I Visited Cuba’s Farms and It Made Me Rethink Obama’s Rapprochement – AlterNet


AlterNet

I Visited Cuba's Farms and It Made Me Rethink Obama's Rapprochement
AlterNet
Some government agencies favor the use of genetically modified organisms, with their introduction albeit on an experimental basis, while the agroecology movement vehemently opposes them. The revolution itself is not up for debate. It is, moreover …

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Guest Blog: Pollinators & the rigged neonic seed market

Farmers are no different from any buyer – they want to know what they’re buying, how much it costs and its expected performance. But in the brave new world of agricultural seeds, where multiple traits and technology are stacked like Microsoft’s operating system, it’s becoming more and more difficult for farmers to separate out what is really needed and discover how much each piece is costing them. In the case of neonicotinoid (neonic) seed coatings used as a pesticide, both the effectiveness and costs are somewhat of a mystery, according to a new paper published by IATP today.

As farm income is expected to drop more than 30 percent from last year, farmers are carefully examining all input costs to see where they can save. With their financial cost and actual effectiveness unclear, neonic seed coatings may be one of those places to cut costs. But the real cost of neonics likely goes well beyond the input price. A growing body of science directly implicates neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides as a contributor to the significant decline of bees and other pollinators. Neonics are applied in multiple ways in agriculture and horticulture but are most prevalent as a seed coating material for commodity crops like corn and soybeans. Based on convincing and mounting evidence, beekeepers, scientists and other individuals concerned about pollinators are working together to spur regulatory action and shifts in the marketplace to reduce the use of neonics.

In May 2015, the White House issued an interagency National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators.  The strategy focuses on efforts to restore honey bee loss, increase monarch butterfly populations and restore pollinator habitats. But the White House plan virtually ignores the on-the-ground farm economics that directly contribute to rising neonic use in seed coatings – specifically the role of a few large companies that have a stranglehold on the seed market. This concentrated market power in the seed industry has allowed a few multi-billion dollar companies like Bayer, Syngenta and Monsanto to significantly limit U.S. farmers’ choices around seed coating.

In most cases the seed is coated with neonics whether wanted or not and our paper found that this lack of choice has made it difficult for farmers and their advisors to assess the actual value of these pesticides in crop production, or to understand their true financial and environmental costs. Most farmers understand the value of pollinators to plant growth and the food system and would not intentionally harm them.  However, without credible information on the risks or the freedom to choose their seed coating, farmers are left with little choice but to accept what their seed company delivers.   

The good news is that there are independent seed companies and dealers able today to provide farmers with information and choice around seed coatings. Representing a small segment of a highly consolidated industry, independent seed producers and dealers are able and willing to respond to market changes and farmer preferences associated with not only neonics, but also other areas of market interest, such as non-genetically modified organisms (GMOs), certified organic, cover and specialty crops. But a farmer’s ability to choose what kind of seed coatings they want as part of their crop management system should be the rule, not the exception, in the seed market. 

One of the most basic and necessary aspects of a free market is available and accurate information about products and their efficacy, cost and benefits. It should go without saying, then, that in a competitive marketplace, farmers should receive accurate, up-to-date information from researchers and other farmers at field days about the costs and benefits of neonics and other seed coatings related to both crop production and the environment, including pollinators. Yet, this isn’t happening with neonics or other seed coating ingredients today. We need credible, farmer-led field trials that compare different seed coatings and traits, and that information should be shared with other farmers. And those findings should be compared with the effectiveness and costs of other pest control approaches, such as integrated pest management (IPM), that have proven benefits and economic returns. Only with complete information and choice – about neonics and other crop management tools – can farmers make smart choices that allow them to produce crops and take care of pollinators and the environment.

You can read the full paper: Unknown Benefits, Hidden Costs: Neonicotinoid seed coatings, crop yields and pollinators.

– See more at: http://www.iatp.org/blog/201508/pollinators-and-the-rigged-neonic-seed-market#sthash.C8AuHc1y.dpuf

Farmers are no different from any buyer – they want to know what they’re buying, how much it costs and its expected performance. But in the brave new world of agricultural seeds, where multiple traits and technology are stacked like Microsoft’s operating system, it’s becoming more and more difficult for farmers to separate out what is really needed and discover how much each piece is costing them.

In the case of neonicotinoid (neonic) seed coatings used as a pesticide, both the effectiveness and costs are somewhat of a mystery, according to a new paper published by IATP today.

read more

Essay: No single philosophy can guide the way we farm – Columbia Daily Tribune


Columbia Daily Tribune

Essay: No single philosophy can guide the way we farm
Columbia Daily Tribune
There's an unbreachable divide between advocates of modern conventional agriculture and, essentially, everyone else, from the mainstream — organic, local, anti-GMO — to the less-so — biodynamics, permaculture, agroforestry. The parties are

Food and ideology don’t mix: There’s not one way to feed world – Genetic Literacy Project


Genetic Literacy Project

Food and ideology don't mix: There's not one way to feed world
Genetic Literacy Project
There's an unbreachable divide between advocates of modern conventional agriculture and, essentially, everyone else, from the mainstream (organic, local, anti-GMO) to the less-so (biodynamics, permaculture, agroforestry). The parties are entrenched

Why everyone who is sure about their food philosophy is wrong – The Washington … – Washington Post

