Posts Tagged ‘Anti-GMO’

Local Communities Dismantling Corporate Rule

Thanks, Zen!

“This is powerful and very heartening. Pass this on to those seeking to network with local communities and all concerned, a terrific two-part interview with very important information on how to exercise our authority. – Zen”

“Community Rights educator Paul Cienfuegos explains how “We The People” are exercising the authority to govern ourselves and dismantle corporate rule. When small farmers in rural Pennsylvania wanted to say “no” to a corporate factory farm coming into their community, they learned they couldn’t, because it would violate the corporation’s “rights” and state pre-emption laws. So they did something technically illegal – their town passed an innovative ordinance banning corporate factory farming. It worked! The corporation left town. Pittsburgh upshifted the approach: Rather than define what we don’t want, define what we DO want. Their “Right to Water” stopped natural gas fracking in the city. Ordinances like this have been passed in over 150 communities in 9 states. Tune in to learn how this works. Episode 258. [paulcienfuegos.com, celdf.org, YouTube channel “Community Rights TV” and communityrightspdx.org]

[Hat tip: Renee – tx!]”

Laura again: I found these videos just at the perfect time after trying to convince some local people to do this very thing — explicitly protecting our rights to organic farming and seeds, to save and grow heirloom/heritage seeds on both private property and in community gardens, our rights to collect water from our roofs, and food sovereignty for our community so that “responsible regionalism” cannot force us to comply with backdoor ways of outlawing heritage seeds like the EU has managed to do. We’ve got “sustainable development” barreling down our communities and being steered in the shadows by some very unsustainable and unethical corporations with tentacles in government and NGO’s. I would love the poetic justice of these Agenda 21 spin-off plans actually implementing protections for truly sustainable sovereignty. May it be so!

ANH ~ Monsanto “Goes Organic” and Wins “Sustainability Award” –Right!

Thanks for taking that 1984 Doublespeak just a bit too far! The following article has accomplished what months of my own warnings and alarm soundings have failed to do: convinced some locals that “sustainability” does not always mean what they assume it means. We need to peek “Behind the Green Mask,” and write our own definitions and protections, lest our “Sustainable City” and “Responsible Regionalism” usher in an entire fleet of Trojan Horses.

UPDATE: I’ve just learned that Monsanto is now an official backer of Agenda 21!

Monsanto “Goes Organic” and Wins “Sustainability Award” –Right!
ANH-USA.org

This isn’t a spoof. In addition to this story, we’ll provide you with a round-up of GMO-related news, including why your neighbor may shortly be planting GMO grass right next to you. Action Alerts!

We won’t spend time in this article reiterating past research on why genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are dangerous—you probably already know that they can randomly produce toxic effects; introduce alarming levels of chemicals into our ecosystems and diet; and have been shown to cause serious health problems—but there have been some recent developments in GMO politics, science, and regulation that we want to share with you.

Here are the news items we’ll cover:

Monsanto Wins Award for…“Sustainability”?
GMOs Aren’t Enough—Monsanto Wants to Monopolize Conventional and Organic Crops, Too. Action Alert!
Is Someone Growing Unregulated GMO Grass Right Next to You? Action Alert!
All Eyes on New Global Precedent for GMO Contamination
Industrial Herbicides Are Even More Toxic Than We Thought
Is Industry Persuading Scientists to Quash Chilling Scientific Findings?

Monsanto Wins Award for…“Sustainability”?

When most of us think of sustainability, we think of environmental practices that will allow current and future generations to enjoy nutritious, locally farmed foods, clean water, pure air, and a non-toxic, natural world. As the concept has developed, it’s also become applicable to other realms, including economics and healthcare. For example, ANH-USA advocates for sustainable healthcare—practices that allow you to naturally maintain your health and extend your lifespan.

To the EPA, sustainability “creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.”

Taking these definitions into account, it may surprise you to learn that last month, Monsanto—yes, the same Monsanto whose expensive seeds caused an estimated 125,000 Indian farmers to commit suicide —was recognized as one of 2014’s Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World.

