tagged w/ Monsanto
In Brussels, on Wednesday thousands of protesters hit the streets calling for an overhaul of European food policy. The rally came as a new French study claimed rats fed GM corn produced by US firm Monsanto had suffered tumours and multiple organ damage. Opponents of genetically modified food were quick to demand an urgent review of the EU's current policy.
''Those in the food industry who said there wasn't a risk lied, they didn't tell people the truth. Europe's independent food agencies now have to act. It is absolutely essential that we kickstart the debate and re-examine GM food. The new evidence shows how dangerous GM crops are for human health,'' said Green MEP Jose Bove.
But some experts, not involved in the research, were highly sceptical of the French study's findings.
Mark Tester, a research professor at the University of Adelaide said: ''There is no clearly defined data analysis and it would appear the authors have gone on a statistical fishing trip.''
When questioned about the research EU Commission spokesperson Frederic Vincent said: ''If this is proved and based on sound scientific evidence then the European Commission will obviously act accordingly.''
US food giant Monsanto has so far not responded to the French study's claims, though it has repeatedly said in the past that its products are safe.In Brussels, on Wednesday thousands of protesters hit the streets calling for an... more
This New York Times article notes that, "The European Union has required such biotech labeling since 1997, and companies by and large have formulated their products so that they do not contain any genetically engineered ingredients and thus do not need labeling. Also, David Byrne, the former European commissioner for health and consumer protection, has said that there was no impact on the cost of products."
That point has been reinforced by Professor Chris Viljoen, a GM testing expert, who says, "There has never been a documented report that genetic modification labelling has led to a cost increase in food anywhere."
Uneasy Allies in the Grocery Aisle
New York Times, September 13, 2012
Giant bioengineering companies like Monsanto and DuPont are spending millions of dollars to fight a California ballot initiative aimed at requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods. That surprises no one, least of all the proponents of the law, which if approved by voters would become the first of its kind in the nation.
But the companies behind some of the biggest organic brands in the country — Kashi, Cascadian Farm, Horizon Organic — also have joined the antilabeling effort, adding millions of dollars to defeat the initiative, known as Proposition 37.
Their opposition stands in sharp contrast to smaller, independent organic companies, which generally favor labeling products that contain genetically modified organisms, or G.M.O.’s. And it has raised a consumer reaction on social media that has led some of the organic brands to try to distance themselves from their corporate parents.
"We want to be clear that Kashi has not made any contributions to oppose G.M.O. labeling," the brand said in a statement issued late last month after its Facebook page was inundated with comments from consumers saying they would no longer buy its products because its corporate owner, the Kellogg Company, has put more than $600,000 into fighting the ballot initiative.
But as recently as last week, consumers were still peppering the sites of Horizon, owned by Dean Foods; the J. M. Smucker Company, which has a number of organic products, and Kashi with expressions of betrayal and disappointment. "It is unconscionable for you to be funding the effort to defeat Proposition 37," one post said.
"Consumers aren't always aware that their favorite organic brands are in fact owned by big multinationals, and now they're finding out that the premium they've paid to buy these organic products is being spent to fight against something they believe in passionately," said Mark Kastel, a co-founder of the Cornucopia Institute, an organic industry watchdog and farm policy group that has been tracking corporate contributions in the ballot fight. "They feel like they've been had."
The uproar highlights the difference between large organic brands that have driven the double-digit growth of the organic market and the smaller, independent businesses and farms that most shoppers envision when they buy an organic peach or shampoo — companies like Nature's Path, one of Kashi's largest competitors.
Although certified organic products are prohibited by law from containing genetically engineered ingredients, organic companies generally favor the labeling law, contending that consumers have a right to know what is in the products they buy. What is left unsaid is that it may also be a marketing advantage for organic companies, distinguishing them from conventional food producers.
The parent companies, among them Kellogg, General Mills, Dean Foods, Smucker’s and Coca-Cola, declined to talk about their opposition to the labeling initiative, which is on the November ballot, referring questions to Kathy Fairbanks, the spokeswoman for the No on 37 campaign.
Last week, the organization released a study it had commissioned that estimated the initiative would add $1.2 billion in costs for California farmers and food producers. Ms. Fairbanks said that the higher costs could add as much as $350 to $400 to an average family’s grocery bill.
In addition, she said, the opponents believe the labeling would heighten what they call unfounded concerns about the safety of genetically engineered crops.
The European Union has required such biotech labeling since 1997, and companies by and large have formulated their products so that they do not contain any genetically engineered ingredients and thus do not need labeling. Also, David Byrne, the former European commissioner for health and consumer protection, has said that there was no impact on the cost of products.
But for more than a decade in the United States, most processed foods like cereals, snack foods and salad dressings have contained ingredients from plants whose DNA was manipulated in a laboratory. Regulators and many scientists say they pose no danger.
