Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Monsanto: Preventing GMO Labeling At Any Cost

Today, Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) is set to introduce a bill that would preempt state mandatory GMO labeling efforts. The bill, strongly backed by The Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA), Monsanto and the Koch brothers, would give ultimate authority of the issue over to the FDA. This is concerning because the FDA favors a voluntary approach to the extremely controversial issue. The FDA also tends to side with biotech on the GMO issue. If this bill comes to pass, where does that leave the public’s demand for the right to know what is in their food?

Thankfully, pro-GMO labeling groups are determined to keep lawmakers from backing the Pompeo bill. Groups including Just Label It stormed over a hundred offices on Capitol Hill earlier this week and campaigned for two other initiatives that would instead demand mandatory food labeling. The bills, HR 1699 and S 809, were introduced last April by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) respectively.

Monsanto and other biotech corporations have vehemently fought labeling efforts in many states including 2012′s Prop 37 in California and last year’s I-522 in Washington.

In biotech’s latest efforts to stifle the peoples’s right to know, Monsanto has threatened to sue the entire state of Vermont over a proposed GMO labeling bill. The popular legislative bill requiring mandatory labels on genetically engineered food (H-722) is stalling in the Vermont House Agriculture Committee, with only four weeks left until the legislature adjourns for the year. Despite thousands of emails and calls from constituents who overwhelmingly support mandatory labeling, despite the fact that a majority (6 to 5) of Agriculture Committee members support passage of the measure, Vermont legislators are holding up the labeling bill and refusing to take a vote for fear of Monsanto’s threats.

In Oregon, two separate county measures will have to battle biotech bank accounts to have a fighting chance at passing. Syngenta, Monsanto, and Dow, among others, have formed an alliance waging a multimillion-dollar campaign to defeat the Oregon ballot measures. St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. and its allies in the biotech and food industries have set a spending target of $6 million for the campaign against the labeling initiative, according to industry sources. That’s 40 times the $150,000 the pro-labeling forces say they will spend.

Monsanto and other biotech corporations have spent millions fighting GMO initiatives in addition to the over $260,000 they openly pumped into the House, and $122,000 pumped into the Senate. Please keep in mind these are just known numbers. Speculation and common sense would lead one to believe the numbers are in fact much higher.

The labeling of food with genetically modified ingredients has been a contentious issue around the world, with several countries mandating labels at the insistence of environmental and consumer advocates. That hasn’t happened in the United States, where the Food and Drug Administration says engineered food is no different than conventional food and so needs no labels that reveal details of production.

Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe, however. In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale.
Increasingly, Americans are taking matters into their own hands and choosing to opt out of the GMO experiment which is a good thing given the mighty biotech titans, their big bank accounts and the twisted determination to impede labeling at any cost.
To fight back, please vote with your dollars. Every dollar spent on organic food or food stamped with the non-GMO verified food project seal is a dollar kept out of Monsanto’s bank account. Shop at a local farmer’s market and support the efforts of our farmers who still care to provide people with real, poison-free food. Consider planting a garden. Even the smallest patios or balconies can be maximized to grow enough food to sustain a small family. Join the global protest against Monsanto to stop the destruction of the food supply and the hostile take over of the global seed supply. Whatever you do, do something!! The only way to stop this is to be proactive and make a stand for future generations.

