Say NO to Monsanto, GMOs,
and the patenting of life
The frustration about this company – Monsanto – and others like it has been running higher and higher over the last few years. (The free flow of information on the internet is a wonderful thing in this regard – corporate-bought media is no longer our only news option….) I think it may well be the most hated corporation on the web and on popular user-driven sites like Digg and Reddit. I would personally take great pleasure in seeing their buildings worldwide bulldozed and their fields razed – leaving behind only stone statue memorials that celebrate the greed and stupidity of man.
Today, however, I can share a beacon of hope. Read on!
Federal Court Upholds Ban on Genetically Engineered Alfalfa
Appeals Court Rules Planting of Biotech Crop Can Cause Irreversible Harm to Organic and Conventional Crops, Farmers, and the Environment. Monsanto’s Petition to Rehear Denied in Full.
San Francisco, CA – June 24, 2009 — In a decision handed down here today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has re-affirmed its previous decision upholding a nationwide ban on the planting of genetically-engineered (GE) Roundup Ready alfalfa pending a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Court determined that the planting of genetically modified alfalfa can result in potentially irreversible harm to organic and conventional varieties of crops, damage to the environment, and economic harm to farmers.
Although the suit was brought against United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Monsanto Company and Forage Genetics entered into the suit as Defendant-Intervenors. In September 2008 the Ninth Circuit affirmed the lower court’s ruling, but the Intervenors continued to press the appeal alone, requesting the appellate court to rehear the case. Today’s decision denied that request and re-affirmed the earlier decision in full.
“This ruling affirms a major victory for consumers, ranchers, organic farmers, and most conventional farmers across the country,” said Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety. “Roundup Ready Alfalfa represents a very real threat to farmers’ livelihoods and the environment; the court rightly dismissed Monsanto’s claims that their bottom line should come before the rights of the public and America’s farmers. This ruling is a turning point in the regulation of biotech crops in this country.”
Today’s decision again upholds District Court Judge Charles Breyer’s earlier ruling of May 2007, in which he found that the USDA failed to address concerns that Roundup Ready alfalfa will contaminate conventional and organic alfalfa. The Ninth Circuit decision affirms that USDA violated national environmental laws by approving GE alfalfa without a full Environmental Impact Statement.
The Center for Food Safety represented itself and the following co-plaintiffs in the suit: Western Organization of Resource Councils, National Family Farm Coalition, Sierra Club, Beyond Pesticides, Cornucopia Institute, Dakota Resource Council, Trask Family Seeds, and Geertson Seed Farms. For more information, please visit www.centerforfoodsafety.org.
Whatever people may think about GMOs, ethics dictate that they should never be released anywhere – period – as they cannot be controlled. If one farmer decides he wants to farm with GMOs, he is essentially making a decision that the world will farm with that same GMO, and that through horizontal gene transfer we’ll see these genes showing up in other plant species. Such an imposition is obscene in the extreme – even without the environmental and health consequences.
With the U.S. Court of Appeals (finally) standing firm against this mega-corporation, I hope to see the beginning of a new era – one that sees us backtracking on this dangerous and unnecessary reductionist technology, in favour of natural plant breeding techniques that: cost nothing but a little observation to implement, can be done in a far faster time frame, and enable people to produce strains suited to particular and peculiar soil types and micro-climates, etc.
Genetic modification actually cuts the productivity of crops, an authoritative new study shows, undermining repeated claims that a switch to the controversial technology is needed to solve the growing world food crisis.
The study – carried out over the past three years at the University of Kansas in the US grain belt – has found that GM soya produces about 10 per cent less food than its conventional equivalent, contradicting assertions by advocates of the technology that it increases yields.
… The Nebraska study suggested that two factors are at work. First, it takes time to modify a plant and, while this is being done, better conventional ones are being developed. This is acknowledged even by the fervently pro-GM US Department of Agriculture, which has admitted that the time lag could lead to a "decrease" in yields.
But the fact that GM crops did worse than their near-identical non-GM counterparts suggest that a second factor is also at work, and that the very process of modification depresses productivity. The new Kansas study both confirms this and suggests how it is happening…. – Independent
Europeans are standing against these companies. If U.S. citizens would join together and boycott GM products in their food supply, we could see the damage already done ameliorated and stopped in its tracks.
It’s really very easy: 1) push your local political representative to ensure labelling of GMOs, or vote for the man that will, and 2) don’t buy any products containing GMOs.