Monsanto was ranked 37th on overall sustainability, 5th among American companies, and 5th globally in the materials industry by an organization called Corporate Knights (CK), a media and investment advisory company whose flagship magazine has one of the world’s largest circulations and is published quarterly as inserts in the Washington Post and the Globe and Mail (UK).

Ubiquitous as CK is, we find their criteria for “sustainability” —also called their “key performance indicators”—more than a little absurd:

Energy productivity
Carbon productivity
Water productivity
Waste productivity
Innovation capacity
Percent tax paid
CEO to Average Employee Pay
Pension fund status
Safety performance
Employee turnover
Leadership diversity
“Clean capitalism” pay link (rewards “companies that have set up mechanisms to link the remuneration of senior executives with the achievement of clean capitalism goals or targets”)

As one University of Toronto business ethics professor noted, “Only the first four actually have something to do with what most of us mean by ‘sustainability.’ The rest are…not relevant to the question of sustainable use of resources, or to the notion of sustainable economic growth that is compatible with environmental conservation.”

And even the first four have nothing to do with the environment, and everything to do with profits. After all, the award-givers define “energy productivity” as how much revenue companies can squeeze out of one unit of energy. The health of the environment literally has nothing to do with it.

For the countless natural health practitioners, organic farmers, consumers, and activists who unceasingly fight and sacrifice to “walk the walk” of sustainability, the bastardization of this important term is not a joke. It is offensive.

Perhaps “excellence in sustainability” is CK’s code for “excellence in propaganda.” As we’ve consistently reported, there is nothing sustainable about Monsanto and their GMO seeds.

For example, GMOs do not increase crop yields. A 2009 Union of Concerned Scientists report found that GMO soybeans do not produce increased yields, that GMO corn only marginally increases yields, and that no GMO crop has even been found to have intrinsic yield (meaning, yield in “real life,” and not laboratory, conditions).

We’re not quite sure who CK thinks they’re fooling, or what they get out of this nonsense. A more interesting question is why Monsanto is trying so hard to “greenwash” its image. Fonts inconsistent.

Meanwhile the Geneva-based Covalence group placed Monsanto dead last on a list of 581 global companies ranked by their reputation for ethics. For more on this, see chapter 11 of Crony Capitalism in America 2008–12, a book recently published by ANH-USA’s board president, Hunter Lewis.

GMOs Aren’t Enough—Monsanto Wants to Monopolize Conventional and Organic Crops, Too. Action Alert!

Since it purchased the company in 2008, Monsanto has been quietly cultivating its Seminis brand, as well as several other semi-anonymous brands, to breed and sell seeds that aren’t GMO.

To create these seeds, Monsanto and its minions are claiming to use nothing more than traditional crossbreeding (where plants with desirable qualities are laboriously “mated” until they yield progeny with the targeted traits). This process takes quite a bit of “time, land, and patience.”

Don’t be fooled: Monsanto isn’t using your grandparents’ crossbreeding. They’re engaging in a highly technical process that appears to takes place in a lab, not a field, and also appears to involve manipulation on the genetic level.

Worse yet, they don’t seem to want to make foods healthier. For example, Monsanto is attempting to breed fruits and vegetables that taste sweeter than their traditional counterparts. Read: they’re engineering a way to add more sugar than nature intended. The last thing that most people need is more sugar or fructose in their diet.

Is this a blatant attempt to win back the “hearts and minds” of consumers? According to one Monsanto official, “There isn’t a reputation silver bullet, but it helps.”

There is another important question to ask here: If Monsanto truly believes that GMOs are the future, why are they investing in conventional crops?

There’s no way to know for sure, but it’s possible that Monsanto doesn’t have faith in its own product: the company is already facing consumer pressure and emerging long-term health problems associated with GMOs.

For this reason, they could simply be hedging their bets. What if, in the future, the scientific consensus is that GMOs are harmful, or there’s a GMO-sparked environmental disaster, or the government decides to intervene? They may think they have to prepare for the possibility that GMOs may eventually fail. Seminis and its sister subsidies are Monsanto’s “insurance:” if GMOs crash and burn, they have a conventional cash cow to fall back on.

