Dramatic Turn in Brussels Glyphosate Battle


2564490Since the unexpected refusal last month of three EU member states to go along with the decision of the EU Health and Food Safety Commissioner and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to re-approve the world’s most widely used weed killing chemical, Glyphosate, dramatic and encouraging developments suggest that for the first time the power of GMO agrochemical giants like Monsanto and Syngenta, Dow and DuPont, BASF, Bayer could undergo a devastating defeat. Were this to happen, it could well be the death knell for the misbegotten Rockefeller Foundation Genetic Manipulation project that has destroyed much of Western farmland and poisoned hundreds of millions of GMO fed farm animals and humans.

On March 4, Europe’s Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis indicated that his directorate, DG SANTE, is exploring the possibility of full transparency for industry studies on pesticides.

As we described in a previous writing, the EU Commission had recommended approval of another 15-year license for the controversial glyphosate based on the suspicious determination by the EU’s corrupt EFSA that there was no reason to believe glyphosate is a carcinogen. That determination, not backed up by open disclosure of the relevant health and safety studies EFSA claimed to rely on, went totally against the 2015 determination by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that glyphosate, the weed-killer used in most every GMO plant worldwide and most other crops and even home gardens as well, was a “probable carcinogen.”

EFSA, basing its view on a report by Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), which in turn was given it by Monsanto and other agrochemical industry groups, said it is unlikely to pose a cancer risk. IARC used only data that was in the public domain, but the corrupt German BfR based its report on secret industry studies that it refused to release to IARC or to the public.

Currently the Monsanto and other agribusiness industry studies submitted to support regulatory authorizations of pesticides are kept secret under commercial confidentiality agreements with regulators. Now Andriukaitis, clearly feeling the pressure, has said that this needs to change. He stated, “We are ready to assess the legal environment,” as there are certain legal protections on industry data. But, he added, “It’s absolutely crystal clear, we need to change today’s situation. We see different options, but at the moment, yes, the idea is to change the rules, especially keeping in mind the overriding public interest.”

On initially announcing his plans to approve re-licensing of glyphosate based on the fraudulent November, 2015 EFSA determination claiming that it was no carcinogen, EU Commissioner Andriukaitis received an open letter of protest from 96 prominent scientists, including most of the scientists of the WHO’s 2015 IARC study. The letter declared that the basis of EFSA’s research was “not credible because it is not supported by the evidence. Accordingly, we urge you and the European Commission to disregard the flawed EFSA finding.” Among other “flaws” they argued, EFSA chose to completely dismiss seven positive animal studies showing an increase in cancerous tumors.

Not only did that letter of scientists seem to have encouraged a moral rethink by Commissioner Andriukaitis. He has also received a staggering 1.5 million signed petitions from citizens and organizations across the European Union demanding a ban on further use of the highly toxic glyphosate. The totalitarian, usually arrogant EU Commission is answerable to no citizens as would be normal national politicians who can be kicked out by their voters. It’s known as the “democratic deficit” in official parlance. Brussels is an anti-democratic construction. That makes the rethink even more interesting, unless it is yet another deception by the influential agribusiness lobby.

It’s the glyphosate, stupid!

The true secret of the toxic danger of GMO crops in the animal and human food chain is gradually coming to light. It is becoming clearer that perhaps as much or even more a toxic danger for human and animal consumption of GMO corn, soy products and other GMO varieties, are the chemicals the GMO seeds are by contract agreement necessarily mated with. No farmer anywhere in the world is allowed to buy Monsanto GMO “Roundup Ready” seeds without at the same time signing a binding contract to annually buy and use Monsanto glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer. In fact, the only trait that Monsanto Roundup Ready corn or soybeans are genetically modified for is to resist the toxic killing effect of Roundup while every living biological matter around not “glyphosate resistant” is killed.

Until a recent study by the courageous group of scientists under Professor Giles-Eric Seralini at France’s Caen University, few independent scientific long-term rat studies of Roundup or glyphosate were done. Monsanto and other GMO companies refused to disclose the adjuvant chemicals paired with Roundup or other herbicides claiming “business secrets.”

Since the WHO’s March 2015 IARC determination that glyphosate, alone and in combination with adjuvant toxic chemicals was a probable human carcinogen, the dam of secrecy around glyphosate has burst. To parody the line of then Presidential candidate Bill Clinton in a debate with opponent George H.W. Bush in the 1992 election race, “It’s the glyphosate, stupid!”

Now the veil of EU secrecy surrounding studies of agriculture herbicides and pesticides is beginning to crack. The public demand for full disclosure is spreading. On March 16, three European Parliament members formally demanded, under EU rules, in a Freedom of Information request to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), full disclosure of the secret Biotech industry studies that EFSA used in their controversial risk assessment on glyphosate.

The European Parliamentarians’ letter to Bernhard Url the head of EFSA is worth quoting in part:

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as enshrined in Regulation 1049/2001 and in the Aarhus Regulation, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:

There is an alarming scientific controversy between the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization (IARC) with regard to the carcinogenicity of glyphosate. In March 2015, IARC concluded that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen (category 2A) . However, later that same year, in November 2015, EFSA concluded that glyphosate is “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans and the evidence does not support classification with regard to its carcinogenic potential.”

Proper classification of glyphosate is crucial because it potentially affects public health and entails important regulatory consequences. It is therefore vital to investigate why there are contradictory results in the EFSA and IARC assessments. To date EFSA has explained that its “evaluation considered a large body of evidence, including a number of studies not assessed by the IARC which is one of the reasons for reaching different conclusions” (EFSA news story, 12 November 2015 – http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal…). This means that the EFSA peer review is based on unpublished studies whose findings cannot yet be verified and subjected to independent scrutiny.

The need to achieve clarity in this regard is both urgent and evident. Glyphosate is used in around 750 pesticides commercialized by 91 companies across the globe. According to data published by IARC, glyphosate is registered in “over 130 countries as of 2010 and is probably the most heavily used herbicide in the world.”

By April 8 according to EU treaties and law, EFSA must reply. If they continue to stonewall, the controversy will now escalate in a major dimension. The GMO glyphosate genie is long out of the bottle.

Independent scientific test of glyphosate

Regardless of what reply the notoriously corrupt pro-GMO industry-influenced EFSA gives on April 8, the opposition to renewing the EU license for glyphosate grows daily. Beginning in May this year, Italy’s independent Ramazzini Institute in Bologna, Italy will begin preparing a long-term self-funded research study into the effects of glyphosate on rats and on modelling effects on the embryo of pregnant women. Dr Fiorella Belpoggi, director of the Institute’s Cesare Maltoni Cancer Research Centre, which will carry out the study, said: “To settle disputes between IARC and EFSA, what we need is the results of independent research such as we are proposing to carry out. Meanwhile, the precautionary principle stands.” The institute issued a statement that, “In view of the uncertainty, one simply must apply the precautionary principle and strictly limit exposure to this substance so that we don’t damage our health.” Their study will begin in 2017 once all preparations are ready.

The Ramazzini Institute has been concerned with glyphosate effects for four years. They announced that scientists all over the world helped draw up a protocol which will enable one single experiment (thus minimizing the numbers of rats involved) to evaluate and identify the risks associated with glyphosate at doses comparable with what is currently allowed in humans both in the USA and in Europe.

Notably, a recent German study revealed alarming concentrations of glyphosate in a majority of the population there. An alarming three-quarters of the German population have been contaminated by glyphosate according to a study done by the Heinrich Böll Foundation. The report analyzed glyphosate residue in urine and it concluded that, “75% of the target group displayed levels that were five times higher than the legal limit of drinking water. A third of the population even showed levels that were between ten and 42 times higher than what is normally permissible.”

All in all this is adding up to a refreshing popular revolt against the GMO death industry. Hooray for those of us who wish to live. The “killer Queens” of Monsanto, BASF, Syngenta and co. are in their greatest battle for survival on this one. Glyphosate may turn out to be the Achilles heel that kills GMO once and for all. That would be nice.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
http://journal-neo.org/2016/04/15/dramatic-turn-in-brussels-glyphosate-battle/

 

150 European Parliament Members to Test Urine for Glyphosate


By Lorraine Chow

Roughly 150 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are taking a urine test today and tomorrow to see if glyphosate—the cancer-linked weedkiller—is in their system.

glyphosateeurope
Glyphosate being applied to a field in North Yorkshire, England. In Europe, there has been growing controversy over the substance. Photo credit: Flickr

According to The Guardian, the move comes ahead of a symbolic vote on glyphosate’s prohibition in the European Union this Wednesday.

The European Commission is proposing to grant the herbicide a new 15-year lease when it ends in June. However, in March, several EU member states, including France, Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands, led a very public rebellion over the relicensing, citing its purported health risks. The actually vote to re-approve glyphosate has now been postponed to at least mid-May.

Coupled with that, a new Yougov poll found that two-thirds of Europeans support a ban on glyphosate.

“A prohibition on the herbicide ingredient was backed by three quarters of Italians, 70 percent of Germans, 60 percent of French and 56 percent of Britons, in a survey of more than 7,000 people across the EU’s five biggest states,” The Guardian wrote.

Green Party MEP Bart Staes told The Guardian “this poll clearly shows that the European public does not want … the authorization of glyphosate, and certainly not until June 2031.”

Glyphosate has garnered a great deal of backlash in Europe ever since the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified the ingredient as a possible carcinogen last year.

The European Green party will vote on a resolution objecting to the commission’s plans to reapprove the substance in Europe on April 13. “The finding that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans by the WHO should be leading to a global moratorium on its use,” the Greens said.

A number of studies have detected glyphosate—the “most widely applied pesticide worldwide”—in our immediate surroundings and even in human bodies. A 2013 Friends of the Earth Europe study reported people in 18 European countries have traces of glyphosate in their urine.

This past February, a German study found that 14 of the most popular brands of German beer tested positive for glyphosate, which inspired the MEPs to organize the urine sampling.

David Zaruk, a Brussels-based environmental health risk research analyst who runs the blog The Risk-Monger, questioned in a post if the MEPs are testing their urine as “a clever stunt” before their symbolic vote on Wednesday.

Zaruk published his email correspondence with Staes, asking him if tax dollars were paying for the tests. He also shared with Staes this meme floating on the Internet about wine’s hyped up glyphosate risks compared to ethanol.

