you're looking at a genetically modified product. The Center for Food Safety, a nonprofit organization that seeks sustainable alternatives to harmful methods of food production technologies, estimates that more than 70 percent of the processed foods in U.S. grocery stores contain some genetically modified ingredients - mostly corn or soy. But, in most cases, these modified foods have received only limited testing.

    For example, take the three genetically modified corn varieties already being sold by Monsanto that are the subject of new analysis by French scientists. Two of the varieties have been genetically modified to contain unique proteins designed to kill insects that eat them, and the third variety was engineered to tolerate Roundup, Monsanto's best-selling herbicide. Foods containing this "modified" corn are now being eaten by people all around the world, but French researchers contend that Monsanto's studies do not prove the corns are safe to consume.

    Think about eating corn that is infused with Roundup. Do you really want to be eating Roundup? Somehow I think that eating poison that is designed to kill plants does not seem very healthy.

    Under current US law, corporations are not required to make industry-conducted studies public. But, in this case, thanks to a lawsuit and the involvement of European governments and Greenpeace attorneys, studies were released for independent analysis by scientists not being paid by Monsanto.

    The researchers, affiliated with the Committee for Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering (an independent, nonprofit association dedicated to studying the impacts of genetically modified organisms), published their detailed critique of the Monsanto studies in the International Journal of Biological Sciences (2009; 5:706-726). They concluded that the data - which Monsanto claimed proved the corn varieties were safe to eat - actually suggest potential kidney and liver problems resulting from consumption of all three modified corn varieties, as well as negative effects in the heart, adrenal glands and spleen. The findings confirm a 2007 report from the same researchers on a single variety of modified corn.

    Trusting Large Corporations
    In today's financial press, there is a continuing outcry over supposed misdeeds of the compliance people at the major banks including HSBC. Essentially these large financial institutions hoodwinked government and the pubic over the validity of the LIBOR rate, an interbank interest rate that is the foundation of the setting of interest rates around the world. Our trust in the motives of large corporations continues to erode.

    When the coincidences of incidences of harm to our health mirror the timing of the rise of genetically modified foods, and at the same time, the industry suppresses information that may shed light on the matter, I tend to worry. Eating food as created by Mother Nature, seems healthy to me. Eating Roundup which was created to poison and kill plants does not seem healthy to me.

    The views expressed in this blog are opinions only and are not investment advice. Persons investing should seek the advice of a licensed professional to guide them and should not rely on the opinions expressed herein. This blog is not a solicitation for investment and we do not accept unsolicited investment funds. Larry Cyna and/or the CymorFund have positions in the shares of companies mentioned.

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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