Category Archives: #marchMay24

Labor Icon Dolores Huerta Speaks Out in Favor of Mandatory GMO Labeling

Dolores Heurta, who protested alongside Cesar Chavez in the 60s and 70s to formalize rights for California’s farm workers, was in Washington, D.C. this week to speak out in favor of mandatory GMO labeling.

Huerta helped to acquire the first collective bargaining agreement between workers and an agricultural company in 1965 as noted in this article by E&E Publishing. She said that GMO labeling is a must for consumers who are starving for information on which foods contain the highly controversial ingredients. 

“It gives the average consumer the right to choose,” said Huerta, speaking at a conference at the National Press Club yesterday. Huerta also attended a meeting at the White House to press President Obama on the issue. Obama promised labels for GMOs during his presidential campaign but has yet to make good on the promise. 

huerta

Huerta added that her experiences protecting the rights and health of people in communities near farms from pesticide exposure has helped motivate her to speak out on the issue of GMOs and the need for labeling.

The event was organized by the Environmental Working Group, which has long been a supporter of mandatory GMO labeling and a large-scale reduction of harmful farming chemicals that are used on GMO and “conventional” crops. 

The farming industry has long been in favor of using more harmful chemicals, Huerta said, with field managers even calling them “medicine” for crops during the 1970s.

The political climate surrounding such pesticides has changed drastically in recent years, however, as more and more studies have come out demonstrating their harmful effects including a recent one by the World Health Organization linking glyphosate, which is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, to cancer.

For more on the event and Huerta’s speech, check out the full article here.

Monsanto Settles With Wheat Farmers Over GMO Wheat Contamination

The Monsanto Company is well known for suing farmers, but they found themselves on the other side of the coin after wheat farmers were harmed by the discovery of a genetically modified variety at a farm in Eastern Oregon.

The incident led to costly market rejections from Japan and South Korea, who refused to import potentially contaminated wheat, as well as calls for tougher testing from the EU, which also rejects the crops.

The wheat finding occurred in 2013 despite the fact that there is no commercial GMO wheat on the market, and now Monsanto is settling up by paying out a sum of $350,000.

The donations will go to agricultural schools in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana; Monsanto will also pay to reimburse a portion of the farmers’ legal costs but did not announce the amount.

There was no admission of liability by Monsanto, according to this report from RT.

monsanto gmo wheat settlement

Monsanto said that money will go into “research and development efforts for the wheat industry,” Monsanto’s chief litigation counsel said (no mention was made of whether or not that would include GMO wheat).

The company also said that an Arkansas farmers’ suit still has not been resolved.

Monsanto also paid about $2.4 million worth of damages for other lawsuits that happened as a result of the Oregon scandal; the company made about $2.74 billion in profits last year, however, with sales of $15.86 billion.

Do You Value Your DNA and Genetic Health? Stay Away from Monsanto Chemicals, Study Says

It’s no secret that farm chemicals are dangerous to the workers and wildlife that are exposed to them, but until recently we didn’t quite know the full extent of that damage.

Farm workers in the soybean industry are particularly at risk of being harmed by synthetic herbicides and pesticides (especially the ones manufactured by Monsanto) according to a study published in the journal ‘Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis,’ which included 127 people, most of whom were exposed to these chemicals during their work in the Brazilian soybean industry.

While the powers-that-be insist these chemicals are safe, the study casts a dark shadow on their safety especially in light of the importance of genetic health, both now and among future generations, to human health in general.

DNA damage has been recorded as a likely side effect of exposure to Monsanto farm chemicals including those in Roundup.

Damage to human DNA has been recorded as a likely effect of Monsanto chemicals including those in Roundup.

 

Monsanto Chemicals Linked to Genetic Damage

According to the study, released in 2013 but recently reported on by the news website RT, the soybean workers exposed to agricultural chemicals like glyphosate, which is included in Monsanto’s best-selling ‘Roundup’ herbicide, were recorded as having higher levels of DNA and cell damage.

