tagged w/ Biopiracy
The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), the country's biodiversity-preservation watchdog, has finally woken up to its job.
It has decided to prosecute multinational seed company Monsanto for allegedly using Indian brinjal varieties for commercial purposes without permission.
The decision was taken in a vote at a meeting on February 28, 2012. The majority of the members voted in favour of initiating action against Monsanto for violating India's biodiversity law.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests, too, is in favour of prosecuting the seed giant.
The vote was essential as some board members of the NBA were against holding Monsanto to task, sources said.
The decision is bound to send a clear cut message that any attempt to fiddle with the country's biological wealth will not go unpunished.
The Indian law says it is essential for anyone desirous of using India-produced biological goods for commercial purposes to seek permission from the NBA. The authority's nod is required even if, as in Monsanto's case, the material has been modified by Indian universities.
The voting will reverse an earlier judgment, taken by the Karnataka state biodiversity board on January 20, 2012, that spared the alleged violators the rod.
The complaint against Monsanto, its Indian subsidiary Mahyco, and University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, was filed by the Environment Support Group in February 2010.
It had alleged that the accused illegally accessed and genetically modified six varieties of Indian brinjal to produce Bt Brinjal.
Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/bt-brinjal-row-monsanto-to-pay-for-biodiversity-violation/1/184824.htmlThe National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), the country's... more
Positive action for positive change...
As part of the Global Day of Action to Shut Down Monsanto on Saturday, this action was co-organized by AGRA Watch/Community Alliance for Global Justice, Washington Fair Trade Coalition, Washington Biotechnology Action Council, and GMO-Free Washington. The protest was directed at the Gates Foundation for their efforts to spread Monsanto’s dangerous GMOs throughout Africa.Positive action for positive change...
As part of the Global Day of Action to Shut... more
Bill Gates is one very confused billionaire philanthropist.
He understands global warming is a big problem — indeed, his 2012 Foundation Letter even frets about the grave threat it poses to food security. But he just doesn’t want to do very much now to stop it from happening (see Pro-geoengineering Bill Gates disses efficiency, “cute” solar, deployment — still doesn’t know how he got rich).
He love technofixes like geoengineering and, as we’ll see, genetically modified food. Rather than investing in cost-effective emissions reduction strategies today or in renewable energy technologies that are rapidly moving down the cost curve, he explains that the reason invests so much in nuclear R&D is “The good news about nuclear is that there has hardly been any innovation.” Seriously!
His Letter includes the ominous chart at the top, and he warns of the dire consequences of climate change:
Meanwhile, the threat of climate change is becoming clearer. Preliminary studies show that the rise in global temperature alone could reduce the productivity of the main crops by over 25 percent. Climate change will also increase the number of droughts and floods that can wipe out an entire season of crops. More and more people are raising familiar alarms about whether the world will be able to support itself in the future, as the population heads toward a projected 9.3 billion by 2050.
And yet, as the AP reported this week, the wealthiest of all Americans gets very prickly if you don’t wholeheartedly endorse his techno-fix adaptation-centric approach to dealing with this oncoming disaster:
Bill Gates has a terse response to criticism that the high-tech solutions he advocates for world hunger are too expensive or bad for the environment: Countries can embrace modern seed technology and genetic modification or their citizens will starve….
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has spent about $2 billion in the past five years to fight poverty and hunger in Africa and Asia, and much of that money has gone toward improving agricultural productivity.Gates doesn’t apologize for his endorsement of modern agriculture or sidestep criticism of genetic modification. He told The Associated Press that he finds it ironic that most people who oppose genetic engineering in plant breeding live in rich nations that he believes are responsible for global climate change that will lead to more starvation and malnutrition for the poor.
Resistance to new technology is “again hurting the people who had nothing to do with climate change happening,” Gates said.
The real irony is that most people who diss efficiency and renewables and aggressive greenhouse gas mitigation, like Gates, live in rich nations that are responsible for global climate change that will lead to more starvation and malnutrition for the poor.
Where is the story that says, “countries to embrace existing technology to reduce emissions or their citizens will starve” or resistance to aggressive low carbon technology deployment is “again hurting the people who had nothing to do with climate change happening”?
This is not a blog on genetic modification, so I’ll just quote the AP story:
Bill Freese, a science policy analyst for the Washington-based Center for Food Safety, said everyone wants to see things get better for hungry people, but genetically modified plants are more likely to make their developers rich than feed the poor. The seed is too expensive and has a high failure rate, he said. Better ways to increase yields would be increasing the fertility of soil by adding organic matter or combining plants growing in the same field to combat pests, he said.
The biggest problem with those alternatives, Freese said, is the same one that Gates cited in high-tech research: A lack of money for development.
But the fact is, as Oxfam and others have made clear, global warming is poised to make food vastly more expensive, which will be devastating to the world’s poor know matter how much money Gates dumps into GM crops — see Oxfam Predicts Climate Change will Help Double Food Prices by 2030: “We Are Turning Abundance into Scarcity”:
More at the linkBill Gates is one very confused billionaire philanthropist.
He understands global... more
According to an article published this month in the journal Nature Biotechnology, Monsanto is facing biopiracy charges in India.
In an unprecedented decision, India's National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), a government agency, declared legal action against Monsanto (and their collaborators) for accessing and using local eggplant varieties (known as brinjal) to develop their Bt genetically engineered version1 without prior approval of the competent authorities, which is considered an act of "biopiracy."
The journal of Nature Biotechnology reported:
"An Indian government agency has agreed to sue the developers of genetically modified (GM) eggplant for violating India's Biological Diversity Act of 2002. India's National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) is alleging that the developers of India's first GM food crop—Jalna-based Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company (Mahyco) partnered with St. Louis–based seed giant Monsanto and several local universities—used local varieties to develop the transgenic crop, but failed to gain the appropriate licenses for field trials. At the same time, activists in Europe are claiming that patents on conventionally bred plants, including a melon found in India, filed by biotech companies violate farmers' rights to use naturally occurring breeds. Both these pending legal cases could set important precedents for biopiracy in India and Europe."
(click on the link for the complete article)According to an article published this month in the journal Nature Biotechnology,... more
Failed "Drought Tolerant" GMO Corn Won't Help Farmers!