Action Alert! Please write to national grocery chains, and tell them you don’t want any Monsanto products—not “organic,” not conventional, and certainly not under any other name!

[Laura again: How interesting and yet not surprising that the Action Alert! page comes up but then I immediately get a Yahoo notification that the page cannot be found, refusing to allow connection to the page. You might need to speak directly to your grocery store and co-op buyers to let them know of the Monsanto deception with Seminis. I, personally, would not trust anything from these lying thugs, whether they slap an organic label on it or — perhaps more appropriately — a skull and cross bones. Actually, I would trust a poison label on anything Monsanto touches.]

Full ANH newsletter and Action Alerts here.

Ronnie Cummins ~ Did the Anti-GMO Movement Really Lose in Washington?

Thanks to Mitch for sending me the link to the excellent article copied below my initial comments. I appreciate the way Ronnie Cummins evaluates GMO labeling from a multi-tiered perspective that also recognizes these corporations’ attempts to circumvent all local and state labeling or banning laws. As I have mentioned many times before, I view GMO’s as one of the most pressing issues facing us today, with threats to health, to ecology, food security via genetic drift of inferior, corrupted genes … and with challenges to addressing these threats like: cognitive dissonance, Stockholm Syndrome, denial, public ignorance, and the outmatched funds, lobbyists and thug forces of evil corporations like Monsanto. With all that complexity, we need multiple, simultaneous strategies.

But we also need to be smart, because the corporate fascists would love to give certain factions of government an excuse to declare Martial Law. Executive orders and international treaties like Codex Alimentarius already exist so that in the event of Martial Law, the government could just take complete control of the food supply. Treaties like TPP and TTIP currently being negotiated in secret would claim even more power for the corporations designing them. Dropping millions and millions of college students or whoever in the streets protesting GMO’s isn’t necessarily the smartest fight.

Yes, some protests are great. But so is education. So are food demonstrations. So are lectures and articles by more scientists coming out against GMO’s. So is holding government “representatives” accountable and letting them know that we will kick their pandering butts out of office if they continue to play games with those they’re hired to serve. We can garden. We can vote with our money. We can support organizations who do fight for health rights — places like Organic Consumers Association or the Cornucopia Institute.

As Ronnie notes below, 30 states have labeling or ban initiatives in the works right now. The key is to fight this multi battle war with multiple strategies, in multiple locations in a guerrilla way — with whatever skills and resources we have at hand. Please note, by “guerrilla,” I do not mean violent. That would play right into the Military-Industrial Complex’s grabbing hands. By “guerrilla,” I mean creative and unexpected, coming from all sides at bizarre times and often. There are way more of us than there are people working for Dr. Evil. They have military might, money and blackmail. We have numbers, passion and creativity.

Let’s maximize how we work together to achieve our common goals of protecting humanity, health, food sovereignty, a diverse local food shed, the environment, the bees, and yes, all of life on Earth. We don’t need to attack others who recognize and want to take down the same enemy. Excessive friendly fire among co-activists isn’t going to magically dismember the GMO beast devouring our future. Find your own niche and take action. If someone’s fighting the same enemy in a different way, who cares? Get on with your own fight. Create your own positive, more effective alternative and become the freakin’ change you wish to see in the world. We can do this, but it will take focus. Contribute in the ways you can, and please, for the love of this planet and all things on it, remember your real goals.

Here’s Ronnie:

Did the Anti-GMO Movement Really Lose in Washington?

By Ronnie Cummins
Organic Consumers Association, November 13, 2013

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA’s Millions Against Monsanto page .