Americans, however, are becoming much more aware of the role that food plays in their health and well-being, and consequently want much more information about what they eat, including whether it contains genetically engineered ingredients as well as salt and trans fats. So far, opponents of Proposition 37 have committed roughly $25 million to defeat it, with the largest contributions coming from Monsanto ($4.2 million) and DuPont ($4 million), which have made big investments in genetically engineered crops.
Several food companies are not far behind. PepsiCo, Nestlé, ConAgra Foods and Coca-Cola, which owns the Odwalla and Honest Tea brands, have each put more than $1 million in the fight, while General Mills, which owns organic stalwarts like Muir Glen and Cascadian Farm as well as popular upstarts like Lärabar and Food Should Taste Good, has spent more than $900,000.
"We believe labeling regulations should be set at the national level, not state by state," General Mills said in a statement on its Web site.
Supporters of the measure thus far have mustered only $3.5 million from donors like Organic Valley, which has given $50,000, and Clif Bar and Amy’s Kitchen, which each have put in $100,000.
On Tuesday, Whole Foods, the retail mecca of the organic and natural foods movement, said it supported the California proposal, though with some reservations over the details — and without putting any money into the effort in accordance with its policy, a spokeswoman said.
Nature’s Path, an independent business, has put more than $600,000 into supporting the ballot initiative — even though it is a Canadian company. Some 70 percent of its sales and most of its production take place in the United States, said Arran Stephens, president of the company, but that is not why it is one of the biggest supporters of Proposition 37.
“We get to know what the salt content of our food is and the nutritional content, and producers have to state whether there are preservatives in it,” Mr. Stephens said. “But in the case of genetically modified organisms and whether they are in a product or not, we don’t know.”
Ronnie Cummins, founder and national director of the Organic Consumers Association, which represents some 850,000 members, said he expected the food and biotech companies that oppose the measure to spend roughly twice what they have already contributed by the time of the Nov. 6 election.
Nonetheless, Mr. Cummins said he expected it to pass. In a poll of 800 likely California voters in July by the California Business Roundtable and Pepperdine University, 64.9 percent said they were inclined to vote in favor of Proposition 37 based on their knowledge at that time.
“The more ads they put out, the more they remind people that they're already eating foods with G.M.O. ingredients in them,” he said.
http://civileats.com/wp-content/uploads//grocery_aisle.jpgThis New York Times article notes that, "The European Union has required such... more
On Wednesday, September 12, activists calling themselves the Genetic Crimes Unit (GCU) shut down shipping and receiving access points at Monsanto’s Oxnard seed distribution facility located at 2700 Camino Del Sol. By peacefully blockading the exit and access points, the group effectively shut down the distribution of genetically engineered (GMO) seeds for a day.
Monsanto is the largest producer of GMO seeds and is being called out for their genetic crimes by a network called Occupy Monsanto. Today’s protest is the beginning of a series of over 65 different autonomous actions that officially start on September 17, the anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Actions are planned in countries throughout the world, including the US, Germany, Canada, India, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Argentina, Australia, Spain, Russia, and Japan. More info as well as video available for media use of today action can be found here.
After occupying all three shipping and receiving entrances to the Monsanto facility using flashy theatrics, including a car with a giant “fish-corn” on top of it and a 6-foot high jail cell complete with someone dressed up like the CEO Hugh Grant of Monsanto inside. Eventually after 5.5 hours the fire department was called in and 9 anti-GMO activists were arrested and charged with trespassing.
“The reason I am occupying Monsanto and willing to put myself at risk of arrest is because Monsanto has genetically engineered food crops to contain novel untested compounds that result in more weed killer sprayed on our food, without informing consumers. Unlike most industrialized countries including every country in Europe, Japan and even China, in America right now there are no labels on our food informing us whether we are eating GMOs or not. We have a right to opt out of this experiment: it’s not up to chemical companies what I feed myself and my family. Monsanto has bought and sold both parties and has handpicked henchmen at FDA and USDA making sure we are kept in the dark. Monsanto is also currently fighting the California Prop 37 GMO labeling initiative that would give consumers the right to know if they are eating GMO foods. said GCU member Ariel Vegosen.
More at the linkOn Wednesday, September 12, activists calling themselves the Genetic Crimes Unit (GCU)... more
China's health authorities are investigating allegations that genetically modified rice has been tested on Chinese children as part of a research project.
A recent scientific publication suggested that researchers, backed by the US Department of Agriculture, fed experimental genetically engineered golden rice to 24 children in China aged between six and eight years old.
The environmental group Greenpeace is demanding a stop to field trials of the genetically enriched rice, which has been proposed as a solution to vitamin A deficiency, as it says the rice carries environmental and health risks.
China is the world's largest grower of genetically modified (GMO) cotton and the top importer of GMO soybeans but, while Beijing has already approved home-grown strains of GMO rice, it remains cautious about introducing the technology on a commercial basis amid widespread public concern about food safety.
