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Monsanto to Stomp Out States’ Rights to Label GMOs? OCA Newsletter Organic Bytes #379

There is a lot of diversity in this newsletter, a lot is going on “behind the scenes” that affects us and we should have a choice rather than having it imposed in the name of the ever holy “profit motive”.

I especially hope you will check out the section about the EPA approving MORE glyphosphate-this is something that should very likely be banned or at least regulated to only licensed applicators.

Organic and permaculture methods control pests and weeds BETTER than ANY chemical and do so while maintaining the health of the soil and of all living beings instead of causing an epidemic of autoimmune disease and cancer like the unholy marriage of the chemical and ag industries we’ve been living with for the last many decades.

In a truly FREE country LIFE would ALWAYS supercede PROFIT as the most important thing. To me, this fascist coupling of the federal government with some of the world’s largest and most polluting corporations, controlling our food supply while poisoning our soil, water and air is the epitome of what needs to change in our world.

Please feel free to pass this info around, and to sign up for the OCA newsletter if these areas also seem important to you.

Monsanto to Stomp Out States’ Rights to Label GMOs?

Organic Bytes #379, May 17, 2013

Health, Justice and Sustainability News from the Organic Consumers Association

Edited by Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins

ESSAY OF THE WEEK

Genetically Modified Democracy: Monsanto and Congress Move to Stomp on Your Rights

Could Monsanto slip an amendment or rider into the 2013 Farm Bill that would wipe out any state GMO labeling law? Word on the street is that the world’s biggest Biotech bully is contemplating just such a move. The word from millions of consumers? Any member of Congress who even thinks about supporting Monsanto’s efforts to stomp on states’ rights to label GMOs should start packing their bags today.

The House Ag Committee has already passed an amendment that policy analysts say, if included in the final Farm Bill, would take away states’ rights to enact GMO labeling laws. Will the King Amendment, offered by pro-Big Ag Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), survive the Senate? We don’t know yet. But we do know this: Monsanto is running scared in the face of efforts in more than 30 states to require mandatory GMO labeling. Their next best line of defense is to take that right away from states – and consumers.

Read the essay http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27540.cfm

Read the press release http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27543.cfm

ACTION ALERT

Congress Beware: If You Support a Monsanto Attack on State Labeling Laws, and We’ll Throw You Out!


TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Congress Member: Your Job Is on the Line if You Support a Monsanto Attack on States’ Right to Know! http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/congress-dont-pass-a?source=c.url&r_by=5382364

First it was the Monsanto Protection Act, which gave biotech companies immunity from federal courts and paved the way for Monsanto to plant illegally approved, potentially dangerous genetically engineered crops. Now, an increasingly desperate Monsanto is eyeing an attack on states’ rights to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Last year, 73 U.S. Senators voted against a proposed amendment to the agriculture bill, put forth by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The Sanders amendment would have guaranteed states the right to require labels on genetically engineered food products. We know who those senators are. [LINK TO COME] Today, officially, we’re putting them, and every other member of Congress, on notice: Vote to take away states’ rights to label GMOs, and we’ll vote you out of office. And if you represent one of the 11 states that allow recalls of federal elected officials? Let the recalls begin.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Congress Member: Your Job Is on the Line if You Support a Monsanto Attack on States’ Right to Know! http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/congress-dont-pass-a?source=c.url&r_by=5382364

ACTION ALERT

Unbelievable: EPA Approves Higher Levels of Roundup’s Glyphosate

TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA to Lower the Allowed Limits for Monsanto’s Roundup! http://www.organicconsumers.org/ocaactions.cfm?actionnum=10886

In study http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/42941-review-highlights-dangerous-health-effects-of-glyphosate.html after study, http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27530.cfm scientists warn of the foolhardiness of unleashing into the environment tons of glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide. Yet the U.S. Environmental Protection Act has just raised http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27491.cfm the allowable limits for glyphosate residue in human food and animal feed.

Glyphosate has been linked to everything from Parkinson’s Disease and Autism, to cancer, infertility and allergies. It begs the question. Whose environment is the EPA trying to protect? Yours? Or Monsanto’s? The EPA’s ruling is “final.” But the agency is still accepting comments. Let’s tell our so-called protectors that we want lower, not higher, limits on glyphosate residue.

TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA to Lower the Allowed Limits for Monsanto’s Roundup! http://www.organicconsumers.org/ocaactions.cfm?actionnum=10886

NEW REPORT

A Side of Leukemia with Your GMO Corn?

The Bt (Bacillus Thuringensis) toxin in Monsanto’s genetically modified corn and soy has been linked to organ failure http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Bt_Toxin_Kills_Human_Kidney_Cells.php in humans. It has turned up in the bloodstreams http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22999.cfm of pregnant women and their fetuses. Now, a study published in the Journal of Hematology & Thromboembolic Diseases suggests that some forms of the Bt toxin may also contribute to certain blood cancers, such as leukemia.

The study’s authors conclude: “Taking into account the increased risk
of human and animal exposures to significant levels of these toxins,
especially through diet, our results suggest that further studies are
required . . . before concluding that these microbiological
control agents are safe for mammals.” Talk about a ship that’s already sailed.

Learn more http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27523.cfm

Read the study http://gmoevidence.com/wp content/uploads/2013/05/JHTD-1-104.pdf

SUPPORT THE OCA & OCF

Deadline Extended: Help us plant hope, and we’ll help you plant your garden.

It’s not too late for spring planting . . . or to take advantage of our spring seed giveaway.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Co. http://www.rareseeds.com/ has sent us a variety of non-GMO, heirloom specialty seeds. We’re passing them along to donors, while supplies last. We have lots of varieties to give away, including Purple of Sicily Cauliflower, Blue Podded Garden Peas, Stuttgarter Onions, Southern Giant Curled Mustard, Amish Deer Tongue Lettuce, Detroit Dark Red Beets, Atomic Red Carrots, Early Purple Vienna Kohlrabi and Persian Carpet Zinnias. To name a few.

Help us plant hope, and we’ll help you plant your garden. Make a donation of $50 or more and we’ll send you four packages of seeds. Be sure to write “seeds” in the comment field with your online donation (or on the memo line of your check). Thank you!

Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education) http://www.organicconsumers.org/donations.cfm

Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in Washington, Vermont and other states) http://organicconsumersfund.org/donate/

Take That, Monsanto and Mark Lynas

Remember Mark Lynas, the repentant journalist-masquerading-as-scientist who made headlines http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_26888.cfm earlier this year? For telling the world that, gosh, he’d been wrong all those years about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) being bad for our health and environment? That we should pay no attention to all the new studies highlighting the dangers of GMOs, and instead embrace biotechnology as the solution to world hunger?

Well, Lynas has met his match. Thierry Vrain, retired former pro-GMO scientist (as in, actual scientist) for Agriculture Canada, now says that a growing body of scientific research showing that diets containing engineered corn or soy cause serious health problems in laboratory mice and rats should give us pause. Says Vrain: “I refute the claims of the biotechnology companies that their engineered crops yield more, that they require less pesticide applications, that they have no impact on the environment and of course that they are safe to eat.” Seems the science – and now the scientists – are on our side.

Read the article http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27517.cfm

ACTION ALERT UPDATE

Win Some, Lose Some

First, the good news. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has come to its senses. Temporarily at least. The BLM postponed auctions http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27522.cfm in California that would have opened up more public lands for fracking. The auctions, involving nearly 3,300 acres of prime public lands, were planned for later this month. But thanks in part to the nearly 60,000 of you who signed our petition to the BLM, the auctions are on hold. It also didn’t hurt that a federal judge ruled last month that the BLM had violated a key environmental law by previously auctioning the drilling rights for lands near the Salinas River Valley before reviewing the potential impacts on water, wildlife and air quality.

There’s plenty of evidence http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_26688.cfm to suggest that where oil and gas companies are already fracking, farms are being destroyed. Do we really want to destroy prime farmland in California? Let’s keep the pressure on the BLM to stop fracking on California’s public lands. If you haven’t yet signed our petition, please sign today. http://signon.org/sign/dont-frack-our-food-and?source=c.url&r_by=5382364 If you have signed, please forward to five friends who haven’t. Thank you!


