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Romney is Monsanto’s Candidate…there go our farms!

You know that this blog has a long history of exposing and criticizing Monsanto for the chemical destruction of what once was our fresh food products —Monsanto, whose dark history features scandals involving PCBs, Agent Orange, bovine growth hormone, NutraSweet, IUD, genetically modified (GM) seed and herbicides, reaching back to the 1970s and ’80s.

Those of us who support the remaining organic food growers, and who grow our own out of necessity, have set Monansto as the most evil of challenges.

If we go way back to Romney’s beginnings with Bain Capital when he was 30 years old, who do you think his largest client was, and who remains his friend today? You guessed it. Monsanto. This matters for a number of reasons:  it sheds on Romney’s self-ballyhooed business experience; Romney helped create Monsanto corporate objectives that clash with planetary concerns; If Romney is elected, this enemy of environmentalists will have a very old friend in the White House.

Monsanto’s former CEO John W. Hanley is in fact the only business executive outside of the Bain founding family to so shape Romney’s career—jumpstarting the two companies, Bain & Company and Bain Capital, that account for all but two years of Romney’s much-ballyhooed business experience.

Monsanto, who currently produces Genetically Modified corn, soybean, alfalfa and other seeds, which are  engineered to resist Roundup and increase yield, faces many global disputes, and has lost two recent, at least $2 billion, court decisions in Brazil –  5 million soy farmers sued them. The Brazilian farmers’ issue is also a source of frustration for US farmers—the contracts farmers are forced to sign pledging not to save seeds for future harvests, a common farm custom that resale-fixated Monsanto has hired a seed police army to stop.

Roundup Ready” seeds, of course, are completely responsible to the success and safety of Roundup itself. However,“super-weeds” are developing a Roundup tolerance, requiring more and more spraying to work. This is harmful both ecologically and financially  for farmers.The seeds, introduced in the Bain years with Bain boosting, Roundup’s supposedly “biodegradable” and “nontoxic” claims, have led to false advertising findings. This is part of Romney’s business trustworthiness and acumen.

In the presidential campaign, Romney is deliberately vague . He’s moved publicly in Monsanto’s direction on the company’s genetically engineered ethanol and farm subsidies, appears aligned with it on labeling (Monsanto wants to avoid labeling its fruits and vegetables with the 5 digit code, different for organic competitors), and his spokesman Shawn McCoy said this month that the candidate was “concerned by the effect that the Obama administration’s crushing onslaught of regulations is having on agriculture.” Read from this what effect the Obama administration will have on one of his largest campaign contributors.

Will Monsanto be allowed to poison us?

Just when we thought there might be some federal control over the spread of genetically modified vegetables and grains, a so-called “Monsanto rider” has been quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill. This  would require – not just allow, but require – the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed.

All the farmer or the biotech producer has to do is ask, and the questionable crops could be released into the environment where they could potentially contaminate organic crops and lay waste to a healthy food supply.

Centre for Food SafetyUnless the Senate or a citizen’s army of farmers and consumers can stop them, the Republican (read “industry”) dominated House of Representatives is likely to make this dangerous rider the law very soon.

Here is what the Center For Food Safety officially had to say about the biotech industry’s latest attempt to circumvent legal and regulatory safeguards:

Ceding broad and unprecedented powers to industry, the rider poses a direct threat to the authority of U.S. courts, jettisons the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) established oversight powers on key agriculture issues and puts the nation’s farmers and food supply at risk.

In other words, if this single line in the 90-page Agricultural Appropriations bill slips through, it’s Independence Day for the biotech industry, and Monsanto comes out on top.

This is the time to contact your Representative and complain… by telephone and in writing… to keep the “Monsanto Rider” out of the law.

I’m not happy with the World…

…but I can’t do anything about it on a scale that would change anything.

Listening to politicians on the morning news babble at each other that they will not do anything about jobs or or education or ANYTHING unless the debt is reduced (which most economists will tell you is a false concern in relationship to income)… and then seeing that they do NOTHING while they are in session to work with each other or the President, and ignore the wishes of the voters.

