Tag Archives: Monsanto

Jim Gerritsen and OSGATA

OSGATA

Ever since the commercial introduction of its Genetically Modified Seeds in 1996, Monsanto has launched intense persecution against hundreds of farmers and seed dealers in the US and Canada alone, blaming patent infringement of their GMO seeds in what seems to be their drive for a complete control of crops.

Like Jim Gerritsen and his family, hundreds of farmers, organizations, activists and citizens around the world are fighting Monsanto Corporation policies every day.

They work to ensure the rights of consumers and to hold corporations accountable for their actions.

As consumers, our every day choices are the best weapons we have.

©Mathieu Asselin

Jim Gerritsen and OSGATA was originally published on Rural Madison

Irving, Texas-based Xochitl Tortilla Chip Company Busted by Consumer Reports for False “No GMO” Labels

10701947_858793397494458_5142145627943282805_n[1]The tortilla chip company Xochitl has gained a foothold in grocery stores across the United States in large part because of two words added to its package to reassure consumers: “No GMO.” It’s website shows that the chips are now in grocery stores across the country, and both organic and non-organic varieties are offered (both say “No GMO” on the bag.

But according to a recent test conducted by Consumer Reports that actually found its way to the mainstream media, the company has been lying about that important distinction.

Xochitl appears to have deleted their Facebook page in response to complaints from consumers following the report..

Despite the non-GMO claims by Xochitl (pronounced “so-cheel”) and their Totopos de Maiz original corn chips, the recent Consumer Reports investigation found that the non-organic (supposedly non-GMO) varieties of the chips contain over 75% GMO corn, over a test of six different packages.

Corn of the GMO variety was found in each type of the chips, despite the No GMO and “all-natural” labels on the front of the packages.

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Xochitl (So Shee) Inc. for allegedly falsely advertising various flavors of corn chips – including Xochitl Totopos de Maiz Salted Tortilla Chips, Unsalted Tortilla Chips, Garlic Tortilla Chips, Cajun Style Tortilla Chips, Picositos Con Limon Tortilla Chips, and Holiday Inspired Tortilla Chips– as “all natural” and as containing “No GMO” when, in reality, the chips are not all natural and contain genetically modified ingredients. (Cohen et al v. Xochitl (So Shee) Inc. and Xochitl Gourmet Foods LLC, Case No. 14-cv-23751, S. D. FL.).

Vandana Shiva on the Problem with Genetically-Modified Seeds

 
Bill Moyers talks to scientist and philosopher Vandana Shiva, who’s become a rock star in the global battle over genetically modified seeds. These seeds — considered “intellectual property” by the big companies who own the patents — are globally marketed to monopolize food production and profits. Opponents challenge the safety of genetically modified seeds, claiming they also harm the environment, are more costly, and leave local farmers deep in debt as well as dependent on suppliers. Shiva, who founded a movement in India to promote native seeds, links genetic tinkering to problems in our ecology, economy, and humanity, and sees this as the latest battleground in the war on Planet Earth.

Monsanto-funded USFRA trolling food blogs (like this one). Again.

Look what just showed up in my inbox..

Texas Farm Bureau and the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance is hosting the Food Dialogues: Austin Sept. 18. We will have two, 90-minute panels and will accept questions from the live audience and social media.

The first panel, “Animal welfare: Beyond the hype” is set for 10:30 a.m.-noon.

The ways we raise cattle in the Lone Star State are as diverse as Texas itself. Grass-fed, grain-fed, cow-calf, stocker, purebred operations—all play a unique role in providing a safe, nutritious product for niche and mainstream consumer markets. A priority shared by Texas cattlemen is providing proper care to raise livestock efficiently and healthy. How we get there—animal handling methods, antibiotics, beta-agonists, growth-promoting implants—can be controversial. Should consumers be concerned? A panel of cattle experts will discuss the variations on animal husbandry techniques and technologies used in the Texas beef business.

The second panel, “Farming methods. Consumer interpretation.” is set for 1:30-3:00 p.m.

