Jun 292015
 
Why is Monsanto a government agent?  We have campaigns to end bullying.  Stop Monsanto Bullying! The US is blackmailing Salvador, or trying to. Salvador just had an election June first, and the leaders who fought the oligarchy won.  These were the leaders of the campesinos. Those who defended the campesinos from the military repression, the FMLN, were now in power through a fair election. The appropriate action would be for the U.S. to apologize for funding the repression and to offer to pay reparations. A high level delegation should have been sent to recognize the new Salvadoran leadership, who embody the hopes and the dreams and the sacrifices of the poor. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to be on the side of justice and human rights? But rather than send a high level delegate, rather than offer reparations, rather than extend our hand in friendship to the new Salvadoran administration, the United States is actually trying to bully the Salvadorans. The U.S. is trying to force El Salvador to use Monsanto’s GMO seedsrather than their own indigenous seeds or risk losing nearly $300 million in aid. Read Full article     Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleTumblrPinterestReddit (more…)
May 302013
 
By Katherine Paul Organic Consumers Association, May 30, 2013 For related articles and more information, please visit OCA’s Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page. On the eve (May 24, 2013) of a worldwide protest  against Monsanto, 71 U.S. senators (listed below) voted against an amendment to the Senate version of the 2013 Farm Bill  that would have guaranteed states the right to enact mandatory GMO (genetically modified organism) labeling laws. Seventy-one Senators voted against you, the 90 percent of consumers who have said  that you want labels on foods containing genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. Seventy-one Senators – including 28 so-called liberal Democrats and 43 Republican so-called defenders of states’ rights – voted against your state’s Constitutional Tenth Amendment right to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens and local businesses. We know who those Senators are. And we plan to make certain that everyone who cares about food safety and food sovereignty knows who they are, too. We’ll make sure that every consumer, citizen, voter knows that last year Monsanto donated almost $6 million , more than any other company, to the agriculture lobby. And that almost $1 million of that money went directly to political candidates, including some of the 71 Senators who voted against states’ rights to label GMOs. And we will make sure that every one of those Senators knows that if they support any amendment or rider to the Farm Bill that would preempt state labeling laws, that if they fight labeling laws in any of their home states, we’ll support efforts to recall them where possible, or oppose them if recall isn’t an option. The Sanders Amendment: What and Why The Sanders amendment (S.AMDT.965) was introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt). Co-sponsored by Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), the amendment was intended to definitively establish that states have the right to require labeling of GE ingredients. In fact, states already have the right to enact mandatory GMO labeling laws, just as they’ve passed nearly 200 other state laws governing food safety and agriculture. State GMO labeling, and other food safety and food labeling laws, are guaranteed under the Constitution. Federal law, upheld for decades by federal court legal decisions, allows states to pass laws relating food safety or food labels when the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has no prior regulations or prohibitions in place. There is currently no federal law or FDA (more…)
Mar 202013
 
from the nothing-to-fear? dept One of the initiatives gaining momentum around the world is open data — the idea that, for example, non-personal data affecting the public should be made freely available. That’s partly to improve transparency, so that citizens are more informed about what is happening, and partly to stimulate new kinds of business that build products and services based on that data. An important category of open data that boosts transparency concerns basic drug safety information. Last month, Techdirt wrote about the AllTrials initiative that seeks to have key information about clinical trials placed in the public domain. As part of a wider move towards greater openness, the European Medicines Agency, the main body that licenses drugs in Europe, is starting to make available information that has hitherto been withheld. Although doctors and patients are rejoicing at this greater transparency, not everyone is pleased by the move. AbbVie, the pharma company spun out of the Abbott Laboratories at the beginning of this year, for example, is taking legal action to stop it: AbbVie, a pharmaceutical company has sought an injunction to block Europe’s medicines regulator from releasing “confidential” and “commercially-sensitive” information on its blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug, a spokeswoman for the U.S. drugmaker confirmed on Sunday. The Chicago-based company had taken legal action against the European Medicines Agency to stop it from releasing data on the effects in individual patients in clinical trials for its drug Humira, the Financial Times reported earlier on Sunday. Except, of course, this isn’t “confidential” and “commercially-sensitive” information: it’s just basic data about its safety and efficacy. Doctors and patients surely have a right to know this before using products that could potentially have serious, even fatal, side-effects.Another EU body, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), is also opening up: The project is part of EFSA’s continuing commitment to openness and addresses recommendations made by an independent evaluation report of the Authority’s performance to further enhance transparency in its decision-making processes. EFSA’s Science Strategy also highlights the importance of the Authority playing a leading role in making relevant scientific data more accessible to all interested parties. Here’s one particular set of data that it has now released: Given the level of public interest, EFSA will make all data on genetically modified (GM) maize NK603 publicly available on its website today (14 January). Once more, that seems reasonable, since the public ought to be able to find about what is going into (more…)
Jul 122011
 
