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Dumping Monsanto, Public Radio Propaganda
#276, May 12, 2011
In this issue:
Quote of the Week
The Audacity of Genetically Modified Foods
"Does it bother you that we consumers are largely unaware that 70 percent to 80 percent of the [non-organic] processed foods we buy contain GM ingredients? We are 'largely unaware' because these foods are not labeled - even though 90 percent of Americans want them labeled and think that we have the right to know what is in our food. The biotech industry fights labeling viciously because they know that, if GM foods were labeled, many would refuse to buy them as is the case in Europe."
- "The Audacity of Genetically Modified Foods," Bruce Robinson, May 8, 2011
Alert OF THE WEEK
Don't Let Monsanto Buy Out Public Radio!
If you listen to public radio, you might have been surprised to hear a story that ran last week on the program Marketplace that sounded as if it were written by Monsanto itself.
The report, entitled "The Non-Organic Future," claimed that the only way to feed the world is to give poor farmers fertilizers, pesticides and genetically modified seeds.
Pedro Sanchez, a proponent of industrial agriculture who works as a soil scientist at Columbia University, is the mouthpiece for the absurd proposition that soil is "like a bank account, you've got to have a positive balance, and if you deposit only organics, you're going to go broke."
In a comment posted at Marketplace's website, Anna Lappé, author of Diet for a Hot Planet, pointed to a gaping hole in their reporting: the failure to acknowledge the 2009 International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science, and Technology for Development (IAASTD) Report, a joint project of the U.N. and the World Bank, among other agencies. Here's Anna's apt description of the report:
"The groundbreaking study brought together 400 experts who worked for 4.5 years to explore the most efficient, productive, and sustainable strategy for feeding the world. The conclusion - quite the opposite of the one reached by those quoted in this segment - stated in no uncertain terms that we must move away from chemical- and fossil[-fuel]-dependent agriculture, which by the way includes biotech.
"Business as usual is not an option, was the radical consensus. Instead, small-scale and mid-scale agroecological farming holds our best hope for feeding the world safe, healthy food, all without undermining our natural capital."
As the IAASTD report shows, Sanchez's view is hardly the only or even the dominant view among development experts about how to "feed the world." Indeed, if there is a consensus, Sanchez's views are in the minority.
Listeners might chalk the whole thing up to sloppy reporting, if it weren't for the fact that over the last couple of years, Marketplace has been underwritten by Monsanto, and the program's been running ads that tout Monsanto as a sustainable agriculture innovator! Rather than being sloppy, it turns out that the reporting is actually a carefully constructed thank-you gift for a prized advertiser!
If you find this type of corporate influence and media bias unacceptable, please ask American Public Media, producers of Marketplace, to stop spreading Monsanto's lies.
Millions Against Monsanto Fundraising Appeal
Three hundred thousand have already signed up as participants and supporters in our Millions Against Monsanto Truth-in-Labeling Campaign. But we need money to print leaflets, to buy educational videos, to print up T-shirts and bumper stickers, and to pay our campaign staff. As you know, GMOs, Factory Farms, and deceptively labeled consumer products pose a mortal threat to public health, climate stability, and all living things. As we speak, organic crops are being contaminated with Monsanto's GMOs. We need your financial contributions to educate and mobilize consumers, to protect and maintain strict organic standards, and to pressure the entire food industry, including natural food stores and co-ops, to adopt Truth-in-Labeling practices.
Alerts of the Week
Demand Labels on GMO Salmon!
A California bill to require labels on genetically engineered salmon moved forward on May 3, 2011, when it passed the Assembly Health Committee.
Assembly member Jared Huffman introduced the bill, AB 88, in anticipation of U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the first-ever proposed commercialization of a genetically engineered animal, AquaBounty's salmon.
"Knowing whether our salmon is genetically engineered is important for a host of reasons, including risks to our native salmon species, and allowing consumers to make dietary choices consistent with concerns they may have for the environment, food safety, and religiously or ethically based dietary restrictions," said Assemblymember Huffman, in explaining the reason for introducing the bill.
If you live in California, AB 88 needs your help! The next vote is on May 18th in the Appropriations Committee. If your Assembly Member is on the Committee, please let them know you'll be watching their vote to see if they support consumers' right to know about GMOs!
And, if you live in California or anywhere else in the country, there's still time to stop Frankenfish! The FDA hasn't approved it yet. Please tell President Obama to reject AquaBounty's GMO salmon.
Millions Against Monsanto
Join a GMO Food Dump! Chicago, Seattle, Denver, New York & Your Town!
