SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, Mexico – About 105 experts in soil, water and land management, agriculture, media and campaign strategy assembled today in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for a three-day international conference on how to scale up organic and regenerative agriculture, land management and livestock grazing to address global warming, global food insecurity and public health.
It’s tough to even know where to start with this one, but here goes.
A company called Impossible Foods, with $257 million in venture capital funding, recently launched its fake, genetically engineered Impossible Burger—even though, the FDA (supposedly in charge of food safety) can’t say if the burger’s “secret sauce”—soy leghemoglobin—is safe.
How can Impossible Foods put soy leghemoglobin in food if the FDA hasn’t deemed it safe? The New York Times explains:
The F.D.A.’s approval is not required for most new ingredients. Companies can hire consultants to run tests, and they have no obligation to inform the agency of their findings, a process of self-affirmation.”
While you let that sink in . . . here’s the other half of that story. Impossible Foods asked the FDA to weigh in on the safety of its “secret sauce” ingredient, even though it wasn’t required to. The agency did. This is what regulators wrote in a memo to Impossible Foods:
“F.D.A. believes the arguments presented, individually and collectively, do not establish the safety of soy leghemoglobin for consumption,” nor do they point to a general recognition of safety.”
Despite that statement, the Impossible Burger went to market. Because, as it turns out, a company can introduce into the food system a product or ingredient that the FDA says may not be safe—as long as the FDA doesn’t say the product is unsafe.
That’s one issue with the Impossible Burger. Here’s the other. According to Max Goldberg, author of “Living Maxwell,” Impossible Foods uses genetic engineering to make the secret sauce that the FDA won’t say is safe. In his column, which appeared on the same day as the New York Times article, Goldberg raised the question of genetic engineering, and whether Impossible Foods is misleading consumers. Goldberg explains how the Impossible Burger is made:
After years of single-issue campaigning against America’s degenerate food and farming system, with real but limited success, it’s time for a change of strategy and tactics.
By connecting the dots between a range of heretofore separate issues and campaigns, by focusing on some of the major weaknesses or vulnerabilities of the system, we can speed up our transition to an organic and regenerative food and farming system before our health, environmental and climate crises turn into full-blown catastrophe.
Surveys indicate that Americans are increasingly alarmed about deteriorating public health, and the pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and GMOs lurking in conventional food brands, restaurant fare and school cafeterias. We obviously can’t count on a corrupt Congress or a Trump/Pence administration to protect our food and our environment. So it’s time to step up our marketplace pressure, with boycotts, lawsuits, brand de-legitimization and direct action.
Our job is to escalate our food fights into what can only be described as a food revolution. Our health, environment and climate stability require that we turn away from our degenerate food, farming and land use system to one which is regenerative.
On July 7 (2017), California will add glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, to the state’s list of chemicals and substances known to cause cancer.
Before we dive into the weeds in terms of what the listing does and doesn’t mean, and may or may not lead to, let’s take a moment to recognize that this is a landmark decision in the ongoing battle against Monsanto’s flagship weedkiller.
A couple of rotten eggs finally got their due. Well, sort of.
On June 27 (2016), Jack and Peter DeCoster, former owners of a Quality Egg Co. (not kidding) were ordered to begin serving time in jail.
On Saturday, May 20, activists took to the streets, all over the world, for the sixth annual March Against Monsanto protests.
As in years past, the Organic Consumers Association wholeheartedly supported this year’s march. We promoted it through our website, newsletter and social media networks. We mailed out about 400 packets of anti-GMO and anti-pesticide banners, bumperstickers and leaflets, to March Against Monsanto organizers.
We have always actively participated in the global March against Monsanto, and we will continue. But we also recognize that anti-Monsanto protests alone have not forced enough change, fast enough.
As Occupy activist Micah White said in a recent interview with National Public Radio, protest alone does not give us political power. How true—if we learned anything from our years of work trying to pass GMO labeling laws, it was this: As long as corporations own our politicians, no amount of public support, no amount of protesting a corporation, without also addressing our broken political system, will move us in the direction we want to go.
Washington, DC- Two nonprofit organizations filed a lawsuit against Monsanto for misleading the public by labeling its popular weedkiller Roundup as “target[ing] an enzyme found in plants but not in people or pets.” This lawsuit claims this statement is false, deceptive, and misleading, because the enzyme targeted by glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is, in fact, found in people and pets.
There is the possibility of inexpensive and effective healthcare for all. OCA Executive Director Ronnie Cummins has called this system “Regenerative Healthcare.” From my point of view, this is our only hope for the future, as it integrates and unites whole foods grown in healthy soils, ecological mindfulness, nature-based medicine, enlightened psychology, the Arts for Healing, and Spiritual Altruism in one holistic model.
“I have cancer, and I don’t want these serious issues in HED [EPA’s Health Effects Division] to go unaddressed before I go to my grave. I have done my duty.”
It’s been four years since Marion Copley, a 30-year EPA toxicologist, wrote those words to her then-colleague, Jess Rowland, accusing him of conniving with Monsanto to bury the agency’s own hard scientific evidence that it is “essentially certain” that glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, causes cancer.
Copley has since died. But her letter suggesting that EPA officials colluded with Monsanto to hide the truth about Monsanto’s flagship weedkiller has been given new life.
Thanks to the persistence of hundreds of plaintiffs in lawsuits alleging that they (or their deceased family members) were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after being exposed to Roundup, newly discovered internal emails and other documents paint an increasingly troubling and sinister picture of corruption.
In the coming weeks and months, reporters and lawyers will continue to sift through and analyze the mountain of new documents that include emails between Monsanto and EPA officials.
What we’ve seen so far may be just the tip of the iceberg. But after all the evidence has been analyzed and exposed, will the evidence of collusion be fatal to Monsanto? Or will we allow the collusion to continue to cause fatal illness?
“How could we have ever believed that it is a good idea to grow our food with poisons?” – Dr. Jane Goodall
Two new reports published in recent weeks add to the already large and convincing body of evidence, accumulated over more than half a century, that agricultural pesticides and other toxic chemicals are poisoning us.
Both reports issue scathing indictments of U.S. and global regulatory systems that collude with chemical companies to hide the truth from the public, while they fill their coffers with ill-gotten profits.