The US Department of Agriculture's review of Monsanto's own data shows that years of investment into so-called "drought-tolerant" biotech crops have been nothing more than a risky and very expensive failure. Monsanto's new "drought-tolerant" genetically-modified corn variety MON 87460 does not perform any better than non-GMO varieties.
Ignoring the data, on December 21, 2012, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it would allow unlimited planting of MON 87460. The company and the USDA have both admitted the crop will fare only modestly better than current conventional varieties under low- and moderate-level drought conditions. This means that this corn will be useful only for a fraction of corn acres – just 15 percent by USDA estimates.
In addition, in the United States and abroad there are several types of new, drought-tolerant corn, grown through natural breeding techniques that are likely to do as well or better than Monsanto’s corn. Data from U.S. researchers suggest that conventional breeding is producing drought tolerance two to three times faster than genetic engineering.
Only traditional breeding methods, coupled with agricultural methods that promote soil health, have proven capable of increasing stress tolerance and making plants more resilient to reduced water availability.
The danger is, now that MON 87460 has been deregulated, it will inevitably contaminate truly resilient varieties of organic and conventional corn, destroying the rich genetic diversity that the world's farmers have cultivated in the planet's infinitely varied micro-climates.
Please protect biological diversity by taking action to stop Monsanto's failed "drought-resistant" GMO corn.
To learn more about how genetic diversity -- not genetic engineering -- is the key to climate adaptation, watch this video:
Take Action Now! More at the linkFailed "Drought Tolerant" GMO Corn Won't Help Farmers!
The US... more
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Thursday its decision to deregulate two Monsanto genetically engineered (GE) seed varieties: a corn variety engineered to resist drought conditions and an herbicide-resistant soybean engineered to produce more fatty acids than regular soybeans.
Regulators legalized the seeds after reviewing risk assessments, public comments and data provided by Monsanto.
Monsanto is planning "on-farm trials" of drought-tolerant corn, known as MON 87460, during the upcoming planting season "to give farmers experience with the product" and generate commercial data, according to a statement from the company.
The corn contains a protein gene from a bacterium that reportedly limits yield loss when corn plants are stressed by drought conditions.
Earlier this year, Truthout exposed a controversial program in five African countries that involves putting Monsanto drought-tolerant corn in the hands of farmers facing drought conditions. The program is part of an effort funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is working to establish a "Second Green Revolution" in Africa.
Critics say such efforts could replace traditional and sustainable farming methods with American-style industrial agriculture and prevent African governments from effectively regulating GE crops.
Last week, Truthout revealed that the USDA is taking steps to speed up the approval process for GE crops after industry groups put mounting pressure on top officials in recent years.
The USDA also announced a public comment period for two additional GE crop seeds, including another Monsanto soybean that is engineered to provide omega-3 fatty acids. Regulators have submitted favorable assessments of the seeds and are expected to approve them sometime next year. The public comment period on both products runs until February 27, 2012.
More at the linkThe United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Thursday its decision... more
If Oregon allows GM sugar beets to be deregulated, we may not stand a chance against full federal deregulation of all GM crops.
(SALEM, Ore.) - A public hearing is being held in Corvallis, Oregon this Thursday, November 17th to determine if Genetically Modified sugar beets will be deregulated in Oregon.
Meanwhile, the public comment period maybe just a local distraction giving way to full federal deregulation without any representation of organic and conventional crop farmers.
Let us not forget that the U.S House of Representatives, Committee on Agriculture held a formal hearing on Genetically Modified (GM) Alfalfa on Jan 20, 2011.
The hearing corresponded with an open 30-day comment period, designed to provide relevant testimony with regard to deregulation of Genetically Modified Alfalfa.
The democratic process neglected to include a single organic or conventional farming representative. Throughout the two hour hearing various legislators publicly humiliated the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsak for even suggesting any compromise through talks with the organic and conventional communities. They all but ordered him to stand down his conversations with anyone but pro-GM enthusiasts (1:43:16).
Representatives left no seed unturned in honor of their allegiance to biotech crops and complete penetration into all foreign and domestic markets. In fact, Minnesota's Representative Collin Peterson referred to organic producers and consumers as "our opponents"(12:29).
Vilsak, even with his ties to Monsanto, was attempting negotiation with "so called Option 3" containing a minimal stop gap as an alternative to absolute contamination of organic and conventional alfalfa. In essence, planting barriers would have been implemented to maintain protective measures for the integrity of all seed varieties. Legislators blatantly mocked him and even pulled rank, saying that the Secretary of Agriculture does not have the authority to do anything but fully deregulate the crop without further ado. (35:38, 1:25:50, 1:29:15, 2:18:47)
It can be noted that Vilsak testified no less than three times that we were in the midst of the 30 day comment period, and in his opinion, the talks among all sides were providing necessary elements worthy of analysis for all agricultural markets concerned. (29:00, 1:44:00, 1:51:54)
The theme of the hearing centered around the economic burden of GM farmers if full deregulation didn’t go forth immediately (1:44:00). It was insisted by every representative that their loyalties were to the biotech community and that full deregulation was unquestionable without consideration for any form of barrier to protect other crops from cross contamination.
In regard to preservation of non GM crops, Texas Representative Michael Conaway begs the question, "how much of this is a definitional issue"? He questions organic standards and even insists that he "suspects that Genetically Engineered seeds will become the new organic". He blatantly suggests that legislative steps be considered to modify the language and thus re-define organic standards so that Genetically Modified crops can freely contaminate without restriction. He insists that it is merely a marketing issue and not an issue of health and safety. Conaway asks if we are just "hung up on the phrase organic, meaning something we grew ourselves in the backyard with whatever?"(2:33:00).
Concern was expressed by a number of speakers that GM crops are being promoted throughout the world as being no different than conventional crops, and if word got out that we established restrictive planting barriers, then it might be assumed that the GM crops were somehow different. That could put a damper on GM producers and their marketing potential. (30:45, 1:58:17, 2:18:47)
It was apparent, by the end of one sided discussion, that full deregulation and contamination remains unquestionable from the perspective of our democratic leaders. In other words, it is most notably a flagrant case of Contamination without Representation.
If Oregon allows GM sugar beets to be deregulated, we may not stand a chance against full federal deregulation of all GM crops. Public comments are being heard on Thursday from 4 PM – 9 PM at LaSells Stewart Center Construction and Engineering Hall 875 Southwest 26th St., Corvallis, Oregon.