Now for the bad news. Our petition to save the honeybees from yet another bee-killing pesticide didn’t fare so well.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27521.cfm sulfoxaflor, a pesticide the agency admits is toxic to bees. The bee population has already been decimated by a host of neonicotinoid pesticides, which work in much the same way as sulfoxaflor. That’s bad news for food crops. According to a United Nations report, of the 100 crop species that supply 90 percent of the world’s food, bees pollinate more than 70 percent.

But don’t worry. The EPA is requiring anyone using sulfoxaflor to notify “known” beekeepers within one mile of the treatment area 48 hours before they spray the pesticide. So the beekeepers can move their hives. The “known” beekeepers, that is. Can anyone say “loophole?”

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week

Join the March Against Monsanto May 25, 2013!
http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/

Revealed: How US State Department ‘Twists Arms’ on Monsanto’s Behalf
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27525.cfm

Eating As Though the Environment Mattered
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27529.cfm

400 Parts Per Million: Climate Milestone is a Moment of Symbolic Significance on Road of Idiocy
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27509.cfm

Tenn. Governor Haslam Vetoes ‘Ag Gag’ Anti-Whistleblower Bill
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27519.cfm

How a Legal Loophole Allows Untested Pesticides in Everything From Cosmetics to Clothing
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27516.cfm

A MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSORS

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Learn more about Vitamin D http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/02/07/vitamin-d-testing.aspx

Learn more about the study http://www.grassrootshealth.net/index.php/daction

View this newsletter on OCA’s site here http://www.organicconsumers.org/bytes/ob379.html


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How did Barack Obama become Monsanto’s man in Washington?

I am disappointed to post this article, but my intention to share information, to find and share the truth-even when it does NOT agree with me, over-rides my unwillingness to look at it. Like all Obama supporters, I WANT it to not be true-but like all political activists in America I KNOW in my heart that politics here is RIGGED far more than we may want to know about, and NO one gets into that office without being vetted by the elites and their agendas.

I had hoped he was playing along until he could make real changes, but my hope is fading as the second term moves along. Perhaps he too thought he could do so-and found out it was not as easy to defy them as it was for Kennedy (he DID accomplish some important changes before they shot him)

If we want to see change, then WE have to make our voices and the pressure from the PEOPLE louder, stronger and harder to ignore than the very real pressure Monsanto and the rest of the 1% are bringing to bear on our President and our other elected officials. Nixon founded the EPA-because of pressure from below, Bush I signed ADA-because of pressure from the People.

First we face the truth that our beliefs and hopes are not what we believed and hoped-THEN we MAKE THEM HAPPEN ANYWAY! Whether Obama works for them or us-he is ONE man. We are 350 MILLION (give or take based on the foolish division of the moment)

(with thanks to Thomas for sharing this with me)
images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQPXbQtBfExOZdyHTwBrIVVqtPiGTbWaXxZgbBvF6EIYkhw0vpWTAimages?q=tbn:ANd9GcSHXkJc-r7rCzfnLcYqjteIdgA88OT2gormfY1fncCP_HEoL0sD

By Jon Rappoport

April 29, 2013

www.nomorefakenews.com

And when are anti-GMO activist groups going to stop saying they’re “shocked and disappointed” by the president?

Shocked and disappointed is polite-speak and politically correct reaction. It’s baloney.

Don’t you get it? Obama has never been on your side. He never deserved your trust.

Disappointment implies he was your buddy and then unaccountably walked away.

The man is a politician. He’s a liar. Different pols have different styles of lying. Some pretend they’re your friend before they screw you over and leave you in the dust.

I’ve previously published Obama’s track record as Monsanto’s number-one political supporter in America.

Meet Monsanto’s prime lobbyist, Barack Obama:

After his victory in the 2008 election, Obama filled key posts with Monsanto people, in federal agencies that wield tremendous force in food issues, the USDA and the FDA:

At the USDA, as the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto Danforth Center.

As deputy commissioner of the FDA, the new food-safety-issues czar, the infamous Michael Taylor, former vice-president for public policy for Monsanto. Taylor had been instrumental in getting approval for Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone.

As commissioner of the USDA, Iowa governor, Tom Vilsack. Vilsack had set up a national group, the Governors’ Biotechnology Partnership, and had been given a Governor of the Year Award by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, whose members include Monsanto.

As the new Agriculture Trade Representative, who would push GMOs for export, Islam Siddiqui, a former Monsanto lobbyist.

