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.
Unless 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.
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.
- Monsanto rider: New bill could make biotech companies immune to courts (rt.com)
- The ‘Monsanto Rider’: Are Biotech Companies About to Gain Immunity from Federal Law? (blacklistednews.com)
- Monsanto rider: New bill could make biotech companies immune to courts – RT (2012indyinfo.com)
- Monsanto rider: New bill could make biotech companies immune to courts (EndtheLie.com)
I received this e-mail today from Josh Fox at Gasland. I hope you will read it and follow his suggestions.:
I want to call your attention to some critical news and ask you to quickly take action:
FIRST: USDA GATE!!!
BREAKING NEWS: USDA Reverses Itself and Exempts Rural Properties with Gas Drilling Leases from NEPA
ACTION: Call President Obama and tell him:
“Please do not allow the USDA to exempt housing loans from a full NEPA review.”
White House Phone numbers: 202-456-1111 and 202-456-1414
Here’s the background and the reasons why you should call:
In a move that has angered hydrofracking opponents, the USDA did an about-face and reneged on earlier statements that its popular rural housing loans on properties with gas drilling leases would have to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and today authorized an Administrative Notice stating that rural housing loans would be excluded from NEPA. On Monday, The New York Times had reported the USDA was planning on issuing an Administrative Notice to the opposite effect, telling staff that loans on properties with gas leases must undergo a full environmental review as required by NEPA before mortgage loans are made or guaranteed by the agency.
“The proposal by the Agriculture Department, which has signaled its intention in e-mails to Congress and landowners, reflects a growing concern that lending to owners of properties with drilling leases might violate the National Environmental Policy Act, known as NEPA, which requires environmental reviews before federal money is spent,” the Times wrote. The article quoted the program director for rural loans in the Agriculture Department’s New York office saying that, “We will no longer be financing homes with gas leases.” “Approval of such leases would allow for a number of potential impacts to possibly occur which would need to be analyzed in a NEPA document that would be reviewed by the public for sufficiency,” another USDA official was quoted as saying.
See the full New York Times article HERE.
But in an email statement yesterday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reversed those positions and said, “USDA will not make any policy changes related to rural housing loans…The information provided to Congressional offices on March 8, 2012 was premature and does not reflect past, current or future practices of the department. Tomorrow, I will authorize an Administrative Notice reaffirming that rural housing loans are categorically excluded under the National Environmental Policy Act.”
Friends, this is a very important development and one that we need to speak up about. A full NEPA review, like the type the agency was talking about affirming, would have been more transparent, more rigorous and comprehensive. USDA staff experts in the NY office as well as in DC made clear in emails that the law and the science require that mortgages with drilling leases shouldn’t be exempt from NEPA. This 180-degress turn by Secretary Vilsack contradicts both science and law.
Excluding NEPA review of fracking’s environmental impacts is a significant move. It means that environmental review of rural housing loans would be limited to the EPA‘s far less comprehensive national study of fracking, which is focused exclusively on drinking water and does not admit public comment. Doing a NEPA analysis would have ensured that federal agencies issuing loans are complying with the law. In fact, officials expressed concern the agency would be vulnerable to lawsuits if they didn’t conduct the NEPA reviews thoroughly enough. But exempting rural housing loans from NEPA means that gas drilling leases will also be exempt from legal recourse and other basic public interest protections the law was meant to provide. It also means that when property values drop precipitously due to contamination from gas drilling, sometimes to as low as 10% of their original value as we’ve seen in Pennsylvania, the American Taxpayer is going to be left holding the bag.
Not only is this is unlawful, it’s just not right.
Call President Obama and tell him:
“Please do not allow the USDA to exempt housing loans from a full NEPA review.”
White House Phone numbers: 202-456-1111 and 202-456-1414
SECOND: EPA VINDICATES DIMOCK FAMILIES!!!
BREAKING NEWS: EPA confirms Dimock water is unsafe. The Gasland team and I provided Pro-Publica with the unreleased water tests. The families in Dimock, PA have high to explosive levels of methane as well as chemicals known to cause cancer and heavy metals that exceed the agency’s “trigger level” in their water wells. The families have been vindicated. Science triumphs over spin.
Please read the full Pro-Publica story HERE.
Thanks for taking action and being a part of a profound movement to stop fracking!
The USDA seems to be in the pocket of the gas companies. It should be the representative organization of the American rural citizenship.
As Josh says: “Science triumphs over spin.”
Here it goes again… My cousin turned me on to this piece:
“Pink slime” burger? McDonald’s and Taco Bell have banned it, but now the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is buying 7 million pounds of beef containing ammonium hydroxide-treated ground connective tissue and meat scraps and serving it up to America’s school kids. If you thought cafeteria food was gross before….
