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Leaders Reject ‘Gene Drive’ Technology

LEADERS TAKE AN IMPORTANT PRINCIPLED STAND AGAINST “GENE DRIVES” AT WORLD GATHERING IN HAWAII. We’re grateful these scientists and dedicated leaders are working to protect the public interest from Biotech’s latest flawed technology known as mutagenic chain reaction or “Gene Drive.” Jim & Megan

“Scientists and environmental experts and organizations from around the globe have advocated for a halt to proposals for the use of gene drive technologies in conservation. Announced today, a long list of environmental leaders, including Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, genetics professor and broadcaster Dr. David Suzuki, Dr. Fritjof Capra, entomologist Dr. Angelika Hilbeck, Indian environmental activist Dr. Vandana Shiva and organic pioneer and biologist Nell Newman, have lent their support to the open letter: ‘A Call for Conservation with a Conscience: No Place for Gene Drives in Conservation.’ The letter states, in part: ‘Gene drives, which have not been tested for unintended consequences, nor fully evaluated for ethical and social impacts, should not be promoted as conservation tools’.

“‘Gene drives are basically a technology that aims for a targeted species to go extinct,’ explains ecologist and entomologist Dr. Angelika Hilbeck, President of the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER). ‘While this may appear to some conservationist professionals to be a ‘good’ thing and a ‘silver bullet’ to handle complicated problems, there are high risks of unintended consequences that could be worse than the problems they are trying to fix’…

“‘Gene drives, also known as ‘mutagenic chain reactions,’ aim to alter DNA so an organism always passes down a desired trait, hoping to change over time the genetic makeup of an entire species,’ explains Dr Vandana Shiva of Navdanya. ‘This technology would give biotech developers an unprecedented ability to directly intervene in evolution, to dramatically modify ecosystems, or even crash a targeted species to extinction.'”

http://www.etcgroup.org/content/30-environmental-leaders-say-no-gene-drives-conservation

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The Monsanto Doctrine Aims to Extinguish Citizen Rights

GROWING OPPOSITION TO HALT ‘THE MONSANTO DOCTRINE’ WHICH SEEKS TO EXTINGUISH CITIZEN RIGHTS. Make no mistake, Monsanto and its biotech bully allies are totalitarian in nature and relentlessly seek to obliterate the rights of citizens to protect themselves and their families. No thanks, Monsanto, we’re not buying. Jim

“During the past decade, five counties in California and three in Hawaii have passed common-sense public-safety laws to protect public health, organic agriculture, and clean water by regulating farms that grow pesticide-soaked genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Now, San Francisco’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will determine whether the federal government can invalidate these laws in order to protect the profits of the world’s largest agrochemical companies…

“If the Ninth Circuit upholds these powers, then the popular laws and ballot initiatives passed during the last decade to create a GMO-free agricultural zone in Santa Cruz, Marin, Mendocino, Humboldt, and Trinity counties could be instantly nullified.

“‘These federal agencies have been corrupted by agrochemical companies that have literally hijacked and now control the agencies that are supposed to regulate them,’ says David Cobb, outreach director of Move to Amend, a nonprofit that pushes to eliminate the idea of corporate personhood. ‘These companies are literally controlling the public process.'”

http://www.sfweekly.com/news/news-news/toxic-shock-monsanto-doctrine-gmo-free-farming/

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FANTASTIC FLOODS IN LOUISIANA LEAVE DEVASTATING IMPACT ON FAMILY FARMERS.

Last month’s flooding – from a storm which left up to 31″ of rain – in flat Louisiana has really clobbered local farmers. The farm of the generous Gotreaux family was severely impacted. WE CAN HELP THEM TODAY by donating to a ‘GoFundMe Project’ set up on their behalf. Jim & Megan https://www.gofundme.com/2fzqz3es

“‘We lost 99 percent of our crops,’ says Brian Gotreaux of Gotreaux Family Farms, who raises fruit, vegetables, tilapia, and a medley of livestock on 30 acres just outside Lafayette. The water was thigh-deep over much of his land for more than 24 hours, long enough to drown any vegetable crop. Where a week before was a lush patchwork of tomatoes, peppers, beans, and zucchini—all the summer crops in the full glory of the harvest season—he now looks out on bare fields”

A few years ago Jim spoke at the Southern Sustainable Ag Working Group (SSAWG) Conference in Little Rock AR. Jim’s friend, Jean Mills, SSAWG Conf Coordinator, had this to say about the Gotreaux family: “By hosting field days and presenting at the Southern SAWG conference, Brian and Dawn Gotreaux have generously shared valuable farming experiences and lessons with the Southern SAWG community over the years. Their incredibly diverse farming operation is truly remarkable. I hope the Southern SAWG family can give back to the Gotreauxs in this time of need and we can help sustain this important family farm.”

http://modernfarmer.com/2016/08/louisiana-floods/

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Monsanto – Bayer Merger?

