Tag Archives: Small Farmer

New CBAN movie on the dangers of GE alfalfa

Take action now, watch the movie and click on the link below to email the Federal Minister of Agriculture

Great animated video on GM Alfalfa! 3-minute action-packed educational video on genetically modified alfalfa now posted!
Watch Now! <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlbtIEVF77Q&context=C383a5d6ADOEgsToPDskLqMXdLgQDBu5FNEPcMBWBW>Follow the bee as she finds out about Monsanto’s plans for genetically modified alfalfa. GM alfalfa is not yet legal in Canada but this could change soon. Alfalfa is an important crop for family farms and for the production of many organic foods. Together, we can still stop GM alfalfa!

Take Action to Stop GM Alfalfa!1. Share and post the video. Screen it at your community events.

2. Send your letter to the Minister of Agriculture instantly from http://www.cban.ca/alfalfaaction1

3. Find more information and action – get more involved at http://www.cban.ca/alfalfa

4. Donate today at http://www.cban.ca/donateThis video was produced by the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network with support from:
The Big Carrot Natural Market Toronto www.thebigcarrot.ca
De Dell Seeds Incorporated www.dedellseeds.com
Green Being Farm www.greenbeingfarm.ca
Nature’s Path Foods www.naturespath.com
Organic Agriculture Protection Fund of the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate www.oapf.saskorganic.com
The Organic Council of Ontario www.organiccouncil.ca
Smiley Guy Studios www.smileyguy.com

Alfalfa growers do not need or want genetically modified (GM) alfalfa and have been trying to stop it for at least five years. Organic food and farming in North America is under immediate threat from GM alfalfa. Conventional farmers will also lose their markets. The introduction of Monsanto’s GM herbicide tolerant (Roundup Ready) alfalfa would have serious negative impacts on many different types of farmers and farming systems. Because alfalfa is a perennial crop pollinated by bees, GM contamination is inevitable. GM alfalfa was actually approved in Canada in 2005 but still needs to go through one more step before it can be legally sold as seed in Canada. Protect family farms, join the campaign to stop GM alfalfa! For more information and action see http://www.cban.ca/alfalfa

young farmers: part 2

A couple of days back we had a post on young folk getting into farming in BC. Lo and behold, the NY Times has an article about this phenomenon in the U.S. today. So, it must be true (unless of course you agree with Noam Chomsky that the NY Times is just another mouthpiece of the U.S. administration).

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/03/garden/sheep-lawn-mowers-and-other-go-getters.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&hp

Are there more young farmers in BC?

As I’ve travelled the Province this year, from Bella Coola (where I had coffee with a bunch of farmers including one who has just started farming pigs profitably) to Campbell River (where I met two young women farmers who are in the their second year of sharecropping from a local farmer to grow organically) to Kaslo (where I bumped into an old friend at the local coffee shop who helped turn Kaslo into a GE free zone), I’ve noticed that there are more young people wanting to get into farming- especially is we stretch young to under 40. Given the demographics with many Canadian farmers due to retire in the next 10 years, this is a positive sign. And the young farmers I have spoken to are into local and organic. I heard the same from friends outside York in Ontario recently. Who knows if this is a trend or just the places I’ve been going to, but there’s a magazine article to support this hypothesis:

http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/new-livelihoods/a-growing-movement

Reports from World Food Security in Rome

You may have noticed no posts for a while. I was in Rome doing some work on food security and dropped in on the Committee for World Food Security held at the Food and Agriculture Organisation. Faris Ahmed from USC was there too and you can check out his blogs at http://usc-canada.org/

Banned GM maize sown in Germany

April: This is my biggest pet peeve of the GMO seed industry: any idiot or black market can get their hands on this stuff. It’s that easy. This leads to a world full of GMO plants, insects and God knows what – where. This is why it is so incredibly important that we speak out – we have the potential to lose this planet or save it.  Ever wondered why there are no GMO seeds in the Norway Seed Vault?

If there are no law suits from Big Biotechs, then is it reasonable to assume that they played a role in the distribution? I hope the farmers sue over this one…

A genetically modified (GM) variety of maize banned in the EU has been sown accidentally across Germany.

The NK603 variety has been planted in seven states. The seed supplier, US firm Pioneer Hi-Bred, called the level of contamination “minute”.

It is not clear how the mistake occurred, but it could cost farmers millions of euros, as crops will now have to be destroyed.

The EU is currently reviewing its tight rules on the cultivation of GM crops.

Pioneer Hi-Bred, based in Buxtehude near Hamburg, says NK603 has been planted on “just under 2,000 hectares (4,940 acres)” of land. The environmental group Greenpeace put the area as high as 3,000 hectares.

Bavaria, Baden-Wuerttemberg and Lower Saxony are among the states where it has been sown.

Information delayed

Supporters of GM crops argue that they deliver higher yields and resistance to pests, requiring less fertiliser and pesticides.

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Organic Cotton Farming More Profitable: Report

The Economic Times, India.

Indo-Asian News Service, Thailand. 15.06.2010

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/Organic-cotton-farming-more-profitable-Report/articleshow/6050780.cms

HYDERABAD: Organically grown cotton is more profitable for farmers
than Bt cotton, a new Greenpeace report said on Tuesday.

“In the year 2009-10, farmers cultivating cotton through organic
practices earned 200 per cent more net income than farmers who grew
genetically engineered cotton (Bt cotton),” the report said.

The report “Picking Cotton – The choice between organic and
genetically-engineered cotton for farmers in South India” is a
comparative analysis of the two methods of agriculture among cotton
farmers in Andhra Pradesh.

The genetically engineered (GE) variety makes farmers more vulnerable
to financial collapse due to high debts and increased costs of
cultivation, it said.

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Ten Thousand Haiti Peasants Protested Monsanto’s Seeds

10,000 Haitian peasant farmers marched Friday June 4 to protest
Monsanto’s donation of hybrid corn and vegetable seeds. The farmers  are asking groups around the world to “Struggle Against Monsanto and its associates.”

See photos from Haiti and the solidarity action in Montreal and more
information at http://www.cban.ca/Monsanto

Union Paysanne, Action SOS Haiti, and the Canadian Biotechnology
Action Network called on people in Montreal to gather outside the
Haitian Consulate on Friday to express solidarity with Haitian peasant
groups who are rejecting Monsanto’s donation of hybrid corn seeds. A
delegation delivered a letter to the Haitian consulate in support of
the farmers’ concerns and met with the Consul General for half an
hour. There was huge media coverage of the event in the French-
language press in particular.

