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July 26, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Over 100,000 Demand Obama Veto the DARK Act on White House Petition

Unionville, CT, July 26, 2016 – Today, GMO Free USA and a national coalition of nonprofits surpassed 100,000 signatures on a Whitehouse.gov petition demanding that President Obama veto Bill S.764, also known as the DARK Act. The petition reached the signature count in a little over two weeks, making the petition one of the fastest to have reached its goal in the history of the Whitehouse.gov petition site. Crossing the 100,000 threshold requires a response from the White House.

The “Veto the DARK Act (S.764)” petition was created by Stephanie Anderson, candidate for U.S. Congress in Florida’s 23rd District, and has strong support from nonprofits in the food movement, including GMO Free USA, Organic Consumers Association, the Cornucopia Institute and Center for Food Safety. Notable individuals such as former Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Reverend Jesse Jackson are also calling on Obama to veto the discriminatory and loophole-ridden bill.

As a presidential candidate in 2007, Obama promised to label GMOs: “Here’s what I’ll do as president… We’ll let folks know whether their food has been genetically modified, because Americans should know what they’re buying.” Yet, eight years later, agrichemical industry and Big Food allies in the Senate and House of Representatives have passed legislation to preempt Vermont’s GMO labeling law, forbid states from passing GMO labeling laws in the future, and to let the corporations sidestep the kind of disclosure that an overwhelming majority of Americans have been demanding.

GMO Free USA is calling on concerned citizens to call the White House to demand that President Obama veto what is, essentially, a sham GMO labeling bill: 202-456-1414 and 202-456-1111. The petition is still open and anyone who hasn’t signed on is encouraged to do so here: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov//petition/veto-dark-act-s764

GMO Free USA is a national 501c3 nonprofit that educates consumers and other stakeholders about the potential hazards of GMOs. GMO Free USA advocates for the application of the Precautionary Principle and the removal of GMOs from the food supply until they are proven safe. www.gmofreeusa.org Press may contact Diana Reeves at 347.921.1466 or info@gmofreeusa.org

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June 27, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GMO Free USA Opposes Senate Bill That Would Block State GMO Labeling Laws

WASHINGTON DC, June 27 – After groundswells by consumer and health advocates thwarted two previous Congressional efforts to nullify state GMO labeling laws, two senators have announced a deal on the newest version of the so-called DARK (Deny Americans Right to Know) Act, S.2609.

The deal reached late last week by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) would nullify mandatory GMO labeling laws passed by Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont and also move GMO labeling authority from the Food and Drug Administration to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Agrichemical and processed food industry representatives have intensified their efforts in Congress leading up to the July 1 implementation of Vermont’s mandatory labeling law. Laws passed by Connecticut and Maine will not take effect until nearby states pass similar laws.

In a move that surprised grassroots organizations such as GMO Free USA, the Organic Trade Association (OTA), a “membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America”, has publicly endorsed this bill as an acceptable national standard for labeling GMOs after receiving special provisions that benefit the organic industry. OTA’s endorsement of the DARK Act is considered by the GMO labeling grassroots to be a huge and divisive blow to the food movement.

“The latest version of the DARK Act is an outrageous betrayal of everything the GMO labeling movement has fought for,” said Diana Reeves, Executive Director of GMO Free USA. “The smoke and mirrors in this latest proposal are intended to obscure this bill’s central provision, which is a ban on mandatory GMO labeling.”

The bill proposes, as an alternative to GMO labeling, a patchwork of options such as QR codes scannable by cell phones that would direct consumers to food companies’ websites, toll free phone numbers or a symbol yet to be defined by the USDA. Labeling advocates who have demanded the words “Produced With Genetic Engineering” on food packaging have decried this proposal as a gambit to provide political cover for legislators voting against majority public opinion on this issue, which runs 90 percent in favor of mandatory GMO labeling.

