Category Archives: Politics

Ms. Gretchen Goes to Orlando

As the only farmer Georgia delegate to the Democratic National Convention, No Farms No Food and the only delegate from Lowndes County and one of the few from rural Georgia, Gretchen Quarterman is off to the Democratic Platform Committee meeting in Orlando today and tomorrow, Friday July 8th and Saturday July 9th 2016.

Remember: No Farms, No Food.

She already knows a bit more about the process than Jimmy Stewart in 1939’s Mr. Smith goes to Washington. Hm, I’d forgotten that movie was about Continue reading

The whole ecosystem –Elsie Quarterman on Wild Side TV

300x184 People as well as plants and animals. Not just dogs youve got on a leash, but animals that live out there, are part of the whole ecosystem., in A Crusader for Conservation, by Wild Side TV, for OkraParadiseFarms.org, 19 September 2014 Here’s a video about Elsie, A Crusader for Conservation, 19 September 2014, by Tennessee’s Wild Side, “The Emmy Award winning show produced through the generosity of the Jackson Foundation, Tennessee State Parks, and the Tennessee Wildlife Federation.” Lots of good pictures, some video snippets of Elsie, and some narration by her nephew Patrick and by Biologist Tom Hemmerly, who reminds us of Elsie’s work at Radner Lake, in addition to her cedar glades work. Ranger Buddy Ingram explains her biggest contribution may have been in getting numerous different segments of society to cooperate in saving whole ecologies. Botanist Kim Sadler and others explain how inspiring all that is to generations of students.

As Elsie said in 2006:

300x168 The general public needs to know whats around them., in A Crusader for Conservation, by Wild Side TV, for OkraParadiseFarms.org, 19 September 2014 The general public needs to know what’s around them. They need to be learning that there’s a world that is not paved. There are lots of things that have life and function in the whole scheme, people as well as plants and animals. Not just dogs you’ve got on a leash, but animals that live out there, are part of the whole ecosystem.
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Short-term profit misusing technical know-how beyond understanding of nature –Cosmos

Another Cosmos script Neil deGrasse Tyson read maybe he should have paid more attention to regarding the situation with short-sighted corporate monopolies misusing cherry-picked science to promote their profits at the expense of all of us and the only planet we’ve got.

Talking about the fall of the ancient Mesopotamia civilization, the script Dr. Tyson read for Cosmos Episode 11, The Immortals, says: Continue reading

N.deG. Tyson falls for the misuse of the authority of science that he decried in Cosmos

In his recent misstatements about GMO foods, Neil deGrasse Tyson has fallen for what he called the misuse of the authority of science, in Episode 7 of Cosmos, the Clean Room, which recounted Clair Patterson’s discovery of lead pollution by leaded gasoline. That use of lead had been promoted and defended by Robert E. Kehoe’s “scientific” papers.

The script Tyson read (but did not write) said: Continue reading

Junk food is engineered to be addictive

This is why there is an epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in the U.S.: food deliberately engineered to make people eat until they get fat. Georgia is not quite one of the fattest states, but Lowndes County is one of the fattest counties. There is something we can do, even while Big Food continues to act like Big Tobacco.

Michael Moss wrote for NYTimes 20 February 2013, The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food,

On the evening of April 8, 1999, a long line of Town Cars and taxis pulled up to the Minneapolis headquarters of Pillsbury and discharged 11 men who controlled America’s largest food companies. Nestlé was in attendance, as were Kraft and Nabisco, General Mills and Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Mars. Rivals any other day, the C.E.O.’s and company presidents had come together for a rare, private meeting. On the agenda was one item: the emerging obesity epidemic and how to deal with it. While the atmosphere was cordial, the men assembled were hardly friends. Their stature was defined by their skill in fighting one another for what they called “stomach share” — the amount of digestive space that any one company’s brand can grab from the competition.

James Behnke, a 55-year-old executive at Pillsbury, greeted the men as they arrived. He was anxious but also hopeful about the plan that he and a few other food-company executives had devised to engage the C.E.O.’s on America’s growing weight problem. “We were very concerned, and rightfully so, that obesity was becoming a major issue,” Behnke recalled. “People were starting to talk about sugar taxes, and there was a lot of pressure on food companies.” Getting the company chiefs in the same room to Continue reading

Science that’s proven safe by not the very same companies that stand to gain by its approval –Rachel Parent

14 year old Rachel Parent destroys a pro-Monsanto-GMO TV host on every point, from science to his ad hominem attacks against her. He twists, he turns, he avoids admitting when he’s defeated, and he loses bigtime. No summary can do this justice.

Mat Agorist posted for Realfarmacy.com 30 August 2013 about the CNBC Lang & O’Leary show of 31 July 2013, 14 Year Old, Rachel Parent, Anti-GMO Activist, Destroys Establishment Shill, Kevin O’Leary, On Air

Meet Rachel Parent, a 14 year old activist, who knows her stuff! This brave girl should serve as a role model for all teens. If 10 percent of children had this girl’s drive and knowledge, we wouldn’t even be having this debate right now.

In this video Ms. Parent braves the establishment hack, Kevin O’Leary, and does outstanding. O’Leary hammers out the industry talking points like the good shill he is and Ms. Parent slams each and every one. Bravo Rachel Parent, thanks for doing what you do.

If you like the work of Rachel Parent and want to help, please visit her website at http://www.gmo-news.com.