Solidarity actions were called for by the Haitian Peasant Movement of
Papay (MPP) and supported by La Via Campesina.

(Now available! “Stop Monsanto” buttons are now available from CBAN.
Check http://www.cban.ca/Monsanto )

Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)

Collaborative Campaigning for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
431 Gilmour Street, Second Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 0R5
Phone: 613 241 2267 ext.6
Fax: 613 241 2506
coordinator@cban.ca
www.cban.ca

Take action to Stop “Envriopig?”: No GM Animals http://www.cban.ca/enviropig
Donate Today http://www.cban.ca/donate
Subscribe to the CBAN News and Action Listserve http://www.cban.ca/About/CBAN-e-News

Haitian Farmers Commit to Burning Monsanto Hybrid Seeds

http://www.truthout.org/haitian-farmers-commit-burning-monsanto-hybrid-seeds59616
Tuesday 18 May 2010

by: Beverly Bell, t r u t h o u t | Report

Jonas Deronzil from Verrettes has been farming since 1974. Like small
producers throughout Haiti, his meager income from corn, rice and
beans is threatened by new competition from Monsanto.

“A new earthquake” is what peasant farmer leader Chavannes Jean-
Baptiste of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) called the news that
Monsanto will be donating 60,000 seed sacks (475 tons) of hybrid corn
seeds and vegetable seeds, some of them treated with highly toxic
pesticides. The MPP has committed to burning Monsanto’s seeds, and has
called for a march to protest the corporation’s presence in Haiti on
June 4, for World Environment Day.

In an open letter sent May 14, Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, the executive
director of MPP and the spokesperson for the National Peasant Movement
of the Congress of Papay (MPNKP), called the entry of Monsanto seeds
into Haiti “a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on
biodiversity, on Creole seeds … and on what is left our environment
in Haiti.”(1) Haitian social movements have been vocal in their
opposition to agribusiness imports of seeds and food, which undermines
local production with local seed stocks. They have expressed special
concern about the import of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

For now, without a law regulating the use of GMOs in Haiti, the
Ministry of Agriculture rejected Monsanto’s offer of Roundup Ready
GMOs seeds. In an email exchange, a Monsanto representative assured
the Ministry of Agriculture that the seeds being donated are not GMOs.

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Article posts for GMO: May 20

April: There just wasn’t enough time in the day to post the really good stuff in full, so I am going to start listing the links to articles I think you may want or need.

HRAC members decide to boycott Genetically Modified foods

French Wine to Be Modified Genetically

Prisoners turn over a new leaf with eye on environment

Orwell-Speak Award Goes to Canada’s GM “Enviropig”

Protesters Block Monsanto in the Netherlands – Demanding End to GMOs

Facebook Page (Arzeena Hamir, GE Free Steering Committee) on Roger’s Sugar: asking us to send Roger’s an email on GMO Sugarbeets. Please let Roger’s know that you will not buy their products anymore.

Chemtrails and Monsanto’s New Aluminum Resistance Gene – Coincidence?

Monsanto Plant Shut Down by Activists in Europe

Farm income drops to staggering lows

From the Western Producer paper, May 6 2010

Farm income predictions grim

Projections 91 percent below 2009

The 2010 farm income projections are devastating.
Agriculture Canada released them with little fanfare in late April, which is later than normal.
A sector that will produce $41.6 billion in farmgate receipts this year will return $291.5 million to farmers in realized net income after depreciation. It is a 91 percent reduction from 2009 levels.
Several provinces will be in deficit, including Ontario and Alberta.
The hog and cattle sectors will be hit particularly hard, according to the numbers prepared by and agreed to by federal and provincial officials.
The forecast projects a 12 percent increase in program payments to $3.76 billion despite an Agriculture Canada longer-term projection of a sharp decline in government support over the next three years.
National and provincial leaders affiliated with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture called the numbers a clear signal that federal programs are not working.
“The government’s own forecasts show deep losses for many commodities and highlight that the business risk management programs currently in place were not designed to function with today’s unique set of economic circumstances,” CFA president Laurent Pellerin said in a statement.

How To Create A GMO Event

This is a post for those interested in hosting an event to bring awareness to GMO issues. It follows our May 22 event: Plant Your GE Free Garden and free movie showing.

Real Event as a Model: Step by Step Guidance

by April Reeves:

I’m going to write about a real event I’m organizing. May 22 is the date. Ralph Fisher Auditorium is the venue: holds 300+ people and I intend to fill it. Here’s how:

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Canada-EU trade agreement damaging

From The Western Producer April 20 2010

By Terry Boehm, National Farmers Union

Canada and the European Union are negotiating a new free trade agreement, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
This agreement with the EU is no small matter for farmers. The CETA, if implemented, will, as much as the North American Free Trade Agreement or the World Trade Organization, transform Canadian agriculture and farms. And not for the better. The CETA will further intensify Canada’s farm income crisis.
The CETA would mean many changes, but none would be more negative or sweeping than its effect to extinguish farmers’ rights to save and use seeds.
Worse, the agreement would give enforcement powers to any corporation that asserted a farmer had infringed the company’s intellectual property rights.
The CETA would require Canada to implement the UPOV ’91 version of plant breeders’ rights (PBR). That version of the International Convention for the Protection of New Plant Varieties would virtually eliminate farmers’ rights to save, reuse and sell seed.

Organic practices can feed the world

Be not troubled by Robert Paarlberg’s scaremongering. Organic practices can feed the world — better, in fact, than wasteful industrial farming.

In May 2004, Catherine Badgley, an evolutionary biology professor at the University of Michigan, took her students on a research trip to an organic farm near their campus. Standing on the acre-and-a-half farm, Badgley asked the farmer, Rob MacKercher, how much food he produces annually. “Twenty-seven tons,” he said. Badgley did the quick math: That’s enough to provide 150 families one pound of produce every single day of the year.

“If he can grow that quantity on this tiny parcel,” Badgley wondered, “why can’t organic agriculture feed the world?” That question was the genesis of a multi-year, multidisciplinary study to explore whether we could, indeed, feed the world with organic, sustainable methods of farming. The results? A resounding yes.