“This bill could have been written by Monsanto itself,” said Reeves, referring to the largest producer of genetically engineered seeds worldwide. “It casts aside laws passed by the legislatures of three states and deprives consumers of the basic, modest disclosure of information they want and deserve. As evidence mounts of health harms linked to GMO consumption, disclosure of these ingredients gives consumers the information they need to avoid this technology.”

“We should be joining the 38 nations that have instituted bans on this technology. Instead, the United States is preparing to become the first nation on earth to ban mandatory disclosure of GMO ingredients. What does that say about industry influence in our political process?” Reeves added.

Additional concerns about the measure include a new definition of genetic engineering that excludes a vast number of genetically engineered foods that are already on the market and emerging forms of the technology, such as CRISPR/cas9, gene editing and gene cassettes.

GMO Free USA urges its supporters to contact their Senators and demand that they oppose S.2609 and support, instead, a solution that would extend Vermont’s law nationally: https://www.gmofreeusa.org/take-action/senate-stop-the-dark-act

GMO Free USA is a national 501c3 nonprofit that educates consumers and other stakeholders about the potential hazards of GMOs. GMO Free USA advocates for the application of the Precautionary Principle and the removal of GMOs from the food supply until they are proven safe. www.gmofreeusa.org Press may contact Diana Reeves at 347.921.1466 or info@gmofreeusa.org

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December 16, 2015

BREAKING NEWS

We Stopped the DARK Act!

UNIONVILLE, CT, Dec. 04 – Against nearly insurmountable odds, we have STOPPED the DARK Act from passing the Senate this year!

When H.R.1599 passed the House in late July, we knew that our work was cut out for us. We were up against the deep pockets of the $200 billion dollar per year Biotech, Agrichemical and Big Food industries who want to continue to deny us the right to know what is in our food just to protect their profits. But while they have a bottomless check book, we have something that their billions of dollars can’t buy: PEOPLE POWER!

We want to thank each and every one of you who took the time to call, email, and write your lawmakers to demand that they do the right thing and stand up to the greedy chemical companies who want to keep us in the dark about our food. And while we should all take a moment and celebrate this amazing victory, we must remain vigilant for we know that once Congress convenes again next year, they will continue to try and undermine our rights to food democracy and food transparency.

This fight won’t be over until our right to know what is in our food has been made the law of the land, just like it is in 64 other countries around the world. Can you help us continue the fight for food transparency and food democracy in the upcoming year? We’ve personally delivered your letters, emails, and petition signatures to lawmakers in D.C. and personally lobbied them on your behalf, but these efforts take time and money. Please Donate Now and help us keep the pressure on our lawmakers and win the fight for mandatory GMO labeling in the U.S.

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September 29, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/38323-GMO-Free-USA-on-the-Road-Again-with-Neil-Young-in-October

GMO Free USA on the Road Again with Neil Young in October

UNIONVILLE, CT, Sep. 29 /CSRwire/ – On the heels of a successful July tour, GMO Free USA will again be joining Neil Young + Promise of the Real for their October #RebelContentTour promoting the new studio album, The Monsanto Years. The tour kicks off October 1st in Missoula, Montana, and wraps October 17th in Berkeley, California.

Neil Young’s “Activist Village” – a coalition of leading national nonprofits – will be traveling with the band, raising awareness and educating concertgoers about industrial agriculture, environmental issues, and the negative impact of corporate control of government. GMO Free USA will be hosting the GMO education tent, while Move to Amend, Center for Biological Diversity, CSG (formerly The California Grange), and Earth Island Journal will host tents under their respective issue areas. The five host organizations will be bringing in local nonprofits to promote local initiatives, such as the GMO crop cultivation ban effort underway in Lane County, Oregon, and Initiative 735 in Washington state for a resolution urging the federal proposal of a constitutional amendment to abolish the doctrines of “corporate constitutional rights” and “money equals speech.”

