by: Vicki Batts Is India on its way to becoming an entirely organic nation? Just over two years ago, in September 2014, the Indian Government launched their revolutionary Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (National Agriculture Development Program) as a way to encourage organic farming, and decrease dependence on chemical agents. In January 2015, the state of Sikkim […]
by Alex Jensen
In 2015, a major study of 24 indicators of human activity and environmental decline titled ‘The Great Acceleration’ concluded that, “The last 60 years have without doubt seen the most profound transformation of the human relationship with the natural world in the history of humankind”. We have all seen aspects of these trends, but to look at the study’s 24 graphs together is to apprehend, at a glance, the totality of the monstrous scale and speed of modern economic activity. According to lead author W. Steffen, “It is difficult to overestimate the scale and speed of change. In a single lifetime humanity has become a planetary-scale geological force.”
Every indicator of intensity and scale of economic activity — from global trade and investment to water and fertilizer use, from pollution of every sort to destruction of environments and biodiversity — has shot up, precipitously, beginning around 1950. The graphs for every such trend point skyward still.
By Dr. Mercola
During the 2013 ballot campaign to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Washington State, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) resorted to an illegal money-laundering scheme to protect the identity of members who donated funds to the opposing campaign.
Several major food companies had experienced major backlash from consumers who felt betrayed when their contributions to the 2012 anti-labeling campaign in California came to light.
Those donating to the Washington campaign certainly wanted to avoid the same fate. Fortunately, their scheme did not go unnoticed.
On October 16, 2013, Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed suit against the GMA on behalf of the State of Washington, alleging the association had violated the state’s campaign disclosure laws — both by failing to register a political committee, and by concealing the true source of its campaign funds.
According to Ferguson, the GMA began plotting and planning how to best defeat Initiative 522 back in December of 2012, placing particular emphasis on the establishment of a separate GMA fund to “combat current threats and better shield individual companies from attack.”
TAKE ACTION TODAY! Dial 888-897-0174 to call your Senators, and ask them to reject Sen. Roberts’ version of the DARK Act, and to oppose any compromise that would block or delay Vermont’s GMO labelling law. You can also sign the OCA’s petition to the Senate.
IN SUPPORT OF: Pollinator Protection Act of 2016 HB 211 — Neonicotinoid Pesticides — Labeling, Signage, and Restrictions on Sales and Use
Honorable Delegates of the Environment and Transportation Committee,
The Ruscombe Mansion Community Health Center is one of the oldest holistic healing centers in the country, serving thousands of patients each year. Healthcare practitioners and their patients at the Ruscombe Mansion Community Health Center are concerned with the growing and widespread use of toxic neonicotinoid pesticides (also referred to as neonics). This class of pesticide has been found to be harmful to managed honey bee hives, wild native bees, birds, and humans health— We respectfully urge you to support HB 211 Neonicotinoid Pesticide – Labeling Requirement (Pollinator Protection Act of 2016) to label nursery plants treated with toxic, bee-killing pesticides and restrict the non-essential, cosmetic use of products containing neonics by consumers.
Want to help save Maryland’s bees?
Call: (410) 841-3990, (301) 858-3990; 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3990 (toll free)
In an attempt to help out dwindling bee populations, the city of Oslo has installed a new “bee highway” through the city so bees can travel safely.
According to The Local, Oslo has put clusters of bee-friendly plants every 250 meters along a path through the city, which will work as rest stops for the bees as they fly around. Bees have been dying off in large numbers in recent years, and the dwindling bee numbers are very bad news for agriculture, which depends on the insects for pollination. Bees have a difficult time in cities, where there are not a lot of nectar-rich plants around for them to eat. Oslo’s plan is to help counter that with the bee-feeding stations.
Breaking: The Monsanto Protection Act is Back and WORSE than ever! Once again Monsanto and giant food companies are scheming behind the scenes to pass a bill in Congress that would kill mandatory GMO labeling efforts and replace it with a gutted version that will preempt states’ rights and give the illusion of oversight. This week, Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) has reintroduced an updated version of his deceptive bill, H.R. 1599, AKA the Ultimate Monsanto Protection Act, to try to convince members of Congress to violate state’s rights in an effort to kill GMO labeling.
This is a blatant power grab to deny Americans their basic right to mandatory GMO labeling and protect flawed GMO products – and we can’t allow them to get away with it. We need your help today. Every voice counts!
To make sound decisions about food and farming — from consumer decisions about food to public policies that will determine the future of our food system — it is essential to be able to separate industry spin from science and PR campaigns from public education. But today, with the industrial food sector spending hundreds of millions of dollars every year on front groups, third-party messengers, social media campaigns and other covert marketing tactics to spin the story of food, it is increasingly difficult to sort truth from fiction.
