For years, scientists have been trying to unravel the mystery of a chronic kidney disease epidemic that has hit Central America, India and Sri Lanka. The disease occurs in poor peasant farmers who do hard physical work in hot climes. In each instance, the farmers have been exposed to herbicides and to heavy metals. The disease is known as CKDu, for Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology. The “u” differentiates this illness from other chronic kidney diseases where the cause is known. Very few Western medical practitioners are even aware of CKDu, despite the terrible toll it has taken on poor farmers from El Salvador to South Asia.
Monsanto’s Herbicide Linked to Fatal Kidney Disease Epidemic: Could It Topple the Company?
Dr. Catharina Wesseling, the regional director for the Program on Work and Health (SALTRA) in Central America, which pioneered the initial studies of the region’s unsolved outbreak, put it this way, “Nephrologists and public health professionals from wealthy countries are mostly either unfamiliar with the problem or skeptical whether it even exists.”
Defying repeated threats of a lawsuit from Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), on May 8, Peter Shumlin, Governor of Vermont, signed a historic bill requiring food manufacturers to label genetically engineered (GE) foods, and to drop the practice of labeling GE foods as “natural” or “all natural.”
On May 9, true to its word, the GMA confirmed that it will sue Vermont in federal court to overturn H. 112.
Vermont is prepared to fight back. The state has already established a “food fight” legal defense fund. Legal analysts say Vermont will likely win.
Vermont isn’t the only state up against the multi-billion dollar lobbying group. The GMA, whose 300-plus members include Monsanto and Dow, Coca-Cola and General Mills, is pushing a bill in Congress that would preempt all states from passing GMO labeling laws.
GMA members and corporate agribusiness hate labeling, because it forces them to reveal all of the hazardous GMOs, chemicals and drug residues lurking in the billions of dollars of foods, beverages, seeds, grains and pesticides they sell. It’s no wonder that Monsanto and GMA’s bill in Congress–a bill they’ve named the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014—has been renamed the “DARK” (Denying Americans the right to know) Act.
It’s time for consumers in every state to band together to defeat the GMA’s full-on assault, not only on Vermont, not only on consumers’ right to know what’s in our food, but on states’ rights and on our basic freedoms to protect our health and our communities.
The much-anticipated Rally For Real Food was held on the steps of the Capitol in Austin, Texas earlier today. The energetic crowd cheered a raft of passionate speakers including Ronda Rutledge (Executive Director, Sustainable Food Center), Eric Herm (Farmer, author of Son of a Farmer, Child of the Earth), Neil Carman, PH.D. (Sierra Club, Lone Star Chapter), Judith McGeary (Executive Director, Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance) and Mike “The Health Ranger” Adams (Editor, Natural News) about the right to know what’s in our food.
Many thanks to Mike LaRocca of Beanitos for organizing this important event! Thanks also to the sponsors, vendors, volunteers and attendees who helped make today’s rally a success.
(Click to see the photostream from today’s event. You are welcome to reuse these pictures, but please credit ediblearia.com for the original)