Of the 127 people, 81 exposed to the chemicals were studied along with 46 who were not exposed. Those working with the chemicals showed a higher level of DNA damage as well as cellular apoptosis (programmed cell death, or suicide committed by damaged cells within the body).

“Our findings indicate the advisability of monitoring genetic toxicity in soybean farm workers exposed to pesticides,” the researchers said.

For more info, read the full text of the study here.

Nick Meyer writes for the website AltHealthWORKS.com, you can like their Facebook page by clicking here

 

Rhode Island Consumers Get Two New GMO Labeling Bills Each with Different Conditions

New GMO labeling bills have caught on across the Northeast part of the United States, and now Rhode Island is next in line to decide on a bill that would help consumers make more informed choices about the foods they buy every day.

A bill was recently introduced in the state’s legislature that would require the labeling of any foods with genetically modified ingredients.

Two nearly identical bills with different conditions for passing were just introduced by State Sen. Donna Nesselbush. The first one, Senate Bill 549, would go immediately into effect on January 1, 2017 if successful.

Rh

The Rhode Island state House building in Providence.

 

The second bill, Senate Bill 557, requires four states outside of Rhode Island including one adjacent state with combined populations of over 20 million people to pass similar legislation.

Foods would also be subject to regulations disallowing the use of the word “natural” if they contain GMOs under the measure.

Over $100 million in spending against GMO labeling bills nationwide have so far derailed bills in several states including Oregon and California that would have required GMO labeling, a right afforded to consumers in over 60 countries.

For more information on the Rhode Island bill read the original articles here from the Boston Globe and RT.

Rhode Island Consumers Get Two New GMO Labeling Bills Each with Different Conditions

New GMO labeling bills have caught on across the Northeast part of the United States, and now Rhode Island is next in line to decide on a bill that would help consumers make more informed choices about the foods they buy every day.

A bill was recently introduced in the state’s legislature that would require the labeling of any foods with genetically modified ingredients.

Two nearly identical bills with different conditions for passing were just introduced by State Sen. Donna Nesselbush. The first one, Senate Bill 549, would go immediately into effect on January 1, 2017 if successful.

Rh

The Rhode Island state House building in Providence.

 

The second bill, Senate Bill 557, requires four states outside of Rhode Island including one adjacent state with combined populations of over 20 million people to pass similar legislation.

Foods would also be subject to regulations disallowing the use of the word “natural” if they contain GMOs under the measure.

Over $100 million in spending against GMO labeling bills nationwide have so far derailed bills in several states including Oregon and California that would have required GMO labeling, a right afforded to consumers in over 60 countries.

For more information on the Rhode Island bill read the original articles here from the Boston Globe and RT.

Standing Up To Goliath: March Against Monsanto

http://covvha.net/
Published with permission of Justin Gammill from Earth911.com

So if you are keeping score, at this point it’s Justin: 1, Monsanto: 0.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article where I not only compared the mega-corporation to Nazis, but I also called them evil geniuses who: “took a break from counting their money to poison you.” For anyone who just thought: “Gee, that’s harsh,” you might want to strap in for what is going to be a fun-filled super-slam festival of epic proportions …

Now in my first article I talked specifically about the GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) situation that Monsanto is perpetrating against humanity and the planet. Long story short, back in the 80s Monsanto started developing seeds that were genetically modified to be resistant to things like pesticides and herbicides as a way to, according to their multi-million advertising campaign: “End World Hunger.” So basically, they claimed that unless you get over your aversion to eating something cooked up in a lab and sprayed with some of the most toxic stuff known to man, kids in Third World countries will die.

So if ending hunger is at the heart of their intentions, they must give the seeds away for free right? Nope. In fact, they went a couple of steps further. First they made the plants sterile, so that farmers have to buy them again the next year, instead of planting natural seed from the previously harvested crops. Then they found a way to make the plants basically “grow themselves to death.” According to Emma Must from the World Development Movement, “by peddling suicide seeds, the biotechnology multinationals will lock the world’s poorest farmers into a new form of genetic serfdom.” Another fun little side effect of GMOs is a cool trick called “drift”, where the run-off from their herbicide-resistant seeds makes its way to a natural crop and kills it. Like in 2012, herbicide sprayed in the San Joaquin Valley of California drifted and damaged cotton fields as far as 100 miles away.