The evidence also shows that the public’s demand for organic and non-GMO food, and support for sustainable farmers and sound food policies, continues to grow. However, if industry-sponsored misinformation and covert communications is left unchecked, it may become increasingly difficult to maintain market momentum toward healthier food and build public support for policies that incentivize sustainable food and farming systems.
Genetically engineered crops, or GMOs, have led to an explosion in growers’ use of herbicides, with the result that children at hundreds of elementary schools across the country go to class close by fields that are regularly doused with escalating amounts of toxic weed killers.
GMO corn and soybeans have been genetically engineered to withstand being blasted with glyphosate – an herbicide that the World Health Organization recently classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The proximity of many schools to fields blanketed in the chemical puts kids at risk of exposure.
But it gets worse.
Pass the 2015 Pollinator Protection Act! Please Support Labeling & Restricting Bee-Killing Pesticides in Maryland
The growing and widespread use of toxic neonicotinoid pesticides (“neonics”) is a major contributor to the alarming decline of honey bees. This poses a serious threat to our food supply, to wildlife and to human health. We need to pass the 2015 Pollinator Protection Act (SB163/HB605) to label nursery plants treated with toxic, bee-killing pesticides and restrict their consumer use.
Beekeepers have reported average hive losses of 30 percent or higher each year since 2006; in 2012, Maryland beekeepers lost nearly 50 percent of their hives. These numbers are simply not sustainable.
Scientists know what’s killing our bees and putting our food supply at risk: An insecticide called “neonics.” But one Big Ag giant has actually asked the EPA to let it use up to 4,000% MORE of this deadly toxin! This could cripple our food supply! The EPA is taking public comments on this issue until […]
Our size-able garden on Dogwood Farm first grew out of a meditation I had in 2008, which showed me the importance of growing more than a back door garden patch, something I had always maintained.
Why? Simply to see what it would take to be somewhat more self-sufficient. The answer, of course, as any gardener knows, or farmers who have lived for millennium working the earth know: it takes a lot of labor, determination, dedication, consistency, humility and energy — not to mention financial resources — to create a thriving garden.
We created ten raised beds measuring 4×10 feet each made from felled trees on our 40-acre property. These make it possible to tend from both sides without having to walk into the beds themselves. The garden is actually a shade garden, having only six hours of sun a day, so over the years it has taken experimentation to learn what thrives and what does not.
Split rail fencing topped by colored flags usually seen in used car lots seem to dissuade most deer from jumping in to banquet on our garden. They made it over only once this summer, despite not posting our alien-headed scarecrow in the middle this year.
The claim that the Green Revolution or genetic engineering feeds the world is false. Intrinsic to these technologies are monocultures based on chemical inputs, a recipe for killing the life of the soil.
We are made up of the same five elements — earth, water, fire, air and space — that constitute the Universe. We are the soil. We are the earth. What we do to the soil, we do to ourselves. And it is no accident that the words “humus” and “humans” have the same roots.
This ecological truth is forgotten in the dominant paradigm because it is based on eco-apartheid, the false idea that we are separate and independent of the earth and also because it defines soil as dead matter. If soil is dead to begin with, human action cannot destroy its life. It can only “improve” the soil with chemical fertilisers. And if we are the masters and conquerors of the soil, we determine the fate of the soil. Soil cannot determine our fate.
History, however, is witness to the fact that the fate of societies and civilisations is intimately connected to how we treat the soil — do we relate to the soil through the Law of Return or through the Law of Exploitation and Extraction.
The Law of Return — of giving back — has ensured that societies create and maintain fertile soil and can be supported by living soil over thousands of years. The Law of Exploitation — of taking without giving back — has led to the collapse of civilisations.
Contemporary societies across the world stand on the verge of collapse as soils are eroded, degraded, poisoned, buried under concrete and deprived of life. Industrial agriculture, based on a mechanistic paradigm and use of fossil fuels has created ignorance and blindness to the living processes that create a living soil. Instead of focusing on the Soil Food Web, it has been obsessed with external inputs of chemical fertilisers — what Sir Albert Howard called the NPK mentality. Biology and life have been replaced with chemistry.
External inputs and mechanisation are imperative for monocultures. By exposing the soil to wind, sun and rain, monocultures expose the soil to erosion by wind and water.
Monsanto loves to claim that its GMO crops are needed to feed the world.
But what the Gene Giants don’t want you to remember is that the chemicals they sully our food, soil, air and water with were originally developed to make bombs.
When the Big War ended, in order to keep the profits rolling in, Monsanto convinced farmers that the only way to grow food is Monsanto’s way—with GMO crops, and millions of tons of toxic chemicals.
Fast-forward to today, and the impact of Monsanto’s GMO crops can be measured in terms of degraded soil, nutrient-deficient foods, billions of sick animals on factory farms, an increasingly obese and chronically ill human population and, last but surely not least, global warming.
And we can all agree that if global warming, with its droughts and storms, continues unabated, farms and food are in trouble.
Up against multi-billion dollar corporations, what can one consumer do? Start by avoiding not only GMO-tainted foods, but all meat, eggs and dairy from factory farms. Because most GMO grains go to feed animals in factory farms, or what the industry calls CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations).
We can’t turn global warming around solely by transitioning away from fossil fuels. But we can turn it around by using nature’s natural ability to return all that carbon to the soil. And we can only do that if we abandon the factory farm model and return to sustainable, organic farming and ranching practices.
Let’s make 2014 the year we pass the first of many state GMO labeling laws. www.OrganicConsumersFund.org/donate/
Letter to Editor of the Baltimore Sun by Zohara Hieronimus, D.H.L.
The commentary, “Bee death mystery could end” (Nov. 21), offers a vital call to sanity in Maryland and world wide. Without data on the poisons being used all around us, we are undermining our shared future.
Bees are at the center of the ecosystem and, like ants, they produce a most essential element for life, formic acid. Without it, the trees, fields and forests perish, and human DNA depends on it for stability and well-being. Where ants are reintroduced into dying woods or forests, the forest’s health can be reestablished. They and the bees do a mighty job of more than fertilization and pollination of our food crops and flowering species, but also lay the very foundation for life to thrive.
The “death economy,” a term I coined 15 years ago to summarize our basic disregard for elevating life through a stewardship that would reflect a “life-elevating economy,” is well-represented by the death of our sacred bees. Our large-scale application of warfare defoliants, insecticides, fungicides, pesticides and other poisons sprayed where we all live, work, play or derive our foods is an outdated strategy and practice, proven to cause death and disease in the human, animal and insect populations.
Five New Reasons Monsanto’s ‘Science’ Doesn’t Add Up – Small-Scale, organic farming needed to feed the world
By Katherine Paul and Ronnie Cummins – Organic Consumers Association, February 27, 2014 How long can Monsanto ignore the mounting actual scientific evidence that their technology is not only failing to live up to its promises, it’s putting public health at risk? Jim Goodman, farmer, activist and member of the Organic Consumers Association policy advisory […]
By admin in Environmental Justice, Excerpts, Featured Homepage Items, The Future of Human Experience, Zoh's Books Tags: biodynamic, earth, environmental issues, future human, gardening, sustainable farming
Agriculture has played a central role through humanity’s long odyssey on Earth. How we use or abuse the Earth’s natural systems determines, in part, whether we will flourish or not. Supporting life requires the growing of food crops worldwide, meaning that agricultural restoration can become the foundation for improving our global community’s ecosystems and human health.
One available tool is biodynamic farming, which offers us a way to both cherish the Earth and attend to the process of growing foods and raising animals properly. Biodynamic farmers “try to take into account all of the forces that affect plant growth and their nutritional value.”
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied a group of farmers the right to challenge Monsanto’s seed patents, a decision critics charge allows the biotech giant’s “reign of intimidation” to continue.
The plaintiffs in the suit, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) et al v. Monsanto, sought to protect themselves from lawsuits by the corporation for patent infringement should Monsanto’s genetically engineered seed contaminate the farmers’ crops.
Monsanto has sued over 100 farmers for patent infringement.
Jim Gerritsen, president of lead plaintiff OSGATA, previously explained, “We are not customers of Monsanto. We don’t want their seed. We don’t want their gene-spliced technology. We don’t want their trespass onto our farms. We don’t want their contamination of our crops. We don’t want to have to defend ourselves from aggressive assertions of patent infringement because Monsanto refuses to keep their pollution on their side of the fence. We want justice.”
The Monsanto Protection Act, otherwise known as the Farmer Assurance Provision rider, was wedged into a stop-gap budget bill that passed earlier this year and signed into law by President Obama in March.
The rider was the source of outrage by many and quickly dubbed a form of “corporate welfare” that benefited large biotechnology corporations firms such as Monsanto and Syngenta as it barred US federal courts from being able to prevent the sale or planting of GMO crops even if they failed to meet federal safety standards or were discovered to be harmful to humans or the environment.
However, according to a statements released by the offices of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), the provision will not be extended and has now been removed from the Senate’s version of the bill.
Sign the online petition at MoveOn.org Petition Background Last month, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) asked the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to finalize its 2001 guidance on voluntary labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The senators advertised their request as a move intended to benefit consumers. But in fact, a […]