Unfortunately, you don’t hear about this study, or others with similar findings, in “Attention Whole Foods Shoppers,” Robert Paarlberg’s defense of industrial agriculture in the new issue of Foreign Policy. Instead, organic agriculture, according to Paarlberg, is an “elite preoccupation,” a “trendy cause” for “purist circles.” Sure, sidling up to a Whole Foods in your Lexus SUV and spending $24.99 on artisan fromage may be the trappings of a privileged foodie, but there’s an SUV-sized difference between obsessing about the texture of your goat cheese and arguing for a more sustainable food system. Despite Paarlberg’s pronouncements, Badgley’s research, along with much more evidence, helps us see that what’s best for the planet and for people — especially small-scale farmers who are the hungriest among us — is a food system based on agroecological practices. What’s more, Paarlberg’s impressive-sounding statistics veil the true human and ecological cost we are paying with industrial agriculture.

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Conservative Party makes huge blunder in GMO email

Written by April Reeves, Director, GE Free BC

I was forwarded this email today from a colleague. It’s a response from Conservative MP Alice Wong regarding their stance on Bill C-474. This response clearly states how little the Conservative party thinks about our rights, freedom, and intelligence. Read on:

Dear Alice Wong, MP, Richmond, Conservative Party,

On April 28, 2010, you sent a response to a fellow named ‘Bruno Vernier’ regarding Bill C-474. I would like to remind you of this email, and I have a few comments about your response you should hear. Your email:

Dear Bruno,

You are absolutely correct that we are to represent the citizens of Richmond,

and that most of the e-mails we received asked us to vote for C-474. However,

our Parliamentary system isn’t totally based on referendum or constituency

majority wishes.  An MP isn’t just elected to a “puppet” of the electorate.

They are elected for their ability to lead as well as for their willingness to

follow consensus.  Yes, a good MP works hard at listening to his or her

consitutents and representing them well.  But by electing an MP, constituents

are also placing on them a mantle of authority, a “trust quotient” if you

will, to go to Ottawa and vote as they see best on issues of national

importance.  This may not always be the “popular” position and ultimately each

MP faces accountability for that at the election booth.  But they will also

run for reelection on their expertise and skill, not just on being a “puppet”

of constituents’ wishes. Parliamentary democracy has a lot of nuances to it

and there are some grey areas in how it plays itself out on the daily

political arena. The main objective of both sides was to support Canadian

farmers, and we listened to the large number of farmers who asked the

government to defeat this bill.

Voting against the C-474 was not an attempt to stifle debate over the issue.

Back in October 27, 2009, the Agriculture Committee passed a motion to study

genetically modified organisms, and the first hearing on the subject was held

on December 3. We agree that we should have a debate on the issue of GMOs in

committee; approving the substance of the bill in principle was not necessary

to facilitate that debate.

Although we have two differing opinions on the issue, I wish to thank you for

your civility and sharp grasp of the issues you advocate. We receive many

generic e-mails asking for support for different issues, but only a few take

the time to share their personal views and articulate them so well. Thank you

for dialoguing with us.

All the best,

Micah Au, Constituency Office of Alice Wong, MP for Richmond

– – –

Lets start at the beginning.

First off, you DO in fact work for the people who voted you in. It’s called Democracy, a term the Conservatives have forgotten about.

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Secret Canadian-European Free Trade Agreement Makes Unreasonable Demands For Citizens

April 19, 2010

Trade Justice Network releases secret draft of Canada-European Union free trade agreement, makes demands of Canadian and European governments

Ottawa, April 19 – As the third round of Canada-European Union free trade negotiations commence the newly formed Trade Justice Network today publicly released the draft text of the proposed Canada-European Union Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) – the most significant bilateral trade negotiation since the NAFTA.

The network is raising serious concerns about the agreement’s potential impact on public and environmental policy, and public services in both Canada and Europe, among other issues, and has outlined a set of demands that must be met before negotiations are allowed to continue.

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Monsanto Faces Rising Grassroots Opposition in South Africa

Posted April 15th, 2010 by Anonymous

By Nombulelo Siqwana-Ndulo (PhD)

Multinational seed and chemical companies looking to gain a new customer base in Africa are facing increasing resistance from both farmers and consumers. Nonetheless, they are making inroads by partnering with African institutions and governments that are eager to ‘modernize’ their agricultural sectors. South Africa is of particular importance in this regard. The country has gone against the grain of general distrust of GMOs in Africa to become a gateway for the distribution of GM food aid; the commercialization and export of GM seeds; and experimentation with GM crops not approved elsewhere.[i]

But here too, they face mounting opposition. In July 2009, for instance, the South African government rejected the commercial release application for GM potatoes after the Executive Council, a government licensing body, concluded that the toxicology studies were “inadequate, scientifically poorly designed and fundamentally flawed.” It was also reported that, in 2008/2009, 80% of Monsanto’s GM maize in South Africa failed to produce a crop, leading critics to call for urgent investigation and a ban on all GM foods.

In 2002, the South African government, in partnership with U.S.-based biotech firm Monsanto, launched the so-called Massive Food Production Program (MFPP) in the country’s Eastern Cape Province. The Eastern Cape is characterized by a dual economy in which the western half of the province (previously white South Africa under apartheid) is dominated by commercial agriculture while the eastern half consists of subsistence agriculture. After the advent of democracy in 1994, there was tremendous pressure to develop the rural economy here.

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New food safety bill could crush local food movement

By Chris Hinyub Sat, Apr 17th 2010

Next week, the Senate will vote on a measure that could potentially extinguish California’s local food movement. Lobbied for by multinational agribusiness giants such as Cargill and Monsanto, as well as supported by the pharmaceutical industry, The Food Safety Modernization Act would impose financially crippling and practically useless regulations on family farms and small-scale food processors according to opponents.

The bill will require all food growers, regardless of size to keep accessible records, have more accountable monitoring and traceability protocols, and impose a blanket $500 registration fee. This means costly radio frequency identification (RFID chips) implanted in livestock as well as (according to the language of the bill) “science based” and “best practices” in agriculture will be mandated.

The FDA could impose standards which mandate, amongst other agribusiness mainstays, the use of highly toxic pesticides, hormones, GMOs and food irradiation practices on any and all growers.

These practices can be arbitrarily determined by the FDA deputy commissioner for foods, Michael Taylor. Interestingly enough, before Taylor found himself in a leading position at the Food and Drug Administration, he went from being Monsanto’s attorney, key in the deregulation of genetically modified organisms, to that company’s vice president.

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Canada: Seeds Regulations Act

FYI: As of April 14, Bill C-474 was passed to the next ’round’. There is a God!