That’s part of the reason why on May 24th, I will be joining the March Against Monsanto.

MAM is “a global call to action aimed at informing the public, calling into question long-term health risks of genetically modified foods and demanding that GMO products be labeled so that consumers can make informed decisions.”  The movement is aimed at:

-Protecting our food supply, local farms and environment
-Promoting organic solutions
-Exposing cronyism between big business and the government

The fight against GMOs is going global, and if you want to find out what you can do to get involved, please check out the March Against Monsanto website. Now the last time I talked about Monsanto and GMOs, an employee from Monsanto showed up to comment on my claims, and made a 3-4 hour attempt at discrediting what I had to say. So, to be fair, So, to be fair, I’ll quote One of March Against Monsanto's International Directors about the whole situation:

"If we continue to think that the fight against Monsanto is only about GMOs, we have already lost."

-Kelly L. Derricks, president and co-founder of the Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance, and March against Monsanto’s Agent Orange Education Director

Guess what? She’s got a point. When it comes to harming humans, Monsanto has been at it for over 100 years …

Let’s fire up the Monsanto Poison Train and head back down the track to 1901 when they created Saccharin. Originally it was sold as an artificial sweetener for the Coca-Cola company and the canned food industry. So what’s the big deal with Saccharin? It’s made from coal tar. The FDA questioned the effects of Saccharin since 1907 and the FDA’s very first director said "He thought he was eating sugar, when in point of fact he was eating a coal tar product totally devoid of food value and extremely injurious to health." Remember, that was 107 years ago. In the 70s any product with Saccharin was required to have a warning label, but with deep, deep pockets, 30 or so years later, Monsanto managed to get the requirement for the label removed. Apparently, letting people know that your product was made from coal tar and caused cancer in lab rats was bad for sales.

Next stop on board the Monsanto Poison Train is the 1940s, where having apparently gotten bored with the coal-tar additive business, Monsanto switched to the oil-based plastics game. Thanks to their efforts, we now have polystyrene, or as it is lovingly known: Styrofoam. Harming people wasn’t bad enough; they had to give us a good old-fashioned environmental disaster made from non-renewable resources that is basically indestructible. Thanks, guys!

Moving forward on the Poison Train, we come to a nice combination of devastating environmental impact and human health decline. The 1960s and the war in Vietnam brought us Agent Orange, which was at one time called “perhaps the most toxic molecule ever synthesized by man,” by Yale biologist Arthur Galston. The U.S. military used and estimated 18 -20 million gallons of Agent Orange over 9 years in an attempt to kill the dense jungle that apparently made fighting a political war a little too much to handle. Even after admitting that they were aware of the lethality of the toxic cocktail which included the deadly dioxin, Dr. James R. Clary, a former government scientist with the Chemical Weapons Branch said," … because the material was to be used on the ‘enemy,’ none of us were overly concerned." Considering that 4.8 million people were exposed to Agent Orange, resulting in 400,000 deaths and disfigurements, and 500,000 babies born with birth defects, not to mention the American soldiers that were exposed, which is still to this day, an unknown number, a little concern would have gone a long way.

Take GMOs out of the equation, and there is still a legacy of destruction and greed on a scale that rivals a James Bond super-villain. A legacy that spans a century. Again, I encourage you to check out the March Against Monsanto and COVVHA websites and get involved in your community’s events. It’s time that people realize that these companies almost never have your interests at heart, or the planet’s for that matter. Your wallet however is always at the forefront of their intentions. It’s time that, through education and activism, we take it back out of their hands.

Justin: 2
Monsanto: 0
The World:?

