The Poisoning of America

TELL USDA AND PRESIDENT OBAMA TO STOP DOW CHEMICAL’S “AGENT ORANGE” CROPS

Over a hundred million additional pounds of toxic pesticides associated with cancers and birth defects are coming to a field near you. UNLESS YOU STOP IT!

“Agent Orange” crops are genetically engineered by Dow Chemical to promote the use of 2,4-D, one of the herbicides in the toxic mixture Vietnam veteran’s know as Agent Orange. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is on the cusp of approval, even though they acknowledge the use of this toxic pesticide will skyrocket.

There is a 30-day public comment period and it MIGHT BE OUR LAST CHANCE to stop this chemical assault – Sign the petition today!

I oppose the approval of Dow Chemical’s genetically engineered (GE) “Agent Orange” corn and soybeans and the accompanying spraying of the toxic herbicide 2,4-D, half of the highly toxic chemical mixture Agent Orange.

2,4-D has been linked to cancer, Parkinson’s disease, endocrine disruption, and reproductive problems. Industry tests show that 2,4-D is contaminated with dioxins—often referred to as the most toxic substances known to science. In fact, EPA has reported that 2,4-D is the seventh largest source of dioxins in the U.S. More 2,4-D use will lead to more dioxins in the environment.

Dow Chemical’s “Agent Orange” crops represent yet another escalation in a chemical arms race that will only result in larger numbers of ever-more-toxic chemicals being dumped on our farms and communities, and into our food supply, leading to higher production costs, increased sickness, and greater harm to the environment.

I urge you to reject 2,4-D resistant GE corn and soybeans and the use of toxic 2,4-D with these risky crops.

 

USDA’s announcement is an outrageous abdication of the agency’s responsibility to protect our health and our food supply. The Obama Administration has ignored the interests and demands of millions of Americans, Members of Congress, scientists, farmers and health professionals.

Americans have one last chance to speak to the agency and the Obama Administration and demand a halt to 2,4-D crops before it is too late!

Last month, over 500,000 people around the country wrote to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and 50 members of Congress sent a letter to USDA and EPA urging the agencies to reject approval of these crops.

Wide scale use of Roundup with Roundup Ready GE crops has already led to an epidemic of resistant weeds, and the next step in the chemical arms race is 2,4-D — a chemical linked to major health problems including cancer, Parkinson’s disease, endocrine disruption, and reproductive problems. Industry tests show that 2,4-D is contaminated with dioxins—often referred to as the most toxic substances known to science. EPA has reported that 2,4-D is the seventh largest source of dioxins in the U.S.

We have less than 30 days to tell USDA to reject Dow’s  2,4-D resistant GE crops – please sign the petition today!



For more information:

CFS’s Dow Campaign website: http://www.dow-watch.org

USDA’s final environmental impact statement:http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0042-10218

EPA’s Environmental Risk Assessment of Proposed Label for Enlist (2,4-D Choline Salt), New Uses on Soybean with DAS 68416-4 (2,4-D Tolerant) and Enlist (2,4-D + Glyphosate Tolerant) Corn and Field Corn: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0195

CFS factsheet, “Agent Orange” Corn: The Next Stage in the Chemical Arms Race”:http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/files/agent-orange-crops_fact-sheet_22481.pdf

CFS report, “Going Backwards: Dow’s 2,4-D-Resistant Crops and a More Toxic Future”:http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/files/fsr_24-d.pdf

 

Disturbing …

How expensive would it be for Monsanto to produce health benefiting products versus all of the money they currently spend trying to convince people their products aren’t as globally damaging as they truly are? Why would they not do something that is good for humanity? Why not spend these billions of dollars creating life sustaining products that will benefit the next seven generations? It seems very short sighted to me … but I guess the people making the money today want to keep making the money and ‘be damned’ with those yet unborn.

The following article came from the Organic Consumers Association.

ACTION ALERT

Wanted: Celebrity Chef to Promote Monsanto

In its latest ploy to brainwash consumers, Monsanto is teaming up with a major media conglomerate to bribe nonprofits with money in exchange for promoting GMO foods on TV. And they want a celebrity chef to be part of the equation.

