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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Organic Bytes March 16, 2012

March 16, 2012 Global Actions: Occupy Monsanto

There are now 30 actions in the US, and many more around the world, planned for this Friday, March 16.
Shut Down Monsanto!
Guerrilla Theatre in California
Scroll down for pictures of Occupy Monsanto's Genetic Crimes Unit action at last weekend's Natural Products Expo West

Scientists Seek EPA Action on Monsanto Crop Failure

Twenty-two leading scientists, experts in pest resistance, have written an urgent letter to the EPA asking the agency to warn farmers about the hazards of Monsanto's genetically engineered Bt corn, planted on millions of acres across the U.S. and Canada. The corn has been gene-spliced with bacterial DNA that produces Bt insecticide in every cell of the plant. Monsanto's misleading promise was that farmers could plant Bt crops and not have to spray pesticides, but predictably, corn rootworms have begun to develop resistance. Scientists warn of massive yield loss and surging corn costs if the EPA doesn't act quickly to drastically reduce Bt crops' acreage and force Monsanto to make non-GMO varieties of its high-yielding hybrid corn available to farmers.
Now's our chance to ask the EPA to ban Bt crops! Let's urge the EPA to look at the danger to human health, as well as farming. Monsanto's insecticide-producing bacterial DNA survives digestion and is now found in the blood of more than 80% of North American women - and their fetuses! Scientists say the exposure comes from a typical (non-organic) diet, primarily through the consumption of animals fed GMO crops. The chronic health impacts of exposure to GMO Bt genes is unknown, but Monsanto's own study of rats fed Bt crops showed liver and kidney damage.
Tell the EPA to Ban Monsanto's Insecticide-Producing GMO Crops!

Bizarre Quote of the Week: Monsanto Supports GMO Labeling?

"You have a right to know what you eat, especially when it's better…After several months of debate, Europe has just adopted a new law for the labeling of food that comes from genetically engineered plants…We believe that products that come from biotechnology are better and that they should be labeled."
- (Text from a Monsanto advertisement that appeared in French magazines in 1998.)
Cited in Bill Lambrecht's book, Dinner at the New Gene Café. St. Martin's Press, 2001

Petition to Get Monsanto's Mole, Michael Taylor, Out of the FDA Makes National News

A petition targeting Michael Taylor, a former lawyer/lobbyist for Monsanto who currently serves as President Obama's Food Safety Czar, has made national news. Taylor was instrumental in the early 1990s in ramming through the controversial FDA policy that genetically engineered foods did not need to be labeled, utilizing the bogus argument that genetically engineered foods are "substantially equivalent" to non-GE foods. USA Today reported that the petition to fire Taylor had already gathered more than 400,000 signatures with the help of The petition, begun by Frederick Ravid, currently has nearly 427,000 names. The article gave equal time to Taylor's supporters, quoting a letter from food safety "experts" who called the petition a "factually untrue Internet smear campaign" and argued against the statement in Ravid's petition that biotech foods may be contributors to colon, breast, lymphatic, and prostate cancers. Reporter Elizabeth Weise let the criticism stand, failing to cite evidence that Monsanto's Bovine Growth Hormone, rBGH increases levels of IGF-1, a powerful growth hormone and cancer tumor promoter.
Sign the Petition
Read and Respond to the USDA Today Article

Dr. Oz Exposes Hazards of Genetically Engineered Food

Popular TV health expert, Dr. Oz, recently covered the GMO issue, explaining to his viewers that they've probably been eating genetically engineered food without knowing it. Guests on the show included Jeffrey Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology and Michael Hanson of the Consumers Union. Please watch the segment and then take action, asking your Congressional Representative to co-sponsor Rep. Dennis Kucinich's bill to label GMO foods.
Tell Congress to Label GMOs!

Special Fundraising Campaign: GMO Labeling

After years of campaigning for GMO labeling laws, we are closer than ever to getting this issue on the ballot in California in November - and finally getting GE-tainted foods out of our nation's food supply for good.
Evidence abounds that GMO foods are not safe for human health or the health of the planet. Yet our government continues to let the biotech industry exert greater and greater control over our farmers and our food supply - without requiring them to tell us what's in our food.
The biotech giants are already filling their war chest in order to defeat this initiative. But we can beat them this time. Please help us raise $150,000 in the next two weeks to start building an effective public education campaign in order to pass the California Genetically Engineered Food Act.
Please read this letter from Ronnie Cummins, Director of the OCA and OCF, and donate today. Thank you!
Please donate today to the Organic Consumers Fund to help pass this historic initiative. You can make a secure online donation, or donate by mail or by phone. Thank you!

Occupy Monsanto "Genetic Crimes Unit" Investigates Natural Products Expo West

The more than 30,000 attendees arriving at the Anaheim Convention Center Friday for Expo West, North America's largest trade show for the natural products industry, were greeted with activists in bio-hazmat suits. It was Occupy Monsanto's Genetic Crimes Unit on the look out for toxic contamination and genetic modification. The group sees this as a necessary civil defense against the unknown long-term effects of eating GMO foods. Their method is to identify GMO victims by asking them what they've eaten recently. If they've ingested non-organic soy, cotton, canola, corn, alfalfa, sugar beets, papaya, zucchini, squash, or animal products, they're considered contaminated and tagged with bracelets.
Sadly, genetically modified foods can be found right on the show floor, exhibited as so-called "natural" products. New Hope Media, the host of the Expo, doesn't require exhibitors to be non-GMO.
Learn More & Take Action

Little Bytes: Top Stories of the Week

Still a Fast Food Nation: Eric Schlosser Reflects on 10 Years Later

California Campaign Pushes for Labeling of GM Food
Way Beyond Greenwashing: Have Corporations Captured "Big Conservation"?
Fracking Democracy: Why Pennsylvania's Act 13 May Be the Nation's Worst Corporate Giveaway
Glenn Greenwald Tears Apart the Propaganda Driving the Insane Push for War With Iran

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