Recommended reading: The Story of Michael White

Widely publicized by Neil Young in the video short Seeding Fear. . .

Michael White, a seed merchant and fourth generation farmer had a good life on Alabama’s Sand Mountain.  But it disintegrated into a nightmare soon after he spotted a man from Monsanto spying on him.  In short order, White was sued by Monsanto for patent infringement regarding its genetically modified seeds and threatened with financial ruin.  Refusing to buckle, he chose to fight.  And that’s when the conglomerate’s spies–using tactics that would embarrass the KGB–decided to teach him a lesson he would never forget.

Read how White’s customers were threatened, how his farm was buzzed by unmarked aircraft and helicopters, how he was continually stalked and photographed everywhere he went, and how Monsanto even sued White’s father Wayne for GMO patent infringement on the eve of his 80th birthday. He was in failing health and Virginia, his wife of 60 years, was bedridden and dying of cancer. And Wayne hadn’t farmed since the 1970s!

The information in this amazing book needs to get out. Please share it widely.

 

 

Hey All You Neil Young Fans – Guess What!!!

main pic Neil YoungStarting July 8th, Jeffrey Smith is joining the Neil Young Monsanto Years tour with a message of health, hope, and how to avoid GMOs and pesticide laden foods.

“We are totally jazzed to be participating in the Ecovillage at each of the concerts,” says Ariane Glazer, Director of Events and Outreach for the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT). “It’s an awesome forum to raise public awareness about the compromised food system that depends on patented seeds and toxic chemicals.  People should come early just to check it out.”  IRT is a nonprofit organization founded by Smith in 2003 to expose the health risks of genetically modified food.

A long standing eco-warrior, Neil Young has been particularly vocal in recent years about his disdain for Monsanto, the multinational behemoth that dominates global markets for genetically modified (GM) seeds and the chemicals to go with them.

Monsanto’s GM Roundup Ready corn, soybeans, and cotton have made glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup), the world’s most heavily used herbicide. And, just in case you haven’t heard, the World Health Organization’s agency for cancer research recently reclassified glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans.

Here’s the schedule:

July 8 & 9 – Denver, CO @ Red Rocks
July 11 – Lincoln, NE @ Pinnacle Bank Arena
July 13 – Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center
July 14 – Clarkston, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
July 16 – Camden, NJ @ Susquehanna Bank Center
July 17 – Bethel, NY @ Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
July 19 – Essex Junction, VT @ Champlain Valley Expo
July 21 – Wantagh, NY @ Jones Beach
July 22 – Great Woods, MA @ Xfinity Center

Playing with Young will be Willie Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah and their band, Promise of the Real, which also is featured on The Monsanto Years LP.

For more information contact: Ariane@responsibletechnology.org

Consumer Safety Laws Going Down Because of Trade Deals

The obvious concern is that any consumer safety labeling law—perhaps especially, labeling of GMOs—could be targeted and overturned on the basis that it caused a barrier to trade.

Associated Press reports that the U.S. House Agriculture Committee has voted 38-6 to repeal a “country-of-origin” (COOL) labeling law for beef, pork and chicken— just two days after the World Trade Organization ruled against parts of the law. The labels tell consumers what countries the meat is from: for example, “born in Canada, raised and slaughtered in the United States” or “born, raised and slaughtered in the United States.”[i]

The WTO ruled Monday, May 18, that the U.S. labels put Canadian and Mexican livestock at a disadvantage, rejecting a U.S. appeal after a similar WTO decision last year.

The rapid roll-back on meat labeling under the popular consumer protection legislation known as COOL, fuels rising protests about granting Fast Track authority to the president to push through two mega-trade deals, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The obvious concern is that any consumer safety labeling law–perhaps especially labeling of GMOs—could be overturned on the basis that it caused a barrier to trade.

Americans are not alone in this concern. Europeans are equally worried that a trade deal could force a change to their labeling laws. Watch this 3 min. video by Jon Snow, Channel 4 News in the UK.

“The president says ‘we’re making stuff up,’ about trade deals undermining our consumer and environmental policies but today, we have the latest WTO [World Trade Organization] ruling against a popular U.S. consumer policy. Last week, Canadian officials announced that our financial regulations violate trade rules, and earlier this year, the Obama administration, in response to another trade agreement ruling, opened all U.S. roads to Mexico-domiciled trucks that threaten highway safety and the environment,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch[ii].

Public Citizen[iii], is a Washington DC-based nonprofit citizen’s interest watchdog and advocacy group that regularly blogs about issues related to trade and globalization.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is a specialized, autonomous, intergovernmental entity headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Established in 1995 the WTO transformed the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) into an enforceable global commerce code. Public Citizen names the WTO as “one of the main mechanisms of corporate globalization[iv].”

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[i] http://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2015/05/20/house-to-consider-repeal-of-meat-labeling-law

[ii] http://citizen.typepad.com/eyesontrade/2015/05/wto-orders-us-to-gut-us-consumer-country-of-origin-meat-labeling-policy-further-complicating-obama-f.html

[iii] http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=2306

[iv] http://www.citizen.org/trade/wto/