Saturday, October 17, 2009

To NAIS: 90% of Farmers say NO!

(NAIS National Animal Identification System) At issue in the Wisconsin cases is that we are witnessing the first enforcement actions in the implementation of NAIS. The fines in the charges brought against Miller and the Monchilovichs are between $200 and $5,000. Premises identification is just the first step of NAIS, second is the identification of one's animals, and third is the tracking of each and every movement of one's animals. The final component is enforcement, which is now coming to bear in Wisconsin.

More than 90 percent of those who attended USDA's recent “listening” sessions on NAIS said “No NAIS. Not Now, Not Ever!” If we mean that, then we must stand in support of these Wisconsin people being charged with NAIS violations.

* Background: 1) Miller trial,; 2) Stephen Blair, Australia,; and, 3) Dobbin/UK,

** Contact R-CALF USA Communications Coordinator Shae Dodson-Chambers to request photo and/or bio information on R-CALF USA Animal Health Committee Chair Kenny Fox. Op-Ed is 720 words.
(site: )

Kucinich Secures Funding for Organic Farming Research!

* The Office of Congressman Dennis Kucinich, October 7, 2009
Straight to the Source

Washington D.C. (October 7, 2009)
"Organic foods and products should be able to, at a minimum, compete equally with foods and products made with pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and genetic manipulation," said Kucinich.

Congressman Kucinich (D-OH) secured a legislative victory for organic farmers and consumers by ensuring that the US Department of Agriculture will collect and share economic data that is essential to help the organics industry compete with agribusiness. The $500,000 for the Organic Production and Market Data Initiative was secured as part of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriation Act.
(Text: OCA site: )


La Via Campesina carries out Global Day of Action against Monsanto

(Mexico, 16 October 2009) Yesterday, International World Food Day, as declared by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, La Via Campesina mobilized globally along with allies in an overwhelming expression of outright rejection of Monsanto and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), in the name of food sovereignty.
Peasants, landless workers, migrants, indigenous peoples and consumers, identified transnational corporations, especially Monsanto, which, together with Syngenta, Dupont and Bayer control over half of the world’s seeds, and are thus the principal enemies of peasant sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty for all peoples. La Via Campesina is in a daily struggle to protect native seeds, patrimony of humanity, from corporations and patents. Today, October 16, the strength of the movement is pushing the public opinion to reject Monsanto’s take-over of the food system.

“It’s time for all civil society to recognize the gravity of this situation, global capital should not control our food, nor make decisions behind closed doors. The future of our food, the protection of our resources and especially our seeds, are the right of the people,” said Dena Hoff, coordinator of Via Campesina North America.
Globalize Hope!! Globalize the Struggle!!
Interviews and information:

* Dena Hof, United States + 1 406-939-1839 (in English)
* Alberto Gomez, Mexico + 525541777846 (en espaƱol)
( Site Link:


The World's Top 10 Seed Companies

Company - 2007 seed sales (US$ millions) - % of global proprietary seed market

1.Monsanto (US) - $4,964m - 23%
2.DuPont (US) - $3,300m - 15%
3.Syngenta (Switzerland) - $2,018m - 9%
4.Groupe Limagrain (France) - $1,226m - 6%
5.Land O' Lakes (US) - $917m - 4%
6.KWS AG (Germany) - $702m - 3%
7.Bayer Crop Science (Germany) - $524m - 2%
8.Sakata (Japan) - $396m - <2%
9.DLF-Trifolium (Denmark) - $391m - <2%
10.Takii (Japan) - $347m - <2%
Top 10 Total - $14,785m - 67% [of global proprietary seed market]
Source: ETC Group

The top 10 seed companies account for $14,785 million - or two-thirds (67%) of the global proprietary seed market.

The world's largest seed company, Monsanto, accounts for almost one-quarter (23%) of the global proprietary seed market.

The top 3 companies (Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta) together account for $10,282 million, or 47% of the worldwide proprietary seed market.

ETC Group conservatively estimates that the top 3 seed companies control 65% of the proprietary maize seed market worldwide, and over half of the proprietary soybean seed market.

Based on industry statistics, ETC Group estimates that Monsanto's biotech seeds and traits (including those licensed to other companies) accounted for 87% of the total world area devoted to genetically engineered seeds in 2007.

The company claims that it licenses its biotech traits to an additional 250 companies. In 2007, almost half (48%) of DuPont's seed revenue came from products that carried a biotech trait. UK consultancy firm, Cropnosis, puts the global value of GM crops in 2007 at $6.9 billion.

The Gene Giants aim to convince governments, farmers and reluctant consumers that genetic engineering is the essential adaptation strategy to insure agricultural productivity in the midst of climate change. According to Monsanto, "everyone recognizes that the old traditional ways just aren't able to address these new challenges" - so the only hope is "climate ready" GM crops.

Bottom line: …Patented gene technologies will not help small farmers survive climate change, but they concentrate corporate power, drive up costs, inhibit public sector research and further undermine the rights of farmers to save and exchange seeds. By contract, IT IS A CONTRACT VIOLATION (law suits!) FOR FARMERS GROWING GM CROPS TO USE SEEDS FROM HARVEST. THEY MUST BUY THEM EVERY HARVEST SEASON FROM THE GM CORPORATION ALONG WITH THE "DESIGNER" PESTICIDES AND FERTILIZERS THE GM CORP DESIGNATES.
(More: )

Feed the World Week Oct 15 -21, 2009

What is Feed the World Week?

Feed the World Week (Oct 15 -21) is based on the simple principle:"that for one day, the world should experience a wholesome, nonviolent, karma-free diet, and thus pave the way for a peaceful and hunger-free world." Your Feed the World Week event, therefore, should promote this message so that your recipients can grasp the deeper meaning behind the free food.

For the members of Food for Life, Feed the World Week (FWW) is also a tribute to the founder (Swami Prabhupada), as much as it is an open community event for raising awareness of the world hunger problem. We aim to do this through the following four objectives:

1. Expose meat consumption as a major cause of world hunger.
2. Promote that the internal cause of hunger is greed resulting from spiritual ignorance.
3. Promote "karma-free" vegetarianism/veganism as a positive solution to the world hunger and chronic malnutrition.
4. Unite the world through food.

Food for Life Global should be acknowledged as the pioneers of this event.
full text: (FFL site: )

Thursday, October 15, 2009


The following excerpt from the recent report is horrifying. We are assured by the FDA that they can assure alomost NO SAFTEY in the food imports in our grocery stores. Feeling confident about those labels on food from other nations? So, what do they ACTUALLY inspect? Uhhhhhhhhhhhh, huh? Isn't that LEGAL stuff?
-Clean Food Earth Woman, enraged!


(EXCERPT:) CBP, FDA, and FSIS have taken steps to address challenges in ensuring the safety of the increasing volume of imported food. For example, CBP maintains the system that importers use to provide information to FDA on food shipments; FDA electronically reviews food imports and inspects some foreign food production facilities to prevent violative food from reaching U.S. shores; and FSIS employs an equivalency system that requires countries to demonstrate that their food safety systems provide the same level of protection as the U.S. system. However, gaps in enforcement and collaboration undermine these efforts. First, CBP’s computer system does not currently notify FDA or FSIS when imported food shipments arrive at U.S. ports, although efforts are underway to provide this information to FDA for air and truck shipments. This lack of communication may potentially increase the risk that unsafe food could enter U.S. commerce without FDA review, particularly at truck ports. Second, FDA has limited authority to ensure importers’ compliance with its regulations. Third, CBP and FDA do not identify importers with a unique number; as a result, FDA cannot always target food shipments originating from high risk importers. Finally, CBP faces challenges in managing in-bond shipments—those that move within the United States without formally entering U.S. commerce—and such shipments possibly could be diverted into commerce.
FDA generally collaborates with select states and foreign governments on imported food safety. FDA has entered into a contract, several cooperative agreements, and informal partnerships for imported food with certain states, and some state officials told GAO that they would like to collaborate further with FDA on food imports. However, citing legal restrictions, FDA does not fully share certain information, such as product distribution lists, with states during a recall. This impedes states’ efforts to quickly remove contaminated products from grocery stores and warehouses.
Full PDF Downloadable text:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Farm Workers and Allies Ask Gov't to Protect Kids From Toxic Pesticide Drift

Petition to EPA includes immediate no-spray buffer zones around homes, schools, day care centers for most toxic pesticides

LINDSAY, Calif. - October 14 - Luis Medellin and his three little sisters - aged 5, 9 and 12 - live in the middle of an orange grove in this small Central Valley town. During the growing season, Luis and his sisters are awakened several times a week by the sickly smell of nighttime pesticide spraying. What follows is worse: searing headaches, nausea, vomiting.

