INEAS Newsletter
June 2010

1. Follow up on April 26 and April 30 Conference Calls.

2. International Seed Day (ISD) Conference Proposal for 2011.

3. rbGH Free Products.  Milk with Drugs, Beware!

4. Haitian Farmers to Burn Monsanto’s Seeds.

5. Arab Farmers! Beware of Genetically Modified Food

6. The Dilemma of Iraqi People: They Receive Help from

the Same US forces that Destroyed Their Country!

7. Two Films by Deccan Development Society of South India

8. The Vegetarian Resource Group

1. Follow up on April 26 and April 30 Conference Calls.

On April 26, International Seed Day (ISD), we held a conference call to discuss policies that restrict farmers, to update each other on actions taken place inside and outside the USA and discuss farmers’ status in Canada, India and Iraq as well as what needs to be done.

At the call, there was Dr. Shiv Chopra (Canada), author of “Corrupt to The Core: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower,” http://www.shivchopra.com, Dr. Naqid Khamis (USA), former Director General of the State Board for Seed Testing at the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture, Wafaa’ Al-Natheema, INEAS’s founder and director, Eden Marie Peart (Hawaii), co-founder of GMO Free Hawaii and President of Hawaii Farmers Union and activist Barbara H. Peterson (USA) of http://farmwars.info .

On April 30, we held another conference call to discuss similar subjects as as well as the possibility of organizing a conference on April 26, 2011. At this second conference call, there was Amr El-Abyad (Egypt), former environmental engineer, Frances Murrell (Australia), a representative from MADGE Australia Inc., Gerri Haynes (USA), board member of United Nations Association and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, Eden Marie Peart (Hawaii), co-founder of GMO Free Hawaii and President of Hawaii Farmers Union and Wafaa’ Al-Natheema, founder and director of INEAS .

Short Statements by Call Participants Are Included at the End (bottom) of this eNewsletter. 

2. International Seed Day (ISD) Conference Proposal for 2011.

At the beginning, we proposed a conference to be held in the USA. But when a couple of individuals mentioned their inability to attend a conference in the USA, we proposed to have five different conferences, each in a continent on April 26, 2011.  The idea received a welcome from all April 30th call participants. If you would like to join our efforts and plan or/and participate in a Seed Day Conference next year at your location, kindly email us to receive further updates.

3. rbGH Free Products.  Milk with Drugs, Beware!

by Wafaa’ Al-Natheema, INEAS

Recently I came across an interesting Canadian type of yogurt, which I purchased from Whole Foods market.  The brand is “Liberté Mediterranée”. The container grabbed my attention because it has a “coconut” mixture, which was unique, and impressed me by the fact that it states in clear fonts that the product is rBGH free (Milk produced without the use of recombinant bovine growth hormone), something we don’t see on USA dairy products!

The coconut yogurt is the most delicious yogurt I’ve ever tasted.  However it is not a recommended product for regular consumption, perhaps twice or three times per month, because the 6 oz (170g) cup has 270 Calories, it contains starch and 20 grams of sugar.  The second most delicious flavor is the Plum-Walnut yogurt and for the same size, it has 240 Calories.

In the USA, the privilege of disclosing the presence or absence of rBGH has been threatened by Ohio’s labeling restrictions.  Cow Milk injected with genetically modified bovine growth hormone (rBGH/rBST)* has antibiotic-resistant bacteria and insulin-like growth factor 1, which are linked to higher rates of cancer!

Since I always buy organic milk and yogurt, I am not sure if my assumption that these products have no hormones, is always accurate!  Cheese is another story!  At Trader Joe’s, they write in very small fonts on all cheeses they sell that there has been no proof that milk with added hormones cause cancer or something like that.  This is untrue and misleading to consumers!  I stopped buying cheese from Trader Joe’s.

* rBGH stands for recombinant bovine growth hormone while rBST stands for recombinant bovine somatotropin.

4. Haitian Farmers to Burn Monsanto’s Seeds.

http://www.truthout.org/haitian-farmers-commit-burning-monsanto-hybrid-seeds59616

On June 4, World Environment Day, the Haitian Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) has committed to burning Monsanto’s seeds and has called for a march to protest the corporation’s presence in Haiti.  Details are accessed in the link above.

If you live in Haiti or have contacts in Haiti, we will be grateful to hear from you updating us about the march and the actual burning of 475 tons of seeds.  We greatly appreciate helping us in reaching and interviewing Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, the leader of MPP. Thank you.

