Tag Archives | GMOs

In Defense of GMOs

PDB 1gmo EBIHear him out before you comment, y’all! Self-described liberal Saul of Hearts finds things to like regarding GMOs, if not Monsanto, writing at Medium:

Let me get a few things out of the way.

I’m a crazy fucking hippie. I go to Burning Man every year. I teach yoga. I live in a co-op. For the past two years I’ve been delivering organic vegetables for a local delivery service. I’ve been eating vegetarian for years, and vegan for the past four months.

I’m also fascinated by genetics. I read every book that comes my way on evolutionary theory, population genetics, and mapping the genome. I took several classes on the subject at the University of Pennsylvania. All told, I have a pretty solid understanding of how genes work.

And ultimately, I’m just not that scared of GMOs.

Now don’t get me wrong. I understand where my liberal friends are coming from.

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Inside Monsanto’s Rural Police State

monsanto

Truthout on the regime of rural surveillance and suspicion instituted by multinational seed companies:

The GMO regime has initiated a “new era of feudalism,” by powerful multinationals who have consolidated their control over the lives and practices of farmers everywhere.

Monsanto boasts one of the largest corporate security operations in the world, with agents working both openly and undercover in rural counties throughout the United States and Canada. Monsanto’s investigators show up at front doors, and in some cases in the middle of farmers fields, making accusations, brandishing surveillance photos and demanding to see the farmer’s private records or to be handed over their hard drives.

Monsanto also has its own toll-free tip-line (1-800-ROUNDUP) where farmers are invited to inform on their neighbors, as thousands have reportedly already done. “Instead of helping each other with barn-raisings and equipment sharing,” a CFS report states, “those caught saving seed, a practice that is hundreds of years old, were turned into ‘spies’ against their neighbors, replacing the atmosphere of cooperation with one of distrust and suspicion.” Critics accuse the company of fraying the delicate social fabric which holds farming communities together.

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Here’s How U.S. Food Items Are Labeled Overseas

Supermarket shoppers in other countries are informed that American processed foods contain GMOs and artificial coloring dyes linked to childhood hyperactivity. Why aren’t we told this? Food Babe writes:

The NY Times verified that this is in fact a real label on US Kraft Mac & Cheese sold in the UK.

We know that Kraft does not label, distribute or export the US version of Mac & Cheese officially. (To echo my quote in The NY Times, I find it extremely bizarre that Kraft had no knowledge of their products being sold and widely available in one of the largest retailers in the world (Tesco) and are trying to pass this off as a black market supply.)

Kraft customer service confirmed use of GMOs in their products. Given all the public statements that Kraft has made to the media about this label, they have not attempted to refute their product “May Cause Adverse Effects On Activity And Attention In Children.”

warning label

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Up To Two Million March Against Monsanto In Hundreds Of Cities

march against monsantoIs opposition to Monsanto gaining momentum? It would certainly seem it from this past weekend. Via Yahoo! News:

Two million people marched in protest against seed giant Monsanto in hundreds of rallies across the U.S. and in over 50 other countries on Saturday.

“March Against Monsanto” protesters say they wanted to call attention to the dangers posed by genetically modified food and the food giants that produce it. Founder and organizer Tami Canal said protests were held in 436 cities in 52 countries.

The ‘March Against Monsanto’ movement began just a few months ago, when Canal created a Facebook page on Feb. 28 calling for a rally against the company’s practices. Together with Seattle blogger and activist Emilie Rensink and Nick Bernabe of TheAnti-Media.org, Canal worked with A-Revolt.org digital anarchy to promote international awareness of the event. She called the turnout “incredible,” and credited social media for being a vehicle for furthering opportunities for activism.

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Monsanto Threatens To Sue Vermont If It Passes GMO Labeling Bill

monsanto foodAre Monsanto and the state of Vermont headed for a historic showdown in court? Or are the corporation’s threats enough to make lawmakers scuttle plans for a law that the public is overwhelmingly demanding? Alternet writes:

Despite overwhelming public support, Vermont legislators are dragging their feet on a proposed GMO labeling bill. Why? Because Monsanto has threatened to sue the state if it passes.