PRIVATE MEMBERS’ BUSINESS

Note from April: lots of valuable information here…

SEEDS REGULATIONS ACT
The House resumed from March 17 consideration of the motion
that Bill C-474, An Act respecting the Seeds Regulations (analysis of
potential harm), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Hon. Wayne Easter (Malpeque, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I appreciate
the opportunity to speak to Bill C-474. The intent of Bill C-474, an
act to amend seeds regulations, is to “require that an analysis of
potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any
new genetically engineered seed is permitted”. The intent of this bill
is to require that the federal government amend the seeds regulations
in order to require that that analysis be undertaken.

I will admit that I have mixed opinions on this bill, but I will say
off the top of this debate that I am willing to allow the bill to go to
committee. What in part prompted this legislation was the discovery,
beginning in Europe in July 2009, that Canadian flax exports were
contaminated with the genetically modified flax, Triffid. The
presence of the GM flax was found first in Germany in cereal and
bakery products.

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Update on Bill C-474

CBAN (Lucy Sharratt) sent this: we all need to move on this today!

Bill C-474 was voted down but not out!!

Your letters have a strong influence!  We are making great headway with this approach; the biotech firms are lobbying heavily to counter us. We must protect our farmers or lose our export markets and our ability to grow our own food.

Bill C-474 would support Canadian farmers by requiring that “an analysis of potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any new genetically engineered seed is permitted.”

April 1 Update: Loud “nays’ from Conservative MPs registered the provisional but not official defeat of Bill C-474 on April 1 in the oral vote – however your letters convinced the Liberal Agriculture Critic to recommend the Bill to Committee rather defeat it. On April 14 there will be an official, registered vote of all MPs present in the House at that time – the Liberal Party needs to make sure that all Liberal MPs vote for Bill C-474 on April 14!

You can write to the Liberals directly: CBAN has set up a page to make it easy for you: Letter to Michael Ignatieff.

Write your local MP here: Letter to my MP

Thank you to everyone who has done this, and an extra huge thanks for those that have forwarded this! It’s in our hands – we have the power!!

April Reeves, Director, GE Free BC

How I grow food every year – Nutrigenomics

I ran across this article that talked about a new revolutionary way to eat that prevents disease and is tailored specifically for you. It’s called Nutrigenomics, and begins with garden grown vegetables that you ‘encode’. This is NOT a GMO project.

I have been doing this for years, so to hear it’s “new” was rather humorous. Here’s how it works:

You take the seeds you want to plant and eat, and place them under your tongue for at least 9 minutes. This allows the plant to “assume” your particular needs for your body. Plants can heal us if we let them. I use heritage and heirloom seeds only, from sources I trust (they are on this site). I then take water that I have washed my hands and feet with, and water those new seeds with it. Your hands and feet shed toxins and garbage from your system daily. The plants take this new data and create the foods you need to fix the problems in your own body.

This year we have added friends seeds to our personal garden. It will be interesting to see how their foods work for them.

Here is the article on Nutrigenomics.

Reason triumphs over Bt brinjal!

February 23, 2010

By embargoing Bt brinjal, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh may have done a greater service to democracy than he intended, says Praful Bidwai.

April: Why can’t our governments take a page from India? Although North America is fairly entrenched in GM crops, this story does offer hope to those of us that actively march against GMO. India is fighting for their right to choose what to grow, and won’t allow the government to cease their voices. Bt Cotton’s failure was good timing….

India has done something unusual in defying the long-established trend of capitulating to corporate power.

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh must be complimented for imposing a moratorium on the commercial release of genetically modified (GM) brinjal (or baigan, also called aubergine and eggplant) developed by Mahyco-Monsanto in collaboration with two Indian agricultural universities.

He deserves encomiums for consulting stakeholders in major brinjal-producing states like West Bengal, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. This public consultation approach sets a good precedent. It deserves to become a model for governmental decision-making on all issues that concern people’s livelihoods.

To appreciate the moratorium rationally, one need not go as far as former director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology P M Bhargava did in euphorically describing it as “the single most important decision taken by any minister since Independence”.

Yet, it couldn’t have been easy to take in the face of feverish lobbying by Monsanto, one of the world’s most powerful multinationals.

Monsanto, which controls 84 per cent of the global GM seeds market and has a long reach in the United States and Indian governments, lobbied for Bt brinjal in league with other biotechnology companies and groups of plant breeders with a stake in developing GM foods.

They were backed by major sections of the corporate media which fervently campaigned for Bt brinjal and celebrated all GM technology as safe and unproblematic and as the key to India’s food security.

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Farmers want protection from Seed Giants

An Australian farmers’ group is demanding legislation changes to protect farmers from future anti-competitive behavior by GM seed giant companies.

The Network of Concerned Farmers (NCF) says it has “constantly warned” farm lobby groups and governments about the intention to remove the non-GM choice for farmers and consumers.

NCF National Spokesperson, Julie Newman explained: “Globally, non-GM seed and germplasm is being taken over by companies with a stated intention to own a patent over 100 per cent of all seeds grown. This is done by simply adding a single patented gene to a non-GM variety through genetic modification in order to turn all farmers into being contract growers for a single supply chain nominated by the patent owner.”

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Monsanto acknowledges Bt Cotton has failed

The ongoing debate on biotechnology crops in India took a new turn on Friday when American seed firm Monsanto disclosed that cotton pest–pink bollworm–has developed resistance to its much-touted Bt cotton variety in Gujarat.

The company has reported to the regulator, the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), that pink bollworm has developed resistance to its genetically modified (GM) cotton variety, Bollgard I, in Amreli, Bhavnagar, Junagarh and Rajkot districts in Gujarat.

This was detected by the company during field monitoring in the 2009 cotton season.

The Bt cotton variety in question was developed using a gene–Cry1AC–derived from soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. It was supposed to be resistant to pest attacks. But, of late, the pest has developed resistance to the gene.

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BC is connected to local food growers

Here is a good article on just how connected people in BC are (and growing) to their local farmers. BC is unique in that most people here are awake when it comes to food and the quality of it. We are fit on the inside and the outside. We educate ourselves. We get off the couch. We move, we communicate, we take action.

CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) are going to grow each year. This is a call for farmers to get organized and meet the challenge. More money can be made on small acreages growing for specific crops than the heavy overheads and loss of markets that big factory farming creates. It’s these small viable growers that will carry us and sustain us in the future. It IS the future. It is created by YOU, each one of you, asking, reaching for something better.