Here’s an excerpt of Zaruk’s email to Staes:

Are you also aware that the trace levels of glyphosate are so low as to be insignificant, and the fact that it is being expelled in urine is actually good news (as opposed to cocaine and alcohol). Ok, I suppose you really don’t care about facts … maybe your voters will!

Kind regards and good luck frightening Europe for petty reasons while choking agriculture.

In response, Staes wrote back to Zaruk saying that the MEPs are paying for the urine tests out of their own pocket and added:

As a MEP I am for the last 17 years very active to fight for another kind of agriculture. For me and the Greens, glyphosate is the very incarnation of “modern agriculture,” a model that is not sustainable at all:

1. It stands for reckless monoculture: a non-selective herbicide—a broad band killer which kills all plants, algae, bacteria and fungi—is used to deal with a few pests, thereby creating massive effects on non-target organisms and biodiversity,

2. It is strongly linked to GMOs (56% of global use is for glyphosate resistant crops)—killing everything but the genetically engineered crop,

3. It stands for economic gains at all costs:

• it has replaced traditional agricultural practices such as tilling because spraying glyphosate is cheaper (“chemical plough”)

• it is used not only to kill unwanted weed, but also the crop itself prior to harvest to accelerate ripening and facilitate harvest (“desiccation”).

So what I do is far from a political gimmick.

Zaruk also responded to each of Staes’ points in his blog post.

In recent news, France banned glyphosate mixed with the additive tallow amine due to its perceived risks to human health citing results from a November report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Even though EFSA rejected the IARC’s classification of glyphosate as a possible carcinogen and said it was “unlikely” to pose a public health risk, the EFSA admitted that it only examined glyphosate alone, not glyphosate formulations.

The adverse health effects of the herbicide, therefore, could be related to reactions with “other constituents or ‘co-formulants,’” the EFSA report said.

Tallow amine is one of the additives in Monsanto’s widely popular Roundup and aids in its effectiveness.

Monsanto, which has long maintained the safety of their flagship product, confirmed to Reuters they are one of the companies affected by the French ban, adding that the debate over glyphosate is “political.”

http://ecowatch.com/2016/04/11/meps-test-urine-glyphosate/

 

Voting with your dollars: Monsanto’s profits drop 25%


The biotech giant Monsanto just released quarterly earnings statements noting that their profit has fallen by 25 percent compared to the previous year. In the last year alone, the overall value of Monsanto stock has seen a similar downward spiral, falling by nearly 30 percent since the end of Q1 2015.

Last quarter, net income was $1.06 billion, or $2.41 per share, compared to $1.42 billion, or $2.92 per share, in the same period a year ago.

Total sales for the agricultural behemoth have plummetted by double digits in the last year as well.

While Monsanto blames this downward trend on farmers cutting back on spending while being squeezed by plummeting commodity prices, they fail to mention that this trend is only within the biotech realm.

As GMO sales decrease, an almost directly proportional increase can be seen in non-GMO and organics. What’s more is the fact that the increase in organic and non-GMO sales owe absolutely nothing to the government. As the FDA greases the skids for their corporate masters, they do nothing but inhibit the growth of companies who ethically compete with them.

One example can be seen in initiatives to label GMO. In spite of a massive outpouring of support in favor of labeling GMO products, state and federal government continue to deny it. However, because of consumer demand, companies have taken it upon themselves to begin labeling their own products. Private third-party groups have also risen to the task and have created their own lists of non-GMO foods.

As more people become informed about the environmental and health effects of various aspects of the chemical-industrial farming complex, they are spending their money on alternatives. The subsequent increase in demand for organic and non-GMO has driven down costs thereby increasing availability.

Less than a decade ago, the only place to find organics was at specialty stores. However, organics now even have a presence at convenience stores.

It cannot be emphasized enough, that this massive shift in the food paradigm is due to consumer demand, i.e., voting with your dollars — not government intervention. Sadly and expectedly, the federal government is little more than a revolving door for industry insiders who use their elected and unelected authority to grant themselves special privileges to weed out their competition.

This year, for the first time, the FDA has been forced to begin testing certain food products for the presence of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Round-Up. This move by the FDA was not based on the interest of the public, but only because private companies had been exposing dangerous levels of this herbicide in everything from baby formula to beer.

The FDA’s failure to test for glyphosate was among the things the agency was criticized for in a 2014 audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). While stopping short of demanding that the FDA conduct glyphosate testing, the GAO said the agency should, at the very least, publicly disclose that it does not do so.

“Maybe we shamed them into it,” John Neumann, a spokesman for the GAO, told Civil Eats. The FDA is facing a follow-up evaluation from GAO in June this year.

While it once may have seemed that Monsanto was this cancer spreading across the globe in their attempt to control the world’s food supply, this image seems far less likely now as more consumers wake up to the dangers of funding such unsustainable practices.

However, although the organic industry is still growing at double-digit rates approaching $37 billion annually, we cannot let down our guard. Rest assured that the biotech insiders within the marble halls of D.C. are pining away at this very moment thinking of ways to eliminate their sustainable adversaries using government legislation.

http://www.sott.net/article/316133-Voting-with-your-dollars-Monsantos-profits-drop-25

City of Portland to Sue Monsanto for Contaminating Waterways


PORTLAND, Ore. — The city of Portland unanimously passed a resolution authorizing City Attorney Tracy Reeve to sue the Monsanto Company for contaminating Portland waterways with PCBs.

PCBs are cancer causing chemicals that last for many decades in the environment.

Reeve says the city has already spent a significant amount of public money to clean up the PCB contamination in the Willamette River and Columbia Slough and will continue to do so. It has known for years of the contamination.

“In our case there are PCBs widely distributed throughout Portland Harbor and that’s one of the main reasons it was listed as a superfund site back in December of 2000,” said Travis Williams, executive director of Willamette Riverkeeper.

According to the city attorney, Monsanto was the sole U.S. manufacturer of PCBs and manufactured over 1 billion pounds of PCBs between the 1930s and the 1970s, when Congress banned PCBs. Reeve says Monsanto’s own documents show the company continued to sell PCBs long after it knew of the dangers they presented to human health and the environment.

“Monsanto was the only manufacturer of PCB’s in the United States from 1939 until PCBs were banned in the late 70’s,” said Reeve. “During that time there’s documentary evidence that Monsanto knew that PCBs were dangerous to the environment, that they migrated from waterways to fish, from fish to birds and also to people and they, nonetheless, continued to manufacture and distribute PCBs.”

Portland will join six other West Coast cities, including Seattle and Spokane, that have already filed federal lawsuits against Monsanto.

Monsanto released the following statement:

We are reviewing the lawsuit and its allegations. However, Monsanto is not responsible for the costs alleged in this matter. Monsanto today, and for the last decade, has been focused solely on agriculture, but we share a name with a company that dates back to 1901.

 

https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/city-portland-sue-monsanto-contaminating-waterways

Government Study Backs Pesticide Rules That Lawmakers Keep Rejecting


Hawaii should dramatically improve its regulation of pesticide use and study its impacts — something the Legislature has repeatedly refused to do — according to a draft version of a report commissioned by the state and Kauai County.

It calls for buffer zones around areas where large amounts of restricted-use pesticides are applied, and requirements that GMO seed companies disclose after the fact what restricted-use pesticides they used, how much, and where.

The study found no statistically significant evidence that pesticide use by large agricultural companies has harmed Kauai’s environment or the health of residents, but says serious data gaps hindered the analysis.

The state Department of Agriculture and the Kauai County Council commissioned the $100,000 report in December 2014 in response to public concerns about the environmental and health impacts of pesticide use by seed companies such as Syngenta and DuPont Pioneer.

Civil Beat obtained a draft version of the report that’s expected to be published Thursday on the project’s website. The study is the product of more than 2,000 hours of research by a diverse group of eight stakeholders led by Peter Adler of consulting firm Accord3.0.

View of fields near Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. for Anita's story. 13 jan 2015. photograph Cory lum/Civil Beat

The group included organic farmer Louisa Wooton; Sarah Styan, a senior research manager at DuPont Pioneer; and Gerardo Rojas Garcia, a site manager at another seed company on Kauai, Dow AgroSciences.

The draft report calls upon Gov. David Ige to champion pesticide issues and says the Legislature should “undertake a major update of Hawaii’s pesticide laws and regulation.”

That includes requiring mandatory disclosure of restricted-use-pesticide applications by all large users and implementing a buffer zone policy. Both are policy initiatives consistently pushed by advocacy groups like the Center for Food Safety but rejected by the Legislature as recently as this year.

In a phone interview Wednesday, Center for Food Safety Hawaii’s executive director, Ashley Lukens, said the report’s recommendations are reasonable and reflect the policies that the nonprofit organization has been pursuing for years.

She wasn’t fazed by the fact that the group couldn’t find evidence linking the seed companies’ pesticide use to negative health impacts.

“Of course they’re unable to find evidence that definitely links the pesticide use of these companies to adverse health impacts, because they’re not collecting the pesticide use data or health data, so how could they ever generate those conclusions?” Lukens said.

The report also recommended that seed companies “provide greater public access to their field base maps and the geographic coordinates and identifiers of their pesticide application data in a manner that doesn’t compromise business practices or security.”

“The capability exists to determine how much pesticide application activity occurs at a particular location and at a given time; however it is not currently being done,” the report says. “This information is essential to performing future environmental and health impact studies.”

It’s unclear how open seed companies would be to providing that information. Bennette Misalucha, executive director of the local seed industry’s trade group, issued the following statement through a spokesman in response to a Civil Beat inquiry Wednesday:

“The Hawaii Crop Improvement Association thanks the Joint Fact Finding Group for its long months of work. We anticipate that the group’s report will confirm that the industry has been responsible in its use of agricultural products. It would be irresponsible for us to comment on a draft document that is subject to change. Once a final document is officially released, we will be able to respond.”

The draft report’s recommendations include:

• The state should establish new standards of pesticide safety that consider Hawaii’s unique environment and take into account the impacts of chronic exposure.

• The Department of Agriculture should implement a pilot program to monitor pesticide drift and improve current protocols for responding to incidents of pesticide exposure.

• The department should also add a user fee to pesticide sales to fund pesticide monitoring initiatives; add more pesticide inspectors to tackle the agency’s backlog; require that field workers undergo mandatory medical checks for pesticide toxicity; and create an annual monitoring program for bees and honey.