What happened to the formerly staunch legislative champions of Vermont’s “right to know” bill? They lost their nerve after Monsanto representatives recently threatened that the biotech giant would sue Vermont if they pass the bill. [Officials] expressed concern about Vermont being the first state to pass a mandatory GMO labeling bill and then having to “go it alone” against Monsanto in court.

During the hearings the Vermont legislature was deluged with calls, letters, and e-mails urging passage of a GMO labeling bill – more than on any other bill since the fight over Civil Unions in 1999-2000.

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The Twelve Most Awful Products Made By Monsanto

saccharinVia GMO Awareness, it may seem cartoonish to brand one company as an evil empire reaping misery over the course of a century, but it’s hard not to when they have created artificial sugar substitutes, DDT, Agent Orange, nuclear weapons, PCBs, and Bovine Growth Hormone:

When you take a moment to reflect on the history of product development at Monsanto, what do you find? Here are twelve products that Monsanto has brought to market:

1. Saccharin. John Francisco Queeny founded Monsanto Chemical Works with the goal of producing saccharin for Coca-Cola. Studies performed during the early 1970s showed that saccharin caused cancer in test rats and mice.

2. PCBs. During the early 1920s, Monsanto began expanding their chemical production into polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to produce coolant fluids for electrical transformers and motors. Fifty years later, the EPA published a report citing PCBs as the cause of cancer in animals, with additional evidence that they can cause cancer in humans.

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Monsanto’s New Idea For Suing Farmers

Is the big, bad monster of biotech going to back off its aggressive litigation to force farmers to join their evil empire of GMO seeds? Maybe… Report via NPR:

For years, the biotech giant Monsanto has provoked outrage among its critics for suing farmers who save and replant seeds from the company’s patented Roundup Ready crops, such as soybeans and canola.

Some of that outrage is based on a decade-old case in Canada, in which a court ruled that a farmer, Percy Schmeiser, violated Monsanto’s patents by planting canola that he “knew or ought to have known” contained Monsanto’s Roundup Ready gene. Schmeiser argued that he didn’t want the gene in his fields, and that it had become incorporated into his canola via wind-blown pollen.

Monsanto won that case, but the company might have been better off losing because the victory has been a public relations disaster. Around the world, many people now believe, mistakenly, that Monsanto is suing farmers for growing patented seeds that wandered into their fields without the farmers’ knowledge and against their will.

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A Guerrilla Campaign To Correctly Label Food Contents

California’s Proposition 37, which would have required GMO foods sold in stores to be labeled as such, fell short two weeks ago following an advertising blitz against the measure from Monsanto and other players in the agribusiness sector. Label It Yourself suggests an alternative:

The Label It Yourself (#LIY) is a decentralized, autonomous grassroots campaign born out of our broken food system. We have been asking corporations and our government to label food products so we can make educated decisions about what we eat. Our requests have been ignored and so we are taking matters into our own hands.

Using LIY’s resources, we encourage people to: autonomously label GMOs and empower others to do so, rescue words like “All Natural” and “Natural Flavors” from being hijacked, expose unfair labor practices. We have a right to know what is in our food and where it is coming from.

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An Intro to Farm Shares and Community Sponsored Agriculture

Comics artist Colleen Doran writes a quick and breezy intro to the world of farm shares and farm credit programs. Establishing trustworthy ways to get fresh, healthy, non-GMO food is going to become increasingly important. Doran gives an overview of what’s available and links to get started.

via A Distant Soil:

In almost every major metropolitan area, and most rural areas, you will find farm shares or CSA’s, “Community Sponsored Agriculture”.

A CSA is, basically, a food subscription service.

Depending on the program (and they vary widely between suppliers,) the CSA will supply weekly, biweekly, or monthly food subscriptions for a flat annual fee which will cover the farming season, usually around half the year. If you live in California where the season is long, you can get a year-round subscription.

The farm will provide you with a prescribed amount of food per drop based on whatever is in season.

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