The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention investigation came after a report last month by environmental group Greenpeace claimed that a U.S. Department of Agriculture-backed study used 24 Chinese children aged between six and eight to test genetically modified 'golden rice'.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2201536/GMO-How-China-US-secretly-tested-genetically-modified-golden-rice-children.html#ixzz26JJqUqwp
Secret...but it's good for you? The BT rice has the pesticides built into the seeds...it kills the bugs and small animals, but then you eat it! These eugenicists at Monsanto, who run the gov't want to kill us all!
You know how you solve a Vitamin A deficiency? Eat naturally grown food or healthy supplements with Vitamin A in it. But, the pharmaceutical companies and doctors on their payroll don't want you to have Vitamin A or B or C or D or E and the list goes on. Your body needs nutrition, not genetically modified processed franken-food and wheat products.China's health authorities are investigating allegations that genetically... more
The Yes on 37 Right to Know Campaign launched its first TV ads this week. In November, Angelenos will vote on the grassroots ballot initiative Proposition 37, which would require labeling of genetically engineered foods and a restriction on foods that can be advertised as "natural."
Earlier this week, The Sacramento Bee reported: "The 30-second ad - which will run in select online news venues and on broadcast and cable television stations in major California media markets for 10 days - presents the history of notoriously inaccurate corporate health claims, including falsehoods from some of the very same corporations now funding the No on 37 campaign."
The video features mid-20th century footage, which would make any conscientious citizen cringe: A doctor proudly smoking a cigarette, a woman liberally spraying DDT on her couch cushion, and a shirtless man spraying an herbicide (presumably a derivative of agent orange) from a fire hose onto an orchard. Meanwhile, an old-timey-sounding narrator ensures the safety of these products.
As history shows, the widespread use of these products was soon shown to have a negative effect on people's health and the environment—at times, fatal. The ad calls into question the trustworthiness of corporations that pushed these products decades ago. It also challenges the notion that the public trusts the companies that oppose labeling of genetically engineered foods, which they have more recently introduced into the market.
The last image conveys the main thrust of the campaign: "Yes on 37 for the Right to Know What's In Our Food." The ad also notes that it is "Supported by Consumer Advocates, Makers of Organic Products, and California Farmers. Major funding by Mercola.com Health Resources LLC, and the Organic Consumers Fund."
This begs the question: How will the opposition approach advertising for their position?
More at the linkThe Yes on 37 Right to Know Campaign launched its first TV ads this week. In November,... more
At least 60 Protests to Target Makers of Genetically Engineered Foods on Anniversary of Occupy MovementST. LOUIS - An expanding network of concerned individuals known as Occupy Monsanto has emerged over the past 8 months staging numerous protests at companies connected to the global trade of genetically engineered foods, also known as GMOs. The network announced today that on September 17, 2012 protests will begin for an entire week in St. Louis, home of the Monsanto Corporation, and across the US including California where voters will decide if they will label GMOs this election and worldwide in Argentina, Canada, Germany, India, Philippines, and other countries where concern over GMO impact on the environment and human health is growing.
The protests will vary in size and nature but are unified in pushing back GMO food into the lab from which it came. An interactive map with times, dates and locations of the 60+ protests can be found at http://occupy-monsanto.com/genetic-crimes-unit/.
Occupy Monsanto means to confront the industrial agriculture system head-on. Some protests could result in widespread arrests of people who choose to engage in non-violent civil disobedience. Despite the peaceful nature of these planned protests, organizers are concerned about surveillance of Occupy-Monsanto.com by the US Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement agencies worldwide. Nevertheless Occupy Monsanto protests will feature costumes made of bio-hazmat protective gear that can also protect against pepper spray from police who have routinely attacked occupy protests in the past year.
"There is something wrong when a chemical manufacturer, the same company who made Agent Orange, controls the US food supply," says Jaye Crawford, a member of the Genetic Crimes Unit in Atlanta, Georgia that has planned a week of events. Info: http://occupy-monsanto.com/atlanta-gcu-schedule-of-events/.
"Wall Street and the American political elite have underestimated and even ignored our potential to effect rational policy change on GMOs which would include labeling for GMOs and restrictions on GMO cultivation," says Gene Etic, an anti-GMO campaigner based in Washington, DC. "If Occupy Monsanto's anti-GMO actions are successful, after September 17 the media and increasingly more voters will ask tough questions about these experimental GMO crops especially within the context of the Presidential election, as that office holds the power to determine American food policy," says Etic.
"People are stirred by the evidence that GMO foods compromise human health," says Rica Madrid, a member of the Genetic Crime Unit of Occupy Monsanto. "Politicians and their sponsoring corporations ignore public outcry over GMOs to protect huge profits over health. Since GMOs' introduction to the food supply in the mid 1990s, food allergies have expanded according to Center for Disease Control data," says Madrid.
"By purchasing influence via massive campaign donations, Monsanto ensures the essential duties of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are neglected. One example of this corporate coup is President Obama's appointment of Michael Taylor, former Monsanto Vice-President and legal council for the chemical company, to head the FDA's food safety efforts despite his obvious conflict of interest," says Ariel Vegosen, a member of the Genetic Crimes Unit. She adds, "Monsanto is the biggest maker of genetically engineered crops so it must be stopped before it is too late to shift to healthy organic agriculture practices as a result of widespread genetic contamination by GMOs. 'Coexistence' as defined by the USDA of Organic and GMO crops is a myth."