“But the ground we gained in Washington, in the form of votes, is nothing compared with the ground—in the form of soil and farms and fields—we plan to take back from Monsanto in the months and years ahead. Watch out, Monsanto. We have plans. And those plans include taking back our seeds, our food, our farms, our rights. Our health. We will keep gaining ground. Until we reclaim it for the people.” – “Gaining Ground,” Katherine Paul, Organic Consumers Association, Nov. 7, 2013

Twelve months after narrowly (51-49 percent) defeating our organic and natural health movement in an expensive ($55 million) and bitterly fought California ballot initiative to label genetically engineered foods, Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) are publicly bragging that they’ve beaten us again, 52-48 percent, in a similar ballot initiative—I-522—in Washington State.

But at what cost? Thanks to increased consumer awareness and resistance against GMOs (genetically modified organisms), the biotech and junk food lobbies were forced to spend twice as much money per capita in Washington State as they spent in California.

They stooped to laundering $12 million in funds from Big Food companies to hide their identities in the hope of avoiding another round of bad publicity. They had to launch the same scurrilous barrage of TV, radio and direct mail ads, falsely claiming that GMO food labels as prescribed by I-522 were “confusing” and “limited,” would significantly increase food costs, hurt family farmers, and benefit special interest groups.

Yes, at the end of the day, Monsanto and Big Food confused enough Washington voters to scrape out a narrow victory in a low-turnout, off-year election.

But just as in California, Big Food and Big Biotech privately acknowledged that I-522 was a hollow victory, another expensive, brand-damaging battle in a fruitless war against consumer choice, a war they will inevitably lose.

After spending $70 million in California and Washington, reaping tons of bad publicity in the process, large food corporations and biotech companies understand the enormous risk of fighting high-visibility battles defending a technology, genetically engineered food, that 40 percent of the population believes is unsafe, with another 40 percent remains unsure.

The biotech and junk food lobbies also understand that public concern and anger are very likely to increase in 2014, given that a new generation of evermore hazardous and outrageous Frankenfoods and crops, including GE salmon, apples and Agent Orange (2,4 D or dicamba-resistant) corn, are about to be approved by the Obama administration. This is why the GMA blatantly broke the law in Washington, trying to conceal $12 million in campaign donations from some of the world’s largest and most profitable junk food companies, including Coke, Pepsi, Nestlé, General Mills and Kellogg’s.

And this is why the food giants and biotech bullies—Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow, BASF, Syngenta, and Bayer—are now secretly lobbying the federal government to take away states’ rights to pass mandatory labels on GMO food.

As Monsanto and the GMA understand, their dirty money, dirty tricks campaign in Washington has backfired, stimulating another consumer backlash, galvanizing an even larger and more radical anti-GMO grassroots movement than before. For the next 12 months the proponents of “no labels” on GMO foods will be facing legislative battles on labeling in no less than 30 states, with Vermont likely to pass mandatory labeling in early 2014.

Some major food companies including Unilever and Mars, bruised by bad publicity and consumer boycotts, have broken ranks with the GMA and the biotech industry, arguing that GMO food labels are inevitable and must be accepted. Just as they’ve had to accept them in Europe and dozens of other countries.

At least 30 leading mass-market food corporations, constituting a full 10 percent of the GMA’s total membership, who contributed money to the “no labeling” effort in California, refused to make a donation against I-522 in Washington, fearing a backlash from consumers.

But what is perhaps most threatening to the national $800-billion food and factory farm industry is the fact that the organic and natural health movement appears to be growing not only more popular, but also more radical. A majority of today’s organic and local food activists, supported by the powerful natural health movement, are no longer just mobilizing to label or ban GMOs. They are also speaking out against industrial food and farming practices in general—pesticides, animal drugs, junk foods, antibiotics, growth promoters, climate disrupting nitrate fertilizer, and inhumane, polluting and disease-ridden factory farms. They are speaking out against the destructive practices of Big Pharma, which increasingly works hand-in-hand with Big Biotech and Big Food to supply the dangerous drugs, vaccines and growth promoters that make factory farming and genetic engineering profitable.

Millions of Americans are aware that chemical-and energy-intensive industrial food and farming as a whole, not just GMOs, pose a fundamental threat to public health, the environment and climate stability.

