the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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big data concedes: farmers should own their own data

corniculture(Photo courtesy of Pete Walton, taken at the National FFA Conference)

From NPR: Top agribusiness companies, including Monsanto, DuPont, John Deere and Dow, have moved into the information business, offering to help farmers collect that data and analyze it — for a price.

But some farmers are starting to worry about how that data will be used; whether, for instance, details of their operations will be open for all to see. Others wonder how the data companies will exploit their new-found ability to monitor what’s happening on vast tracts of farmland.

Those concerns led to the new “Privacy and Security Principles for Farm Data,” which were released this week. Click HERE to read more about this issue reported by NPR.


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new study: huge increase in us chronic diseases linked to glyphosate herbicides

A huge increase in the incidence and prevalence of chronic diseases has been reported in the United States (US) over the last 20 years. Similar increases have been seen globally. The herbicide glyphosate was introduced in 1974 and its use is accelerating with the advent of herbicide-tolerant genetically engineered (GE) crops. Evidence is mounting that glyphosate interferes with many metabolic processes in plants and animals and glyphosate residues have been detected in both. Glyphosate disrupts the endocrine system and the balance of gut bacteria, it damages DNA and is a driver of mutations that lead to cancer.

Read the full paper HERE.


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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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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.”

continue reading 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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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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