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It is no longer news that a few powerful corporations have literally occupied the vast majority of human sustenance. The situation is perilous: nearly all of human food production, seeds, food processing and sales, is run by a handful of for-profit firms which, like any capitalist enterprise, function to maximize profit and gain ever-greater market share and control. The question has become: What do we do about this disastrous alignment of pure profit in something so basic and fundamental to human survival?
It is time — now, not next year — to de-occupy Walmart. And Archer Daniels Midland. And Tyson Foods. And Monsanto. And Cargill. And Kraft Foods. And the other large corporations that decide what ends up on our plates. Take all our money out, public and personal, from our shopping dollars to school district lunch contracts to the corporate subsidies that uphold these firms’ grip on our food supply, and invest it in a new system that’s economically diverse and ecologically sustainable.
Tag Archives | Monsanto
Mike Ludwig reports in Truthout:
The White House is withholding documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by an environmental group that suspects the Obama administration of working with Monsanto-linked lobbyists to defend the planting of genetically engineered (GE) crops in wildlife refuges across the country. The information currently being withheld includes a portion of a January 2011 email that a top White House policy analyst received from a lobbyist with the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), which represents GE seed companies such as Monsanto and Syngenta.
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According to legal filings, the White House withheld the portion of the email because it accidentally contained information on BIO’s lobbying strategy that, if released, would cause competitive harm to the group and the companies it represents. “We suspect the reason an industry lobbyist so cavalierly shared strategy is that the White House is part of that strategy,” stated Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) staff counsel Kathryn Douglass, who is arguing the email should be a public record.
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Black farmers in the United States are disappearing. Their numbers shrank from approximately 900,000 in the 1920s down to about 43,000 in the last U.S. Census — down to less than 1 percent of America’s farmers.
But the staggering 98 percent decline in Black farm ownership does not tell the whole story. With each farm closure, those farmers, their families and their employees all lost a way of life that had existed for generations. Despite the horror stories behind Black Americans’ link to the land throughout our national history, these losses represent an erosion of cultural, geographic and heritage bonds far greater larger than the Black farmers’ small presence in American agriculture…
For most of the NBFA’s history, racial discrimination was the biggest threat to Black farm ownership.
No pun intended. Via True Activist:
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Hungary has taken a bold stand against biotech giant Monsanto and genetic modification by destroying 1000 acres of maize found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds, according to Hungary deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar. Unlike many European Union countries, Hungary is a nation where genetically modified (GM) seeds are banned. In a similar stance against GM ingredients, Peru has also passed a 10 year ban on GM foods. Planetsave reports:
Almost 1000 acres of maize found to have been ground with genetically modified seeds have been destroyed throughout Hungary, deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar said. The GMO maize has been ploughed under, said Lajos Bognar, but pollen has not spread from the maize, he added.
Unlike several EU members, GMO seeds are banned in Hungary. The checks will continue despite the fact that seek traders are obliged to make sure that their products are GMO free, Bognar said.
There was quite a stir among beekeepers and anti-GMO activists last fall when chemical and seed giant Monsanto purchased Beeologics, a small company best known for its “groundbreaking research” applying RNAi technology to honeybees, a process that blocks gene expression. This was Monsanto’s first acquisition of a pest control biotech company.
Since its inception in 2007, Beeologics has been developing Remebee®, an anti-viral treatment for use in honeybees affected with Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), a bee-specific virus which originated from Australia and was found and named in Israel in 2002.
President and CEO Eyal Ben-Chanoch explained in 2008 that Beeologics was assembling scientists, beekeepers and business people “to create the missing corporate support” in an industry that traditionally has only been supported by a few hardware manufacturers. Sure, there were hives, tools, bee suits and the like being offered, but very little had been invested in technology and medicine for the bees — until Beeologics came along, that is.… Read the rest
UPDATE from Natural News:
We regret to inform our readers that this story is based on a Daily Mail article that we have now been informed is from 2003, not 2012. In their own search engine, Daily Mail mistakenly listed their own story as being published on February 3, 2012…
Oh well – let’s pressure Monsanto to get out of the UK anyway!