On August 5, Gawker published an email from Condé Nast outlining plans for a Monsanto-sponsored TV panel on “food, food chains and sustainability,” featuring celebrity chef Mo Rocca. Roccacontacted Gawker the next day saying that yes, he had been pitched that project, but before he could say yes or no, a letter went out suggesting he was signed on. “That’s not the case. I’m not involved with it,” Rocca said.

That would leave the job open. Until some other celebrity chef takes the bait?

Gawker also published a confidential memo it obtained, jointly written by Condé Nast and Monsanto, soliciting nonprofits to promote—for pay—Monsanto’s genetically modified frankenfoods.

From the memo:

The Condé Nast Media Group is producing, showcasing and distributing a Monsanto sponsored film series entitled “A Seat at the Table” (working title). Hosted and moderated by a well-known media figure, each episode will feature an eclectic mix of industry and non-industry notables with diverse viewpoints about food in this country. Guests from all walks of life (two guests and one Monsanto expert per episode) will be encouraged to engage in spirited conversation . . . .

That’s one Monsanto “expert” per episode. Armed no doubt with an overflowing kettle of propaganda that he or she will spoon feed to the audience. In a “spirited” fashion, of course.

It’s all part of Monsanto’s massively expensive public relations campaign to convince consumers that the Gene Giant manufactures food, glorious food. Instead of what we all know the company actually makes millions of dollars selling: chemicals, toxic chemicals.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Condé Nast CEO Charles H. Townsend: Stop promoting Monsanto’s Frankenfoods!

Call Condé Nast Associate Publisher Christopher Cormier 212-286-7030

Post on Condé Nast facebook page

Photo Credit: shelfappeal via Compfight cc

Is The USDA Helping Us or Hurting Us?

Consumers fight for protections and labeling

This month, Maine became the second state in the nation to require labels on food that contains genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. The state’s decision is part of a growing, nationwide effort to assert the right of consumers to know what they’re eating. Currently, more than 26 states are considering proposals to require labeling of altered foods, including Hawaiʻi, where Earthjustice is pushing for laws requiring labeling of GE products.

Despite support from 9 out of 10 Americans for labeling,the USDA recently made it even more likely that the next generation of GE corn and soy will soon be on the market—unlabeled and without any restriction or oversight whatsoever.

Are GE crops more nutritious or better tasting? Do they grow with less water or have higher yields? No on all accounts. Most GE crops to date have been created solely to resist herbicides. The most popular have been Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” crops, which tolerate the Roundup herbicide with glyphosate, its active ingredient. These crops offer consumers no benefit, but they allow farmers to freely douse their fields with herbicides without killing the crop. This convenience resulted in half a billion additional pounds of toxic herbicide being sprayed on U.S. fields between 1996 and 2011.

Increased herbicide isn’t the only problem brought by these crops. When the same herbicide is sprayed on a field repeatedly, a few naturally resistant weeds survive, reproduce and eventually take over. Now, more than 60 million acres of U.S. cropland are infested with glyphosate-resistant weeds. Industry’s solution to this problem was just to genetically engineer crops to resist a different, more toxic herbicide: 2,4-D.

These new corn and soy varieties, known by the trade name “Enlist,” are engineered by Dow Agrosciences to resist the effects of the herbicide 2,4-D, and other herbicides. If 2,4-D sounds familiar, that’s because it’s infamous for being a major component of Agent Orange, the Vietnam War-era defoliant. The herbicide itself is toxic to the liver in small doses, is associated with higher risk of Lou Gehrig’s disease, malformed sperm, and possibly non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It’s currently not approved for use on lawns and gardens in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Kuwait and the Canadian provinces of Québec and Ontario. Meanwhile, the USDA acknowledges that allowing these crops on the market will likely more than triple use of 2,4-D in the U.S.—an increase of tens of millions of pounds per year.

In addition to increased use of a toxic herbicide, these new crops carry all the same problems as the old ones. Just as Roundup-resistant crops produced millions of acres of glyphosate-resistant weeds, constant use of 2,4-D on fields of these crops will inevitably lead to 2,4-D-resistant weeds, further escalating the cycle of weed resistance and chemical use. Wildlife living in and around croplands will see 2,4-D drifting into their habitats, threatening their existence. Biodiversity will continue to drop as monocultures of corn and soy dominate the landscape. Neighboring organic and conventional farmers will risk damage from drifting herbicide, and will have to test their crops for transgenic contamination or risk losing their GE-sensitive markets. Contamination will continue regardless, since it can and does happen in so many ways, from cross-pollination to all kinds of human error. And with industry fiercely resisting the labeling of GE products, consumers will continue to be denied the right to know what they’re eating.