More and more critics and journalists are exposing the hazards and cruelty of factory-farmed meat, dairy and eggs, and the highly processed, chemical-laden junk food that constitute the bulk of America’s diet. Millions of health-conscious consumers now understand that for decades, non-organic processed foods have been diabolically engineered and laced with synthetic chemicals and additives designed to turn consumers and children into obese, cancer-and heart disease-prone junk food addicts.

Monsanto and Big Food’s greatest fear is materializing. A critical mass of educated consumers, food, and natural health activists are organizing a powerful Movement capable of overthrowing North America’s GMO and junk food Empire. And they’re doing it by zeroing in on the Achilles Heel of Food Inc.: misleading and outright fraudulent labeling and advertising.

Beyond California and Washington: How to Defeat the Biotech Bullies

Consumer polls indicate that the overwhelming majority of Americans want to know whether their food has been genetically engineered or not, and that they want these foods labeled. Not because of some abstract “right-to-know” motivation, which can be undermined, as we’ve seen in California and Washington by massive TV and radio advertising. But because consumers believe either that GMOs are dangerous, or that we don’t know enough about them to be sure that they aren’t dangerous.

We need to constantly remind Americans that their fear and uneasiness about giant chemical and seed companies tampering with their food is justified. We need labels on GMOs so that we consumers can defend ourselves, as well as animals and the environment, from these pesticide-drenched (Roundup resistant) or pesticide impregnated (Bt spliced) foods.

Unlike the ballot initiatives in California and Washington, where broad-based coalitions were only able to reach consensus on watered-down messages of “consumer right-to-know,” while sidestepping the more volatile issues of food safety and environmental destruction, we need to broadcast and repeat over and over again the justifiably alarming message of leading organic and natural health groups: We need to know if our foods are tainted with GMOs because there is mounting scientific evidence that genetically engineered foods are dangerous to human health, animals and the environment.

If anyone has any doubts about this mounting scientific evidence, you can point them to the respected website, www.EarthOpenSource.org, where scores of independent, peer-reviewed scientists sound the alarm. Or to this statement signed by 230 scientists and physicians.

We need labels on genetically engineered seeds, animal feed and human foods so that we can track the damage that they are already doing. We need labels on GE foods so that we can boycott them in the marketplace.

An example of how this more radical message is a winning strategy is the GMO labeling campaign in Vermont, where labeling advocates have not been afraid to point out that genetically engineered foods and crops are dangerous. The only reason the Vermont legislature has not dared to pass a law yet (this will likely change in a few months) is the repeated threat of Monsanto’s henchmen/women to sue the state in federal court if they dare to pass a law.

Polls indicate that another reason we narrowly lost in California and Washington was the “exemption issue.” The biotech industry incessantly broadcast its message, designed to confuse voters, that these GMO labeling laws would apply only to a limited number of foods, mainly processed foods, while ignoring others, including meat, eggs, dairy, restaurant and takeout foods. We need to take on this issue, head-on, not evade it. Millions of Americans want to know whether their food is genetically engineered or whether it comes from an inhumane, chemical-intensive, drug-intensive factory farm—whether they’re shopping in a grocery store or sitting down in a restaurant.

Our job, now and in the future will be to carry out public education, marketplace pressure and legislative campaigns designed to provide all of this information to consumers. In the future we will press for GMO or factory farm labels on all foods, whether they are purchased in a grocery stores, restaurants, or school cafeterias. Current federal law prevents citizens from passing individual laws or ballot initiatives on food labeling that are all-inclusive. So we will need to draft and push multiple pieces of legislation and/or ballot initiatives so that nothing of significance is exempted. We believe that once consumers know whether grocery store, restaurant and school food is genetically engineered or factory-farmed, they will, in increasing numbers, choose organic and non-GMO food for themselves and their families.