Please see the full length video of the U.S House of Representatives, Committee on Agriculture forum on GM Alfalfa, Jan 20 2011.
http://agriculture.house.gov/hearings/hearingDetails.aspx?NewsID=1269If Oregon allows GM sugar beets to be deregulated, we may not stand a chance against... more
In July I attended a public debate in London on the potential for REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) to make international forestry more just. The debate brought together a wide variety of stakeholders in REDD in order to assess its possibilities and its frailties. The panel leading the discussion included John Vidal from the Guardian and representatives from DFID, ODI, and FERN among others. What became increasingly clear during the debate is that although the international community appeared to be pushing on with REDD, it remains a highly contested and confused idea.
For those still unsure of what the initiative is, REDD is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests. It offers incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. However, the discussion highlighted fears that REDD may perpetuate, or even deepen, forest people’s historical dispossession from their forests.
The discussion focused on the concept of justice within REDD and the focal point of the evening turned out to be “local justice”. The question was - what is happening to the local people on the ground where these initiatives are implemented? It became increasingly clear, by hearing arguments from members of FERN and from those on the ground, that it is forest people that often are the ones who are most negatively affected by these projects. There is an overriding fear that REDD may not be dissimilar to other big money projects affecting the forests. For instance, a member of the audience, who had worked on a REDD project in Peru, stated that it was seen as more dangerous than palm oil plantations. The fear is that these projects can potentially, and almost by nature, take over entire forests, leaving indigenous people to lose the land earmarked for these REDD projects.
During the evening, several other members of the audience stated it was governments, and not large corporations, who were taking control of the forests. The ODI representative feared that REDD projects will reaffirm the ownership of the forests by the state. For example, as the government controls the carbon it trades, the forests fall under their control. This will go on to reinforce highly centralized, top down decision-making, something GBM works to move away from.
The panel was in agreement about what must be done, forest peoples and local communities must be included and able to make decisions for the future of forests in all REDD projects. Increasing evidence from Brazil and elsewhere indicates that tenure reform, that is placing control of forest resources into the hands of indigenous and other forest-dependent communities, contributes to local well-being and forest protection.
More at the linkIn July I attended a public debate in London on the potential for REDD (Reducing... more
Climate change, increasing population, greater demand for animal products, and the un-sustainability of current food production: All will challenge our ability to produce enough food in coming decades. Already there is evidence that climate change has reduced crop yields.
But the good news is that we already have many of the tools that we need to respond.
Tom Philpott at Mother Jones highlights a peer-reviewed article showing that small Mexican maize farmers have an important piece of the answer to these challenges.
The article suggests that there is a lot of genetic diversity in corn grown on traditional small Mexican farms that will allow food production there to adapt to climate change. Genetic diversity provides the building blocks of crop adaptability—the inherited differences between plants that is evolution’s way of allowing survival in changing environments.
The value of crop genetic diversity goes way beyond Mexican maize fields. Other scientists have documented large amounts of untapped genetic diversity in the world’s major crops wherever they have looked, such as in wheat and cassava. Breeders can use this, along with diversity found in wild species related to crops, to adapt our crops to climate change and to increase productivity.
When coupled with ecological farming principles that increase resilience in the face of drought, flood and rising temperatures, breeding can go a long way toward providing enough food sustainably by mid-century. For example, organic and similar practices build soil organic matter–this allows soil to hold more water which can help during drought. And breeding is already having success in developing drought tolerant rice, corn, and other crops, flood tolerant rice, many types of pest resistance, improved nutrient content, and much more.
Given all the evidence, it is perplexing that some scientists still want to put too many of our eggs in the genetic engineering (GE) basket. Currently, that basket looks pretty empty, with only a few crops resistant to herbicides and a few types of pests.
For example, Nina Federoff seems unaware of the potential of breeding, and the advances already being achieved through these scientifically sophisticated methods. In an op-ed in the New York Times, “Engineering Food for All” the former Bush-appointed Science Adviser to the Secretary of State lauds the wonders of crop genetic engineering, while tagging breeding as an “older” method that is “less capable”.
In a more blunt assessment during a public forum that I participated in at Dartmouth College several months ago, Federoff declared that crop breeding had run its course, and implied that GE was now our last best hope. She could not have been more wrong. The only way one can come to such conclusions is by omitting or overlooking loads of important science.
Most of the benefits from GE extolled in the op-ed are modest at best. They only seem impressive if you don’t compare them to the successes and potential of agroecology, agronomy, or breeding—which continue to achieve far more than GE. When looked at side-by-side, GE often pales by comparison to breeding.
more at the link.Climate change, increasing population, greater demand for animal products, and the... more
1.National Biodiversity Authority to prosecute Mahyco/Monsanto and collaborators
2.'Development of Bt brinjal a case of bio-piracy'
1.National Biodiversity Authority to prosecute Mahyco/Monsanto and collaborators for promoting Bt Brinjal in violation of Biodiversity Protection Law
ESG India, 11 August 2011
In an unprecedented, though much delayed, decision, the National Biodiversity Authority of India (NBA) has decided to initiate legal action against M/s Mahyco/Monsanto and their collaborators for accessing and using local brinjal varieties in developing Bt Brinjal without prior approval of the competent authorities. The official resolution giving effect to this decision was taken in the NBA's meeting of 20th June 2011, the minutes of which were released only on 11 August 2011.
The decision of the NBA reads as follows:
"A background note besides legal opinion on Bt brinjal on the alleged violation by the M/s. Mahyco/M/s Monsanto, and their collaborators for accessing and using the local brinjal varieties for development of Bt brinjal with out prior approval of the competent authorities was discussed and it was decided that the NBA may proceed legally against M/s. Mahyco/ M/s Monsanto, and all others concerned to take the issue to its logical conclusion." (Emphasis supplied)
(Official copy of these minutes may be accessed here: http://www.nbaindia.org/meetings/meeting.htm )
The "alleged violation" referred to by NBA is based on a complaint filed by Environment Support Group before the Karnataka Biodiversity Board on 15 February 2011 (copy attached). Subsequently, the Board thoroughly and systematically investigated the matter and submitted in its 28 May 2011 letter to NBA that “six local varieties for development of Bt Brinjal” have been accessed in Karnataka by M/s Mahyco/Monsanto and their collaborators “without prior approval from State Biodiversity Board/National Biodiversity Authority”. Furnishing a variety of documents in support of its contention, the Board has sought “further action” by the Authority on the basis of ESG's complaint. (Emphasis supplied).