5. Arab Farmers! Beware of Genetically Modified Food

Please distribute the following link widely to Arab consumers, importers, agriculture experts and farmers around the Arab world:

http://www.examiner.com/x-48928-Environmental-News-Examiner~y2010m5d17-Genetically-modified-crops-failing-worldwide

We want to specifically bring the matter of genetically modified food in this June issue to Arabs because they are among the least groups who have awareness about the subject.

6. The Dilemma of Iraqi People: They Receive Help from the Same US forces that Destroyed Their Country!

http://www.usf-iraq.com/news/headlines/iraqi-province-gets-agriculture-overhaul

Iraqis must follow the footsteps of the Haitian farmers by burning the imported seeds, especially those coming from the USA!  The alarming situation of agriculture in Iraq and its dependency is mentioned in the link above!

7. Two Films by Deccan Development Society, South India

We, at INEAS, thank the Deccan Development Society (DDS) for sending us two interesting and very informative films; “Onwards to Food Sovereignty” and “People’s Agenda for Biodiversity”.  They offer inspiring projects and ideas and are strongly recommended to screen in conferences and festivals.  To order the films, visit their website http://www.ddsindia.com or write to them at ddshyderabad@gmail.com

8. The Vegetarian Resource Group

An excellent resource.  Check this informative page on food ingredients:

http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/faqingredients.htm

_______________________

INEAS’s Conference Calls
Statements by Call Participants


April 26 Conference Call:

The genetically engineered takeover of our food supply by corporations such as Monsanto must be stopped due to its tragic effect on health and the environment, and it is groups such as this that will do it – individuals with no other purpose than to warn and prepare others in the fight, coming together in like mind to fend off the giant.

Educating the public and raising awareness of the many dangers that we face due to genetically modified organisms’ (GMOs) ability to proliferate and take over native species, as well as the corporate monopoly this technology inspires, is of paramount concern. Farm Wars is doing its part in the furtherance of that education. To view a GMO Primer titled “The Adventures of Aggie the Traveling Agrobacterium,” please go to the Aggie site here: http://aggie.farmwars.info.

Barbara H. Peterson

http://aggie.farmwars.info

///////////////////

Many thanks to each of you for the inspiration of today’s call! Barbara’s approach in developing curriculum is brilliant.  As a school librarian, exposure to Monsanto -funded curriculum “Field of Genes” is what first galvanized me into this movement.  I agree with Barbara and Shiv that reaching children with information about the real risks of GMO’s while nurturing a love for growing real food for everyone is vital.

Deeply encouraged to be reminded by our Iraqi colleague, Naqid Khamis, of the innate wisdom and steadfastness that continues from earliest times in Mesopotamia.   It is both an honor and humbling to network with you all in this effort.  In Hawaii since we have been (U.S. occupied as well,) exploited as the world center for field research on GMO seed varieties, we are ready to participate in international efforts to educate and resist and transform the influence of the Biotech/GMO industry.

Thank you, Wafaa’, for bringing our beautiful planet and us the hope, the promise and the imperative to act, that is Seed Day!  I have found as I mentioned that the more we can focus on good food, peace and sovereignty the more successful our outreach and collaboration will be.

Aloha,
Eden Peart

Hawaii Farmers Union

Hawaii

/////////////////////

Iraqi seed program was one of the most efficient programs in the region.  It has been devastated as a result of the 2003 war. Efforts have been given to rebuild Iraq’s agriculture.  One of the important tools to strengthen the seed program was the issuance of new legislation to encourage and develop seed industry in Iraq, which was imperative because some articles in Paul Bremer’s Order 81 were not accepted as in the monopoly of seed production and marketing, the introduction of genetically modified seeds and in limiting farmers from reusing their seeds.  As a result, I prepared a draft for seed law to replace the agriculture section of order 81, which was approved by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2004 and submitted to cabinet for final approval, but without results.

In 2005, I proposed an integrated seed project to rebuild seed sector in Iraq. This project was executed by FAO and one of its objectives is to review all seed legislation and regulations existing in Iraq and to propose a new seed law. This new seed law was prepared by Iraqi and FAO experts and was submitted to the Iraqi Government for approval.  Seed importation is dominated by private sector, which is free to import seed of crop varieties registered on the Iraqi national list according to Iraqi seed regulations. The valid seed regulations have prohibited importation of any genetically modified seeds. However being under occupation, there are no guaranties for securing the entire border crossing points to prevent poor quality seed and genetically modified seeds.

Dr. Naqid Khamis,

N. Carolina, USA

////////////////////

“No GMO derived crop has ever been shown to increase food production. In fact, the opposite is true. The worse part of it is that no GMO is worth its claimed value without the support of one or more extrinsic or intrinsic pesticides. Therefore, why should any farmers or countries be forced or coerced to adopt GMOs for growing food? What is happening in Iraq should not be acceptable but when the same thing is made to happen in democratic countries like USA, Canada and India it trounces the most basic human rights of not only their farmers but also the consumers of such food. Food-borne disease is presently the number one global issue. Yet, the response that the governments of these countries pledge to improve the safety of their own people is Modernization Act (Bill S-510) in USA, Consumer Protection Act (Bill C-6) in Canada, and Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI). The fact is that all these Bills and Acts are designed to defend only the GMO generating corporations against law suits for damaging public health but neither the farmers nor consumers of non-GMO, albeit healthier, food. The best solution, in my opinion, is to make the GMO companies assume liability by buying insurance or bonds which could be drawn upon in the event of damage to public health.”

Shiv Chopra, Author
CORRUPT TO THE CORE: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower
www.shivchopra.com

/////////////////////////////

April 30 Conference Call

Thank you for allowing me to participate in this call.  I am serving on the Advisory Board for 21 Acres, an organic demonstration farm in Washington State.  We are in the process of forming a relationship with a veterans group to do projects in organic gardening, raising of goats and bees and several other projects.  Seeds are a focus for this farm and I am eager to learn more about your work.  Also, I am returning to Gaza later this month and will inquire about their seed supply.

Thank you again,

Gerri Haynes

Washington State, USA

///////////////////////

It is unfortunate that Egypt, one of the oldest farming communities in the world, was not represented in the international seeds day. As far as I know natural seeding is not found on the agendas of Egyptian environmental and farming NGOs or the general public for that matter. However, despite the fact that civil society is in an infantile state in Egypt, environmental NGOs do exist in Egypt. This could well provide a starting point for placing GMO-free agriculture on the map of environmental work in Egypt. That‘s why I am keen on learning from the experts in Kenya and South Africa mentioned by Wafaa’ and Frances.

In this context, Wafaa’ expressed her interest in communicating with the organic agriculture expert, Abou el-Eish, the head of SEKEM. I offered to try to contact him and provide information about his organization.

Eden elaborated further on the point I made regarding the possible positive aspects of GMO agriculture stating that this was what the industry wants people to believe. Even when it comes to non-food crops like, which grow in arid environments on the fringes of agricultural pasture, GMO engineering of this bio-crop would have adverse effects on the eco-system integrity through cross pollination with neighboring plantations, including, as a matter of course, agricultural crops.

Amr El-Abyadh

Cairo, Egypt

///////////////////
I am really interested in hearing more about Eden’s work on the real effect of GM papaya on the farmers of Hawaii, and on any more info regarding the development of GM and testing in Hawaii. I’m keen to have any info from the recent conference Eden organized on seeds.

I’m also interested in the information regarding Barbara’s development of a curriculum for children on GM.

I will contact seed organizations in Australia to encourage them to work on a seed conference in Australia next year for International seed day.
Frances Murrell

MADGE Australia Inc.

Australia

“””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

This Newsletter was sent to you by the

Institute of Near Eastern & African Studies (INEAS)

P.O. Box 425125

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Tel: 1 (617) 86-INEAS (864-6327)

Email: Info@INEAS.org

Website: http://www.INEAS.org

INEAS Newsletter
June 2010

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One Response to “INEAS supports “The Adventures of Aggie the Traveling Agrobacterium” curriculum for children on GMOs”

  1. Would be willing to assist with Seed Day for China. I would suggest Changchun, Jilin Province, number one in corn in China. Neighbored to the north by #2 Heilongjang and number three, Liaoning to the south. I have made some contacts at the Jilin Agricultural University in Changchun. Will probably be at the 7 day Food and Farm Exposition in September, a great place and time to publicize the Seed Day. We gave out over 8000 pieces last year.

    Had lots of TV and print media press too… all free..

    Skype me at 2609180481 or jrmartindale

    The big three pharma/chemmies were all there in all their blighted glory last year. They want in big time in the greenhouse industry (which is huge here and getting bigger.)