"At the US State Department it's apparent Monsanto has duped leaders in Africa to ask the US for foreign aid in the form of GMO technology and equipment," says Monsanto shareholder Adam Eidinger who last year walked from New York to the White House in Washington, DC with hundreds of other food activists to demand labeling of GMO foods.
"The generous use of US tax dollars, endorsed by the likes of rock-star Bono and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a former legal council for Monsanto, is actually another taxpayer funded subsidy for Monsanto's pesticide and herbicide hungry crops."
Occupy Monsanto will be heard at the offices and facilities linked in the GMO food system.
In St. Louis a major anti-GMO conference will take place in the same location as the "12th International Symposium on GMO Safety." A lead organizer of the conference is Barbara Chicherio who believes, "'Monsanto's push to control agriculture and what people are eating poses a great threat not only to consumers in the US, but to farmers and communities throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia." Info on the conference is at http://gmofreemidwest.org/.ST. LOUIS - An expanding network of concerned individuals known as Occupy Monsanto has... more
At least 60 Protests to Target Makers of Genetically Engineered Foods on Anniversary of Occupy Movement- An expanding network of concerned individuals known as Occupy Monsanto has emerged over the past 8 months staging numerous protests at companies connected to the global trade of genetically engineered foods, also known as GMOs.- An expanding network of concerned individuals known as Occupy Monsanto has emerged... more
The weekend of September 16 will bring national protest and awareness to the environmental crimes of Monsanto. I will be participating somewhere with my son who wants to be part of this as well. We must all become involved in preserving nature and this planet. This is about our very existence and the biodiversity of our planet.
Much more to come!
More at the linkThe weekend of September 16 will bring national protest and awareness to the... more
At this very moment, your body is under direct assault. At the cellular level, your biology is being attacked in such a manner that it is actually altering your very genetic coding. Your DNA is under consistent bombardment through not only the food you are eating, but by environmental factors that are literally ripping apart your DNA. Fragmenting your genetic blueprint, the ‘fingerprint’ of your humanity.
It’s all been admitted in peer-reviewed research that is continually ignored by the mainstream medical establishment. In fact, major government groups backed by financial corporate interests are actually streamlining the very biology-crushing technology that is to blame for an explosive rate of disease across the nation. Despite being linked to sterility, infant mortality, organ damage, depletion of micro-organisms within the biosphere (essential for the cultivation of food on our planet), mutant insects and ‘super’ weeds, the USDA has actually decided to fast-track biotechnology giant Monsanto’s approval process.
Upwards of 90 plus percent of many different crops are already genetically modified and placed on your dinner plates — a number that is not satisfactory for Monsanto, who now seeks to dominate 100% of the entire agricultural industry with its genetic manipulation.
Chemicals like BPA line the plastics used by millions worldwide, and despite being linked in hundreds of studies to cancer (particularly breast cancer), the FDA has repeatedly sided with the multi-billion dollar BPA industry, who will generate over 8 billion dollars by creating more than 4.7 million metric tons of death-linked BPA this year. This is a chemical that has peer-reviewed research has tied to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, behavioral disorders, and many other conditions.
The healthcare juggernaut that is the mainstream medical establishment also continues to pump out pharmaceutical drugs that are now known to kill more people per year than traffic-related fatalities. In 2009, it was conservatively estimated that pharmaceutical drugs trumped traffic fatalities with around 37,485 deaths nationwide. The overall death toll regarding known pharmaceutical drug deaths and medical mistakes alone, only around 10% of which are believed to accurately be reported, comes in at 783,936 per year.
On average, a pharmaceutical drug contains 70 side effects. Many contain around 525. These side effects may include death, or in the case of drugs like Prozac, suicidal thoughts and tendencies. Of course the link between Prozac and suicide was covered up for decades by the drug maker Eli Lilly & Co. In 2005 it was revealed by a Hardvard-based whistle blower who released the information to the public, proving to the world that Eli Lilly lied for over 15 years and covered up studies linking Prozac use to suicide. In his own words, he said the public was being treated like ‘guinea pigs’.
The same events can be interchanged with virtually any drug company, many of which are now being forced to pay millions for false advertising and the resulting deaths that came from the use of their products.
In the realm of chemotherapy, it is now being admitted that the procedure actually kills patients more quickly and destroys the body itself.
I am not here to scare you into isolation. I am not here to sell you a solution in a bottle. This is what we are facing.
It is up to YOU to sound the alarm and restore order to the medical paradigm. We now have the opportunity to either sit idly by and allow ourselves to succumb to the healthcare juggernaut that lives within the United States or take back our health. The information surrounding the healing power of natural herbs and whole food items is bountiful, with studies finding that turmeric and ginger alone shrink tumors by anywhere from 50-81% in a number of weeks. Alternative cancer treatment centers are being targeted by the United States government and natural healers are being imprisoned for selling organic herbs from their own farms.
