Wednesday, 18 February 2009

CATCH THE BUZZ Avoiding GM Beet Sugar


Food companies pledge to avoid GM beet sugar

By Caroline Scott-Thomas, Food Production Daily

Over 70 companies have vowed not to use or sell genetically modified beet sugar by signing a registry set up by food safety, environmental and corporate watchdog organizations on Saturday.

The first GM sugar beet crops – which were Monsanto’s Roundup Ready sugar beets – were harvested in the fall, but signatories of the Non-Genetically Modified (GM) Beet Sugar Registry have said they are worried about a lack of knowledge about the long-term health and environmental impacts of GM beet sugar. The Center for Food Safety (CFS) added that one of the reasons for creating the registry is to give consumers a choice about whether they eat foods containing GM sugar in the absence of mandatory labeling for GM foods. < /span>

Jeffrey Smith, director of the Institute for Responsible Technology – one of a dozen sponsors of the registry – said: “We need to avoid the all-too-common situation of finding out a product is harmful after it has been approved and widely distributed. Requiring that GM foods be labeled is the only protection consumers have if they want to avoid eating GM foods.”

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CFS asserted that the US Environmental Protection Agency increased allowable levels of herbicide residue on GM sugar beet roots “at the request of Monsanto.”

Monsanto’s Roundup Ready sugar beets are modified so that the crop is resistant to the company’s Roundup-brand herbicide, allowing farmers to quickly kill weeds without killing the crop.

No one from Monsanto was available to comment prior to publication.

Contamination concerns

CFS has also said that the recent mercury contamination of high fructose corn syrup has made companies particularly nervous about the introduction of unlabeled GM beet sugar to the US food supply.

It said: “The registry shows the food industry’s increasing apprehension about the government’s ability to adequately regulate food production technologies.”

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Tom Stearns, president of High Mowing Organic Seeds, which has also sponsored the registry, expressed concern that GM sugar beets would cross-pollinate with related crops such as chard and table beets, meaning that the issue could affect other foods and food ingredients.

“Overseas markets have already rejected other GM products, so the economic future of many of our nation’s farmers is being needlessly risked,” he said.

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The registry has been signed by 73 grocery chains and food producers so far, documenting a pledge to “seek wherever possible to avoid using GM beet sugar in our products” and urging the sugar beet industry to avoid using GM beets.

A full list of companies that have signed the registry is available here .

This message brought to you by Bee Culture, The Magazine Of American Beekeeping



Central Beekeepers Alliance

Central Beekeepers Alliance

Nova Scotia Beekeepers’ Association AGM 2009

Posted: 17 Feb 2009 07:35 AM PST

Wondering what to do on these cold winter days? Make plans to attend the 51st Annual General Meeting of the Nova Scotia Beekeepers’ Association!

Dates: Friday, 6 March - Saturday, 7 March 2009
Location: Debert Hospitality Centre, Debert, Nova Scotia
Guest speaker:Dr. Medhat Nasr
Registration: $20.00

Guest speaker:
Dr. Medhat Nasr, Provincial Apiculturist with the province of Alberta, has extensive experience in apiculture both as a researcher and as a provincial apiculturist. Medhat will speak on Hive Health, Varroa Control, Nosema research and will be available to answer questions put forth from the group.

The full Agenda for the NSBA AGM is at the bottom of this page.

Meals and Accomodation:
Rooms are available at the Debert Hospitality Centre with a March special of $60.00 per person/per night HST extra (shared accommodation). The $60.00 charge includes Friday supper, Saturday breakfast and Saturday lunch.

To reserve a room, either:
a) call 902-662-4074
b) email
c) visit the Debert Hospitality Centre website at

The Debert Hospitality Centre brings in their food for the various meals and therefore needs to know how many people will be eating over the March 6-7 weekend. If you are planning to attend the meeting and not stay at the Centre but would like to join the group for dinner on Friday night or have lunch on the Saturday then you will need to call 902-662-4074 to let them know that you plan to eat at the facilities. Cost for meals - Breakfast $ 9.00, Lunch $ 10.00, Supper $ 12.00.

Make sure you call the Hospitality Centre to reserve whatever meals you would like or accommodation you need.

For more information about the Nova Scotia Beekeepers’ Association annual general meeting, please contact:
Joanne Moran

Nova Scotia Beekeepers' Association 51st Annual Meeting
Debert Hospitality Centre, Debert, NS
6-7 March 2009

Friday March 6th
1:30pm Registration ( $20.00 fee to help offset AGM expenses )
( Children under 12 years of age, no charge )

2:00 Introduction and welcome from NSBA President

2:10 Wildlife damage compensation program George MacIntosh
Transport of bees on highways, regulations Michael Balsum

3:00 Refreshment Break

3:15 Guest speaker, Dr. Medhat Nasr Alberta Provincial Apiculturist

5:00 Meal Break

6:30 Business Meeting
- Approval of agenda Joanne Moran
- Minutes of 2008 AGM Joanne Moran
- Business arising from the minutes Joanne Moran
- Financial report Joanne Moran

7:00 Social - Cash bar

Saturday March 7th
NSBA Business Meeting

8:30 Registration ($20.00 fee to help offset AGM expenses)

9:00 Introduction and welcome from NSBA President
Presidents report Roger Morash
CAPA report Joanne Moran
CHC report Tom Trueman
2008 Nosema research update Geoff Williams/Catherine Little
Research Proposal Lise Charbonneau/Elisabeth Wallace
Russian queen project update Jerry Draheim
Bees and blueberries Joe Slack

10:15 Refreshment Break

10:30 - Presentation of Strategic Plan Gary Morton

11:00 - New business
- Resolutions
- Election of officers
- 2009 Budget Joanne Moran

12:00 Lunch Break (Lunch can be purchased on site or is included in your overnight accommodation fee)

1:00 Guest speaker, Dr. Medhat Nasr Alberta Provincial Apiculturist

2:00 Industry Info Session

- Overwintering nucs - Menno Reimer
- Faye Langille
- Testing equipment for presence of lead - Tony Philips

3:30 Adjourn

Post from: Central Beekeepers Alliance