Thursday, May 23, 2013

MONSANTO MARCH MADNESS


CARPE DIEM ON SATURDAY

Temecula, CA – Arguing against Monsanto is like pig wrestling. Everyone gets dirty but the pig loves it. On Saturday 11AM PST, a grip of countries on the planet will protest March Against Monsanto. Not since Occupy or Invisible Children has the world been in such frenzy over a single issue. That issue is Monsanto and their world economy partner, Wal-Mart, the biggest single mover of Genetically Manipulated Organisms, or GMOs to the American people. As was pointed out in the story, ‘Valentine of the Day’, moms and other women are leading this march on Saturday and a bill is being introduced to repeal the Monsanto Protection Act. This is a big story folks so sit back if you just joined this shootout and I’ll bring you up to speed for Saturday.


Though many people and organizations have been labeled ‘the Anti-Christ’ and ‘the Beast’, Obama can’t directly poison my cornflakes, Monsanto can and does. While many government/academia experts salute Monsanto and what they stand for as a very successful international business, a look outside those rose-colored glasses reveals exactly the opposite. This is where the tagline, ‘living inside the Death Star’ comes from. 


Already the NY Daily News and others list the MPA as being ‘inserted anonymously’ into the farm bill signed by Obama when public record and the Calendar story [this website] states Sen. Blunt as the man who wrote and inserted the MPA.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore., pictured left) is seeking to introduce an amendment to the upcoming farm bill that would overturn protections given to Monsanto and other producers of genetically modified seeds. Go here to sign the petition for the amendment and go here to sign the Wal-Mart ‘label your GMOs or I won’t shop you’ petition.

Meanwhile U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill for overseas lobbying that promotes controversial biotech crops developed by U.S.-based Monsanto Co and other seed makers. A review of 926 diplomatic cables of correspondence to and from the U.S. State Department and embassies in more than 100 countries found that State Department officials actively promoted the commercialization of specific biotech seeds, according to the report issued by Food & Water Watch, a nonprofit consumer protection group.
The State Department officials tried to quash public criticism of particular companies and facilitated negotiations between foreign governments and seed companies such as Monsanto over issues like patents and intellectual property, the report said.
The cables show U.S. diplomats supporting Monsanto, the world's largest seed company, in foreign countries even after it paid $1.5 million in fines after being charged with bribing an Indonesian official and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 2005.

 "It really goes beyond promoting the U.S.'s biotech industry and agriculture," said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. "It really gets down to twisting the arms of countries and working to undermine local democratic movements that may be opposed to biotech crops, and pressuring foreign governments to also reduce the oversight of biotech crops."

One 2009 cable shows the embassy in Spain seeking "high-level U.S. government intervention" at the "urgent request" of Monsanto to combat biotech crop opponents there, according to the Food & Water Watch report.
But U.S. State Department officials, Monsanto and many other companies/ industry experts routinely say that biotech crops are needed around the world to increase global food production as population expands. They maintain that the crops are safe and make farming easier and more environmentally sustainable.


And just when the news couldn’t get worse, it did. Americans may soon be biting into the future of apples. Pending approval, read rubber stamp, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, genetically manipulated apples could get the green light to appear supermarket shelves.

Dubbed “botox apples” because they are designed to prevent bruising and browning, Arctic Granny Smith and Arctic Golden Delicious apples made by Canada’s Okanagan Specialty Fruits have been under review by U.S. regulatory agencies since 2010 and could become the second genetically manipulated fruit to be allowed in the country.

“Not only do they have significant potential to reduce food waste, the resistance to browning results in better taste, texture and likely a retention of healthful components like vitamin C and antioxidants, which are typically burned up in the browning reaction,” said Joel Brooks, marketing specialist at Okanagan,
Apple growers in Washington State oppose Okanagan’s bid to bring its scientifically enhanced fruit to market. The Northwest Horticultural Council fears that genetic drift from GMO crops will contaminate fields of organic apples, and result in loss of European sales, where the crops have been banned; see Food Science Vs Food Safety and other articles during the Prop 37 run-up.
Like Monsanto, the world’s leading producer of GMO seed stock, Okanagan has come out against the kind of mandatory labeling standards that are in place in the European Union and much of the developed world, but the company says it will voluntarily identify its apples with a sticker that reads "Arctic."

“We as a company don’t support mandatory labeling because we feel it basically undermines the regulatory 
process,” Neal Carter, president and
founder of Okanagan, told Chemical & Engineering News. “We’ve gone through a three-year, very rigorous process and the result of that is that it’s deemed to be as safe as any other apple. Finally they expect you to put a label on it like a scare tactic against GMOs.”
Carter is optimistic that his company will get the green light from U.S. regulators and that the genetically enhanced apples will soon join the Hawaiian papaya as the only two genetically modified fruits to be available in produce aisles. GMO sweet corn is now being sold at all Wal-Marts, including our local ones in Temecula and Murrieta.

“We expect a second U.S. public comment period, which will be 30 days long, to open within the next few months and anticipate full U.S. deregulation later in 2013,” Carter stated.

While scant data exists on the long-term health effects of eating GMO products, 61 countries, including China, have instituted labeling restrictions. Meanwhile, eight European countries—Poland, Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece and Bulgaria—have gone as far as to ban the cultivation of GMO crops inside their borders.

(Main story source – New York Daily News)



What is Monsanto? 



An APB from our young old friends.



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