Tag Archives: Genetically modified organism

Just Label It!

More than HALF the foods at U.S. grocery stores are likely to contain genetically engineered ingredients, but you wouldn’t know it because the industry-run FDA doesn’t require labels for foods with genetically engineered (GE) ingredients  (also called genetically modified organisms  or GMOs).

In America, we pride ourselves on having choices and making informed decisions. Under current FDA regulations, we don’t have that choice when it comes to GE ingredients in the foods we purchase and feed our families. Labeling is essential for us to choose whether or not we want to consume or feed our families genetically engineered foods.

Focusing on transparency, trust, and truth, Gary Hirshberg (Stonyfield Farm President and Just Label It partner) pointed to the $30 million public relations campaign underway by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance to fight the negative impression of big agribusiness, including the companies that produce GE seeds.  He emphasized that there should be a $30 million effort for transparency to build more truth and trust for consumers.  He noted Americans are looking for it everywhere, which is evidenced by the growth in organic food, farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture, and the amount of coverage in major publications, like the New York Times, about our food system.

The GMO Film Project

“This is one to watch…”  says  Slow Food Los Angeles

“Today in the United States, by the simple act of feeding ourselves, we unwittingly participate in the largest experiment ever conducted on human beings. Massive agro-chemical companies like Monsanto (Agent Orange) and Dow (Napalm) are feeding us genetically-modified food, GMOs, that have never been fully tested and aren’t labeled. This small handful of corporations is tightening their grip on the world’s food supply—buying, modifying, and patenting seeds to ensure total control over everything we eat. We still have time to heal the planet, feed the world, and live sustainably. But we have to start now! “

For more information (and another great video!), please visit The GMO Film Project. To help see this important work completed, please visit Kickstarter.

Day of Action! October 16th, 2011

October 16th, 2011 (World Food Day) is expected to be the largest nationwide day of action against genetic engineering in US history!

“As a citizen concerned about the health, environmental, ethical, and socio-economic hazards of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and industrial-scale factory farms or CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations), I feel strongly that consumers have an inalienable right to know whether the food we are purchasing likely contains GM ingredients or comes from animals confined in CAFOs.” –Millions Against Monsanto Petition

Rally For The Right To Know!

From the Institute for Responsible Technology

Genetically Modified Foods need to be labeled!

The Organic Consumer’s Association, Millions Against Monsanto campaign is organizing a coordinated rally to demand labeling of GMOs. Events are being held around the United States, with the main event at the White House.

Current events are listed below.  New locations are being added, so please check the campaigns’ Facebook page for updates in your areahttp://on.fb.me/gv2VLS

MAIN EVENT: Washington, D.C., 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, The White House Sidewalk (The White House Sidewalk is the sidewalk between East and West Executive Avenues on the South side of Pennsylvania Avenue NW) 11am- 3pm

Dates for ALL locations is Saturday March 26, 2011 and include (alphabetically):

Albuquerque NM, UNM 12pm – 3pm
Atlanta GA, Around Centennial Olympic Park across from the CNN Bldg. 11am – 4pm
Ann Arbor MI, Southeast corner of Catherine Street and N. 4th Avenue 12pm – 3pm
Austin TX, at The Capitol 12pm – 3pm
Colorado Springs CO, Acacia Park 11am – 1:30pm
Indianapolis IN, 200 W. Washington Street #220 12pm – 2pm
Kansas City MO, The Plaza Downtown Kansas City 11am – 3pm
Los Angeles CA (Westwood) Federal Bldg, 11000 Wilshire Blvd. 11am – 2pm
Maui HI, in front of Long’s streetside on Ka’ahumanu Ave in Kahului 8am – 11am
Milwaukee WI, Water and Wisconsin 11am – 2pm
Montpelier VT, Outside City Hall 11am – 3pm
New York City, City Hall steps, between Broadway and Park Row 12pm – 1pm
Saint Paul MN, Capitol Building – South Mall 12pm – 2pm
Salem OR, 900 Court St. NE, Salem, Oregon 97301 12pm – 3pm
Seattle WA, Westlake Park 12pm – 2pm
Tampa Bay FL, Downtown 11am – 2pm

USDA Caves on GE Alfalfa

USDA DECISION ON GE ALFALFA LEAVES DOOR OPEN FOR CONTAMINATION, RISE OF SUPERWEEDS

ROGUE AGENCY CHOOSES “BUSINESS AS USUAL” OVER SOUND SCIENCE

CENTER ANNOUNCES IMMEDIATE LEGAL CHALLENGE TO USDA’S FLAWED ASSESSMENT

The Center for Food Safety criticized the announcement today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that it will once again allow unlimited, nation-wide commercial planting of Monsanto’s genetically-engineered (GE) Roundup Ready alfalfa, despite the many risks to organic and conventional farmers USDA acknowledged in its Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).  On a call today with stakeholders, Secretary Vilsack reiterated the concerns surrounding purity and access to non-GE seed, yet the Agency’s decision still places the entire burden for preventing contamination on non-GE farmers, with no protections for food producers, consumers and exporters.

“We’re disappointed with USDA’s decision and we will be back in court representing the interest of farmers, preservation of the environment, and consumer choice” said Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director for the Center for Food Safety. “USDA has become a rogue agency in its regulation of biotech crops and its decision to appease the few companies who seek to benefit from this technology comes despite increasing evidence that GE alfalfa will threaten the rights of farmers and consumers, as well as damage the environment.”

