Wednesday, February 13, 2013

YES MA’AM – NO GMOs


THE TROUBLE WITH PANDAS

Temecula, CA – The following news report is distilled from being on the road four intense days as ‘an embed’ in the ongoing fight to label GMOs, GMO education, and what the opposition is currently up to. The election was just Round 1.

Though a long way from being Certified Organic or Fair Trade, organizations that cost money to belong to, small independent food producers voluntarily are listing no rBGHs (milk) and no GMOs or no-GMO corn in the ingredients list even on 99cent store/Dollar Tree products. Without a government mandated bureaucratic stipulated commission drafted by-product to collar them, small businesses are responding to their potential consumer’s queries because of one thing. Food is everyone’s concern and the stats don’t lie. 50% of the American public is on some form of prescription drug to correct a condition caused by diet in some form or fashion.


The fight to label genetically manipulated* (gmo) foods is now on in Hawaii and Connecticut signaling that, despite big agriculture's narrow defeat of California's Proposition 37 in November, proponents of seed and food sovereignty refuse to back down. Food activists in Hawaii won a partial victory this week when the House Committee on Agriculture passed a measure to require labeling on genetically modified food.

Originally, House Bill 174 required any food product that is produced or sold in Hawaii to have a label saying it contains or was made using genetically engineered materials, but Thursday's committee hearing amended the requirements so it only applies to produce imported from outside Hawaii, Associated Press reports.

Despite this provision, Hawaii is a ripe battleground for new legislation. According to the anti-GMO organization Hawai'i Seed, "Hawai‘i is the genetic engineering experimental capital of the world," with thousands of acres of arable farmland being used to test seed crops for agriculture giants, including Monsanto.

Last month, pioneering anti-GMO activist Dr. Vandana Shiva visited the islands. Speaking before hundreds at a rally in Honolulu on the opening day of the 2013 Hawaii State Legislature, she said:

    “What could be more stupid than putting toxic genes in our food? What could be more obscene then saying, 'After I put in these toxic genes, I am the creator of life on Earth and now I will collect rent from nature, farmers', making us all poorer.

    This is a slavery system in new garb. Worse than any slavery that's ever been known, because it is enslaving the future, it is enslaving nature.”


At the end of the speech the crowd chanted in response, “’A’ole GMO!,” which is Hawaiian for No GMO!

Closer to home the awakening continues among Californians who now understand that the ads they saw and dismissed as logical, political, or more taxes, were all lies. These are all the people who have just been awakened. They still have much to learn but the truth is spreading as election fallout through the middle classes. Monsanto, ever proactive, has already started airing “We are the farmer’s friends” style warm, cozy, comforting ads that we call ‘kool-aid’ in political circles.

Leading the fallout from Prop 37 are the California petition organizers and the out-of-state organizations that joined the fight for Yes on 37. On February 7th, the group GMO Free CT held a press conference at the state's legislative office to launch a new anti-GMO initiative calling on the Connecticut Legislature to support and pass a bill to label genetically engineered food in the state, the New Haven Register reports.

Calling the use of GMOs in food "a very large, uncontrolled experiment with human health," William Duesing, Executive Director of the Connecticut branch of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), spoke before the group. "The vast amount of GMO crops are designed as sales tools for specific herbicides. The majority of those sales tools are for Roundup (which) kills most green plants that haven’t been engineered to resist it,” he said.

Among those present at the event included bill-sponsor Representative Phil Miller (D-Essex), Food and Water Watch Executive Director, Wenonah Hauter, as well as a number of local activists and farm-to-table chefs and proponents.
Backing the effort, the group Food Democracy Now! headed by Big Dave Murphy (see Food Science vs Food Safety, this site) has put together a letter of petition for Connecticut residents to send to their local representatives and Governor Dan Malloy encouraging them to support the legislation.

On February 9th, the Global Day of Action to protest/inform the public about pending FDA approval of GMO salmon brought Howard Vlieger’s taut 17 speaking event week to a close. He looked absolutely refreshed when I caught up to him during the last couple of tour days. And why shouldn’t he be? The crowds, mostly older, white, churched Orange County folk, read “behind the [self-proclaimed] Orange Curtain,” were attentive, and enthusiastic. Howard [second from left below] delivered the goods, breaking down complex bio-agro terms and systems into examples everyone could understand. It is people understanding their relationship to food, GMOs, and health that makes the lights go on.

For the two women who now have taken up the torch, Kathleen Hallal [third from left above] and Zen Honeycutt [first left above], two moms with 3 boys each, the lights went on when the connection to the family’s auto-immune system disorders was found through a talk by Howard. Armed with that knowledge and the natural nurturing instinct of a mom, the two women independently saw first-hand how the elimination of GMO foods in their diet cured their children’s illnesses and reset their attitudes. For these moms the movie cliché, “Now it’s personal!” fits.

As I sat there amongst the leaders, the two moms previously mentioned, several other women activists, and petition originator Pamm Larry, I flashed back to the days of Richard Nixon or ‘Tricky Dick’ as we called him in political circles. I was seeing the same fierce passion mix of camaraderie and dedication to the purpose in Round 2, the countdown to the Moms Across America March planned nationally for July 4th.
However, the next ‘Global Day of Action’ event is April 22, two days after 4/20, cough, luckily. If you are a mom, know a mom, plan to be a mom, or want to help a mom then say, “Yes Ma’am, No GMOs,” and go here for the inspiring true story of the facts about PANDAS [Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcus], stat!
ALL firemen line up to the right.

Remember, you have until February 24th to tell the FDA NO to GMO salmon in the supermarket food chain.

(Additional story source - Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams; * - modified implies ‘naturally’ occurring; plants that are pesticides do NOT occur in natural husbandry, hence the more correct term, manipulated; all emphasis - Ed)

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