The time is now to reclaim our health freedom, and it requires YOUR involvement.
This post first appeared at Natural SocietyAt this very moment, your body is under direct assault. At the cellular level, your... more
Stop Dow's Agent Orange Soy!
Stop GMO Apples!
Stop Monsanto's Dicamba Tolerant Soybean!
Earlier this summer, the USDA posted twelve new GE crops for public comment with a September 11 deadline, and nine are under the new fast-tracked process. That's twelve new GMOs to review and issue comments on in two months!
Here's the lowdown. Three of the new crops are under the old petition process. Under the old process there is only one 60-day public comment period. Here are the three crops under the old process:
--- Dow 2,4-D and Glufosinate Tolerant Soybean (APHIS-2012-0019)
Since the introduction of GM crops, the US has seen herbicide use increase by over 300 million pounds. Big Biotech originally claimed that weeds would not develop resistance to glyphosate (RoundUp), but they have and these new "superweeds" have become the driving force behind new crops engineered for stacked, or multiple, herbicide tolerances. Adoption of these new crops will lead to dramatic increases in the use of higher risk herbicides such as 2,4-D and dicamba, perpetuating the herbicide treadmill that is already in place.
2,4-D is already the third-most-used US herbicide, after glyphosate and atrazine, and as a leading source of dioxin pollution, it's one of the most deadly. As of yet, however, it's hardly used on soy at all. Just 3 percent of total US soybean acres were treated with 2,4-D in 2006. Not only will this percentage skyrocket once Agent Orange Soy hits the market, the amount used per acre may triple, according to the USDA.
---Bayer Glyphosate and Isoxaflutole Tolerant Soybean (APHIS-2012-0029)
---Syngenta Corn Rootworm Resistant Corn (APHIS-2012-0024)
Under the new process, USDA has also opened nine additional new crops for public comment. This initial comment period applies to the petitions for nonregulated status which include information submitted by the petitioning company. Once USDA has the completed their environmental analyses they will open a final 30-day comment period for the decision-making documents.
Here are the 9 crops under the new process with the same September 11 deadline:
---Okanagan Non-Browning Apple (APHIS-2012-0025)
Okanagan's "Arctic" apple would be the first genetically engineered version of a food that people directly bite into. According to the latest study by the Environmental Working Group, conventionally grown apples are the most pesticide contaminated fruit or vegetable on the market. Conventional apples are dangerous, and GMO apples are just a dumb idea - one not even supported by many in the apple industry itself!
---Dow 2,4-D, Glyphosate and Glufosinate tolerant Soybean (APHIS-2012-0032)
---Monsanto Dicamba Tolerant Soybean (APHIS-2012-0047)
According to the Institute for Science in Society (ISIS), "dicamba is actually an old herbicide that served alongside "agent orange" in Vietnam, and has been resurrected as an environmentally friendly chemical through the magic of public relations."
---BASF Imidazolinone Tolerant Soybean (APHIS-2012-0028)
---Monsanto High Yield Soybean (APHIS-2012-0020)
---Monsanto Glyphosate Tolerant Canola (APHIS-2012-0035)
---Pioneer Glyphosate Tolerant Canola (APHIS-2012-0031)
---Monsanto Hybrid Corn (APHIS-2012-0027)
---Genective Glyphosate Tolerant Corn (APHIS-2012-0046)
USDA Fast-Tracks GMO Crop Approval Process
Despite massive public opposition, last year the USDA announced plans to streamline its genetically engineered petition process under the Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Earlier this year these controversial changes were implemented, speeding up the approval process for new genetically engineered seeds and crops. The new process will cut in half the time it takes for new GE seeds and crops to enter the market.
USDA claims that the new fast-track process allows for earlier input from the public to improve the quality of its environmental analyses. But according to a USDA press release, the new process is a part of efforts by the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, to "transform USDA into a high-performing organization that focuses on its customers." The customers that USDA is so keen on assisting are none other than Monsanto, Dow, Dupont, BASF, Syngenta, and the rest of the Biotech bullies!
More at the linkTake Action! Stop Dow's Agent Orange Soy! Stop GMO Apples! Stop... more
Stacy Malkan, a spokeswoman for the "Yes on 37 Right to Know Campaign," asked, "Why are these giant food companies spending so much money to hide the truth about what's in our food? These same companies are already informing foreign consumers about genetically engineered food in 49 other countries... Californians have a right to know what's in our food, too."
All of us deserve to know what is in our food. If California can win this battle, so goes the rest of our country. Today I read where Monsanto has donated 4.2 million dollars to the effort to stop us from achieving this goal, which makes them top donator, so far, followed by Dupont $1,273,600.00. The tally stands somewhere around $25 million, and nearly $23 million during the last week.