• The Department of Health should implement continuous water monitoring and air, soil and dust sampling programs. The agency should also complete all missing years of data on cancer and birth defects, and start including zip codes in its data collection.

• The Department of Education should pursue an air monitoring program at Kauai schools and offer voluntary blood and urine tests.

• The Department of Land and Natural Resources should start a pilot program to test for pesticides in wildlife and test surface waters in wetland habitats and bird sanctuaries.

• The Office of Hawaiian Affairs should annually monitor the presence of pesticides in salts collected by Native Hawaiian practitioners.

The version of the report expected Thursday may differ slightly in its conclusions and recommendations.

In addition to Garcia, Styan and Wooton, the study group members include Adam Asquith, who holds a doctorate in entomology and works at the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program; Lee Evslin, a semi-retired physician; Kathleen West-Hurd, an expert in planning and land use; retired surgeon Douglas Wilmore; and Kawika Winter, director of the Limahuli Garden and Preserve.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly said that Roy Yamakawa, retired county administrator for the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, was one of the authors. Although he was initially a member of the Joint Fact Finding group, he resigned Jan. 3.

In a phone interview earlier this week, Adler said the report reflects “general concurrence” among the group but that individual members may have their own reservations and will be able to note them in the appendix of the final report. The group will hold an informational briefing April 4, and accept public comments until April 8.

“We’re interested in factual additions or factual corrections,” Adler said. “I know everyone has a lot of passion around these issues. (We’re) really trying to get at data and evidence.”

Read the report published Thursday below and send comments to jffcomments@gmail.com:

 

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About the Author

http://www.civilbeat.com/2016/03/government-study-backs-pesticide-rules-that-lawmakers-keep-rejecting/

Ed Note: One glaring omission from the draft report’s recommendations is collecting data from local health clinics. In 2014 I attended an anti-GMO rally on Kauai where one of the speakers was a nurse from a west-side clinic, where Dow, Syngenta and Monsanto were heavily spraying pesticides. I was shocked at the feedback she gave the audience, on the sheer number of health problems and birth defects associated with pesticide use. There are diseases emerging which have no treatment protocols or medicines that work, health care professionals dealing with pesticide exposure are desperate to find treatable solutions that work for patients experiencing a wide variety of ailments and symptoms.

So to say that the data is hard to collect is PURE BS, doctors and nurses on Kauia’s westside are begging authority’s to look at their data.

USDA Forces Whole Foods to Accept Monsanto. Does this make whole foods just another grocery store?



n the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation’s 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America’s organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal.
A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it’s time to surrender to Monsanto. Top executives from these companies have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsanto’s controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa, and are prepared to sit down and cut a deal for “coexistence” with Monsanto and USDA biotech cheerleader Tom Vilsack.
In a cleverly worded, but profoundly misleading email sent to its customers last week, Whole Foods Market, while proclaiming their support for organics and “seed purity,” gave the green light to USDA bureaucrats to approve the “conditional deregulation” of Monsanto’s genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant alfalfa.
Beyond the regulatory euphemism of “conditional deregulation,” this means that WFM and their colleagues are willing to go along with the massive planting of a chemical and energy-intensive GE perennial crop, alfalfa; guaranteed to spread its mutant genes and seeds across the nation; guaranteed to contaminate the alfalfa fed to organic animals; guaranteed to lead to massive poisoning of farm workers and destruction of the essential soil food web by the toxic herbicide, Roundup; and guaranteed to produce Roundup-resistant superweeds that will require even more deadly herbicides such as 2,4 D to be sprayed on millions of acres of alfalfa across the U.S.
In exchange for allowing Monsanto’s premeditated pollution of the alfalfa gene pool, WFM wants “compensation.” In exchange for a new assault on farmworkers and rural communities (a recent large-scale Swedish study found that spraying Roundup doubles farm workers’ and rural residents’ risk of getting cancer), WFM expects the pro-biotech USDA to begin to regulate rather than cheerlead for Monsanto. In payment for a new broad spectrum attack on the soil’s crucial ability to provide nutrition for food crops and to sequester dangerous greenhouse gases (recent studies show that Roundup devastates essential soil microorganisms that provide plant nutrition and sequester climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases), WFM wants the Biotech Bully of St. Louis to agree to pay “compensation” (i.e. hush money) to farmers “for any losses related to the contamination of his crop.”
In its email of Jan. 21, 2011 WFM calls for “public oversight by the USDA rather than reliance on the biotechnology industry,” even though WFM knows full well that federal regulations on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) do not require pre-market safety testing, nor labeling; and that even federal judges have repeatedly ruled that so-called government “oversight” of Frankencrops such as Monsanto’s sugar beets and alfalfa is basically a farce. At the end of its email, WFM admits that its surrender to Monsanto is permanent: “The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well  True coexistence is a must.”
Why Is Organic Inc. Surrendering?
According to informed sources, the CEOs of WFM and Stonyfield are personal friends of former Iowa governor, now USDA Secretary, Tom Vilsack, and in fact made financial contributions to Vilsack’s previous electoral campaigns. Vilsack was hailed as “Governor of the Year” in 2001 by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and traveled in a Monsanto corporate jet on the campaign trail. Perhaps even more fundamental to Organic Inc.’s abject surrender is the fact that the organic elite has become more and more isolated from the concerns and passions of organic consumers and locavores. The Organic Inc. CEOs are tired of activist pressure, boycotts, and petitions. Several of them have told me this to my face. They apparently believe that the battle against GMOs has been lost, and that it’s time to reach for the consolation prize.  The consolation prize they seek is a so-called “coexistence” between the biotech Behemoth and the organic community that will lull the public to sleep and greenwash the unpleasant fact that Monsanto’s unlabeled and unregulated genetically engineered crops are now spreading their toxic genes on 1/3 of U.S. (and 1/10 of global) crop land.
WFM and most of the largest organic companies have deliberately separated themselves from anti-GMO efforts and cut off all funding to campaigns working to label or ban GMOs. The so-called Non-GMO Project, funded by Whole Foods and giant wholesaler United Natural Foods (UNFI) is basically a greenwashing effort (although the 100% organic companies involved in this project seem to be operating in good faith) to show that certified organic foods are basically free from GMOs (we already know this since GMOs are banned in organic production), while failing to focus on so-called “natural” foods, which constitute most of WFM and UNFI’s sales and are routinely contaminated with GMOs.
From theip “business as usual” perspective, successful lawsuits against GMOs filed by public interest groups such as the Center for Food Safety; or noisy attacks on Monsanto by groups like the Organic Consumers Association, create bad publicity, rattle their big customers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, Costco, Supervalu, Publix and Safeway; and remind consumers that organic crops and foods such as corn, soybeans, and canola are slowly but surely becoming contaminated by Monsanto’s GMOs.
Whole Food’s Dirty Little Secret: Most of the So-Called “Natural” Processed Foods and Animal Products They Sell Are Contaminated with GMOs
The main reason, however, why Whole Foods is pleading for coexistence with Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, Syngenta, BASF and the rest of the biotech bullies, is that they desperately want the controversy surrounding genetically engineered foods and crops to go away. Why? Because they know, just as we do, that 2/3 of WFM’s $9 billion annual sales is derived from so-called “natural” processed foods and animal products that are contaminated with GMOs. We and our allies have tested their so-called “natural” products (no doubt WFM’s lab has too) containing non-organic corn and soy, and guess what: they’re all contaminated with GMOs, in contrast to their certified organic products, which are basically free of GMOs, or else contain barely detectable trace amounts.
Approximately 2/3 of the products sold by Whole Foods Market and their main distributor, United Natural Foods (UNFI) are not certified organic, but rather are conventional (chemical-intensive and GMO-tainted) foods and products disguised as “natural.”
Unprecedented wholesale and retail control of the organic marketplace by UNFI and Whole Foods, employing a business model of selling twice as much so-called “natural” food as certified organic food, coupled with the takeover of many organic companies by multinational food corporations such as Dean Foods, threatens the growth of the organic movement.
Covering Up GMO Contamination: Perpetrating “Natural” Fraud
Many well-meaning consumers are confused about the difference between conventional products marketed as “natural,” and those nutritionally/environmentally superior and climate-friendly products that are “certified organic.”
Retail stores like WFM and wholesale distributors like UNFI have failed to educate their customers about the qualitative difference between natural and certified organic, conveniently glossing over the fact that nearly all of the processed “natural” foods and products they sell contain GMOs, or else come from a “natural” supply chain where animals are force-fed GMO grains in factory farms or Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).
A troubling trend in organics today is the calculated shift on the part of certain large formerly organic brands from certified organic ingredients and products to so-called “natural” ingredients. With the exception of the “grass-fed and grass-finished” meat sector, most “natural” meat, dairy, and eggs are coming from animals reared on GMO grains and drugs, and confined, entirely, or for a good portion of their lives, in CAFOs.
Whole Foods and UNFI are maximizing their profits by selling quasi-natural products at premium organic prices. Organic consumers are increasingly left without certified organic choices while genuine organic farmers and ranchers continue to lose market share to “natural” imposters. It’s no wonder that less than 1% of American farmland is certified organic, while well-intentioned but misled consumers have boosted organic and “natural” purchases to $80 billion annually-approximately 12% of all grocery store sales.
The Solution: Truth-in-Labeling Will Enable Consumers to Drive So-Called “Natural” GMO and CAFO-Tainted Foods Off the Market
There can be no such thing as “coexistence” with a reckless industry that undermines public health, destroys biodiversity, damages the environment, tortures and poisons animals, destabilizes the climate, and economically devastates the world’s 1.5 billion seed-saving small farmers.  There is no such thing as coexistence between GMOs and organics in the European Union. Why? Because in the EU there are almost no GMO crops under cultivation, nor GM consumer food products on supermarket shelves. And why is this? Because under EU law, all foods containing GMOs or GMO ingredients must be labeled. Consumers have the freedom to choose or not to choose GMOs; while farmers, food processors, and retailers have (at least legally) the right to lace foods with GMOs, as long as they are safety-tested and labeled. Of course the EU food industry understands that consumers, for the most part, do not want to purchase or consume GE foods. European farmers and food companies, even junk food purveyors like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart, understand quite well the concept expressed by a Monsanto executive when GMOs first came on the market: “If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.”
The biotech industry and Organic Inc. are supremely conscious of the fact that North American consumers, like their European counterparts, are wary and suspicious of GMO foods. Even without a PhD, consumers understand you don’t want your food safety or environmental sustainability decisions to be made by out-of-control chemical companies like Monsanto, Dow, or Dupont – the same people who brought you toxic pesticides, Agent Orange, PCBs, and now global warming. Industry leaders are acutely aware of the fact that every single industry or government poll over the last 16 years has shown that 85-95% of American consumers want mandatory labels on GMO foods. Why? So that we can avoid buying them. GMO foods have absolutely no benefits for consumers or the environment, only hazards. This is why Monsanto and their friends in the Bush, Clinton, and Obama administrations have prevented consumer GMO truth-in-labeling laws from getting a public discussion in Congress.
Although Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Democrat, Ohio) recently introduced a bill in Congress calling for mandatory labeling and safety testing for GMOs, don’t hold your breath for Congress to take a stand for truth-in-labeling and consumers’ right to know what’s in their food. Especially since the 2010 Supreme Court decision in the so-called “Citizens United” case gave big corporations and billionaires the right to spend unlimited amounts of money (and remain anonymous, as they do so) to buy media coverage and elections, our chances of passing federal GMO labeling laws against the wishes of Monsanto and Food Inc. are all but non-existent. Perfectly dramatizing the “Revolving Door” between Monsanto and the Federal Government, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, formerly chief counsel for Monsanto, delivered one of the decisive votes in the Citizens United case, in effect giving Monsanto and other biotech bullies the right to buy the votes it needs in the U.S. Congress.
With big money controlling Congress and the media, we have little choice but to shift our focus and go local. We’ve got to concentrate our forces where our leverage and power lie, in the marketplace, at the retail level; pressuring retail food stores to voluntarily label their products; while on the legislative front we must organize a broad coalition to pass mandatory GMO (and CAFO) labeling laws, at the city, county, and state levels.
The Organic Consumers Association, joined by our consumer, farmer, environmental, and labor allies, has just launched a nationwide Truth-in-Labeling campaign to stop Monsanto and the Biotech Bullies from force-feeding unlabeled GMOs to animals and humans.
Utilizing scientific data, legal precedent, and consumer power the OCA and our local coalitions will educate and mobilize at the grassroots level to pressure giant supermarket chains (Wal-Mart, Kroger, Costco, Safeway, Supervalu, and Publix) and natural food retailers such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to voluntarily implement “truth-in-labeling” practices for GMOs and CAFO products; while simultaneously organizing a critical mass to pass mandatory local and state truth-in-labeling ordinances – similar to labeling laws already in effect for country of origin, irradiated food, allergens, and carcinogens.
To pressure Whole Foods Market and the nation’s largest supermarket chains to voluntarily adopt truth-in-labeling practices sign here, and circulate these petitions widely. Power to the People! Not the Corporations!
My Question to you: Does this make Whole foods just another grocery store now? Your Thoughts
By Why Don’t You Try This News
03 February 16