Yet the USDA, instead of being more alert to these issues and seeking to ameliorate them, tries harder and harder to avoid dealing with them. It refuses to look at impacts of transgenic contamination or higher 2,4-D use on people, plants, or wildlife. Worse, it takes the position that these are not its responsibility, although it’s USDA’s approval that’s causing these impacts. As for the herbicide’s effects, the USDA says that’s the EPA’s problem, but it remains to be seen whether the EPA will restrict this program in any way. And as far as the USDA is concerned, farmers and consumers are on their own if they want to avoid buying, selling, growing or eating GE products.

Left with little assistance from the federal government, states are taking it upon themselves to protect their communities from GE foods and their herbicides. Recently in Hawaiʻi, the Kauaʻi County Council passed an ordinance requiring disclosure of pesticide use, buffer zones around sensitive areas, and disclosure of GE crops being grown. The ordinance was passed following several incidents where students at a local school fell sick after pesticide spray drifted into the school yard. Upon the ordinance’s passage, three multinational agrichemical companies—Dow, DuPont, and Syngenta—sued the Council. Earthjustice testified in favor of the ordinance and now is preparing to go to court to intervene on behalf of community groups to defend the county law and Kaua’i’s residents.

If you’re concerned about the impacts of allowing a new generation of GE crops to grow freely, support our fight by submitting comments on the USDA’s Environmental Impact Statement at http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=APHIS-2013-0042-0050.

GMO’s

Across this great nation of ours, state and local organizations are trying to insure healthy foods for you, me, our families, friends, and all the generations yet to come. Unfortunately though, big corporations like Monsanto or Kraft, are allowed to throw billions of dollars into advertising and their highly paid lobbying groups to prevent that from happening.

Common sense tells us that when foods we consume are no longer natural, as God or Mother Nature had intended them to be, they cannot possibly be better for us. When all of a food’s healthful nutrition has been stripped away and infused with something man-made, it cannot be healthier for us. Or, when you try to cross-breed tomatoes with fish, or you feed slave fish coloring to make them look like the ‘real’, natural, wild caught variety, or when you mix a bunch of chemicals together to make it look like something natural (like cheese) that doesn’t need refrigeration, there cannot be anything healthful about it! When your body goes to digest such an unnatural concoction, it has to wonder where the nutrition is and what it is to do with all those chemical components! When you strip all of the natural enzymes out of a product that will aid in a person’s digestion (like milk) and replace those natural enzymes with chemicals, how can you imagine that product to be healthier? And, when large corporations try to take away your right and ability to purchase natural food based vitamins and minerals so they can sell you their man made, chemically based products instead … do you think they have the betterment of your health in mind? Or, are they looking to make themselves and their stockholders wealthier? Do you ever wonder why some countries will not buy our meats and produce? Why would our government allow us to eat what other countries and governments protect their people from?

We still have a say on what goes on our tables and into our bodies. Don’t allow big corporations to ‘buy’ your health and the health of those you love or the ones yet to be born. You and I and all of the people of this great nation have a right to know what it is we are eating or feeding to those we love.

Below is a call to action from Organic Bytes.  Please take the time to read and respond to their call for help in stopping Big Foods gross manipulation of our foods and our right to know.  Thank you …

Revealed: Big Food’s New Plan to Kill GMO Labeling Laws

 

The food industry is going door-to-door on Capitol Hill, seeking lawmakers willing to sponsor a bill to preempt state mandatory GMO labeling laws by substituting a weak federal “solution.”

The “solution” Big Food has in mind, revealed on Jan. 7 by POLITICO, would limit the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) power to require mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It would also wipe out states’ rights to enact mandatory labeling laws, and would guarantee companies the right to use the word “natural” on products that contain GMOs.

Big Food’s plan also would likely try to appease consumers by including weak FDA guidance on voluntary labeling of GMOs—guidance that would exempt common ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, canola oil and others. And require little or no independent verification for claiming a product is GMO-free.

It’s not as though we didn’t see it coming.

Last week, after learning that the Grocery Manufacturers Association (Big Food’s lobbying group), had petitioned the FDA to allow food makers to use the word “natural” on GMO-contaminated foods, we predicted a treacherous road ahead for the anti-GMO movement in 2014.

