Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Safeway in Washington, DC. (Photo: Daniel Lobo/flickr/cc)Published on

Buyers Beware: New Grocery Merger Creates Mammoth That Puts 'Stranglehold on Consumers'

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced on Tuesday it has approved the $9.2 billion merger of Safeway Inc. and Albertsons
Safeway in Washington, DC. (Photo: Daniel Lobo/flickr/cc)
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced on Tuesday it has approved the $9.2 billion merger of Safeway Inc. and Albertsons, clearing the way for the creation of the country's third largest grocery retailer (behind Walmart and Kroger) and, according to critics, leaving consumers vulnerable at a time of poverty, low wages, and food insecurity.
The Commission green-lighted the merger after the companies agreed to sell 168 of their stores. FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez claimed in a statement that the sales alleviate any concerns that the merger will lead to higher prices. "This settlement will ensure that consumers in those communities continue to benefit from competition among their local supermarkets," she said.

But the divested stores represent just seven percent of the chains' combined 2,400 stores, and in the words of Wenonah Hauter, executive director for Food and Water Watch, amount to "a paltry number of grocery stores in a handful of cities." The deal, therefore, allows the supermarkets to maintain their "stranglehold on consumers," said Hauter, almost certainly leading to higher prices and lower quality.

Furthermore, Hauter continued, "The FTC did not require the chains to divest a single store in twenty metropolitan areas where the merger combined local rivals. In these markets, the four largest retailers will sell two-thirds of all groceries, and 12 million consumers will face higher prices and reduced choices.

"The FT approved a divestiture plan that is simply inadequate to protect consumers," concluded Hauter. "It largely permits supermarkets to tighten their stranglehold on consumers at a time of rising grocery prices and stagnant wages."
A USDA study published in September found that nearly 50 million people in the U.S. struggled with food insecurity in 2013.

It is not immediately clear how the merger, which both companies say they want to complete withing five business days, will impact the tens of thousands of unionized workers at both chains.

ROUNDUP on GMO NEWS 1-28-2015

Kansas City Business Journal - ‎21 hours ago‎

China, a leading importer of U.S. corn, will not accept any corn shipments that have traces of the GMO trait. The plaintiffs allege that the vast majority of U.S.

Genetic Literacy Project - ‎Jan 20, 2015‎

The latter is an edible organism, the genetic material of which has been altered for some purpose. ... Despite widespread ignorance about the relative safety of GM foods, recent votes rejecting mandatory GMO labeling initiatives in California, Colorado ...
JD Supra (press release) - ‎Jan 23, 2015‎

In the first weeks of 2015, even as bills like Indiana's were also introduced in New York, Virginia, Arizona, and Missouri, a federal court heard arguments implicating states' rights in the battle over Vermont's new labeling law. ... Peter DeFazio, D ...
Corporate Crime Reporter - ‎Jan 27, 2015‎

Virtually every consumer and public interest group in the United States favors labeling of products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). With one notable exception - the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). CSPI is opposed ...
Homer Tribune - ‎16 hours ago‎

Let's review the basics: GMO foods are pumped full of a bacteria called bacillus thuringensis, mutated to include herbicide in its genes.

New Zealand Doctor Online - ‎Jan 26, 2015‎

Professor Seralini of CRIIGEN Institute in France study on rats found that long term ingestion of genetically engineered RoundUp resistant corn caused an increase in kidney and liver damage and early tumour development.

Corvallis Gazette Times - ‎18 hours ago‎

16 article, “GMO wheat in the works again” leaves me baffled by the conclusion that Monsanto makes that wheat growers are ready for GMO wheat.

RT - ‎Jan 22, 2015‎

Soybean workers exposed to the agrochemicals like glyphosate, the main component in Monsanto's 'Roundup' herbicide and other biocides, suffer from elevated DNA and cell damage, according to a new study. - ‎Jan 22, 2015‎

Realizing that he had switched the feed three years earlier to Monsanto's genetically-modified seed and because he had never witnessed such high numbers of birth defects in his piglets before, he suspected that the GM-seed or the glyphosate could be to ...

Huffington Post - ‎Jan 23, 2015‎

I'm referring to Vandana Shiva, the Indian anti-GMO crusader who kicked off a five-day blitz through Hawaii with a talk-and-music fest at the Capitol Building on Wednesday.

