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Archive for the ‘Activism’ Category

After debating Canadian Kevin O’Leary on television, 14 yeah old Rachel O’Leary has become anti GMO food activist celebrity. Disregarding her age, Rachel hold her own and defends some of the movements main points.

The Future of Food director Deborah Koons Garcia got a chance to meet Rachel back in February during the Canadian Organic Growers’ Conference and the two hit it off.

Rachel Parent Debates Kevin O’Leary About GMOs

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On May 25, activists around the world will unite to March Against Monsanto.

Why do we march?

  • Research studies have shown that Monsanto’s genetically-modified foods can lead to serious health conditions such as the development of cancer tumors, infertility and birth defects.
  • In the United States, the FDA, the agency tasked with ensuring food safety for the population, is steered by ex-Monsanto executives, and we feel that’s a questionable conflict of interests and explains the lack of government-lead research on the long-term effects of GMO products.
  • Recently, the U.S. Congress and president collectively passed the nicknamed “Monsanto Protection Act” that, among other things, bans courts from halting the sale of Monsanto’s genetically-modified seeds.
  • For too long, Monsanto has been the benefactor of corporate subsidies and political favoritism. Organic and small farmers suffer losses while Monsanto continues to forge its monopoly over the world’s food supply, including exclusive patenting rights over seeds and genetic makeup.
  • Monsanto’s GMO seeds are harmful to the environment; for example, scientists have indicated they have caused colony collapse among the world’s bee population.

What are solutions we advocate?

  • Voting with your dollar by buying organic and boycotting Monsanto-owned companies that use GMOs in their products.
  • Labeling of GMOs so that consumers can make those informed decisions easier.
  • Repealing relevant provisions of the US’s “Monsanto Protection Act.”
  • Calling for further scientific research on the health effects of GMOs.
  • Holding Monsanto executives and Monsanto-supporting politicians accountable through direct communication, grassroots journalism, social media, etc.
  • Continuing to inform the public about Monsanto’s secrets.
  • Taking to the streets to show the world and Monsanto that we won’t take these injustices quietly.

We will not stand for cronyism. We will not stand for poison. That’s why we March Against Monsanto.

Join us! http://on.fb.me/ZUxe3o

Find cities already participating: http://bit.ly/ZTDsk8

Start your own: http://on.fb.me/16qw2r4

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There’s an article about Whole Foods that has surfaced the social media universe today “USDA Forces Whole Foods To Accept Monsanto“. And while the passive food activist posted this article and are commenting on each others Facebook walls, many did not look at the date of the article, February 4, 2012.
On Friday March 15th of this year, Whole Foods announced that they will be labeling GMOs in their stores. They will be working on this process over the next 5 years.

Here’s an article about it from The Examiner:

Whole Foods Market announces labeling of GMOs

Crookneck summer squash available in stores is often genetically modified.
Crookneck summer squash available in stores is often genetically modified.
On Friday, Whole Foods Market announced their intent to have all genetically-modified foods in their stores labeled as such by 2018. Whole Foods president A. C. Gallo told The New York Times that this decision was driven by the basic economic law of demand. “We’ve seen how our customers have responded to the products we do have labeled,” Gallo said. “Some of our manufacturers say they’ve seen a 15% increase in sales of products they have labeled.”There is a movement in the U. S. to require this labeling in all stores but it has yet to gain any legal traction. A proposition to require labeling was defeated in California in the November election. However, Hawaii, New Mexico, Missouri, Vermont, and Washington are currently deciding this issue in various legal forms, and a bill requiring labeling has been introduced in the U. S. Congress.

Despite the support of organizations like Consumers Union and the World Health Organization, the federal Food and Drug Administration has required no safety testing of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Naturally, without assurances that GMOs are safe, there is concern among the public. A Huffington Post poll published earlier this month show that 82% of respondents favored labeling food made with GMOs.

Science will need to be a major player in the quest to feed the world’s growing population for coming generations, but the debate over GMOs has been tainted by corporate greed at Monsanto. The vast majority of the GMO crops are Round-up Ready soybeans and corn, which seed farmers buy from Monsanto. The farmers can’t save seed for their next year’s crop; Monsanto requires them to buy it again. Then, Monsanto sells the herbicide Round-up to the same farmers to control weeds. Round-up Ready crops are immune to the herbicide, but so are a growing number of weeds. Nature has a way of adapting to changing conditions, and this is, of course, just one example. Some farmers have been forced to revert to older, less safe herbicides.