In 2013, we warned about a letter to the FDA asking the agency to finalize its 2001 guidance on voluntary labeling of GMOs—a move we suggested then, and still believe, would preempt state and federal mandatory labeling of GMOs.

In a recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, two former government officials floated the idea of a compromise that would include allowing specific amounts of GMOs, and/or exemptions for certain ingredients, such as high fructose corn syrup or canola oil, where processing has made it impossible to detect GMO ingredients. The authors also reiterated industry’s argument that if consumers want GMO-free, they can buy organic. In response, one scientist told the OCA:

“That is a smokescreen that allows the biotech industry to avoid taking responsibility for the harm caused by their patented, transgenic creations. Without mandatory GMO labeling, there is no way to understand public health impacts or conduct epidemiological research on diets containing GMOs.”

After decades of quietly profiting by contaminating food products with cheap, unsafe GMO-contaminated ingredients, the food industry sees those profits at risk. They’ve spent millions to defeat laws that are common in 60 other countries. Now, in an effort to undermine state laws, and subvert the democratic process, Big Food wants to cut a deal with Congress and the FDA. A deal that will provide no meaningful protection for consumers, and hand industry yet another free pass to poison and pollute.

Consumers have been clear. More than 90 percent of us want mandatory GMO labeling laws. No voluntary schemes. No watered-down regulations. No compromises. Please sign our petition to the FDA asking the agency to reject any federal law that is weaker than the state laws already passed in Maine and Connecticut, and proposed in Vermont and other states.

Read the Politico article

Read the GMA Draft Bill

ACTION ALERT

Tell the FDA: Don’t Cave

The FDA made the wrong decision in 1992 when it caved in to Monsanto, and ruled that genetically engineered foods were “substantially equivalent” to non GE foods.

Now the food industry, led by its multi-billion dollar lobbying arm, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), wants the FDA to protect Big Food’s profits by ruling against mandatory GMO labeling laws.

It’s time for the FDA to protect consumers, not corporations.

TAKE ACTION: Tell the FDA: No Watered-Down, Voluntary Federal GMO Labeling Rules!

Heal => Health => Healthy

It’s true. You have to heal to regain your health and become healthy. But how do we do that? Prescriptions? Supplements? Healthy foods?

My complaint about western medicine is that few doctors ever really help the body heal. Most doctors and their hospitals are in business to keep you coming back. I was once told that doctors affiliated with hospitals have quotas they are supposed to meet with regards to how many services they or their patients use at the hospital … that piece of news came from a doctor … so I am not doubting it!

Advertisements on television about a prescription drug take 30 seconds to tell about their benefits and 90 seconds to talk about the drug’s side effects. My clients tell me of drugs they are taking to ‘prevent’ or ‘manage’ some potential malady. If our medical schools are financed or supported by large drug companies what are the chances of our doctors learning about natural, holistic cures … yes, I said it … cures! Well, below are some things to help you heal, regain or maintain your health, and live a stronger, more active life.

1.     For those of you who suffer from constipation, irritability, sleep disorders, panic attacks, migraines, atrial fibrillation or muscle cramping, spasms, or twitching … your problem may be due to a lack of magnesium. This crucial mineral is rarely tested for and will not show up on the traditional blood panel most doctors order. Recent research shows that low levels of magnesium are being linked to migraines, hypertension, osteoporosis, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. People who eat a lot of processed or fast foods, people who have been through a highly stressful time or have undergone some invasion procedure performed are likely to be deficient in magnesium.

Cashews, almonds, fresh coconut, shrimp, beans, peas, spinach, bran, whole wheat, brown rice, dried apricots and dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa are all good sources of this mineral. You can also purchase a magnesium supplement, but you will absorb more magnesium from foods than from a supplement. To figure out how much magnesium you need, a good estimate is 2.7 mg per pound of body weight. A person weighing 155 lbs. would require about 420 mg per day.

2.     If you find you are tired, fatigued, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating, frequent infections or a swollen, glossy tongue, you may be deficient in iron, vitamin D, and/or vitamin B12. Iron deficiency, or anemia, is one of the most common deficiencies throughout the world. Iron is not an easily absorbed mineral and getting too much can cause cardiovascular disease. In a 2005  report from the World Health Organization, it was estimated that as much as 80 percent of the global population may suffer from this deficiency. While women traditionally have lower levels of iron than men, vegans, vegetarians, people who have celiac or Crohn’s disease, a bleeding ulcer or are an athlete all have a higher risk of deficiency.