NBA subsequently sought "legal opinion” and decided to "proceed legally” against all involved in this case of biopiracy and "take the issue to its logical conclusion”. This should involve, as per law the Biological Diversity Act, initiation of criminal prosecution of key representatives of M/s Mahyco/Monsanto, University of Agricultural Sciences-Dharwar, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University-Coimbatore, Sathguru Management Consultants Pvt. Ltd. (representing the consortium involving United States Agency for International Development and Cornell University-USA) and others for fundamentally violating Sec. 4 and related provisions of the Biological Diverstiy Act.
ESG's complaint specifically charges these agencies for criminally accessing at least 10 varieties of brinjal in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu without in any manner seeking prior and informed consent from the National Biodiversity Authority, State Biodiversity Boards and applicable Local Biodiversity Management Committees as required. Such a rigorous process of appraisal is mandatory to protect loss of biodiversity due to misuse or overuse, theft of biodiversity and to secure biodiversity from contamination when transgencis are involved. In addition, the law mandates that when biodiversity is to be accessed in any manner for commercial, research and other uses, local communities who have protected local varieties and cultivars for generations must be consulted and if they consent benefits must accrue to them per the internationally applicable Access and Benefit Sharing Protocol.
Clearly aware of these laws that were fully in operation when Monsanto and its collaborators initiated research in developing Bt Brinjal in 2005, they deliberately chose to sidestep conformance with this critical legislation. When tackled by the Board during the investigation, Mahyco in its letter dated 25 June 2010 to the Board has categorically stated that it is "not in violation of any of the provisions of the Act" and claimed that the Bt Brinjal was developed by University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad. On its part the University has claimed in its letter dated 17 May 2011 that it has secured all permissions from various government departments, but does not produce any evidence of clearance under the Biodiversity Act. The extent to which Monsanto is dismissive of India's biodiversity protection laws is evident from a press release made by Dr. Usha Barwale Zehr, Joint Director, Research of Mahyco who claimed that “The Genetic Engineering Action Committee (GEAC), which is going to meet a 19 member Expert Panel on April 27, 2011, may accept the proposal for introduction of Bt Brinjal in the country.”1 Thus completely belittling biodiversity protection laws of India in which offences are cognisable and non-bailable. (A copy of the Act may be accessed here.)
more at the link.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_EKM-1o0J3yk/S-7UrJ7QW3I/AAAAAAAAAj8/VLJHUadLSYw/s1600/Picture+6.png1.National Biodiversity Authority to prosecute Mahyco/Monsanto and collaborators... more
"New Delhi, August 8th 2011: Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) announced a nation-wide day of action against corporate takeover of our food and farming systems on August 9th, Quit India Day. The day is being marked in scores of locations in fifteen states around the country as “Monsanto, Quit India!” Day, filled with various events where citizens are going to take part to express their resistance against corporate control on our productive resources. This is to save our Food, Farmers and Freedom, announced ASHA in a press release.
“We have chosen the most potent and obvious symbol of corporate takeover of our food and farming – Monsanto, the largest seed company in the world and one of the top five agri-chemical corporations, with an annual turnover equivalent to five years of India’s outlay for National Agricultural Development Programme! Our governments should be aware of its long history of crimes against humanity, by its production and marketing of many toxic chemicals and other hazardous products. On its way to becoming the world's largest seed company, Monsanto used several strategies including preventing farmers from re-using their seed, denying farmers and researchers free and open access to seed, and aggressive, monopolistic market maneuvers that suppressed competition. Monsanto did not shy away from resorting to bribery for getting regulatory approvals. Monsanto had at one point reportedly even stated its goal thus: ‘No food shall be grown that we do not own’, reflecting its profiteering ambitions. This company has sued and jailed farmers for the ‘crime’ of saving and re-using seed from their crops and even when they were victims of accidental genetic contamination! Monsanto and its associates have also not hesitated to sue governments in this country in pursuit of their profits and markets. How is the government hoping that farmers would benefit from the expansion of this company, its products and markets and on what basis and understanding are they partnering with the company?”, said ASHA in its press statement.
“The citizens of this country would like to know what has happened to all the investments that went into the public sector research all these years, given that today an overwhelming chunk of cotton and maize seed markets are controlled by this one company and given that many PPPs are being signed to promote this corporation’s seeds at the expense of this country’s seed sovereignty. Further, various public sector agri-universities are facilitating bio-piracy in the name of collaborative research projects", said the organizers. They pointed out that it is short-sighted on the part of various governments to promote proprietary seed rather than strengthen farmer-level solutions for Seed in agriculture, given that this will only foster mono-cropping, dependence and overly-priced seed which will affect sustainable farm livelihoods. Sustainable alternatives are consistently being ignored on the farm front, the organisers said.
In 15 states across the country, led by farmers’ unions and civic groups, various events have been organized to create awareness amongst ordinary Indians about the true nature of corporations like Monsanto and to put pressure on governments to scrap any deals and partnerships with Monsanto and other such entities. The variety of events include bicycle rallies, Beej Rath, Kisan Jagran Sabhas, public protests and candlelight vigils, film screenings and awareness programs, Kheti Khurak Azaadi Jatha in Punjab and so on.
“We are forced to remind everyone on Quit India Day that we are living in times when our freedom is being jeopardized yet again in insidious ways – if we as a nation want to protect our food sovereignty and if we want to retain control on what we grow and what we eat, we need to resist this corporate takeover. We need to put into place lasting and affordable solutions that are farmer-controlled in our agriculture. Urban consumers should realize that it is not just our farmers who are getting trapped and exploited; consumers should understand that access to safe, diverse and nutritious food for all is also at risk”, said ASHA in its press release.
Details of various events across the country are available at: http://www.kisanswaraj.in/2011/08/07/state-wise-listing-of-events-for-monsanto-quit-india-and-kisan-swaraj-week/
ASHA is an informal network of more than 400 organisations all over India, which through grassroots work, trainings, campaigns and policy advocacy seeks to promote practices and policies that make Indian agriculture ecologically sustainable, ensure dignified livelihoods with income security to its farmers especially the smallholders, preserve their control over agricultural resources like seed, land and water, and ensure adequate, safe, nutritious and diverse food for all Indians."
