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Another year. Another federal budget deal. And In typical fashion, Congress can’t get its act together.
The latest word from PoliticoPro is that the House on Friday will vote on a short-term funding measure to keep the government open until December 16. After that? More continuing resolutions are possible.
Will the continuing resolutions and/or the final budget deal include a last-minute rider to end the GMO labeling debate for good, by preempting state or federal mandatory labeling laws? Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), the top Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee, promised earlier in the year to work with Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) to pass a Senate version of the DARK Act (H.R 1599) in order to prevent a so-called “patchwork of 50 state laws.” When time ran out for shepherding such a bill through the proper democratic process—including introduction of a Senate bill, hearings, a Senate vote—Stabenow hinted at attaching a rider to the year-end budget bill.
The latest word is that if Stabenow can muster up enough support, GMO labeling law preemption could be attached to the Child Nutrition Act, which would be attached to the budget deal, in order to ram it through Congress. From PoliticoPro:
While Senate Democrats have been vocal in their opposition to the food industry's efforts to add a rider that would preempt state GMO-labeling laws, one source close to the effort said "there is still a pulse" on the possibility of landing a short-term moratorium on state laws in the omnibus. The Grocery Manufacturers Association is pushing an amendment to the omnibus that would stall state labeling laws for two years to buy more time for Congress to pass federal labeling legislation, which would block Vermont's law from going into effect in July, the source said.
Three things to keep in mind while we wait for Congress to stop dithering.
Meanwhile, our work is not finished. It will take all of us to win this battle for good.
TAKE ACTION: Demand Mandatory Labeling of GMOs--Not Voluntary Labeling or QR Codes!
Find and call your Representatives and Senators
France, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the U.K., Germany and Mexico are among the more than two dozen countries that have so far signed on to what one day will likely be recognized as the most significant climate initiative in history.
France’s 4/1000 Initiative: Soils for Food Security and Climate puts regenerative food and farming front and center in the climate solutions conversation. This is why the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), our Mexico affiliate, Via Organica, IFOAM Organics International and more than 50 of our other activist allies across the globe have signed on in support of the Initiative.
Unfortunately, the U.S. government is not yet on board with the plan—even though our country’s toxic, fossil-fuel-based, heavily subsidized (with taxpayer money), degenerative industrial agriculture system is a primary driver of global warming.
The French Initiative is the most direct, most practical, and only shovel-ready plan for reversing climate change. Here’s why the U.S. should get on board.
Read the essay
The most compelling, most hopeful climate strategy to come out of the COP21 Paris Climate Conference was something called France’s 4/1000 Initiative: Soils for Food Security and Climate.
The 4/1000 Initiative puts regenerative food and farming front and center in the climate solutions conversation. It’s the most direct, most practical, and the only shovel-ready plan for reversing climate change.
The United Nations, more than two dozen developed and developing countries, and more than 50 international organizations, private foundations, international funds, NGOs, consumer, and farmers' organizations, have signed the French Initiative and committed to implementing appropriate soil management practices, and to recognizing the importance of soil health for the transition towards productive, highly resilient agriculture.
But so far, the U.S. government is MIA from the list of official 4/1000 partners. What are we waiting for?
TAKE ACTION: President Obama: Sign on to France’s 4 per 1000 Regenerative Ag Climate Solution! Or text "Obama" to 97779 to sign the petition.
Click here to Tweet President Obama using hashtags #RegenerativeAg #Paris2015 #COP21 #4p1000
Post on President Obama’s Facebook page
We’re no fans of Monsanto, but you’ve got to admire the Biotech Giant’s tenacity.
No sooner did the role of agriculture in climate change make news at the COP21 Paris Climate Conference, than Monsanto came out with its Big Plan to save the climate.
Monsanto is going “carbon-neutral.”
What exactly does that mean? The company issued a lengthy press release peppered with industry jargon, including our favorite euphemism for pesticides: “crop protection products.” As part of its plan, Monsanto said it will allow “corn and soybeans to be grown such that soil absorbs and holds greenhouse gases equal to or greater than the total amount emitted from growing those crops – reinforcing agriculture’s unique role in climate change mitigation.”
Of course what Monsanto didn’t say, is that those corn and soybean plants will continue to be saturated in poisons and grown in nutrient-devoid, chemically enhanced soil. Monsanto also neglected to mention that pesticides and chemical fertilizers destroy the soil’s ability to naturally sequester carbon. So much for the notion of “carbon smart agriculture." Monsanto’s new plant to fix the climate may be slightly less damaging than the climate- and soil-destroying practices of “business as usual,”—but it’s still deadly to consumers, farmworkers, animals, the soil and climate stability.
It will be up to all of us to expose yet another of the Biotech Giant’s nefarious plans to save the world.
Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)
Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our GMO labeling legislative efforts)
We can’t say it enough. After 20 years of unrealistic solutions, empty promises and missed opportunities, a global climate summit (COP21) has finally produced a bright ray of genuine hope.
Everyone knows we won’t get to zero emissions in time to avert a climate disaster. There simply isn’t enough time or political will to make it happen.
What everyone doesn’t yet know is that we can draw down billions of tons of carbon from the atmosphere, and in conjunction with meaningful reductions in emissions, we can absolutely do it fast enough to keep from going over the cliff.
Now we just have to do it.
We filmed these two videos in Paris, so we could share the good news with you. Please watch, and then share with anyone you know who is looking for answers, and for ways to be part of the climate solution.Ronnie Cummins: A Message of Hope from Paris COP21 Interview with Stéphane Le Foll and Andre Leu
There are so many reasons to transform our existing food and farming system. But none more compelling than the fact that our current system is poisoning our children.
A recent study involving pregnant mothers and young children found an 8-percent decrease in lung function for every 10-fold increase in concentration of organophosphate pesticide exposure.
In other words, kids living in areas where these pesticides are used may as well be hanging around smokers, inhaling their second-hand smoke.
According to Time magazine, the children in the study were likely exposed to a greater quantity of the pesticide than the average American child because of their proximity to abundant farming. Does that mean children living farther away from farming communities are risk-free?
Not necessarily, according to one of the study’s authors, Brenda Eskenazi, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
“Remember these kids aren’t farmworkers. We know that this population is somewhat more exposed than the general U.S. population, but what we’re seeing from children in these areas may also have implications for residue in food.”
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