Diana Reeves, GMO Free USA Executive Director, connected with many farm belt residents during the July tour. “I heard story after story from residents who were concerned about increasing rates of cancer. ‘My father has cancer. My aunt has cancer. My neighbors have cancer,’ said one concertgoer. At another venue we met a couple – he was a cancer survivor and his very pregnant wife was battling cancer. It was heartbreaking. We heard stories from farmers who have no choice but to grow GM crops because they are surrounded by neighbors who are growing them. We were told that they were certain they would be sued by Monsanto if they grew non-GMO because contamination by pollen drift would be inevitable. But they’re afraid to speak out. These GMO growers are their neighbors. Their friends. Even their family members.”

Reeves founded GMO Free USA with the organization’s first and ongoing campaign, a national boycott of the Kellogg Company. Kellogg’s net sales have been down for seven out of eight quarters. “The great thing about the boycott is that it happens at a personal level and you can effect change without having ‘activist’ stamped on your forehead. It only takes one major food company to change the entire industry. America doesn’t want GMOs. The faster Kellogg’s gets the message, the faster their financial outlook will improve. I’m looking forward to connecting with people along the West Coast, educating and growing the boycott.”

Thousands of educational brochures about GMOs and postcards informing people of the Kellogg’s boycott were distributed in all the cities during the July Midwestern and East Coast tour. The nonprofit anticipates a similar reception for the West Coast tour leg, which includes stops in Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Vancouver, Canada.

“The public response during the July tour was overwhelmingly positive. We imagined there would be more resistance to the information we were distributing in the Midwestern GMO agriculture belt. But what we found was strong support. There was only one incident in Lincoln, Nebraska – I was approached by a Dekalb (Monsanto brand) salesman who taunted me, proudly proclaiming that GMOs and toxic chemicals ‘are feeding the world’. But he couldn’t cite any evidence to back up his claim when pressed. He just kept repeating ‘GMOs are feeding the world’ over and over, like a robot. These poison pushers need to be called out when they lie and attempt to deceive the public. Neil had the courage to record an unreserved album about the most pressing issues in this country and on this planet. There is too much at stake today to be silent or passive,” says Luan Van Le, GMO Free USA Communications Director.

“The Monsanto Years are here and we are living them. Monsanto is the poster-child for what is wrong with corporate controlled government in our world. The Monsanto Years encompasses several associated subjects that millions of people worldwide are concerned about and active in. Earth is not ours. We are of the Earth. That’s how I feel. When we plunder our own home we hurt our children and their children after them. I feel responsible,” says Young.

The Activist Village adds a festive and complementary element to the tour for Neil Young + Promise of the Real’s new album. The media are encouraged to attend and to report on the concerns of engaged citizens.

For full details about GMO Free USA’s October tour with Neil Young: http://tinyurl.com/NeilYoungGMOFreeUSAOctober

GMO Free USA is a 501c3 nonprofit that educates consumers and other stakeholders about the potential hazards of GMOs. GMO Free USA advocates for the application of the Precautionary Principle and the removal of GMOs from the food supply until they are proven safe. Visit https://www.gmofreeusa.org Press may contact Diana Reeves or Luan Van Le at 347.921.1466 or info@gmofreeusa.org

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August 04, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/38153-GMO-Free-USA-Finds-Carcinogenic-Weedkiller-and-GMOs-in-Kashi-GoLean-Cereal

GMO Free USA Finds Carcinogenic Weedkiller and GMOs in Kashi GoLean Cereal

UNIONVILLE, CT, Aug. 04 /CSRwire/ – GMO Free USA today published the results of independent lab tests documenting that a box of Kellogg’s Kashi GoLean Original cereal which had not been verified by the Non-GMO Project contained glyphosate residue and an even higher level of AMPA (aminomethylphosphonic acid), a metabolite of glyphosate. Glyphosate is the main chemical ingredient in Roundup herbicide. Most of the genetically engineered corn and soy being grown in the U.S. have been engineered to tolerate spraying with glyphosate based herbicides.

“Monsanto’s Roundup, the trade name for the herbicide glyphosate, causes birth defects and cancer and probably triggers a host of chronic diseases. Allowing glyphosate to be present in our food should be a criminal offense. It is basically mass poisoning of the population including our children,” said Jeff Ritterman, M.D.

In March, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), concluded that there is sufficient evidence of glyphosate’s carcinogenicity in experimental animals and classified glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans.

The level of glyphosate detected in the Kashi cereal was nearly six times higher than the level documented in a recent test on Kellogg’s Froot Loops. This is the first time that AMPA has been detected by testing commissioned by the public interest nonprofit. Tests also documented that the Kashi cereal contained significant levels of genetically engineered soy and insecticide-producing genetically engineered corn that is regulated by the EPA. There is substantial and growing peer-reviewed scientific evidence that both GMOs and glyphosate are damaging to health. While Kashi GoLean Original has subsequently gone through Non-GMO Project Verification, there are still unverified boxes on grocery store shelves and it is likely that there are other Kashi brand products which contain similar ingredients.

“During our July tour with Neil Young to educate concertgoers about GMOs, we were shocked to see unverified and Non-GMO Project verified boxes of Kashi GoLean Original mixed together on the same display at a Brockton, Massachusetts Stop & Shop grocery store. This is a shameless attempt to unload Kashi’s GMOs onto unsuspecting customers. There are likely thousands of boxes on store shelves across the nation and we’re calling on the public to demand that store managers remove those boxes immediately,” said Luan Van Le, GMO Free USA’s Communications Director.

While the company is moving away from GMO ingredients in their Kashi brand, it has made no attempt to do the same for the products it markets to growing, vulnerable children.

In the two years ended 2014, Kellogg’s spent $3.6 million to lobby against mandatory GMO labeling. The company also contributed approximately $2 million to the campaigns that narrowly defeated citizens’ ballot initiatives for mandatory GMO food labeling in California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado.

GMO Free USA is calling on Kellogg’s to commit to removing GMO ingredients from all of their products and to enroll them in the Non-GMO Project program for verification. Full Kashi GoLean Original report: https://www.gmofreeusa.org/food-testing/kelloggs/kashi-golean-original/

GMO Free USA is a 501c3 nonprofit that educates consumers and other stakeholders about the potential hazards of GMOs and advocates for the removal of GMOs from the food supply. Visit https://www.gmofreeusa.org/food-testing/operation-label-gmos/ to learn more about GMO Free USA’s food testing program. Members of the press may contact Diana Reeves or Luan Van Le at 347.921.1466 or info@gmofreeusa.org

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June 25, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/38062-GMO-Free-USA-will-Tour-with-Neil-Young-in-July

GMO Free USA will Tour with Neil Young in July

UNIONVILLE, C.T., Jun. 25 /CSRwire/ – GMO Free USA will be joining Neil Young + Promise of the Real during their upcoming tour to promote their new studio album, The Monsanto Years. The nonprofit will be taking GMO education on the road from July 8 in Morrison, Colorado to July 22 in Mansfield, Massachusetts.

Traveling with a coalition of nine other nonprofits to raise awareness about industrial agriculture, environmental issues, and the negative impact of corporate control of government, GMO Free USA is proud to be part of the traveling Activist Village on location at each of the concert venues.

Neil Young has donated concert tickets to GMO Free USA to help the nonprofit raise funds. Fans of Neil Young and supporters of GMO Free USA can bid on the tickets, which will be auctioned to the public at www.biddingowl.com/gmofreeusa

“The Monsanto Years are here and we are living them. Monsanto is the poster-child for what is wrong with corporate controlled government in our world. Our upcoming record, The Monsanto Years, encompasses several associated subjects that millions of people worldwide are concerned about and active in. Earth is not ours. We are of the Earth. That’s how I feel. When we plunder our own home we hurt our children and their children after them. I feel responsible.” says Young.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company, a GMO Free USA sponsor, adds, “We’re convinced that GMOs pose serious risks to our health and to the environment. We’re about healthful, natural foods–not some product from a laboratory.” GMO Free USA is a 501c3 nonprofit that educates consumers and other stakeholders about the potential hazards of genetically engineered foods, also known as GMOs, and advocates for the removal of GMOs from the food supply.