We may have narrowly lost the first preliminary battles to label GMO foods in California and Washington in 2012 and 2013. But as we step up our resistance and deliver a more radical and comprehensive message in 2014 we will win the war. But we must be prepared to fight, not only for the right to know whether the food we are eating is genetically engineered or factory-farmed, but for democracy and sustainability on all fronts. Without campaign finance reform, without breaking the stranglehold of large corporations and the wealthy over the media, the federal government and the judiciary, there can be no democracy. Without a balance of powers between the federal government, states and local home rule, there is no republic, but rather a Corporatocracy, an unholy alliance between indentured politicians and profit-at-any-cost corporations. Without changing our food system will we not be able to address the climate crisis, the most serious threat that human divination has ever faced. The battle for non-GMO, non-factory farmed food and farming is a battle we cannot afford to lose.

Ronnie Cummins is the international director of the Organic Consumers Association and its Mexico affiliate, Via Organica.

No Good Farms=No Good Food: Food Safety and the FDA

This important and time-sensitive post comes from the Cornucopia Institute via RMN. Yes, the tactic they request involves a little more effort than clicking on a petition, but I ask you to consider what will it take to motivate you to action? Is the imminent prospect of having the FDA and the psychopathic corporations underwriting our government completely destroy all small- and medium-sized organic farms enough to motivate you? If not, why not? (These are not rhetorical questions. I really, really want to know!)

This is your life. As Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men [and women and children] do nothing.” This affects us all, and it’s moving fast. Do you care enough to do something about it on multiple levels? In other words, do you care enough to send a physical letter, raise your voice, and encourage others to do the same? Magick, intention and meditation are all very powerful tools. I use them myself to good effect. But we’re talking about your physical access to physical, real food. Isn’t that worth this tiny physical step, or does the sand around your head feel so comfortable that you just can’t be bothered to move at all?

Please do some soul searching. Why are you here? What do you value in life? Do you ever eat? Do you value even just a tiny bit the freedom to decide what you do or do not permit inside your body? You live on Planet Earth. Is nothing sacred? Please, wake up.

On the surface this legislation seems like it has a lot to do with chickens, but even if you’re vegan, I still encourage you to take action. Non-action on your part means your unilateral endorsement for only miserable factory farms. It also opens the door for your organic veggie farmers to be regulated and red-taped out of existence, thereby default endorsing factory farms and pesticide-laden, herbicide coated, GMO animal-veggie hybrids. As a vegan, do you really vote for that? As a human, don’t you want the ability to choose something besides that?

The post I saw on RMN begins below:

http://www.cornucopia.org/food-safety/

In response to deadly outbreaks involving spinach, peanut products and eggs, Congress acted decisively three years ago to pass the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Giant factory farms and uninspected imports are, literally, poisoning US citizens. Better oversight is needed but it looks like regulators and corporate agribusiness are using the FSMA to simultaneously competitively crush the organic and local farming movements.

Unfortunately, the FDA’s draft regulations designed to implement the new law appear to ignore the will of Congress. Instead, the regulations would ensnare the country’s safest family farmers in burdensome regulations in a misdirected attempt to rein in abuses that are mostly emanating from industrial-scale factory farms and giant agribusiness food processing facilities.

SHORTAGES of FARM-DIRECT PRODUCE?
Small farms forced out of business?

We thought we had won a victory with the Tester Amendment adopted by Congress exempting farmers doing less than $500,000 in business from these new rules, but the FDA seems more interested in a “one-size-fits-all” food safety law.

In reality, these small farms are not really exempt. The FDA is proposing that the agency can, without any due process, almost immediately force small farms to comply with the same expensive testing and record-keeping requirements for factory farms. The added expense and record-keeping time will potentially force many small farms — those selling to local farmers markets, co-ops and restaurants — out of business instantly.

Just as important, for farms over $500,000 in volume (and there are plenty of excellent medium-sized organic farms in the $1-$3 million range or larger), some of the provisions will not only be economically damaging (some farmers might not survive this) but actually prohibit some basic practices in the Organic Food Production Act. Yet if all farms, conventional as well as organic, had to follow the organic regulations for manures/composts, we’d have safer produce.

Please download and sign the proxy and mail it back to protect our nation’s safest farmers. Cornucopia will hand-deliver the thousands of proxies collected to the FDA.