PR Watch states in an article published in early August
In California, the battle over Proposition 37, which would require the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food products, is heating up. In late July, pro-labeling groups obtained a flier sent out by a group opposed to the proposition containing the endorsements of three Democratic California Assemblymembers, even though the Democratic Party of California (and over 90 percent of consumers) supports GMO labeling.
The group that ran the flier is "No on 37: Coalition Against the Deceptive Food Labeling Scheme, Sponsored by Farmers and Food Producers," formerly known as "Coalition Against the Costly Food Labeling Proposition." "No on 37" receives major funding from the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) and Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), both front groups for the "Big 6" pesticide and genetic engineering companies: Monsanto, Dow Chemical, Syngenta, Bayer, Dupont, and BASF. The flier proudly bears the endorsements of Assemblymembers Henry Perea, Manuel Perez, and Alexandra Rooker, the Vice-Chair of the California Democratic Party. This despite the California Democratic Party announcing its endorsement for Prop 37 on Monday.
Folks, this is going to get down and dirty before it is over, and when you start reading the opposing views and how they spin their tales, just do a Google and follow the money, the ones who are financing this attack campaign are the ones who are at greatest risk to loose profits and have obviously bought the best talking heads money can buy, and will go to any length to protect their insane profits.Stacy Malkan, a spokeswoman for the "Yes on 37 Right to Know Campaign,"... more
"The Africa deal is not the only example of Obama’s–and our whole government’s– apparent willingness to go to bat for Monsanto. Attempts to pass laws allowing labeling of GMO foods, dairy products containing bovine growth hormones, and limiting the spread of GMO seeds have been shot down, and research suggesting that their widespread use might have serious negative effects has been suppressed., both in the current administration and the last several governments, no matter who was supposedly in charge.
Monsanto’s willingness to play with both major US political parties leads to another question. Should we really blame Barack Obama for all this? Or is he a genuinely well-intentioned guy, who thought he could make change happen by being elected President, but found, when he arrived, that his real role was to play spokesman for an unelected shadow government? As Robert Anton Wilson put it, “was the new President shown a video of the Kennedy assassination from an angle he’d never seen it from before, and told ‘you’ve got a nice family. Play along with us and nobody gets hurt.’”? Perhaps. A friend of mine who is an old smoking buddy of Al Gore’s tells me that Al told him in 1992 that Al and Bill knew the office they were running for was more ceremonial than executive, but they hoped to be able to make a slight difference in the direction of things. We all know how that turned out. (And remember, Gore had already written and become somewhat famous for Earth in the Balance, which, along with Albert Bates’ Climate in Crisis was one of the first books to call popular attention to the mess we are tangled in now.) Perhaps frustration with his figurehead status accounts for Gore’s lackluster run for President in 2000 and his subsequent flowering, at a convenient distance from politics.
So, maybe Barack Obama regrets his decision to become a kinder, gentler face for the corporatocracy than Dick Cheney and that guy he was with, but we may never know, because, like Clinton and Gore before him, he fears for his safety and his family’s safety far too much to ever spill those beans.
But, whatever the unspeakable truth may be about Barack Obama’s motivations and intentions, the inconvenient truth is that the African policy for which he is at the very least serving as a charming mouthpiece is not a policy that will benefit Africa. It is just another corporate iron hand in another velvet glove, grabbing for what’s left of the wealth of the continent that gave birth to us all, a corporate iron hand that doesn’t care who or what it crushes as long as it ends up with a fistful of dollars. And that’s the inconvenient truth about the Obama administration’s “African initiative.”Excerpt: "The Africa deal is not the only example of Obama’s–and... more
U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks reveal the Bush administration drew up ways to retaliate against Europe for refusing to use genetically modified seeds. In 2007, then-U.S. ambassador to France Craig Stapleton was concerned about France's decision to ban cultivation of genetically modified corn produced by biotech giant Monsanto. He also warned that a new French environmental review standard could spread anti-biotech policy across Europe. We speak with Jeffrey Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology.
http://youtu.be/p28xSOd3F5UU.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks reveal the Bush administration drew up... more
Vo Duoc fights back tears while sharing the news that broke his heart: A few days ago he received test results confirming he and 11 family members have elevated levels of dioxin lingering in their blood.
The family lives in a two-story house near a former U.S. military base in Danang where the defoliant Agent Orange was stored during the Vietnam War, which ended nearly four decades ago. Duoc, 58, sells steel for a living and has diabetes, while his wife battles breast cancer and their daughter has remained childless after suffering repeated miscarriages. For years, Duoc thought the ailments were unrelated, but after seeing the blood tests he now suspects his family unwittingly ingested dioxin from Agent Orange-contaminated fish, vegetables and well water.
Dioxin, a persistent chemical linked to cancer, birth defects and other disabilities, has seeped into Vietnam’s soils and watersheds, creating a lasting war legacy that remains a thorny issue between the former foes. Washington has been slow to respond, but on Thursday the U.S. for the first time will begin cleaning up dioxin from Agent Orange that was stored at the former military base, now part of Danang’s airport.
