Edited and compiled by Raoul Bedi, BASc (www.biofield.ca ). This is a sampling of some important articles and campaigns in the world of anti-GMO activism during the month of June 2013.
By Tony Mitra
Dr. Thierry Vrain visited Surrey, BC on June 5 to address the general public at the Northwood United Church. He made an hour long speech accompanied by a powerpoint presentation projected on a large screen behind him. Thierry, in his soft and patient manner, untangles the long story of how GMOs came to interest farmers on the promise of lowering labour for weed and pest control efforts, by replacing it with easily available and applicable pesticides, and also by using specialized genetically engineered crops that are either tolerant to specific pesticide/herbicides or produce toxins themselves, that would kill the pests without the need for additional pesticide. That, initially, worked like magic, and saved a lot of labour for the farmers. But, the gain proved to be short lived, while the damage and danger, turned out to be rather ominous for the health of people as well as the sustainability of a biologically diverse ecology.
Where Thierry is especially effective is in explaining to the general public about the intricacies of genetics, and how the GMO technology is not as precise and controlled as people normally believe a high tech science to be.
For the full story go to http://www.tonu.org/2013/06/12/thierry_vrain_june5/ .
1. For the original, detailed and extensive written report by Raoul Bedi about the June 5 Community Forum on GM Food please click here .
b) North Vancouver City Sews Seeds of Discontent Over Genetic Engineering Ban
Just weeks after becoming the 62nd BC municipality to ban GMOs , North Vancouver is rapidly positioning itself to become a North American leader with bylaws which, if enacted, would be the toughest anti-GE initiatives in the country. In a rare and potentially precedent-setting move, the City of North Vancouver is looking at banning the growth and sale of genetically engineered seeds, crops and food within city limits. Reporter Todd Coyne of the North Shore Outlook provides excellent coverage of the issues through his interview with Dr.Thierry Vrain, North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto and others http://www.northshoreoutlook.com/news/212192051.html .
2. Video: CNN Interviews Zen Honeycutt on GMO Wheat and GMO Health Issues: Behind the Scenes
Editing by Ryan Wirick
Mom and Founder of Moms Across America, Zen Honeycutt, discusses GMO Wheat, the health concerns of GMOs such as allergies, autism, asthma, auto immune disorders which are affecting a huge portion of our children in America. Please share this video with other moms and people who care about health and join us on the 4th of July to spread the word about GMOs and march for health and freedom.
When CNN aired the the Oregon GMO Wheat Mystery piece by Stephanie Elam on Monday June 17, 2013, it was a huge step for the movement in the right direction. People watching mass media are now wondering what GMOs are and why they are in our food. People are also seeing not just scientists and doctors being interviewed about GMOs, but an everyday Mom. Robyn O’Brien paved the way for us with her book “The UnHealthy Truth ” which was reported in the mainstream media, but for a Mom activist to get air time shows the power of what each and every mom contributes by sharing and standing up for health and freedom. MOMS activists are finally being heard.
Read More: http://www.momsacrossamerica.com/cnn_
Original CNN Story: Mystery wheat strikes fear in farmers – The discovery of GM wheat in Oregon sparks economic and health concerns. http://on.cnn.com/10rMl8c
Moms Across America http://www.momsacrossamerica.com
b) On the same theme, Chaya of Pantry Paratus in Montana shares an informative piece entitled ,” A Mom’s Philosophical Objections to GMOs“. There she breaks her primary objections down into 4 parts: the human construct of invincibility is a lie, collective amnesia and the “out of sight/out of mind” phenomena, the legacy argument and the transparency argument. http://pantryparatus.com/blog/response-to-GMO/
3. India’s Monsanto Protection Act by Dr.Vandana Shiva
The Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill 2013
While it is presented as a Biotechnology Regulation Act, it is in fact a Biotechnology Deregulation Act, designed to dismantle the existing Biosafety regulation. That is why, in the area of food and agriculture, it can be called India’s Monsanto Protection Act as it gives corporations like Monsanto immunity by freeing them of courts and democratic control under our federal structure, just like the US Monsanto Protection Act through which Monsanto sneaked in section 735 under the HR 993 Act to give itself immunity.
The proposed Biotechnology Regulatory Authority Bill of India, 2013 BRAI which is a new version of the older BRAI 2011 , BRAI, 2009 and the National Biotechnology Regulatory Bill, 2008, is a recipe for deepening the regulatory chaos as well as deepening the crisis created by conflict of interest issues related to issues of genetic engineering. It is a law to subvert the existing Biosafety Regulation under the EPA, and deregulate GMOs.