As the new counsel for the USDA, Ramona Romero, who had been corporate counsel for another biotech giant, DuPont.

As the new head of the USAID, Rajiv Shah, who had previously worked in key positions for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a major funder of GMO agriculture research.

We should also remember that Obama’s secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, once worked for the Rose law firm. That firm was counsel to Monsanto.

Obama nominated Elena Kagan to the US Supreme Court. Kagan, as federal solicitor general, had previously argued for Monsanto in the Monsanto v. Geertson seed case before the Supreme Court.

The deck was stacked. Obama hadn’t simply made honest mistakes. Obama hadn’t just failed to exercise proper oversight in selecting appointees. He was staking out territory on behalf of Monsanto and other GMO corporate giants.

And now let us look at what key Obama appointees have wrought for their true bosses. Let’s see what GMO crops have walked through the open door of the Obama presidency.

Monsanto GMO alfalfa.

Monsanto GMO sugar beets.

Monsanto GMO Bt soybean.

Coming soon: Monsanto’s GMO sweet corn.

Syngenta GMO corn for ethanol.

Syngenta GMO stacked corn.

Pioneer GMO soybean.

Syngenta GMO Bt cotton.

Bayer GMO cotton.

ATryn, an anti-clotting agent from the milk of transgenic goats.

A GMO papaya strain.

And soon, genetically engineered salmon and apples.

This is an extraordinary parade.

Obama was, all along, a stealth operative on behalf of Monsanto, biotech, GMOs, and corporate control of the future of agriculture.

He didn’t make that many key political appointments and allow that many new GMO crops to enter the food chain through a lack of oversight.

Nor is it coincidental that two of the Obama’s biggest supporters, Bill Gates and George Soros, purchased 900,000 and 500,000 shares of Monsanto, respectively, in 2010.

Records don’t show Monsanto or other biotech giants pouring a landslide of (visible) campaign cash down on Obama, relative to other large donors.

Goldman Sachs was Obama’s number-one $$ donor, and Goldman touts GM-crop commodity contracts, for both buys and sells; but Goldman has its fingers in every significant money pot from Nome to Tierra Del Fuego.

The “Obama riddle” is as plain as the nose on the face of Globalism. Monsanto’s agenda, to monopolize the world’s food supply, is essential to the Globalist blueprint. That blueprint ultimately aims for redistribution of food to the world from a point of Central Planning

As president, Obama has a sworn obligation to Globalism. His oath isn’t to protect the Constitution. Are you kidding?

Every recent president has had an overriding loyalty to Globalism.

Obama’s signing of the Monsanto Protection Act, making that corporation senior in power to the US court system, wasn’t an accident. It was taken in keen awareness of his duty to his Globalist betters.

You won’t, of course, see this disclosed on the evening news.

Here is a president who, like Bush, has no plans for a better world. Obama’s notion of “better” is tied up in the Globalist agenda:

An elite-run bureaucracy, promoting equality and justice, reduces all populations to a lowest common denominator, squashing freedom and prosperity.

Obama’s supporters will never learn the truth, because they’re blinded by the light, which they project on to the persona of the president.

Obama is aware of the con, since he triggered it, and he leverages it.

He’s all nudge-and-wink. “Yes, we’ll help you and you and you. Of course we will.”

He might help you if you make a declaration of dependence. Sacrifice yourself on an altar of despair and then you might earn the right to be fed.

Obama, while on the campaign trail in 2008, was promising transparency in government, was claiming that every person has the right to know what’s in his food (GMO labeling). But clearly, that was all cover and fluff. He was lying through his teeth and he knew it. He’d been vetted for the presidency, and he knew the job entailed joining Monsanto and the larger Globalist agenda as a front man.

He hasn’t changed over the past four years. He’s been a covert agent since the beginning.

Imposter. Charlatan. These words fit Obama. He’s pretended, like Clinton, to care, but he doesn’t. He doesn’t care that GMO food is taking over the country and the world. He wants it to happen. He’s always wanted it to happen.

The sitting president of the United States, Monsanto, DuPont, and Dow, among others, are prepared to do whatever is necessary to make GMO food dominate America.

They intend, through Monsanto-gene drift among millions of plants in ag fields, through increased planting of GMO crops, and through introduction of still more GMO crops, to wrap up the USA in genetically engineered food.