You can consume iron from animal products like meat, poultry and fish, which is easier to digest than iron from plant sources, like legumes, tofu, spinach and iron-fortified cereals. To get the most out of these foods, pair them up with foods that are high in vitamin C, like sweet potatoes, broccoli,, sweet red peppers, a handful of blueberries or citrus juice made fresh from the whole citrus. Women ages 19-50 required 18 milligrams per day, while women over 50 requires only 8mg.

3.   If you are one of those people who haven’t felt quite right for a long time and suffer from fatigue, vitamin D could be your culprit. Vitamin D acts like a hormone because it effects so many areas of the body. People with low levels of this vitamin have a higher risk of colon, breast and prostate cancers, heart attack, hypertension, Parkinson’s and dementia. Getting a minimum  of 20 minutes of sun each day in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio will take care of your daily needs, but before you smile and feel confident that you are getting your daily dosage, let me ask … do you put sunscreen on before you go outside? If you do not wear sunscreen and are getting enough exposure to the UVB rays, then go ahead and smile. The goal is to keep enough vitamin D in the blood stream so all of your bodily systems can use it … as they all require support from this all important vitamin source. However, if you are eating processed, sugary foods, vitamin D will leave the blood stream and become stored in your fat cells … and rendered ineffective.

Vitamin D can be found in fortified dairy, canned salmon and other fatty fish, egg yolks, cultured soy and kefir. To figure out how much you need, take 20 IU of vitamin D3 (not D2) per pound of body weight daily, or about 3,000-4,000 IU per day for the average 150 lb. person.

4.   If you have ringing of the ears, tingling or loss of sensation in your fingers, mood swings, memory loss, weakness, lethargy, anemia, neurological and/or psychiatric problems … you are probably low in vitamin B12. This is another vitamin that is rarely tested for by doctors, and when it is tested, the range for ‘normal’ is so wide and stretches to a point of being so low that the test is virtually useless. Countries like Japan and Europe have a lower rate of dementia, cognitive decline and memory loss because they treat the lower ranges that we consider ‘normal’. Many doctors consider vitamin B12 deficiency a normal state of aging … when a person’s gut begins to lack the ability to absorb the vitamin. Anemia is the final stages of vitamin B12 deficiency. Stomach acid helps your body absorb B12, so if you take acid blockers you are inhibiting your stomach’s ability to absorb the vitamin. A prolonged deficiency of this important vitamin can lead to degenerative neurological problems.

There are 3 cobalamins generally used as dietary supplements. Hydroxocobalamin is only available through a compounding pharmacy and is preferred in some cases because it prolongs increased serum vitamin B12 levels. Methylcobalamin is considered the BEST choice as it is a ‘coenzyme’ of vitamin B12, and is available in both sublingual preparation and as an injection. Cyanocobalamin is the most commonly used form, however it is considered the WORST choice because it is entirely ineffective for numerous conditions related to B12 deficiencies.

You can get B12 from fish, shellfish, red meat (especially liver), milk and yogurt. If you take acid blockers or if you have any of the above symptoms, you might want to take 500 – 1,000 micrograms per day. For most people, a multivitamin will be sufficient. However, to determine if your multivitamin is a ‘good’ one … check to see which of the above cobalamins is listed as its source for B12.

5.     If you said yes to numbers 2, 3 and 4, then you might find yourself here as well! Do you suffer from fatigue, night time insomnia, weight changes, muscle and joint pain, hair and skin changes, constipation, menstrual problems, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, intolerance to cold especially in your extremities, weakness or tingling in the hands, arms, or legs, and/or when you look at your fingernails, are they smooth or full of ridges? Do your fingernails have moons?Over 59 million Americans have thyroid issues … many of whom have not been diagnosed. The thyroid, a butterfly shaped gland residing in your throat below the larnyx, is one of the most important endocrine glands in your body. This gland makes hormones that help control the function of many of your body’s organs, including your heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin. This is another situation where having your doctor run the standard blood panel of tests may not come out accurately, as a blood test is often pretty inconclusive. For one thing, the range for ‘normal’ is, again, pretty wide. You can perform the Basal Body Temperature Test to find out if you have a problem, which will be far more accurate than any blood test. Once you have performed this test, if the results prove you have a thyroid problem, you can take the results of these tests to your doctor and ask for a natural thyroid medicine like Armour, Nature-Throid, or have one prepared at a compounding pharmacy.