Texas consumers have bountiful opportunities when it comes to the food they eat. But are they making wise choices? How do they distinguish between information and misinformation in the daily bombardment of food messages. Organic, conventional, local and natural–consumers read these labels, but do they understand their meaning? Their decisions shape food supplies, and in turn, farming practices. A panel of experts—representing all aspects of food production in Texas—will address health and safety concerns related to the foods we eat and the technology used to grow them.

We would love to have you, and some friends, attend.

For more information about the panelists and event logistics or to RSVP, visit http://www.fooddialogues.com/events/fd-austin.

If you have any questions, I’d be more than happy to answer them. A formal invitation will be emailed soon. If you are interested in attending, please let me know and we will have an invitation emailed to you.

Thanks!
Julie Vrazel
Texas Farm Bureau Assistant Editor

Big Food uses mommy bloggers to shape public opinion

by Anna Lappé

This past weekend, biotech giant Monsanto paid bloggers $150 each to attend “an intimate and interactive panel” with “two female farmers and a team from Monsanto.” The strictly invitation-only three-hour brunch, which took place on the heels of the BlogHer Conference, promised bloggers a chance to learn about “where your food comes from” and to hear about the “impact growing food has on the environment, and how farmers are using fewer resources to feed a growing population.” Though the invitation from BlogHer explicitly stated, “No blog posts or social media posts expected,” the event was clearly designed to influence the opinions — and the writing — of a key influencer: the mommy blogger.

Another invite-only event in August will bring bloggers to a Monsanto facility in Northern California for a tour of its fields and research labs. Again, while no media coverage is expected, the unspoken goal is clear.

Stealth marketing techniques, such as these by Monsanto, reveal how the food industry — from biotech behemoths to fast-food peddlers — is working surreptitiously to shape public opinion about biotechnology, industrialized farming and junk food.

The uptick in these stealth-marketing strategies coincides with growing popular outcry about agricultural chemicals, soda and junk food and genetically modified ingredients.

Monsanto is not the only food company engaging with the blogosphere. Mommy bloggers are the food industry’s newest nontraditional ally. McDonald’s has been wooing them aggressively too, offering sweepstakes in partnership with BlogHer for the company’s Listening Tour Luncheon, an exclusive event with the head of McDonald’s USA — framed as a two-way conversation about nutrition, but more likely a gambit to garner the support of a powerful group of influencers. And in Canada, McDonald’s offers All-Access Mom, behind-the-scenes tours of the company’s inner workings.

It’s not just through blogger meet-and-greets that industry is attempting to sway opinion. Video is an increasingly popular (and shareable) medium for PR disguised as content. This summer, for example, Monsanto is funding a Condé Nast Media Group film series called “A Seat at the Table.” According to a casting call, each three- to five-minute episode will cover questions such as “Are food labels too complicated?” and “GMOs: good or bad?” and will feature “an eclectic mix of industry and nonindustry notables with diverse viewpoints.” It’s hard to imagine truly free-flowing discussions resulting, paid for as they are by a company with a definitive take on — and stake in — the food-labeling wars.

What Does “Natural” Mean?

 

Not much..

natural-master[1]

Last year, according to Nielsen, foods labeled “natural” generated $43 billion in sales.That’s more than five times the figure for foods carrying an “organic” label ($8.9 billion).

Meat from livestock fed genetically modified corn, for example, can still be labeled “natural,” as can animals raised with regular doses of antibiotics. And the USDA has no regulations at all for labeling natural foods that do not contain meat or eggs.

More than half of those surveyed said that they specifically looked for a “natural” label on their foods.

There’s just one problem: There are no real federal regulations around the word “natural.”

Even with the lack of regulation, plaintiffs can sue companies individually for false advertising—and in recent years, consumers have done just that. In 2013, PepsiCo. agreed to a $9 million class action settlement fund after plaintiffs complained about Naked Juice’s “all natural” labeling that belied ingredients like genetically modified soy.

More..