Then I see the report on Global Biodiversity which shows that we are gobbling up the Earths resources at an unreplaceable rate (we are “outstripping the Earth’s resources by 50 percent — essentially using the resources of one and a half Earths every year, according to the 2012 Living Planet Report, produced by conservation agency the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)”

Natural resources — and the rate at which humans burn through them — rarely appear on policymakers’ balance sheets.

- Emily McKenzie, the director of the WWF’s Natural Capital Program

Tie all this in with the ignoring of Global Warming which is leading us further down the path to an unliveable planet.

The fact that we are still at war in the Middle East and are committed there for at least a dozen more years with billions of tax dollars being spent and no budget cuts to aid the economy is frightening. In my lifetime there have been relatively few years when we were not at war with SOMEONE… and the claims that this would all lead to peace are now nothing but laughable.

So my thoughts come back again to “what can we do?”

Elly and I have replaced all our light bulbs with the energy controlled ones and, even then, we sit in the dark most of the time to keep electricity down. We are growing our own food now (and buying and trading with local farmers.) We are planning to add chickens.

I am working with groups like Sustainable Shepherdstown to promote local job growth and development of our  local and regional small businesses.

I am campaigning against Monsanto, Dow and the rest for poisoning our foods and making it more difficult to get organic seeds in the market… yet they are taking over the food industry at rates that are more than alarming (for instance, Kellogg buying out Kashi has removed the latter from the organic food makers and now fills their products with GMO grains.)

But I wake up every morning more depressed than the day before… worried about the future for my children and my grandchildren (currently four of them).

Do you worry about all of this as well? Do you try to do anything about it, or just throw your hands up and resign yourself to it?

Let me know.

 

We must out-fund Monsanto’s Lobbyists (or die eating our unlabeled veggies!)

Volunteers across California are making history. On May 2nd, the California Right to Know campaign turned in nearly 1 million signatures to place a ballot initiative to label GMOs on the November 2012 ballot.

But this is only the beginning. We know that Monsanto and their minions will do everything in their power to spread lies and confuse voters. They have proven this time and again and most recently in Vermont and Connecticut where citizens in those states overwhelmingly supported bills to require labeling of genetically engineered foods.

Only a few days after voters in California qualified the historic initiative to label GMOs, Monsanto and biotech lobbyists were working behind closed doors in Connecticut to kill the bill that would have made it possible for the residents in that state to know what’s in their food.1 In the final hours of the 2012 legislative session, the biotech industry succeeded in getting Connecticut’s governor and House leaders to strip the bill of its labeling requirement as it was on the verge of passing with bipartisan support. Now, this year alone, governors in Vermont and Connecticut have both caved under the biotech industry’s threats to sue them if they pass a bill to label GMOs. This is an outrage!

While these backroom shenanigans can’t happen in California, since the ballot initiative will be put to a vote of the people, we know that Monsanto’s minions will be up to their usual dirty tricks. Already, a powerful biotech front group is starting to spread misleading stories in the media and distorting the real facts about the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act of 2012.

This has been called “the Food Fight of Our Life” and we need your help in making sure that we succeed in November.

Will you chip in to make GMO labeling a reality? Only with your help can we win in November!

We can win in California, but we need your help today! Here’s how. Between May 1 and May 26, a broad coalition of food, farm, health, public interest, and environmental groups all over the country, joined by leading organic food companies, will attempt to raise one million dollars to support the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, a citizens’ ballot initiative, and other state GMO-labeling campaigns.

In an extraordinary gesture of support and solidarity in the fight for GMO labeling in California, Mercola.com, the largest alternative health website in the world, along with a group of leading organic companies including Nature’s Path, Lundberg Family Farms, and Eden Foods, and other nonprofit organizations, have pledged another one million dollars to the “Drop the Money Bomb on Monsanto” campaign – but only if we reach our goal of $1 million by May 26.

