Archive for the ‘Food Politics’ Category

Monsanto: Harvest of Paranoia?

In my previous post, I allotted myself one major rant about Monsanto, and was prepared to move on. Yes, I suppose the title “Monsanto: My Arch Nemesis” was a tad provocative. Within 3 hours of posting, at least one representative of Monsanto had visited my backwater, podunk blog.

Don’t they have better things to do, like destroy the agriculture of third world countries or squash some U.S. food labeling legislation?

Following is the account of their visits; thanks to StatCounter for the fabulously detailed info:

  • Within 3 hours of going live, there was a visit from a BlackBerry in St. Louis, with an IP labeled “Monsanto”
  • 7:30 a.m. this morning, from a computer in St. Louis, IP labeled “Monsanto”
  • 9:11 a.m. from a computer in New York, IP labeled “Monsanto”
  • At 9:32 someone labeled as Husch and Eppenberger, shown coming from Plano, TX, but the link here shows them with an office in St. Louis
  • Then one more Monsanto visit at 10:16 a.m. this morning from St. Louis
  • The last relevant entry to date is from a business called Edelman PR, a public relations firm with a branch in Washington D.C.

You know, I am sure there are some wonderful people working directly and indirectly for Monsanto. It’s easy for the human brain to rationalize the body’s behavior, particularly when the idol of money is involved. I am speaking out, not unlike the Lorax, to protect seed diversity from genetic rape.

But I believe they can turn it around if they want to. I have some suggestions that might help, but I’ll have to save those for another time.

And to everyone who would LOVE to hit Monsanto in their pocketbook, I encourage those of you with Mutual Funds or 401K’s to do a little digging. Find out which companies are in those mutual funds. Pull your money out of funds which carry Monsanto. I did, and it feels good! And keep buying those heirloom seeds that haven’t had their genes raped. Say NO to Monsanto!

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Monsanto: My Arch Nemesis

I promise I’m not going to rant on and on about Monsanto, though they will be mentioned when I can think of something snide enough. Monsanto is my arch nemesis, however.

Here’s a great Vanity Fair article about Monsanto’s tactics regarding rBGH (Bovine Growth Hormone).

Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear
by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele May 2008

…Farmers say that some Monsanto agents pretend to be surveyors. Others confront farmers on their land and try to pressure them to sign papers giving Monsanto access to their private records. Farmers call them the “seed police” and use words such as “Gestapo” and “Mafia” to describe their tactics.

When asked about these practices, Monsanto declined to comment specifically, other than to say that the company is simply protecting its patents…

Yee Haw! It’s a veritable Roundup round-up! Compilation of Monsanto news articles, fact sheets and scientific studies. Tons of links covering pharmaceuticals, food additives, seeds etc.

Just say no to Monsanto. Get your seeds from an heirloom seed distributor, not one who thinks they can own life.

Here’s a LONG list of GMO-free seed distributors. Or check out the links in the sidebar, as well as the previous post on heirloom seeds.

Happy growing!

Not too subtle NAIS in Congress

Note the good talking points below the clipped info.

http://nonais.org/2008/06/23/congress-attempts-nais-mandate/

Congressional Sub-Committee Attempts to Mandate NAIS 

Rep. Rose Delauro, chairwoman of the House Ag Appropriations Sub-Committee, has inserted pro-NAIS provisions into the Ag Appropriations bill for 2009. The proposed bill would require the USDA’s National School Lunch Program to only buy meat from animals registered in the National Animal Identification System (NAIS)…

…Call Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (202.225.4404): Ask Rep. Emerson to offer an amendment to strip pro-NAIS language from the House Ag Appropriations Bill. Tell Rep. Emerson that Missouri livestock producers are adamantly opposed to NAIS.

Call Rep. Rosa DeLauro (202-225-3661): Tell Rep. DeLauro to take pro-NAIS language out of House Ag Appropriations Bill.

Call Rep. Dave Obey (202.225.3365): Ask Rep. Obey to strip the pro-NAIS language from the House Ag Appropriations Bill.

NAIS Talking Points:

1. NAIS does NOTHING to address food safety issues from the processor to the consumer.it simply moves the burden from corporate meat packers, who don’t follow the rules, to independent livestock producers.

2. Missouri’s Family Farmers believe it is extremely important to ensure consumer confidence in the safety and health of the U.S. food supply while at the same time ensuring the economic viability of independent livestock producers.But NAIS does not meet the needs of producers or consumers.

3. The majority (>92%) of family farmers in Missouri (and the rest of the nation) are opposed to NAIS.

4. The Truth About Animal ID.: Creates an undue economic burden on producers, does not include identification of imported meats, does nothing to increase consumer choice or confidence, expands packers ability to unfairly discriminate against family farmers.

NAIS or noNAIS?

noNAIS has an article posted regarding the case of Mary-Louise Zanoni vs. the USDA. You can read the full article, plus all the history of the ridiculous, fear-mongering program that is NAIS at nonais.org Here’s a small excerpt of the article:

“R-CALF USA was pleased to learn that on June 4, 2008, the U.S. District Court – District of Columbia forced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to suspend indefinitely its plan to establish a new Privacy Act system of records titled “National Animal Identification System (NAIS).”…The court-ordered suspension was a result of the Mary-Louise Zanoni v. United States Department of Agriculture case. ”

Keep up the fight R-CALF, Mary-Louise Zanoni and the millions of small farmers, homesteaders and other citizens interested in civil liberties. It’s not over yet. Don’t let your optimism turn you complacent.

Thanks to Henwhisperer who forwarded the following article to me from Feedstuffs (even they don’t think it’s real food)
the Weekly Newspaper for Agribusiness (that’s gotta be some interesting reading)

6/19/2008
Rod Smith

Contrary to many news stories and organizations’ statements, the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) remains up and running, officials connected to the program told Feedstuffs this week…

Read the full article here

I am so grateful to all the food and freedom activists as well as the internet for helping raise awareness of this issue over the last couple of years. It is easy for us to get caught up in our day-to-day routines and think someone will take care of everything. Will they stop with domesticated animals? Doubtful. Do you smell Big Brother in the air? Keep a sharp eye, people…it ain’t over. How are the RFID chip manufacturers going to recoup their investment? How is our corporate-loving US government going to protect them?

Maybe we should teach our kids to “Just Say No” to RFID chips.