More at the link"New Delhi, August 8th 2011: Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture... more
NEW YORK - New threats by Monsanto have led to the filing of an amended complaint [link] by the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) in its suit on behalf of family farmers, seed businesses, and organic agricultural organizations challenging Monsanto's patents on genetically modified seed. Twenty-three new plaintiffs have joined with the original 60 in the amended complaint, bringing the total number represented in the case to 83. The plaintiffs in the suit, titled Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA), et al. v. Monsanto and pending in the Southern District of New York, now include 36 family farmer, food, agricultural research, food safety, and environmental organizations representing hundreds of thousands of members including several thousand certified organic, biodynamic, or otherwise non-transgenic family farmers.
"Our clients don't want a fight with Monsanto, they just want to be protected from the threat they will be contaminated by Monsanto's genetically modified seed and then be accused of patent infringement," said PUBPAT Executive Director Daniel B. Ravicher. "We asked Monsanto to give our clients reassurance they wouldn't do such a thing, and in responsethey chose instead to reiterate the same implicit threat to organic agriculture made in the past."
Soon after the March filing of the lawsuit, Monsanto issued a statement saying they would not assert their patents against farmers who suffer "trace" amounts of transgenic contamination. In response, and in the hope the matter could be resolved out of court, PUBPAT attorneys wrote Monsanto's attorneys asking the company to make its promise legally binding. Monsanto responded to PUBPAT's request by hiring former solicitor general, Seth P. Waxman, a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of WilmerHale, who rejected PUBPAT's request and instead confirmed Monsanto may indeed make claims of patent infringement against organic farmers who become contaminated by Monsanto's genetically modified seed. Copies of both letters are available as exhibits at the end of the amended complaint.
"Monsanto's letter was an empty, indefensible, and self-evident evasion showing theyare only interested in spinning propaganda without taking serious steps to resolve the problem created for organic and non-transgenic agriculture," said one of the co-plaintiffs in the suit, Don Patterson of Virginia. "With the Monsanto letter signed by Waxman, the company rolled out their biggest legal cannon, but they fired off only fluffy wadding and smoke," as he views it. "The letter shows Monsanto wanting to protect their freedom to threaten farmers with patent infringement suits," he states; "Both the threats and the lawsuits are clearly important to their marketing strategy and business model."
"Despite their empty propaganda to the contrary, they plainly do not want to give up these tactics," Patterson asserts. "Monsanto has collected multiple millions of dollars in settlements often from family farmers without the resources to defend themselves," he reports; "Too many have had to settle because they could not afford to fight."
"The serious issues being engaged in this case require a constructive and socially-acceptable response from the defendant in the public interest," adds Maine farmer Jim Gerritsen, President of OSGATA, the lead plaintiff in the suit. "In the absence of that, we reassert the essential importance of the arguments stated in March and reinforced now by the additional evidence of the Monsanto intransigence. Monsanto's utter failure to act reasonably to address our concerns has only reaffirmed the need for our lawsuit."
"We don't think we are asking too much to want assurance that if Monsanto's transgenic genes contaminate our crops we will not be sued by Monsanto," adds Iowa organic dairy farmer Francis Thicke, owner of plaintiff Radiance Dairy; "It is bad enough that we face the threat of contamination of our organic and non-transgenic crops. The least Monsanto can do is give us assurance that they won't sue us for their own genetic trespass."
The amended Complaint elaborates a fear tangibly vexing many family farmers: "Monsanto continued in the statement to perversely characterize this suit as an 'attack,' when Plaintiffs seek no money from and no injunction against them. All Plaintiffs seek is peace of mind if they are ever contaminated by Monsanto's transgenic seed, the company could never sue them for patent infringement. This is not an attack by the Plaintiffs and to characterize it that way only further evidences Monsanto's aggressive and threatening attitude with respect to its patents. Thus, the statement made by Monsanto in response to this suit has only served to heighten Plaintiff's fear that Monsanto will seek to enforce its patents against them should they ever be contaminated by Monsanto's transgenic seed."
"It is outrageous that our entire farm, family business, and livelihood could be at risk because of Monsanto's backward and oppressive response and enforcement towards farmers in regards to transgenic pollen drift, unasked for and unwanted-and the subsequent results in fields and farms," says Ruth Chantry of Common Good Farm in Nebraska; "Any transgenic pollen drift that would ever come onto our farm is of great detriment to us, and as such, it is an invasion upon and a contamination of our crops, the multi-species habitat we are assisting and creating here-and to the integrity of how we are farming organically & Biodynamically." - The request for court protection through a declaratory judgment is a primary objective of the case. The suit also argues the invalidity of Monsanto's transgenic Roundup Ready patents under both statute and case law precedent requiring patented products to demonstrate clear social utility and not be dangerous to health.
cont.NEW YORK - New threats by Monsanto have led to the filing of an amended complaint... more
EXTRACT: I asked a few of my colleagues who are listed as among the report's "400 authors and contributors" what happened. They all indicated that they had had no say in the actual writing of this report. As one scientist - whose name is listed in the report - put it:
"I was invited by email to write a review to be published elsewhere. I didn't participate in any meetings, discussions, findings, or report writing. I hadn't even been alerted to the fact that a report had been issued. It isn't at all clear to me how the listed "stakeholders" actually participated in the process. The issue of GM crops never came up in anything I saw, and it doesn't even seem to feature strongly in the report. [The] conclusion that Beddington is just using the report to promote GM crops seems about right."
That's how they treated eminent scientists. What about farmers, workers and Indigenous communities? They are simply and entirely absent from this report. ---
Britain's Chief Scientist has come out trumpeting the need for genetically engineered (GE) crops to feed the world, and the UK media is falling all over itself with blaring headlines that echo this badly misinformed sentiment (see Guardian, Telegraph coverage).
The source of all the hullabaloo is the UK's release this week of its mammoth Foresight report, Global Food and Farming Futures. Using the occasion to espouse what seems to be his personal opinion, Sir John Beddington - the Chief Scientist in question, argues that "It is very hard to see how it would be remotely sensible to justify not using new technologies such as GM. Just look at the problems that the world faces: water shortages and salination of existing water supplies, for example. GM crops should be able to deal with that." "Should?" Is that the best you can do, Sir John?