Image courtesy

Monday, April 7, 2014

Monsanto Threatening to Take State of Vermont to Court over GMO labeling Laws

The citizens of Vermont want GMO foods to be labeled. As NaturalSociety’s Anthony Gucciardi reported in 2013, a bill which has already passed the House awaits a final O.K. by the Senate. If Monsanto gets their way though, as made evident in heated testimony given at the Statehouse this past Wednesday before a Judiciary Committee, not only will the bill get stalled in the Senate, but Monsanto points to the fact that the state will have to spend around a million dollars just to defend the bill in court. Image credit:
You can guess who is on Monsanto’s latest pay-roll. Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee warned that, although he ‘supports a labeling bill’, he feels that there are potential litigation costs which could hinder state finances. He also mentions that dairy would also be excluded from the bill, but currently there is no GMO dairy in Vermont.
Agreeing with Monsanto’s interests and testifying that the new law would have to be defended is Assistant Attorney General Bridget Asay, stating that even if the state was successful in passing a GMO-labeling bill, the legal challenge could end up costing more than $5 million, and the state would not be able to recover legal fees. She estimates that the total cost would include potential reimbursement for a victorious plaintiff – Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta, and their poison-filled coffers.
The ‘expert’ testimony arguing against the labeling law likely did not include the potential costs if genetically modified organisms are allowed to continue to run rampant in our food supply – including costs to organic farmers, and the possibility that just three companies could end up owning the seed rights to just about every food we eat, once they are genetically modified and have cross-pollinated non-GMO crops.
Potential amendments to the bill could include:
1. The requirement a legal defense fund to cover the costs of litigation started by Big Ag companies, and;
2. An exemption of dairy for fear that it might undermine the bill’s passing or viability in court.
Attorney General Bill Sorrell’s is concerned about a proposal to pass the bill with one exception: if a privately funded legal defense fund would be established to cover the expense of legal challenges.
“Quite frankly that boxes us in,” Sears told Asay at the hearing. He said he thinks it would be irresponsible to set the state up for a potentially costly lawsuit without setting aside the money to pay for it.
Sen. Jeanette White, D-Windham, said she’s troubled by the prospect of setting a precedent for supporting only what can be backed by wealthy interests. The legal defense fund idea was not part of the Senate Agriculture bill, Sears acknowledged after the hearing, but he said that doesn’t mean the idea can’t be revisited.
How might Big Ag fight the bill legally? A potential lawsuit would possibly be based on several legal arguments: First Amendment rights and protections against compelled speech, “equal protection” laws, rules prohibiting conflict between state and federal laws, and the so-called “dormant commerce clause” saying states can’t make laws that will have an adverse impact on interstate commerce.
Where our rights not to be poisoned to death come in, should be an equal concern to any attorney fighting a potential case. How about a counter suit for murder, and billions of dollars in pain and suffering fees to people who are dying of kidney failure, and cancer, or having reproductive challenges due to GMO crops? These politicians need to stop worrying about Monsanto and Big Ag’s threats and take care of the people that put them in office, otherwise, they will be looking for new jobs come next election.
Join us as we oppose Monsanto and fight for food freedom! Find a March Against Monsanto near you.
Please support our friends at
  1. Monsanto & Friends Make Biggest Illegal Contribution on Record to Stop GMO Labeling in Washington
  2. Monsanto Threatens Lawsuit Over GMO Labeling Bill
  3. Breaking: Vermont House Passes GMO Labeling Bill
  4. Vermont Introduces Monumental GMO Labeling Legislation
  5. Maine House Crushingly Supports GMO Labeling: 141 to 4 Vote
  6. The Next Prop 37: New ‘Cleaner’ GMO Labeling Bill Introduced in California
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

5 Companies Against Genetically Modified Foods

As consumers become more health conscious and knowledgeable about what they are eating and where it comes from, more are demanding to know if the food they eat contains GMOs. That's resulting in both national and state-specific movements.

Roughly 37 states are proposing that food labels contain whether the product contains GMOs, according to Right to Know GMO - A Coalition of States, which of course are meeting resistance from companies like Monsanto (MON_), DuPont (DD_) and others that create GMO seeds for large commercial crop growing. Many countries already have similar labeling.

We've already seen smaller natural foods and specialized companies move to taking out foods sourced from GMOs from their products - Popcorn Indiana's Fit Popcorn, Trader Joes' health and beauty products and Clif Bars, for instance, but it's notable when a large company moves to making food without GMOs, given that sourcing actual food products not made from GMOs is easier said than done. (The working percentage of corn seeds that are from GMOs, for example, is about 90%.)

Here's a list of some notable companies taking a stand.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Monsanto Squares Off With Farmers Over Agent Orange Herbicide

American farmers are among the biggest supporters of genetically modified crops on the planet, saying you can’t argue with the results of higher yields for less work, in spite of concerns — especially in Europe — about Frankenfoods.