Why everyone who is sure about their food philosophy is wrong – The Washington
Washington Post
There's an unbreachable divide between advocates of modern conventional agriculture and, essentially, everyone else, from the mainstream (organic, local, anti-GMO) to the less-so (biodynamics, permaculture, agroforestry). The parties are entrenched

Why everyone who is sure about a food philosophy is wrong – The Washington Post – Washington Post

Why everyone who is sure about a food philosophy is wrong – The Washington Post
Washington Post
There's an unbreachable divide between advocates of modern conventional agriculture and, essentially, everyone else, from the mainstream (organic, local, anti-GMO) to the less-so (biodynamics, permaculture, agroforestry). The parties are entrenched

Why everyone who is sure about a food philosophy is wrong – Washington Post

Why everyone who is sure about a food philosophy is wrong
Washington Post
There's an unbreachable divide between advocates of modern conventional agriculture and, essentially, everyone else, from the mainstream (organic, local, anti-GMO) to the less-so (biodynamics, permaculture, agroforestry). The parties are entrenched

The looming DARK Act

The Monsanto-backed bill to undercut GMO labeling efforts just got worse. Faced with increased push-back at state and local levels, the pesticide/biotech corporation — and its allies in Congress — are attempting to further limit choice in the food and farming system.

In this latest version of what critics have dubbed the "Denying American's Right to Know" or DARK Act, industry has snuck in a provision that would limit the authority of local government to create rules on genetically engineered (GE) crops. A House vote is scheduled for Thursday.

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What if Monsanto got even Monsanto-ier?

Monsanto has really been on a roll lately — with the company's new pesticide-intensive genetically engineered (GE) crop system being approved, Obama gaining Fast Track Authority for the TPP,  and the introduction of an even scarier version of the "DARK Act" to block GE labeling.

But just when we thought Monsanto was as big and bad as it could be, the agricultural giant out-Monsanto's itself. In case you missed the news, Monsanto, the largest seed company in the world, is putting in aggressive offers to acquire Syngenta, the largest pesticide company in the world. Because global domination of just one market is never enough. 

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New GE rules in the works — finally!

We've been saying it for years: the rules governing genetically engineered (GE) crops, and how they get on the market, are broken. There are significant loopholes, insufficient transparency, and outdated practices that fail to account for today's on-the-ground farming realities.

The White House agrees, at least in part. In a memorandum released July 2, the President called on the three agencies involved — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — to fully review and update GE regulations. It's about time.

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Scientists Oppose GMO Biocolonization of Costa Rica – The Costa Rica Star


The Costa Rica Star

Scientists Oppose GMO Biocolonization of Costa Rica
The Costa Rica Star
GMO Free SEED FREEDOM Press Release — Personalities from the eco-scientific and organic agriculture environments are speaking up against the letter from the American Embassy, in which the Costa Rican government is put under pressure to adopt …

How would YOU regulate GE crops?

Criticisms of genetically engineered (GE) food have gone mainstream lately — from Chipotle going GMO free to GE labeling bills moving forward in states across the country. But very little public attention has been given to the important crossroads we are facing right now around how GE crops get onto the market to begin with.

After the controversial approval of Dow Chemical's latest GE corn and soybeans, Enlist Duo, USDA announced it will finally be revising the agency's outdated, ineffective, hands-off approach to regulating GE crops. We have until June 22nd to weigh in on how GE products should be evaluated before they enter our fields, and how the USDA should regulate them once they are planted. So what needs to change?

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Former EPA Scientist: Biotech Companies Encouraging Pesticide Treadmill – Center for Research on Globalization


Center for Research on Globalization

Former EPA Scientist: Biotech Companies Encouraging Pesticide Treadmill
Center for Research on Globalization
Dr. Ramon Seidler (left), a retired senior scientist from the US Environmental Protection Agency, has become a leading spokesperson against genetically modified foods and the increasing use of pesticides with GM crops. He actively supported Oregon's

Anti-GMO protesters march against Monsanto in Burkina Faso – spyghana.com


spyghana.com

Anti-GMO protesters march against Monsanto in Burkina Faso
spyghana.com
Thousands activists of the collective citizenship for agro-ecology, of which many Europeans, took to the streets on Saturday at Ouagadougou to demonstrate against genetically modified organism (GMO) and the specialized GMO distribution multinational …

Kaua’i takes on the Big 6 & wins. Again!

Chalk up another win for the little guy. A handful of residents of Kauai’s Waimea community prevailed in court over biotech giant DuPont-Pioneer last week. Citing extensive, harmful dust generated by DuPont’s seed operations, a jury awarded 15 residents $500,000 in damages.

This is just the latest in an impressive string of victories against pesticide and genetically engineered (GE) seed corporations in Kaua’i, the global epicenter for GE seed testing.

