Genetic Manipulation and Hybridization Update

Candidate to run global food body will ‘not defend’ EU stance on Genetically Modified Organisms

Blog note. Jesus indicated that ‘fearful sights’ (various natural disasters) would occur leading up to the time known as the Tribulation and Great Tribulation (a combined seven year period of great destruction on earth). Although these types of things have occurred in the past for centuries and thousands of years, they could be identified as the ‘season of the times’ due to the ferociousness of these events. They would be occurring in greater intensity, severity, frequency, size, duration, scope … just like the pains that a woman experiences in labor the farther along she is in the labor process. We are in the ‘season of the times’ that comes just before the seven (7) year Tribulation/Great Tribulation period
… And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11).
… And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (Luke 21:25)
… Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; (Luke 21:26)
… This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)
Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. These verses are several of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied Eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor.

Candidate to run global food body will ‘not defend’ EU stance on Genetically Modified Organisms

Julian Borger in Washington and Felicity Lawrence The Guardian•June 2, 2019

Europe’s candidate to run the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which guides policymakers around the world, has promised the US she will “not defend the EU position” in resisting the global spread of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

In a bid for US support, Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle told senior US officials at a meeting in Washington on 15 May that under her leadership the FAO would be more open to American interests and accepting of GMO and gene editing, according to a US official record of the meeting seen by the Guardian.

The issue has been a longstanding point of conflict in trade talks with the EU, which has adopted a far more cautious approach to biotechnology in food and agriculture. All GMO imports are subject to strict safety assessments imposed on a case-by-case basis. Plants and animals whose genome has been manipulated through gene editing are deemed to be GMOs, and are subject to similar restrictions. The US portrays such restrictions as trade barriers and has demanded they be dropped.

In the meeting with officials from the US agriculture and state departments, Geslain-Lanéelle, a former director general of the French agriculture and food ministry who also ran the European Food Safety Authority, signalled she would veer to the US side if she ran the FAO.

“She is proud to be European, who she is, and where she comes from; however, she will promote FAO from a global perspective rather than with European Union (EU) or French views,” said a US government internal memo.

“She will not defend the EU position on biotechnology and genetically modified organisms. This is not what agriculture needs. She will defend a global project that includes US interests.”

The American team at the meeting was led by Ted McKinney, a Donald Trump appointee as undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, who spent more than three decades working for agrochemical, biotechnology and animal feed companies.

McKinney told Geslain-Lanéelle that “things are terribly skewed in the wrong direction” against biotechnology.

“We are concerned about European pushes to ban glyphosate and cut herbicides,” he said. Glyphosate is a herbicide sold as Roundup, which the International Agency for Research on Cancer has found to be “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

According to the US memo, Geslain-Lanéelle responded by saying “a diversity of solutions is needed and that it is important to be science-based”.

The French candidate also promised to hire a US deputy director if she won the top job, in a contest to be decided at the end of June.

In the meeting with US officials, Geslain-Lanéelle said she had taken the same position in public in front of the EU and was “reiterating her public commitment”.

Asked for comment about Geslain-Lanéelle’s offer to Washington, her campaign manager at the French agriculture ministry, Hervé Durand, and the French embassy in Washington pointed to public remarks she had made, when candidates put their case to a FAO plenary meeting in April.

“Biotechnology is also very useful,” she said at the April meeting. “I will support biotechnologies, of course, including GMO and gene editing; I think it’s important.”

The remarks have a more measured tone than the version presented to the US, but are significantly more pro-GMO than her main rival for the job, the Chinese candidate, Qu Dongyu. When challenged on his views by a US representative at the April plenary, Qu said he wanted to answer the concerns of civil society and the public about the technologies. He added: “We have to be careful, or responsible, for any new products, not only GMO, other products for pesticide, for chemicals, even for fertilisers. We have to consider their biosafety, their environment influence.”

At a time of climate emergency, the FAO’s importance, as the agency charged with tackling hunger and ensuring global food security, has grown. It pools and circulates scientific knowledge, best practice and advises governments on policy. The US has an important say in deciding its new leader, as it provides 22% of its regular funding.

Olivier De Schutter, a former UN rapporteur on the right to food and chair of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems thinktank, said the leaked note reflected the fight between the US vision for agriculture and the European one. “It’s a battle for control of food in the world. US companies remain dominant in the biotech sector which promotes an industrialised model of agriculture and the US defends its agrochemical and seeds companies. In Europe public opinion is more and more in favour of a different agriculture that is less reliant on agrochemicals inputs,” he said.

The FAO has a strategic role in setting the agenda for global agriculture. “The FAO has a very important influence because it guides what governments should prioritise, particularly in developing countries,” De Schutter said. “This shows it’s vital to have more transparency about how these appointments are made.”

Timothy Wise, a senior research fellow at the Small Planet Institute and the author of a new book, Eating Tomorrow, said: “While it is certainly understandable that candidates for the leadership of the FAO would endorse the agency’s commitment to using ‘all tools in the toolbox’ to fight global hunger, it would be unfortunate if any candidate reduced his or her ambition for the agency to the low standards of the US government.

“We need a forward-looking leader prepared to help shift global agriculture on to a more sustainable path while respecting nations’ sovereign right to determine how they feed their residents.”

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