Tuesday 12 July 2011 by: Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report Joel Mbithi (left), farm manager of the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute’s Kiboko Research Station, and Yoseph Beyene, CIMMYT maize breeder, discuss experimental plots. They are developing drought tolerant top-cross hybrids as part of the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project. This is run by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) in partnership with Monsanto and CIMMYT, which supplies germplasm and expertise. (Photo: Anne Wangalachi/CIMMYT. [3]) “The World According to Monsanto,” a groundbreaking documentary on this insidious company’s massive influence, was a recent Truthout Progressive Pick of the Week. Get the DVD by making a donation of $30 or more to Truthout! [4] Skimming the Agricultural Development section of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation web site [5] is a feel-good experience: African farmers smile in a bright slide show of images amid descriptions of the foundation’s fight against poverty and hunger. But biosafety activists in South Africa are calling a program funded by the Gates Foundation a “Trojan horse” to open the door for private agribusiness and genetically engineered (GE) seeds, including a drought-resistant corn that Monsanto hopes to have approved in the United States and abroad. The Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) program [6]  was launched in 2008 with a $47 million grant from mega-rich philanthropists Warrant Buffet [7] and Bill Gates. The program is supposed to help farmers in several African countries increase their yields with drought- and heat-tolerant corn varieties, but a report released last month by the African Centre for Biosafety [8] claims WEMA is threatening Africa’s food sovereignty and opening new markets for agribusiness giants like Monsanto. The Gates Foundation claims that biotechnology, GE crops and Western agricultural methods are needed to feed the world’s growing population and programs like WEMA will help end poverty and hunger in the developing world. Critics say the foundation is using its billions to shape the global food agenda and the motivations behind WEMA were recently called into question when activists discovered [9] the Gates foundation had spent $27.6 million on 500,000 shares of Monsanto stock between April and June 2010. Water shortages in parts of Africa and beyond have created a market for “climate ready” crops worth an estimated $2.7 billion. Leading biotech companies like Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer and Dow are currently racing to develop crops that will grow in drought conditions caused by climate change, and by participating in the WEMA program, Monsanto is gaining (more…)
Jun 222011
 
Published on Truthout (http://www.truth-out.org) Thursday 9 June 2011 by: Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report (Image: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t [3]; Adapted: Carl Mueller / Flickr [4]) Keith Starvrum stands on the banks of Willapa Bay, where the low tide has revealed long lines of mudflats speckled with empty oyster shells. The sun is making a rare appearance in southwestern Washington State, but the perfect spring weather fails to cheer up the lumbering Starvrum, whose loud outbursts and biting sarcasm keep his employees’ eyes rolling. He served overseas as a special ops soldier in his youth and he has some interesting things to say about the recent uprisings in Arab countries and the CIA’s dirty habit of quietly “rearranging” governments amid apparent political turmoil. But he has a lot more to say about oysters. Starvrum points to a lone oysterman gathering the day’s catch from neighboring mudflats and shakes his head. Starvrum used to harvest oysters from the thick mud exposed by the low tide, but he has not brought in a catch in three years. He refuses to participate in the lucrative business, a traditional mainstay of the local economy, because the pesticides sprayed on adjacent mudflats drifted onto his oyster beds. “That’s why we don’t sell our oysters, ’cause we know what they’re in,” Starvrum says. “But when we do, they will be 100 times better.” Other oystermen have used pesticides to kill pests for generations, but Starvrum did it differently. He harvested oysters by hand, without using chemicals, and hauled them right from the bay to the kitchen of a small hotel on the same property. The rest were shipped to natural foods restaurants. Starvrum says his oyster farm was “as organic as you can be in Willapa Bay.” The pesticides that finally drove Starvrum to cancel his oyster harvests were not sprayed by his fellow oystermen, however. State agencies sprayed the chemicals to combat a saltwater marsh grass “infestation.” Like industrial gardeners weeding a giant brackish plot, government workers came in boats and helicopters, slowly spraying thousands of gallons of herbicides into the bay’s shallow waters. Some call this grass spartina alterniflora and others call it cord grass. Fritzi Cohen just calls it “spartina.” Cohen runs the Moby Dick Hotel and Oyster Farm with Starvrum, and she loves spartina. Cohen says she used the grass to make homemade paper and compost for her garden. (more…)
Jun 052011
 
