Category Archives: Industrial agriculture
Last August, the New Yorker published an abusive attack on Dr. Vandana Shiva’s anti-GMO activism. One must presume that this widely circulated article “Seeds of Doubt” by Michael Specter was produced on behalf of the vituperative biotech industry. This may be old news to those of you that followed this story and the reaction by Vandana Shiva and those that share her values and vision.
Dr. Shiva penned a response that was not so widely circulated. Today, Independent Science News has re-published that response. We are pleased to share it with you. Help to get this message out there!
Dr. Vandana Shiva. Independent Science News. 15 December 2014
(A response to the article ‘Seeds of Doubt’ by Michael Specter in The New Yorker)
I am glad that the future of food is being discussed, and thought about, on farms, in homes, on TV, online and in magazines, especially of The New Yorker’s caliber. The New Yorker has held its content and readership in high regard for so long. The challenge of feeding a growing population with the added obstacle of climate change is an important issue. Specter’s piece, however, is poor journalism. I wonder why a journalist who has been Bureau Chief in Moscow for The New York Times and Bureau Chief in New York for the Washington Post, and clearly is an experienced reporter, would submit such a misleading piece. Or why The New Yorker would allow it to be published as honest reporting, with so many fraudulent assertions and deliberate attempts to skew reality.
By Jeff Conant, Truthout. 8 December 2014 [News Analysis]
As one of the fastest growing global commodities, palm oil has recently earned a reputation as a major contributor to tropical deforestation and, therefore, to climate change as well.
About 50 million metric tons of palm oil is produced per year – more than double the amount produced a decade ago – and this growth appears likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Because oil palm trees, native to West Africa, require the same conditions as tropical rainforests, nearly every drop of palm oil that hits the global market comes at the expense of natural forests that have been, or will be, burned, bulldozed and replaced with plantations.
Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir Confront Corporate Giant Monsanto on Thanksgiving Day at Its World Headquarters in St. Louis
Join OCA & Reverend Billy on the front lawn of Monsanto’s headquarters for an organic Thanksgiving celebration on Nov. 27, 2014 at 1 p.m. Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir will meet at a local park on march one mile to the biotech’s world headquarters at 800 North Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, Missouri 63167, where they will perform songs from their new show, Monsanto Is the Devil. The choir will be dressed in stylish Pilgrim and honey bee costumes.
After a banner year of bringing attention to big corporations’ role in climate disruption, Reverend Billy will conclude 2014 by confronting the company that is responsible for Agent Orange, PCBs, GMOs, Bovine Growth Hormone, Glyphosate and more.
CU Urges Congress Not to Prohibit Consumer Right-to-Know Laws
Yonkers, NY—Consumers Union, the policy arm of Consumer Reports, hailed the projected recount on Oregon’s Measure 92, which would require labeling of genetically engineered food. Despite major media outlets and the opposition saying the measure had failed after the November 4 election, sustained efforts to count each vote now show that the difference is so close that a recount must take place. The ballot initiative trailed by only 809 votes in the final unofficial count released Monday night. The margin represents less than 0.1 percent of the more than 1.5 million votes cast, well within the 0.2 margin that mandates a recount. A recount will likely take place during the first two weeks in December.
China’s decision to bar some U.S. GMO varieties from entering their borders has halted the release of new genetically engineered seeds by Syngenta AG and Dow AgroSciences, according to an article on Reuters. When unapproved varieties tainted imports into China, the government took a stand against the Big Ag companies, who were none too pleased to have their latest developments shut out of this highly profitable market. The result, for now, has halted the release of new GMO seedlings, but the motivation behind the cut off is still rooted in profits, not in an acknowledgement of the need for change in the global ag market.
Jeff Conant interviewed Silas Siakor, director of Sustainable Development Institute/Friends of the Earth Liberia, on the link between the Ebola epidemic and the ruthless exploitation of forest resources in the region.
The devastation of Ebola in West Africa is tied to the region’s deforestation. To generate awareness of the links, Jeff Conant, director of FOE’s international forests campaign, interviewed Silas Siakor of Sustainable Development Institute/Friends of the Earth, Liberia. The interview addresses key topics for us at GJEP and Climate Connections regarding deforestation: logging (illegal and otherwise), industrial agriculture, oil palm, and biofuels.
By Jeff Conant, Truthout. 24 November 2014.
It is clear that the spread of Ebola in West Africa is directly linked to the region’s deep poverty: Out of 187 countries on the United Nations’ Human Development Index, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone rank 175th, 179th and 183rd, respectively. But, while it is easy to recognize the links between poverty and the spread of the virus, there has been little focus on the root causes of the region’s impoverishment itself.
While we continue to be beleaguered in Buffalo by this historic storm, we remain cheerful and optimistic that spring will be here again, eventually. Really, we do believe this. Meanwhile, here is our photo for today–still a State of Emergency, still a widening travel ban, and still being pummeled by raging snows. We have hit 6 feet of snow and are counting at my home. 2 more feet possible by tomorrow. Power remains on. National Guard is getting stuck!
This past Monday, the New York Times published the following somewhat hopeful piece about the Monarch Butterflies current conditions. The piece reveals that some well-intentioned conservation strategies have unintended consequences and that not all Milkweeds are created equal. An important read for all of us.