For full details about GMO Free USA’s tour with Neil Young: https://www.gmofreeusa.org/take-action/neil-young-the-monsanto-years

GMO Free USA is a 501c3 nonprofit that educates consumers and other stakeholders about the potential hazards of GMOs and advocates for the removal of GMOs from the food supply. Visit https://www.gmofreeusa.org/food-testing/operation-label-gmos/ to learn more about GMO Free USA’s food testing program. Members of the press may contact Diana Reeves or Luan Van Le at 347.921.1466 or info@gmofreeusa.org

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March 31, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/37798-GMO-Free-USA-Finds-Gerber-Lil-Crunchies-Full-of-Insecticidal-GMOs

GMO Free USA Finds Gerber Lil’ Crunchies Full of Insecticidal GMOs

Unionville, CT March 31, 2015 – GMO Free USA today published the results of independent lab testing which documented that Gerber Lil’ Crunchies Veggie Dip Baked Whole Grain Corn toddler snack contains high levels of herbicide tolerant, insecticide producing genetically engineered corn. The public interest nonprofit recently launched a program to test popular food products for genetically engineered ingredients (GMOs), as well as testing for the herbicide glyphosate, heavily sprayed on GMO crops.

The agrichemical corporations that produce GMOs, together with Big Food, have spent millions in recent years to narrowly defeat citizens’ ballot initiatives for mandatory GMO labeling in California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado. Nestlé, Gerber’s parent company, has spent $2.4 million to fund anti-labeling efforts. These industries say that GMOs are safe, that government regulatory bodies agree with them and labeling is unnecessary. But the FDA and EPA rely on industry funded voluntary safety assessments conducted by the same companies that profit from their sale. A recent statement published in a peer reviewed journal, signed by over 300 industry-independent scientists and scholars, stated that there is no scientific consensus on GMO safety.

In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), issued a policy statement recommending that children’s exposure to pesticides be reduced. Yet Nestlé doesn’t have a problem with feeding babies genetically modified corn that is a pesticide regulated by the EPA.

“As a physician in Hawaii I remain gravely concerned about the impact pesticides and pesticide dependent crops have on our children’s development,” said Josh Green M.D., Hawaii State Senator.

Nestlé’s corporate head of sustainable agriculture, Hans Jöhr, previously stated, “We have a very simple way of looking at GM: listen to what the consumer wants. If they don’t want it in products, you don’t put them in.”

“American mothers are outraged that Nestlé continues to experiment on our babies with their Gerber brand. In response to consumer outcry, Nestlé removed GMOs from their baby and toddler foods in South Africa in 2013. Why not in America? The scientific evidence against GM foods is mounting,” says Diana Reeves, Executive Director of GMO Free USA and mother of three.

GMO Free USA is calling on Gerber to commit to removing GMO ingredients from all of their products and to enroll in the Non-GMO Project for third party verification.

Read the Gerber Lil’ Crunchies Veggie Dip test results report: https://www.gmofreeusa.org/food-testing/gerber-lil-crunchies/

GMO Free USA is a 501c3 nonprofit that educates consumers and other stakeholders about the potential hazards of GMOs and advocates for the removal of GMOs from the food supply. Visit https://www.gmofreeusa.org/food-testing/operation-label-gmos/ to learn more about GMO Free USA’s food testing program. Members of the press may contact Diana Reeves or Luan Van Le at 347.921.1466 or info@gmofreeusa.org

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January 29, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/37644-GMO-Free-USA-Finds-GMOs-and-Weedkiller-in-Kellogg-s-Froot-Loops

GMO Free USA Finds GMOs and Weedkiller in Kellogg’s Froot Loops

Unionville, CT January 29, 2015 – GMO Free USA today published the results of independent lab testing which documented that Kellogg’s Froot Loops cereal contains high levels of insecticide-producing genetically engineered corn that is regulated by the EPA. Tests also documented the presence of glyphosate, the main chemical ingredient of Roundup® weedkiller. The public interest nonprofit recently launched “OPERATION: LABEL GMOs” to test popular food products for genetically engineered ingredients (GMOs) and glyphosate, which is heavily sprayed on GMO crops. There is substantial and growing peer-reviewed scientific evidence that both GMOs and glyphosate are damaging to health (see supplementary information below). GMO Free USA plans to expand testing to include 2,4-D, dicamba, atrazine, and neonicotinoid insecticides.