These new rules are just as much [from Laura, read: much more] about protecting industrial agriculture, and their giant factory farms, as they are about protecting human health. Consider:

The FDA has wildly inflated the number of foodborne illnesses that originate from farm production (seed to harvest) rather than contamination that takes place later, in processing/distribution — in justifying supposed economic benefits from the new rules.

The FDA fails to recognize that some processed crops, grown in certain regions, are the genesis of 90% of dangerous outbreaks! Thousands of individual illnesses come from food processing practices — not farming practices — for fresh-cut/bagged salads, greens, and sprouts. And there are no outbreaks linked to many kinds of U.S.-grown fruits and vegetables. Yet these very onerous rules will apply to all farmers. We need to target our tax money where it will do the most good: addressing high-risk areas and practices.

Almost all pathogenic pollution that contaminates ground and surface water, fertilizers and even the air comes from giant concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs (factory farms), not from fruit and vegetable growers. In fact, the riskiest pathogens are found on CAFOs. But the FDA proposes nothing to address sick livestock in animal factories and their pathogen-filled manure that’s contaminating surrounding rural communities, farms and our food supply.

The giant spinach E. coli contamination a few years ago was from an organism commonly found in feedlot cattle. And, according to FDA news releases, the recent Cyclospora outbreak, sickening customers eating bagged salad at Red Lobster and Olive Garden in multiple states, was initially traced back to the giant Taylor Farms’ Mexican operation — not U.S. family farms.

To guarantee the supply of local, fresh, safe and nutritionally superior food, we must focus food safety rules on the truly risky operations and practices – this is not what the FDA’s proposed rules do.

NO MORE ORGANIC EGGS?

Just like imported/factory farm produce might be dangerous and require regulatory oversight, the 2010 salmonella outbreak in eggs, centered in Iowa, shone a spotlight on industrial-scale egg houses confining tens of thousands of hens in filthy and dangerous conditions.

The salmonella outbreak led to this new egg guidance. Even though there is scientific evidence tying higher rates of pathogenic contamination to older, massive factory farms with cages and forced molting (practices banned in organics), the FDA is zeroing in on flocks with outdoor access (certified organic).

Their new guidance, on the one hand, will make it difficult, expensive and maybe even impossible to have medium-sized flocks of birds outside. At the same time, the FDA has colluded with the USDA’s National Organic Program to say that tiny “porches,” which hold only a minute fraction of the flock, will now legally constitute “outdoor access.”

This will not stand. We need to simultaneously protest overreaching government regulations and defend produce and egg farmers.

Cornucopia might very well be headed to court over the governmental abuses in violating the spirit and letter of the organic law in regards to confining organic livestock (poultry).

So we are asking for your help. And we are on a tight timeline. We need you to make your voice heard over the next couple of weeks by downloading, printing and signing the proxy letter. We will hand-deliver it directly to the FDA. We know this involves more hassle than signing an online petition, but a printed letter, together with thousands of others proxies literally carries more weight.

We have heard time and again that regulators and lawmakers, who have no problem blowing off online petitions, sit up and take notice when they receive hard-copy communications – especially when they’re hand-signed and hand-delivered!

If you have the time, please write “over” and add additional comments on the back of the proxy letter. If you are farming, briefly describe your operation and why this could be a threat to your livelihood. If you purchase food from a CSA, co-op, farmers market or local organic farm, please let the policymakers in Washington know why you have confidence in these high-quality farmers rather than in corporate agribusiness.

Additional talking points and background are available at: http://www.cornucopia.org/foodsafety

Join Cornucopia members, farmers and consumers in stepping up to help counter the power of agribusiness lobbyists in Washington.

I know you enjoy the bounty of nutritious, healthful food produced by our nation’s best farmers. Please help us defend and protect this alternative in the marketplace. It is worth fighting for.