Please help us raise $1 million by May 26 for the California Right to Know GMO Labeling Campaign so we don’t miss out on this $1 million matching gift!

http://fdn.actionkit.com/go/591?akid=549.271844.mqPu-i&t=10

Thank you for contributing what you can today – Together we can win!

Now’s the time. Let’s drop the money bomb on Monsanto and take back our food supply!

Thanks for participating in food democracy,

David Murphy

President, Food Democracy Action!

P.S. All money raised for this campaign will go through Food Democracy Action!, a 501(c)4 allied organization of Food Democracy Now!, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action. Donations are not tax-deductible. Thank you for your support!

Source:

1. “GMO ‘Right to Know’ campaign in CT fails — Lawsuit threatened”, Digital Journal, May 5, 2012

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/590?akid=549.271844.mqPu-i&t=12

Genetically Modified foods should be labeled…

…we have a right to know what we are eating, and the right to refuse to eat GMO foods.

Just Label It! We have the right to know.

Do Monsanto Employees eat GM foods?

If you worked for Monsanto and knew their pharmaceutical evils, would you eat Genetically Modified food?

There is a notice in the cafeteria of the Monsanto pharmaceutical factory is High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, advising customers

as far as practicable, GM soya and maize (has been removed) from all food products served in our restaurant. We have taken the steps to ensure that you, the customer, can feel confident in the food we serve.”

The notice was posted by the Sutcliffe Catering Group.

Adrian Bebb with Friends of the Earth says the notice in the Buckinghamshire plant is hard to misinterpret:

“The public has made its concerns about GM ingredients very clear – now it appears that even Monsanto’s own catering firm has no confidence in this new technology.”

Monsanto company spokesman Tony Coombes says the only reason for the GM-free foods is because the company “believes in choice.” Yeah… that’s a good one.

Unfortunately, we won’t see such announcements in the United States which won’t even require LABELING to show genetic modification. The reason? If LABELING was permitted people wouldn’t buy it. It also doesn’t hurt Monsanto that FDA head Michael Taylor, a Monsanto executive, was appointed by Obama… and America’s Chief Agriculture Negotiator, former Monsanto lobbyist Islam Siddiqui, was also an Obama appointment.

We are, as they say, screwed… unless everyone realizes the problem and takes action, whether writing Congressman or shopping for organic foods or campaigning against the patented seed stores of Monsanto.

 

 

 

 

The Monsanto Story – a personal documentary

I’ve talked many times about Monsanto and Genetically Modified seeds and the dangers they are bringing upon farming since they have been allowed to patent seeds. Perhaps you don’t know Monsanto’s history. This short piece by Andy Radford will give you an education:

Court: Monsanto Guilty of Chemical Poisoning in France

Many thanks to my wife who forwarded this article to me.
Published on Monday, February 13, 2012 by Common Dreams:

A French court Monday found US agriculture giant Monsanto legally responsible for the poisoning of a farmer with one of its herbicides in 2004.

Paul François, a cereal farmer in the southwestern department of Charente “Monsanto is responsible for Paul Francois’ suffering after he inhaled the Lasso product… and must entirely compensate him,” said the judgement from the court in the southeastern city of Lyon.

In 2004, Paul François, a cereal farmer in the southwestern department of Charente, opened the tank of his pulveriser machine. He inhaled fumes of Lasso, a weedkiller manufactured by Monsanto, and fainted.

He was taken to hospital and stopped work for almost a year, reports radio station France Info. He suffers from memory loss and often feels faint.

* * *

Reuters is reporting:

A French court on Monday declared U.S. biotech giant Monsanto guilty of chemical poisoning of a French farmer, a judgment that could lend weight to other health claims against pesticides.

Farmer mixing Lasso, a Monsanto herbicideIn the first such case heard in court in France, grain grower Paul Francois says he suffered neurological problems including memory loss, headaches and stammering after inhaling Monsanto’s Lasso weedkiller in 2004.

He blames the agri-business giant for not providing adequate warnings on the product label.

The ruling was given by a court in Lyon, southeast France, which ordered an expert opinion of Francois’s losses to establish the sum of damages. [...]