Obama is on board. He’s always been on board.

He is the GMO president.

If tomorrow, the Globalist Rockefellers of this world decided that all food grown in the US should be injected with Prozac, Obama would find a way to help.

Stop making excuses for the man. He’s not a victim of evil forces surrounding his presidency. He signed up for this trip with eyes wide open.

Sources:

http://redgreenandblue.org/2012/02/02/monsanto-employees-in-the-halls-of-government-part-2/

http://redgreenandblue.org/2011/02/09/monsanto-employees-in-the-halls-of-government/

http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2011/10/fda-labeling-gmo-genetically-modified-foods

http://fooddemocracynow.org/blog/2011/feb/15/update-obama-goes-rogue-gmos-tell-him-say-no-monsa/

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/genetically-engineered-foods/

http://news.yahoo.com/not-altruistic-truth-behind-obamas-global-food-security-174700462.html

Jon Rappoport

The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.

www.nomorefakenews.com


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How Monsanto Went From Selling Aspirin to Controlling Our Food Supply

How Monsanto Went From Selling Aspirin to Controlling Our Food Supply

Sunday, 21 April 2013 09:28 By Jill Richardson, AlterNet | Report

Monsanto researchers in Stonington, Ill., are working to develop new soybean varieties that will be tolerant to agricultural herbicide and have greater yields in July 2006. (Photo: Monsanto via The New York Times)Monsanto researchers in Stonington, Ill., are working to develop new soybean varieties that will be tolerant to agricultural herbicide and have greater yields in July 2006. (Photo: Monsanto via The New York Times) Monsanto controls our food, poisons our land, and influences all three branches of government.

This article was published in partnership with GlobalPossibilities.org.

Forty percent of the crops grown in the United States contain their genes. They produce the worlds top selling herbicide. Several of their factories are now toxic Superfund sites. They spend millions lobbying the government each year. Its time we take a closer look at whos controlling our food, poisoning our land, and influencing all three branches of government. To do that, the watchdog group Food and Water Watch recently published a corporate profile of Monsanto.

Patty Lovera, Food and Water Watch assistant director, says they decided to focus on Monsanto because they felt a need to put together a piece where people can see all of the aspects of this company.

It really strikes us when we talk about how clear it is that this is a chemical company that wanted to expand its reach, she says. A chemical company that started buying up seed companies. She feels its important for food activists to understand all of the ties between the seeds and the chemicals.

(this is only the intro!Please click the link below to read the article on Truthout-

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/15856-how-monsanto-went-from-selling-aspirin-to-controlling-our-food-supply )


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“Genetic Roulette” Watch on demand thru 4/30 FREE. World Cafe to follow

from USF St Petersburg’s Office of Research
April 2013, “The Politics of Food: Rethinking Local Systems

GENETIC ROULETTE: The Gamble of Our Lives

Watch it on demand at no cost to you!
Offer ends April 30, 2013

If you’re concerned about genetically modified food & seeds –
for health, the environment, economies or all of the above…

don’t miss this opportunity to watch the film at times that work for you

Click to view USFSP’s webpage for the Genetic Roulette Film

Stream it online now, later with friends, organizations or classroom

ACT NOW!

If you’d like to join others who’ve seen the film, to share, explore and imagine next steps,
please consider organizing a gathering in your neighborhood
We’ll provide the World Cafe facilitator

“Genetic Roulette”
World Cafe
http://www.theworldcafe.com

Thursday, April 25, 2013
10 AM – Noon
USFSP Coquina Club (off First St S near pool)
view USFSP map below

Questions to The Connection Partners at kleitsch


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Farmers and Consumers vs. Monsanto: David Meets Goliath

Farmers and Consumers vs. Monsanto: David Meets Goliath

Monday, 08 April 2013 11:39 By Tory Field and Beverly Bell, Other World | Report

Down with Monsanto reads a banner as thousands marched for food sovereignty in Haiti, March 22, 2013. (Photo: Tequila Minsky © 2013)“Down with Monsanto” reads a banner as thousands marched for food sovereignty in Haiti, March 22, 2013. (Photo: Tequila Minsky © 2013)Bordering an interstate highway in Arkansas, a giant billboard with a photo of a stoic-looking farmer watches over the speeding traffic. Hes staring into the distance against the backdrop of a glowing wheat field, with the caption Americas Farmers Grow America. Its an image to melt all our pastoral hearts.

