By Daniel Moss, April 12, 2013. Source: Truthout
The book “Harvesting Justice” isn’t just a look at the world’s most exciting food justice groups – it’s also a knockout organizing tool.
Chewing on a mouthful of locally grown lettuce, I wondered if the claims I’d heard about the global food-justice movement were true. Was there a line to follow, however crooked, between my purchase of these greens, land reform in Brazil andopposition to genetically modified seeds in California. Or was it all just empty calories?
As a somewhat conscientious consumer and occasional Taco Bell boycotter, I’ve hoped that the movement was real. But it hasn’t always been easy to perceive the connection between marching for improved farmworker rights, signing a petition against factory feedlots, and cooking up beets from a CSA (that is, community supported agriculture, which usually comes in the form a box of assorted veggies delivered to people who contribute to a local farm’s financial well-being).
Those connections form a tight weave in the new book, Harvesting Justice: Transforming Food, Land, and Agriculture in the Americas. Using “food sovereignty” as the secret sauce, the book sautés the individual ingredients of sister movements into a coherent, flavorful whole.
April 15, 2013. Source: RT
Photo: AFP/Paul J. Richards
A leaked study examining genetically-modified corn reveals that the lab-made alternative to organic crops contains a startling level of toxic chemicals.
An anti-GMO website has posted the results of an education-based consulting company’s comparison of corn types, and the results reveal that genetically modified foods may be more hazardous than once thought.
The study, the 2012 Corn Comparison Report by Profit Pro, was published recently on the website for Moms Across America March to Label GMOs, a group that says they wish to “raise awareness and support Moms with solutions to eat GMO Free as we demand GMO labeling locally and nationally simultaneously.” They are plotting nationwide protests scheduled for later this year.
The report, writes the website’s Zen Honeycutt, was provided by a representative for De Dell Seed Company, an Ontario-based farm that’s touted as being Canadian only non-GMO corn seed company.
By Lina Kahn, March 15, 2013. Source: Salon
Photo: AP/Seth Perlman
Last November, the U.S. Department of Justice quietly closed a three-year antitrust investigation into Monsanto, the biotech giant whose genetic traits are embedded in over 90 percent of America’s soybean crop and more than 80 percent of corn. Despite a splash of press coverage when the investigation was initially announced, its termination went mostly unreported. The DOJ released no written public statement. Only a brief press release from Monsanto conveyed the news.
The lack of attention belies the significance of the decision, both for food consumers around the world and for U.S. businesses. Experts who have examined Monsanto’s conduct say the Justice Department’s decision not to act all but officially establishes the firm’s sovereignty over the U.S. seed industry. Many of them also say the decision ratifies aggressive practices Monsanto used to entrench its dominance and deter competition. This includes highly restrictive contractual agreements that excluded rivals, alongside a multibillion-dollar spree to buy up seed companies.
When the administration first launched its investigation, many antitrust and agriculture experts believed it was still possible to imagine an industry characterized by greater competition in the marketplace and greater diversity in seeds. That future may now be foreclosed.
February 12, 2013. Source: Center for Food Safety
Today, one week before the Supreme Court hears arguments in Bowman v. Monsanto Co., the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and Save our Seeds (SOS) – two legal and policy organizations dedicated to promoting safe, sustainable food and farming systems – will launch their new report, Seed Giants vs. U.S. Farmers.
The new report investigates how the current seed patent regime has led to a radical shift to consolidation and control of global seed supply and how these patents have abetted corporations, such as Monsanto, to sue U.S. farmers for alleged seed patent infringement.
Seed Giants vs. U.S. Farmers also examines broader socio-economic consequences of the present patent system including links to loss of seed innovation, rising seed prices, reduction of independent scientific inquiry, and environmental issues.
Debbie Barker, Program Director for Save Our Seeds and Senior Writer for the Report, said today: “Corporations did not create seeds and many are challenging the existing patent system that allows private companies to assert ownership over a resource that is vital to survival, and that, historically, has been in the public domain.”
Note: Along with herbicide resistant corn and soy seeds, ArborGen’s cold-tolerant GE eucalyptus trees are also in the fast- track for approval, although no decision has been made yet. GE eucalyptus are highly flammable and invasive. Please sign GJEP’s petition to the USDA demanding a ban on the planting of genetically engineered trees here. With your help, we WILL stop GE trees from becoming a reality.
-The GJEP Team
November 13, 2012. Source: Pesticide Action Network
The “Big 6” pesticide corporations are moving quickly to push for USDA approval of their new wave of seeds genetically engineered to be used with older, more dangerous and drift-prone herbicides. Herbicide-resistant seeds now in the pipeline — including Dow’s 2,4-D corn and Monsanto’s dicamba soy — will drive up the use of these hazardous chemicals, destroying neighbors’ crops and creating unnecessary health risks to farmers, workers and rural communities.
Urge USDA to stop the GE pipeline; Dow’s application for 2,4-D-resistant corn is first in the queue, and 2,4-D soy andMonsanto’s dicamba-resistant soy are not far behind.
With a decision on the first application due any day, we need to speak up now. And loudly.
October 11, 2012. Source: La Via Campesina
Note: As GJEP has observed and exposed at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD Rio+20) and the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Environment Programme and its affiliated conventions are merely facades for increased corporate control over all forms of life and the commons. The corporate-take over of the UN and the resulting focus on neoliberal, market-based solutions is undermining the ability of the UNFCCC, CBD and UNCSD to solve the crises they were intended to solve.
-The GJEP Team
As the worlds leaders gather in Hyderabad, India to discuss how to stop rapidly depleting biodiversity at the 11th Conference of Parties of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity(CBD), La Via Campesina (LVC), the global peasants movement, asserts that instead of protecting biodiversity, the CBD discussions are progressively degenerating to allow rapid privatization and commercialization of biodiversity. The attempt is to take biodiverisity out of the hands of the farmers, fishers, indigenous people who nurture and protect it, and let it go into the hands of profiteering corporations who seek to control it for commercial ends.
CBD is also discussing risky, untested and undebated technologies such as new kinds of synthetic biology, GM crops and geoengineering. “They attempt to create life that does not exist in nature, or promote very large projects like ocean fertilization to sequester carbon in the oceans having a impact marine life. There is no institution to oversee such bizarre developments and we cant predict the risks. These techno fixes will not solve our environmental problems. They will only make it worse”, said Marciano Toledo, La Via Campesina member from Brazil.
La Via Campesina promotes a strong monitoring of the industry which has been engaging in bio-piracy. “they steal our local biodiversity in order to patent it and commercialize it for profit. This patenting of nature needs to be stopped. In India Monsanto’s subsidiary Mahyco has stolen our indigenous brinjal varieties to produce its Bt brinjal. The Indian biodiversity authority is now doing the right thing by taking legal action against them,” said KV Basavraj of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha(KRRS), Karnataka Farmers movement.