‘‘It’s better late than never that the U.S. government is cleaning up the environment for our children,’’ Duoc said in Danang, surrounded by family members sitting on plastic stools. ‘‘They have to do as much as possible and as quickly as possible.’’
The $43 million project begins as Vietnam and the U.S. forge closer ties to boost trade and counter China’s rising influence in the disputed South China Sea.
Although the countries’ economic and military ties are blossoming, progress on addressing the dioxin legacy has been slow. Washington still disputes a claim by Hanoi that between 3 million to 4 million Vietnamese were affected by toxic chemicals sprayed by U.S. planes during the war to eliminate jungle cover for guerrilla fighters, arguing that the actual number is far lower and other environmental factors are to blame for the health issues.
That position irks Vietnamese, who say the United States maintains a double standard in acknowledging the consequences of Agent Orange.
The U.S. has given billions of dollars in disability payments to American servicemen who developed illnesses associated with dioxin after exposure to the defoliant during the Vietnam War.
In 2004, a group of Vietnamese citizens filed suit in a U.S. court against companies that produced the chemical, but the case was dismissed and the Supreme Court declined to take it up.
Until a few years ago, Washington took a defensive position whenever Agent Orange was raised because no one had determined how much dioxin remained in Vietnam’s soil and watersheds, and the U.S. worried about potential liabilities, said Susan Hammond, director of the War Legacies Project, a U.S. nonprofit organization that mainly focuses on the Agent Orange legacy from the Vietnam War.
‘‘There was a lot of the blame game going on, and it led nowhere,’’ Hammond said by telephone from Vermont. ‘‘But now at least progress is being made.’’
Over the past five years, Congress has appropriated about $49 million for environmental remediation and about $11 million to help people living with disabilities in Vietnam regardless of cause. Experts have identified three former U.S. air bases — in Danang in central Vietnam and the southern locations of Bien Hoa and Phu Cat — as hotspots where Agent Orange was mixed, stored and loaded onto planes.
The U.S. military dumped some 20 million gallons (75 million liters) of Agent Orange and other herbicides on about a quarter of former South Vietnam between 1962 and 1971.
The defoliant decimated about 5 million acres (2 million hectares) of forest — roughly the size of Massachusetts — and another 500,000 acres (202,000 hectares) of crops.
The war ended on April 30, 1975, when northern Communist forces seized control of Saigon, the U.S.-backed former capital of South Vietnam. The country was then reunified under a one-party Communist government. Following years of poverty and isolation, Vietnam shook hands with the U.S. in 1995 and normalized diplomatic relations.
Since then, the relationship has flourished and the two countries have become important trading partners. Military ties have also strengthened, with Vietnam looking to the U.S. amid rising tensions with China in the disputed South China Sea, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves and is crossed by vital shipping lanes.Continued...
More at the linkVo Duoc fights back tears while sharing the news that broke his heart: A few days ago... more
This summer, a severe drought and genetically modified crops are delivering a one-two punch to US crops.This summer, a severe drought and genetically modified crops are delivering a one-two... more
The news surrounding GMO crops continues to get further and further outlandish as the crops are increasingly mutated and sprayed with a medley of harsh pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides. The latest news comes from an unlikely source — an automotive publication known as Autoblog.
The website reports that farmers who have opted to plant Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds have run into one daunting problem (outside of decreased yields and an extremely higher risk of disease): little ‘spear-like’ stalks from the harvested GMOs are absolutely wreaking havoc on the heavy duty tractor tires.
http://globalpoliticalawakening.blogspot.com/2012/08/kevlar-tires-now-required-to-traverse.htmlThe news surrounding GMO crops continues to get further and further outlandish as the... more
TAKE ACTION: Don't let Monsanto & Co. fast-track GM crops
Monsanto's Quiet Coup: Will Congress Limit Scope and Time for GMO Reviews?
PR Watch, August 1 2012
After a series of court defeats over the past few years, Monsanto and friends are trying to use Congress to make an end-run around the courts and current law. Lawsuits brought by opponents of genetically engineered (GE) crops resulted in the temporary removal of two products -- Roundup Ready Alfalfa and Roundup Ready Sugarbeets -- from the market. If the biotechnology industry and the legislators they support have their way, future GE crops will not suffer the same fate.
Genetically engineered crops are plants that have had genes from other species inserted into their DNA. "Roundup Ready"crops like alfalfa and sugarbeets fall in a class of GE crops called "herbicide tolerant" crops, which are engineered to survive exposure to Monsanto's bestselling herbicide Roundup. Farmers spray their entire fields with Roundup, killing only the weeds. Monsanto profits by selling both the seeds and increased quantities of Roundup herbicide.
The "Big 6" pesticide and genetic engineering corporations -- BASF, Bayer, Dupont, Dow, Syngenta, and Monsanto -- have made millions while providing everyone else with questionable benefits and enormous risks. The riskiness of genetically engineered crops comes in part from their ability to cross-pollinate crops in other fields, spreading their genes far and wide. Once a new genetically engineered crop is introduced, the genie is out of the bottle, and those genes are in our food supply for good. Therefore, it's in everyone's interest (except for the biotech companies that stand to profit) to thoroughly examine any new crop before allowing it on the market.
