Vermont Farmers take on Monsanto

Video via – Sep 20, 2012

Vermonter’s gather at a rally to protest Monsanto pushing their unsustainable products on Vermont Farmers. Rachel Nevitt (from Full Moon Farm) comes in at 8:20 in this video speaking about the unsustainability of Monsanto Corps.

Nevitt and her husband, David Zuckerman, are plaintiffs in a lawsuit that concerns patent rights and genetically modified organisms (GMO). – BFP full article about the lawsuit

excerpt quote from her speech –

Creating a seed that can not be selectively saved nor improved upon is NOT sustainable, asking farmers to buy all their seed from the same corporation is NOT sustainable, forcing farmers to buy Monsanto’s compatible herbicide annually is NOT sustainable, wide spread over-use of round-up herbicide leading to the creation of glyphosate resistant super-weeds is NOT  sustainable, suing farmers for saving seeds is NOT sustainable, suing farmers for cross-contamination is NOT sustainable, annihilating seed diversity is NOT sustainable,  not properly testing your products for long-term health or environmental effects is NOT sustainable, causing a never before seen on Earth pathogen that effects our livestock’s ability to reproduce is NOT sustainable,  Spending 7.1 million dollars out of their pocket-book to keep California consumers in the dark is NOT sustainable.” – Rachel Nevitt

When Monsanto speaks of sustainability they are speaking of sustaining their control and profits over our food supply, not the health and well being of our future generations and land. From Monsanto’s website on why they sue farmers who save seed, “When farmers purchase a patented seed variety, they sign an agreement that they will not save and replant seeds produced from the seed they buy from us.”

That is why,

Monsanto’s cost-inflated and ineffective seeds have been driving farmers to suicide, and is considered to be one of the largest — if not the largest — cause of the quarter of a million farmer suicidesover the past 16 years.

According to the most recent figures (provided by the New York University School of Law), 17,638 Indian farmers committed suicide in 2009 — about one death every 30 minutes.

Read the full article – http://naturalsociety.com/monsantos-gmo-seeds-farmer-suicides-every-30-minutes/#ixzz277ILHHmC

Take Action – http://www.organicconsumers.org/monsanto/

Sanders Calls For GMO Labeling Amendment To Farm Bill

From VPR News:

Thursday, 06/14/12 5:50pm

Bob Kinzel

Senator Bernie Sanders is urging his colleagues to allow individual states to require the labeling of all genetically engineered foods. Sanders’ proposal is one of more than 80 amendments to the new Farm Bill.

The Vermont Legislature considered a labeling bill this past session but Democratic leaders decided not to bring it up because of concerns that the major chemical companies would sue the state.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Sanders said his amendment makes it clear that states do have the authority to address this issue if they choose to:

“Amendment number 2310 is about allowing states to honor the wishes of their residents and allowing consumers to know what they are eating,” said Sanders. “If this is not a conservative amendment I don’t know what is. Americans deserve the right to know what they and their children are eating and that is what this amendment is all about.”

And Sanders notes that dozens of countries, including the European Union, have similar labeling laws in place:

“So this is good in 49 or more countries around the world why is it not acceptable in the United States of America and the answer is pretty simple,” said Sanders. “That we have a large powerful multi-national corporation who is more concerned about their own profits that they are about allowing the American people to know what is in the food that they are eating.”

The full Senate is expected to vote on the Sanders amendment early next week.

link to article – http://www.vpr.net/news_detail/94870/sanders-calls-for-gmo-labeling-amendment-to-farm-b/

Food Democracy Now Blog Article – w/text of Amendment – http://fooddemocracynow.org/blog/2012/jun/14/senators_sanders_and_boxer_farm_bill_label_gmos/

Bernie’s Press Release – http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=09f69aba-a6a5-4292-9ac2-cb8ae1265ede

Biotech 2, Vermont 0

From: the Bovine Blog

Vermont has long been regarded as one of the most progressive States in the Union when it comes to things like alternative medicine and access to healthy food choices. If this is what’s going down in Vermont, what’s happening in the rest of the United States that we’re not hearing about?

From Brian Gaston for Salem-News.com:

The biotech industry has had to use corruption and threats to keep secret what they continue to claim is safe and “substantially equivalent” to normal food. 

(MONTPELIER, VT) – Vermonters were slammed by the biotech industry twice this month.  They were hit the first time when 90% of the population wanted GMOs in their food labeled but the governor would not sign a bill requiring this because the biotech giant Monsanto threatened to sue the state. Monsanto thus stopped “informed consent” around food, leaving people without crucial information needed to decide what goes into their and their children’s bodies, and are thus essentially tricked into eating it in not know what is what. Instead of informed consent required in medical experiments – and this is one of the largest in human history – there is enforced ignorance. The biotech industry has had to use corruption and threats to keep secret what they continue to claim is safe and “substantially equivalent” to normal food….

full article – http://thebovine.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/biotech-2-vermont-0/

(text excerpt from) Rural Vermont’s – LEGISLATIVE UPDATE:  March 16, 2012

YOU DID IT! Thank You.

H.722, the bill that will require genetically modified food sold in Vermont to be labeled, IS STILL ALIVE in the State House.

After several long days of compelling testimony and a huge outpouring of public support, House and Senate leaders agreed today to give the bill more time to complete the legislative process. Without this special consideration, the bill would have failed to meet today’s “crossover” deadline.

The latest info we have is that the House Agriculture Committee will be able to continue their work and will likely hold their vote on it within two weeks.