VIDEO: HBO Series Highlights Problems with Genetically Modified Crops


Link courtesy of Karen, mahalo!

Christina Sarich
by Christina Sarich
Posted on February 9, 2016
GM mono-cropping could cause worldwide crop failure

VICE’s entire third season of its HBO show is now available online for free! The May 2015 episode focuses entirely on genetically modified crops.

In the video, host Isobel Yeung traces GM ‘super-crops’ from the headquarters of American agribusiness titan Monsanto to the soy fields of Paraguay. She also visits the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which is financed by Bill Gates and the biotech industry. Seeds are stored there in case of widespread crop disasters.article-vice-monsanto

The video shows how far we’ve strayed from our millennia-old traditions of saving seed for genetic diversity. Now a few multinational corporations are trying to patent all of Mother Nature in order to control the world’s food supply.

article-vice-gmo-countries-700

Widespread mono-cropping of trans-gene GM crops (owned by Monsanto, Syngenta, etc.) is a disaster waiting to happen. As experts in the film point out, if the same gene is used almost worldwide to modify crops, the failure of those crops would not be short-term or small. It would be long-term and global. A single disease could wipe out every strain of corn, soy or other crop that was created using trans-gene technology. Also, if non-GM crops have been contaminated by these same modified genes, the entire food chain could suffer a catastrophe.

article-vice-farmer-weeds-1

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This HBO series episode highlights the country of Paraguay. Since becoming a Monsanto-reliant farming country, Paraguay has had to increase imports by as much as 300 percent. Making the entire economy depend on patented seeds has made Paraguay destitute. This is the likely outcome for every country that relies on GM crops.

The images in this video are undeniable proof of what genetic engineering has done to our planet. Take the time to watch it, even if in part, if you can.

WATCH VIDEO

Millions of Bees Turning Up Dead Around GMO Corn Fields Soaked with Neonicotinoid Pesticides


Reblogged room https://followingworldchange.wordpress.com

 

corn-crops-field-farm

By David Gutierrez, Natural News, January 21, 2016

(NaturalNews) As the European Union considers whether to lift restrictions on three pesticides in the neonicotinoid family, it would do well to consider the phenomenon, known to Canadian beekeepers, in which bees start dying in droves shortly after corn planting season.

“Once the corn started to get planted our bees died by the millions,” said beekeeper Dave Schuit in summer 2013, as reported by Eat Local Grown.

That spring, Schuit lost 600 hives containing 37 million bees. The same year, Canadian farmer Gary Kenny said that eight of the 10 beehives that he kept on his property died shortly after his neighbors planted corn in their fields.

Genetically modified (GM) corn is widely planted in Canada, but because the bee deaths occurred just after planting, the corn plants are not likely to blame for this particular die-off. Instead, beekeepers believe the cause is that the corn seeds were pre-treated with neonicotinoids. Air seeding causes neonicotinoid dust to fly off the seeds and into the air, drifting across the landscape.

Numerous studies point finger at neonics

In one study, researchers from American Purdue University examined the bees that died or were dying as part of the spring 2013 die-off. “Bees exhibited neurotoxic symptoms, analysis of dead bees revealed traces of [the neonicotinoids] thiamethoxam/clothianidin in each case,” they wrote. “Seed treatments of field crops (primarily corn) are the only major source of these compounds.”

A local Pest Management Regulatory Agency investigation also pointed to the same cause, concluding that corn seeds treated with those neonicotinoids “contributed to the majority of bee mortalities.”

“The air seeders are the problem,” said Paul Wettlaufer, a local farmer and director of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

Neonicotinoids are “systemic pesticides.” They are applied to the seeds prior to planting, and then taken up into every tissue of the plant, including leaves, seeds, pollen, flowers and nectar. This makes them highly lethal not just to agricultural pests, but to all insects, and even birds that visit the plants for any reason.

“Large scale prophylaxic use [of neonicotinoids] in agriculture, their high persistence in soil and water, and their uptake by plants and translocation to flowers … put pollinator services at risk,” concluded one international research study.

Not only pollinators are threatened. Two major studies in 2015 found that the pesticides have widespread, dangerous effects on entire ecosystems. One, published in the journal Nature, found that neonicotinoid use was causing bird populations to crash. This is likely caused by both direct poisoning and by devastation of their invertebrate food sources.

Meanwhile, an analysis by the the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, of 800 separate studies, concluded that even when used according to manufacturer guidelines, neonicotinoids wreak havoc on “non-target” species such as earthworms, insects, aquatic invertebrates and even lizards and fish. The pesticides are “likely to have a wide range of negative biological and ecological impacts,” the task force wrote.

The growing case for a ban

In 2013, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) placed a two-year ban on the use of three neonicotinoids, citing a likely risk to bees. The EFSA has now launched a new study to review that policy, with results expected in January 2017.

Yet the evidence for a ban on neonicotinoids is even stronger now than it was two years ago. Even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been forced to admit that the chemicals devastate pollinators. The agency recently announced the findings of field trials, finding that even very low level use of neonicotinoids (25 parts per billion in plant pollen and nectar), caused measurable drops in populations of honeybee hives.

Researchers believe that neonicotinoids damage bee brains, specifically the ability to process information related to orientation and direction.

Sources for this article include:

EatLocalGrown.com

ThePost.ON.ca

CBan.ca

TheEpochTimes.com

NaturalNews.com

DigitalJournal.com

TheGuardian.com

Bernie Sanders Takes On Monsanto, Vows To Protect Organic Farming And Push For GMO Labeling


January 5, 2016 by Amanda Froelich

The biotech industries are “transforming our agricultural system in a bad way,” says Senator Sanders.

Even before Senator Bernie Sanders decided to run for President of the United States, he was quite vocal about factory farming, big corporations, and the Biotech giants. In fact, as early as 1994, Sanders was fighting against companies such as Monsanto for using chemicals that impact human and animal health, reports Alt Health Works

Now a presidential candidate nominee, Sanders isn’t backing down from the biotech giants and is fighting harder than ever to protect peoples’ right to know what’s in their food.

Unlike Hillary Clinton, who is an avid supporter of genetically modified foods (GMOs), Bernie believes that the biotech industries are “transforming our agricultural system in a bad way.” He believes in mandatory GMO labeling (after all, he helped pass a mandatory GMO labeling law in Vermont) so consumers may be informed and make conscious choices.

Like activist and musician Neil Young, Sanders believes the GMO giants are trying to keep consumers in the dark about what they are eating (DARK Act), and supports family-owned and organic agriculture. 

 

Senator Sanders spoke about how to make sure our food is healthy and our farming is ethical during a private dinner event on December 27th.

In the video above, the presidential nominee states:

“The debate should be – how do we make sure that the food our kids are eating is healthy food. And having the courage to take on these huge food and biotech companies who are transforming our agricultural system in a bad way.” 

He also addressed the fossil fuel industry and said that it’s past due time we start shifting toward renewable and alternative energy. 

Before Sanders tackled the heavy topics in his speech, he transported the audience to his home state of Vermont. In the lush state, organic farmer’s markets and sustainable farming are becoming the norm; his vision is to lead an America where this is commonplace everywhere.

“We have hundreds of farmers markets (in Vermont), you’ll find people buying food, beef and poultry directly from farmers, and there’s a growing farm to school pipeline,” he says. “It’s something we’ve worked very hard on and I think all over this country people are concerned about the quality of food their kids are eating.”