GMOs Roll on Wheels Reagan Greased
The scene was initially set before the first genetically engineered crops existed, when the pro-industry Reagan administration crafted a lax regulatory framework (known as the "Coordinated Framework") requiring no new laws to regulate genetically engineered crops and animals, thus avoiding any public national debate on the issue. Instead, newly created GE plants would be treated as potential "pests" to other plants and reviewed by government agencies under stilted standards about whether the GE plants hurt other plants or protected animals like endangered species.
With the Coordinated Framework in place, the biotech industry had little to worry about. It had plenty of friends inside the USDA and the bar for "proving" its products were "not a pest" was not set terribly high. One after another, each genetically engineered crop was deregulated, allowing farmers to grow them commercially. Once they reached consumers, the products were not even labeled as "Genetically Modified Organisms" (GMOs), and many Americans had no idea their food had even changed.
Farmers and Consumer Groups Call a Halt in Court
Everything was going along fine for industry, in fact, until the matter went to court. At issue was the deregulation of two crops, Roundup Ready alfalfa and Roundup Ready sugarbeets. Instead of completing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prior to deregulating the crops, the USDA had only performed a more limited Environmental Assessment (EA). Performing an EA limits the level of public involvement in the assessment process as compared with an EIS, which can provide significant time for citizens to submit comments and concerns. For example, the USDA recently received 365,000 comments from citizens opposing the deregulation of Dow's GE "2,4-D corn" (2,4-D is an herbicide that was an ingredient in Agent Orange).
In both cases, Geertson Seed Farms v. Johanns and Center for Food Safety v. Vilsack, the courts ruled that the respective crops could not be deregulated until a full EIS was completed. Furthermore, the crops in question could not be planted until then – even during the appeals process.
The USDA completed the required EIS's for both crops and, despite thousands of comments expressing concerns, approved the deregulation of Roundup Ready alfalfa in January 2011 and Roundup Ready sugarbeets in July 2012.
2012 "Ag Approps" Gives Props to the "Big 6"
This regulatory victory was not good enough for industry, however. Quietly, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) wrote a gift to biotech companies into the 2013 agriculture appropriations ("Ag Approps") bill. Opponents of GMOs refer to this as the "Monsanto Protection Act." Beneficiaries of Kingston's "rider" to the bill (Section 733) -- such as Monsanto, which lobbied for it in the second quarter of 2012 -- refer to it as the "farmer assurance provision."
If the Ag Approps bill passes as written, if a court removes a GMO from the market after the USDA has deregulated it, the USDA will be required to grant a permit to plant that crop to any farmer who requests one, even if that crop's safety is in question or under review.
Buried Biotech Treasure in the 2012 Farm Bill
At the same time, another far-reaching provision favoring the biotech industry is in the works. Buried in the House version of the 2012 Farm Bill, sponsored by House Agriculture Committee chair Frank Lucas (R-OK), is an enormous gift to the biotech industry. The bill changes the Plant Protection Act (PPA) to limit the time and scope of future environmental assessments of GE crops.
The House farm bill as changed by Congressman Lucas changes the legal rules to cut corners on the environmental review by requiring only the more limited EA and by requiring the USDA to complete that review in a maximum period of a year and a half -- or else the GE crop is automatically approved. It also restricts the scope of that limited environmental review and forbids the spending of any money on any broader environmental analysis of the effect of the GMO.
The Pesticide Action Network of North America (PANNA), an organization which promotes alternatives to pesticides that are safe for workers and the environment, is asking concerned citizens to email their representatives and urge them to stand up to "Big 6" pressure and reject the biotech riders in the farm bill.
http://i882.photobucket.com/albums/ac23/benfranklinronzio/2%20Traitors%20Tyrants/monsanto_control_food.jpgTAKE ACTION: Don't let Monsanto & Co. fast-track GM crops... more
New research on the DNA-damaging effects of the popular herbicide known as Roundup® indicates that it can do significant harm to fish even after short-term, environmentally low concentration exposures in the parts per billion range (μg /L).[i]
http://globalpoliticalawakening.blogspot.com/2012/07/monsantos-roundup-herbicide-toxic-to.htmlNew research on the DNA-damaging effects of the popular herbicide known as... more
Jeffrey Smith, Executive Director-Institute for Responsible Technology, leading spokesperson on the health dangers of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), author of the books "Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating" and "Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods." Genetically modified crops are all the rage these days - and have taken over the agriculture industries of many countries. But just how dangerous are genetically modified crops - and do we really need to be relying so heavily on them?
See Part 1 at http://current.com/community/93850221_conversations-w-great-minds-jeffrey-smith-gmos-seeds-of-deception-part-1.htmJeffrey Smith, Executive Director-Institute for Responsible Technology, leading... more