Free Movie Screening in Richmond BC

If you’re in the area you might want to take this in:

Farmers that save seeds are soon sued

Get Your Gen Mo Out of My Food Yo: Part IV – Farmers who save seeds are soon sued

By Kenda Swartz Pepper | Published: February 6, 2010

Farmers and Furious Curious Twists of Injustice

Farmers have been front and center pawns in the GM Food chess game.  To their credit, farmers historically have a hard working life and little return for their investment of blood, sweat, tears and dollars.  They spend their morning, days and evenings working, day in and day out, week after week, year after year, and the prospect of being part of a growing corporation could offer great appeal along with the aspiration of one day retiring.  While yes, they are partly responsible for producing GM crops, they are also responding to the consumer’s demand and a corporation’s command.

Sadly, once again, Syndrome’s immoral wanton ways are masked by a facade of hope for the greater good.  Global Exchange lists the top 14 ‘Most Wanted’ Human Rights violators for 2007 (I didn’t see a ‘Most Wanted’ list for 2008 or 2009).  Monsanto is on that list for abuses of displacement, health violations, and child labor. According to Global Exchange, in India, an estimated 12, 400 children were working for Monsanto in cottonseed production as of 2007.  Global Exchange adds how a number of (unspecified) children have died from exposure to pesticides.

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Bloomberg India Rejects First GM Vegetable, Hampering Monsanto Expansion

February 09, 2010, 09:04 AM EST

By Jay Shankar and Thomas Kutty Abraham

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) — India’s government rejected the nation’s first genetically modified food after protests by farmers, hampering the expansion of seed makers including Monsanto Co. in the world’s second-most populous nation.

“There is no overriding food security argument for Bt brinjal,” or genetically modified eggplant, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said at a press conference in the capital, New Delhi. “Our objective is to restore public confidence and trust in Bt brinjal.” A moratorium will be imposed until safety studies are carried out “to the satisfaction of the scientific community,” he said.

Ramesh, 55, had to balance the technology’s promise to help feed a nation growing by 18 million people a year, more than the population of the Netherlands, and concern that food safety and threats to biodiversity have not been investigated. Monsanto, the world’s largest seed maker, supplied the gene for the vegetable and introduced genetically modified cotton in India eight years ago.

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USDA extends GM Alfalfa Deadline!

Dear Alfalfa-Lovers! The USDA has extended it’s deadline (for comments) of Feb 16 to March 3!

URL Troubles to USDA Site: Please see that the full URL in the alfalfa
action alert leads to the right USDA page but the full address was not
hyperlinked in yesterday’s action alert – so please cut and paste the
full URL address into your web-URL bar to find the site <http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#submitComment?R=0900006480a6b7a1
>

Good News: The USDA has extended the Comment Period to March 3!

Some of you have also found the USDA form is restricting the length of
your letter but others have been able to cut and paste their full
letter without troubles.

Please find below a revised Action Alert with the new date and
hopefully protection against partial hyperlinking!

Thank you for your action!

Best regards,

Lucy Sharratt

Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)
Collaborative Campaigning for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
431 Gilmour Street, Second Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 0R5
Phone: 613 241 2267 ext.6
Fax: 613 241 2506
coordinator@cban.ca
www.cban.ca

Stop GE Alfalfa! Take Action before February 16!

Protect Organic Food! Support Organic Farmers!

The U.S. will approve Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa
unless we stop them. Organic food and farming in the U.S. and Canada
is under immediate threat.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its draft
Environmental Impact Statement on GE alfalfa and is accepting comments
until end of day Feb 16, 2010.

They say:
–   Contamination of organic food from GE alfalfa will happen but
it doesn’t really matter.

–   Consumers don’t care if organic food is contaminated with GE
alfalfa.

–   GE alfalfa will result in fewer small farmers and fewer
organic farmers but that’s okay.

Tell the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) you DO care about
organic food and organic farmers!

Organic farming bans the use of genetically engineered organisms. Stop
Monsanto from destroying organic farming in the U.S. and Canada!

1. A sample letter – for Canadian organic consumers to send – is
below. You can submit your letter at (copy and paste the whole URL) :www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#submitComment
?R=0900006480a6b7a1

2. We also invite all organizations, producer associations, companies
and community groups to endorse the No to GE Alfalfa campaign by
signing on the statement opposing GE alfalfa in Canada. Go here to
sign on http://www.cban.ca/content/view/full/631

For more information, action and background: http://www.cban.ca/alfalfa

Sample Letter:
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Great video: Biodynamic Farming

Frog Hill Farm in Port Townsend, Washington: The farm’s diverse acres include woodlands, an herb and flower garden, wetlands, pastures for goats, ducks and chickens as well as neat rows of vegetables. Sebastian Aguilar, who runs the farm with his family, has taken his organic certification to the next level by employing biodynamic farming practices.

An often misunderstood technique due to its roots in Rudolph Steiner’s esoteric spiritual philosophy, biodynamic agriculture treats farms as unified organisms and emphasizes the relationship of soil, plants and animals. Biodynamic farms try to eliminate inputs (such as fertilizers) and instead create a closed-loop system of soil maintenance using cover crops, manure and herbal composts.

Video of Frog Hill’s Biodynamic Farming

Anderson Cooper: Mother Earth actually has the capacity to feed her people

By April Reeves

Anderson Cooper reports on a series by David Gewirtz, author of “How To Save Jobs“. David suggests the following:

From AC360: Next up was a look at grain consumption. Grain has always been an indicator of even the most basic of civilization, so a look at how the middle-classing of developing countries would affect the food supply based on grain usage seemed appropriate.

This time, I used data from the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture Production. Worldwide, humans consume about 1.9 billion metric tons of grain each year.

Today, the United States consumes about 287 million metric tons of grain, or about 14.8 percent of the world’s total supply.

China consumes slightly more than we do, at about 406 million metric tons of grain, or about 21 percent of the world’s supply.

India has a lot of starving people, and that shows in its grain use. India consumes only about 196 million metric tons of grain, about 10 percent of the world’s total. You can see India’s ups and downs written in the numbers. Some years, like 1993, their grain consumption went up 5.6 percent. But other years, like 2001, their grain consumption dropped by 4.3 percent. Neither of these are big fluctuations, but it does show some years Indian citizens ate a little more and other years, they ate a little less.

What if they consume grain at the same rate as we do here?

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Bayer pays $1.5 million damages to farmers

Missouri court asks Bayer to pay $1.5 million damages to farmers

February 08 2010

A federal court jury of St Louis has asked German multinational Bayer CropScience AG to pay about $1.5 million to the farmers in Arkansas and Mississippi for losses sustained when the company conducted an experimental variety of rice in the region.

The company’s experiments infiltrated the farmers’ crops, jury said on Friday.