 

http://www.trueactivist.com/bernie-sanders-takes-on-monsanto-vows-to-protect-organic-farming-and-push-for-gmo-labeling/?utm_source=af&utm_medium=ta&utm_campaign=af

Breaking: Monsanto Takes First Annual Loss In 6 Years, Lays Off 1,000 Employees


January 7, 2016 by True Activist

“Monsanto is facing the first drop in its annual earnings in six years as prices decline for its Roundup herbicide.”

Credit: DailyLounge.com

Credit: DailyLounge.com


Claire Bernish
January 6, 2016

(ANTIMEDIA) St. Louis, MO —Agrichemical behemoth Monsanto plans to cut an additional 1,000 jobs to compensate, in part, for a slump in sales of its genetically-engineered corn seeds. The seeds led to a first quarter loss of $253 million — which, on the whole, represents a 17% drop in revenue.

“Monsanto has struggled in recent quarters to deal with slumping corn prices in the U.S., which have reduced demand for its best-selling product: genetically-enhanced [read: modified] corn seeds,” reported ABC News“Farmers are shifting more acres to other crops after surpluses of corn and other crops, including wheat, have squashed commodity prices.”

In fact, Monsanto’s sales have fallen roughly 20% over the past year — perhaps indicative of the growing backlash against both its ubiquitous, genetically-modified crops, as well as the glyphosate-based Roundup required to treat them. These financial hits mean the mega-corporation has been forced to restructure at a cost of between $1.1 billion and $1.2 billion — and together with the previously announced layoff of 2,600 people, Monsanto will now be trimming a full 16% of its total staff.

As Bloomberg reported:

“Monsanto is facing the first drop in its annual earnings in six years as prices decline for its Roundup herbicide”and “lower crop prices curb farmers’ purchases of the newest genetically modified seeds.

“Monsanto’s sales of seeds and genetic licenses fell 14 percent in the first quarter. Revenue in the agricultural productivity unit, which primarily makes Roundup, tumbled 34 percent.

Monsanto appears to be in a bit of trouble, despite its CEO, Hugh Grant’s claims that  the restructuring has to do with meeting profit goals. European and North American farmers simply aren’t buying the chemically-dependent seeds, particularly since the World Health Organization categorized glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic” to humans — meaning it probably causes cancer.

In comparison to the same period last year, Monsanto’s revenue declined in every product category except GM soybeans.


This article (Monsanto Cutting 1,000 Jobs as Chemical Giant Takes First Annual Loss in 6 Years) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and theAntiMedia.org

 

http://www.trueactivist.com/breaking-monsanto-takes-first-annual-loss-in-6-years-lays-off-1000-employees/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TrueActivist+%28True+Activist%29&utm_content=FaceBook

THE GMO SCRAPBOOK: NEW STUDY: STEADY CONSUMPTION OF GMOs LINKED TO …by Joseph P. Farrell


According to an article shared by Mr. M.D. with us here, there is a new study linking steady GMO consumption, and the pesticide Roundup, with genetic damage to livers and kidneys:

Study: Diet Full Of GMO Foods Deadly- Alters 4000 Genes In Liver And Kidney

This one says it all:

The new study is foreboding:

Published in the Environmental Health Journal,the new study suggests that even super low levels of Roundup exposure are deadly.

The study results showed that exposure to low-dose glyphosate concentrations, in an established laboratory animal toxicity model system, can result in liver and kidney damage, with potential significant health implications for people as well as our pets and wildlife populations.

The new study finds that even glyphosate (the main ingredient in Round-Up’s crop resistant formula) which is found in our water, can cause this damage alone–the study used a far lower level of glyphosate than is found in our drinking water, in fact America has the highest levels of glyphosate in our water than most of the world.  Many say the run off of Roundup which is sprayed along highways and can run into our ground water, hence our levels are higher than other countries that do not utilize the chemical as much as Americans. (It also is the grim reaper of monarch butterflies–81% decline in monarchs when it is sprayed in their habitats).

And they’re paying for it in Argentina:

Dr. Michael Antoniou, and his team from King’s College London, did the “follow-up” study to Dr. Seralini’s two year study on rats exposed to Roundup.  Although the new study by Antoniou was attacked and ad-hoc articles written to suppress by the biotech industry, like the Genetic Literacy Project,  the study has real results by real Scientists from a reputable College.

With both Seralini and Antoniou’s work we now have more evidence that Roundup causes damage to the liver and kidneys. Despite this, and the numerous other findings, such as the recent news from Argentinathat children are suffering from genetic damage at heavily sprayed GM soy sites in the country, there has been no international move to heavily examine Roundup, and hold Monsanto accountable for its poisoning of the people. (Boldface emphasis added)

This much is predictable: when a corrupt company like Mon(ster)santo/IG Farbensanto (or whatever you wish to call that hideous corporation) gets its hands on the food supply and lines the pockets of America’s bottomless supply of stupid and very corrupt politicians(see the current roster of Dummycrook and Republithug presidential candidates, or just look at Congress), then there’s bound to be long term trouble and repercussions.

Not the least of these, I suggest, is that when you buy off science itself, or actively seek to corrupt the scientific process itself by suppressing findings contrary to your own limited studies (designed only to reassure the corrupt politicians), that there will be a foreign  and domestic policy backlash; you cannot keep poisoning people – or getting said corrupt politicians to pass laws prohibitting you from growing a little garden – or poisoning people’s kids and afflicting them with liver disease, autism, or kidney disease, without there being a backlash. The article mentions Argentina, but we’ve all heard of the problems in India as well, and increasingly, this or that country in Europe is revolting against the easy breezy assurances of pro-GMO corporate science.

Now all this brings me to my high octane speculation of the day. Lately I’ve been watching – as regular readers here know – the messages and signals coming out of the United Kingdom, which in its quiet way is signaling, with growing frequency and intensity, its dissatisfaction with America’s calcified oligarchy. (Andf they, unlike us, did not have to do a major university study like Princeton’s to conclude that America is not a republic, it’s an oligarchy). Recall that op-ed piece just a couple of month’s ago in Britain’s Economist magazine; the “calcified” oligarchy isn’t my observation; it’s theirs. Then there was the BBC’s highly suggestive message-sending Worricker Trilogy. But if you’ve been watching the GMO issue, it’s been going on in Great Britian, though with predictably less fanfare than in North America. And every now and then, a prestigious British research institution or university – like King’s College, London (part of the University of London) – publishes a paper questioning GMO claims and safety. Indeed, this has been going on in Britain for some time: recall only the episode recounted by F. William Engdahl in his Seeds of Destruction that it took a personal phone call from President Clinton to Prime Minister Blair to get a certain study of GMO safety suppressed. (Yes, the GMO corruption goes that far folks.)

But nonetheless, such studies continue to be done in the UK, and every now and then we get to hear about them.

And with them, I wonder whether or not there are other messages being sent in the emerging world of GMO geopolitics, this time, not from New Delhi or Moscow or Buenos Aires, but from London. If so, you can’t blame them, for it only means that besides exporting war, America’s other major export in the past few decades has been poisonous foods. If the drones don’t get you, Mon(ster)santo will. And if so, then, if the scientific studies are any indicator in the UK, there is growing quiet opposition to the corruption of science, and the food supply. Prediction? We’ll really know the game is afoot when other agribusiness giants seek publicly to distance themselves from Mon(ster)santo specifically. Recall only that recent rejection by Syngenta of Mon(ster)santo’s takeover offer on the implied grounds that it(Syngenta) was dealing in good faith… followed by…well, silence… And in that silence, you could read the implication. And why was Mon(ster)santo seeking to do that? Well, one reason, you’ll recall, is that they wanted to move their corporate headquarters from St. Louis to London. And perhaps this King’s College study gives a bit of a glimmer as to why.

In the meantime, I very much doubt you’ll see IG Farbensanto’s products on the menu at the Palace.

See you on the flip side…

Profile photo of Joseph P. Farrell
Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and “strange stuff”. His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into “alternative history and science”.

Monsanto to face ‘tribunal’ in The Hague for ‘damage to human health and environment’


© Mal Langsdon
A global group of professionals, scientists and environmentalists – the Monsanto Tribunal – are preparing a trial for the GMO seed giant in The Hague. They say the crowdfunded action, determined to charge Monsanto with “ecocide,” is more than a symbolic move.

READ MORE: Putin wants Russia to become world’s biggest exporter of Non-GMO food

The Monsanto Tribunal’s goal is to research and evaluate all of the allegations made against Monsanto in connection to all the damages its products have caused to human health and the environment. It is scheduled to be held at The Hague from October 12 to 16 in 2016. The trial will wrap up on next year’s World Food Day.

One of the main goals the broad group of signees [ABOUT US] wants the tribunal to achieve is establishing “ecocide” as a crime. “Recognizing ecocide as a crime is the only way to guarantee the right of humans to a healthy environment and the right of nature to be protected,” The International Monsanto Tribunal says on its website.

The Tribunal will look into a range of charges, including what it says are Monsanto’s crimes against nature and humanity.

“The Tribunal will rely on the ‘Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights’ adopted at the UN in 2011. It will also assess potential criminal liability on the basis of the Rome Statue that created the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2002, and it will consider whether a reform of international criminal law is warranted to include crimes against the environment, or ecocide, as a prosecutable criminal offense, so that natural persons could incur criminal liability.”

Several bodies and groups are supporting the initiative, including the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), IFOAM International Organics, Navdanya, Regeneration International (RI), and Millions Against Monsanto, as well as dozens more farming and environmental groups.

The decision to proceed with the tribunal was announced by the groups shortly before the Sustainable Pulse report was published, which was part of the COP21 UN Conference on Climate Change that runs until December 11 in Paris.

“The time is long overdue for a global citizens’ tribunal to put Monsanto on trial for crimes against humanity and the environment. We are in Paris this month to address the most serious threat that humans have ever faced in our 100-200,000 year evolution—global warming and climate disruption,” the president of the Organic Consumers Association, Ronnie Cummins, said at the press conference.

Meanwhile, president of IFOAM and member of the RI Steering Committee Andre Leu accused Monsanto of ignoring the human and environmental damage created by its products. Leu added that the transnational is able to maintain its devastating practices “by lobbying regulatory agencies and governments, by resorting to lying and corruption, by financing fraudulent scientific studies, by pressuring independent scientists, and by manipulating the press and media.”