WAMC - ‎Jan 25, 2015‎

Dr. Vandana Shiva is an internationally renowned environmental activist, scientist and the author of more than a dozen books.

Kathleen Furey
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Friday, January 16, 2015



Bowing to Monsanto, USDA Approves New GMO Soy and Cotton Crops

‘This continues the disturbing trend of more herbicide-tolerant crop approvals taking place under President Obama’s watch.’ — Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch
Cotton fields ready for harvest, Highway 87, south of Lubbock, Texas. (Photo:  Calsidyrose/flickr/cc)
The United States Department of Agriculture on Thursday approved Monsanto's controversial herbicide-resistant genetically modified strains of soybean and cotton, in a move that critics say is a bow to the powerful biotechnology industry, at the expense of human and environmental health.

The green-light is "simply the latest example of USDA’s allegiance to the biotechnology industry and dependence upon chemical solutions," Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter declared in a press statement. "This continues the disturbing trend of more herbicide-tolerant crop approvals taking place under President Obama’s watch."

Dr. Marcia Ishii-Eiteman of the Pesticide Action Network echoed Hauter's concerns, calling the new genetically modified crops "the latest in a slew of bad ideas" and a sign of the USDA's "allegiance to the largest pesticide corporations."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on Thursday granted "nonregulated status for Monsanto Company’s (Monsanto) soybeans and cotton that are resistant to certain herbicides, including one known as dicamba." The biotechnology giant still awaits the Environmental Protection Agency's approval of the new herbicide, which contains both dicamba and glyphosate, designed to accompany the resistant strain.

But food and environmental safety advocates warn that the corresponding increase in herbicide use is dangerous to the ecosystem. As the Center for Food Safety points out, dicamba has been linked in epidemiology studies to "increased rates of cancer in farmers and birth defects in their male offspring." First approved in 1967, dicamba seeps through the environment, causing damage to crops and flowering plants and polluting waterways.
Furthermore, herbicides give rise to resistant weeds, leading the development of new herbicides, accompanied by resistant genetically engineered crop strains. Critics charge that, rather that embark on an endless cycle of pumping chemicals and genetically modified crops into the environment, fostering a "pesticide treadmill," regulators should take the long-term well-being of the ecosystem into account and change the status quo.
The USDA's green-light follows the Environmental Protection Agency's approval in October of Dow AgroSciences' herbicide Enlist Duo, which farmers and scientists warn threatens human and environmental health.

"Monsanto’s genetically-engineered dicamba-resistant crops are yet another example of how pesticide firms are taking agriculture back to the dark days of heavy, indiscriminate use of hazardous pesticides, seriously endangering human health and the environment," said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Wednesday, January 7, 2015


New York Times - ‎3 hours ago‎

WASHINGTON - Monsanto said Wednesday that its earnings fell 34 percent in the first fiscal quarter as South American farmers cut back on planting corn, reducing demand for the company's biotech-enhanced seeds.
Indianapolis Star - ‎6 hours ago‎

Some academics and activists are concerned about the unknown effects of pervasive use of GMOs, but there's little science that says genetically engineered foods are unsafe.

RT - ‎Jan 5, 2015‎

A British farmer who farmed the only herd of Nazi-engineered cows in the country has been forced to cull the number of his herd after they became too aggressive and tried to attack his staff.
GenomeWeb - ‎Jan 2, 2015‎

Crop developers are leveraging new genetic engineering technologies to skirt regulatory oversights, alarming some who fear that the lack of controls could have unexpected consequences, The New York Times' Andrew Pollack reports.

Center for Research on Globalization - ‎2 hours ago‎

“To use conventional corn, non-GMO, I'd have to till, apply pre-emergence herbicide. It's more economical and more convenient to use GMO corn on real ground. I only use it because I felt like I had to. My seed supplier said, 'Kirk it's harder and ...
Capital press - ‎20 hours ago‎

Idaho legislators and agricultural industry leaders are aware of the efforts in other states to require mandatory labeling of GMO products at the retail level or ban the planting of genetically modified crops, said Sen. Bert Brackett, a Republican ...
Design & Trend - ‎Jan 4, 2015‎

"If you take genetic material from a plant and it's not considered a pest, and you don't use a transformation technology that would sort of violate the rules, there's a bunch of stuff you can do that at least technically is unregulated," said Jim ...
The Ozarks Sentinel - ‎Dec 29, 2014‎