To gear up for the Millions Against Monsanto actions on World Food Day, October 16, 2011, we're hosting regional anti-GMO summits at each of the Green Festivals around the country. This weekend, we'll be in Chicago. Here are the details:
The Green Festival is Saturday and Sunday, May 14-15
@ McCormick Place (Lakeside) 2301 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60616
Admission is $10-$25
We'll have a limited number of free passes to distribute to volunteers. If you've already volunteered, we'll leave your name on a list at the exhibitor check-in desk. If you'd like to volunteer and need a pass, please contact us here.
The Green Festival goes from 10-7 Saturday and 11-6 on Sunday. We'd love to have your help for a couple hours in the Millions Against Monsanto booth (# 1102).
We'll be having an event in the community action pavilion at 3:30 on Sunday.
Jeffrey Smith is speaking at 5:00.
In addition to the festival, we're organizing an action at the Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park on Tuesday May 17:
On Friday, we'll be going to Whole Food Market to buy the GMO food they sell to display at our booth at the Green Festival. On Tuesday, May 17, at noon, we'll be returning the GMO food in a theatrical "GMO Food Dump" action. If you're curious about what a "GMO Food Dump" is, check out this video.
Whole Foods Market GMO Food Dump! Get Monsanto Out of Whole Foods Market!
When: Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 12 noon
Where: Whole Foods Market (Lincoln Park Store) 1550 N. Kingsbury Street, Chicago, IL 60642
So, if you're available on Friday to go shopping for GMO foods at Whole Foods Market, if you can help staff our booth at the Green Festival, or if you'd like to participate in the GMO Food Dump on Tuesday, please let us know.
Another thing we really need help with is documenting everything in photos and video, so if you can help with that, please let us know.
Looking forward to seeing you in Chicago!
Seattle - Green Festival May 21-22, GMO Food Dump May 24
Denver - GMO Food Dump June 27
New York - Green Festival October 1-2, GMO Right2Know March October 2
Ready to make something happen in your town?
Join your local Millions Against Monsanto chapter to coordinate a GMO Food Dump or a GMO Right2Know Rally or March in your town.
Millions Against Monsanto
Get Ready for World Food Day Actions 10/16/11
On Sunday, October 16, 2011, the Organic Consumers Association's Millions Against Monsanto campaign is calling for World Food Day actions to get genetically engineered organisms out of our food.
Get involved by joining your local Millions Against Monsanto chapter.
The goal is to have 435 actions, one in each U.S. Congressional District, and for each action to represent 2300 Millions Against Monsanto supporters.
435 x 2300 = 1,000,000 Against Monsanto
It would be great to have 2300 people participating in each event, but we can also demonstrate our numbers by delivering petitions signed by 2300 people in each Congressional District.
Anyone who can't attend an action on 10/16/11, can join the virtual rally by signing the Millions Against Monsanto petition.
Time to start planning! Here's how to get started.
Video of the Week
Dr. Huber's Warning
On January 17, internationally-recognized plant pathologist Dr. Don Huber wrote a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack warning of the discovery of a new pathogen, a possible link between Roundup Ready (GMO) corn and soybeans, and severe reproductive problems in livestock as well as widespread crop failure.
Less than 3 weeks later, the Obama administration approved 2 new Roundup Ready GMO crops, set to be planted this spring.
Watch Food Democracy Now's interview with Dr. Huber
Marketplace's Botched 'Feed the World' Story
The Audacity of Genetically Modified Foods
How Goldman Sachs Created the Food Crisis
Prince Charles Crosses the Pond to Denounce Factory Farming
Monsanto in Haiti
Book of the Week
Help Us Build a Sustainable Future!
Our friends at Chelsea Green offer the latest books on sustainability, democracy, new science, and pathways to peace. Thanks to our new Affiliate Program, your online purchase supports the OCA!
This weeks featured book is: Fresh Food From Small Spaces
Books on container gardening have been wildly popular with urban and suburban readers, but until now, there has been no comprehensive "how-to" guide for growing fresh food in the absence of open land. Fresh Food from Small Spaces fills the gap as a practical, comprehensive, and downright fun guide to growing food in small spaces. It provides readers with the knowledge and skills necessary to produce their own fresh vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts, and fermented foods as well as to raise bees and chickens―all without reliance on energy-intensive systems like indoor lighting and hydroponics.
Readers will learn how to transform their balconies and windowsills into productive vegetable gardens, their countertops and storage lockers into commercial-quality sprout and mushroom farms, and their outside nooks and crannies into whatever they can imagine, including sustainable nurseries for honeybees and chickens. Free space for the city gardener might be no more than a cramped patio, balcony, rooftop, windowsill, hanging rafter, dark cabinet, garage, or storage area, but no space is too small or too dark to raise food.
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