Barbara H. Peterson on May 31st, 2014

Barbara H. Peterson

Farm Wars

The real issue is NOT about labeling the 2% of GMOs grown that pollute 85% of our store shelves.

The real issue IS getting people to understand that unless genetically engineered crops (GMOs) are restricted, then our choice to grow and eat non-GMO will be a moot point because contamination will have ended our ability to choose.

The real issue IS about purity of the seed and support of real organic farmers versus genetic pollution and corporate control of all seeds pushed forward by agribusiness, which stands to eliminate both real organic food and small scale farmers if left unchecked.

Coexistence is a myth. What is real is that once your crop is contaminated with GMOs it is ruined, and if your neighbor grows GMOs, you will be contaminated.

 Let’s Get Real!

Don Tipping from Seven Seeds Farm and Siskiyou Seeds speaks about the importance of small family farmers and of phasing out GMO crops in Josephine County, Oregon. Tipping discusses the need for refugia for food and seed integrity to avoid genetic contamination, and how co-existence is not possible in our narrow valleys.

What Are GMOs and Why Should I Care?​​​

GMO-Free Josephine County

“We are non-profit organization made up of a group of concerned citizens working together to promote a GMO Free Josephine County, Oregon, through education, awareness and peaceful action, to preserve the integrity of our food and the freedom to grow it.”

WE BELIEVE All residents of Josephine County possess the fundamental and inalienable right to produce, harvest, consume, and distribute foods generated from safe, sustainable food systems which are non-toxic to people and ecosystems, while honoring the age-old heritage of seed saving. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

GRAIN

Governments and international agencies frequently boast that small farmers control the largest share of the world’s agricultural land. When the director general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization inaugurated 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming, he sang the praises of family farmers but didn’t once mention the need for land reform. Instead, he announced that family farms already manage most of the world’s farmland – a whopping 70%, according to his team.

hungry for land

Growing cassava on the banks of the Mekong: small farms tend to prioritise food production over commodity or export crop production. (Photo: New Mandala)

But a new review of the data carried out by GRAIN reveals that the opposite is true. Small farms, which produce most of the world’s food, are currently squeezed onto less than a quarter of the world’s farmland – or less than one fifth if you leave out China and India.

“We are fast losing farms and farmers through the concentration of land into the hands of the rich and powerful,” said Henk Hobbelink, coordinator of GRAIN. “The overwhelming majority of farming families today have less than two hectares to cultivate and that share is shrinking. If we do nothing to reverse this trend, the world will lose its capacity to feed itself.”

Marina Dos Santos of the Coordination of the Brazilian Landless Movement (MST), and of La Via Campesina, states: “Today, the peasantry is criminalised, taken to court and even made to disappear when it comes to the struggle for land. Currently, there are an alarming numbers of deaths that go unpunished. States have created legal concepts such as terrorism and sabotage to intimidate our struggle. Every day we are exposed to systematic expulsion from our land. This affects not only peasants fighting to stay on the land, but also many other small farmers and indigenous peoples who are the target of greedy foreign interests. We want the land in order to live and to produce, as these are our basic rights against land grabbing corporations who seek only speculation and profit.” Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Barbara H. Peterson on May 29th, 2014

day of the bt triffid

Barbara H. Peterson

Farm Wars

It’s a sad day in Organic Town when the government decides that organic farmers have no recourse against GMO contamination from the companies that sell genetically engineered (GMO) crops or the GMO farmers that cause organic crops to be contaminated. A sad day, indeed.

That is exactly what happened to Australian farmer, Steve Marsh when his organic crop was contaminated by his neighbor’s GMO crop.

Western Australian farmer Steve Marsh (#IamSteveMarsh) has lost a landmark case which could have protected his organic status, after his property was contaminated by GM canola from a neighbouring farm.

The verdict was handed down Wednesday and can be found here: 

www.supremecourt.wa.gov.au

Marsh, an organic farmer from Kojonup, south of Perth, Western Australia (WA), lost organic certification for most of his farm when GM canola contaminated his crop. He took action by suing his neighbour Michael Baxter in the Supreme Court of WA, in a landmark world’s first trial which started earlier this year. LINK

While organic farmers try and figure out how to survive in the face of what appears to be an unstoppable government-backed onslaught on their very right to exist, biotech firms along with their flunky farmers are doing the happy dance. Why? Because they are apparently immune from any type of liability if their GMO crops contaminate and ruin organic farms. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Barbara H. Peterson on May 28th, 2014

They Are Labeled

Barbara H. Peterson

Farm Wars

If a new proposal passes, Monsanto and Syngenta get to decide whether or not to ban their own products in the EU. But don’t worry, at least some of them will/might… okay, let’s get real – there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that anything will be banned, but a minute portion will have misleading labels. I feel safer already!

The awkward EU vote on Pioneer’s GM maize last February created the feeling of urgency that something needed to change in the way GM crops are approved. While nineteen countries voted against, and only five in favour, the Commission still intends to give Pioneer GM maize the go-ahead. That does not look good.

The proposal to hand back some decision powers to member states regarding GMO approvals has been discussed on and off for some time now.1 Of course initially the biotech firms were very opposed to the idea of national bans. But the current text clearly has the biotech lobby’s fingerprints all over it. Now they see it as an opportunity to break the legal and political stalemate and finally get their GM crops growing in Europe’s fields, despite their unpopularity. LINK

You see, it’s not the labeling laws that scare them, it’s the local bans. GMOs are already labeled in the EU. This is why the biotech industry and its minions are proposing this. If they can get governments to pre-empt local legislation banning the growing of GMO crops, and give the final say-so to the very companies that create GMOs, they “win.” Or so they think. Labeling? That’s a dog and pony show. A ruse. A high dollar misdirection to lead people away from the real fight, and that is a local ban in every county, every region, every community. This must be pre-empted by friendly sounding legislation that is in no way friendly to anything but the biotech industry. 

Documents (link is external) obtained by way of Freedom of Information acts by UK group GeneWatch show how Brussels biotech lobby group EuropaBio has been advocating precisely this approach for two years. One three-page document entitled, ‘A new strategy on GM issues’ probably dates to 2012. The paper concludes that a new approach is needed to break the standstill on GM crops in Europe. This includes an “amended nationalisation proposal” putting as a condition that member states can only apply for a national ban if they have first asked the company to refrain from marketing the GM crop in their country, and if the company has refused. LINK

Yup, you read that right.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Barbara H. Peterson on May 21st, 2014

Double Whammy for Monsanto: Both Jackson and Josephine counties in Oregon have passed a ban on planting GMOs!!!

Take that, Monsanto et. al.

 

josephine county gmo ban

http://www.co.josephine.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=771

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Barbara H. Peterson on May 21st, 2014

The Jackson County, Oregon unofficial election results just came in for Measure 15-119 to Ban “Genetically-Engineered” Plants, and it’s

65 YES 34 NO.

Read it and weep Monsanto et. al, read it and weep.

unofficial 15-119

http://www.co.jackson.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=4051

mjjustbanit copy

Tags: , , , , , ,