New Zealand coat of arms via Wikipedia. Click image to go.
“I was shocked to learn from a friend on the weekend that a new Food Bill is being brought in here in New Zealand. The new bill will make it a privilege and not a right to grow food.
I find two aspects of this bill alarming. The first is the scope and impact the new bill has, and secondly that it has all happened so quietly. There has been VERY little media coverage, on a bill which promises to jeopardise the future food security of the country. Continue reading
Via Ultraculture blog:
“Physicist and Activist Dr. Vandana Shiva Calls for Seed Freedom
Dr. Vandana Shiva is a physicist and environmental activist who has been incredibly outspoken against Monsanto and its efforts to patent seeds and create “killer seeds” which destroy competing strains that it has no control over, thereby creating a monopoly on what can be grown on Earth. In the above video, she makes the chilling point that these policies are not merely enslaving humans, as was previously fashionable, but all life on Earth. Continue reading
From Tom Philpott in Mother Jones:
Image via Mother Jones, photo credits: Romney: Chris Devers/WikiMedia Commons; Corn: Africa Studio/Shutterstock
Today, Monsanto looms over the global ag landscape like a colossus. It is the globe’s largest seed purveyor—and its dominant vendor of genetically modified traits. How dominant? Here’s NPR on the company’s mastery over the US GMO market: “More than 9 out of 10 soybean seeds carry [Monsanto’s] Roundup Ready trait. It’s about the same for cotton and just a little lower for corn.” It also sells nearly $1 billion worth of herbicides every three months. Continue reading
From Vandana Shiva in The Nation:
President Barack Obama's administration has been investigating monopoly concentration in the seed business for over two years. But when the President spoke on the steps of the Seed Savers Exchange, an independent seed company, he didn't mention that inquiry once. Nor did he talk about business concentration in other areas of agriculture, despite hearings held by his Department of Justice all over rural America. Photo: The White House. The photo relates to the second story in this post.
“We are in a food emergency. Speculation and diversion of food to biofuel has contributed to an uncontrolled price rise, adding more to the billion already denied their right to food. Industrial agriculture is pushing species to extinction through the use of toxic chemicals that kill our bees and butterflies, our earthworms and soil organisms that create soil fertility. Plant and animal varieties are disappearing as monocultures displace biodiversity. Industrial, globalized agriculture is responsible for 40 percent of greenhouse gases, which then destabilize agriculture by causing climate chaos, creating new threats to food security. Continue reading
Barry Estabrook, from Politics of the Plate blog:
“Tearing a page out of Monsanto Co.’s own playbook, the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), an advocacy group whose mandate is to represent the public’s interest in the patent system, filed suit on behalf of 60 organic farmers, small farm organizations, and seed businesses this week against the litigious agrichemical and GMO-seed giant.
In a press release, PUBPAT said, “The organic plaintiffs were forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should their crops ever become contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically modified seed.” PUBPAT is asking the federal court in Manhattan to declare that if organic farmers’ crops are ever contaminated by Monsanto’s GMO seed, they need not fear also being accused of patent infringement. Continue reading
From Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now” website:
“JUAN GONZALEZ: U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks reveal the Bush administration drew up ways to retaliate against Europe for refusing to use genetically modified seeds. In 2007, then-US ambassador to France Craig Stapleton was concerned about France’s decision to ban cultivation of genetically modified corn produced by biotech giant Monsanto. He also warned that a new French environmental review standard could spread anti-biotech policy across Europe.
In the leaked cable, Stapleton writes, quote, “Europe is moving backwards not forwards on this issue with France playing a leading role, along with Austria, Italy and even the [European] Commission…Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voice.” Continue reading
From the Centre for Food Safety:
“Today Federal District Judge Jeffrey S. White issued a preliminary injunction ordering the immediate destruction of hundreds of acres of genetically engineered (GE) sugar beet seedlings planted in September after finding the seedlings had been planted in violation of federal law. The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by Earthjustice and Center for Food Safety on behalf of a coalition of farmers, consumers, and conservation groups. The lawsuit was filed on September 9, shortly after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealed it had allowed the seedlings to be planted. Continue reading