“I am alive today, but part of the farming population is going to be sacrificed and is going to die because of this,” Francois, 47, told Reuters.

He and other farmers suffering from illness set up an association last year to make a case that their health problems should be linked to their use of crop protection products.

The agricultural branch of the French social security system says that since 1996, it has gathered farmers’ reports of sickness potentially related to pesticides, with about 200 alerts a year.

Now let’s get after Monsanto HERE IN AMERICA!

Monsanto Hooks Up With WalMart… where do you shop?

From sumofus.org:

Do you or anyone you know buy food at Wal-Mart? If you do, you could soon be eating Monsanto GMO corn — unmarked, unlabeled, and untested on humans — with toxins built right into the plant’s DNA.

Monsanto has released their first direct-to-consumer product, a genetically-modified (GM) sweet corn containing Bt toxin, designed to protect the plant by rupturing the stomach of any insect that feeds on it. Monsanto claims the toxin will break down before the corn makes it to your dinner table, but rats fed with the GM corn showed organ failure, and the toxin has been detected in the bodies of pregnant women.

Want to avoid this toxic product?  Too bad – it will arrive on shelves unlabeled and untested on humans, starting with this years’ corn crop.

Consumers are fighting back.  Thanks to consumer pressure, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and General Mills have all agreed to not use Monsanto’s GM sweet corn in any of their products.  But Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest organic retailer, is holding out.

Join the Campaign and sign the petition HERE. I did.

Great Britain forces Monsanto out…

This is from Musicians For Freedom, a blog out of Denver, Colorado.

 

Earth First News Monsanto Co. said it’s leaving Britain due to opposition to genetically modified foods.

Monsanto is closing its operation in Britain because of opposition to GMO foodsMonsanto is closing its operation in Britain because of opposition to GMO foods

Officials at Monsanto — a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation and leading producer of genetically engineered seed — said the company is closing its wheat growing operation, based in Cambridge, which employed 125 people, and selling off crop-breeding centers in France, Germany and the Czech Republic, the Daily Mail reported.

Monsanto made its decision public shortly before the British government’s final announcement on the prospects for GM food, and after research in Britain found GM farming would have long-term negative impacts.

Three studies conducted for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs found pollen contamination would spread far further than previously believed, “feral” growth of weed killer would persist for years and the heavy use of chemicals associated with these crops could wipe out some species of birds.

The government’s findings involved hundreds of public meetings and 37,000 questionnaires. Ninety-three percent of respondents said not enough was known about the long-term effects of these foods on health, and 86 percent said they would refuse to eat the GM food.

OK… that’s Germany and Britain who are protecting their population. Why in hell aren’t we?

Germany Decides Genetically-Modified Foods Are Not Welcome

German chemicals giant BASF is closing its biotech division in Germany. The move was prompted by massive resistance to genetically modified food among both the public and politicians. GM opponents are jubilant, while some researchers are complaining this is another case of German hostility to technology.

Monsanto Attempts to Lockout Socially Responsible Shareholder at Annual Meeting…

CLICK HERE

In the Organic Consumers Association blog, the report concerns Monsanto shareholder (and organic food activist) Adam Eidinger. A clip:

Eidinger, who organized last October’s a 100 person, 313 mile “Right2Know March” from New York City to the White House for federally mandated GMO food labeling says: “With the rise or Round-Up resistant ‘superweeds‘ the company is simply telling farmers to spray even more toxic herbicides including 2,4 D, the main ingredient in Agent Orange.

I urge you to go read the article and to contact your representatives about Monsanto poisoning (and hiding their actions concerning) our food.

Toxic botulism in animals linked to RoundUp

Now that the Holidays are over and the Republican Primaries are becoming increasingly boring, it’s time to get back to our ongoing discussion of the threat to our life and food by chemical companies like (ESPECIALLY like) Monsanto.