Mark A. Kastel
Codirector and Senior Farm Policy Analyst

[Here’s the proxy letter. Again, I ask you: if the threat of imminently destroying all small- and medium-sized organic farms is not enough to get you to take action, then what is? Seriously. Please do some soul searching. Why are you here? What do you value in life? Do you ever eat? Do you value even just a tiny bit the freedom to decide what you do or do not permit inside your body? You live on Planet Earth. Is nothing sacred?]

RT Exposes Eugenics Agenda: Governments, Nestle, Monsanto …

A note here, too, that with permaculture regreening the deserts, plus the release of suppressed, renewable energy technology already in existence, there’s no overpopulation problem. The problem is the corporations pursuing a not-even-secret eugenics agenda to kill off everyone but themselves. Other solutions exist — solutions that repair the Earth, heal the soil, and heal the soul. The transnational corporations just aren’t interested in them. We can demand such things, though. We can create and demonstrate other available options. Perhaps then, the true psychosis running amok will be seen for what it really is: psychopathic tendencies that need treatment, not promotion.

Food Sovereignty Law Email Template

Please feel free to copy and modify this email for your federal, state and local representatives. I just sent it to everyone who represents me in Wisconsin, but I thought I’d share in case others want to make their voices heard, too. I believe anyone informed of this issue would want food sovereignty laws in their town and/or state; however, very few people, including those who represent us, have any idea how we feel. Here’s my letter, customized for WI:

Thank you for your service to the State of Wisconsin! I am writing to let you know that I support food sovereignty laws like those on the books in Marin County, California and Maine. Genetically Modified Foods (GM or GMO’s) present an increasing threat to our health, economy, freedom and safety. Monsanto uses intimidation, bullying and monopolizing tactics similar to the mafia. Do we really want them providing GM seeds that will then contaminate organic crops and allow Monsanto to sue WI family farmers for “patent infringement,” while simultaneously ruining their livelihood?

I am also concerned about the likelihood of a major famine, if we continue to allow monocrops and things like Roundup, which has been shown as a factor in the declining honey bee population. Without bees, natural pollination will be crippled. Roundup (a weedkiller) has also been found in trace amounts in commercially sold compost, with the effect of people’s gardens dying via “fertilizing agents.”

Monocrops present another threat, as they are prone to infestation or crop failure due to weather or other conditions. Having just one strain of any given food makes it more likely to have something destroy the delicate conditions necessary for growth. With everything else going on in the world right now, including rising food prices, do we really want to worry about monocrop failures, too?

On top of this, recent studies about GM foods show that some cause infertility and obesity. The DNA modifications used to make these “Frankenfoods” do not stop modifying once they leave the laboratory, yet federal law does not require labeling of GM foods. The idea is that consumers might avoid them if they knew things were genetically modified. I say, give consumers a choice! I also say, please keep Monsanto out of Wisconsin. Please support food sovereignty laws that allow your constituents to choose organic, healthy foods instead of laboratory created, DNA-altering, obesity producing pseudofoods that will ultimately cost WI citizens more money for health care, as well as put them at greater risk for famine.

In addition, WI is a key state for organic dairy, and the introduction of GM alfalfa here would contaminate organic alfalfa plants, thereby ruining organic dairy. (You are what you eat. If organic cows start eating GM’d alfalfa, they will soon become GM cows. Where does it stop?) The so-called Food Safety Law S510 does not protect consumers. Instead it gives the FDA rights to intimidate and attack natural health stores, small farmers, sellers of raw dairy (a known healing food), and anyone not in the pockets of the big pharmaceutical companies and other lobbyists.

Today’s population has become increasingly educated about natural remedies and higher quality food choices. Please allow your constituency to make educated choices, rather than selling us out to some company’s agenda. I also would request you to fight against the implementation of a special food tax that pays for the Food Safety Law S510. A better, more sustainable, consumer-friendly solution would be to repeal the law or make it invalid within the state of WI. Please support our freedom to choose what we put into our bodies.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Laura Bruno

[here’s another link with some very damning scientific evidence regarding Monsanto. Feel free to send it to your rep’s and/or work statistics into your own correspondence and articles.]