“Monsanto’s history reads like a text-book case of impunity, benefiting transnational corporations and their executives, whose activities contribute to climate and biosphere crises and threaten the safety of the planet,” Leu stressed.

The American-based company has enjoyed a good reputation in the US media and is known for its strong ties on Capitol Hill.

The Monsanto Tribunal argues that the company is responsible for the depletion of soil and water resources, species extinction, and declining biodiversity, as well as the displacement of millions of small farmers worldwide.

Farmers in certain countries have been taking these developments very hard. In India, an alarming wave of suicides tied to Monsanto’s practices has been registered among farmers.

Instead of traditional crops, farmers have been forced to grow GM cotton, which is more expensive and requires additional maintenance. In the last 20 years, this trend has driven some 290,000 farmers to commit suicide due to bankruptcy, according to India’s national crimes bureau records.

READ MORE: GMO that kills: GM-cotton problems drive Indian farmers to suicide

Subjecting Monsanto to real legal consequences will be a challenge, though, as the corporation has never lost a case.

The company is notorious for routinely suing farmers, which has earned it the reputation of a legal bully in the eyes of critics. According to Food Democracy Now, the GMO corporation has filed 145 lawsuits since 1997, because farmers had reused their seeds in a manner inconsistent with Monsanto policies. This even includes cases where the farmers themselves had sued Monsanto for the inadvertent cross-pollination of their organic crops with GMO seeds.

One lawsuit representing 300,000 farmers was thrown out of court – for the mere reason that the farmers had already been sued by Monsanto. According to Food Democracy Now, the judge called the farmers’ case “unsubstantiated.”

Untold damage has also been caused to the ecosphere by the dying-off of 970 million Monarch butterflies since 1990. The herbicides Monsanto sells eradicate a range of the prolific pollinators’ natural food sources. The statistic was released by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in February.

READ MORE: Monsanto monarch massacre: 970 million butterflies killed since 1990

People demonstrated in over 400 major cities across the world in May to tell the GMO giant they do not want its produce in their food. It was the third global March Against Monsanto (MAM).

They Truly Are Poisoning Paradise by Gary Hooser


Our community cannot rely on “good neighbors” to protect our health and environment. Government intervention is needed now.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced recently its intent to ban chlorpyrifos, a Restricted Use Pesticide, stating that it “ … could not conclude that the risk from aggregate exposure to chlorpyrifos meets the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) safety standard.” The report further states there is “potential for risks in small watersheds with high concentrations of farming where chlorpyrifos may be widely used.”

Numerous studies indicate children exposed to chlorpyrifos have lower IQs and poorer working memory which impacts learning, reading comprehension and the ability to pay attention. Columbia University reported “Even low to moderate levels of exposure to the insecticide chlorpyrifos during pregnancy may lead to long-term, potentially irreversible changes in the brain structure of the child … ”

So, the EPA has announced its intent to ban chlorpyrifos — yet its use will likely continue into the foreseeable future. Why?

Dow AgroScience, the largest supplier of chlorpyrifos in Hawaii, has no intention of stopping its use and will be fighting the EPA every step of the way.

This of course, is to be expected. The industry playbook originally written by Big Tobacco and adopted by the agrochemical industry starts with one primary strategy — obfuscate and delay.

First, it will claim the EPA is just wrong and that chlorpyrifos is safe. Then, it will claim that even if chlorpyrifos were dangerous, it’s only a little bit dangerous, and if people would just follow the label, all would be OK.

Along the way they will generate a media narrative that the EPA is bowing to political pressure from activists who do not understand science. They will tell us in so many words to suck it up, and that pesticides are a part of everyday life. In the end, they will demand more studies, then claim the resulting additional study outcomes are flawed.

To be clear, these corporations are not “good neighbors” and no amount of money thrown at agricultural scholarships can change this. To the contrary, their mission is dominated by the pursuit of corporate profits, with the protection of health, the environment and workers — always taking a back seat.

A genuine good neighbor, one who cared about how its actions might impact the health of children who live and play on the same street, would err on the side of caution and stop using chlorpyrifos now, and not wait for the EPA’s final directive banning it.

According to the state Department of Agriculture, 7,282 pounds of chlorpyrifos were sold in Hawaii during 2014.

A 2013 air sampling report by the state and Kauai County showed, “Five pesticides (including chlorpyrifos) were detected in the indoor and outdoor passive air samples and the high volume outdoor air samples collected at Waimea Canyon Middle School.”

In 2013-2014, state stream water testing found chlorpyrifos in the Kekaha Ditch on Kauai and in Hawaii County streams. The amounts found were small. But as noted in reports such as Columbia University’s cited above, study after study showed chronic long-term exposure to even very small amounts is harmful, especially to a developing fetus and the neurological systems of young children.

The state of Hawaii can and should ban the use of chlorpyrifos today. The Department of Agriculture can do this via rule-making, the Legislature can do it via law, and the governor can accomplish this via executive order.

The EPA says it is unable to confirm chlorpyrifos’ safety and that our drinking water may be at risk. Our government can stop this harm from occurring now. Why wait?

The above blog piece was first published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Sunday December 27, 2015

https://garyhooser.wordpress.com/2015/12/30/they-truly-are-poisoning-paradise/

 

ICYMI: Mark Ruffalo became a consumer champion just after Monsanto CEO blatantly lied on the air this month. “Hugh Grant must be made to feel uncomfortable for what he allows his company to do in the world. That is why I told him what I did and why I am sharing it with you.” http://ecowatch.com/2015/12/04/mark-ruffalo-monsanto/ #stopmonsanto #food #ag #GMOs #chemicals #labelGMOs #righttoknow #GMfood

Congress Keeps Anti-GMO Labeling Rider Out of Spending Bill Center for Food Safety | December 16, 2015 10:59 am


Center for Food Safety today praised Congress for not including a policy rider in the must-pass federal omnibus spending bill that would have blocked states from implementing mandatory genetically engineered (GE) food labeling laws. Three states—Connecticut, Maine and Vermont—have passed such laws, with Vermont’s slated be to be the first to go into effect in July 2016. All three democratically passed laws would have been nullified, while any future state GE labeling legislation would have been preempted. More than 30 states have introduced bills to labeling GE foods in just the past few years.

“We are very pleased that Congress has apparently decided not to undermine Americans’ right to know about the food they purchase and feed their families,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety. “Adding a rider to the budget bill that would nullify state laws requiring labeling and even forbidden federal agencies from mandating labeling would have been profoundly undemocratic and nothing short of legislative malfeasance. We will remain vigilant over the coming days and into the next legislative session to ensure our right to know is protected.”

The omnibus spending bill does include language previously agreed to by the Senate Appropriations Committee requiring that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) develop guidelines for mandatory labeling of GE salmon and prevent its sale until such labeling is in effect.

In July, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1599, dubbed by opponents the “Denying Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act,” which preempts state and local authority to label and regulate GE foods. Instead, the bill sought to codify a voluntary labeling system approach, block FDA from ever implementing mandatory GE food labeling and allow food companies to continue to make misleading “natural” claims for foods that contain GE ingredients. The Senate chose not to take up that bill, despite heavy pressure from the food and biotechnology industries.

Anti-labeling interests then began pushing for the inclusion of the preemption rider in the must pass spending bill. Numerous Senators vocally opposed the inclusion of the preemption rider, successfully keeping it out of the bill. In particular, Senators Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Markey (D-Mass.), Sanders (D-Vt.), Leahy (D-Vt.), Reed (D-R.I.), Heinrich (D-N.M.), Warren (D-Mass.), Tester (D-Mont.), Merkley (D-Ore.), Boxer (D-Calif.) and Booker (D-N.J.) led a Dear Colleague letter opposing the rider. Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairperson Mikulski (D-Md.) also worked to keep the rider out.

“In the absence of federal leadership, states have led the way by passing legislation intended to prevent consumer deception and give consumers the right to know,” said Kimbrell. “We thank those Members of Congress, as well as the thousands of Americans who contacted their Senators recently, for preventing this grossly unethical rider from seeing daylight.”

By an overwhelming margin, American voters say consumers should have the right to know if their food is genetically modified, with 89 percent in support of mandatory GE labeling, according to a new national poll. Nearly the same number of consumers would like to see the labels in an easy to read format.

Center for Food Safety supports bipartisan legislation introduced by Sen. Boxer and Rep. DeFazio called the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, which would require that food manufacturers label foods that contain genetically modified ingredients. This common sense bill would guarantee all Americans the right to know what is in their foods while respecting the need by companies for a uniform, federal standard.

 

http://ecowatch.com/2015/12/16/anti-gmo-label-rider/

Media Blackout as France and Russia Both Announce Monsanto GMO Bans By Nick Meyer, September 19, 2015 ·


france russia gmo ban

Russia and France both announced their intention to ban GMO crops. PHOTO: Brecorder.com

When two of the most modernized and economically powerful countries in the world decide to ban a type of food crop that has made its way into roughly 70-80% or more of the U.S. food supply, you’d think it would be considered newsworthy.

But the United States media has missed the boat yet again on major happenings relating to GMO crops overseas.

Both Russia and France officially announced bans on Monsanto’s genetically engineered crops this past week, cementing their positions and upholding the will of the people in nations where public opinion is dead set on keeping the food and farming system natural.

“As far as genetically-modified organisms are concerned, we have made decision not to use any GMO in food productions,” Russia’s Deputy PM Arkady Dvorkovich announced at worldwide conference on biotechnology in the Russian city of Kirov according to the website RT.

“This is not a simple issue, we must do very thorough work on division on these spheres and form a legal base on this foundation,” he said. Russia has announced similar plans in the past but the announcement feels even more official considering the wave of GMO bans sweeping Europe these days.

France Plans to “Opt-Out,” Stay GMO Free

Meanwhile France also announced its plans to stay GMO Free by opting exercising its “opt-out” clause through the European Union.

In total, five nations in Europe have announced plans to ban the growth of Monsanto’s GMOs within their borders including Germany, Scotland, Latvia, and Greece.

 

The crops are allowed to be grown within the European Union but each country has its own ability to opt-out.

As noted in this article from Eco Watch, France’s main concerns stem from the environmental risks created by the crops, which are capable of contaminating non-GMO crops via wind pollination and causing other harm, especially when used with the herbicide, glyphosate, they are designed to withstand.

Monsanto’s MON810 genetically engineered corn, the only crop of its kind allowed in Europe, is a specific threat to natural agriculture in the country because of this concern.

American Media Silent on GMO Bans

A quick Google News search turns up virtually no results for the bans by Russia and France, aside from a few scattered alternative news sites.

With more Americans than ever before learning about GMOs and making their own decisions on whether to include such foods in their diet, and a huge vote looming in the Senate over a possible ban on mandatory GMO labeling in America (click here to learn more and take action), you’d think the news giants like NBC, Fox News, CNN and others would be chomping at the bit to get this news out to their readers and viewers.

But alas, they have chosen not to cover these stories, once again giving the American people an incomplete picture about the ongoing food experiment that they never consented to in the first place.

Nick Meyer writes for March Against Monsanto and the website

http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/media-blackout-as-france-and-russia-both-announce-monsanto-gmo-bans/

Celebrities Ditch Starbucks After Company Openly Supports Monsanto


Stealing our right to know
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Starbucks

I used to line up and get my latte everyday, but yesterday was my last one. ~ Neil Young

I, like Neil, have lined up at a Starbucks counter, waiting patiently behind ten people to get my caffeine fix. But there’s something that changed this habit. The coffee shop on every corner (there are almost 12,000 stores in the US) is helping to keep you in the dark about GMOs in your food and beverages. Recently, they have teamed up with Monsanto to sue Vermont over the recently passed GMO labeling initiative. What gives, Starbucks?

Neil Young is boycotting Starbucks, and you should too. The company obviously doesn’t think you have the right to know what is in your food. Why sue a small state that legally determined for itself that GMOs should be labeled? It once again comes down to money.

“Hiding behind the shadowy ‘Grocery Manufacturers Association,’ Starbucks is supporting a lawsuit that’s aiming to block a landmark law that requires genetically-modified ingredients be labeled,” Young wrote. “Amazingly, it claims that the law is an assault on corporations’ right to free speech.”

Starbucks once used only organic milk, but in the frenzy to grow bigger, they started using cow’s milk that is contaminated with GMOs due to the genetically altered soy, and corn given to many dairy cows as feed. This has led to countless consumers telling Starbucks to go organic and drop the GMO milk, or business will dwindle.

Starbucks also sells other items that are contaminated with GMOs, as many restaurants do. They don’t want to have to worry about what they feed their customers, just as long as those stocks and profits keep going up!

Starbucks has hidden their non-GMO support behind the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s front. Starbucks claims that the Vermont law requiring the labeling of genetically modified ingredients “is an assault on corporations’ right to free speech.”

Starbucks Says These Claims are False

In a statement on its website, Starbucks said a petition Young directed his followers to is wrong:

“Starbucks is not a part of any lawsuit pertaining to GMO labeling nor have we provided funding for any campaign. And Starbucks is not aligned with Monsanto to stop food labeling or block Vermont State law. The petition claiming that Starbucks is part of this litigation is completely false and we have asked the petitioners to correct their description of our position. Starbucks has not taken a position on the issue of GMO labeling. As a company with stores and a product presence in every state, we prefer a national solution.”

I’m not sure how any of that could be true when Starbucks is a member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association – a group dedicated to crush GMO labeling efforts. A post on GMA’s website, dated June 13, confirms its stance that Vermont’s GMO labeling law is unconstitutional.

Monsanto may be insulated from the general public’s opinion regarding GMOs, but Starbucks certainly is not. Now, as never before, we can show a major US retailer what we think about their GMO toxins with our joint refusal to pay another dollar for any product made by a company that wants us to suffer GMOs without our consent.

Vermont is a rural state containing only 600,000 people, but we are a vast nation with a resounding collective voice. We can tell Starbucks that if they are going to side with the most hated company in the world to sue Vermont, then we will side with the rest of the citizens in the US and stop patronizing their coffee shops.

If the Vermont law is successfully overturned, then the whole nations’ ability to demand labeling (or banning) of GMOs is put into question. We must ensure that the labeling law in Vermont stands.

I’m boycotting Starbucks. Will you?

Mark Ruffalo confronts Monsanto chief: “You are poisoning people.”


Reblogged from https://followingworldchange.wordpress.com

Mark Ruffalo is perhaps best known for his role as the Hulk, but in real life, Ruffalo is a different kind of superhero. The actor has spoken and written extensively on the horrors of environmental destruction, as well as the guilt assigned to corporations carrying out those atrocities. Recently, a chance meeting with Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant gave Ruffalo the opportunity to tell the GMO boss exactly what he thinks of the company and its practices: “You are wrong.”

Actor <a gi-track='captionPersonalityLinkClicked' href='/galleries/personality/209317' ng-click='$event.stopPropagation()'>Mark Ruffalo</a> participates in the People's Climate March on September 21, 2014 in New York City. The march, which calls for drastic political and economic changes to slow global warming, has been organized by a coalition of unions, activists, politicians and scientists.

Ruffalo keeps his finger on the pulse of business and politics when it comes to environmental issues, and he doesn’t pick and choose. The actor/activist/father/angry green guy works to raise awareness (and, in many cases, funding) for water conservation, carbon emissions limits, renewable energy, and public health. Monsanto has certainly been one of his targets in the past, especially as the company continues to fight to stop GMO-labeling requirements throughout the United States.

mark ruffalo, monsanto, monsanto ceo hugh grant, roundup, glyphosate, gmo, gmo foods, genetically modified foods, gmo labeling

When Ruffalo was preparing for a segment on his new film Spotlight at CBS This Morning, he jumped at the chance to tell the chemical boss what lots of people are probably thinking. Ruffalo recounts the chance meeting, describing how Grant came into the Green Room “ready to do high fives with his press agent,” which inspired the actor to seize this opportunity. Ruffalo reports telling Grant this: “You are wrong. You are engaged in monopolizing food. You are poisoning people. You are killing small farms. You are killing bees. What you are doing is dead wrong.”

Related: Tell world leaders to ban glyphosate, which has been linked to cancer, autism

Monsanto’s chief made a lot of slippery comments, slinging around vague statistics, and describing his position in non-committal language during the CBS interview. When the show’s hosts pressed him to defend Monsanto’s attack on GMO-labeling laws in various states, he hid behind the claim that only federal regulations will be effective. And, as has been the consistent message from the Monsanto camp, he denied any health hazard linked to the use of Roundup, the company’s top-selling pesticide. That position echoes a new study released this week conducted by scientists that Monsanto sponsored, but it doesn’t stop the onslaught of lawsuits from cancer patients who believe Roundup caused their illnesses.

Indeed, glyphosate – the active ingredient in Roundup – has been linked to cancer by the WHO, and the company has been paying out millions of dollars for the past several decades in an effort to keep the truth quiet. However, as more people learn about what this and other companies are doing to profit from the destruction of the planet, they are not likely to be able to keep their secrets much longer.

Via EcoWatch/republished from Mark Ruffalo’s Tumblr

Monsanto Put on Trial for Crimes against Humanity in The Hague


Note: The global walls are closing in on Monsanto, as the collective wakes-up to “TRUTH” about the matrix and it’s mechanisms of domination and control, the day of reckoning approaches…

 

Posted on Dec 3 2015 – 6:25pm by Sustainable Pulse

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA), IFOAM International Organics, Navdanya, Regeneration International (RI), and Millions Against Monsanto, joined by dozens of global food, farming and environmental justice groups announced today that they will put Monsanto MON (NYSE), a US-based transnational corporation, on trial for crimes against nature and humanity, and ecocide, in The Hague, Netherlands, next year on World Food Day, October 16, 2016.

Monsanto

Since the beginning of the twentieth century according to the groups, Monsanto has developed a steady stream of highly toxic products which have permanently damaged the environment and caused illness or death for thousands of people. These products include:

• PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), one of the 12 Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) that affect human and animal fertility;

• 2,4,5 T (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid), a dioxin-containing component of the defoliant, Agent Orange, which was used by the US Army during the Vietnam War and continues to cause birth defects and cancer;

• Lasso, an herbicide that is now banned in Europe;

• and RoundUp, the most widely used herbicide in the world, and the source of the greatest health and environmental scandal in modern history. This toxic herbicide, designated a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization, is used in combination with genetically modified (GM) RoundUp Ready seeds in large-scale monocultures, primarily to produce soybeans, maize and rapeseed for animal feed and biofuels.

Relying on the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” adopted by the UN in 2011, an international court of lawyers and judges will assess the potential criminal liability of Monsanto for damages inflicted on human health and the environment. The court will also rely on the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2002, and it will consider whether to reform international criminal law to include crimes against the environment, or ecocide, as a prosecutable criminal offense. The International Criminal Court, established in 2002 in The Hague, has determined that prosecuting ecocide as a criminal offense is the only way to guarantee the rights of humans to a healthy environment and the right of nature to be protected.

The announcement was made at a press conference held in conjunction with the COP21 United Nations Conference on Climate Change, November 30 – December 11, in Paris.

Speaking at the press conference, Ronnie Cummins, international director of the OCA (US) and Via Organica (Mexico), and member of the RI Steering Committee, said: “The time is long overdue for a global citizens’ tribunal to put Monsanto on trial for crimes against humanity and the environment. We are in Paris this month to address the most serious threat that humans have ever faced in our 100-200,000 year evolution—global warming and climate disruption. Why is there so much carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere and not enough carbon organic matter in the soil? Corporate agribusiness, industrial forestry, the garbage and sewage industry and agricultural biotechnology have literally killed the climate-stabilizing, carbon-sink capacity of the Earth’s living soil.”

Andre Leu, president of IFOAM and a member of the RI Steering Committee, said: “Monsanto is able to ignore the human and environmental damage caused by its products, and maintain its devastating activities through a strategy of systemic concealment: by lobbying regulatory agencies and governments, by resorting to lying and corruption, by financing fraudulent scientific studies, by pressuring independent scientists, and by manipulating the press and media. Monsanto’s history reads like a text-book case of impunity, benefiting transnational corporations and their executives, whose activities contribute to climate and biosphere crises and threaten the safety of the planet.”

Marie-Monique Robin, journalist and author of the best-selling documentary (and book by the same name), “The World According Monsanto,” said: “This International Citizens’ Tribunal is necessary because the defense of the safety of the planet and the conditions of life on Earth is everyone’s concern. Only through a collective resurgence of all living forces will we stop the engine of destruction. That’s why today I am calling on all citizens of the world to participate in this exemplary tribunal.”