Since then thousands of applications for experimental genetically-modified (GM) organisms, including quite bizarre GMOs, have been filed with the US Patent Office alone, and many more abroad. Furthermore ... You may have, at the time, known exactly how ...
Al Jazeera America - ‎Jan 4, 2015‎

Genetically engineered seeds were first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1982, GMO products first hit grocery stores in 1994, and GMO crops were planted on more than 100 million acres by 1999. So have they delivered on Fraley's promises ...
Augusta Free Press - ‎Jan 1, 2015‎

On a recent WWBT TV 12 news segment, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation representatives explained that genetically modified crops are no different from conventional crops.

Food Business News (registration) - ‎Jan 1, 2015‎

Those for and those against the mandatory labeling of foods with ingredients developed through bioengineering squared off at a House subcommittee hearing on Dec. 10 called to draw attention to H.R.

Coeur d'Alene Press - ‎35 minutes ago‎

Every week we seem to get more and more questions on GMO's. This is the second column we are writing about them, because it has been such a controversial topic, with widespread debates about whether labeling should be mandatory.
Southeast Farm Press - ‎Jan 6, 2015‎

Genetically modified organisms and other modern technology are a must for feeding a growing world population. More land must be put into agricultural production to meet global food security challenges.
RINF Alternative News - ‎20 hours ago‎

The UK government and its associated bureaucracy is colluding with powerful global agritech corporations to get genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into Britain (see here). Politicians and officials whose views of GMOs are based on ignorance or whose ... - ‎Jan 6, 2015‎

MONSANTO CO has improved earnings per share by 34.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years.
Wall Street Journal - ‎20 hours ago‎

“Buy land,” goes the old saw, “they're not making any more of it.” While that advice hasn't always worked out in the short run, companies like Monsanto Co. are poised to benefit from it in the long run. The world's growing population combined with a ...
Hoosier Ag Today - ‎14 hours ago‎

Rick Vierling A successful run for the Corn Rootworm Management Program is now leading to an expansion of the program to cover all of the pests that can impact corn. (subscription) - ‎4 hours ago‎

Monsanto (NYSE: MON) reported Q1 EPS of $0.47, $0.12 better than the analyst estimate of $0.35. Revenue was $2.87 billion, versus expectations of $2.80 billion and $3.14 billion posted in the same period last year. - ‎Jan 6, 2015‎

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Monsanto (MON) , the world's largest seed producer, owning about 27% all seeds used in modern agricultural farming, will continue to make money, despite concerns about a year-over-year decline in U.S.

Center for Research on Globalization - ‎Jan 4, 2015‎

It has been declared 'the International Year of the Soil,' but the year ahead, according to Dr. Vandana Shiva, will also see key developments in the global fight to overthrow corporate power with true democracy.

Kathleen Furey
916.397.1588 - Mobile
Education & Media Outreach
NY GE Labeling 
Label GMOs CA
Hey, We've All Gotta Eat!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Vandana Shiva : « Désobéir, c'est vital »

"Disobedience is vital"

Elle - ‎1 hour ago‎
La première fois que l'on rencontre Vandana Shiva, c'est en octobre 2013, au Women's Forum de Deauville, un rassemblement annuel de femmes d'influence de tous continents. Son sari tranche dans le ballet des costumes des businesswomen. Ses idées ...
Translated by Google Translate: 
If environmentalists are heard today is thanks to her. Teaches us that opponent to the giants of the food? Answers in a fascinating book *.

The first time we meet Vandana Shiva, it was in October 2013, the Women's Forum in Deauville, an annual gathering of influential women from all continents. Slice her sari in ballet costumes of businesswomen. His ideas also. In her mouth, no discourse on competitiveness, but rather an exhortation to cooperation and solidarity. Wisdom, benevolence that Gandhi feminine applied all his life environmental activist. The second head-to-head is held by Skype in fall 2014. Even by interposed screen, Vandana Shiva has the aura of women in particular needed. Sure of herself and her struggle, she also has an unshakable faith in the men's capacity for change. Meet a whistleblower unusual.