On Monday, the Center sent an open letter to Secretary Vilsack calling on USDA to base its decision on sound science and the interests of farmers, and to avoid rushing the process to meet the marketing timelines or sales targets of Monsanto, Forage Genetics or other entities.

CFS also addressed several key points that were not properly assessed in the FEIS, among them were:

  • Liability, Implementation and Oversight — Citing over 200 past contamination episodes that have cost farmers hundreds of millions of dollars in lost sales, CFS demands that liability for financial losses incurred by farmers due to transgenic contamination be assigned to the crop developers.  CFS also calls on USDA to take a more active oversight role to ensure that any stewardship plans are properly implemented and enforced.
  • Roundup Ready alfalfa will substantially increase herbicide use – USDA’s assessment misrepresented conventional alfalfa as utilizing more herbicides than it does, which in turn provided a false rationale for introducing herbicide-promoting Roundup Ready alfalfa.  In fact, USDA’s own data shows that just 7% of alfalfa hay acres are treated with herbicides.  USDA’s projections in the FEIS show that substantial adoption of Roundup Ready alfalfa would trigger large increases in herbicide use of up to 23 million lbs. per year.
  • Harms from glyphosate-resistant weeds – USDA’s sloppy and unscientific treatment of glyphosate-resistant (GR) weeds ignored the significant contribution that RR alfalfa could make to their rapid evolution.  USDA failed to analyze how GR weeds fostered by currently grown RR crops are increasing herbicide use; spurring more use of soil-eroding tillage; and reducing farmer income through increased weed control costs, an essential baseline analysis.

“We in the farm sector are dissatisfied but not surprised at the lack of courage from USDA to stop Roundup Ready alfalfa and defend family farmers,” said Pat Trask, conventional alfalfa grower and plaintiff in the alfalfa litigation.

The FEIS comes in response to a 2007 lawsuit brought by CFS, in which a federal court ruled that the USDA’s approval of GE alfalfa violated environmental laws by failing to analyze risks such as the contamination of conventional and organic alfalfa, the evolution of glyphosate-resistant weeds, and increased use of glyphosate herbicide, sold by Monsanto as Roundup.  The Court banned new plantings of GE alfalfa until USDA completed a more comprehensive assessment of these impacts. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals twice affirmed the national ban on GE alfalfa planting.  In June 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ban on Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Alfalfa until and unless future deregulation occurs.

“Last spring more than 200,000 people submitted comments to the USDA highly critical of the substance and conclusions of its Draft EIS on GE Alfalfa,” said Kimbrell.  “Clearly the USDA was not listening to the public or farmers but rather to just a handful of corporations.”

http://truefoodnow.org/

 

http://organicconsumers.org/

Monsanto and the Merchants of Death

From the Organic Consumers Association
January 6, 2010

“In the 1990s, Monsanto found an ingenious way to sell large quantities of its broad-spectrum toxic herbicide RoundUp to farmers. The company’s scientists gene-spliced corn, soy, cotton, and canola with foreign DNA, enabling these “Frankencrops” to survive massive doses of RoundUp. Farmers could now repeatedly spray their fields with RoundUp, killing weeds but not the crop. Unfortunately, the collateral damage of heavy RoundUp spraying includes groundwater pollution, toxic residues in crops, and destruction of essential soil micro-organisms. The Genetically Modified (GM) crops themselves create herbicide-resistant Superweeds and spread genetic pollution to organic and non-GMO crops as well as plant relatives. Last but certainly not least, Monsanto’s GM foods have been linked to serious health damage – not only for animals, but humans as well.

Today, a major portion of crop-land in the US is sown with Monsanto’s “RoundUp Ready” corn, soy, cotton, canola, and sugar beets. Eighty percent of these GM crops are then sold as animal feed to the nation’s 125,000 factory farms or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) that produce most of the non-organic meat, dairy, or eggs sold in grocery stores or served in restaurants, schools, and hospitals. The other 20% of Monsanto’s Genetically Modified Organisms are laced into non-organic processed foods (soy lecithin, corn or sugar beet sweeteners, cooking oils, etc..) that are found in every grocery store aisle.

There is a direct correlation between our genetically engineered food supply and the $2 trillion the US spends annually on medical care, namely an epidemic of diet-related chronic diseases. Instead of healthy fruits, vegetables, grains, and grass-fed animal products, US factory farms and food processors produce a glut of genetically engineered junk foods that generate heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. Low fruit and vegetable consumption is directly costing the United States $56 billion a year in diet-related chronic diseases.

Monsanto’s GM crops are highly profitable for the food industry, turning cheap, federally subsidised, genetically engineered crops and GE-fed animals into cheap, ubiquitous, junky foods. But from the standpoint of public health and environmental sustainability, Monsanto and their factory farm collaborators are nothing less than merchants of disease and death.

A critical mass of consumers would turn away from GMOs and Factory Farmed meat, dairy, and eggs – IF they knew what they were eating..”

“Over the next few years, the Organic Consumers Association will focus on strategic grass-roots campaigns to promote health, justice, and sustainability, with a special emphasis on local-based practical solutions to the energy and climate crisis. Organic soil and land management can and must be scaled up now in order to buy us the time we need to make the long-term transition to radical energy efficiency and solar, wind, and geothermal power..”

Organic Consumers Association
6771 South Silver Hill Drive
Finland MN 55603
Inquiries: 218-226-4164