But if a coalition of farm worker, public health, and children's advocates are successful, Luis and his little sisters may one day be able to sleep through the night without these toxic disruptions.

The public interest law firms Earthjustice and Farmworker Justice filed a petition today (PDF) asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to set safety standards protecting children who grow up near farms from the harmful effects of pesticide ‘drift' - the toxic spray or vapor that travels from treated fields. The groups are also asking the agency to immediately adopt no-spray buffer zones around homes, schools, parks and daycare centers for the most dangerous and drift-prone pesticides.

October 14, 2009
1:50 PM
CONTACT: Farm Workers and Allies
Kathleen Sutcliffe
Earth Justice (202) 667-4500, ext 235;

Heather Pilatic
Pesticide Action Network

Barb Howe
Farmworker Justice (202) 293-5420, ext.307


Did you know that modified crops are being grown all over O`ahu? How about Kauai?
The U.S. Military lands are being used for experimental GMO crops, and you can stop them.

Join Hawaii SEED and GMO Free Oahu for this free event:

October24th, 25th, 2009
Saturday Oct. 24th: Specific Strategies for Addressing the GMO issue on O`ahu
Sunday October 25th: Training: Learn how to more effectively create change in Hawai`i

Strategy/Training Session Includes:
The 101 of GMO’s: History of the movement in Hawai`i
Effective Activism: Tools for Organizing Training in:
Effective leadership, media, recruiting and
keeping volunteers, fundraising,
grant writing, meeting facilitation
legislative tactics and more…

Register with Sarah Sullivan

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


GREAT Day of Action - 12 October 2009

Support for Mexico's Traditional Culture of Maize and Food Sovereignty


*We call on the population to demand that all produce we consume on a daily basis is GMO-free.

*We call on international agencies to condemn the Government of Mexico for violating peasant ancestral rights, as well as disrespecting biodiversity and food sovereignty, and ignoring the principle of precaution in the center of origin of basic crops that nowadays nourish the world.

*On 12 October, invite everyone to protest at the [nearest] Mexican Embassy against transgenic maize in Mexico!

Why this Call for Action on 12 October?

Monsanto has just lost 18 of 24 requests for experimental maize open-field testing in the northern regions of Mexico. These regions are Monsanto's most-wanted areas due to their commercial maize farming background: most of the everyday tortillas of the Mexican inhabitants come from there.

Therefore, the risk of having native varieties contaminated is huge and Monsanto is pressing the Government to have its requests attended [granted]. This has not happened yet, but might happen very soon.

In Mexico, October 12 is a national holiday known as Di-a de la Raza, or Day of the Race. It's a day to celebrate Mexican traditions and culture.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Big Meat has tantrum over Oct 15 Michael Pollan talk at CalPoly
By Ethicurean @ 11:36 am on 8 October 2009.

RIP, academic freedom: Writer Michael Pollan—aka “elitist,” and apparently Agribiz Public Enemy No. 1—will now be part of a panel discussion at Cal Poly on Oct. 15 instead of giving a planned one-hour lecture. Harris Ranch Beef Company Chairman David E. Wood wrote to Cal Poly President Warren Baker threatening to withdraw a pledged $500,000 donation for a new meat processing facility on the campus if Pollan’s “unchallenged forum to promote his stand against conventional agricultural practices” was not rethought. Now, Gary Smith, Monfort Endowed Chair in meat science at Colorado State University, and Myra Goodman, cofounder of organic vegetable company Earthbound Farms, will join Pollan for a more “balanced” forum. (We guess Goodman will be providing the neglected veggie perspective.) (New Times SLO)
(Full text: )