The verdict was the second against Bayer CropScience. In December2009, a jury had awarded about $ 1.95 million in compensatory damages to Ken Bell of Bell City, and $53,336 to a rice farmer John Hunter of Essex.

The lawsuit is similar to hundreds of cases filed by farmers in Arkansas and few other states claiming that since 2006 their crops were contaminated by a genetically modified strain of rice produced by Bayer Cropscience.

In August 2006, the US Department of Agriculture had admitted that trace amounts of the genetically modified Liberty Link rice were found in US long-grain rice stocks, according to Don Downing, lead attorney for the farmers.

Bayer and Louisiana State University had been testing genetically modified rice, bred to resist a Bayer brand of herbicide, at a school-run facility in Crowley, Louisiana.

– – – –

April Reeves: This sets a precedent for future suits, with the exception of the fact that the rice was still in testing stages and without patents. Farmers should have received more compensation: the GE strain will transfer to existing plants.

Crimes of Monsanto

From Mercola.com

Unfortunately, there are still those who are unaware of the many improprieties and outright crimes committed by Monsanto, such as:

After 30 years of GMO experimentation, we have the data to show:

  • No increase in yields; on the contrary GM soya has decreased yields by up to 20 percent compared with non-GM soya. Up to 100 percent failures of Bt cotton have been recorded in India. And recent studies by scientists from the USDA and the University of Georgia found that growing GM cotton in the U.S. can result in a drop in income by up to 40 percent.
  • No reduction in pesticides use; on the contrary, USDA data shows that GM crops has increased pesticide use by 50 million pounds from 1996 to 2003 in the U.S., and the use of glyphosate went up more than 15-fold between 1994 and 2005, along with increases in other herbicides to cope with rising glyphosate resistant superweeds.
  • Roundup herbicide is lethal to frogs and toxic to human placental and embryonic cells. Roundup is used in more than 80 percent of all GM crops planted in the world.
  • GM crops harm wildlife, as revealed by UK and U.S. studies.
  • Bt resistant pests and Roundup tolerant superweeds render the two major GM crop traits useless. The evolution of Bt resistant bollworms worldwide have now been confirmed and documented.
  • Vast areas of forests, pampas and cerrados lost to GM soya in Latin America.
  • Epidemic of suicides in the cotton belt of India. 100,000 farmers between 1993-2003, and an estimated 16,000 farmers a year since, have committed suicide since Bt cotton was introduced.
  • Transgene contamination is completely unavoidable, as science has recently revealed that the genome (whether plant, animal or human) is NOT constant and static, which is the scientific base for genetic engineering of plants and animals. Instead, geneticists have discovered that the genome is remarkably dynamic and changeable, and constantly ‘conversing’ and adapting to the environment. This interaction determines which genes are turned on, when, where, by what and how much, and for how long. They’ve also found that the genetic material itself has the ability to be changed according to experience, passing it on to subsequent generations.
  • GM food and feed linked to deaths and sicknesses both in the fields in India and in lab tests around the world. For example, in April 2006, more than 70 Indian shepherds reported that 25 percent of their herds died within 5-7 days of continuous grazing on Bt cotton plants.

The Story Of Food – video at USC Canada

Here’s a link to a great little video about food. It’s loaded with information: quite ‘nutritional’.

The Story Of Food

Another video from Hellman’s: Eat Real. Eat Local. Facts in this video:

Ontario imports $4Billion more than it exports.

Most of your tomato’s, cuc’s and peppers are imported.

For every pear we grow, 700 are imported. For every apple we export, we import 5.

Red meat imports grew 600%

Ontario paved over 49% of its prime farmland to build the greater Toronto area.

Bhargava slams move to adopt GM crops

This post is from Mumbai Bureau, and has a very interesting note from a speech Obama gave recently. Read on:

Even as Environment minister Jairam Ramesh is scheduled to begin consultations on the safety and feasibility of approving genetically modified (GM) brinjal, or Bt brinjal, on January 13, Dr P M Bhargava, top scientist, has cautioned against its adoption. If India adopts genetically engineered food crops, there are chances that the country will lose out on the potential export market worth Rs 100,000 crore for its fruits and vegetables, according to Bhargava.

Commenting on the safety of Bt brinjal, he said the technology was a credible one, but it should be tested and verified before introducing it in the plates of the consumers. “Around 8 tests that should be conducted before the safety of Bt brinjal can be gauged were not conducted by the Genetically Engineered Approval Committee (GEAC), he said.

“Around 84% of the GM consumption happens in four countries — the US, Brazil, Argentina and Canada. Several countries including 90% of the European Union have banned the import of GM crops,” Dr Bhargava, founder and director, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, said. The 10-year decline of American citizen’s health as mentioned by US President Barack Obama and increase in consumption of Bt products might have correlation, he said.

Despite pressures from the US to repeal the GM labeling law, the Europeans are continuing with it, due to the presence of widespread consumer awareness. India, on the other hand, has no such law and a consumer will not know whether the vegetable he is eating is Bt or not, according to him.

Forbes.com names Monsanto ‘Company of the Year’

Monsanto has just been named “2009 Company of the Year” by Forbes Magazine. It’s an interesting read of a rather slanted version of the great things Monsanto does for the world, while leaving out the realities Monsanto has to deal with on a daily basis. Forbes obviously ignores the ruthless tactics of Monsanto, is afraid of losing ad revenue, or simply chooses to dish out frivolous content.

A comment from the article sums it up nicely:

This article is nothing more than a blatant PR attempt to divert from the fact that two circuit appeals court rulings stopped the planting of GM alfalfa and GM sugar beets.

It failed to address farmer suicides due to poverty brought on by the high prices of BT cotton and the contracts and patents on these seeds that bind poor farmers to them, causing many to commit suicide by drinking Round Up.

It fails to address the exacerbation of climate change and pollution through the deforestation of the Amazon and other Latin American countries to grow GM soy which is pushing small farmers off their land in lieu of creating mega monocultures that are not providing stable economies for poor farmers.

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Bitter fight developing over sugar beets

Mitchell Hartman reports: Virtually the entire sugar beet crop in the United States is genetically engineered to protect it from herbicides. Now, a lawsuit claiming the biotech beets pose a risk to other varieties could threaten sugar production (link to article 1, 2).

Kai Ryssdal: The most heavily-traded futures contract in New York today was not oil. It wasn’t gold. You’ll probably never guess, so I’ll just go ahead and give you the answer: Sugar was the hot commodity today as traders backed it down off 28-year highs. Rumors of a big purchase by the Indian government helped drive that.

