Everyone loves a feel-good story about the future. You’ve probably heard this one: High-tech foods enhanced by science will feed the 9 billion people expected on the planet by 2050.
The theory—which is really just industry spin—is that food made in labs, and crops and animals genetically engineered to grow faster and better, will make it possible to feed the crowded world.
“6th grade students brainstorming big biotech ideas to #Feedthe9″ touted a recent tweet tagged to the chemical industry’s promotional website GMOAnswers. Student ideas included “breed carrots to have more vitamins” and “corn that will grow in harsh winter conditions.”
It all sounds so promising, writes Stacy Malkan, co-director of U.S. Right to Know—until you look at the realities behind the rhetoric.
Read ‘Are You Ready for the New Wave of Genetically Engineered Foods?’
Make a tax-deductible donation to help support U.S. Right to Know’s work exposing food industry fraud
Speaking of GMO animals (see top of this newsletter), wait ‘til you hear what kind of GMO animals Recombinetics, Inc., the “Monsanto of the genetically modified animal industry,” wants to unleash on the market.
Among other things, Recombinetics wants to genetically engineer pigs specifically to withstand a miserable life in factory farms.
Not only that, but the St. Paul, Minn.-based biotech company wants to keep the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) from having anything to do with regulating GMO pigs, or any other GMO animals that could end up in the U.S. food supply.
If the company’s plan succeeds, this would be the most drastic deregulation of biotechnology to date—and gene editing is just too risky to deregulate.
TAKE ACTION: Tell the USDA: GMO animals need to be thoroughly safety tested by the FDA!
What happens when you marry a drug company with a pesticide company?
We’re about to find out.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) this week approved the $66-billion acquisition of Monsanto by Germany-based Bayer—so much for making America great again.
The big shots at Monsanto and Bayer spewed the usual nonsense about how all they care about is helping farmers and feeding the world. But Mark Connelly, an agriculture analyst at the brokerage and investment group CLSA Americas, told Business Insider:
"Let's just cut to the chase: These companies want to make more money, they want to raise prices. No company in this industry needs these deals in order to innovate."
What does the mega-merger mean for consumers? Fortune, which is not exactly anti-big deals, wrote:
. . . consumers could see prices go up not only on agricultural products, but also on the umpteen products that hide corn and soybean inputs such as gas. The Bayer-Monsanto deal is big enough on its own to create cause for concern. It’s even more worrying in the wake of the ChemChina-Syngenta takeover and Dow Chemical’s merger with DuPont.
If things get bad enough for conventional commodity crop growers, with Trump’s trade wars and now this merger, will we see more farmers transition to organic regenerative agriculture?
Read OCA’s press release
Read ‘The $66 billion Bayer-Monsanto merger just got a major green light — but farmers are terrified’
He defended Michael Vick's dogfighting. He followed environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. across the country to bash his anti-factory farm speeches. He went undercover to spy on animal rights group Farm Sanctuary.
Now radio show host Trent Loos, whose audience includes people who believe, among other things, that the Endangered Species Act is a government conspiracy to run ranchers off their land, is a member of Trump’s Agriculture Advisory Committee.
Loos might be the only agricultural voice in America willing to publicly defend horse slaughter, antibiotics in chicken production and the GMO recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) used in milk.
And he’s got Trump’s ear.
Read ‘Food-Safety Denier Trent Loos Has Trump’s Ear on Ag Issues’
A radical and transformative thought goes nowhere without the willingness to challenge convention. – from “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants,” by Malcom Gladwell
Somewhere along the way, the spin wizards working for companies like Tyson and Monsanto and Cargill and General Mills and Costco and Ben & Jerry’s—the list goes on—succeeded in turning the notion that we can’t feed the world without poisoning our soil and food into “conventional” thinking.
Unfortunately, a majority of politicians and global regulatory agencies—under the influence of corporate money—like to accuse those of us who think poison has no place in our food of belonging to a “fringe group of radicals.”
We disagree. But that doesn’t change the fact that we have to fight back as if we were fighting for “radical and transformative” thinking—instead of for common-sense food production.
Truth be told, we get discouraged sometimes. Like when we find out that Costco wants to build the largest chicken factory farm in the U.S. in a small Nebraska town, making an already bad water situation worse.
Or when we learn that a company called Nordic Aquafarms wants to turn 40 acres of beautiful land in Maine into the world’s largest salmon factory farm—with little thought to the environmental consequences or the economic impact on local seafood suppliers.
“Conventional” thinking says these projects are “good for business.”
Common sense, backed by hard science, says these projects will benefit no one except a few wealthy corporate bigwigs.
Fortunately, when our spirits sink, we’re reminded that consumers and farmers and good people everywhere know that the industrial agriculture model is broken, that it must change, and that we must take responsibility for making it change.
We are constantly reminded that without you, we’d have a tough time pushing ahead. Thank you for your generous and ongoing support.
Make a tax-deductible donation to the Organic Consumers Association
Make a tax-deductible donation to OCA’s Millions Against Monsanto campaign
Support Citizens Regeneration Lobby (CRL), OCA’s sister lobbying organization Donations to CRL, a 501(c) (4) nonprofit, are not tax-deductible.
Ever wonder if the eggs you eat are really organic? According to a recent PBS NewsHour segment, the answer to that question is: “It depends on who you ask.”
Under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program, organic eggs must come from chickens that are raised cage-free, fed an organic diet grown without pesticides, managed without antibiotics and hormones, and have seasonal access to the outdoors.
But not all organic egg producers agree on the definition of “outdoor access.” In fact, their definitions, and practices, can differ immensely.
For example, White Oak Pastures in southwestern Georgia has about 4,000 egg-laying chickens that are pasture-raised. By contrast, Country Hen in central Massachusetts houses 80,000 chickens mostly indoors, allotting 1.5 square feet per bird—“outside access” for all those birds amounts to a covered porch.
Very different practices, but both labeled organic.
Read ‘Are Your Eggs Really Organic?’
Watch the video
Check out the Cornucopia Institute’s Organic Egg Scorecard
We now know one of the best ways to improve gut health is to consume fermented foods on a regular basis.
The probiotics in fermented foods like turnips, cucumbers and eggplant help balance the mucus in your digestive tract, protect against disease and chelate toxins, and remove heavy metals from your system.
You can usually find a good selection of fermented vegetables and other foods at your natural health store. But you can also make your own. It's not that hard to do. Plus, you'll get more for your money! According to Dr. Mercola:
“Fermented foods not only give you a wider variety of beneficial bacteria, they also give you far more of them, so it’s a much more cost-effective alternative. Here’s a case in point: It’s unusual to find a probiotic supplement containing more than 10 billion colony-forming units. But when my team actually tested fermented vegetables produced by probiotic starter cultures, they had 10 trillion colony-forming units of bacteria. Literally, one serving of vegetables was equal to an entire bottle of a high potency probiotic! So clearly, you’re far better off using fermented foods.”
Mercola.com makes fermenting your own vegetables easy. Mercola’s enhanced formula produces healthy bacteria that promote gut health, beneficial enzymes that make digestion easier on the stomach, and even increase bioavailability of vitamins, like vitamin K2, in your vegetables.
Now through midnight April 30, 2018, get 20 percent off Mercola’s Kinetic Culture Packets and most other Mercola products with this promo code: ORGANIC418. Mercola will also donate 20 percent of the product price to OCA.
Shop now and get 20 percent off.
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