There are currently commentary and petitions on the web thanking Whole Foods, but this appears to be a logical, profit driven, decision.

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A wonderful informative satire by Infomatic Films.

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Posted by Dave on March 28, 2012
NEW YORK – March 28, 2012 – Today, in Federal District Court in Manhattan, family farmers filed their Notice of Appeal to Judge Naomi Buchwald’s February 24th ruling dismissing Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will hear the farmers’ appeal, seeking to reinstate the case, which has received worldwide attention. The farmers are determined to move forward with their lawsuit challenging Monsanto’s patents on genetically engineered seed technologies in order to continue their pursuit of Declaratory Judgment Act court protection from Monsanto’s claims of patent infringement should their crops become contaminated by Monsanto’s seed.

“Farmers have the right to protect themselves from being falsely accused of patent infringement by Monsanto before they are contaminated by Monsanto’s transgenic seed,” said Dan Ravicher, Executive Director of the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), a not-for-profit legal services organization based at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law that represents the plaintiffs. “Judge Buchwald erred by denying plaintiffs that right and they have now initiated the process of having her decision reversed.”
The original complaint in OSGATA et al v. Monsanto was filed on March 29, 2011. In July, Monsanto filed a motion to dismiss.  Plaintiff lawyers at PUBPAT then filed arebuttal brief on August 11, 2011. Judge Buchwald called for oral argument on the motion to dismiss, which was held in Manhattan on January 31, 2012.  The judge’sdismissal ruling was issued February 24th and plaintiffs were given thirty days in which to file their Notice of Appeal.
“Farmers are under threat.  Our right to farm the way we choose, and to grow pure organic seed and healthy food on our farms for our families and for our customers is under assault,” said Maine organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen, President of lead Appellant OSGATA. “We are honor-bound to challenge an erroneous ruling which denies family farmers the protection the law says we deserve. We’re not asking for one penny from Monsanto. Ultimately, our fight is for justice and is waged to defend the right of the people to have access to good and safe food.”

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Tell the National Organic Standards Board to Reject Martek’s Petition for Life’sDHA and Life’sARA!
Organic Consumer’s Association
December 1, 2011

In 2009, a front page Washington Post article, “Integrity of Federal ‘Organic’ Label Questioned.” explained how Martek Biosciences’ synthetic DHA and ARA ended up in organic infant formula. In 2006, National Organic Program staff told Martek that its synthetic DHA and ARA couldn’t be used in organic because they were synthetic and not on the National List. But, Martek’s lawyer, J. Friedman, was able to get their decision reversed by NOP director Barbara Robinson, with just a call and an email. He told the Washington Post, “I called Robinson up, I wrote an e-mail. It was a simple matter.”

This might be how the 1% get things done in Washington, but it sure isn’t legal!

The National Organic Program is trying to remedy this situation by requiring Martek to formally ask permission to use its DHA and AHA in organic.

But Martek’s products should never have even been considered for use in organic in the first place. According to patents uncovered by the Cornucopia Institute, all of Martek’s DHA and ARA products are produced through genetic engineering and processed with solvents like hexane, two things that are expressly banned from USDA Organic.

The Cornucopia Institute also found documents submitted by Martek to the FDA, in which the company claimed their DHA was just like Monsanto’s. A Martek representative clarified that its DHA was not developed by Monsanto, but that Monsanto did briefly own the technology before it reverted back to Martek.

Martek’s patents for Life’sDHA states: “includes mutant organisms” and “recombinant organisms”, (a.k.a. GMOs!) The patents explain that the oil is “extracted readily with an effective amount of solvent … a preferred solvent is hexane.”

(more…)

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California is poised to be the first state with mandatory GMO labeling laws through the 2012 California Ballot Initiative process.

The Organic Consumers Association is beginning to collect signatures. They need 504, 760 signatures to get on the ballot- if you’d like to get involved, go to:

http://organicconsumersfund.org/label/

Thanks!

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