But even U.S. farmers have their limits.

They’re going public in what to date has been a back-room battle with two big agricultural giants over the kinds of herbicides that can be sprayed on certain crops. The details might sound like a chemistry lesson to some, but the farmers believe what’s at stake is not only their livelihoods but possibly the social fabric of America’s farming communities.

The problem: One agricultural company has agreed with the farmers’ concerns and changed its plans. Another, though, is resisting, and the farmers are not happy.

This group of Midwest vegetable farmers has failed to convince Monsanto to reformulate an herbicide that could become one of the most widely used in the nation. But they were able to get another company, Dow AgroSciences, to agree to changes to an herbicide it has on the market. Those changes will protect their fields, the farmers say.

Monsanto officials “have just dug their feet in,” said Steve Smith, chairman of the Save Our Crops group.

“I’m not here to be a salesman for Dow, but I’m here to stand up when people do the right thing,” he said. “Dow did.”

The trouble concerns two herbicides, 2,4-D and dicamba. Both have been used for more than 40 years in small amounts, but are about to get a lot more popular.

New corn and soybean varieties genetically modified to withstand these herbicides are expected to be approved in the next few years. The federal comment period for one, 2, 4-D, ended on March 11.
These vegetable farmers have no problems with GM crops. Rather, the veggie farmers are concerned about a much older problem with the herbicides — something called drift.

Drift occurs when pesticides sprayed to kill weeds in one field waft into neighboring fields, damaging and killing nearby crops. In California in 2012, herbicide sprayed in the San Joaquin Valley drifted and damaged cotton fields 100 miles away.

The new corn and soybean varieties are the latest versions of seed technology that have become hugely popular with U.S. farmers.

These latest seed varieties are resistant to stronger herbicides to which the weeds haven’t yet built up resistance.

If the regulatory process continues without hiccups, Dow is about a year away from the first sales of its Enlist corn and soybeans, resistant to the herbicide 2,4-D.

Monsanto is estimated to be about two years away from selling Roundup Ready 2 Extend corn and soy. These are resistant to the herbicide dicamba.

Both herbicides mimic a naturally occurring plant growth hormone. “The plant literally grows itself to death,” said Franklin Egan a research ecologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service.

The new seeds will be a boon to conventional soybean and corn farmers. Environmental and organic groups decry a potential increase in the use of herbicides overall. But farmers who trade in broadleaf vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, squash, beans and peas are especially worried.

When the farmers first started hearing about the new GM crops, and the herbicides they would be used with, “it was a huge red flag,” said Save Our Crops’ Smith.

Both 2,4-D and dicamba are known to drift. While today they’re used in relatively small amounts, Dow’s Enlist and Monsanto’s Roundup Ready 2 Extend products could easily mean tens of thousands of farmers switching to the new seed to deal with glyphosate-resistant weeds.

The herbicides are applied to fields as a liquid, from rigs pulled by tractors, said USDA’s Egan. “The vast majority falls straight to the ground but a small fraction can move as water droplets carried by the wind. An even smaller fraction can evaporate and move as a gas,” he said.

“It’s like the blob that ate Tokyo,” said Smith. It just oozes along and when it touches down it kills the plants it touches.

Farmers feared with millions more acres being sprayed with these drift-prone chemicals, their vegetable fields will be in danger. While the new genetically modified varieties of corn and soybean will resist the herbicides, their vegetables won’t.

“You have a lot of crops that are sensitive to these herbicides,” said Neil Rhodes, director of the herbicide stewardship program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. With vegetable farmers facing the prospect of a much larger area being sprayed with them in coming years, “I’m not surprised they’re concerned.”

Egan agrees. Vegetable farmers in the Midwest, where large amounts of corn and soybeans are grown, will be at “high risk” because they’ll be in close proximity to fields being sprayed with 2,4-D and dicamba, he said.

