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Jill Cloutier

Jill Cloutier

Jill Cloutier
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Sustainable World Radio and Sustainable World Media
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Jill Cloutier is a radio producer, environmental educator, freelance writer, and documentary filmmaker. Listen to my podcast on ITunes and at SustainableWorldRadio.com

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JANUARY 17, 2013 5:09PM

Monsanto Vs. Nature

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Monsanto hit the genetically modified ball out of the park in California’s November election after pouring over $7 million  into defeating Proposition 37, the initiative measure that would have required labels on genetically modified food sold in California supermarkets.

Playing for the Monsanto team (opponents of labeling) we find the usual suspects: Nestle, Pepsico, DuPont, Kraft, General Mills, Dow Chemical, Kellogg, Campbell Soup Company, J. M. Smuckers, Mars, Bumble Bee, Sara Lee, Hershey and dozens of others. (Click here for a complete list.)  Together, these junk food and pesticide companies contributed over $45,000,000 to stop the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMO’s).

On the team for Nature (advocates for labeling) we find organizations, individuals and food companies including the California Nurses Association, Pesticide Action Network, Nature’s Path Foods, Annie’s, Organic Consumers Association, author Michael Pollan, Dr. Joseph Mercola and millions of Californians who were not swayed by Monsanto’s aggressive anti-labeling campaign. (Click here for a complete list.)

Although Prop 37 was defeated 53.1% to 46.9%, the game is far from over and Monsanto and company are on the losing team.

Consumers who are concerned about the health risks of eating GM food can now avoid the products of the companies who bankrolled Prop. 37′s loss. A boycott could cost these corporations millions of dollars in lost profits.

Monsanto and other GMO producers insist that genetically modified crops are safe and hold great promise for feeding a hungry planet, but GM crops actually have a detrimental effect on the natural world.  Cross pollination, “Super Weeds”,  and increased use of toxic herbicides are some of the unintended  consequences of GM crops.

With its seemingly endless budget, misleading ads rife with false information and a propensity to lie for its own benefit, Monsanto seems to have forgotten one thing:

Nature Bats Last.

And when She and her supporters hit the GM Labeling home run out of the park, states across the county will begin passing GM labeling laws. Once consumers know that they are eating food containing GM organisms, sales of these products will drop and manufacturers of GM food will be forced to change their game plan.  When  consumers demand to know what is in their food and the impact their food choices have on the environment,  this will be the start of a real food revolution where Nature, not Monsanto, wins.

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With you - i was sorry that Slo county did not go with 37. I also noticed that here in the wilds not to many people were properly informed. Keep them fast balls coming.
It's always hard to keep an open mind when the cheers are so loud, but I think this article in Slate is pretty significant: http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/01/03/mark_lynas_environmentalist_who_opposed_gmos_admits_he_was_wrong.html Here's a snip:


If you fear genetically modified food, you may have Mark Lynas to thank. By his own reckoning, British environmentalist helped spur the anti-GMO movement in the mid-‘90s, arguing as recently at 2008 that big corporations’ selfish greed would threaten the health of both people and the Earth. Thanks to the efforts of Lynas and people like him, governments around the world—especially in Western Europe, Asia, and Africa—have hobbled GM research, and NGOs like Greenpeace have spurned donations of genetically modified foods.

But Lynas has changed his mind—and he’s not being quiet about it. On Thursday at the Oxford Farming Conference, Lynas delivered a blunt address: He got GMOs wrong. According to the version of his remarks posted online (as yet, there’s no video or transcript of the actual delivery), he opened with a bang:

I want to start with some apologies. For the record, here and upfront, I apologise for having spent several years ripping up GM crops. I am also sorry that I helped to start the anti-GM movement back in the mid 1990s, and that I thereby assisted in demonising an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment.

As an environmentalist, and someone who believes that everyone in this world has a right to a healthy and nutritious diet of their choosing, I could not have chosen a more counter-productive path. I now regret it completely.

So I guess you’ll be wondering—what happened between 1995 and now that made me not only change my mind but come here and admit it? Well, the answer is fairly simple: I discovered science, and in the process I hope I became a better environmentalist.
Apologies for sloppy quoting above. I was floored by the article and trust Will Oremus, a science editor of Slate. Here's another quote.... please don't attack the messenger, ok?

"...His honest assessment of his heretofore poor understanding of the issue continues for almost 5,000 words—and it’s a must-read for anyone who has ever hesitated over conventional produce. To vilify GMOs is to be as anti-science as climate-change deniers, he says. To feed a growing world population (with an exploding middle class demanding more and better-quality food), we must take advantage of all the technology available to us, including GMOs. To insist on “natural” agriculture and livestock is to doom people to starvation, and there’s no logical reason to prefer the old ways, either. Moreover, the reason why big companies dominate the industry is that anti-GMO activists and policymakers have made it too difficult for small startups to enter the field...."
OJ - not to kill the messenger, but I call a big bullshit here. The science on GMOs is not done. We are using the landscape to test crap that may or may not work out over the long haul. Fear is not why I do not want to be a test case for monsanto or anyone else. I want to be able to choose how and when I ingest GMOs. I do not think that is too much to ask.

