Note: Stand up for Native Forests! Stop Genetically Engineered Trees!
In addition to controlling the world’s food supply, the evildoers in the biotech industry intend on planting billions of Genetically Engineered trees across the US South and internationally in toxic monoculture plantations. And they’re meeting this month in Asheville, NC.
Join Global Justice Ecology Project, the Campaign to STOP GE Trees, Earth First!, and others in Asheville from May 26-June 1, for a week of action to confront ArborGen, FuturaGene and other tree biotech evildoers. Join the protests or donate to support an activist here:www.treebiotech2013.org
-The GJEP Team
May 15 2013. Source: GRAIN
Defending seeds and biodiversity. No to GMOs. Photo: GRAIN
Myths and outright lies about the alleged benefits of genetically engineered crops (GE crops or GMOs) persist only because the multinationals that profit from them have put so much effort into spreading them around.
They want you to believe that GMOs will feed the world; that they are more productive; that they will eliminate the use of agrichemicals; that they can coexist with other crops, and that they are perfectly safe for humans and the environment.
False in every case, and in this article we’ll show how easy it is to debunk these myths. All it takes is a dispassionate, objective look at twenty years of commercial GE planting and the research that supposedly backs it up. The conclusion is clear: GMOs are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
An article by GRAIN, published in Soberania Alimentaria, numero 13.
MYTH: GE crops will end world hunger. Continue reading
Note: While some biotech firms are scrambling for control over the world’s food supply, others have their greedy eyes on the world’s forestlands. ArborGen, with its revolving doors between Monsanto and the US government, has plans to plant billions of highly flammable and invasive Genetically Engineered eucalyptus trees across the US South in monoculture plantations – with other native species like poplar and pine close behind in the regulatory pipeline. Along with industry rival FuturaGene, these GE tree companies intend to move forward across the global south; from Brazil to South Africa, China, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Australia.
But we can stop them in their tracks here in the US. From May 26th to June 1st, activists are descending upon Asheville, NC for a week of action to confront a major Tree Biotechnology conference sponsored by ArborGen and other firms. Join the protests or donate to support an activist here: www.treebiotech2013.org
-The GJEP Team
May 14 2013. Source: Food and Water Watch
Today Food & Water Watch and its European project Food & Water Europe released the first comprehensive analysis of the U.S. government’s strategy, tactics and foreign policy objectives to promote pro-agricultural biotechnology policies worldwide. Biotech Ambassadors: How the U.S. State Department Promotes the Seed Industry’s Global Agenda examines more than 900 State Department diplomatic cables from 2005 to 2009 and details how the U.S. State Department lobbies foreign governments to adopt pro-agricultural biotechnology policies and laws, operates a rigorous public relations campaign to improve the image of biotechnology and challenges commonsense biotechnology safeguards and rules — including opposing genetically engineered (GE) food labeling laws.
“The U.S. Department of State is selling seeds instead of democracy,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch and author of the book Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America, which looks at corporations’ growing influence over food policy, launching in Europe this week. “This report provides a chilling snapshot of how a handful of giant biotechnology companies are unduly influencing U.S. foreign policy and undermining our diplomatic efforts to promote security, international development and transparency worldwide. This report is a call to action for Americans because public policy should not be for sale to the highest bidder.” Continue reading
By Suzanne Goldenberg, May 13 2013. Source: The Guardian
Indiana soybean farmer Vernon Bowman speaks to the media outside the supreme court in February. Photo: Jason Reed/Reuters
The US supreme court came down solidly on the side of the agricultural giant Monsanto on Monday, ruling unanimously that an Indiana farmer could not use patented genetically modified soybeans to create new seeds without paying the company.
The case – which was cast by the farmer’s supporters as a classic tale of David vs Goliath – could well dictate the future of modern farming.
In an unanimous ruling written by Justice Elena Kagan, the court ruled that the farmer, Vernon Bowman, had infringed on Monsanto’s patent for its GM soybeans when he bought some of those seeds from a local grain elevator and planted them for a second, late-season crop. Monsanto sued, arguing that Bowman had signed a contract when he initially bought the Roundup Ready soybeans in the spring, agreeing not to save any of the harvest for replanting. The seeds are genetically modified to be resistant to Roundup Ready weedkiller.
On Monday, the nine justices agreed. Kagan rejected the farmer’s main argument, that Monsanto’s patent was exhausted, because he had bought the seeds from a grain elevator. “Patent exhaustion does not permit a farmer to reproduce patented seeds through planting and harvesting without the patent holder’s permission,” she wrote. Continue reading
Note: Anne Petermann, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project and coordinator of the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees, will be a featured speaker at the May 25 “March Against Monsanto” event in Asheville, North Carolina.
Activists from across the region are descending on Asheville to confront a major Tree Biotechnology conference held from May 26-June 1. Especially targeted will be South Carolina-based ArborGen — originally formed as a partnership with Monsanto — which has a pending request to plant billions of Genetically Engineered eucalyptus trees in monoculture tree plantations across the US South.
Learn more at http://www.treebiotech2013.org
-The GJEP Team
Source: OpEd News
March Against Monsanto has announced that on May 25, tens of thousands of activists around the world will “ March Against Monsanto .” Currently, marches are being planned on six continents, in 36 countries, totaling events in over 250 cities, and in the US, events are slated to occur simultaneously at 11 a.m. Pacific in 47 states.
Tami Monroe Canal, lead organizer and creator of the now-viral Facebook page, says she was inspired to start the movement to protect her two daughters. “I feel Monsanto threatens their generation’s health, fertility and longevity. I couldn’t sit by idly, waiting for someone else to do something.” [The full March Against Monsanto mission statement can be read here.]
An organizer for the march in Athens, Greece, Roberta Gogos, spoke about the importance of the events in austerity-impacted South Europe. “Monsanto is working very hard to overturn EU regulation on obligatory labeling (questionable whether it’s really enforced in any case), and no doubt they will have their way in the end. Greece is in a precarious position right now, and Greece’s farmers falling prey to the petrochemical giant is a very real possibility.” Continue reading
May 8, 2013. Source: Indigenous Environmental Network
Indigenous Peoples and allies from Chiapas and the Amazon protest California REDD in Sacramento in front of the capital building, after a California Air Resources Board hearing where they testified on the adverse impacts that the possible inclusion of REDD was already having on communities. October 18, 2012. Photo: Jeff Conant/Friends of the Earth-US
From Africa to the Amazon, from Chiapas to Siberia, global civil society is raising an international outcry to resoundingly reject California’s proposed forest offset scam called REDD, which would let climate criminals like Chevron and Shell off the hook, cause human rights abuses and worsen global warming. May 7, 2013, was the last day for public comments on the draft California REDD Offset Working Group recommendations regarding linking California’s cap-and-trade program with a program to supposedly reduce deforestation in Chiapas and Acre, Brazil.
California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, AB32, is posed to include REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation), a false solution to climate change, whereby California polluters could use the forests of Chiapas, Mexico and the Brazilian Amazon as sponges for their pollution instead of reducing greenhouse emissions at home. California REDD is considered a model for the world and if launched will probably be replicated both nationally and internationally.
“The global movement against REDD has been born!” cried Susannah, a delighted volunteer with the No REDD Group Initiative as she tallied letters from all over the world to California Governor Jerry Brown and the California Air Resources Board demanding that REDD be immediately stopped in its tracks. “The world is uniting against California REDD because it may unlock an avalanche of REDD-type projects around the world.” Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Africa, Carbon Trading, Chiapas, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
Note: If successful, this would be the world’s first environmental release of a Synthetic Biology (also known as “extreme Genetic Engineering”) organism, setting a disastrous precedent for industry without any regulatory oversight whatsoever.
ETC Group and others have launched a “Kickstopper” project to put the brakes on this dangerous development. Relatedly, later this month, Global Justice Ecology Project, Earth First!, and the Campaign to STOP GE Trees will be coordinating a major week of protest at the Tree Biotechnology 2013 Conference in Asheville, NC — click here to join us!
-The GJEP Team
By Andrew Pollack, May 7 2013. Source: The New York Times
Antony Evans, left, and Kyle Taylor show E. coli with jellyfish genes. Photo: Peter DaSilva for The New York Times
Hoping to give new meaning to the term “natural light,” a small group of biotechnology hobbyists and entrepreneurs has started a project to develop plants that glow, potentially leading the way for trees that can replace electric streetlamps and potted flowers luminous enough to read by.
The project, which will use a sophisticated form of genetic engineering called synthetic biology, is attracting attention not only for its audacious goal, but for how it is being carried out.
Rather than being the work of a corporation or an academic laboratory, it will be done by a small group of hobbyist scientists in one of the growing number of communal laboratories springing up around the nation as biotechnology becomes cheap enough to give rise to a do-it-yourself movement.
