The Unholy Alliance: Monsanto, Dupont & Obama
#232, July 8, 2010
Edited by Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins
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Quote of the Week
UN Says Organic Farming Can Feed World, Save Climate
"Governments and international agencies urgently need to boost ecological farming techniques to increase food production and save the climate."
"One year ago, Heads of States at the G20 gathering in Italy committed to mobilizing $22 billion over a period of three years to improve global food security. This was welcome news, but the most pressing issue regarding reinvestment in agriculture is not how much, but how."
"Today, most efforts are made towards large-scale investments in land - including many instances of land grabbing - and towards a 'Green Revolution' model to boost food production: improved seeds, chemical fertilizers and machines. But scant attention has been paid to agroecological methods that have been shown to improve food production and farmers' incomes, while at the same time protecting the soil, water, and climate."
- Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food presenting the findings of 25 of the world's most renowned experts on agroecology at an international meeting held in Brussels, June 21-22, 2010.
Alert of the Week
Dupont Dame Follows Monsanto Men Into Obama Administration
Starting with his choice for USDA Secretary, the pro-biotech former governor of Iowa, Tom Vilsack, President Obama has let Monsanto, Dupont and the other pesticide and genetic engineering companies know they'll have plenty of friends and supporters within his administration.
President Obama has taken his team of food and farming leaders directly from the biotech companies and their lobbying, research, and philanthropic arms.
Michael Taylor, former Monsanto Vice President, is now the FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods.
Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto-funded Danforth Plant Science Center, is now the director of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Islam Siddiqui, Vice President of the Monsanto and Dupont-funded pesticide-promoting lobbying group, CropLife, is now the Agriculture Negotiator for the US Trade Representative.
Rajiv Shah, former Gates Foundation agricultural-development director served as Obama's USDA Under Secretary for Research Education and Economics and Chief Scientist and is now head of USAID.
Now, Ramona Romero, corporate counsel to Dupont, has been nominated by President Obama to serve as General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Tell Your Senators to Reject Ramona Romero and President Obama to Get Monsanto and Dupont Out of His Administration!
Scandal of the Week
Ethanol and Animal Feed from Monsanto's Genetically Engineered (GE) Corn Are the Biggest Culprits in Gulf Dead Zone
While the BP oil spill has been labeled the worst environmental catastrophe in recent U.S. history, a biofuel is contributing to a Gulf of Mexico "dead zone" the size of New Jersey that scientists say could be every bit as harmful to the gulf.
Each year, nitrogen used to fertilize corn, about a third of which is made into ethanol, leaches from Midwest croplands into the Mississippi River and out into the gulf, where the fertilizer feeds giant algae blooms. As the algae dies, it settles to the ocean floor and decays, consuming oxygen and suffocating marine life.
Known as hypoxia, the oxygen depletion kills shrimp, crabs, worms and anything else that cannot escape. The dead zone has doubled since the 1980s and is expected this year to grow as large as 8,500 square miles and hug the Gulf Coast from Alabama to Texas.
OCA Needs Your Help to Fight Monsanto and Spread the Organic Revolution
OCA and our growing network of organic consumers and farmers understand that we have a positive life-affirming solution for the global food, health, and climate crisis: organic food, farming, and ranching. But to fight Monsanto and Big Food and get out our all-important message we need your support. Please send us a tax-deductible donation today and we'll send you a free "Millions Against Monsanto" bumper sticker so you can help spread the word in your community. Please be sure to put 'sticker' in the comments field of your donation.
From Copenhagan and Cochabamba to Cancun - Join the OCA at the historic COP 16 Climate Conference
In 1999 and 2003, the OCA helped organize protests and teach-ins against the World Trade Organization in Seattle and Cancun. The "Battle of Seattle", as it came to be known, and subsequent mobilizations were the coming of age of the global grassroots. Now you have the opportunity to join OCA Director Ronnie Cummins and other OCA staff on an escorted delegation to the historic teach-ins and rallies for climate justice and organic agriculture at COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico.
Over 100,000 concerned citizens from North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia are expected to converge on Cancun, including leading farm, food, Fair Trade, climate justice, and anti-GE activists. They'll attend a wide range of workshops, forums, and cultural events. Following up on the theme of the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, "Another World is Possible," the emphasis in Cancun will be on presenting solutions and alternatives to the climate crisis.
The OCA delegation, limited to 100 people, will include international experts on organic agriculture and climate justice, including OCA Director Ronnie Cummins. The delegation will partner with OCA's Mexico sister organization, Via Organica.
During the week of teach-ins and protests, November 29th to December 10th, the OCA delegation will be housed in comfortable accommodations in the city of Cancun. Costs for a shared double room, meals, seminars, and transport to and from the teach-ins and activities will start around $950 (airfare not included).
Call the OCA office (218-226-4164) or click below to reserve your place on the delegation (select "Campaign Manager").
Video of the Week
Toxic Chemical Lobby: Exclusive Leaked Footage
Safer Chemicals Healthy Families created this wacky video to galvanize public support for Congressional action to make sure the products we reach for, sleep on, and eat from every day aren't loaded with toxic chemicals. The characters you will meet in the video are cartoons, but the plot is ripped straight from the headlines.
Global Food Problems Are About Justice Not Scarcity
Dupont, Monsanto, and Obama Versus the World's Family Farmers
Obama's Food Revolution: Business as Usual for Agribusiness, Small Change for Organics
Monsanto, BASF Turn Attention to Wheat
Europe's New Approach to Biotech Food
LOCAL [[State]] NEWS OF THE WEEK
[[State]] - Get Involved Locally
- Learn more about OCA related action alerts and other news in [[State]] here.
- Join [[State]] discussion groups in our forum.
- Post events in [[State]] on our community calendar.
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