6.     Other tips and ideas for you to think about:  When it comes to calcium, you need an adequate amount of magnesium in order for your body to properly utilize the calcium. In addition, raising your vitamin D levels will affect how much calcium you actually need. Exercise and eating a healthy diet should always be a priority.

With the winter months coming, you may want to begin increasing your daily intake of electrolytes and immune system builders. To boost your immune system, consider taking on a regular basis a good source of vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, calcium, vitamin D, and manganese.

Wondering what is a good food source for manganese? Try these … kale, romaine lettuce, mustard greens, chard, raspberries, pineapple, strawberries, spinach, garlic, turnip greens, grapes, summer squash, eggplant, brown rice, blackstrap molasses, cinnamon, thyme, maple syrup, turmeric, black pepper, and cloves.

Children Learn What They Live

Children are such a blessing. When they come into this world they bring joy to the hearts of those who see or know them. A young couple brought their little 6-day old baby boy to the office yesterday, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. He was so precious, full of love and life. Babies completely trust in those who hold them, feed them and change their little diapers. They come full of love and happiness. Their precious innocence is awe inspiring and can weaken your knees. I wanted nothing more than to sit, rock and stare at the wonder of this new life. Just to watch his every move and facial expressions … wondering what was going on behind those closed, sleeping eyes. And what was he experiencing with all the new sights and sounds, smells and sensations? What a glorious, glorious moment it was for me to see and hold such a precious bundle!

Several days before that experience, another lady brought a poem to me that she has had for quite a long time. As I read it, I was taken back by the simple truth found behind the words. Each line held an image of someone I knew who is or was a reflection of the statement. I could see myself in it as well. I want to share this poem with you.

CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy.

If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.

If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.

If children live with fairness, they learn justice.

If children live with security, they learn to have faith.

If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

If children live with acceptance and friendship, they learn to find love in the world.

Unknown Author

I grew up in a home where I and my siblings were often criticized, ridiculed, judged, and often lacking approval or encouragement. We were taught responsibility, respect, and right from wrong. But we always knew that if we needed them, our folks were always there for us.

As I read the above poem I recognized those things I have long had to work with and work through. I realized how difficult it is to sometimes see why we think and behave the way we do … after all, whatever the characteristic might be, we have been living with it for awhile! It has probably been ‘drilled’ into our heads a number of times!

But, take a long close look at the poem. Read it very slowly and after each line take a moment to reflect on its meaning. Think about those you know who are a reflection of the line’s meaning … and whether it can be applied to you as well. It is a simple way to garner some clarity and understanding about yourself, the ones you love, and those around you.

And by no means does this poem infer that our parents, guardians, or caregivers ever meant to make us a victim! In fact, if you feel the victim … then its time to stand up and take responsibility for yourself, your health, and your happiness!

13 Horrific Lies Passed On To The Innocent

13 Lies GMO Labeling Opponents are Recycling in Washington State

  • By Zack Kaldveer
    Organic Consumers Association, August 21, 2013

It’s déjà vu all over again. Last year a coalition of out-of-state, multinational biotech, pesticide and junk food corporations spent nearly $46 million to narrowly defeat Proposition 37, California’s GMO Labeling Initiative.

Now, the same who’s who of the world’s most notorious global corporate bad actors has descended on Washington State. Why? To try to stop Washington State voters from passing I-522, a citizens’ initiative that, if passed, will require mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in all food products sold in Washington State.

Like bad robots, they’re spitting out the same old, tired lies, designed to scare voters into voting against their own best interests.

Here are the lies. And the facts. Please read, print, email, roll up and stuff into a bottle you launch into the sea . . . whatever it takes to spread the word that while $46 million may buy a lot of lies, it doesn’t change the facts.

Lie: Labeling genetically engineered foods (GMOs) will cost taxpayers millions of dollars a year.

Truth: Empirical studies have concluded labeling would lead to no increases in prices. Since the European Union labeled GMOs in the 1990’s, there has been “no resulting increase in grocery costs.”

Trader Joe’s, Clif Bar & Co. and Washington’s own PCC Natural Markets all label their non-GMO product lines at no additional cost to consumers.

Lie: I-522 is full of arbitrary special interest exemptions that will just confuse consumers.

Truth: I-522 requires labeling for the GE foods that are most prevalent in the American diet – food on supermarket shelves. I-522’s exemptions are easy to explain and guided by common sense and the law:

•     Restaurants – Restaurants and bake sales are not required to list the ingredients in their products. Requiring labeling for GMOs would have required tracking all the ingredients in restaurant meals, and since no other laws require that, it didn’t make sense for this one to.
•     Meat, cheese, dairy and eggs from animals – These will be labeled if they come from genetically engineered animals. However, they are exempt if the animals ate genetically engineered feed but are not themselves genetically engineered. This exemption is common all around the world. It didn’t make sense for Washington’s law to be stricter than international standards.
•     Alcohol – Alcohol labeling is regulated under different laws than food at both the federal and state levels. Because of the single-subject law that requires initiatives to apply to only one subject, alcohol couldn’t be included.

Lie: Consumers don’t need labels to avoid GMOs. All they need to do is buy certified organic products.

Truth: Food companies routinely and intentionally mislead consumers by labeling products “natural” in order to attract health-conscious consumers. Because the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) does not prohibit the use of the word “natural” on products containing GMOs, most consumers are fooled by this label. According to a recent poll by the Hartman group, 61 percent of respondents erroneously believed that the use of the word “natural” implies or suggests the absence of GMOs, versus 63 percent who correctly believed that the label “organic” means that a product is GMO-free. Food companies should be required, as they are in some 60 other countries, to clearly state that a product contains GMOs. If companies truly believe their GMO ingredients are perfectly safe, why spend millions to keep from having to label them?

Lie: Washington will be the only state in the nation to label GMOs, unfairly hurting farmers and the state’s multi-billion agricultural industry.

Truth: Washington won’t be the only state labeling GE foods.  Connecticut, Maine and Alaska have passed labeling laws and dozens of other states are considering identical proposals. Besides, 64 countries already require labeling, so many farmers are already used to labeling for exports. In fact, many Washington farmers support labeling because they believe that growing GMO crops destroys healthy soil, and because they sell crops to overseas markets that either require labels on GMO crops, or have banned them completely. These countries are increasingly concerned about U.S. non-GMO crops, such as wheat, that could be potentially contaminated by cross-pollination with GMO crops.

Lie: I-522 encourages shakedown lawsuits by giving trial lawyers an unprecedented new right to sue farmers, food producers and store owners over the wording on food labels.

Truth: I-522 offers no economic incentives for lawyers to sue. Consumers can’t file a class action suit against food producers without first giving the food producer a warning and the opportunity to comply with the law. As long as the defendant fixes the labels, then no class action is permitted. Once the class action option is off the table, a consumer could sue only to get a court order to require labeling, and only for the few dollars that consumer paid to buy the product. Where’s the incentive?

If the state brings a court action to enforce the new law, any penalties recovered by the state go only to the state – not the plaintiff or the lawyer. Food companies are required by law to label for ingredients, calories, etc., and there have been few violations. Why wouldn’t companies accurately label genetically engineered foods, too?

For the real story about abusive lawsuits by rapacious trial lawyers, check out what Monsanto is up to: suing farmers across the country for growing their own seeds.

Lie: Labeling GMOs creates a bureaucratic nightmare for grocers and retailers and requires the state government to monitor labels on thousands of food products in thousands of stores, costing taxpayers millions.

Truth: Under I-522, the person responsible for labeling processed foods is the person who puts the label on: the manufacturer. Retailers would only have to label the few raw commodities (sweet corn, papaya, squash) that are genetically engineered. They can either stick a simple label on the bin or, if they wish, they can ask their supplier for a sworn statement that the crop is not genetically engineered.

I-522 requires no costly testing for GE ingredients. No burdensome government oversight is necessary. The system is inherently designed to protect small grocers and retailers while providing consumers with the right to know what’s in their food without increasing grocery costs.

Lie: GE foods pose no health safety risks.