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Agroecology can ‘save the world’ from GMO-led industrial agriculture – Genetic Literacy Project

Agroecology can 'save the world' from GMO-led industrial agriculture
Genetic Literacy Project
Imagine the scenario: world food production has become concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite who, backed by powerful governments, have succeeded in creating a captive market of farmers around the world dependent on them for everything from seed to …

Has agroecology been hijacked by activists more concerned about anti-GMO … – Genetic Literacy Project


Genetic Literacy Project

Has agroecology been hijacked by activists more concerned about anti-GMO
Genetic Literacy Project
Agroecology is a both a movement and a science—a fuzziness that leads to confusion over what the term really means. It resists any affiliation with agribusinesses and large scale agriculture and consequent and often exaggerated negative implications, …

Who Granted The “GMO Evangelists” The Monopoly On Compassion? – Center for Research on Globalization


Center for Research on Globalization

Who Granted The “GMO Evangelists” The Monopoly On Compassion?
Center for Research on Globalization
Indeed, agroecology is at the centre of a struggle for sustainability, land, food security and self-determination. It's not a fad. It has fed the world for centuries. However, industrialised global agriculture has taken control of food and land and has

and more »

Who Granted The GMO Evangelists The Monopoly On Compassion? – RINF Alternative News


RINF Alternative News

Who Granted The GMO Evangelists The Monopoly On Compassion?
RINF Alternative News
Indeed, agroecology is at the centre of a struggle for sustainability, land, food security and self-determination. It's not a fad. It has fed the world for centuries. However, industrialised global agriculture has taken control of food and land and has

and more »

GMO debate outdated, argues food security lobbyist – Capital FM Kenya (press release) (subscription) (blog)


Capital FM Kenya (press release) (subscription) (blog)

GMO debate outdated, argues food security lobbyist
Capital FM Kenya (press release) (subscription) (blog)
NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 21 – Agricultural campaign organisation Green Peace Africa has called on the government to move away from the Genetically Modified Foods debate and invest in ecological farming techniques. Green Peace Agriculture Campaigner …

World Health Day – GM Crops Are ‘False Miracles,’ Warn Global Experts – AllAfrica.com

World Health Day – GM Crops Are 'False Miracles,' Warn Global Experts
AllAfrica.com
With "Food Safety" being the theme of this year's World Health Day on April 7, 37 laureates of the Right Livelihood Award from across the world have endorsed a declaration on the future of nutrition, denouncing Golden Rice and Genetically Modified

Wyoming lawmakers to study genetically modified organism issues – Casper Star-Tribune Online


Casper Star-Tribune Online

Wyoming lawmakers to study genetically modified organism issues
Casper Star-Tribune Online
Robin Groose is an associate professor of agroecology and plant breeding at the University of Wyoming. He agreed with Greear that there is no evidence showing GMOs are harmful. “People ask whether (they) are safe are not,” he said. “But I see it as …

In wake of Owen Paterson rebuke of anti-GMO ‘Green Blob’, advocates and … – Genetic Literacy Project


Genetic Literacy Project

In wake of Owen Paterson rebuke of anti-GMO 'Green Blob', advocates and
Genetic Literacy Project
According to Todhunter, numerous agroeecological analyses have concluded that GMOs are not necessary to feed the world (although he also wrote in a previous public exchange that agroecological approaches alone aren't the end-all solution but merely …

and more »

In wake of Owen Paterson rebuke of the anti-GMO ‘Green Blob’, advocates and … – Genetic Literacy Project


Genetic Literacy Project

In wake of Owen Paterson rebuke of the anti-GMO 'Green Blob', advocates and
Genetic Literacy Project
According to Todhunter, numerous agroeecological analyses have concluded that GMOs are not necessary to feed the world (although he also wrote in a previous public exchange that agroecological approaches alone aren't the end-all solution but merely …

The Issues Surrounding Genetically Modified Foods – NDTV


NDTV

The Issues Surrounding Genetically Modified Foods
NDTV
And it's been adequately demonstrated that crop rotation, the use of organic fertilizers, interplanting of varieties of crops, and other ecologically informed techniques commonly grouped together under the term “agroecology” can effectively reduce the

and more »

Peak food? Can food tech supercharge crop yields and address global food … – Genetic Literacy Project


Genetic Literacy Project

Peak food? Can food tech supercharge crop yields and address global food
Genetic Literacy Project
In a speech in September 2014, he said that we need to try it all, referring to both genetically modified seeds and agroecology, which is often held up as the preferred option by anti-GMO activists. “We need to explore these alternatives using an

Will Hawai’i lawmakers stand up to Monsanto & Co?

Later today, the Hawai'i House Committee on Agriculture will take up an important bill that could create new protections from pesticides for children. But if prior votes are any indication, the committee — and the industrial agricultural interests driving it — will be a tough obstacle to overcome.

We've seen this same showdown on island after island, as each county has attempted to enact new protections on the use of pesticides or pesticide-promoting genetically engineered seeds and crops. And we've also seen the force with which, each time, Monsanto and the rest of the Big 6 pesticide corporations have tried to stop these laws in their tracks.

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Don’t ‘abhor’ us – abhor GMO scientists laden with conflicts of interest! – The Ecologist (blog)

Don't 'abhor' us – abhor GMO scientists laden with conflicts of interest!
The Ecologist (blog)
Africa's biotech establishment is deploying its biggest guns to attack NGOs opposed to GMO crops to help push through Ghana's corporation-friendly Plant Breeders Bill – a key element in the corporate enclosure of Africa's farming, seeds and

Zero tolerance policies on GMO “contamination” hurt organic and conventional … – Genetic Literacy Project


Genetic Literacy Project

Zero tolerance policies on GMO “contamination” hurt organic and conventional
Genetic Literacy Project
Miguel A. Altieri, a professor of agroecology at the University of California, Berkeley, argued that transgenic crops are not compatible with agroecology, the larger scientific umbrella that includes organic farming practices. Genetically modified

Still in the dark on labeling

No doubt, this week has been a tough one for advocates of transparency in food and farming. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee spent Wednesday debating the merits of labeling genetically engineered food — and foreshadowing bigger congressional fights in 2015 — while the Oregon GE labeling initiative was handed a near-certain defeat by the courts.

H.R. 4432 (Pompeo), dubbed by critics as the Deny Americans the Right to Know (or DARK) Act, will likely be reintroduced early next year. And if passed, it would undermine any state or local mandates for labeling GE food — keeping U.S. consumers in the dark about the foods we eat and the way they're grown.

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Still in the dark?

No doubt, this week has been a tough one for advocates of transparency in food and farming. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee spent Wednesday debating the merits of labeling genetically engineered food — and foreshadowing bigger congressional fights in 2015 — while the Oregon GE labeling initiative was handed a near-certain defeat by the courts.

H.R. 4432 (Pompeo), dubbed by critics as the Deny Americans the Right to Know (or DARK) Act, will likely be reintroduced early next year. And if passed, it would undermine any state or local mandates for labeling GE food — keeping U.S. consumers in the dark about the foods we eat and the way they're grown.

read more

Even this organic advocate thinks African farmers need herbicide – Genetic Literacy Project

Even this organic advocate thinks African farmers need herbicide
Genetic Literacy Project
Why aren't agroecological techniques farming spreading faster among poor farmers? If you are a farmer in the rural part of an undeveloped country, where it's hard to get synthetic fertilizer, pesticides, and genetically modified seeds, it only makes

Even this organic advocate thinks African farmers need herbicide – Grist


Grist

Even this organic advocate thinks African farmers need herbicide
Grist
Why aren't agroecological techniques farming spreading faster among poor farmers? If you are a farmer in the rural part of an undeveloped country, where it's hard to get synthetic fertilizer, pesticides, and genetically modified seeds, it only makes

Taking on Monsanto — and winning

In Oregon, Hawai'i, California and beyond, we saw organized communities stand up to corporate money this election season. And despite record-breaking industry spending, community advocates made real and important strides toward reclaiming food and farming from the "Big 6" pesticide corporations.  

Voters in California and Hawai'i successfully pushed back against Monsanto & friends to create GE-free zones in Humboldt and Maui counties. And despite millions of industry dollars spent in opposition, the initiative to label genetically engineered food in Oregon is still too close to call. Change is on its way.

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“The GMO Deception”: Sheldon Krimsky on How BigAg & the Government Is … – Democracy Now (blog)

"The GMO Deception": Sheldon Krimsky on How BigAg & the Government Is
Democracy Now (blog)
That's what we call agroecology. We have to understand that you have to match the seed to the region, and not match the region to the seed. That's why you don't necessarily have high productivity in every region of the world. Some of the Indian farmers

and more »

“World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology” – Scoop.co.nz (press release)

“World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology”
Scoop.co.nz (press release)
The speakers are experts in their fields of science, and will talk on the issues that New Zealand must consider, in regard to agroecology, organic, chemical and GMO agricultural systems that will help to build a thriving export market economy

GE labeling in Oregon & beyond

As I strolled through downtown Ashland, Oregon, last week, I was struck by how many “Yes on 92” signs and stickers I saw. There is clear, visible support from businesses and individuals for the measure to label genetically engineered (GE) foods.

And as the measure heads for a vote on November 4, industrial agriculture groups are pulling out all the stops to keep this ballot initiative from winning. Even so, there is an incredible groundswell of support for labeling GE food in Oregon and beyond. Things are looking hopeful!

read more

FAO Calls for “Paradigm Shift” Towards Sustainable Ag, Fisheries – TheFishSite.com


TheFishSite.com

FAO Calls for “Paradigm Shift” Towards Sustainable Ag, Fisheries
TheFishSite.com
Options such as Agro-ecology and climate-smart agriculture should be explored, and so should biotechnology and the use of genetically modified organisms, FAO's director-general said, noting that food production needs to grow by 60 per cent by 2050 to …

FAO Calls for “Paradigm Shift” Towards Sustainable Agriculture and Family … – AllAfrica.com


euronews

FAO Calls for "Paradigm Shift" Towards Sustainable Agriculture and Family
AllAfrica.com
Options such as Agro-ecology and climate-smart agriculture should be explored, and so should biotechnology and the use of genetically modified organisms, FAO's director-general said, noting that food production needs to grow by 60 percent by 2050 to …
World needs 'paradigm shift' towards sustainable agriculture, UN agency urges indiablooms



all 29 news articles »

World needs ‘paradigm shift’ towards sustainable agriculture, UN agency urges – UN News Centre


UN News Centre

World needs 'paradigm shift' towards sustainable agriculture, UN agency urges
UN News Centre
Pointing to options such as agro-ecology, climate-smart agriculture, biotechnology and the use of genetically modified organisms, the Director-General emphasized that global food production would need to grow by 60 per cent by 2050 in order to meet the …
FAO calls for "paradigm shift" towards sustainable agriculture, food Thomson Reuters Foundation



all 3 news articles »

FAO calls for “paradigm shift” towards sustainable agriculture, food … – Thomson Reuters Foundation

FAO calls for "paradigm shift" towards sustainable agriculture, food
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Options such as Agro-ecology and climate-smart agriculture should be explored, and so should biotechnology and the use of genetically modified organisms, FAO's director-general said, noting that food production needs to grow by 60 percent by 2050 to …

As it happened: World leaders pledge climate action in New York – Responding to Climate Change


Responding to Climate Change

As it happened: World leaders pledge climate action in New York
Responding to Climate Change
The world's climate scientists have said that farmers advancing our agroecology solutions not only cool the planet but feed the planet. So why are we being pushed off our lands by more genetically modified crops or complex and risky soil carbon markets.

Bad call, USDA

Very disappointing news came out of the U.S. Department of Agriculture yesterday. The agency announced it is greenlighting Dow Agroscience's new genetically engineered (GE) corn and soybeans that are designed to withstand repeated applications of 2,4-D — an antiquated, dangerous herbicide.

PAN scientist Dr. Marcia Ishii-Eiteman called the decision "a slap in the face" to the thousands of farmers who have expressed concerns about crop damage, economic losses and health risks associated with the dramatically increased use of 2,4-D that will accompany Dow's new crops. USDA predicts 2,4-D use in corn and soybean production will increase between 500% and 1,400% by 2020.

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Mexican beekeepers vs. Monsanto

Beekeepers and indigenous groups in the Mexican state of Yucatán recently won an important court decision against Monsanto. A district judge overturned Monsanto's permit for  commercial planting of RoundUp-ready soybeans in the state.

The judge found that "co-existence between honey production and GMO soybeans is not possible," given European restrictions on imports of honey contaminated with GMO pollen. The court also took regulators to task for ignoring the constitutional requirement to consult with indigenous groups on decisions affecting their territory.

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Can’t stop, won’t stop our ‘Right to Know’

Just yesterday, Colorado advocates got the signatures they needed to put a public initiative to label genetically engineered (GE) foods on the November ballot. Colorado's proposition 105, and its counterpart in Oregon which qualified last month (Measure 92), are the latest in efforts by a broad coalition of farmers, public interest groups and public health experts to provide consumers with straightforward information about what’s in our food and how it’s grown.

There are plenty of reasons to want that choice, and it should rest with families to make it. Labeling lifts the veil on the vast consolidation of the pesticide and seed market, highlights potential damages to the health and livelihood of family farmers and rural communities, and highlights environmental impacts.

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XV International Agroecology Shortcourse | End of Week One


Week One Wrap-Up

Throughout Central America there is a strong grassroots program called “Campesino a Campesino” where knowledge, based on farmer understanding, is shared. CAN has collaborated with Campesino a Campesino in several of our projects. We share similar philosophies of how to apply agroecology to achieve local food sovereignty.

We were visited by a team from Campesino a Campesino Nicaragua who shared their work with us. One of the leaders, Doña Carmen shared the work in her community of growing and saving local native corn seed. This is especially important today as a way to keep the high biodiversity of corn vibrant in communities throughout the Americas at a time when companies like Monsanto are attempting to get farmers such as these to use genetically modified corn which will lead to the loss of these local varieties. Hopefully these grassroot efforts to save the native varieties will flourish. It is organizations like Campesino a Campesino that will make this happen.

Robin, a student at UIMQROO and part of CAN’s International Youth Leadership Network, spoke to the course about his work with the women in the small Mayan town of Tabasco where they are developing alternative markets for locally grown food.

By the end of the week, course participants were divided into four groups. Each group will spend two days next week in a farming community talking with farm families and learning about the different efforts to develop sustainable practices that produce enough food to feed their families year round. Representatives from these four communities shared background information with course participants. CAN collaborates with farmers in two of these communities: (1) La Pita in San Ramón where AgroEco® Coffee comes from and (2) Cantagallo, a coffee growing cooperative that is part of CAN’s Las Segovias project. With this project, we are working together to develop ways to store grains and diversify farm production.

See photos. 

Why Zimbabwe Should Continue to Say ‘No’ to Genetically Engineered Crops … – AllAfrica.com

Why Zimbabwe Should Continue to Say 'No' to Genetically Engineered Crops
AllAfrica.com
GMOs are presented as a magic bullet to the problems of agricultural productivity without seriously examining the alternative route to industrial agriculture. Agro-ecology with an emphasis on ecosystem farming and local knowledge development of African …

Dow’s “Enlist” crops: A GE double whammy

The pipeline of new genetically engineered (GE) crop technologies is full to bursting. Many of the GE seeds queued up for approval are engineered for use with hazardous herbicide mixes intended to overcome the "superweed" crisis — a direct result of widespread adoption of Monsanto's RoundUp Ready crops.

On June 30th, EPA will close the public comment period on the "new use" of the herbicide 2,4-D being proposed by Dow AgroSciences to accompany their latest GE seeds. The new products — going by the name "Enlist" — would combine 2,4-D and glyphosate, and would be used with corn and soy seeds that have been engineered to tolerate to this chemical cocktail. Please join us in urging EPA to say no.

read more

A narrow loss, but GE labeling is on its way

Two. That’s the number of votes a bill to label genetically engineered (GE) foods recently fell short of in the California Senate. And not for lack of trying, or lack of public support.  A powerful coalition of moms, farmers, businesses and public interest groups joined together to push the bill forward; they filled the Capitol halls, offices and phone lines of State Senators for days leading up to the vote.

After several attempts to bring SB 1381 to a vote on the Senate floor, including convincing several Senators to abstain from voting, it narrowly failed to pass. Still, the movement to label GE food in California and beyond shows no sign of slowing or backing down.

read more

Over 50 countries ready for Monsanto’ planned march – spyghana.com


spyghana.com

Over 50 countries ready for Monsanto' planned march
spyghana.com
Agroecology is. Monsanto's harmful practices are causing soil infertility, mono-cropping, loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction, and contributing to beehive collapse. GMO crops cross pollinate with traditional crops, risking peasant farmers

and more »

Occupy Sonoma County GMO Campaign against Monsanto – Sonoma County Gazette

Occupy Sonoma County GMO Campaign against Monsanto
Sonoma County Gazette
Biotechnology is not the solution to world hunger – agro-ecology is. Monsanto's harmful practices are causing soil infertility, mono-cropping, loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction, and beehive collapse. GMO crops cross-pollinate with traditional

and more »

Progress in paradise

Whew, three islands in four days. I recently returned from a whirlwind speaking tour in Hawai'i with Dr. Tyrone Hayes covering issues of pesticides, corporate control in agriculture and genetically engineered (GE) seeds.

Addressing the topic in high school auditoriums and community health clinics, it’s increasingly clear that people across the state want to build a food system that feeds them, protects community health and fragile ecosystems, and offers fair employment — including pushing back against corporate takeover of the islands' farming land. And they're making real headway.

read more

“March Against Monsanto” May 24 in Over 50 Countries – Calling for the Boycott … – Center for Research on Globalization


Center for Research on Globalization

“March Against Monsanto” May 24 in Over 50 Countries – Calling for the Boycott
Center for Research on Globalization
Agroecology is. Monsanto's harmful practices are causing soil infertility, mono-cropping, loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction, and contributing to beehive collapse. GMO crops cross pollinate with traditional crops, risking peasant farmers

When Dow pushes, agencies jump

“This pesticide is toxic to fish and aquatic invertebrates. Do not apply directly to water… Drift or runoff may be hazardous….The use of this chemical…may result in groundwater contamination.” Does this sound like a green chemical of the future, something that you’d want drifting over fields, rivers, streams, schools and homes? Not so much. But our Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may disagree.

EPA has been stumbling hard and making some bad decisions lately, including this latest announcement: the agency intends to approve Dow AgroScience’s new formulation of the highly toxic herbicide, 2,4-D — to be used with the corporation’s genetically engineered (GE) 2,4-D resistant corn, cotton and soybean seeds.

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Syngenta’s next target: Jackson County, Oregon

Last week, Swiss-based pesticide corporation Syngenta dumped tens of thousands of dollars into a county election in Southern Oregon. Sound familiar? It should. Still reeling from their recent defeat in Kaua'i, Syngenta and the rest of the "Big 6" don’t want to lose any more fights around pesticides and GMOs.

But Oregononians are holding their ground. Led by a group of farmers dubbed Our Family Farms Coalition, these residents put an initiative on the ballot that would restrict the planting of genetically engineered crops. The vote will be on May 20.

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Women Ecowarriors: Ecology Grassroots Activists against GMO, Deforestation … – Center for Research on Globalization

Women Ecowarriors: Ecology Grassroots Activists against GMO, Deforestation
Center for Research on Globalization
As these issues move centrestage in every society, it is women who bring the alternatives through biodiversity and agroecology that offer real solutions to the food and nutrition crisis. As I have learnt over 30 years of building the Navdanya movement, …

Big 6 — bigger & badder

The public comment period for Dow's new genetically engineered, 2,4-D-resistant corn and soy closed yesterday. And despite comments from nearly 400,000 concerned individuals and farmers urging otherwise, USDA has signaled it will likely greenlight these new GE crops.

The comment period concluded on the eve of another historical date for the seed market. Four years ago today, the Department of Justice convened antitrust hearings to investigate consolidation of the seed market. There has been no follow through from these hearings, and we're still waiting for an explanation from the DOJ. In the meantime, corporations like Dow and Monsanto continue to consolidate control of global seed markets. Dow's new 2,4-D ready crops will be yet another driver of this consolidation.

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The Big 6 — bigger & badder

The public comment period for Dow's new genetically engineered, 2,4-D-resistant corn and soy closed yesterday. And despite comments from nearly 400,000 concerned individuals and farmers urging otherwise, USDA has signaled it will likely greenlight these new GE crops.

The comment period concluded on the eve of another historical date for the seed market. Four years ago today, the Department of Justice convened antitrust hearings to investigate consolidation of the seed market. There has been no follow through from these hearings, and we're still waiting for an explanation from the DOJ. In the meantime, corporations like Dow and Monsanto continue to consolidate control of global seed markets. Dow's new 2,4-D ready crops will be yet another driver of this consolidation.

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Genetically Modified Salmon May Soon Be In Stores, Thanks To AquaBounty – Huffington Post Canada

Genetically Modified Salmon May Soon Be In Stores, Thanks To AquaBounty
Huffington Post Canada
HALIFAX – A U.S. company hoping to produce genetically modified salmon eggs in Canada has also applied to the federal government to sell its fish for human consumption. The announcement by Boston-based AquaBounty Technologies is contained in a 

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New chance for GE labels in California

The effort to label genetically engineered food is heating up in California again. Legislation recently introduced by State Senator Noreen Evans would require GE labels on any food sold in grocery stores that's been produced using genetically engineered ingredients.

A strong majority of Californians support the idea. Even though the Prop 37 labeling initiative lost, independent polls both before and after the 2012 election showed that 67% of Californians supported the idea of state-mandated GE labels. These same polls found that 21% of all Californians who voted against Prop. 37 actually support mandatory GE labeling.

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Ghana’s plant breeders bill lacks legitimacy! – GhanaWeb


spyghana.com

Ghana's plant breeders bill lacks legitimacy!
GhanaWeb
Alliance for Agroecology and Biodiversity Conservation (Zambia) An umbrella organization working on issues of biodiversity and GMO free agriculture. 8. Berne Declaration (Switzerland) A Swiss non-governmental organization with more than 20,000 
NGOs Petition against Plant Breeders Bill spyghana.com



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Farmers call out Monsanto’s risky business

With recent news that USDA intends to greenlight new pesticide-promoting crops, farmers across the country are calling on Monsanto’s shareholders — owners of the world’s largest producer of genetically engineered (GE) seeds — to change business as usual.

Facing risks to their health and livelihood from herbicide-resistant crops coming down the pike, farmers will speak directly to shareholders at Monsanto's annual gathering of investors in St. Louis next Tuesday. The request to shareholders? Pass a resolution requiring the corporation to accurately report the risk associated with increased exposure to their pesticides.

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GMO-free bioscience to feed Africa’s farming families – The Ecologist (blog)

GMO-free bioscience to feed Africa's farming families
The Ecologist (blog)
Among the AOCC members is ICRAF, the World Agroforestry Centre, which is also hosting the Academy in Nairobi. Professor Tony Simons, Director General of ICRAF, says: "For the continent that is the most malnourished, the poorest, the most rural and the 

GMO-free bioscience to feed Africa’s farming families – Blogs – The Ecologist – The Ecologist (blog)

GMO-free bioscience to feed Africa's farming families – Blogs – The Ecologist
The Ecologist (blog)
Among the AOCC members is ICRAF, the World Agroforestry Centre, which is also hosting the Academy in Nairobi. Professor Tony Simons, Director General of ICRAF, says: "For the continent that is the most malnourished, the poorest, the most rural and the 

Pesticide corporations bully Kaua’i

Last Friday, three global pesticide corporations threw the legal equivalent of the kitchen sink at the island of Kaua’i. The suit filed in federal court is the latest in a long stream of corporate bullying that has become commonplace on the island and around the world.

For years, the Hawaiian islands have been a global epicenter of testing genetically engineered (GE) seeds. This means big money for pesticide and biotech corporations. And as momentum grows to restrict GE testing and pesticide use thoughout the islands, corporate bully tactics are becoming increasingly agressive. And desperate. 

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USDA greenlights Dow’s 2,4-D seeds

Last Friday, USDA welcomed in the new year by presenting Dow AgroSciences with a bountiful gift: a virtual green light for the pesticide company’s new genetically engineered (GE) corn and soybean seeds. These crops are designed specifically to be used with Dow’s infamous herbicide, 2,4-D. 

Dow has been waiting two years for the go-ahead from USDA to start marketing its 2,4-D-resistant corn and soy. And it now appears the corporation will get what it wants, despite strong opposition from farmers, healthcare professionals and concerned communities across the country.

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Corn pest decline may save farmers money

Populations of European corn borer (ECB), a major corn crop pest, have declined significantly in the eastern United States, according to Penn State researchers. The decline suggests that the use of genetically modified, ECB-resistant corn hybrids — an expensive, yet effective, solution that has been widely adopted by farmers — may now be unnecessary in some areas.

Food Security Raises the Obvious: Can We Feed 9.6 Billion by 2050? – Environmental Leader

Food Security Raises the Obvious: Can We Feed 9.6 Billion by 2050?
Environmental Leader
Genetically modified crops will have a role, but so will ecologically integrated approaches such as agroecology, which is a whole-systems approach based on traditional knowledge, alternative agriculture and local food system experiences and focuses on 

Kaua’i triumphs over pesticide corporations — again!

On Saturday, the small island of Kaua’i prevailed over the world’s largest pesticide and genetically engineered (GE) seed corporations.

In the face of fierce industry opposition and political drama — including a mayoral veto, secret text messages, indimidation from the State and switched votes — the people demanding better protection from pesticides prevailed. The County Council voted once to pass Bill 2491, and then — to overide the mayor's veto — they did it again. Kudos to all who made this victory possible!

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World Food Prize protests bring forth GMO debate – Iowa State Daily

World Food Prize protests bring forth GMO debate
Iowa State Daily
She said the prize has been awarded to a “wide array of people … including people who have worked on biocontrol and agro-ecology” and that the conference “includes stage farmers from around the globe” and “grassroots leaders.” Cordaro said the prize 

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Monsanto money buys WA election

This is NOT what democracy looks like. In a replay of California’s narrowly defeated labeling initiative last fall, a handful of corporations effectively bought Washington state’s election to label genetically engineered (GE) foods.