Here’s the video:

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Monsanto FUD about seed ownership: Farmer Bowman could win back natural seed rights

Monsanto is always hiding behind something, starving children (while selling their parents crops that fail all at once), the Great God Efficiency, or now, medical research. Will Clarence Thomas recuse himself this time on this Supreme Court seed patent, Bowman v Monsanto? Will Monsanto manufacture enough Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) to win anyway, or will the other SCOTUS judges rule wisely this time?

Andrew Pollack wrote for the New York Times 13 February 2013, Farmer’s Supreme Court Challenge Puts Monsanto Patents at Risk,

Monsanto says that a victory for Mr. Bowman would allow farmers to essentially save seeds from one year’s crop to plant the next year, eviscerating patent protection. In Mr. Bowman’s part of Indiana, it says, a single acre of soybeans can produce enough seeds to plant 26 acres the next year.

Such a ruling would “devastate innovation in biotechnology,” the company wrote in its brief. “Investors are unlikely to make such investments if they cannot prevent purchasers of living organisms containing their invention from using them to produce unlimited copies.”…

The decision might also apply to live vaccines, cell lines and DNA used for research or medical treatment, and some types of nanotechnology.

Yeah, yeah, it could. But it would be quite easy for SCOTUS to say this ruling is about seeds.

Many organizations have filed briefs in support of Monsanto’s position — universities worried about incentives for research, makers of laboratory instruments and some big farmer groups like the American Soybean Association, which say seed patents have spurred crop improvements. The Justice Department is also supporting Monsanto’s argument.

And the American Soybean Association represents big growers who plant Monsanto seeds. Too bad they don’t realize they’d make more profits if they didn’t have to pay for those seeds every year even when Monsanto jacks up the price ( 43% in 2009), plus pay for the expensive pesticides that go on them, and the expensive huge tractor equipment to farm at the scale Monsanto demands. Another group that should know better weighs in:

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Want some 2,4-D with that drifting Roundup and Paraquat?

Got enough Roundup and Paraquat drifting onto you? Want some 2,4-D with that? If not, you can send your comments to USDA now. Hey, what if we all plowed under the mutant pigweed instead of breeding more with poison soup!

Tom Philpott wrote for Mother Jones 18 July 2012, USDA Prepares To Greenlight Gnarliest GMO Soy Yet,

In early July, on the sleepy Friday after Independence Day, the USDA quietly signaled its intention to greenlight a new genetically engineered soybean seed from Dow AgroSciences. The product is designed to produce soy plants that withstand 2,4-D, a highly toxic herbicide (and, famously, the less toxic component in the notorious Vietnam War-era defoliant Agent Orange).

Readers may remember that during an even-sleepier period—the week between Christmas and the New Year—the USDA made a similar move on Dow’s 2,4-D-ready corn.

If the USDA deregulates the two products—as it has telegraphed its intention to do—Dow will enjoy a massive profit opportunity. Every year, about half of all US farmland is planted in corn and soy. Currently, Dow’s rival Monsanto has a tight grip on weed management in corn-and-soy country. Upwards of 90 percent of soy and 70 percent of corn is engineered to withstand another herbicide called glyphosate through highly profitable Monsanto’s Roundup Ready seed lines. And after so many years of lashing so much land with the same herbicide, glyphosate-resistant superweeds are now vexing farmers and “alarming” weed-control experts throughout the midwest.

And that’s where Dow’s 2,4-D-ready corn and soy seeds come in. Dow’s novel products will be engineered to withstand glyphosate and 2,4-D, so farmers can douse their fields with both herbicides; the 2,4-D will kill the weeds that glyphosate no longer can. That’s the marketing pitch, anyway.

There’s more in the article.

It can also get into your well water, and then, according to EPA:

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Press mum on new glysophate evidence

I quoted Jill Richardson back in March about about Professor Col. Don Huber’s letter to USDA Secretary Vilsack about new evidence found of diseases caused by Roundup. She writes 27 April 2011, Why Is Damning New Evidence About Monsanto’s Most Widely Used Herbicide Being Silenced? It turns out that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide might not be nearly as safe as people have thought, but the media is staying mum on the revelation.
Huber was unavailable to respond to media inquiries in the weeks following the leak, and thus unable to defend himself when several colleagues from Purdue publicly claiming to refute his accusations about Monsanto’s widely used herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) and Roundup Ready crops. When his letter was finally acknowledged by the mainstream media, it was with titles like “Scientists Question Claims in Biotech Letter,” noting that the letter’s popularity on the internet “has raised concern among scientists that the public will believe his unsupported claim is true.”

Now, Huber has finally spoken out, both in a second letter, sent to “a wide number of individuals worldwide” to explain and back up his claims from his first letter, and in interviews. While his first letter described research that was not yet complete or published, his second letter cited much more evidence about glyphosate and genetically engineered crops based on studies that have already been published in peer-reviewed journals.

And that’s plus all sorts of evidence about other ill effects of glysophate, including lower IQ in children, and Roundup-Ready crops themselves causing organ disruptions. All that plus the very real risk of the genetically modified crops having unpredicted effects. There’s much more.

Could this silence of the press be because only five companies own more than half of all the media in the U.S.? Let’s not forget the legal system is also complicit, given the Fox-can-lie case.

So what can you do? vote at the checkout counter. Buy local and organic. And of course bug your elected officials about doing something about it.

-jsq