the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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interview with claire hope cummings, seed advocate extraordinaire!

Interview can be found on ethicalfoods.com!

Seeds live at the heart of our food system. Seeded plants provide us with just about everything we need to live, from most of our foods, clothing, shelter, and even the air we breathe! Seeds are living organisms and part of the great web of life. So to have a private company buy up valuable seed collections, own them, and patent the genetic basis for our most vital food crops is a real threat to our food security. Seeds are a gift of creation, and the natural world belongs to all humanity, it is our common wealth. Now, a handful of companies decide what plants are useful to them for profit and discard the rest. This is an ignorant approach to life on earth.

Very few people know that agro-chemical companies privately own almost of all useful seeds and they do not have the public interest in mind. They decide what seeds are available. In some areas farmers can’t get any seeds other than what Monsanto makes available. And Monsanto, for instance, forbids farmers and researchers to study and improve basic food and fiber plants. This threat is largely invisible but it will become an issue for everyone the next time we need ways to cope with droughts or diseases, because public access to the greatest amount of genetic diversity is the key to both our abundance and survival. When people still had the means to grow food and save seeds locally, that dispersed food system was far more resilient than what we have now. Even if certain crops don’t get grown, we will regret allowing the privatization of our seed supply.

Click HERE to read her answers to the following questions:

What threat does genetic engineering pose to human and environmental health?

How has genetic seed engineering impacted small-scale and subsistence farmers in particular?

Why do you think America in particular has charged headlong into genetic modification while other countries have largely banned or strictly regulated GMO foods?

What is your take on Synthetic Biology, or synbio, and its agricultural applications? Could synbio have potential benefits as the world population grows, or will it further endanger our food systems?

Is there any hope of saving traditional farming methods and biodiversity?

How can backyard farmers and gardening enthusiasts ensure their seeds have not been genetically altered?


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maui voters support gmo moratorium, monsanto strikes back!

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KAHULUI, Hawaii —The cheers went well into the night. A small army of Maui residents rose up against the big guys and forced a moratorium on genetically modified organisms or GMOs.

Now they have to dig in because this fight’s not over. One of the big guys is already battling back. Monsanto released a statement Wednesday saying it plans to take steps to ask the court to declare that this initiative is legally flawed and cannot be enforced.

“This is just the start and it is no surprise that Monsanto would turn to legal means and do whatever it takes to suppress the will of the people,” said Mark Sheehan of the Shaka Movement. To read more, CLICK HERE!


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china refuses gmo corn from USA, cargill loses 90 million dollars

CHICAGO, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Cargill Inc has suffered more than $90 million in damages from China’s rejections of U.S. corn containing a genetically modified trait developed by Syngenta AG, the grain trader said in a lawsuit on Friday.

The damages are a “direct and proximate result” of Syngenta’s decision to sell its Agrisure Viptera corn, known as MIR 162, before China approved the variety for import, according to the lawsuit.

Cargill sued a unit of Syngenta, the world’s largest crop chemicals company, in Louisiana state court for damages stemming from the rejections. To read more about this AGRIBUSINESS DRAMA, CLICK HERE!


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letter sent to pope francis regarding GMOs

At the request of major peasant organizations, a group of scientists and agricultural experts sent a letter and document on the problem of genetically modified seeds to the Vatican on April 30, 2014.  Signed by eight experts from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, India and Canada, the letter and accompanying document call upon His Holiness to speak out against the negative impacts of GM seeds on the world’s peasants and    global food security. 
 
The document questions the scientific basis of GM technology, its failure to increase yields, the exponential increase in pesticide use, the dangers of transgenic  contamination of peasant crops, the threat to human health and the concern that GM seeds are patented and monopolized by a handful of transnational corporations. To read more and follow this letter’s progress, CLICK HERE—->


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monsanto and foreign aid: forcing el salvador’s hand

From this June’s Foreign Policy Journal

The United States will withhold the Millennium Challenge Compact aid deal, approximately $277 million in aid, unless El Salvador purchases genetically-modified seeds from biotech giant, Monsanto. The Millennium Challenge Corporation is “a U.S. foreign aid agency that was created by the U.S. Congress in January 2004,” according to Sustainable Pulse, and serves as a conduit for foreign aid funds. MCC’s unethical aid conditions would force El Salvador to purchase controversial seeds from the American biotech corporation instead of purchasing non-GMO seeds from the country’s local farmers– an action that would have negative effects on El Salvador’s agricultural industry in addition to presenting serious health and environmental risks.

To read more, click HERE!


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republished and open for peer review: long-term toxicity of a roundup herbicide and a roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize

In 2012, the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology published a study on the chronic toxicity of glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup and GM corn (Monsanto NK603). This study was met with much opposition and after a year of intense pressure, the journal retracted the study.
It’s back! This study has been republished by Environmental Sciences Europe and contains extra material addressing criticisms of the original publication. The raw data underlying the study’s findings are also published. The new paper presents the same results as before and the conclusions are unchanged. 
The republished study is available HERE!
 


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kyrgyzstan bans all gmo products and gm crops!

The Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan’s recent vote to ban all gmo products and gm crops is important. Why? It is estimated that 90% of all temperate fruit in the WORLD genetically comes from this region. With food forests dotting the mountainous countrysides of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, it is the Eden of the world, brandishing a diversity of ancient fruit genetics that is unparalleled  by any other place on earth. Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan are known as the birthplace of apples, where these genetics have been evolving for 4.5 million years. Good job, Kyrgyzstan!

 

IMG_0979Photo source: Eliza Greenman

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