Consumer empowerment should be central in G.M.O. labeling debate


The cornerstone of our capitalist market, for better or worse, is consumer choice. And choice is meaningless if consumers are not able to make informed decisions. The debate over genetically modified organisms (G.M.O.’s) used in our foods has been long and controversial with those decrying “frankenfood” railing against those portraying the process as the savior from food shortages and high food prices.

The battle over labeling these foods has been gaining significant traction in recent weeks, with states like Colorado putting labeling initiatives on their ballots for the upcoming elections.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/209184612/Consumer-Empowerment-Should-Be-Central-in-G-M-O-Labeling-Debate

Food Safety Expert: GMO products cause cancer and obesity’

Russia is firm: no genetically modified organisms in food production, the head of Russia’s Ministry of Agriculture Nikolay Fyodorov stated at the All-Russian Meeting of Agrarians. GMO-foods controversies between scientists, ecologists and producers have a long history. Russia, which is now going organic, has faced these problems just recently. 

The battle is being waged by two camps: while scientists lack arguments and evidence that GMO is harmful, huge and powerful production corporation have resources and political links. Scientists say they will need another couple of decades for a comprehensive research, but some threats are obvious already now, says Biology Professor and international expert on eco and food safety Dr. Irina Ermakova:

"These organisms are all dangerous because the very technology of their production is far from being perfect ­– it features pathogenic bacteria and viruses. When scientists tested the aftermath of GMO-produce on animals, they were horrified with the results – cancer and obesity. So the best things would be to ban such foods at all, as European countries do".


http://www.scribd.com/doc/208176037/GMO-Products-Cause-Cancer-and-Obesity

http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_02_14/GMO-in-Russia-access-denied-1843/

Directions To Organize A March Against Monsanto In Your Area

Organize A March Against Monsanto In Your Area

Be sure to check our current event list to make sure there is not an event already planned for your city.

Step 1:

Decide whether to do a march or a single rally. If you can get at least
10 – 15 people, a march has the potential to reach a lot more people
than a rally.


Step 2:
Create a MAM community page for your city. Once you have that up and
running, send us the page link. MAM will be creating events for 24 May 2014.

Those who have already created events, should please make MAM a host of the event. March Against Monsanto will then appear next to, "Created by:..."E-Mail which we can send to Public that ppl can reach their organizer
for helping u with organization etc.

NOW SEND A FRIEND REQUEST TO THE MAM PAGE ADMIN YOU ARE WORKING WITH TO BE ADDED INTO THE LOCAL ORGANIZERS GROUP Also choose your short Twitter hashtag, example: #MAMdc for Washington DC or #MAMnyc for New York City

Step 3:
Pick a good location. For a rally, a large park or other public area
with a lot of traffic is a good spot. If there are any GMO-related
headquarters or corporations in your city, that’s another good spot.
If you’re doing a march, pick two well-known locations to start and end
your march. You can do mini-rallies at each location. Keep in mind
walking distance; around a mile is a good distance.

Step 4:
Research which permits may be necessary to make your event legal, if
you so choose. You can research this on the Internet by looking on city
government websites or calling their offices. Requirements are usually
different depending on whether you’re doing a march or a rally.


Step 5:
Reach out to potential speakers if you plan to have a rally or
mini-rallies along with a march; this is a great way to increase the
turnout and get media coverage. Try reaching out to organizations in
your city that oppose GMOs and/or Monsanto like farmers and
organizations that promote organic foods. If there are politicians in
your city/state who advocate GMO labeling, that’s another good idea as
well. Note: If you’re having speakers, you may need to get additional permits for a PA system and/or a bullhorn.


Step 6:
Once you have all of the details worked out for your rally, it’s time to promote it! This is done by use of flyers, including large ones to post to telephone poles and small ones to handout. Also send a press release to your local media alerting them to the event, to be sent out two days before and the night before or morning (around 6:00am) of your event.

If you’re doing a march, be sure to create a banner to carry so people
know why you’re marching. Also, make signs and have attendees bring
their own as well. Set up Flyer Actions! Thank you for participating