Here in this country more than half our sugar comes from beets. From a beet crop that is almost entirely genetically modified. Organic farmers and food-safety advocates are suing to keep that crop out of the ground this coming spring. From the Marketplace Entrepreneurship Desk at Oregon Public Broadcasting, Mitchell Hartman reports.


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Fabulous Food site – Yale Open Classes!

By April Reeves

This course encompasses the study of eating as it affects the health and well-being of every human. Topics include taste preferences, food aversions, the regulation of hunger and satiety, food as comfort and friendship, eating as social ritual, and social norms of blame for food problems. The politics of food discusses issues such as sustainable agriculture, organic farming, genetically modified foods, nutrition policy, and the influence of food and agriculture industries. Also examined are problems such as malnutrition, eating disorders, and the global obesity epidemic; the impact of food advertising aimed at children; poverty and food; and how each individual’s eating is affected by the modern environment. view class sessions >>

This is a brilliant series for anyone in any aspect of the food industry, especially the marketing videos. Each video is easy to load and all videos will have you thinking….

The Indian GM industry In Panic

By Devinder Sharma

18 December, 2009
Countercurrents.org

When the going gets tough, the loser’s panic. And the desperation grows.

Well, this is the story of the duo — Dr Ron Herring (from Cornell) and Dr Shantu Shantaram — doing the rounds across the country on behalf of the GM industry. After the New Delhi panel discussion organised by the Institute of Economic Growth on Dec 3, the duo went to Ahmedabad and from there to Thiruvanthapuram in Kerala.

You have probably read about the New Delhi meet, and the FAQs that come up again and again, on this blog earlier. Just in case you missed it, here is the link: http://devinder-sharma.blogspot.com/
2009/12/gm-denial-industry-cornell-university.html

My colleague Sreedevi Lakshmi Kutty was in Thiruvanthapuram early this week and did manage to attend for sometime the two-day conference where both Ron Herring and Shantu Shantaram were present. She sends me this report.

I was in Kerala on a vacation last week and during that time came across this workshop on “Modern biotechnology in Indian Agriculture” (on Dec 13-14). This was organised under the banner of AICBA Delhi and FBAE Bangalore. This was a pro-GM industry conference, where Monsanto also made a presentation.

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Why, WHY would any farmer WANT to grow Monsanto seeds after this?

By April Reeves

It is beyond my comprehension that any farmer would want to sow Monsanto seeds after this report on how many farmers they have sued, how much each farmer loses, and how every farmer in the world is exposing him/herself to this insane treatment from Monsanto whether they are aware of it or not! Why??????

This article is data from 2005. By now it’s likely ten times as bad, and this is bad enough for me to reconsider farming. (Except for the fact that I understand and use publicity and have no fear of Monsanto in that regards.)

Prosecuting American Farmers:
Monsanto’s Investigations, Coerced Settlements & Lawsuits

INVESTIGATIONS

The Process

Monsanto investigates at least 500 farmers
each year for possible patent infringement.

Monsanto has devoted significant resources to its prosecution of farmers accused of violating the company’s seed patents. It has built a department of 75 employees and set aside an annual budget of $10 million for the sole purpose of investigating and prosecuting farmers for patent infringement.28 Monsanto promotes a toll-free telephone number that allows farmers and businesses to place confidential calls to the company and to report suspected “infringement” activities by neighbors and customers. The company says it receives hundreds of calls and letters each year about these potential patent infringement cases.29 If Monsanto suspects someone, for instance, of planting saved seed, it will hire a private investigation firm, such as Robinson Investigations or Pinkerton, to pursue the farmer.30

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Network Farming: how Washington farmer grows non-GE to consumers direct

By Stephen Samaniego

Fred Fleming’s family has been farming in Lincoln County Washington for over a hundred years. President Grover Cleveland signed the deed to his great grandfather back in 1888. Since then the farm has been passed on from generation to generation. To say farming is in his blood would be an understatement.

See video on Fred’s farm and listen to his words of wisdom to others to do the same!

Fleming jokes about how he used to be addicted to the traditional farming methods passed on to him by his father. “I’m a recovering conventional farmer. I’m ten years into my program. My name is Fred.”

Fleming says this with a coy smile, but for years he worried about the sustainability of conventional farming. Traditionally, a wheat farmer sells his product on the commodities market where prices can be so volatile a farmer can be bankrupt before he knows what happened to him.

Fleming decided it was time for him to start selling wheat on his own terms. Fleming and his long-time friend and fellow farmer Karl Kupers decided to bypass the commodity market and take their product directly to the customer.

“We actually develop a relationship with our customer,” says Fleming.

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How Bad Is Monsanto?

12/17/2009 10:53:23 AM

Recently I spent several evenings reading The Year of the Flood, the newest novel by award-winning Canadian writer Margaret Atwood. In this visionary fiction story of societal and environmental  breakdown caused by gene splicing free-for-alls run by the Corporations, the world is populated by strange animals including wild pigs with superior intelligence, and sheep with human hair. Don’t ask where the meat in the burgers comes from, and watch your back when you’re outside a Corporate compound. An extremist cult, God’s Gardeners, welcomes outcasts as long as they are willing to go along with the religion that goes with growing your own food. It’s a cool religion that honors folks like Saint Euell (Gibbons) for his wisdom of useful wild plants.

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Monsanto Signs Multi-Year Sponsorship of Canadian Curling Association

According to this press release from the Canadian Curling Association,
their corporate sponsor “Monsanto remains focused on enabling both
small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land
while conserving more of our world’s natural resources such as water
and energy.”

If anyone would like to correct the Canadian Curling
Association, you can write  to Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer,
Canadian Curling Association 613-834-2076, ext 117
gstremlaw@curling.ca 1660 Vimont Court Cumberland, Ontario K4A 4J4

(Please, please email this man – April)

Monsanto Canada Signs New Multi-Year Presenting Sponsorship
http://www.seasonofchampions.ca/2010worlds/news497.asp

OTTAWA, June 16, 2009…The Canadian Curling Association (CCA) today
announced that Monsanto Canada has extended its involvement as the
presenting sponsor of several premier curling championships in Canada
through 2013.

This new multi-year agreement makes Monsanto the presenting sponsor of
the 2010 Ford world women’s curling championship, March 20-28 in Swift
Current, Saskatchewan, the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Tim Hortons Brier
(Canadian men’s curling championship) and the next three Continental
Cups (the Ryder Cup-like competition featuring Team North America
versus Team World) during those seasons, at sites and dates to be
announced.
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Iraq Order 81: Insane unbreakable legislation killing people?