According to TheDaily.com, the term “pink slime” was coined by microbiologist Gerald Zirnstein, formerly of the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service. He first saw it being mixed into burger meat when he was touring a Beef Products Inc (BPI) facility in 2002 after an outbreak of salmonella. “Scientists in D.C. were pressured to approve this stuff with minimal safety approval,” Zirnstein told The Daily.
“Pink slime,” which is officially called “Lean Beef Trimmings,” is banned for human consumption in the United Kingdom. It is commonly used in dog and chicken food. Celebrity chef and safe food advocate Jamie Oliver featured the substance and called for its ban on the April 12, 2011 episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, which may have influenced McDonald’s to stop using beef patties containing the filler.
Reportedly, Zirnstein and his colleague Carl Custer studied the substance and classified it as a “high risk product.” Custer, who worked at the Food Safety Inspection service for 35 years, says, “We looked at the product and we objected to it because it used connective tissues instead of muscle. It was simply not nutritionally equivalent [to ground beef]. My main objection was that it was not meat.”
Another issue is the ammonium hydroxide, a chemical that is used to kill pathogens such as E. coli. The FDA considers it safe for human consumption but a 2009 expose by the New York Times questioned its safety and efficacy. Some food advocates are asking for meat containing “pink slime” to be labeled. It’s used in about 70% of ground beef in the US. “We don’t know which districts are receiving what meat, and this meat isn’t labeled to show pink slime. They don’t have to under federal law,” Bettina Siegal, a writer and mother of two who created TheLunchTray.com told NBC. Siegel has started a petition to demand the USDA stop using the product in the National School Lunch Program.
Right now, Dow‘s Agent Orange corn is being rubberstamped through the approval process at USDA. It has not been adequately tested for our health or safety, and it should not be approved. We have until February 27 to tell the USDA to reject Agent Orange corn. Tell the USDA not to approve this crop!
This means that farmers have to apply stronger chemicals to kill the weeds, and the newest version of this is 2,4-D, a major component of Agent Orange. This is the same horrific chemical that destroyed wide swaths of jungle and killed hundreds of thousands of people during the Vietnam War.
If the USDA approves Dow’s Agent Orange corn, more dangerous chemicals will definitely be used on our crops, we’ll see new resistant weeds and people may get sick. Urge the USDA to reject Agent Orange corn!
Tell USDA — don’t approve Agent Orange corn:
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-spectrum “herbicide” 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.
- Round-Up Ready. (learningfromdogs.com)
- Toxic botulism in animals linked to RoundUp (foodfreedom.wordpress.com)
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…
- No GMO Labeling Laws in the USA!
- Lack of Adequate FDA / USDA Safety Testing
- Monsanto Puts Small Farmers out of Business
Farmer Suicides After GMO Crop Failures
- Monsanto Products Pollute the Developing World
500,000 Agent Orange Babies
- Monsanto Blocking Government Regulations
- Monsanto Guilty of False Advertising & Scientific FRAUD
- Consumers Reject Bovine Growth Hormone rBGH in Milk
- GMO Crops Do NOT Increase Yields
- Monsanto Controls U.S. Soy Market
- 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.
- Should We Label GMO Foods? (tipggita32.wordpress.com)
- Organic food under threat from Monsanto (rogerblobaum.com)
- If You buy ROUND UP you are helping to build Monsanto’s income while destroying our agriculture. (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- Alert: Monsanto’s Chemicals in bloodstream, plus free (download) Non-GMO Shopping Guide! (phblog.wordpress.com)
- Monstanto Buys Influence In Universities (misbehavedwoman.wordpress.com)
- Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s Sell GMO Foods – With No GMO Label (unaskedadvice.wordpress.com)
- (VIDEO) – Must-Watch Documentaries (bluehoney.org)
- Monsanto in the news again! (greenflbroker.com)
- Don Huber Explains Science Behind New Organism and Threat from Monsanto’s Roundup, GMOs to Disease and Infertility (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- The World According to Monsanto (zahirah.com)
- Monsanto Will Soon Be Allowed To Police Itself (fastcompany.com)
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!
Every voice counts!
- Keep GMOs Out of ‘Organic’! (zoecarnate.wordpress.com)
- Call President Obama: Stop Monsanto’s GMO alfalfa (ynative77.wordpress.com)
- “Say NO – and tell Obama to say NO – to Monsanto’s GMO Alfalfa! (2 items)â€” and related posts (markcrispinmiller.com)
- Yet another blow to organics: USDA approves Monsanto’s GMO sugar beets (eatdrinkbetter.com)
- USDA Deregulates GMO Sugar Beets, Farmers and Biotech Finds Common Ground in … – New West (news.google.com)
- Monsanto GM Sugar Beets (and Alfalfa) Approval: Why This is Bad News (eatdrinkbetter.com)
- Politics Dominate the FDA and USDA Putting Consumer Interests Aside – More … – Blogger News Network (blog) (news.google.com)
- USDA ‘partially deregulates’ GM sugar beets, defying court order (grist.org)