http://www.organicconsumers.org/bytes/ob279.htm World Food Day is October 16, 2011. That means there are only 4 months left to get 1,000,000 people to sign our petition to label GMO foods and organize 435 Millions Against Monsanto demonstrations nationwide. Download the petition Getting everyone you meet to join the Millions Against Monsanto campaign should be easy – upwards of 90% of the public already agrees that foods made with genetically modified organisms should be labeled – but if you need some ammunition and inspiration to inspire you to spread the word, look no further than these 10 scary reasons to label GMOs: #1 Monsanto’s Bt-toxin, in its Bt-producing GMO corn and cotton (used in food in the form of cottonseed oil), was found by Canadian doctors in the blood of 93% of pregnant women and 80% of the umbilical blood of their babies. #2 The authors of the Canadian study conclude that the women and their babies were exposed to Monsanto’s GMO Bt-toxin through a “normal” non-organic Canadian diet, including non-organic (so-called “natural” and “conventional”) meat, egg, and dairy products from animals fed Bt corn. #3 Monsanto’s GMO “Bt” corn and cotton plants are engineered to produce a insecticide in every cell of the plant that kills insects by breaking open their stomachs. #4 Mice fed Monsanto’s Bt corn had elevated levels of immune system substances that are also higher in humans who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, cancer, allergies, Lou Gehrig’s disease, autoimmune disease, and colitis. #5 Young mice in the same study had elevated T-cells, which are increased in people with asthma, and in children with food allergies, juvenile arthritis, and connective tissue diseases. #6 Monsanto’s GMO Bt-toxin has properties of known allergens – it actually fails the World Health Organization’s allergen screening tests. #7 Monsanto’s GMO Bt-toxin has been found to bind with the small intestines in mice and with intestinal tissue in rhesus monkeys. #8 In addition to its GMO “Bt” crops which are engineered to produce insecticide, Monsanto also produces GMO “RoundUp Ready” crops, engineered with a bacterial DNA that allows it to survive otherwise deadly doses of its herbicide RoundUp. #9 In the only human feeding study ever published on GMOs, Monsanto’s GMO “RoundUp Ready” soybeans were found to transfer Monsanto’s “RoundUp Ready” DNA to the bacteria living inside human intestines. #10 According to Jeffrey Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology, the (more…)
May 082011
 
Published on Truthout (http://www.truth-out.org) By Mathieu Created 2011-05-05 07:33 Thursday 5 May 2011 by: Haiti Grassroots Watch, [3] Last Spring, the agribusiness Monsanto announced it was making a $4 million gift of seeds “to support the reconstruction effort” in Haiti. The “gift” – reportedly hybrid maize and vegetable seeds – was slated to total 505 tons of seed over 12 months. Six months after the alleged distribution of the first delivery of Monsanto seeds. Haiti Grassroots Watch decided to follow up on the controversial donation, especially of the maize hybrid seed. •    Why were the seeds accepted by government officials? •    Where were the seeds distributed? •    Did the farmers – who were slated to receive the seed for only 10 percent of the real cost – like the seed? Did they understand what “hybrid” means as far as using the seed’s “offspring”? •    Were and are proper precautions being taken regarding the seeds, which are coated with potentially poisonous fungicides and pesticides? •    Will the rest of the “gift” be distributed, or has it been already? •    Does it appear likely that Haitian farmers could become dependent on highly subsidized Monsanto or other hybrid seeds, only to be slammed the full price in a few years, the way US homebuyers were hit with “exploding mortgages?” Part 1 – Background to the “Gift” The first shipment – 60 tons of seed – arrived in early May, and according to Monsanto, a second shipment of 70 tons was to have arrived sometime shortly thereafter. Not surprisingly, the “gift” caused controversy in Haiti and abroad due to Monsanto’s history. Monsanto is the world’s largest seed company and is one of the world’s largest pesticide companies. The behemoth dominates world proprietary seed market, a market worth almost $32 billion in 2010 [4], up 10 percent from the previous year. The agribusiness giant is renowned for its aggressive marketing [5] and sometimes-illegal maneuvers, which include creating a potential worldwide monopoly [6] by buying up all competitors, bribes, infiltration of farmers’ associations through the use of mercenaries [7] and “ruthless legal battles” [8] including lawsuits against farmers [9]. The company is currently being investigated in seven US states for potentially locking out competitors. The former manufacturer of Agent Orange is also the world’s leading producer of genetically modified organisms or “GMOs.” Because of its aggressive marketing of GMO seeds and other products, Monsanto has earned (more…)
Oct 192004
 
      F. William Engdahl is an award-winning geopolitical analyst, strategic risk consultant, author, professor and lecturer. He has been researching and writing about the world political scene for more than thirty years. His most recent works trace the strategies and events that led to the rise of the U.S. as an international superpower. He describes the emergence after 1945 of an American power as a new kind of Empire not based upon sole military occupation of land, but control of vital resources. Discussed are the origins and aims of GMO – Control of food by Globalist Criminal Corporations. Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleTumblrPinterestReddit (more…)