Not all the news is bad… The EU seems to be, mostly, in the forefront of reasonable thinking about GMO’s and Monsanto poisons. Hopefully this trend will continue through the grace period and Monsanto will be finally and permanently called out as dangerous to our health.
I have more faith in the EUers…Europe has seen times we may never see, if we’re lucky. Environments have been decimated through war and the necessities inherent in rebuilding. But I think, for the most part, they have not lost their intelligence about what is ultimately important in these small countries.
Lately, through a long bout of the flu, I have been indulging in the delightfully positive and quirky guidance of English gardeners. …on YouTube, of all places. Okay, don’t stop reading. If you can get Netflix streaming, you have access to YouTube on your TV, as well as on your computer. My daughter alerted me to “Gardener’s World”, an amazing 50 years of hour long gardening advice programs with die-hard English gardeners who defend the standard in the only way avid English gardeners can. And it is so worth it, for information as well as entertainment.
Of course, most of this information is about growing flowers, trees, cacti, etc. and nothing so far that I’ve seen about growing crops. But the gist is this…the same principles apply to all plant life.. I recommend it for their enthusiasm and unshakeable belief that gardening is the most important endeavor of mankind. It puts our hearts immediately in the environment, grounds us there, and focuses our thinking on how things work naturally, and how those processes should be honored, not just for the beauty and health of the garden, but for the ripples that extend into our global environment.
And there are other gardening programs accessible there. I plan to spend some quiet recovery time looking around.
Organics Under Assault
The next issue gives those of us who buy organic the prod to not let our guard down, and to ramp up our efforts to grow our own food. Shouldn’t we all be as concerned about growing our own food and saving seeds, as we were during the war? This ‘war’ on our agriculture, is equally alarming today. Monsanto and Bayer are buying up seed companies and making it difficult to find diversity in plant choices. I believe they are turning our farmers into corporate robots who sing the company song and plant GMO’s to their and our detriment, in both health and environment. Unable to save seeds as they did traditionally, they now have to buy patented seed from Monsanto and use the unregulated poisons necessary to keep the crops weed free (and probably butterfly, bird and microbe free),. I am reading that GMO yields have shown to be less than in sustainable agriculture. And Glyphosates, if you have been paying attention, are said to be hormone disrupters that turn frog genders into transgenders. With glyphosate being sprayed abundantly on most crops, especially wheat, you wonder how it is affecting our children.
So now, folks are understandably trying such things as hydroponic growing mediums for their vegetables. In a world where we will continue to let our soils become infertile through the uses of heavy chemicals and the death of the necessary microbes in the soil, we seem to be acquiescing by finding these ‘alternatives’ rather than fighting for saving our farms. This statement is obviously a product of my belief that healthy soil is an absolute necessity for our own health and the health of the environment. Healthy soils contribute to the strength and nutritional value of our food. I think feeding plants chemicals is like feeding babies Gerber formulas. They may live, but without thriving at their very peak of potential.
In spite of the admonition that all the required nutrients are in these formulas, for me it has become clearer that what is required for optimum health are all the nutrients that work in concert in nature, in the soils, to produce their own powerful alchemy. I find the prospect of living in a warehouse with my plant food hooked up to IVs a sort of prequel to the mechanized robotic life scientists are so avidly working on. But you may have another opinion.
MILLIONS AGAINST MONSANTO
Just Said NO!
Monsanto’s past is finally catching up with it. And that’s making the Biotech Bully’s future look not so good—especially in Europe.
Today (Thursday, November 9), the EU Parliament again failed to agree on whether to allow European farmers to spray glyphosate, the key active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, for another five years. The chemical’s license expires on December 15 (though there’s an additional 18-month grace period).
This is great news—made even sweeter by this media report which prominently features our findings, announced October 10 in Brussels, that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in four EU countries tested positive for glyphosate.
Monsanto has come under fire not just for the impact its GMOs and poisonous chemicals are having on human health and the environment, but also for knowing glyphosate causes cancer—but hiding it.
From the Monsanto Tribunal, to the Monsanto Papers, to the millions of dedicated people in all corners of the world working tirelessly to rid the world of Roundup—today’s vote brings hope. This may not be the end of the battle—but it signals that no matter how long it takes, we’re not giving up.
Fourteen countries voted in favor of the renewal, nine voted against, and five, including Germany, abstained from voting. What’s next? An appeal committee could be asked to intervene. Or, the European Commission could draft a new proposal. (France, which voted against the five-year renewal, said it would support a three-year renewal).
ESSAY OF THE WEEK
Done with Doom
Last week the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) rejected the pleas of organic activists, farmers and many businesses to “keep the soil in organic” by voting to allow growers of hydroponic vegetables to label their produce “organic.”
The NOSB’s vote did little to shore up consumer faith in the USDA Organic label, especially after well-publicized news reportsearlier this year accusing a few high-profile organic brands of giving “organic” a bad name by skirting the rules. And it had some industry pioneers so angry and disheartened, that according to the Washington Post they were even “threatening to leave the program they helped create.”
The Organic Consumers Association supported the “Keep the soil in organic” campaign. We’re disappointed in the NOSB’s decision, another sign of Big Organic’s (negative) influence over organic standards.
But rather than mourn the demise of organic standards, or fruitlessly complain about how the USDA Organic label is being undermined by a few corrupt corporations, we’ve joined the growing number of organic advocates, both in the U.S. and abroad, who understand that the future of organic is regenerative. And here’s what we’re doing about it.