Here’s a video you should take a look at… watch the WHOLE hour:

Dr Mercola recently interviewed Dr Don Huber, whose letter to the USDA warning that Monsanto’s RoundUp, a broad-spectrumherbicide” that has been linked with spontaneous abortion in animals, continues to be ignored by food and environmental safety authorities. In this important hour-long discussion, Huber, a plant pathologist for over 50 years, explains how RoundUp is destroying our healthy soils by killing needed microorganisms.

Not only did his team discover a new soil pathogen, but he reports that animals are coming down with over 40 new diseases, like toxic botulism.

 

Want to help do something about it? Go to MILLIONS AGAINST MONSANTO and find out how.

Getting Ready for the End of the Earth in 2012…

So the year 2012 starts on Sunday and we have a few possibilities (improbable as they may be) which can stagnate our minds in a thick depression if we let them.

The Mayan calendar, say. Sometime next December, the ancient Mayan calendar ends and with it, some disturbed thinkers claim, the world. So what will do it? What will make the world crumble and the pieces drift into the universe? Maybe some of the actions we might take along the way.

For instance, we might elect Newt Gingrich as President. This would make our military grow and perhaps bring us into a new and destructive war while wiping out all the aspects of government that deal with education, poverty and civilian participation. Then again, we might elect Ron Paul who wants to turn off recognition of Israel, turn on recognition of Palestine and acknowledge, but not indicate any changes, in remarks stated in racist newsletters in the 90s. These factors would certainly end MY world, and I’m not sure that they wouldn’t lead to ongoing destruction across the planet. What fun.

Or we might continue to ignore Global Warming (like the majority of Tea Partiers) or air pollution, or ongoing poisoning of our water, or the Monsanto chemicalization of our food. Then we might all be gone and who cares what happens to the planet.

So let’s celebrate the coming of 2012 and begin the campaign to educate and change the world (even though both Paul and Gingrich would end the Department of Education) and do what we can before it’s too late. As to the Mayans, they didn’t stick around long enough to update their predictions… but, hey, that’s how it goes.

Have you noticed the increase in prescription medications advertised on TV?

As one who takes a large number of pills plus insulin shots every day, I have become extremely aware of the number of really serious prescription meds advertised on television. According to law, prescription meds have to reveal potential side effects in the ads (patent medicines don’t… although they may also have serious ones) and we are getting so used to hearing them that I think we have tuned out on what is being sold.

Thoughts of suicide, stroke, increased cholesterol, and even death are some of these announced side effects, but the drug companies drop them into the ads as if they are relatively unimportant.  Since I have lately been thinking about the effects on foods of Monsanto‘s chemicals, these meds (a couple of which I take myself on doctors’ orders) seem to join the chemical dominance of life in the U.S.

While I want to see a healthy nation, I am very worried that we use dangerous chemical compounds more and more often, seemingly as much as a commitment to corporations as they are to curing or maintaining control over diseases. In some cases they are used where non-medication solutions were effective in the past.

It’s time to investigate this further.

Continuing with food and poison problem…

Here is a rather long video with a French and Canadian co-creation, and it deals with how Monsanto markets their chemical products to farms, etc. Take a look:

UPDATE:

After watching “The World According to Monsanto,” I saw significant proof of the company’s lies, ethical violations, manipulation, bullying and significant health destruction world wide. I hope you take the hour and 3/4 it takes to watch this and then get back to me to discuss what we can do to protect ourselves, our children and out food.

If we don’t act now, it becomes harder and harder to turn the hazard of RoundUp Ready Crops around; to eliminate bovine hormones in our milk, cheese, ice cream; to prevent Monsanto from taking control of the world’s food supply.

In the last couple of days there have been protests in Washington DC against Monsanto. Their grasp on the balls of our politicians and the amount of money they spend on controlling the FDA and the EPA is outrageous.

Some suggestions:

1. Let local restaurants, school cafeterias and grocery stores know that the community is not happy to have GMO contaminated foods in their establishments…

2. Start community gardens and Food Coops to bring untainted foods to our homes…

3. Make sure all our local politicians and state and federal representatives know how we feel (get them to look at the videos we’ve put up over the last couple of days)…

4. Demand that American food be labeled like European food to know when GMOs are present in what we buy.

- then =

5. Don’t buy them.

 

Here’s a PR that went out on World Food Day… Keep this stuff going around:

 

Good luck… we’ll need it.

