the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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an act to amend maine’s gmo food products labeling law

right to know gmo ME
MOFGA Press Release Regarding LD 991: An Act To Amend Maine’s Genetically Modified Food Products Labeling Law.

Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are a hot topic in Maine and across the nation. A new bill could speed implementation of Maine’s historic GMO food labeling law. For decades the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) has been leading the fight in Maine for good food, good farming and demanding transparency in labeling food made from GMO crops. Of course, several hundred Maine family farmers are growing MOFGA-certified organic crops that are free of GMOs because genetic engineering is a prohibited practice in organic farming.

In 2013, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) organized Maine’s Right to Know – GMO coalition, which gained legislative and gubernatorial approval of mandatory labeling of foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The law is the result of decades of organizing, research, citizen lobbying and all-around collaboration among citizens from all walks of Maine life. This year Maine legislators will have an opportunity to learn even more about GMOs in food and agriculture, and consider options for a speedier implementation of Maine’s landmark GMO labeling law.

LD 991 – An Act To Amend Maine’s Genetically Modified Food Products Labeling Law – seeks to eliminate a requirement in established law that five contiguous states, including Maine, adopt legislation similar to Maine’s. Connecticut and Vermont already have adopted GMO labeling laws. A bill in the Massachusetts Legislature has broad bi-partisan support. A legislative committee in New Hampshire has been studying the issue. Continue reading


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french organic winegrower fined for refusing to spray grapes with pesticides!

A French organic winegrower who refused to spray his Burgundy vineyard with pesticide was ordered on Monday to pay a €500 fine for flouting official regulations.

The winegrower, Emmanuel Giboulot, had faced a possible six month jail sentence and €30,000 fine for refusing to spray his chardonnay and pinot noir grapes against an insect blamed for spreading a lethal disease known as flavescence dorée. It is attacking the vineyards of the Côte-d’Or region, where Giboulot produces côte de beaune and haute-côte de nuits wines.

Scores of Giboulot’s supporters, including Green MEP Sandrine Bélier, had gathered outside the court in Dijon to hear the verdict. The judge ruled in line with the prosecution’s demand that he should receive a fine of €1,000, with €500 suspended. Giboulot, 51, announced that he would appeal, and said after the hearing: “I still don’t feel guilty. It’s intolerable today to be forced to hide and to be frightened for taking a stand.” To read more, click HERE


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remind yourself about the m.s.t.

Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement, Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) in Portuguese, is a mass social movement, formed by rural workers and by all those who want to fight for land reform and against injustice and social inequality in rural areas.

Learn more about them on the website:
Friends of the MST (English) 
MST website (Portugese)


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ny, pa, oh: fracking waste allowed to be spread on roads as de-icer

Farmers! Did you know that New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania permits the use of brine from fracking operations to be applied to roads as a deicer? If not properly controlled, this waste can run off into adjoining property and ultimately could contaminate rivers, streams, and underground aquifers that feed local drinking water supplies. Government entities, as well as private companies, that wish to use production brine for road spreading must get permission from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to use the brine by applying for a Beneficial Use Determination (BUD).  Some local governments in New York have also prohibited the practice by passing ordinances banning fracking and waste disposal.

Click HERE to read more, start the path towards getting informed, and attending your local town governance meetings. 


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arkansas farmers say syngenta tainted grain supply to promote gmo

(Original photo by Bob Coleman)

At least a dozen Arkansas farmers have joined hundreds of farmers in 19 other states in almost 800 lawsuits against Swiss seed maker Syngenta over genetically modified corn seed, a case that has been widely reported in the media.

But one of the lawsuits, filed on behalf of two Newport farms, contains a previously unreported twist: an allegation that Syngenta, a global agribusiness, has engaged in a criminal conspiracy to contaminate the U.S. corn crop to force China, other nations that buy U.S. corn and U.S. farmers to accept genetically modified corn.

The suit, field by the Emerson Poynter law firm, which has offices in Little Rock and Houston, alleges that Syngenta violated the Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, which is usually used to fight organized crime.