Source: Natural Cures Not Medicine

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Monsanto's Chemical Weapon & Your Food

"If we continue to think that the fight against Monsanto is only about GMO's, we have already lost." ~ KLD

On October 2, 2013, COVVHA President and Co-Founder, Kelly L. Derricks, attended VVA's national Town Hall Meeting Held at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. The video below is Kelly's 5 minute family panel speech. The evening panel video with Kelly will be released next week.  Kelly also serves as March Against Monsanto's Agent Orange Education Director.

 Please support Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance's Facebook page.  If you are the son or daughter of a Vietnam Veteran, please email COVVHA@GMAIL.COM for private support group options

Monday, March 3, 2014

Organic Farmers Demand USDA Intervention Over GMO Contamination

(Reuters) - Growing crops free from contamination by genetically modified crops and the pesticides used on those biotech versions is getting more difficult and more costly for U.S. farmers, and new government rules to control contamination are needed, according to report issued on Monday by an environmental organization and an organic food group.

Based on information from 268 farmers from 17 U.S. states, the report said more than 30 percent of farmers seeking to grow organic crops reported that unintended GMO presence has been found or suspected on their farms, according to the report by Food & Water Watch and the Organic Farmers' Agency for Relationship Marketing (OFARM).

The report comes as the U.S. Department of Agriculture is taking public comments on a plan for "enhancing co-existence" of non-GMO and GMO crops. The public comment period ends March 4.
Farmers trying to grow non-GMO crops have to take many steps and spend sometimes several thousands of dollars to try to protect their crops from the GMO crops that have become pervasive across the United States, the groups said.

"The risks and the effects of GMO contamination have unfairly burdened organic and non-GMO farmers with extra work, longer hours and financial insecurity," the report states.

Industry proponents of biotech crops had no immediate comment on the report, but have stated in the past that they are supportive of efforts to try to maintain separation of non-GMO and GMO crops, but they see economic losses as individual private risks.

The level of contamination of non-GMO crops by GMO crops is an area of concern because some foreign buyers of U.S. crops will not accept genetically modified versions. Some domestic buyers also want only non-GMO. Contamination can cause financial loss when buyers reject loads that test positive for GMO presence.

Last summer, an Oregon wheat farmer found an unapproved type of biotech wheat developed by Monsanto Co growing in his field. Some foreign wheat buyers temporarily suspended purchases of U.S. wheat because of fears of contamination of their shipments.

Separately, a Washington state alfalfa farmer had a load of his alfalfa rejected for export after it became contaminated with a commercially approved type of biotech alfalfa also developed in part by Monsanto.

The USDA has said it is investigating the wheat contamination but not the alfalfa case. The agency does not track reports of contamination of non-GMO crops by GMO crops approved for commercial use, according to USDA spokesman Richard Bell. The agency only tracks that information when the contamination is connected to a biotech crop not yet approved for commercial release, he told Reuters.

Food & Water Watch is calling for USDA to start tracking and analyzing incidences of contamination and associated economic losses at all levels of the supply chain. And the group also is asking for USDA to require GMO crop growers to create buffer zones between their fields and non-GMO farm fields, and hold biotech seed companies financially accountable for losses associated with GMO contamination.

Monsanto introduced genetically modified crops in 1996 and since then many companies have been selling a range of genetically engineered crops that resist Roundup herbicide and fight off harmful pests.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Global Twitter Storm To Support Professor Seralini's Unethically Retracted Rat Study On GMO Danger

On March 2nd at 5 pm PST, please join a global show of unity for Professor Giles Seralini and the infamous rat study that proved the detrimental harm that GMOs cause and  help the #SupportSeralini twitter storm. We will be tweeting the #SupportSeralini hashtag alongside the #Oscars hashtag to raise as much awareness for the unethical and unwarranted retraction perpetrated by a former Monsanto executive. Join the event here:

The March Against Monsanto and The Anti Media facebook pages will have tons of memes to be shared in addition to the following list of sample tweets and links to research and articles that support Professor Seralini's work:

How to silence independent scientists? Ask Monsanto. #SupportSeralini

Genetic Fallacy: How Monsanto Silences Scientific Dissent #SupportSeralini

2 year GMO Study battles to exist. #SupportSeralini

GMO Rat Study pushed in reverse. #SupportSeralini

Dr. OZ Speaks about about Seralini Rat Study. #SupportSeralini

Seralini fights back! Say NO to the retraction of the 2 year GMO Study! #SupportSeralini

Video en Français Seralini au sein du Parlement Européen

Séralini au Parlement Européen (28/11/2013) - Elsevier retire l'étude sur les OGM #SupportSeralini

‪#‎mustRead‬ How EFSA dealt with French GM study: what lessons ? #SupportSeralini

Industry’s bullying finally worked: Séralini study on GM maize and Roundup retracted #SupportSeralini

How the Food Lobby killed long-term studies effect about ‪#‎GMO‬ #SupportSeralini

Scientific studies are broken, censorship on what can be published and what cannot be published, Seralini paid the high price #SupportSeralini

EFSA's final report on Seralini fans flames of controversy #SupportSeralini

Pesticide evaluations dishonest and misleading, new study shows - GMO Seralini: #SupportSeralini ‪#‎GMOs‬ ‪#‎pesticides‬

Breaking News!: Global scientists condemn retraction of Séralini study - #GMO #SupportSeralini ‪#‎FCT‬ ‪#‎RoundUp‬

Séralini study retraction intended to shut down possibility of long-term GMO tests forever : #SupportSeralini #GMO

GMO food safety – Seralini and Zhu: Double standards? - GMO Seralini: #SupportSeralini #FCT #GMO

‪#‎Seralini‬ Study retracted by FCT Journal - ‪#‎Monsanto‬ Associate Editor pulls the strings!: #SupportSeralini #GMO

Unethical Journal Retraction Fuels Mistrust in GMO Science! #SupportSeralini #GMO

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Monsanto's Roundup may be linked to fatal kidney disease, new study suggests

A heretofore inexplicable fatal, chronic kidney disease that has affected poor farming regions around the globe may be linked to the use of biochemical giant Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide in areas with hard water, a new study has found.

The new study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Researchers suggest that Roundup, or glyphosate, becomes highly toxic to the kidney once mixed with “hard” water or metals like arsenic and cadmium that often exist naturally in the soil or are added via fertilizer.

Hard water contains metals like calcium, magnesium, strontium, and iron, among others. On its own, glyphosate is toxic, but not detrimental enough to eradicate kidney tissue. The glyphosate molecule was patented as a herbicide by Monsanto in the early 1970s. The company soon brought glyphosate to market under the name “Roundup,” which is now the most commonly used herbicide in the world.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Consumer empowerment should be central in G.M.O. labeling debate

The cornerstone of our capitalist market, for better or worse, is consumer choice. And choice is meaningless if consumers are not able to make informed decisions. The debate over genetically modified organisms (G.M.O.’s) used in our foods has been long and controversial with those decrying “frankenfood” railing against those portraying the process as the savior from food shortages and high food prices.

The battle over labeling these foods has been gaining significant traction in recent weeks, with states like Colorado putting labeling initiatives on their ballots for the upcoming elections.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Food & Water Watch and GMO Free Florida Host February Event

With bills in both the Florida House and Senate, Food & Water Watch and GMO Free Florida are calling for a statewide day of action next Thursday. See Also: Jeremy Ring Sponsors GMO-Labeling Bill in Florida Senate

The groups will be setting up camp in from of Representative Katie Edwards' office in Sunrise from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, February 27.  Their goal is to get Edwards, who is on the agriculture committee, to cosponsor House Bill One, filed by Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda.
Food & Water Watch and GMO Free Florida have already reached out to Edwards office, and are awaiting response on her position.

"She's waiting for it to come up in committee to decide," says Food & Water Watch local representative Vickie Machado. "We met with her secretary in January. We were able to give her a lot of information concerning GMO food risks involved and implications for farmers and consumers."
The demonstration will include signs, street theatre, and a chance for concerned individuals to voice their opinions.

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