Last night at the Sustainable Shepherdstown Local Food meeting we discussed food safety, among other things.

We played the Ted Conference piece by Robyn O’Brien on poisoning in food. It led me to research more about Monsanto and the chemical poisoning all our food which they are carrying out through government manipulation and media control.

Take a look at this:

And look at this one:

Now what are you going to do about it?

I’d like to hear from you. (By the way, we’re screwed.)

Suppose you were killing weeds in your garden and producing birth defects, too.

Monsanto‘s Roundup, which has been associated with deformities in a host of laboratory animals, may have a similar impact on humans.. One laboratory study done in France in 2005 found that Roundup and glyphosate caused the death of human placental cells and abnormal embryonic cells. Another study, conducted in 2009, found that Roundup caused total cell death in human umbilical, embryonic and placental cells within 24 hours. Yet researchers have conducted few follow-up studies.

“Obviously there’s a limit to what’s appropriate in terms of testing poison on humans, but if you look at the line of converging evidence, it points to a serious problem. And if you look at the animal feeding studies with genetically modified Roundup ready crops, there’s a consistent theme of reproductive disorders, which we don’t know the cause for because follow-up studies have not been done.

“More independent research is needed to evaluate the toxicity of Roundup and glyphosate and the evidence that has already accumulated is sufficient to raise a red flag.”

- Jeffrey Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology

We have been critical of Monsanto for soft-peddling Roundup, as have members of the scientific community. In 1996 New York State’s Attorney General sued Monsanto for describing Roundup as “environmentally friendly” and “safe as table salt” (although I don’t think anyone from Monsanto would sprinkle Roundup on their spaghetti.) Monsanto, while not admitting any wrongdoing, agreed to stop using the terms for promotional purposes and paid New York state $250,000 to settle the suit.

Roundup Ready seeds are now proliferating 80 % or more of the seed market (if you don’t believe me try purchasing a heritage corn seed at any major supplier like Home Depot or Lowe’s. While they are occasionally there, most products are Monsanto GMO seeds that are Roundup Ready.) Driving by fields and fields of weed-free Roundup Ready corn yesterday, I rolled up my car windows so as not to breathe in any of this crap.

If you want to track the GPA‘s review of glyphosphate, go HERE. BTW, this is the same EPA that the Republicans want to have defunded. I wonder who is getting most of the contributions from Monsanto?

Educate yourself – learn about Monsanto, GMO foods and industry lobbying…

Most Americans go rambling through their grocery stores with no concept of what they are buying as it relates to the poison Monsanto and other chemical companies has spread through our fruits, vegetables and even meats. If YOU are unaware of this situation, then watch the video that follows…

Now look at the Top 10 Facts about Monsanto from the Organic Consumers Association:

  1. No GMO Labeling Laws in the USA!
  2. Lack of Adequate FDA / USDA Safety Testing
  3. Monsanto Puts Small Farmers out of Business
    Farmer Suicides After GMO Crop Failures
  4. Monsanto Products Pollute the Developing World
    500,000 Agent Orange Babies
  5. Monsanto Blocking Government Regulations
  6. Monsanto Guilty of False Advertising & Scientific FRAUD
  7. Consumers Reject Bovine Growth Hormone rBGH in Milk
  8. GMO Crops Do NOT Increase Yields
  9. Monsanto Controls U.S. Soy Market
  10. Monsanto’s GMO Foods Cause NEW Food Allergies

In 2009 a documentary was aired on French television (ARTE – French-German cultural tv channel) by French journalist and film maker Marie-Monique Robin, The World According to Monsanto – A documentary that you won’t see on American television. . . but you can see it HERE.

Got the picture? Now figure out what you are going to do about this. Start by educating others.

If You buy ROUND UP you are helping to build Monsanto’s income while destroying our agriculture.

I’m going to print an article in the morning’s HuffPo intact. I suggest you read it AND go to all the links involved AND to most of their links. What you will discover is that there is a worldwide problem, both in providing us with increased birth defects and dreadful diseases as about ten major chemical companies, with Monsanto in the lead, spreads its poison around the world.

—–

 

Roundup Birth Defects: Regulators Knew World’s Best-Selling Herbicide Causes Problems, New Report Finds

by Lucia Graves at HuffPo

WASHINGTON — Industry regulators have known for years that Roundup, the world’s best-selling herbicide produced by U.S. company Monsanto, causes birth defects, according to a new report released Tuesday.

The report, “Roundup and birth defects: Is the public being kept in the dark?” found regulators knew as long ago as 1980 that glyphosate, the chemical on which Roundup is based, can cause birth defects in laboratory animals.

But despite such warnings, and although the European Commission has known that glyphosate causes malformations since at least 2002, the information was not made public.

Instead regulators misled the public about glyphosate’s safety, according to the report, and as recently as last year, the German Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety, the German government body dealing with the glyphosate review, told the European Commission that there was no evidence glyphosate causes birth defects.

The report comes months after researchers found that genetically-modified crops used in conjunction Roundup contain a pathogen that may cause animal miscarriages. After observing the newly discovered organism back in February, Don Huber, a emeritus professor at Purdue University, wrote an open letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack requesting a moratorium on deregulating crops genetically altered to be immune to Roundup, which are commonly called Roundup Ready crops.

In the letter, Huber also commented on the herbicide itself, saying: “It is well-documented that glyphosate promotes soil pathogens and is already implicated with the increase of more than 40 plant diseases; it dismantles plant defenses by chelating vital nutrients; and it reduces the bioavailability of nutrients in feed, which in turn can cause animal disorders.”

Although glyphosate was originally due to be reviewed in 2012, the Commission decided late last year not to bring the review forward, instead delaying it until 2015. The chemical will not be reviewed under more stringent, up-to-date standards until 2030.

One of the things you will discover as you tour the links (and their links) are facts like Monsanto’s GMO corn seed (which accounts for 83% of our corn crop) is registered by the EPA as an “insecticide” due to chemical contents built into the seed. I don’t know if I have ever thought of a vegetable or grain as an “insecticide”— certainly a good reason for growing organic.

In another article in HuffPo a month ago there was this finding:

“Recent research claims that Monsanto’s Roundup Ready genetically modified crops contain an organism, previously unknown to science, that can cause miscarriages in farm animals.”

It doesn’t look like any research was followed by the previous findings into whether this caused similar miscarriages in humans. As the Washington Post commented on Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready Seeds (RRS) that are spreading throughout our Nation’s agriculture:

 

“You can’t recall them the way you can a car or a plastic toy. They’re out there for good. And no one knows what their full impact will be.”

Will have more to come on this topic… meanwhile, I’m getting back to the all-organic Shepherdstown Community Garden (where we are finding that it is quite a hard task to avoid the chemical subjugation of growing things.)

What do you know about Food Disparagement Laws?

Until last night, I knew nothing about them… but as I attended the F.A.R.M. program (Food Art Revolution Media) last night it was one of the topics that Melinda and Dan Hemmelgarn discussed last night.

These laws currently exist in 13 states and do things like banning photographers from taking pictures of food processing plants, or writing articles protesting farms that spray their crops with Monsanto poisons, or just discussing in the public press (and no doubt in blogs like this one) the disadvantages of non-organic farming.

The food disparagement movement has major corporate support (Monsanto, Dow, Buckeye Eggs and others) and haul people into court with their heavy economic advantage if the smallest criticism is raised. This has been going on since the 1990’s (a lot of it came out because of films like “Food, Inc.” or the works of Michael Moore.)

Senator Patrick Leahy (D – Vermont) made this statement in the late ’90s concerning this situation:

Some states permit lawsuits against those who question the safety of our food supply. It is my view that under the First Amendment, Americans possess the right

Official photo of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Sen Patrick Leahy (D - Vermont)

to raise safety and health concerns about the foods we eat, such as the levels of mercury in our fish or the levels of pesticides in imported foods. State laws that permit lawsuits against those who question the safety of foods can have a chilling effect on public health discourse. That is not the American way –healthy debate on issues of public concern is how this country does business.