By April Reeves, December 17 2009

The more research I do the more astounded I am that anyone has any sympathy for Monsanto (and the ‘others’). I’ve just unearthed a truth that shocked me.

I guess when Bush went into Iraq, they were interested in more than just oil. They went after food as well. Not sure why the media didn’t pick this up…

Order 81 cannot be overturned in any way for an indefinite amount of time. It is now illegal for Iraq farmers to plant seeds not ‘certified’ by some national authority. Original, traditional seeds cannot be cultivated anymore. This could be the real reason for so many suicides.

So it seems that the US is using Iraq as one big experiment. Clearly this is a case of ‘humans’ gone very wrong.

It seems to me, instead of savings bonds, we should start saving traditional seeds. They may be worth a fortune in the very near future. I know I have quite the little stash of heirloom seeds that I give away.

This is one of the best short videos I have seen: Monsanto’s reach even wider than we thought.

Additional resources:

Corporate Watch: IRAQ: CPA Order 81 Is Even Worse Than Originally Reported

Bremer’s Order 81

This is hilarious: Monsanto the ‘great crusader’ for switching opium fields for GM crops!

Q&A with Producer/Director Robert Kenner…

Food Inc., Co-Producer/Food Expert Eric Schlosser, Food Expert Michael Pollan and Producer Elise Pearlstein

How did this film initially come about?
Kenner:  Eric Schlosser and I had been wanting to do a documentary version of
his book, Fast Food Nation.  And, for one reason or another, it didn’t happen. By the time Food, Inc. started to come together, we began talking and realized that all food has become like fast food, and all food is being created in the same manner as fast food.

How has fast food changed the food we buy at the supermarket?
Schlosser:  The enormous buying power of the fast food industry helped to
transform the entire food production system of the United States.  So even when
you purchase food at the supermarket, you’re likely to be getting products that
came from factories, feedlots and suppliers that emerged to serve the fast food
chains.

How many years did it take to do this film and what were the challenges?
Kenner:  From when Eric and I began talking, about 6 or 7 years.  The film itself
about 2 1⁄2 years.  It has taken a lot longer than we expected because we were
denied access to so many places.
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Hungry For Change: Food Inc. Video

You’ll never look at dinner the same way.

No kidding. I don’t now – that’s why I started this blog and belong to GE Free BC. After watching this video I feel even sicker. You can watch the trailer for it here: Food Inc.

“Monsanto has a team of private investigators that kinda roam the country and
they have a little 1-800 hotline … if you save your own seed, you’re gonna get a
call from Monsanto.”
Troy Roush, VP, American Corn Growers Association, on what’s happening
behind the scenes to America’s farmers.

LONG SYNOPSIS

How much do we know about the food we buy at our local supermarkets and
serve to our families? Though our food appears the same—a tomato still looks
like a tomato—it has been radically transformed.

In Food, Inc., producer-director Robert Kenner and investigative authors Eric
Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) lift
the veil on the U.S. food industry – an industry that has often put profit ahead of
consumer health, the livelihoods of American farmers, the safety of workers and
our own environment.
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Resistant weeds increase Pesticide use on GE crops

New Report Reveals Dramatic Rise in Pesticide Use on Genetically Engineered (GE) Crops Due to the Spread of Resistant Weeds

http://www.organic-center.org
GE crops increase herbicide use by 383 million pounds from 1996 to
2008, with 46 percent of the total increase occurring in 2007 and 2008

Genetically engineered (GE) corn, soybeans and cotton have increased use of weed-killing herbicides by 383 million pounds in the U.S. from 1996 to 2008, according to a new report titled “Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use: The First 13 Years (PDF)” announced today by The Organic Center (TOC), the Union for Concerned Scientists (UCS) and the
Center for Food Safety (CFS). In addition, GE corn and cotton have reduced insecticide use by 64 million pounds, resulting in an overall increase of 318 million pounds of pesticides over the first 13 years of commercial use.
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Could Monsanto implode?

A look at how GE Corporate Policy can backfire from protectionism, and the chaos it creates in communities.

by April Reeves

I’m not one to believe everything on the web so I usually pick up a phone and do my own research. However (news stories being true at this moment) it seems as though Monsanto may be in a GM pickle.

When you create any patent, you are now in constant vigil to protect the patent from theft, plagiarism, and misuse. Put that patent on one of the most vital industries known to mankind – food – and it’s a recipe for disaster. Damage control is a ‘corporate division’ in itself for the big biotechs, and that’s got to help drive up the cost of seeds.

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Monsanto bans farmers from using Roundup Ready

Monsanto Bans Fined Farmers from Future Roundup Ready Use

Country Guide, Canada
21.10.2009

Four southern Ontario farmers fined a total of over $90,000 for unlicensed use of Roundup Ready soybeans are the first to be banned from future use of Monsanto’s patented genetics under its violator exclusion policy.

“One of the more significant outcomes of the case against these four growers is that it marks the first time Monsanto has implemented its violator exclusion policy,” the Winnipeg-based Canadian wing of the U.S. seed and ag chem firm said in a release Monday.

“Under this policy, violators who do not reach a settlement with Monsanto and whose violation results in Monsanto having to go to court, lose all access to current and future Monsanto technologies.”

The four growers fines vary between $66 per acre and $185 per acre, the company said, for amounts owing to Monsanto between $9,228 and $62,748.
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Monsanto steps up its actions against Farmers

Monsanto’s “Seed Piracy” newsletter at http://www.monsanto.ca Wed, 21
Oct 2009: “Eastern Canada Seed Piracy Update: Recent Litigation in  Ontario”. Monsanto is stepping up its actions against farmers and  continues to advertise its toll-free line to inform on farmers who may  be saving seed.

Monsanto Wins Legal Battle, May Lose War

Winnipeg Free Press, Canada
Laura Rance

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/monsanto-wins-legal-battle-may-lose-war-70094902.html

14.11.2009

One of the first lessons toddlers learn in the sandbox is when you want to play with someone else’s toys, you play by their rules.

It’s a lesson a few farmers in Ontario are learning the hard way after being found guilty of infringing on Monsanto’s patented Roundup Ready technology.

Not only have the courts decided they must repay any profits derived  from growing Roundup Ready soybeans without a licence from Monsanto,  they must also pay a significant portion of the company’s costs for  taking them to court — amounts ranging from $9,000 to $63,000 per  individual.

As well, these four farmers are among the first to be confronted with  Monsanto’s new Violator Exclusion Policy. They will be denied all  access to Monsanto’s current and future technologies — forever.
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