Organic Bytes: Special Issue! Millions Against Monsanto: Save the Planet
Very important petitions in this issue. Please respond and pass along. . . .
December 17, 2009
Organic Bytes #204: Special Issue! Millions Against Monsanto: Save the Planet
Health, Justice and Sustainability News
from the Organic Consumers AssociationEdited by: Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins
- Actions of the Week: Stop Monsanto!
- Action Update: Monsanto Wins the Angry Mermaid Award
- Health News of the Week: Dangers of Monsanto GMO Corn
- Spoof Monsanto Site: ILoveMeatTube.com
- Little Bytes: More News of the Week
Actions of the Week
Press the Department of Justice to Break Monsanto's MonopolyAfter years of complaints from the OCA and our allies, the Department of Justice is investigating how big biotech and food corporations, including Monsanto, are monopolizing and controlling our seeds, food and farming - and they want to hear from YOU. The Obama Administration is specifically seeking comments and information about how corporate control of the food system affects average Americans. If you're concerned that Monsanto and Big Food corporations have inordinate and dangerous power over where your food comes from and how it's produced, tell the Justice Department! Your comments could help rein in Monsanto and other corporate criminals.
Stop Obama's Monsanto Men
Rajiv ShahThe Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of Monsanto's key non-profit partners, forcing hazardous Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) on farmers and consumers worldwide. The multi-billion dollar Gates Foundation is helping Monsanto infiltrate markets in poor African countries by fraudulently claiming that GMOs can feed the world and reduce rural poverty with high-priced GM seed varieties that supposedly, but in fact do not, increase yields, resist drought, or improve nutrition.President Obama has appointed biotech cheerleader Rajiv Shah, who worked as the Gates Foundation's agriculture programs director, to be the USDA's Under Secretary for Research, and has put Roger Beachy, Director of the Monsanto-funded Danforth Plant Science Center, directly under Shah in charge of the new National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Now Shah, with only six months of government experience, has been appointed by Obama to lead the US Agency for International Development (USAID), handing over in effect billions of dollars in taxpayer money to Food Inc., Monsanto, and the biotech bullies.
Islam SiddiquiThe notorious lobbying group CropLife, which represents pesticide and genetic engineering companies, including Monsanto, is the PR front group that infamously chided the First Lady for planting a pesticide-free organic garden at the White House. Islam Siddiqui, nominated by President Obama to be the US Trade Representative's Chief Agriculture Negotiator, is CropLife's Vice-President. Before CropLife, Siddiqui was a chemical farming and biotech booster in Clinton's USDA. It was his bright idea in 1997-98--rejected by the organic community-- to allow GMOs, sewage sludge and irradiation in organic production. (The Organic Consumers Association spearheaded this successful campaign to save organic standards.) And oh yes, we should also mention that Siddiqui was an Obama campaign donor and fundraiser.
Protest Monsanto Propaganda on National Public RadioIf you listen to National Public Radio, you've probably heard Monsanto's "Produce More, Conserve More" greenwashing commercials. Monsanto's propaganda team claim their Frankencrops and seeds are a form of "sustainable agriculture" that will help farmers "squeeze more out of a drop of water." American Public Media, the producer of the public radio program Marketplace, gets companies like Monsanto to support their programming by offering to let them "leverage their reputation." Unfortunately Monsanto's green claims are a dangerous lie. GMO crops do not produce more. GMO crops contain dangerous pesticide residues, and use massive amounts of toxic and climate-0destabilizing chemical fertilizers. GMO are not drought-resistant. Organic crops out-produce chemical and GMO crops by 70% under drought (or heavy rain) conditions. Non-organic chemical, water, energy-intensive, and GMO crops are a recipe for disaster in this era of unpredictable weather.