MONOPOLY MANIA: WILL MONSANTO NOW GET SWALLOWED UP BY GERMANY’S BAYER? It’s way past time for the Anti-Trust Division in the U.S. Department of Justice to wake up and prevent further anti-competitive consolidation in the ag industry. There’s no way a Bayer-Monsanto monopoly would be anything but a disaster for consumers and farmers.
Other intended ag mergers already in the pipeline are Syngenta by ChemChina; Dow and Dupont; and Potash Corp and Agrium. The Fed MUST insure true competition. First and foremost that means nixing monopolistic mergers now in play like this one between Bayer and Monsanto. Jim

“German pharmaceutical and crop chemicals manufacturer Bayer AG says talks with Monsanto Co have advanced and it is now willing to offer more than $65 billion, a 2 percent increase on its previous offer for the world’s largest seeds company.

“‘Both sides are gradually nearing consensus,’ one person familiar with the matter said.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-monsanto-m-a-bayer-idUSKCN11B2G9

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Organic Research Funding Lagging

REPORT: CONTINUED GROWTH OF ORGANIC FARMING REQUIRES EXPANDED INVESTMENTS IN RESEARCH. The VAST majority of research efforts completely ignores the organic farming sector. This is not only unfair but restrains the growth of organic farming which demonstratively is good for consumers, good for the environment as well as being good for farmers.
This new report shines a spotlight on where improvements are needed. Jim

“The systematic ignoring of the need for publicly funded research in our country’s fastest growing agricultural sector prompted the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), an NSAC member organization, to take a closer look at the role public investments have played in the organic industry to date. OFRF recently released their findings in the report, Taking Stock: Analyzing and Reporting Organic Research Investments, which offers an unprecedented assessment of the impact investments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have made in addressing critical research needs of organic farmers. The report also provides recommendations for key areas in which future research investments should be targeted…

“…Because federal investments have failed to keep public research and seed breeding institutions viable, farmers now lack access to seed stocks uniquely tailored to their climate and growing needs. This is particularly problematic for organic farmers, who, according to a recent report from the Organic Seed Alliance, use 75 percent organic seed on average for operations under 10 acres, but only 20 percent organic seed on average for operations over 480 acres…

“Ensuring that farmers have access to plant varieties specifically adapted to organic production systems remains a top research concern in the organic community. This was clearly reflected in the report, which found that this priority was addressed by dozens of funded research projects, resulting in impressive findings and new and improved seed and plant varieties.”

http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/orei-org-evaluation-report/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SustainableAgricultureCoalition+%28National+Sustainable+Agriculture+Coalition+%28NSAC%29%29

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Caitlin Shetterly’s Book “Modified To Be Released this Month”

You’ll want to read this good article by Mary Pols in the Maine Sunday Telegram.
One might say Caitlin is Biotech’s worst nightmare: an articulate and intelligent young mother and author who discovers GE corn is making her family sick. Caitlin decides to do a radical makeover of her family’s diet, experiences recovery – after eating organic and avoiding GMOs – and, as writers are wont to do, writes up her experience in a landmark 2013 first-person article in “Elle” (http://www.elle.com/…/a12574/allergy-to-genetically-modifi…/). Industry response is swift and predictable. Caitlin is savagely attacked by Biotech’s hired guns – including notorious propagandist Jon Entine (http://www.truthwiki.org/jon_entine/).
So now comes her new book. Two weeks from today will be the Launch Party for Caitlin’s long-awaited book, “Modified” (G.P. Putnam Sons) at Stacy & Jon’s organic Broad Turn Farm near Portland, Maine.
We expect “Modified” will have a major impact in the growing societal discussion over whether GE crops truly serve the people or merely serve their corporate owners striving for greed and power. Jim & Megan

“’Off the bat, I fell in love with Caitlin’s writing and was drawn to the fact that she was able to take a topic like this that is so very complex and write about it with easy and beautiful prose,’ Kolen wrote in an email. ‘Readers and consumers of food desperately need more unfiltered and practical information about this topic and I do think that ultimately, that becomes our collective agenda in writing and publishing this book – to not only provide a framework for the basic and underlying information but to underscore the need for transparency when it comes to gathering that information.'”

Mainer Caitlin Shetterly takes on the topic of GMOs in new book, ‘Modified’

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Minnesota Protects Bees

In an order issued by Governor Dayton, Minnesota has become the first State to limit use of neonicotinoid insecticides suspected to be central in the worrisome bee decline.
For a major farm State like Minnesota to make such a major move signals a refreshing shift in priorities. Jim

“Minnesota’s governor on Friday ordered the broadest restrictions yet in a US state on the use of agricultural pesticides that have been blamed for hurting bees, fuelling concerns that farmers there will not be able to protect crops from insects…

“Honey bees have been in serious decline in the US for three decades, threatening billions of dollars in crops. In recent years, their death rate has become economically unsustainable, according to the government…

“Honey bees pollinate plants that produce about a quarter of the food consumed by Americans…

Restrictions on neonicotinoids come two years after the European Union limited use of the chemicals, made and sold by companies including Bayer CropScience and Syngenta, after research pointed to the risks for bees.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/27/plan-bee-minnesota-sets-broad-limits-on-chemicals-blamed-for-bee-decline

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Reporting on Climate Chaos

You’ll want to be sitting down when you read this valuable new article on ACD – anthropogenic climate disruption. While absolutely alarming, it’s better for us to understand the truth rather than have it hidden from us. Jim

“All is not well in the northlands.

“This is because across today’s Alaska, temperature records are falling as fast as bird populations are plummeting.

“July was the warmest month ever recorded in the state’s largest city, Anchorage. Temperatures from the southeastern portion of the state all the way up to the town of Deadhorse on the Arctic Ocean broke records; the airport at Deadhorse hit a stunning 85 degrees…

“And the signs of ACD across the rest of the Arctic are equally shocking…

“Meanwhile, sea levels continue to rise. The Union of Concerned Scientists released a report recently warning that large areas of US military bases along the Eastern seaboard will be swamped by 2050. The report estimates that tidal flooding and storm surges will increase by a staggering 2,600 percent annually in areas where several bases are located…

“Another report from real estate experts predicts that if sea levels rise as much as some climate scientists predict (six feet) by the year 2100, nearly 300 US cities will lose at least half of their homes and 36 cities will be entirely lost to the seas.”

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/37310-in-arctic-ancient-diseases-reanimate-and-highways-melt-as-temperatures-hit-frenzy-of-records?tmpl=component&print=1

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Finland Leads the World

FINLAND HAS A LOT TO OFFER TO THE WORLD. Finland’s command at education is legend but their leadership doesn’t stop there. The Nordic country of 5.5 million people leads in Happiness, Prosperity, Literacy, Least Corrupt, Most Green and Most Socially Progressive (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/finland-is-still-the-worl_b…).
Nine years ago when we needed to buy a potato harvester we looked to Finland and imported North America’s first “Juko SuperMidi Potato Harvester.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BsddOzRMyc) The design and workmanship of our Juko is phenomenal. It’s quality is what one would expect from a country that does so many things right. But education is critical and it’s where Finland really shines. Jim

“But the point is that, for five months, my wife, my son and I experienced a stunningly stress-free, and stunningly good, school system. Finland has a history of producing the highest global test scores in the Western world, as well as a trophy case full of other recent No. 1 global rankings, including most literate nation.

“In Finland, children don’t receive formal academic training until the age of seven. Until then, many are in day care and learn through play, songs, games and conversation. Most children walk or bike to school, even the youngest. School hours are short and homework is generally light.

“Unlike in the United States, where many schools are slashing recess, schoolchildren in Finland have a mandatory 15-minute outdoor free-play break every hour of every day. Fresh air, nature and regular physical activity breaks are considered engines of learning. According to one Finnish maxim, ‘There is no bad weather. Only inadequate clothing’…

“…In Finland teachers are the most trusted and admired professionals next to doctors, in part because they are required to have a master’s degree in education with specialisation in research and classroom practice.”

http://www.smh.com.au/national/this-is-why-finland-has-the-best-schools-20160324-gnqv9l.html

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MONSANTO’S WORLD BEGINNING TO UNRAVEL OVER FATALLY FLAWED “ROUNDUP” HERBICIDE AND TSUNAMI OF LAWSUITS.

Roundup may just become Monsanto’s Waterloo. For perspective, remember testing has revealed main Roundup ingredient Glyphosate is being found – universally – in human bodies – including those of urban residents. Roundup is a ticking time bomb for malevolent Monsanto. Jim

“Until recently, the fight over Roundup has mostly focused on its active ingredient, glyphosate. But mounting evidence, including one study published in February, shows it’s not only glyphosate that’s dangerous, but also chemicals listed as ‘inert ingredients’ in some formulations of Roundup and other glyphosate-based weed killers. Though they have been in herbicides — and our environment — for decades, these chemicals have evaded scientific scrutiny and regulation in large part because the companies that make and use them have concealed their identity as trade secrets…

“…In March 2015, using research on both glyphosate alone and the complete formulations of Roundup and other herbicides, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen. The IARC report noted an association between non-Hodgkin lymphoma and glyphosate, significant evidence that the chemical caused cancer in lab animals, and strong evidence that it damaged human DNA.”

https://theintercept.com/2016/05/17/new-evidence-about-the-dangers-of-monsantos-roundup/