Truth: GMOs have never been proven safe. The FDA requires no pre-market health safety studies, and the only long term peer-reviewed animal study conducted involving GMO corn sprayed with Monsanto’s Round Up herbicide, found massive tumors, organ failure and premature death in rats. In addition, a growing body of peer-reviewed animal studies have linked these foods to allergies, organ toxicity, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disorders, birth defects, high infant mortality rates, fertility problems, and sterility. Clearly, more independent, long term studies are warranted. Until GMOs are proven unequivocally safe, they should be labeled so consumers can avoid them if they choose.

Lie: GE foods are as, or more, nutritious than organic foods.

Truth: Organic foods, especially raw or non-processed, contain higher levels of beta carotene, vitamins C, D and E, health-promoting polyphenols, cancer-fighting antioxidants, flavonoids that help ward off heart disease, essential fatty acids, and essential minerals. On average, organic is 25 percent more nutritious in terms of vitamins and minerals than products derived from industrial agriculture. Levels of antioxidants in milk from organic cattle are between 50 percent and 80 percent higher than normal milk. Organic wheat, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, onions and lettuce have between 20 percent and 40 percent more nutrients than non-organic foods.

A report released from the non-GMO corn company De Dell, in Canada found GMO Corn has 14 parts-per-million (ppm) of Calcium while non-GMO corn has 6130 ppm, or 437 times more. According to the report, non-GMO corn also has 56 times more magnesium and seven times more manganese than GMO corn.

Lie: The World Health Organization, American Medical Association, National Academy of Sciences and other respected medical and health organizations all conclude that GE foods are safe.

Truth: The United Nations/World Health Organization food standards group and the American Medical Associationhave called for mandatory pre-market safety testing of genetically engineered foods, a standard the U.S. fails to meet. A National Academy of Sciences report states that products of genetic engineering technology “carry the potential for introducing unintended compositional changes that may have adverse effects on human health.” Numerous public health and medical groups support the labeling of GE foods, including the American Public Health Association, Washington State Nurses Association, Breast Cancer Action, Allergy Kids Foundation, Autism One, and many others.

Lie: We need GMOs to feed the world.

Truth: Studies have proven that GE crops do not lead to greater crop yields. In fact, just the opposite is true. A 2009 study by the Union of Concerned Scientists found GMO crops fail to produce higher yields. And a recently released, peer-reviewed study published in the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability found that conventional plant breeding, not genetic engineering, is responsible for yield increases in major U.S. crops.

Lie: The creation of GE seeds is comparable to the cross-breeding that our ancestors did to create hardier versions of heritage crops.

Truth: Cross breeding is the product of guided natural reproduction, while GMOs are created in a laboratory using high-tech and sophisticated techniques. One of these techniques involves gene-splicing which is used to cross a virus or a bacteria with a plant. These untested, unnatural creations are the antithesis to what our ancestors did, and what responsible farmers do: cross-pollinate different varieties of the same plant to help naturally bring forth desirable characteristics.

Lie: GE crops reduce the need for pesticides and herbicides.

Truth: GE crops have dramatically increased the use of herbicides and pesticides. According to a new study by Food and Water Watch, the “total volume of glyphosate applied to the three biggest GE crops — corn, cotton and soybeans — increased 10-fold from 15 million pounds in 1996 to 159 million pounds in 2012” with the overall pesticide use rising by 26 percent from 2001 to 2010.

The report follows another such study by Washington State University research professor Charles Benbrook last year that found that overall pesticide use increased by 404 million pounds, or about 7%, from 1996 and 2011. The use of GE crops are now driving up the volume of toxic herbicides needed each year by about 25 percent.

Lie: GE crops aren’t harmful to the environment.

Truth: Besides polluting the environment with herbicides and pesticides, GE crops are leading to biodiversity loss and the emergence of “super bugs” and  “super weeds” that are threatening millions of acres of farmland, requiring the need foreven more dangerous and toxic herbicides.

GE crops, and the toxic pesticides they are designed to withstand, are endangering numerous critical species, including the honey beefrogsbirdsfish and the Monarch Butterfly.

And don’t forget our air and water. The island of Molokai in Hawaii has had its air and water quality destroyed by Monsanto’s almost-2000-acre test facility. The same is true worldwide, with many areas around GMO farms reporting horrific bloody skin rashes, an uptick in asthma and toxic pesticides that leach into the groundwater.

Zack Kaldveer is assistant media director for the Organic Consumers Association.