In reality, after 25 years of research, no drought or salt-tolerant crops have yet been commercially developed, while yield declines, surging herbicide use, resistant superweeds, and a host of environmental-not to mention social-harms have been documented where GE crops have been planted. In contrast, ecologically resilient agroecological farming systems are known to perform well under the stressed conditions increasingly associated with climate change and water scarcity. For a scientist, Beddington does a remarkable job of ignoring the science.
So much hype
In truth, the UK report does not ever claim, as the newspapers and Beddington have, that "genetically modified crops are the key to human survival." All it actually says is that "New technologies (such as the genetic modification of living organisms and the use of cloned livestock and nanotechnology) should not be excluded a priori on ethical or moral grounds." But that sort of talk just puts people to sleep; it certainly doesn't sell papers or keep industry happy.
The BBC at least has shown a bit more journalistic integrity, avoiding the GE hype and keeping to the report's main message, namely that "the food production system will need to be radically changed, not just to produce more food but to produce it sustainably." I couldn't agree more.
Unfortunately, despite the relevance of its main message, there's still much that is missing from the report, as Indian journalist and policy analyst Devinder Sharma and UK organizations GM Freeze and the Soil Association explain. When asked by BBC for his opinion of the report, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier de Schutter, politely exposed the flaws in the report and concluded:
"We should realize that the insistence on producing more food is one that often has not benefited the small farmers, the poor in the rural areas in developing countries.... The problem with GM crops is that the patents on these crops are [held] by a very small handful of corporations, who will capture a larger proportion of the end dollar of the food that the consumer buys. [This] creates a dependency for small farmers that is very problematic in the long term. It may not be sustainable for small-scale farmers to be hooked up to such technologies.... Investing in small-scale farming rather than investing in large-scale heavily mechanized plantations is really the path we should now radically espouse."
Too bad the UK fell short of the mark this time. We usually expect greater vision from across the Atlantic.
cont.EXTRACT: I asked a few of my colleagues who are listed as among the report's... more
Nagoya, Japan -- Under the guise of developing "climate-ready" crops, the world's largest seed and agrochemical corporations are filing hundreds of sweeping, multi-genome patents in a bid to control the world's plant biomass, according to a report released by ETC Group today.
A handful of multinational corporations are pressuring governments to allow what could become the broadest and most dangerous patent claims in history, warns the group at the United Nations’ Convention on Biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan (18-29 October 2010).
"The Gene Giants are stockpiling patents that threaten to put a choke-hold on the world's biomass and our future food supply," warns Silvia Ribeiro of ETC Group. "The breadth of many patent claims on climate ready crop genes is staggering. In many cases, a single patent or patent application claims ownership of engineered gene sequences that could be deployed in virtually all major crops – as well as the processed food and feed products derived from them," explains Ribeiro.
ETC Group identifies over 262 patent families, subsuming 1663 patent documents published worldwide (both applications and issued patents) that make specific claims on environmental stress tolerance in plants (such as drought, heat, flood, cold, salt tolerance). DuPont, Monsanto, BASF, Bayer, Syngenta and their biotech partners account for three-quarters (77%) of the patent families identified. Just three companies – DuPont, BASF, Monsanto – account for over two-thirds of the total. Public sector researchers hold only 10%.
"In a desperate bid for moral legitimacy and to try to ease public acceptance of genetically modified crops, the Gene Giants have donated a few proprietary crop genes to poor farmers in Africa," explains Ribeiro.
"The quid pro quo is that South governments must facilitate market access for genetically modified crops and embrace biotech-friendly patent laws. It's an unacceptable trade-off. In exchange for untested technologies, South governments are being pressured to surrender national sovereignty over intellectual property, biomass, and food," she warned.
"These patents are the latest form of biopiracy," notes Vandana Shiva, Director of India's Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology. "Farmers have bred seeds for drought, flood and salt tolerance over millennia. Climate resilience ultimately depends on farmers' innovation, biodiversity and agro-ecological processes staying in the hands of farming communities," said Shiva.
"Governments meeting at the UN Biodiversity Convention in Nagoya, Japan must put a stop to the patent grab, yet another false solution to climate change. They should instruct their patent offices to reject or rescind all of these patents," said ETC Group's Neth Dano, who is attending the meeting. "A fundamental review of all intellectual property claims in agriculture should be jointly undertaken by the CBD and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). These patents also clearly violate the FAO Seed Treaty and its governing body must investigate and take action."Nagoya, Japan -- Under the guise of developing "climate-ready" crops, the... more
A small but powerful ecological activist group based in Ottawa, Ontario has taken its fight against "synthentic life" entrepreneurs like Dr. Craig Venter to the United Nations and won. Or so they claim.A small but powerful ecological activist group based in Ottawa, Ontario has taken its... more
Recently, when American multinational Natreon Inc tried to patent Ashwagandha or Indian Ginseng (being used in India since 12th century), Indian authorities foiled the attempt giving rise to a debate on biopiracy.
Biopiracy denotes a practice where commercial
firms (of developed nations) patent and claim ownership of traditional knowledge (of developing nations).
Releasing a compilation of 5000 biopiracy patents here today, noted environmentalist Vandana Shiva urged the government to stop the ''theft'' of the country's intellectual property.
The list includes Cutch Tree (Khaira in Hindi, useful in treating Melancholia, Conjuctivitis and Haemoptysis), Holy Fruit Tree (Bel in Hindi, useful in treatment of Diarrhoea, Dysentry and swellings), Greater Cardomom (Badi Ilaichi in Hindi, used as a digestive), Pineapple (Ananas in Hindi, used to treat ulcers, Jaundice, fever and sexually transmitted diseases) and Areca Nut (Supari in Hindi, used to treat anorexia and indigestion).
Dr Shiva said the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS) of World Trade Organisation needed an immediate review.
Article 27.3 (b) of TRIPS allows members to exclude plants and animals from patentability but not micro-organisms.
It also permits members to exclude essentially biological processes for production of plants and animals but not non-biological or microbiological processes.
''The review of this agreement has been stalled since 11 years which is allowing monopolisation of plant diversity wealth,'' she said.
''The government should join the efforts of countries like Bolivia, Columbia and Ecuador and make this a big issue to protect the indigenous knowledge of local farming communities and indigenous people,'' she added.