Also speaking at the conference were Valerie Cabanes, lawyer and spokesperson for End Ecocide on Earth; Hans Rudolf Herren, president and CEO of the Millennium Institute, president and founder of Biovision, and member of the RI Steering Committee; Arnaud Apoteker, creator of the anti-GMO campaign in France, which became one of the priority campaigns of Greenpeace France, and author of “Fish in Our Strawberries: Our Manipulated Food;” and Olivier De Schutter, co-chair of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPESFood) and former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.

Full list of founding organizations (so far) here.

Full list of Monsanto Tribunal Foundation organizing members here.

More information will be available at www.monsanto-tribunal.org/, after 2:30 p.m. EU time on December 3, 2015.

 

http://sustainablepulse.com/2015/12/03/monsanto-put-on-trial-for-crimes-against-humanity-in-the-hague/#.VmCx6r9RoSd

Can a Magic Spell Take Down Monsanto?


Can a Magic Spell Take Down Monsanto?

At this point in time, there’s no question that the corporate reign is upon us. Our politicians are beholden to their corporate backers, and everything we touch—from the gloves on our fingers to the chicken (or chicken-free) fingers we inhale at lunch—have deep roots tied to industry and the multinational corporations at the center of it all. But what if a magic spell—a death curse, specifically—could change all that?

Artist Steven Leyba has taken to putting a magic spell of sorts on Monsanto and other corporations at the forefront of human health and environmental destruction. And as unbelievable as it may sound, it may just be working.

The “any means necessary” ethos has become quite literal, especially for Leyba. Between 2010-2011, Leyba produced his 13th handmade book—his medium of choice. This one was focused specifically on Monsanto, the chemical-turned-engineered-foods poster corporation for everything wrong with the food system.

The massive food industry has become anathema for many, with locally grown and produced goods becoming the ultimate rebellious #Occupy-esque move in resisting corporate control over our food system. In 2012, the year after Leyba completed his book, sales of locally produced foods and goods topped $6.1 billion. And demand continues to rise–not just for local and organic foods, but for GMO-free and antibiotic-free foods, as well as foods free from artificial ingredients.

Like millions of Americans struggling with diet-related illnesses, Leyba tried to get healthier by changing his diet. “In 2010 I had been overweight and decided to get healthy. I started eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables from my local grocery store. I got sick and that was the time I found out about GMOs,” Leyba told Organic Authority in an email. “I was appalled. I couldn’t understand why I would get so sick by eating what I thought was so healthy. When I switched to organic food I got healthy again.”

Leyba said his motivation was deeply personal, but “also universal.”

“I had to make art about this,” he explains, “and in the process I learned how insidious the Monsanto corporation was.”

Leyba’s Monsanto book itself is thick and demented in appearance, like something you might find in an archeological discovery—perhaps an old alchemist’s or shaman’s handiwork. It’s constructed with canvas pages that he added grommets to, “I bolted the pages together and painted acrylic then sewed beads into the pages and collaged information about GMOs, anti-Monsanto pamphlets, and some of my writing against Monsanto,” he explains.

monsanto03

Most of the paintings were of Monsanto executives he says, including the company’s CEO Hugh Grant, as well as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (who worked for Monsanto for years). But it’s not exactly coffee table book material: “Their [sic] is pubic hair all over his 2 portraits,” Leyba explains. “I had the idea that in the future Monsanto would make it so everyone could grow their favorite foods on their faces: ‘You are what you eat, you eat what you are; MONSANTO,’” he explains.

But Leyba didn’t stop with his multimedia protest. A student of numerous art mediums, the occult, and Native traditions, Leyba publicly put a death curse on Monsanto and Nestlé, citing their for-profit eco-terrorism as his motivation. “Death curses work like any manifestation of will like Gestalt psychology; you visualize and act in accordance and at some point what you can conceive and believe you can achieve,” he explains.

“Medicine men practice this and even medical doctors to some extent practice this. They plant suggestions in people’s minds for healing and those people start to do things that promote their own healing,” he says. “For me I see a great need to identify the cancer (Monsanto and Nestlé) and attack with full force and mirror back this so-called Black Magic they are doing to all of us.”

For Leyba, “good art” can be both a psychological and emotional motivator. “I want the things that are killing people and the environment to die (Monsanto- Nestlé). I wish them death.”

Leyba points to Monsanto’s genetically modified foods and herbicides and Nestlé’s recent bad press over water theft in California, and the company’s links to child slavery in manufacturing its chocolate products. He says it is “a form of justice to project disdain and destruction on those that purposely destroy other people and the environment.”

And despite the growing demand for labeling GMO foods in the U.S. and more corporate transparency, Leyba says the corporations still get so much handed to them in the way of tax credits, subsidies, and corporate personhood.

“Multinational corporations have more rights than individuals,” he says, “and now with trade laws they have more rights than countries. My art forces the dialogue and creates the new language in opposition to corporations that believe in and act only on profits and losses. They are above and beyond the law. Except maybe the laws of nature.”

monsanto23

“Many may not believe in curses but many curses do work,” Leyba says, explaining that while death curses are not common in today’s world, from numerous Indigenous perspectives, they not only work, but are necessary.

Does he think the corporations can be forces for good? While Leyba did get the attention of Monsanto (he points to a Facebook thread where a company representative responded), he is doubtful that corporations, specifically the two he’s death-cursed, will be capable of making the type of transformation desperately needed.

“What is needed,” he says, “is for people to create the new symbols for change and not let corporations control the narrative.”

Despite the dark nature of Leyba’s work, he’s hopeful, too, “It’s wonderful how well the organic movement has spread,” and he says consumers can do their best to boycott these brands. “It’s hard with Monsanto because it is in everything. Nestlé has so many products but they can be identified. Corporations will adapt to the economic climate. I feel if more people were proactive in not buying the products, the big Goliath will have to adapt or perish.”

As for his art, Leyba says it has turned many people into creative activists. “It forces the conversation we all need to be having about fascist Trans-national corporations that decide what we eat and how we think about the world.” Leyba says the world “is tired of big business ruling their lives, bodies, and environment.”

“I encourage everyone to Death Curse Monsanto and Nestlé. Justifiable Death Curses are effective on many levels, fun, cathartic,” and says Leyba, “completely legal.”

Find Jill on Twitter and Instagram

 

All images courtesy of Leyba 

http://www.organicauthority.com/can-a-magic-spell-take-down-monsanto/

Note: Personally, IMO this is White Magic because it benefits humanity. And, it certainly gives a whole new meaning to “We are the ones we waited for”. I’ve always believed we will win the war to reclaim our planet thru accessing our Avatar skills, there a people working at some in some of the darkest corners to eliminate the dark ones and their technology.

For example, if  CERN has been taken down, it’s because people have been working in the background (most likely with ET/ID assistance) at the psychic level to break down the programming. So let’s get busy, if you’re not already spinning up magic to break down the matrix and create and new paradigm…it’s crunch time my friends! This is why we were born:)

Hemp Plant Found To “Eat” Radiation and Drive Away Toxicity – Hemp Fields Should Be Planted Around Fukushima


fukuActivists have been shouting they want an end to GMO foods for more than a decade now, and Cannabis Sattiva L. supporters have been at it for even longer, so why has the US government finally given farmers the right to legally grow industrial hemp, the non-hallucinatory, sister plant of medical marijuana?

It is safe to say that industrialized hemp should have been legalized years ago. With THC levels so low, you would have to smoke more of it than Snoop Dogg to get ‘high’ – and that’s a lot of Cannabis, it is ridiculous that it was classified as a drug at all. It has numerous uses and could replace many crops that require heavy irrigation and pesticides, like cotton, for example. Here’s the most interesting fact though – hemp plants ‘eat’ radiation.

When the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Reactor 4 accident caused severe radioactive contamination in 1986, families within a 30-kilometer area of the site had to be evacuated. Radioactive contamination was later found at 100 kilometers from the accident site, and Fukushima radiation levels are still to be determined, with the Japanese government planning on dumping their overflowing radiated water tanks into the Pacific as we speak.

As with the Chernobyl incident, scientists are finding radioactive emissions and toxic metals–including iodine, cesium-137, strontium-90, and plutonium–concentrated in the soil, plants, and animals of Japan, but also now throughout the United States and all along the West Coast – from Canada to Mexico. Even the EPA has admitted that any living tissue can be affected by radiation exposure. High levels of thyroid disease and cancer have been reported in Japan, and our ocean is dying by the day. Scientists are also expecting that children born on the US West Coast will suffer a 28% higher incident of hyperthyroidism – a disease that accompanies radiation exposure. Even the livestock that grazed on irradiated grasses grown in contaminated soils developed meat with high concentrations of these unwanted toxins after Chernobyl, and Fukushima is exponentially worse.

Dr. Ilya Raskin of Rutgers University’s Biotechnology Center for Agriculture and the Environment, who was a member of the original task force sent by the IAEA to examine food safety at the Chernobyl site figured out that through phytoremediation utilizing hemp, among other plants, the soil, and thus the food supply could be saved from toxicity.

Phytoremediation is the process whereby green plants remove toxins from the soil. Plants can extract specific elements within their ecosystem and still thrive. They accumulate the toxins in their tissues and root systems but remain undamaged. Sunflowers have been known to do something similar for centuries, eliminating heavy metals and pesticides from damaged soil. Two members of the mustard family are also useful for this process – Brassica juncea and Brassica carinata, but it seems hemp is quite amazing at sucking up radiation.

Granted, the government is probably dumbfounded at what to do with the Fukushima radiation headed our way, but the legalization of hemp just might balance some of the toxicity scientists expect.  Fortunately, California, one of the states that will be hardest hit, has already legalized industrial hemp, but it has to wait for the federal government to give states the right before they can actually grow it. The Farm Bill only allows ‘research’ growth at certain institutions in 10 states currently.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp. In light of Fukushima, let’s join our countries’ founders to grow it too. You can help clean the soil in your area if hemp or medical marijuana has been legalized in your state, and help it to pass in further states by being vocal with your state and federal representatives.

Source:

http://www.nationofchange.org/did-government-give-industrial-hemp-pass-clean-radiation-states-1392388637

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