Californians vote today on whether they want GMO-containing foods labeled as such.
From Suzanne Goldenberg in The Guardian (UK):
“Monsanto and other agribusiness and food companies have spent more than $45m (£28m) to defeat a California ballot measure that would require labelling of some GM foods.
The measure, proposition 37, is one of the most contentious initiatives on California‘s election ballot on Tuesday.
If it passes, it would require labels on GM food sold in supermarkets, but would not cover restaurants. It also has a number of gaping loopholes. For example, the law would not require labels on meat from animals that were fed GM corn. Continue reading
From Andy Bellatti on Civil Eats:
“The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) hosted its 2012 Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) earlier this month. Sadly, the event once again (see last year’s report) demonstrated how this registered dietitians’ accrediting organization drags its own credential through the mud by prioritizing Big Food’s corporate interests over sound nutrition and public health.
Nutrition Conference or Junk Food Expo?
Academy “partners,” which enjoy top sponsorship status at the expo, included the National Dairy Council, Coca-Cola, and the Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition (yes, the chocolate company). Event “premier sponsors” includedGeneral Mills, PepsiCo, and Mars. As a dietitian, I am embarrassed that the nation’s largest nutrition trade organization maintains partnerships with companies that contribute to our nation’s diet-related health problems. Continue reading
From the Organic Consumers Association:
“In recent weeks, several public interest groups, including the Organic Consumers Association, Cornucopia Institute, Mercola.com, and Natural News, have pointed out the gross hypocrisy and greed of large food and beverage corporations which profit from the sale of billions of dollars of their proprietary organic and “natural” food brands while at the same time funneling large sums of money to the Monsanto-led campaign to defeat the November 6th GMO labeling ballot initiative (Proposition 37) in California.
These organic and “natural” traitor companies and brands include: Kellogg’s (Kashi, Bear Naked, Morningstar Farms); General Mills (Muir Glen, Cascadian Farm, Larabar); Dean Foods (Horizon, Silk, White Wave); Smucker’s (R.W. Knudsen, Santa Cruz Organic); Coca-Cola (Honest Tea, Odwalla); Safeway (“O” Organics); Kraft (Boca Burgers and Back to Nature); Con-Agra (Orville Redenbacher’s Organic, Hunt’s Organic, Lightlife); and PepsiCo (Naked Juice, Tostito’s Organic, Tropicana Organic). Continue reading
From Christopher D. Cook on AlterNet:
“February 26, 2012 Editor’s note: Find Christopher D. Cook’s book, Diet for a Dead Planet: Big Business and the Coming Food Crisis, here.
A few examples of Big Food. Picture via AlterNet.
“It is no longer news that a few powerful corporations have literally occupied the vast majority of human sustenance. The situation is perilous: nearly all of human food production, seeds, food processing and sales, is run by a handful of for-profit firms which, like any capitalist enterprise, function to maximize profit and gain ever-greater market share and control. The question has become: What do we do about this disastrous alignment of pure profit in something so basic and fundamental to human survival? Continue reading
From Andy Bellatti, at Grist.org:
Processed food -- trick or treat? Image from Bruce Bradley's blog.
“A few weeks ago, I learned of a relatively new blog about food industry deception, but with an interesting twist. The blog’s author is Bruce Bradley, who spent over 15 years as a food marketer at companies like General Mills, Pillsbury, and Nabisco. He has since, in his words, “become more educated about the risks and environmental impact of eating processed foods,” and is now a CSA enthusiast. Continue reading
Here’s an excerpt from a significant story by Tom Laskawy at Grist.org:
Will Michele Obama become the first lady of real food reform?
“With all the talk of Michael Pollan and Jamie Oliver lately, it’s easy to ignore the person who right now is, given her current address, the most influential voice on food policy in the country. Naturally, I’m talking about First Lady Michelle Obama. While she’s been exercising what diplomats would call her “soft power” for a while, i.e. planting a garden, making speeches on healthy eating, and so on, indications are that she’s quietly developing a set of policy recommendations to reform the food system. Obama Foodorama has been tirelessly reporting on these maneuvers, which have remained under the radar—even to the point of Mrs. Obama holding “secret meetings” between her policy team and USDA officials.
The speeches continue—she gave another one just the other day at the Department of Health and Human Services. But according to Ob Fo, the First Lady’s policy team—White House Food Initiatives Coordinator Sam Kass and Policy Director Jocelyn Frye—are currently fleshing out a new set of national food and health initiatives. And while nothing is imminent, it now appears that the White House is embracing the “addiction model” of food consumption as portrayed in former FDA chief David Kessler’s new book The End of Overeating: Continue reading
“Getting Real about the High Price of Cheap Food” is the title of this story on the state of agriculture in America — which is certainly something everyone should care about these days. Here’s an excerpt from this recent Time magazine story. The big news here is that such a mainstream news source as TIME is taking up this issue in a serious way — this may mean we’re approaching a tipping point in public awareness.
What the World Eats -- the Revis Family of North Carolina, from the Book
“Somewhere in Iowa, a pig is being raised in a confined pen, packed in so tightly with other swine that their curly tails have been chopped off so they won’t bite one another. To prevent him from getting sick in such close quarters, he is dosed with antibiotics. The waste produced by the pig and his thousands of pen mates on the factory farm where they live goes into manure lagoons that blanket neighboring communities with air pollution and a stomach-churning stench.
He’s fed on American corn that was grown with the help of government subsidies and millions of tons of chemical fertilizer. When the pig is slaughtered, at about 5 months of age, he’ll become sausage or bacon that will sell cheap, feeding an American addiction to meat that has contributed to an obesity epidemic currently afflicting more than two-thirds of the population. And when the rains come, the excess fertilizer that coaxed so much corn from the ground will be washed into the Mississippi River and down into the Gulf of Mexico, where it will help kill fish for miles and miles around. That’s the state of your bacon — circa 2009.