the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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learn how to buy the media!

Read the Emails in the Hilarious Monsanto/Mo Rocca/Condé Nast Meltdown
by Tom Philpott for Mother Jones

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Last week, Gawker uncovered a hapless tie-up between genetically modified seed/pesticide giant Monsanto and Condé Nast Media—publisher of The New Yorker, Bon Appetit, GQ, Self, Details, and other magazines—to produce “an exciting video series” on the “topics of food, food chains and sustainability.”

Since then, I’ve learned that Condé Nast’s Strategic Partnerships division dangled cash before several high-profile food politics writers, in an unsuccessful attempt to convince them to participate.  

Marion Nestle, author of the classic book Food Politicsand a professor at New York University, told me she was offered $5,000 to participate for a single afternoon. Nestle almost accepted, because at first she didn’t know Monsanto was involved—the initial email she received only referred to the company in attachments that she didn’t open, she said.

“It wasn’t until we were at the end of the discussion about how much time I would allow (they wanted a full day) that they mentioned the honorarium,” she wrote in an email. “I was so shocked at the amount that I had sense enough to ask who was paying for it. Monsanto. End of discussion.”

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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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salvadoran farmers successfully oppose monsanto seeds

What does Monsanto do with their expired seeds? They try and pawn them off on other countries through packages offered by US aid. When the farmers of El Salvador uncovered the requirement that monsanto seed be purchased as part of the aid package, they banded together to block the stipulation. Unfortunately, strings are attached to this stipulation. Click to read more about this effort to oppose GM seed—–>


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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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new infographic: monsanto vs monarchs

Monarch butterflies, celebrated for their remarkable migration across the continent, are in trouble. This year, the monarch population is by far the lowest ever recorded. A primary cause of this decline is the loss of milkweed plants from our agricultural landscape throughout the Midwest. Milkweeds are a critical component of the breeding habitat for monarchs and the only food source for their young. Unfortunately, the herbicide glyphosate, used on Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) Roundup Ready crops, is decimating milkweeds monarchs depend on.

This new infographic details the correlation between increased use of glyphosate and declining monarch populations in America’s heartland.


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who’s behind the u.s. farmers & ranchers alliance and why it matters

US Farmer and Rancher

On Thursday, September 22, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), a new trade association made up of some of the biggest players in the food industry—including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Dupont, and Monsanto—hosted what they called “Food Dialogues” in Washington D.C., New York City, U.C. Davis, and Fair Oaks, Indiana.

The USFRA describes the Food Dialogues, and their broader multi-million dollar media campaign, as an effort to amplify the voice of farmers and ranchers and help consumers know more about “how their food is grown and raised.”

Sounds good, on first blush.

Most of us are in the dark when it comes to the story of our food. And, farmers and ranchers—the people working hard every day to bring us our food—are nearly invisible in mainstream media. But dig into the Alliance’s membership, and its impetus for forming, and you start to wonder whether it truly represents the voices of grassroots food producers or whether this well-funded media campaign is agribusinesses latest attempt to push back against well-documented and well-publicized concerns about the environmental and health consequences of industrial agriculture.

When I asked a rep from Ketchum—the public relations firm hired by the Alliance—what motivated these groups to come together, without skipping a beat, he answered: Food, Inc. and movies like it. “People see Food, Inc.,” he said, “And think everything in that movie is accurate.” But, he continued, the film only presents one side of the issue and USFRA members feel they didn’t “have a voice in it.” Now, as the Ketchum rep put it, USFRA wants to “clear the air” and “get a national dialogue, a conversation, going.”

Click here to read more of this Civil Eats article—>


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superweed map of the usa

Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, has spawned a new generation of superweeds that are spreading rapidly across the United States.

Since farmers planting Monsanto’s genetically engineered Roundup Ready crops no longer need to worry about overdosing their crops with herbicide, they tend to spray more of it. And just as antibiotic overuse has resulted in antibiotic resistant drugs, constant use of Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, has given rise to an epidemic of glyphosate resistant superweeds.

Use the interactive map HERE to find where superweeds have made their appearance. And learn more about three superweeds in particular: pigweed (Palmer amaranth)horseweed (Conyza canadensis), andragweed (Ambrosia trifida).

superweeds

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