In the face of impressive grassroots support and fundraising, pesticide and Big Food corporations spent $22 million to defeat I-522 — more than any campaign in the state’s history and the equivalent of $30 per voter. As the largest single contributor, Monsanto led the charge. Yet despite being heavily outspent, the initiative was defeated by a small margin.

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5 Reasons to Get on the Soapbox for GMO Labeling – Huffington Post (blog)

5 Reasons to Get on the Soapbox for GMO Labeling
Huffington Post (blog)
Study after study shows that agroecological organic methods of agriculture in the developing world can feed the world's population twice over while significantly boosting rural development (see the UN Report, "Agroecology and the Right to Food").

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Mexico puts hold on GE corn

Mexico is known across the globe as the “birthplace of corn.” It’s home to thousands of types of traditional maize, as well as teoesinte, the grass ancestor of any and all corn varieties. Corn is also a cornerstone of food traditions in Mexico, from tortillas to tamales to pozole.

That’s why last week’s announcement from a federal judge that all field trials of genetically engineered (GE) corn are suspended in Mexico is very, very big news.

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Honoring real solutions for World Food Day

In Iowa today, the World Food Prize was presented to top executives from Monsanto and Syngenta for their work in developing genetically engineered (GE) crops.

PAN and our partners were there, delivering nearly 350,000 signatures to the prize organizers protesting the absurdity of this year's award, and highlighting the failed promises of GE technologies. Recipients of the alternative "Food Sovereignty Prize" were also in Iowa today, raising awareness about real, ecological solutions for how we can truly feed the world.

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Biotechnology or Agroecology? The Monsanto Debate from Both Sides – Greener Ideal

Biotechnology or Agroecology? The Monsanto Debate from Both Sides
Greener Ideal
October 12 marked the second March Against Monsanto this year, with actions planned in 52 countries and over 400 cities. Monsanto, which owns 90% of the world's genetically modified organisms (GMO's), is perhaps most famous for its production and 

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Follow Monsanto & Co’s money

10 million dollars. That’s what Monsanto and other pesticide corporations have spent so far to defeat a ballot initiative in Washington State to label genetically engineered (GE) food. In a replay of what took place in California last year, a handful of companies is trying to confuse the issue so people vote against our right to know. But the money trail — and corporate spin tactics — are very clear.

To date, more than half of the funds spent to defeat I-522 have come from pesticide and biotech corporations, with Monsanto making the largest contribution of $4.8 million. Why are these corporations so invested in defeating GE labeling initiatives? Likely because they fear losing marketshare for their GE, pesticide-resistant corn and soy.

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GMO labeling and Washington’s I-522 deserve a lot closer look: Guest opinion – OregonLive.com

GMO labeling and Washington's I-522 deserve a lot closer look: Guest opinion
OregonLive.com
The EU and UN have extensive experience with an agricultural system referred to as agroecology that is sustainable and shows promise to remain so as human populations grow in the coming decades. Acroecology practices world-wide are the holistic 

What’s the deal with glyphosate?

Glyphosate, the active ingredient of Monsanto's RoundUp, is the most commonly used pesticide active ingredient in the U.S. From the product's beginnings back in the 1970s, it's been touted as a relatively safe, non-toxic chemical.

But the use of glyphosate has surged dramatically since the 1990s, when genetically engineered (GE) "RoundUp Ready" corn and soybean crops were introduced. This intensive usage raises an important and increasingly urgent question: have the human health and environmental impacts of glyphosate been carefully and exhaustively evaluated? What do we know and what don't we?

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GE labeling — gaining ground!

It’s amazing what can happen in a year. Just ten months ago, we watched as the ballot initiative to label genetically engineered (GE) food in California — Prop 37 — was defeated by massive spending from the "Big 6" pesticide and GE corporations. And now there is more momentum than ever for GE labeling across the country.

With bills already passed in Maine and Connecticut, a big fight gearing up in Washington State, and stores implementing their own GE labeling policies, it seems Monsanto and other opponents of labeling won't be able to hold back the tide for much longer. 

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Ghana: Genetically Engineered Bt Cotton in Ghana – the Hidden Agenda Exposed – AllAfrica.com

Ghana: Genetically Engineered Bt Cotton in Ghana – the Hidden Agenda Exposed
AllAfrica.com
There are many proven techniques that multiply productivity on very small areas of land, as the recent trend in urban agriculture, and work with agroecology science and farming systems research is demonstrating. These have nothing to do with genetic 

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Monsanto’s new GE crops already in the ground?

Early in July, Monsanto rolled out the red carpet for farm media in North Dakota, promoting its new, yet highly controversial, herbicide-resistant genetically engineered (GE) seeds. Touted at an industry field day in Cass County, these new soybean seeds are designed to be used with the volatile herbicide, dicamba — a close cousin of 2,4-D.

Dicamba-resistant soy is still awaiting USDA approval, as are 2,4-D-resistant corn and soy. And after receiving hundreds of thousands of comments opposing the approval of these crops, the agency recently extended its decision-making timeline. Despite the outcry, however, Monsanto has plowed full speed ahead, planting and spraying these crops in large, field-sized “Ground-Breaker” demonstration plots in North and South Dakota and in research plots in undisclosed locations.

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