For the full story and comparison with US FDA provisions : http://www.navdanya.org/blog/?p=683
b) Many anti-GMO activists throughout the world believe that India is one of the major battlegrounds where the campaign against GMO contamination must be won in order for the cause to ultimately prevail world-wide. My BC food security colleague Tony Mitra has requested any of THE BOVINE readers, regardless of nationality or place of residence , who have informed themselves about the GMO issue, to e-mail their opinion about the pending BRAI bill to the government of India. We have until July 10, 2013 to do so . Details are below . In Tony’s thoughtful article about the issues (http://www.tonu.org/2013/06/19/brai-bill-indias-monsanto-protection-act/ ), he also provides a sample letter in response to the survey as well as an example audio message from fellow food activist Teresa Lynne of Coquitlam .
The Government announced this plan on the 10th of June, 2013, and placed the text of the bill on public domain, inviting responses from the general public, both in India and out of India, both citizens of India and informed people of other nationalities.
The Govt of India has allowed only 30 days (til July 10th ) for responses to reach it. Responses need to be sent to :
Mr. Alok Chatterjee, Director, Rajya Sabha (*) Secretariat , Room # 005, Ground Floor, Parliament House Annexe, New Delhi 110001, India
Telephone +91-11-2303 4597, Fax +91-11-2301 5585,
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
4. GMO Alfalfa Comes to Canada (Yuck !)
Well the raw milk activists in Canada finally have an official reason to join in common cause with CBAN and all other anti-GMO activist groups. The following post www.cban.ca/Resources/Topics/GE-Crops-and-Foods-Not-on-the-Market/Alfalfa comes courtesy of CBAN ( www.cban.ca ):
June 10 2013: The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) has uncovered that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has recently approved one variety of genetically engineered alfalfa: a herbicide tolerant (Roundup Ready) alfalfa from Monsanto/Forage Genetics International. This means that one variety of GM alfalfa is now legal to sell in Canada. There could be more varieties approved over the summer (the process is completely secret).
However, GM alfalfa seeds are not yet on the market in Canada. Email your MP today, to ask him or her to raise their voice, to stop the release of GM alfalfa. You can also send a personalized letter to the Minister of Agriculture, Gerry Ritz email@example.com
After the Day of Action to Stop GM Alfalfa on April 9 2013, the company Forage Genetics International stated that it would not put any GM alfalfa seeds on the market this spring. The company could, however, release GM alfalfa whenever it decides. CBAN is closely monitoring this situation.
The Minister of Agriculture, Gerry Ritz, chose not to intervene to stop the registration of GM alfalfa. The Minister received almost 8000 email letters asking him to stop the release GM alfalfa and on April 9, people rallied in 38 communities across Canada. Most of the community actions took place outside local constituency offices of federal Members of Parliament and many petitions were presented to MPs that have since been presented by them in the House of Commons. Your outreach to your Members of Parliament has been very influential. As CBAN continues to implement various strategic work to stop the release of GM alfalfa, we ask you to continue your communication with your Member of Parliament. The Day of Action showed us that many MPs understand your concerns.
The recent discovery of contamination from unapproved GM wheat in the US clearly shows why stopping the introduction of GM crops like GM alfalfa is the only way to stop contamination.
The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network is committed to protecting family farms and our food system from GM contamination. Together, farmers, consumers and scientists in Canada stopped Monsanto’s Bovine Growth Hormone from being approved. We need to remember that this important victory took ten years of persistent campaign work. Last year, your actions with CBAN stopped the GM pig called “Enviropig”. In 2004, Monsanto withdrew its applications for approval of GM wheat in Canada and the US because of our protests. Through all these years, and many more victories, more people have become aware of this issue and more people have taken action. We are at a crossroads, and your action can help us turn in the right direction.
Please join us as we press forward. Thank you for your continued action and support.
- Click here for some possible responses to you MP’s letter.
- Here is a background piece you can send to your MP with your letter.
- You can also include the report on contamination from CBAN.
- Here are some talking points for your own reference.
- For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Upcoming Event
Thanks to cross-Canada March Against Monsanto (MAM ) networker Sandra Finley http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=10020 and Martine Carlina http://www.livinggreenwithmartine.blogspot.ca/ of Regina for sharing this poster with all of us to use freely in our activism work .