Emerson Poynter filed the class-action suit in January on behalf of Kenny Falwell and Eagle Lake Farms, farming operations in Newport. It, like at least eight other lawsuits against Syngenta over its genetically modified corn seed, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

These lawsuits joined hundreds of other lawsuits filed by U.S. farmers since the fall against Syngenta, the Swiss developer and marketer of seeds and agricultural chemicals. To read more, CLICK HERE!


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the green, sharing, making economy

In 2014, the Green Economy — dominating the media enviro beat and UN negotiations since well before the 2012 Rio Earth Summit – merged and morphed into the Sharing Economy and the Maker Economy to offer us a vision of Transformative Transnationalism. But, is this really a new Triple Bottom-line or just the same old Triple-Bottom Feeders? ETC Group takes an irreverent look at what was new in 2014 – and what only claimed to be. The full article can be found HERE but you can also read excepts below!

The Green Economy: The food and beverage industry probably spent more time in the halls of the UN than most governments did, trying to persuade policymakers that they are on the Green cutting edge of a new paradigm in food, health and the environment. PepsiCo’s lobbyists, for example, told everybody who would listen that more and more of its bottles are being made from bioplastics and touted what they are doing to reduce hunger in Mexico (the same country where PepsiCo is sidestepping new sugar taxes by manipulating package size; a third of Mexico’s population is obesei). At a UN meeting in Bonn, civil society groups told Pepsi that the issue is less the questionable bioplastic bottles than the stuff inside.

The Sharing Economy: Closely linked to the Green Economy, 2014 saw an explosion in interest in the Sharing Economy (a.k.a. On-Demand Economy). A year earlier, in the 2013 holiday season, more people stayed in AirBnBs than could sleep in all the hotels in Las Vegas at full capacity. By Christmas 2014, AirBnB had 1 million beds on offer – 300,000 more than its nearest rival, Intercontinental Hotels (IHS). What began a few years ago as a clever use of social media to post affordable accommodation by renters and homeowners hoping to make a little extra cash, AirBnB (short for “air bed” and sometimes – but rarely – “breakfast”) can now also mean rooms, suites, whole houses or a ranch in Brazil for $3000 a night. (ETC suggested AirBnB change its name to Earth Flat Society.)

The Maker Economy: DIY 3-D printers and DIY Bio (gene synthesizers) arguably made 2014 the “Meet Your Maker” Year. In more than 98 cities and 56 countries (including over 200,000 people in New York and San Francisco), Makersix met and made things – everything from DIY pistols (to DIY for) to senseless glowing plants – but mostly really ugly fridge magnets, junk jewelry and bad beer. Even public libraries (wondering what to do with their reference rooms post-Wikipedia) are setting up 3-D printing shops and every incubator and accelerator from Barcelona and Bangalore is making space for biohackers to either beat Ebola or (better still) brew natural botox. The 3-D printers and the biohackers have even joined forces to print out skin, blood vessels, and organ parts. Fridge magnets aside, the Makers see themselves on the threshold of a truly liberating Industrial Revolution. Click HERE to read this article in detail!


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it is our human right to save seed and distribute it for free. minnesota doesn’t think so

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)

The Duluth Seed Library is under fire from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture for illegally distributing seeds.

The seed library, located within Duluth’s Public Library has been operating for about a year, distributing seeds for gardeners to grow, harvest the produce, and return new seeds to the library.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture contacted the Seed Library in Mid-September to notify it that the law prohibits the transfer of ownership of seeds without proper labeling and testing of seeds to make sure they germinate.

The Seed Library has said they do not receive enough seeds of certain varieties to allow for accurate testing. The MDA has stated the law is intended to create a level playing field for seed companies and to protect consumers.

“Humans have been exchanging seeds for thousands of years and the idea that even if I grew something in my garden and saved a handful of seeds and passed them over to you, that would be illegal, just seems not very reasonable” said Duluth Public Library Manager, Carla Powers. To view this article, click HERE.

 

The Greenhorns are in total support of world-wide seed sovereignty. These threats are on a humanitarian level. If you would like to see how you can help mobilize and support your local seed sources, please contact Eliza: egreenman (at) gmail (dot) com.

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