Thank you for taking the time to contact your representatives and helping to turn the tide that was definitely running against the bill as late as this morning….

After the Ag Committee votes on it, the bill will then have to pass through the Joint Committee on Rules since they are the ones who granted it a “hall pass” to not have to meet the crossover deadline. The bill may also have to be reviewed by another House Committee before it gets to a House floor vote and then it has to do basically the same series of steps on the Senate side – all by the end of April…

For the latest info follow the campaign on Facebook or visit the campaign website VT Right To Know GMOs

Have a great early spring weekend!

Andrea Stander

Rural Vermont
Rural Education Action Project

Roundup May Be Damaging Soil and Reducing Yields, Says USDA

(Beyond Pesticides, August 22, 2011) A US Department of Agriculture (USDA) official speaking at an agricultural conference said that the heavy use of Roundup, an herbicide manufactured by Monsanto and used heavily on “Roundup Ready” genetically engineered (GE) crops, appears to be causing harmful changes in soil and potentially hindering yields of crops that farmers are cultivating. Reuters reported that Robert Kremer, PhD, a microbiologist with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, told the audience at the August 12, 2011 conference sponsored by the Organization for Competitive Markets that repeated use of the herbicide glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup herbicide, impacts the root structure of plants, and 15 years of research indicates that the chemical could be causing fungal root disease.

Dr. Kremer first warned us about his research and questioned the government’s response last year. “This could be something quite big. We might be setting up a huge problem,” Dr. Kremer told Reuters last year. “Science is not being considered in policy setting and deregulation. This research is important. We need to be vigilant.”

Monsanto created “Roundup Ready” crops to withstand its Roundup herbicide (with the active ingredient glyphosate). Growing previous Roundup Ready crops such as soy, cotton, and corn have led to greater use of herbicides. It has also led to the spread of herbicide resistant weeds on millions of acres throughout the U.S. and other countries where such crops are grown, as well as contamination of conventional and organic crops, which has been costly to U.S. farmers. Because of GE crops, Roundup has become the most popular pesticide ever.

Problems with Roundup Ready GE crops don’t stop with soil problems and superweeds. Researchers are finding impacts on livestock that eat GE feed as well. Michael McNeill, PhD, an agronomist with Ag Advisory Ltd. in Algona, IA, told Boulder Weekly that he and his colleagues are seeing a higher incidence of infertility and early-term abortion in cattle and hogs that are fed on GMO crops. He adds that poultry fed on the suspect crops have been exhibiting reduced fertility rates too…..

full article – http://www.beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/?p=5817

For more news and information on “Roundup Ready” and other GE crops, see Beyond Pesticides’ genetic engineering page.

 

Big Article on Labeling GMO Foods!

Monsanto’s Achilles Heel    –    By RONNIE CUMMINS     July 29 – 31, 2011

The Achilles heel of Monsanto and the biotech industry is consumers’ right to know…

In the EU there are almost no genetically engineered crops under cultivation or GE consumer food products on supermarket shelves. And why is this? Not because GE crops are automatically banned in Europe. But rather because under EU law, all foods containing genetically engineered ingredients must be labeled….

If Vermont passes a state labeling law though its legislature in 2011, or California voters put a GMO labeling initiative on the ballot in 2012 and pass it, the biotech and food industry will face an intractable dilemma. Will they dare put labels on their branded food products in just one or two states, admitting these products contain genetically engineered ingredients, while still withholding label information in the other states? The answer is very likely no. Withholding important and controversial information in some states, while providing it to consumers in other states, would be a public relations disaster.

A clear precedent for this situation was established in California in 1986 when voters passed, over the strenuous opposition of industry, a ballot initiative called Proposition 65, which required consumer products with potential cancer-causing ingredient to bear warning labels. Rather than label their products sold in California as likely carcinogenic, most companies reformulated their product ingredients so as to avoid warning labels altogether, and they did this on a national scale, not just in California.

This same scenario will likely unfold if California voters pass a ballot initiative in 2012 requiring labels on food containing genetically engineered ingredients. Can you imagine Kellogg’s selling Corn Flakes breakfast cereal in California with a label that admits it contains genetically engineered corn? Or labeling their corn flakes as GE in California, but not divulging this same fact to consumers in the other 49 states or Canada? Of course not. How about Kraft Boca Burgers admitting that their soybean ingredients are genetically modified? How about the entire non-organic food industry (including many so-called “natural” brands) admitting that 75% of their products are GE-tainted?

Once food manufacturers and supermarkets are forced to come clean and label genetically engineered products, they will likely remove all GE ingredients, to avoid the “skull and crossbones” effect, just like the food industry in the EU has done. In the wake of this development American farmers will convert millions of acres of GE crops to non-GMO or organic varieties.

The biotechnocrats and their allies have indeed used their vast resources to buy off Congress, the White House, and most state legislatures with campaign contributions. Monsanto, DuPont, and other corporate giants have used their enormous clout to send their lawyers and scientists through the revolving door into jobs as government regulators. Biotech’s financial power has polluted state and federal governments, along with trade associations, universities, research institutions, philanthropic organizations, and media outlets.

But there are two things Monsanto’s money can’t buy: Our trust, and our votes.

Polls Show Consumers Overwhelmingly Support GE Food Labels…

Read the whole Article – http://www.counterpunch.org/cummins07292011.html

To support or join up with the Millions Against Monsanto Campaign, go to:http://www.organicconsumers.org/monsanto/

Ronnie Cummins is the International Director of the Organic Consumers Association.