Mike Adams reports for Natural News:
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A massive victory against Monsanto and genetically engineered seeds has been achieved in the United Kingdom today. Monsanto has announced a total withdrawal from the UK, shuttering its Cambridge-based wheat production operation. UK newspaper Daily Mail was instrumental in promoting opposition against Monsanto through its “Frankenstein Foods” educational campaign.
The paper is now reporting that Monsanto plans to sell off GMO crop-breeding centers in France, Germany and the Czech Republic. Daily Mail reported, “…the company has given up hopes of introducing GM crops to Europe.” (Are you grinning as wide as I am right now?)
The UK government, it turns out, was on the verge of announcing a finding that genetically engineered crops would “pollute the countryside for generations.” Gee, ya think?
Dow Agrosciences plans to double the trouble caused by Monsanto’s Roundup with a compelling marketing pitch to farmers. Tom Philpott reports for Mother Jones:
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During the late December media lull, the USDA didn’t satisfy itself with green-lighting Monsanto’s useless, PR-centric “drought-tolerant” corn. It also prepped the way for approving a product from Monsanto’s rival Dow Agrosciences—one that industrial-scale corn farmers will likely find all too useful.
Dow has engineered a corn strain that withstands lashings of its herbicide, 2,4-D. The company’s pitch to farmers is simple: Your fields are becoming choked with weeds that have developed resistance to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. As soon as the USDA okays our product, all your problems will be solved.
At risk of sounding overly dramatic, the product seems to me to bring mainstream US agriculture to a crossroads. If Dow’s new corn makes it past the USDA and into farm fields, it will mark the beginning of at least another decade of ramped-up chemical-intensive farming of a few chosen crops (corn, soy, cotton), beholden to a handful of large agrichemical firms working in cahoots to sell ever larger quantities of poisons, environment be damned.
Gordon Davidson writes in the Scottish Farmer:
France has held firm in its opposition to Monsanto’s genetically modified MON 810 maize [trade name: YieldGard] – and the agri-chemical multinational has admitted defeat.
Monsanto had been putting legal pressure on the French government to lift its 2008 cultivation ban on MON 810, firstly with a successful appeal to the European Court of Justice, then with a follow-up case heard in France’s own highest court, the Council of State.But despite both these institutions ruling that the ban was “insufficiently justified in law”, the French Government, backed by President Sarkozy, has insisted that it will still not allow cultivation of the biotech maize.
Now Monsanto has announced that it would not be selling seeds for MON810 in France this year.
France’s stand – and Monsanto’s capitulation – has been warmly welcomed by anti-GM lobbyists GM Freeze, whose campaign director Pete Riley said: “The decision by Monsanto not to market MON810 seeds in France in 2012 is yet another sign that Monsanto has failed to convince the public or policy makers that there is any benefit to growing to growing GM crops…
[continues in the Scottish Farmer]
Anonymous, which briefly knocked the FBI and Justice Department websites offline as well as Music Industry websites in retaliation for the US shutdown of file-sharing site Megaupload, is a shadowy group of amazing international hackers.
Make sure you have a GMO-free Christmas y’all! Katherine Goldstein and Gazelle Emami report on the consequences of genetic engineering of seeds by Monsanto, for Huffington Post:
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In a study released by the International Journal of Biological Sciences, analyzing the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, researchers found that agricultural giant Monsanto’s GM corn is linked to organ damage in rats.
According to the study, which was summarized by Rady Ananda at Food Freedom, “Three varieties of Monsanto’s GM corn – Mon 863, insecticide-producing Mon 810, and Roundup® herbicide-absorbing NK 603 – were approved for consumption by US, European and several other national food safety authorities.”
Monsanto gathered its own crude statistical data after conducting a 90-day study, even though chronic problems can rarely be found after 90 days, and concluded that the corn was safe for consumption. The stamp of approval may have been premature, however.