It is true that fear is the prime motivator for most people who choose to buy food they believe to be organic, and that is too bad. There are so many better reasons to buy organic and GMO free foods.

I have never heard of Mark Lynas - and really do not give a crap that he or anyone else thinks agricultural practices have much at all to do with starvation - or overpopulation; two man made problems that could be easily solved without GMO foods.
Hi, Thanks for reading my article. I researched Mark Lynas and found some interesting articles- http://www.panna.org/blog/debunking-mark-lynas-ge-myths
and
http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/a_rebuttal_to_mark_lynas_gmo_reversal/
An important issue for all who eat to come to terms with.
Thanks for the link.
For most backyard growers it's a no-brainer.
I feel for the Indian cotton farmers. Cotton in Australia is a Canadian enterprise, fully Monsanto, and huge. What they've done to a fragile system, soil & water, is devastating.
Pity the organic farmer inside a 100 k radius.
Monsanto is evil, in my opinion, a word I don't use lightly.
This week in Oregon, an 80 acre patch of non-FDA-or-anyone-else-approved Monsanto seed was found growing, illegally. It has farmers tense and on edge as who knows what Monsanto put in that seed they're testing, plus Oregon is stuffed with those who care about this issue of GMOs, pesticides, human health...and Oregon is stuffed with organic farms.
Yike!
I only wish this would bring some crazy uprising of horror and sanctions against the corporation.
The whole world ought to rise up against the poisoning of foods and their natural gifts of good health by those corporations who care only about profit and yields.
I read about that here, JT.
Corn, wasn't it ?
How does that happen ? From the account I read, the farmer had no idea either.
Thank you for posting this! The CT Senate just passed a GMO labeling bill:
CT Senate passes GMO labeling bill

It still needs to go to the House, and also, it would not go into effect until other states in the region pass similar laws. It is a positive step, though. Monsanto is ruthless, misguided, and very powerful, but as you say, "Nature bats last." It's better to be on her team.
It was wheat.
The seed was created to resist their own weed killer product!!
Japan, our largest importer for wheat, suspended all US wheat purchases due to this one field, and cancelled a large purchase at the same time.
Highly alarming.
No idea of more detail, but suspect either subterfuge of seed sales to get that wheat growing anyway, or subterfuge against organic wheat, U.S. wheat, U.S. in general....who knows.
Hard to believe in an accident when the stakes are so high....but it could be.
Ahhh, a bit more searching: the seed was tested, in many states including Oregon, in mid-90s to mid-2000s but never approved for sale....so old seed was lying around?
Hard to believe that, either.
Must go garden, my stomach gets in knots, all this....
`
Monsanto Killed GI,
barefoot peasants,
and CEO's made?
`
Filthy Lucre
Blood Money
Agent Orange
`
Shame Shame
Admiral Zumwalt?
(sp) He approved.
Zumewalt son died.

Hoarder of Bad karma.
They wake up after croak.
They defoliate triple canopy.
Later, CEO's Plunder mahogany.
They are Evil Incarnations.
`
I use to have a Sunday NY T piece.
Nixon/Kissinger etc., are pathetic.
What kills leaf or insect kill you.
Put like that, Art,

it's poetry ...

We need more Alchemists.
From article I googled:

"...the Agriculture Department reported that recent tests identified the strain after an Oregon farmer trying to clear a field sprayed Monsanto’s herbicide, Roundup, and found that the wheat could not be killed.

The report rattled U.S. wheat markets. In addition to Japan’s action, the European Union, which imports more than 1 million tons of U.S. wheat a year, said that it was following developments “to ensure E.U. zero-
tolerance policy is implemented.” It asked Monsanto to help detection efforts in Europe."

The EU asked Monsanto to help with the European detection efforts...what? No independent Monsanto seed identifier or whatever they're called?

The article:
http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-05-30/business/39629413_1_u-s-wheat-crop-white-wheat-monsanto

There is a link there for more information on the mounting protests against Monsanto !
I think Nature is asking all of us to be the alchemists...
Thanks for all of these great comments. I vote for nature!
Jeffrey Smith writes about the dangers of Genetically Modified Food in his book,”Seeds of Deception”. This information about the health threat of genetically modified food may be new to you, since there has been a cover up with media censorship, and the suppression of key research scientists. Jeff Smith's book compiles 20 years of data on the health risks of genetically modified foods. This data includes studies in which GMO food is fed to laboratory animals resulting in thousands of sick, sterile and dead laboratory animals. Also included is data on human allergic reactions and toxicity from GMO foods. While American consumers remain oblivious, genetic modification has already spread to 70% of the supermarket food supply, mostly affecting corn, soy, cotton seed oil and canola oil. In spite of these obvious problems, the FDA does not require labeling or safety testing of genetically modified food. This is an outrage.