The Bolivian government has demanded that patenting of all life-forms including plants, animals, gene sequences, microorganisms and processes for the production of life forms including biological, non-biological and microbiological should be prohibited.
''You can patent something you invent. But a fact like Neem is good for the gums is no invention. It is conventional knowledge which cannot be patented,'' Ms Shiva felt.
continuedRecently, when American multinational Natreon Inc tried to patent Ashwagandha or... more
Despite fundamental differences in what they represent, there are occasional calls to allow the use of genetic engineering (which produces genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs) within the USDA National Organic Program. GMO varieties are currently most widespread in corn, soybean, canola and cotton crops, in dairy production, and in minor ingredients, such as dairy cultures, used in food processing, but new products are being introduced and commercialized.
Here are 10 essential points that I believe show why GMOs are incompatible with organic production:
1. Basic science. Humans have a complex digestive system, populated with flora, fauna, and enzymes that have evolved over millennia to recognize and break down foods found in nature to make nutrients available to feed the human body. GMO crops and foods are comprised of novel genetic constructs which have never before been part of the human diet and may not be recognized by the intestinal system as digestible food, leading to the possible relationship between genetic engineering and a dramatic increase in food allergies, obesity, diabetes, and other food-related diseases, which have all dramatically increased correlated to the introduction of GMO crops and foods.
2. Ecological impact. Organic agriculture is based on the fundamental principle of building and maintaining healthy soil, aquatic, and terrestrial ecosystems. Since the introduction of GMOs, there has been a dramatic decline in the populations of Monarch butterflies, black swallowtails, lacewings, and caddisflies, and there may be a relationship between genetic engineering and colony collapse in honeybees. GMO crops, including toxic Bt corn residues, have been shown to persist in soils and negatively impact soil ecosystems. Genetically modified rBST (recombinant bovine somatrotropin, injected to enhance a cow’s milk output) has documented negative impacts on the health and well being of dairy cattle, which is a direct contradiction to organic livestock requirements.
3. Control vs harmony. Organic agriculture is based on the establishment of a harmonious relationship with the agricultural ecosystem by farming in harmony with nature. Genetic engineering is based on the exact opposite -- an attempt to control nature at its most intimate level - the genetic code, creating organisms that have never previously existed in nature.
4. Unpredictable consequences. Organic ag is based on a precautionary approach - know the ecological and human health consequences, as best possible, before allowing the use of a practice or input in organic production. Since introduction, genetic modification of agricultural crops has been shown to have numerous unpredicted consequences, at the macro level, and at the genetic level. Altered genetic sequences have now been shown to be unstable, producing unpredicted and unknown outcomes.
continuedDespite fundamental differences in what they represent, there are occasional calls to... more
As of today truly global action is being taken against patents on seed, plants, farm animals, parts thereof including gene sequences and food. Over 100 organisations from all parts of the world are alerting the public and warning of the dangers of increasing monopoly rights on basic resources of farm and food production. Seed, plants and farm animals as well as food production chains are becoming progressively subject to monopoly rights imposed by worldwide patents. More and more patents have been filed and now include claims covering the conventional breeding of plants and animals. They are actually being claimed by industry as their inventions!
If this trend is not stopped these developments will impact on farmers, smaller-scale breeders, food producers and consumers. Leaving the control over seeds to multinational corporations means leaving decisions on choice in the food market and the way food is produced to those whose first aim is to make a profit, not provide food security. Farmers in particular are increasingly dependent on agrochemical and seed corporations. Breeding is becoming more difficult as access to genetic resources is hampered by the restrictions that patents impose. This situation will result in fewer innovations urgently needed for food safety.
The US company Monsanto recently filed patent application WO2008021413, which – in more than 1000 pages - makes 175 claims to misappropriate various gene sequences and genetic variations, especially in soy and maize. Monsanto even goes as far as to explicitly claim all relevant maize and soy plants inheriting those genetic elements and its uses in food, feed and biomass. In a further patent application, WO 2009011847, Monsanto makes broad claims covering methods for cattle breeding, for the animals themselves as well as “milk, cheese, butter and meat”. These patents and many others filed by various companies such as Dupont and Syngenta are the reason why Navdanya is calling upon politicians and patent offices around the world to ensure that such patents cannot and will not be granted:
“A radical change both in patent legislation and the practice of patent offices is needed to eliminate patents on plants and farm animals. Corporations should not be allowed to continue misappropriation and monopolisation of seeds, plants and farm animals via patent law. Otherwise these patents will become a major threat to global food security and regional food sovereignty.”
Navdanya is calling upon organisations and individuals to sign the joint global alert posted on the website of the ‘no patents on seeds' coalition. Global days of action against patents on farm and food production are planned from the end of April until July 2010. They will end in a public hearing on 20 July at the European Patent Office in Munich, Germany. This hearing will be on e on a patent filed for the conventional breeding of broccoli which hat will lead to a precedent decision being made in Europe. Navdanya will inform the public about these activities and will support it.As of today truly global action is being taken against patents on seed, plants, farm... more
There's a lot going on out there in the world of Current.com, so let's take a quick look at some of the recent blog posts from our online producer team:
Over on the Current Movies blog, John Lichman offers up news that Nic Cage has decided to bow out of Green Hornet, and takes a look at the new teaser trailer from Up in the Air. Here's a snippet:
Nicholas Cage leaves The Green Hornet because clearly he's a serious actor. And his soul is still dancing. [Heat Vision]
The teaser for Up in the Air is perfectly fine and the best thing you'll watch today. So, there. [/film]
Check out the full post and watch the Up in the Air trailer over on the current_movies blog.
Have you ever wanted to make a music video? Who knows, you could be the next David Fincher, or Spike Jonze, right? Well, here's your chance. Current Music has teamed up with Common, and he's basically letting the Current.com community make the video for his song, "Make my day."
So, you wanna make a music video? Head over to the current_music blog, Shana has all of the details.