IT. You gave a conference on agro-ecology in Paris, sold on December 6. This will he reassures have your case heard?
Vandana Shiva. Yes I Am. But it's been that I no longer feel alone in my fight for biodiversity, fortunately. I gave this conference with the wonderful poet and philosopher Pierre Rabhi. He defends, like me, a model of society more respectful of man and nature. And advocates a happy sobriety. There are thirty, I was fighting to save Indian agriculture in the race to pesticides and the threat of GMOs; Today, I am joined by many NGOs, politicians around the world. That's reassuring.

IT. Since when you are struggling to preserve the planet and its resources?
Vandana Shiva. My first act of resistance, I made unconsciously, on the feast of my 6 years. My grandmother was very proud to offer me a nylon sari, made I know not where. I politely declined preferring to keep my own organic cotton. It was just a piece of cloth, but I felt myself, high to a grasshopper, it was more than that. At 22, I became involved in the movement Chipko Andolan: women chained themselves to trees to prevent deforestation.

IT. Where do you get this rebellious soul?
Vandana Shiva. My family! My mother was an intellectual, a university, but it was someone very close to nature and even became a farmer on later. And my father was a ranger. I spent my youth roaming the forests of the Himalayas, to study the virtues of medicinal plants, herbaria tinkering ... My grandfather made a hunger strike to defend the creation of a School girls in the 50s, I was deeply affected. He braved the dominant caste to which the idea of educating girls at the time was preposterous. He died in 1956, a few months before the opening of the facility. He won, but he never knew.

IT. Why have you abandoned your scholar teaching position at the University of Bangalore to take up the cause of Indian farmers?
Vandana Shiva. Because I could not juggle everything! After my PhD in quantum physics in Canada, I'm back home in the Dun Valley. The damage from intensive agriculture jumped in my face, I saw the desperation of farmers. I decided to found an eco-friendly farm, a training center for farmers along my Navdanya association for the conservation of biodiversity and the protection of the rights of farmers.

IT. What is your life in this ecological farm?
Vandana Shiva. That of a peasant! Birdsong pulls me out of bed at 6:00. There is no radio or television. I have assembled a team of scientists studying the seeds, we train farmers in organic method. We managed to identify 670 different varieties of rice! And we receive each year, twenty trainees worldwide.

IT. What solutions do you advocate?
Vandana Shiva. The return to local production and a short-circuit distribution. Citizens have the opportunity to act on their scale. Moreover they begin to do so. I was in Italy last October. The Province of Rome has the largest green spaces in all European cities. A law will allow the unemployed to cultivate municipal lands for their own consumption and allow them to sell their produce. And France, shared gardens explode.

IT. You are now enemy number 1 food multinationals. Are you at risk?
Vandana Shiva. We do not risk much when we burn Monsanto's cotton fields, except for a few weeks in jail. It's nothing compared to the suicide of a farmer who is drowning in debt. Between 1995 and 2012, 284,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide. Food sovereignty was dismantled in favor of Walmart, Cargill, Monsanto and Coca-Cola ... India is facing a dilemma: strong growth - up to 9% by 2011! - Yet, according to UNICEF, an Indian woman in three is undernourished. I admire non-violence advocated by Gandhi, but that does not mean sit back against the plundering of our resources.

IT. "Disobedience" is a word you are fond ...
Vandana Shiva. This is vital to disobey when faced unjust laws. Only the human rights prevail. Anyone can say no ... Look Malala.

IT. What is your greatest victory?
Vandana Shiva. That of having Federated 500,000 farmers and helped launch 120 seed banks. That of having been suspended by the Indian Supreme Court for large-scale trials of transgenic cotton in 1999. It is close to have a Coca-Cola plant that emptied the water table in Kerala in 2010. But there will other trials, other events and other victories.

IT. You have a son, would you send it?
Vandana Shiva. Kartikey is a photographer, including ELLE India. But it gives me a hand on the farm. I am transmitting the virus ecology my family, I have a doctor and a pilot brother sister retired. All help me on the farm.

IT. You have 62 years, until when will you fight?
Vandana Shiva. Until the end! It is the engine of my life, my mission. So many people rely on me to defend them, I can not let them down. This is the result of my education. My parents always told me: "Ask yourself what contribution you can make to the world, rather than asking you what you can get." And in my heart I am 20 years old.

* "Vandana Shiva, for a creative disobedience," interviews with Lionel Astruc (Ed. Actes Sud).