Until we read the small print in the corner: Monsanto.

The maker of Agent Orange, Monsantos former motto used to be, Without chemicals, life itself would be impossible. Today its tag line is Committed to Sustainable Agriculture, Committed to Farmers. Its website claims the company helps farmers be successful [and] produce healthier foods while also reducing agriculture’s impact on our environment. It even boasts of the corporations dedication to human rights.

Behind the PR gloss is a very different picture. Via Campesina, the worlds largest confederation of farmers with member organizations in 70 countries, has called Monsanto one of the principal enemies of peasant sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty for all peoples. Via Campesina members also target Monsanto as a driving influence behind land grabs, forcing small farmers off their land and out of work. The agribusiness giants also contribute to climate change and other environmental disasters, outgrowths of industrial agriculture.

Together with Syngenta and Dupont, Monsanto controls more than half of the worlds seeds. The company holds more than 650 seed patents – most of them for cotton, corn and soy – and almost 30% of the share of all biotech research and development. Monsanto came to own such a vast supply by buying major seed companies to stifle competition, patenting genetic modifications to plant varieties, and suing small farmers. Monsanto is also one of the leading manufacturers of genetically modified organisms [GMOs].

Monsanto has filed more than 140 lawsuits against 400 farmers and 56 small businesses for alleged violations of contract or GMO patents. One such case is currently under consideration in the Supreme Court. Farmers have been sued after their field was contaminated by pollen or seed from someone elses genetically engineered crop [or] when genetically engineered seed from a previous years crop has sprouted, said the Center for Food Safety.[i] In total, the company has won more than $23 million from these suits. The multinational appears to investigate 500 farmers a year, in estimates based on Monsantos own documents and media reports.[ii]

In Colombia, Monsanto has received upwards of $25 million from the U.S. government for providing Roundup Ultra in the anti-drug fumigation efforts of Plan Colombia. Roundup Ultra is a highly concentrated version of Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide, with additional ingredients to increase its lethality. Local communities and human rights organizations have charged that the herbicide has destroyed food crops, water sources, and protected areas in the Andes, and has led to increased incidents of birth defects and cancers.

On March 26, siding once again with corporations, President Obama signed into law a spending bill with a Monsanto Protection Rider. This requires the government to allow GMO crops to be planted before an environmental and health assessment is completed. This means that crops may be planted with the permission of the USDA even if it is not known whether they are harmful.

One Goliath, Many Davids

Farmers and activists are not sitting idly by.

Via Campesina launched a global campaign against Monsanto on International World Food Day in 2009, with marches, protests, land occupations, and hunger strikes in more than 20 countries. The coalition continues organizing international days of action against the company and agribusiness in general. Via Campesina has kept the spotlight on Monsanto at its global protests, such as the 2012 UN Climate Change Conference in Bangkok.

One of the rejections of Monsanto occurred in the small village of Hinche, Haiti in June, 2010. There, thousands of farmers burned Monsanto seeds. The Haitian Ministry of Agriculture had given Monsanto permission to import and donate 505 tons of hybrid corn and vegetable seeds. Its a declaration of war, said Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, director of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP). The importation of massive amounts of hybrid seed threatens the traditional, regionally adapted seed stock of Haiti, as it does in many other countries. Hybrid seeds also cause a cycle of dependence, with farmers buying them from Monsanto each year rather than relying on local markets or their own saved seed. In an open letter, Jean-Baptiste called the entry of the seeds a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on biodiversity, on Creole seeds, and on what is left of our environment in Haiti.[iii]

The same day as the protest in Haiti, activists in Seattle gathered in solidarity. They burned Monsanto seeds in front of the headquarters of the Gates Foundation, which is promoting GMO seeds in Africa. In Montana, the home state of Monsantos world headquarters, activists dressed in lab coats and Tyvek to demand that Monsanto seeds of dependency be kept out of Haiti. In Chicago, a Haiti support group did not have Monsanto seeds, so they burned Cheetos instead. The Organic Consumers Associations network sent more than 10,000 emails protesting Monsantos donation to USAID and President Obama. African-American farmers in Mississippi mobilized letters to the White House, too.