The project is also being financed in a D.I.Y. sort of way: It has attracted more than $250,000 in pledges from about 4,500 donors in about two weeks on the Web site Kickstarter. Continue reading
Note: Global Justice Ecology Project has been tracking the California-Acre-Chiapas REDD deal since it was unveiled at the UN climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico in 2010. In 2011, GJEP’s Co-Director/Strategist Orin Langelle and Communications Director Jeff Conant travelled to Chiapas, Mexico to the Village of Amador Hernandez, an Indigenous village in the Lacandon Jungle of Chiapas threatened with relocation due to the REDD project. Langelle took hundreds of photos in the community and the region which were assembled into a poignant photo essay. And GJEP’s work in Chiapas broke the story of and documented the emerging impacts of REDD. In 2012, GJEP released a short documentary from the trip, A Darker Shade of Green: REDD Alert and the Future of Forests, highlighting the California REDD deal.
-The GJEP Team
May 7, 2013. Source: Global Justice Ecology Project
We appreciate the opportunity to submit comments on the REDD Offsets Working Group “Recommendations to Conserve Tropical Rainforests, Protect Local Communities and Reduce State-Wide Greenhouse Gas Emissions” for the state of California. California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, AB32, and the goals of reducing emissions from deforestation of remaining tropical rainforests are important and admirable efforts. However, in order to achieve the goals of AB32 and reducing deforestation we believe that allowing jurisdictional REDD offset credits to meet California’s emissions reduction targets will not be effective. REDD credits threaten to diminish the results of AB32 in California and the efforts of partner jurisdictions, including Chiapas and Acre, to protect their forests. Using subnational REDD initiatives, financed through offsets, to meet the targets of AB32 will be inefficient, ineffective, and create unintended consequences. Continue reading
Filed under Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
Note: Jeff Conant is a good friend and former Communications Director for Global Justice Ecology Project.
-The GJEP Team
Jeff Conant, International Forests Campaigner for Friends of the Earth, discusses the dangers of including REDD forest offsets in California’s Global Warming Solutions Act. Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK Pacifica Los Angeles for a weekly Earth Minute each Tuesday and a weekly Earth Watch interview each Thursday.
Filed under Carbon Trading, Chiapas, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Pollution, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
By Chris Lang, 30th April 2013. Source: REDD-Monitor
Organisations based in Chiapas, Mexico have written to California’s Governor, Jerry Brown, to oppose the inclusion of REDD in California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32).
Young girls in Amador Hernández Photo: Langelle/GJEP-GFC
In March 2011, Global Justice Ecology Project travelled to Chiapas and documented the problems that REDD and other conservation projects were causing for communities in the Lacandón jungle. Jeff Conant, who was then Communications Director for GJEP, wrote a series of articles based on the visit. The articles are collected on GJEP’s blog, Climate Connections. And Orin Langelle, GJEP’s Board Chair, produced a photo essay about the visit to Chiapas.
GJEP also produced a video about REDD: “A Darker Shade of Green”, which includes interviews with communities in Chiapas (the part about Chiapas starts at 10:45). One of the villagers describes REDD from his perspective:
“They see our Mother Earth as a business, and for us you should never see it like that, it’s our Mother, she can’t be sold. Now they’re developing this REDD Project that’s about carbon capture, it doesn’t serve us. We struggle simply to feed ourselves.”
In December 2012, an article was published in Truthout about the impact of REDD on communities in Chiapas. The title is very appropriate: “Colonialism and the Green Economy: The Hidden Side of Carbon Offsets”. The impacts of carbon offsets on the communities in Chiapas, it seems, remain largely hidden from view in California.
Filed under Actions / Protest, BREAKING NEWS, Carbon Trading, Chiapas, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Commons, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Pollution, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
Note: Anne Petermann is Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project, which coordinates the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered (GE) Trees. Click here for the link to the radio interview, and for info on the upcoming protests, click here: http://www.treebiotech2013.org/.
-The GJEP Team
April 28 2013. Source: The Final Straw Radio
Anne Petermann, of Global Justice Ecology Project, joins us this week to talk about the threats posed by Genetically Engineered Trees getting released into the U.S. as the USDA considers allowing Arborgen to found millions of acres of plantations across the southern U.S. These plantations, reaching from Texas to South Carolina, where the company is based, could destroy forest diversity, kill wildlife, exacerbate droughts, feed fire storms (not Firestorm), and spread quickly with the help of cold-resistant gene modification.
In the last week of May, Asheville will be hosting a Biotech Tree conference. Concurrently, Katuah Earth First! and GJEP (along with other projects) will be holding protests and workshops around the issues of GE Trees to educate the public and grow resistance.
Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, Green Economy, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests