From Rural Vermont –


In an eighty-four page decision issued late on Monday April 28th, Federal District Court Judge Christina Reiss denied the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association’s motion for an injunction to block Vermont’s GMO labeling law from being implemented. Although she also denied the State of Vermont’s motion to dismiss the GMA’s lawsuit entirely, her ruling did support many of the State’s key arguments in support of the law.

Vermont’s first in the nation GMO labeling law was passed overwhelmingly by the legislature last year, and signed by Governor Shumlin last May. Passage of the law was supported by the work of the Vermont Right to Know GMOs coalition spearheaded by Cedar Circle Farm, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), Rural Vermont, and VPIRG. .

Next steps in the case may include proceeding to trial to resolve outstanding claims, or an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Though the Court found that Plaintiffs’ are not likely to succeed on blocking the disclosure requirement, the Court indicated that the prohibition on using the term “natural” will face an uphill battle. The law is set to go in to effect on July 1st 2016.

Please visit the VT Right to Know GMOs website for further updates as the court case continues.


VT Committees “Arm wrestling for money”

From Rural Vermont’s Update: If you’re following the mainstream news at all, you know that there are debates raging in virtually every committee about money. Who’s going to get some, who’s not and where the hell is it going to come from?

In our work on the Raw Milk Bill (H.426), the Poultry Processing Bill (H.52) and the big Water Quality bills (H.35 and S.49) we are focusing on ensuring that economic opportunity and viability is preserved for family farmers, and greater freedom to choose our food is available to all of us “eaters.” We are also trying to ensure that fundamental principles of regenerative and sustainable agriculture and wise use of our crucial resources like water and soil are not abandoned or degraded in the process and politics of arm wrestling over money.

Along the way we’re also trying to preserve some measure of common sense as we seek to build a food system based on trust instead of fear.

For more on this I refer you once again to Wendell Berry:

“There is, then, a politics of food that, like any politics, involves our freedom. We still (sometimes) remember that we cannot be free if our minds and voices are controlled by someone else. But we have neglected to understand that we cannot be free if our food and its sources are controlled by someone else. The condition of the passive consumer of food is not a democratic condition. One reason to eat responsibly is to live free.”

Here you can read the entire essay, “The Pleasure of Eating” from which this quote comes. The Pleasure of Eating is part of Berry’s 1990 book “What Are People For?”

I hope you will!


P.S. For more on our public policy work and how you can TAKE ACTION TODAY, see the Issue Updates section below. And I hope to see you on April 8th at Farmers Tell Their Stories. 

Occupy Burlington – Candlelight Vigil December 17th

by on Dec 17, 2011

December 17th marks a year since our brother Mohamed Bouazizi lit himself on fire in Tunisia. His act began the Arab Spring where ordinary people like ourselves began to stand up for democracy and justice. Nine months later on September 17th in New York City, the Occupy Movement began.

In remembrance of Mohamed Bouazizi and in celebration of three months of occupation, Occupy Burlington is holding a candlelit march and vigil to remember all those who have suffered under a system that solely supports the interests of the 1% at the detriment of the 99%.

Moving Planet Rally 350 – Montpelier, VT * UPDATED

Video from the event on September 24th

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin gets the crowd all fired up at 350.org’s “Moving Planet” event at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier on 9/24/2011. Shumlin spoke about the recent impacts of global climate change on Vermont, how Vermont has taken a leadership role in doing something about it, and how the state can do even more to overcome this challenge in the future.

Senator Bernie Sanders addresses the crowd at 350.org’s “Moving Planet” event at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier on 9/24/2011. Sanders refuted skepticism of the science behind climate change, and spoke about solutions available today for America to reduce climate change while creating jobs.

This rally will make the voice of Vermonters heard in the Statehouse and beyond on those social and environmental issues that are important to all of us. So please do mark your calendar, gather your friends and neighbors, and come to Montpelier on Saturday, September 24th to stop the clock on climate change, to support community forests (as part of the Our Forests Our Future campaign), and to demand that green jobs be Vermont Jobs!

Where: Statehouse Lawn, Montpelier, VT

When: Saturday, September 24th, 3PM sharp!

Why: To support the creation of new community forests, to make sure green jobs are Vermont jobs, and to join the fight against climate change!!!

The Vermont Moving Planet Rally is built around the following demands:

*Green Jobs For All!
*Energy Efficient Homes and Buildings For All!
*100% Renewable Energy For All!
*Local, Healthy Food For All!
*Green Transportation For All
*Community Forests For All!

If there is only one thing you do this fall for the environment, being at this rally and making sure our voice is heard is the most important thing you can do. So join us, the Sierra Club, and dozens of other organizations in saying it is time for real change!

For potential carpooling information from your area, please see the below website:

more info – http://www.moving-planet.org/events/us/montpelier/232

Who should be steering the course on our expedition into a better Future?


What do NGO’s, Think tanks, and Lobbyists all have in common? Legislation… creating “law” and getting it passed by government officials they “sponsor”. This wouldn’t be a problem if these groups were working for the best interest of society and humanity as a whole, unfortunately there isn’t a maximum “profit” to be gained in that arena. Yes, they work for “special” Corporate interest who work for increasing their value for their stake-holders at almost any cost.

In turn this means that Multi-national Mega-Corporations are persuading our elected representatives on multiple fronts using money as their “1st amendment Free Speech right” to get it enacted as “law”. Their goal is to decrease regulation of their own industry, create regulation of their smaller counterparts, creates tax loopholes and any other  benefit conceivable for them to reap the maximum profit, even if it means destroying the Earth and making the populace sick and poor. This is the Global Trend of the “Free Market” and “Democratic Capitalism”.

The people have had enough around the World and are rising up in the name of “We The People” standing against Government corruption, meaning Corporate Collusion with Government.  These uprisings from the G8 and the G20 to the recently implemented Austerity Measures are increasingly advocating a Non-Violent method of protest. The people are learning that rioting brings no change except the loss of Civil Rights and expanded Government control. In many of the videos from around the world you can see the non-violent protest being met with batons swinging, riot gear, tear gas, rubber bullets and even sonic weapons. It is disheartening to see the blind submission of these police and “security” agents to the will of protecting corporate interests, yet, it is inspiring to see people’s strong resolve to remain non-violent in the face of extreme brutality. 

This September 17th many of these Global Activists are uniting their efforts to occupy all the major economic centers around the Globe, in a stance of Civil Disobedience resolving to remove the parasitic grasp corporations have on our governments. https://occupywallst.org/

These activists are calling for the occupation on September 17th of Wall Street and any other major financial centers to mirror the Tahrir Square occupation in Egypt and the Plaza de Sol occupation in Madrid, meaning it will be; Non-Violent, Organized, Egalitarian, Consensus, Respectful and Creative.

We can have a balanced, progressive, abundant world and a healthy Earth, it is a matter of steering. Who should be steering the course on our expedition into a better Future? 

Blessings and Peace to the Activists who are sacrificing life an limb for the future of humanity, may the conscience of those called to beat them down awaken so they may fulfill their oath and protect the people’s 1st Amendment rights.