The FoodSpeak Coalition highlights the chilling effect that these laws have on the exercise of free speech. Defamation laws should not intimidate citizens and the press who want to speak out about food safety.

Americans in all states must be allowed to openly debate issues of public health.

Here, here!

I spoke with a woman at the meeting last night whose 5-year work on a book concerning the dangers of chemical spraying on US Agriculture has been filed away indefinitely because she is afraid of lawsuit under food disparagement laws… and West Virginia doesn’t even have such laws. States like Iowa and Florida are affecting the entire country.

F.A.R.M. (Food Art Revolution Media)

Went to a very interesting lecture and panel discussion on the need to expand locally grown organic food and the battle against companies like Monsanto and Dow that are poisoning our food supply.

The speakers were Dan and Melinda Hemmelgarn out of Columbia, Missouri, and they combined the skills of photography and dietetics with a heavy dose of activism. They were co-presented by AHA and the Source. Although the audience was fairly small, the excitement of the discussion after the 7:00 PM presentation lasted until close to 10 PM.

Even after the panel there was still continued discussion over a variety of delicious goodies.

How to identify Genetically Modified foods at Whole Foods…

 Whole Foods Market admits it sells genetically modified foods:

“The reality is that no grocery store in the United States, no matter what size or type of business, can claim they are GE-free. … we are not going to mislead our customers with an inaccurate claim…”

Whole Foods Market
Internal Company Memo 1/30/2011

Activists with the Organic Consumers Association‘s Millions Against Monsanto campaign went to Whole Foods Market in San Francisco to try to identify which foods are genetically engineered, but couldn’t get any help from store employees.

Check Out This Video courtesy of the Organic Consumer Association:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvU2yH4IpBo

For more information, go to: http://www.millionsagainstmonsanto.org

(also posted at Panhandle Vegan)

March 26, 2011: Rally for the Right to Know!

I’m passing this on to you all out there because it is so important. I’ve written about chemical poisoning in our gardens and on our food for a couple of years now…and Elly and I discover as we go on and on that it is getting harder to be sure organic produce is actually organic. This thanks to Monsanto and the seeds that they distribute.

Anyway, if you can get to D.C. for this one, please do:

The national Millions Against Monsanto campaign staff is gearing up for a nationwide day of action on World Food Day, October 16, 2011, pledging to make it the biggest action on genetic engineering in US history.

In the meantime, to help raise awareness for the campaign, Millions Against Monsanto activist Trish Wright has sent out a call for a demonstration at the White House on March 26, 2011, and has urged other activists around the country to “Rally for the Right to Know” locally.


Learn More and Join in!

Speak out on Monsanto… Tell the President…

Roundup (herbicide)

Monsanto's Poison

Dear Friend,

Over the past 12 days, the Obama administration has recklessly and unnecessarily chosen to approve two biotech crops, Roundup Ready genetically modified (GMO) alfalfa and Roundup Ready genetically modified (GMO) sugar beets. While the planting of both these crops had been temporarily halted due to court decisions, Obama’s recent approval of them will allow them to be planted as early as this spring, despite widespread acknowledgment that these crops are certain to contaminate both conventional and organic farmers‘ non-GMO crops. Their approval only benefits one company — Monsanto.

These decisions are a devastating blow to our democracy and the basic rights of farmers to choose how they want to grow food on their land and the rights of consumers who increasingly choose organic and sustainably grown food for its positive health and environmental impacts.

Let them know that you care about organic integrity by following this link from Food Democracy Now!, then please pass this on. Please join me in telling President Obama that it’s time to stand up to Monsanto and reject these GMO crops today!

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/sign/obama_goes_rogue_on_gmos/?referring_akid=.271844.qz2xd8&source=taf

Every voice counts!


Thank you!

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