Around the world, farmers and activists have long taken it upon themselves to destroy Monsantos GMO crops. Groups have cut down or pulled up fields of corn, potatoes, rapeseed, and other crops, sometimes laying them at the entryways of government buildings where they are demanding anti-GMO legislation. In 2003 in the state of Paraná in Brazil, activists uprooted plants at one of Monsantos experimental labs. They went on to file and win a land reform claim, and then started their own agroecology university on the site.

In the U.S., the Organic Consumers Association has spearheaded the Millions Against Monsantocampaign, demanding that the company stop intimidating small family farmers and forcing untested and unlabeled genetically engineered foods on consumers. The campaign works to unearth information about Monsantos practices, push legislation to limit corporate power, and disseminate research and action items through its extensive network. Occupy Monsanto has also held a number of actions around the country. This week, starting April 8, groups from around the country are gathering in Washington, D.C. for Occupy Monsantos eat-in at the FDA, demanding GMO regulation and an end to corporate influence in food policy.

In 2012, the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association gathered enough signatures for a ballot initiative (Prop 37) in California to mandate labeling of products containing GMOs. Their hope was that forcing companies to label in California, the eighth-largest economy in the world, would prompt countrywide labeling. Companies poured money into defeating the measure, the largest donors being Monsanto (about $8.1m) and DuPont (about $5.4m). Also donating millions were companies that own major organic labels like Kashi (Kellogg Company), Horizon (Dean Foods), Odwalla (Coca-Cola), and Cascadian Farms (General Mills). The measure failed by a tiny margin, causing the anti-GMO movement to redouble its efforts. Labeling laws have been proposed in more than 20 other states and are currently under consideration by legislators in Vermont and Washington.

In 2011, the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association together with 82 other plaintiffs, including agricultural associations, seed companies, and farmers brought a lawsuit against Monsanto in Manhattan federal district court to establish protections for organic farmers whose crops are contaminated by GMOs. The court ruled against them, but the plaintiffs appealed and are currently awaiting a ruling.

Back in the rural Haitian town of Hinche on March 22 of this year, the same peasant farmer group that had burned Monsanto seeds held another demonstration. Holding banners reading Down with Monsanto, they demanded an end to corporate tyranny of agriculture. Allies from many countries in Latin America, North America, Europe, and Africa joined them in that dusty town, recommitting themselves to a world with food and seed sovereignty.

Notes

[i] Andrew Kimbrell and Joseph Mendelson, Center for Food Safety, Monsanto vs. US Farmers, 2005.
[ii] Center for Food Safety, Monsanto vs. US Farmers, Nov. 2007.
[iii] Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, group email, May 14, 2010.

Download the Harvesting Justice pdf here, and find action items, resources, and a popular education curriculum on the Harvesting Justice website. Harvesting Justice was created for the US Food Sovereignty Alliance, check out their work here.

Beverly Bell

Beverly Bell has worked for more than three decades as an advocate, organizer and writer in collaboration with social movements in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the US. Her focus areas are just economies, democratic participation and gender justice. Beverly currently serves as associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and coordinator of Other Worlds. She is author of “Walking on Fire: Haitian Women Stories of Survival and Resistance” and of the forthcoming “Fault Lines: Views Across Haiti’s Divide.” She is also a member of Truthout’s Board of Advisers.

Tory Field is an organizer, farmer, and Research & Education Coordinator at Other Worlds.

Tory Field

Tory Field is an organizer, farmer, and Research & Education Coordinator at Other Worlds.

You can read the original article, and many others on important topics the lamestream news ignores at Truthout-click the link below

http://truth-out.org/news/item/15601-farmers-and-consumers-vs-monsanto-david-meets-goliath


1 Comment

Avoiding Monsanto

I just got this from a friend and thought it might be useful to all. Monsanto are pushing GMO’s using every legal, illegal and corrupt tactic they can find. Many of these companies are the very top of the corrupt heap themselves, so scanning labels for these names can help you avoid eating toxic(or at best untested and with unknown effects) foods, and also avoid giving your money to the people trying to kill you, or again at best, profit by not caring what harm comes to you.

monsanto list2