Leah Lamb offered up a guest blog post from our Sustainable Agriculture group leader, JanForGore. She gives us the details on Biopiracy in the age of climate change and food shortages. Here's a snip:
Biopiracy is the patenting of indigenous bio-diversity related knowledge. For purposes of this writing, the patenting of natural traits found in plants, which is now described as epidemic. While the rewarding of patents should be based on inventiveness and original creativity, it has become a license for corporations to steal such indigenous traits endemic to nature already naturally cultivated by indigenous farmers for centuries. This is done to make fast cash and to take advantage of the climate crisis and food shortages which ironically are also exacerbated through monoculture industrial methods of what I like to call ‘strip farming.’ Such methods have stripped soil nutrients and carbon essential for sustainability of the land and our climate balance.
Check out the full post on the current_green blog.
Last but not least, current_comedy blog maestro, Josh Heller, went to Burning Man last week and it changed his life (as anyone reading his pseudo-tweets from Black Rock City could tell). The playa spoke, and Josh listened. Now he returns to us a new man, with a new avatar. Take a look.There's a lot going on out there in the world of Current.com, so let's take... more
The following is a post by guest blogger, Jan Morre (aka JanforGore). You can follow her on Current's the sustainable agriculture channel.
In covering the environmental abuses of Monsanto one who is cognizant of the special relationship we have with the Earth cannot help but be repulsed by them. There is not one redeeming quality about them. They are arrogant, heartless, greedy, manipulative power brokers that use people, governments, organizations, consumers, and anyone else who gets in their way of domination. It is a domination of the global seed and pesticide market that is now bringing our Earth to a biodiversity and pollution crisis and a climate change precipice.
They destroy and defile the environment with impunity, contaminate natural seeds with unstable toxic bacteria seeds, deforest our planet to make corn for gas tanks and GM soy that brings nothing but poverty and disease to places such as Paraguay, Argentina, Mexico, India, etc., (where farmers have been committing suicides in massive numbers due to economic ruin brought on by BT cotton.) They toxify our water with PCBS and Round Up, strong arm farmers, deceive consumers, intimidate scientists who seek answers and who disseminate the answers they find about just what their GMOs are made of and their effects, and then claim to be part of the “sustainable agriculture” movement that is looking to feed the world. It is one of the greatest and most sinister hoaxes perpetrated upon the world.
In the more than one hundred years they have been in business, Monsanto has not made one product that has benefitted the Earth. From saccharin, to aspartame, to Agent Orange, to PCBs, to genetically modified organisms, there has been one and only one motive: profit at any cost. And where we stand now that cost is the biodiversity of our planet and control of the very seeds and water that give us life. It is a control we cannot give up as it would then mean the loss not only of food sovereignty but our very freedom as human beings. But even in the midst of all of this there are some bright spots. This past year saw two court rulings against Monsanto regarding their GM alfalfa and GM sugar beets:
Federal court upholds ban on genetically modified alfalfa: Monsanto petition denied in full
Bitter fight developing over gm sugarbeets
Will this set a precedent for review of their other “seeds” such as BT corn, GM soy, BT cotton, etc.? We can only hope.
In that vein there is also a Supreme Court case coming forth involving Monsanto and the Center for Food Safety:
And also, a DOJ investigation into monopolies set for March 2010:
Hopeful signs that more are waking up to the deceptions and doing the necessary research to become aware of what they are eating and modifying their habits to be more healthy. The one organization that is helping tremendously in that is the Institute for Responsible Technology headed by Jeffrey Smith, a world renowned GMO activist. They have just put together a Non GMO website that gives you top information on how to avoid GMOs and eat more healthy thus perpetuating the 5% of American consumers it will take to get to a tipping point of awareness to begin turning the tide against Monsanto and all other companies using GMOs as a profit motive while compromising our food safety in the process. This is the one true way we can all be activists: through the wallet.
Of course, I also have no illusions regarding the DOJ investigation nor the court cases coming up involving Monsanto’s link to PCB poisoning. A recent trial regarding PCB contamination of Anniston Alabama and the ensuing deaths and disease from it wound up in Monsanto’s favor with those sickened left with little justice for their suffering. The major clout Monsanto carries with Washington DC even now under the Obama Administration and the Vilsack USDA and their known methods of bribery leaves one wary of such attempts to hold them accountable for their many crimes against humanity, and their agricultural and environmental terrorism.
After all, it was the FDA under the auspices of the last four administrations that gave them free reign over our environment and health by determining that their organisms were the same (principle of substantial equivalence) as all other food in order for them to circumvent labeling, when as we now see that is far from the truth. It was the USSC that gave them the patent to life itself thus opening the door to Intellectual Property Rights that now challenge indigenous peoples and the natural breeding of seeds for climate change tolerance which they can now purchase in biopiracy scams. In simple terms, our planet has been sold to the highest bidder by people we the people did not even have a say in electing! That is not only undemocratic, that is immoral and criminal.
However as with any crisis we are now in regarding our planet, we have one hope: ourselves. Our consciences, our morals, our reasoning, our logic, our love for our families, our love for the Earth, our sense of justice, and yes, even our spirituality that tells us in line with the scientific facts as presented to us that we in large numbers have the ability to take back our food, our planet, and our futures. So even in the face of what Monsanto has been able to accomplish I remain hopeful of the global food movement having major victories in the coming year. But we must remain focused, cohesive, determined, and yes, even angry. We must remain so for the following:
For the farmers of India and their families, especially the widows of those whose lives were cut short by BT cotton.
For the American farmers whose farms and livelihoods are under threat from Monsanto’s strong arm tactics in their desire to control all seed.
For the deforested lands of South America stripped to create a monoculture that has left many poor farmers poorer and sicker in the wake of greed over sustainability, and exacerbated a climate crisis no cap and trade scheme can heal.
For the soil of our Earth, its skin, that cries out for help to us as it is eroded, stripped, abused, and toxified for profit.
For our water, polluted, toxic, acidic, filled with pesticides and run off as the cost of industrial agriculture.
For our children, who deserve a cleaner, safer, more natural world to live in.
Let this next year be the year to truly hold Monsanto as an example of all of those things to be the first step in our moral imperative to save this planet and in turn the human species and all others we have so cavalierly dismissed in our desire to be masters of the universe.
I leave you with this: may we all seek this level of awareness of conscience, and act on it.
Guest Blog Post: Biopiracy in the age of climate change and food shortages
Field report from India: Woman’s Earth Alliance reports on sustainable agriculture
Biodiversity and the life of our earth (video)
The following is a post by guest blogger, Jan Morre (aka JanforGore). You can follow... more
3 years ago