The agrichemical corporations that produce GMOs, together with Big Food, have spent millions of dollars in recent years to narrowly defeat citizens’ ballot initiatives for mandatory GMO food labeling in California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado. Kellogg’s alone has spent nearly $2 million to fund anti-labeling efforts.

“We find it disturbing that Kellogg’s is feeding children unlabeled GMOs and toxic herbicides. Statistics show that this is the first generation of children that are sicker than their parents. Is Kellogg’s endangering our children? Based on the growing body of scientific evidence, we believe so and we hold Kellogg’s accountable. Parents need to know what they’re feeding their children, and Kellogg’s is spending millions to keep the composition of their products hidden,” says Diana Reeves, Executive Director of GMO Free USA and mother of 3. Reeves echoes the sentiment of a rapidly growing movement in the U.S. that is demanding the removal of GMOs from the food supply and the reduction of pesticide use in agriculture.

GMO Free USA is calling on Kellogg’s to commit to removing GMO ingredients from all of their products and enroll in Non-GMO Project Verification. Full report: https://www.gmofreeusa.org/food-testing/kelloggs/kelloggs-froot-loops/

GMO Free USA is a 501c3 nonprofit that educates consumers and other stakeholders about the potential hazards of GMOs. GMO Free USA advocates for the application of the Precautionary Principle and the removal of GMOs from the food supply until they are proven safe. www.gmofreeusa.org Press may contact Diana Reeves or Luan Van Le at 347.921.1466 or info@gmofreeusa.org

Supplementary Information

The FDA, EPA, and USDA allowed the insecticidal GMO corn and the glyphosate discovered in Froot Loops to be commercialized without ever conducting human safety tests. An in-vitro study found that the insecticides in this corn may be toxic to human cells. Feeding studies conducted on mammals found adverse effects, including immune system disturbances, signs of organ toxicity, disturbances in the functioning of the digestive system and male reproductive organ damage. The level of glyphosate detected could kill beneficial gut flora as documented by a study on chickens. An in-vitro study on human cells at minute real-world environmental levels of exposure found that glyphosate was able to effectively substitute for estrogen in stimulating growth of hormone-dependent human breast cancer cells. Several studies also suggest that glyphosate bioaccumulates in our bodies. Glyphosate was found in breast milk in recent tests. All of this research raises red flags that Kellogg’s and the FDA have ignored. Despite testing for hundreds of pesticides in food commodities, the USDA claims they do not test for glyphosate residue. Why would the USDA not test for residue of the most widely used agricultural herbicide in the world?

Pediatrician Michelle Perro states, “Digestive health is rapidly declining in children. If children eat conventionally grown food, they will potentially be eating glyphosate, pesticide ingredients and GMOs, as documented by these laboratory tests [of Froot Loops]. What is happening to our children is several-fold: Alteration of their microbiome with subsequent issues of detoxification, production of vitamins and repair of their intestinal lining due to the anti-microbial effects of glyphosate. Additionally, they are mineral-deficient. Since glyphosate, applied to plants, is known to bind important minerals and make them unavailable to human and animal consumers, it may be contributing to this mineral deficiency. There is laboratory evidence of zinc deficiency, for example, which then leads to immunological weakness/impairment since zinc is an important co-factor in immune system function. The bioaccumulation effects of glyphosate have not been addressed in children and the standards of safety are arbitrary and not based on any clinical evidence.”

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