Monsanto Wins the Angry Mermaid AwardClimate activists have hung Copenhagen's "Angry Mermaid Award" around Monsanto's neck for being a "corporate climate criminal." Monsanto, perhaps the world's most hated corporation, is a major driving force in polluting the atmosphere with billions of pounds of climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases (Co2, methane, and nitrous oxide), while at the same time offering false high-tech solutions-- profiting off biotech bullying, environmental destruction, a highly subsidized and unhealthy food chain, and rural poverty.Even though food security experts agree that mitigating and adapting to climate change is going to require a return to non-GMO organic agriculture, Monsanto has been successful in promoting itself in the US and among world leaders as a so-called no-till "sustainable agriculture" company helping farmers survive climate change by selling them genetically engineered seeds that resist drought and flood.In fact, Monsanto has never commercialized a single drought or flood-resistant crop. Monsanto's seeds are resistant to one thing: Monsanto's toxic (and increasingly expensive) herbicide RoundUp, which farmers are forced to buy, (and consumers are forced to consume) in ever-larger quantities.Monsanto's goal is to patent living organisms, monopolize seeds, outlaw seed saving, and economically and legally enslave farmers, thereby destroying the "competition," the seed and crop biodiversity that farmers have painstakingly cultivated over the last 10,000 years. Life on Earth will become Life in Hell if Monsanto is allowed to tighten its stranglehold over our seeds and food. To mitigate climate change, we need to shift from chemical and energy-intensive industrial agriculture to organic farming practices on the world's 12 billion acres of farm, pasture, and rangeland (thereby cleaning up 40-100% of the excess CO2 in the atmosphere) and at the same time drastically reduce the 44-52% of greenhouse gases directly or indirectly caused by industrial agriculture: carbon dioxide (CO2) from burning fossil fuels, cutting down rainforests and destroying soil fertility; methane (CH4) from animal factory farms and rotting non-composted waste in garbage dumps; and nitrous oxide from billions of pounds of nitrate-based fertilizer. To save the climate and ourselves, we need to break Monsanto's stranglehold over food and farming, and instead protect and support the world's remaining 1.5 billion traditional and organic small farmers - the peasants and family farmers who produce 75% of the world's food and fiber and steward what's left of the world's crop and animal biodiversity.
OCA Needs Your Help to Spread the Organic RevolutionOCA and our national, now international, network of organic consumers and farmers understand that we have a positive life-affirming solution for the global food, health, and climate crisis: organic food, farming, and ranching. But to get out our all-important message we need your support and your donations. So please send us a tax-deductible donation today.The OCA's yearly fundraiding drive kicked off at the beginning of December, so please help us reach our goal of raising $75,000 by January 1st, 2010!
New Study Reveals Health Hazards of Monsanto's Frankenfoods
Three Major GMOs Approved for Food and Feed Found UnsafeIn the most comprehensive study yet of the health effects of three of Monsanto's genetically modified corn varieties, researchers from CRIIGEN and the French universities of Caen and Rouen have highlighted a number of new side effects linked with their consumption. Their study of Monsanto's 90-day feeding trials clearly underlines adverse impacts on kidneys and liver, the dietary detoxifying organs, as well as damage to the heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic system.Their research was made possible when the European government obtained Monsanto's raw data and made it publicly available for scrutiny and counter-evaluation for the first time.The researchers have concluded that all three GMOs that they have studied contain novel pesticide residues that will be present in food and feed and may pose grave health risks to those consuming them. They have, therefore, called for immediate prohibition on the import and cultivation of these GMOs and have strongly recommended additional long-term (up to two years) and multi-generational animal feeding studies on at least three species to provide true scientifically valid data on the acute and chronic toxic effects of GM crops, feed and foods.
Spoof Monsanto Site: ILoveMeatTubeWe don't know who is behind this satirical website, but it's always a good time to poke a little fun at Monsanto, GMOs and industrial farming. Let's fight them together AND laugh at them together!
LITTLE BYTES1) Climate Crisis: Copenhagen - Putting agriculture front and center in the discussions over climate change2) Food System Change Not Climate Change - New paper series from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy tackles climate challenges for agriculture3) Getting at the Roots of Unsustainable U.S. Ag Policy - Point-by-point debunking of the USDA's new report on agriculture and climate change4) Obama to Receive Prize Based on Promise He Has Failed to Keep - Friends of the Earth members statements prior to U.S. President Barack Obama's December 10 acceptance of his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway5) Video of the Week: Vandana Shiva Speaks at Copenhagen Climate Protest - Indian physicist, author, and activist Vandana Shiva spoke to the crowd before the protests in Copenhagen on Saturday as anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 people (depending on who you talk to) marched to the UN Climate Change Summit
LOCAL HI NEWS OF THE WEEK
HI - Get Involved Locally
- Learn more about OCA related action alerts and other news in HI here.
- Join HI discussion groups in our forum.
- Post events in HI on our community calendar.
Living Tree Community FoodsDear brothers and sisters,We invite you to watch Master Live Food Chef Diana Hirsch using Living Tree Tahini to make Alive Hummus. We make our Tahini in Berkeley, a wellspring of the human spirit.For details about our nut butters, olives and olive oil, we invite you to explore our website.We invite you to visit us online at www.livingtreecommunity.com or call toll free at 1 800-260-5534
Please forward this publication to family and friends, place it on web sites,
print it, duplicate it and post it freely. Knowledge is power!
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