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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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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – May 24, 2011 – Today, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) was informed by Assemblymember Huffman’s office that they have decided to hold AB 88—the California bill which would require that all genetically engineered (GE) fish sold in California contain clear and prominent labeling—as a 2-year bill. This means it will not be up for a second vote in the Appropriations Committee this week and will instead be held until next year when it will go through the committee process again. This will give CFS and other organizations working on the bill more time to educate California legislators about the importance of this bill and its role in protecting consumer’s right to know how they’re food is produced.

read more from the Center for Food Safety’s website:

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If you listen to NPR, you might have been surprised to hear a story that ran last week on the program Marketplace that sounded as if it were written by Monsanto itself.

The report, entitled “The Non-Organic Future,” claimed that the only way to feed the world is to give poor farmers fertilizers, pesticides and genetically modified seeds.

Pedro Sanchez, a proponent of industrial agriculture who works as a soil scientist at Columbia University, is the mouthpiece for the absurd proposition that soil is “like a bank account, you’ve got to have a positive balance, and if you deposit only organics, you’re going to go broke.”

In a comment posted at Marketplace’s website, Anna Lappé, author of Diet for a Hot Planet, pointed to a gaping hole in their reporting: the failure to acknowledge the 2009 International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science, and Technology for Development (IAASTD) Report, a joint project of the U.N. and the World Bank, among other agencies. Here’s Anna’s apt description of the report:

“The groundbreaking study brought together 400 experts who worked for 4.5 years to explore the most efficient, productive, and sustainable strategy for feeding the world. The conclusion – quite the opposite of the one reached by those quoted in this segment – stated in no uncertain terms that we must move away from chemical- and fossil[-fuel]-dependent agriculture, which by the way includes biotech.

“Business as usual is not an option, was the radical consensus. Instead, small-scale and mid-scale agroecological farming holds our best hope for feeding the world safe, healthy food, all without undermining our natural capital.”

As the IAASTD report shows, Sanchez’s view is hardly the only or even the dominant view among development experts about how to “feed the world.” Indeed, if there is a consensus, Sanchez’s views are in the minority.

Listeners might chalk the whole thing up to sloppy reporting, if it weren’t for the fact that over the last couple of years, Marketplace has been underwritten by Monsanto, and the program’s been running ads that tout Monsanto as a sustainable agriculture innovator! Rather than being sloppy, it turns out that the reporting is actually a carefully constructed thank-you gift for a prized advertiser!

If you find this type of corporate influence and media bias unacceptable, please ask American Public Media, producers of Marketplace, to stop spreading Monsanto’s lies.

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From Bill McKibbon:  Together we’ve accomplished an awful lot in the last two years—we’ve built the first mass movement around climate change, with thousands of rallies around the country and around the world. We’ve put the basic science out where it can’t be ignored, and built a coalition of poor and affluent people around the planet. If pictures are worth a thousand words, well, we’ve got a lot of pictures. But we’re still losing the battle—more carbon is pouring into the atmosphere, temperatures keep setting new records, and our U.S. Congress still refuses to act.

So it’s time to turn up the other kind of heat, the political kind. For many years, everyone has assumed that if we simply manage to communicate the problem, it will lead to action. It hasn’t, for one simple reason: there’s too much money in the way. A wall of money that separates politicians from the scientific truth that we’re in a desperate crisis.

Big polluters spilled oil into the Gulf and lobbied to have American taxpayers clean up their mess, and those same industry groups are fighting tooth and nail to stop the EPA from protecting our air, water and atmosphere.

That’s why we’re going to spend much of this year taking on the single biggest source of that money pollution, the US Chamber of Commerce. They’re not like your local chamber of commerce—they’re essentially a front group for a few giant corporations.

Read more and take action.

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Despite nearly 400,000 comments in opposition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to announce its approval of genetically engineered (GE) salmon any day nowTo make matters worse, FDA argues that these GE salmon don’t even need to be labeled!

In response to FDA’s imminent approval, Congress is taking action. Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Representative Don Young (R-Alaska) recently introduced bipartisan legislation in Congress that would ban GE fish (Bill# S. 230/H.R. 521) and require mandatory labeling for consumers if approved (Bill# S. 229/H.R. 520).

Please send your email to Congress in support of these important bills!

The legislation has been endorsed by 64 consumer, worker, religious and environmental groups, along with commercial, recreational and subsistence fisheries associations, food businesses and retailers—including the Center for Food Safety, Ocean Conservancy, Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development, the Alaska Trollers Association, Food and Water Watch, the National Cooperative Grocers Association and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations among others—who know that the approval of GE salmon would represent a serious threat to the survival of native salmon populations, many of which have already suffered severe declines related to salmon farms and other man-made impacts. Wild Atlantic salmon are already on the Endangered Species List in the U.S.; approving these GE Atlantic salmon could be the final blow to these wild stocks. Additionally, the human health impacts of eating GE fish are entirely unknown. If GE salmon are approved, these fish must be labeled so people can make informed choices.

Please write your U.S. Senators and Representative and urge them to protect fishers, consumers and the environment by co-sponsoring S. 230/H.R. 521 and S. 229/H.R. 520!

 

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WASHINGTON, DC – North America’s largest consumer advocacy organization, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), which represents over 850,000 consumers, announced last month a new campaign to oppose the name change of the fair trade certifier TransFair USA to “Fair Trade USA”. TransFair has applied for the new name to be trademarked, along with the term “Fair Trade Certified”. As the certifier that works with major brands such as Starbucks and Ben & Jerry’s, it is in effect an attempt to legally claim, as an exclusive brand, a term that encompasses a broad movement that extends far beyond the work of TransFair.

“Since our campaign began two weeks ago, more than 9,900 conscious consumers across the United States have sent letters to TransFair USA opposing their name change to ‘Fair Trade USA,” says OCA Executive Director Ronnie Cummins. “TransFair’s response pitifully claims that the new name is ‘popular’ even as they get strong evidence of a revolt by consumer stakeholders that see the new name as yet another step by TransFair to co-opt and corporatize the Fair Trade movement.”

Read more and sign the petition.

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The Obama Administration’s FDA seems bent on letting the biotech industry get their genetically modified salmon into ocean factory farms that are already spreading filth and disease. The FDA knows that GMO salmon are less nutritious, more likely to cause cancer or trigger allergies, and have a higher rate of deformities than normal fish. Rep. Young’s bill, H.R.521, would prevent the FDA from approving dangerous GMO fish.
If the Obama Administration’s FDA won’t protect consumers, we need Congress to take action. Please ask your Member of Congress to cosponsor H.R.521 today.

Learn more and take action.

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