Monday, August 22, 2016

CA CHILDHOOD LEUKEMIA STUDY ON #GLYPHOSATE

Analysis of glyphosate in residential dust samples and risk of childhood leukemia in the California Childhood Leukemia Study

Solicitation Number: N02RC62644-24
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Office: National Institutes of Health
Location: National Cancer Institute, Office of Acquisitions
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N02RC62644-24
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Presolicitation
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Added: Aug 19, 2016 1:42 pm
Contracting Office Address
Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Office of Acquisitions, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 1E226, Bethesda, MD 20892, UNITED STATES

Description 
The National Cancer Institute (NCI), Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG), Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB) plans to procure services to measure the herbicide glyphosate in 89 homes from a case-control study of childhood leukemia (the California Childhood Leukemia Study) on a sole source basis from Batelle Memorial Institute, 505 King Avenue, Columbus, OH 43201, United States. 
The purpose of this acquisition is to complete the analyses of dust samples in order to evaluate risk of childhood leukemia.

This acquisition will be processed in accordance with simplified acquisition procedures as stated in FAR Part 13.106-1(b)(1) and is exempt from the requirements of FAR Part 6. The North American Industry Classification System code is 541380 and the business size standard is $14.0 million.

Only one award will be made as a result of this solicitation. It will be awarded as a firm fixed price type contract.

It has been determined there are no opportunities to acquire green products or services for this procurement.

OEEB conducts studies of cancer and environmental exposures to pesticides. Residential herbicide use is a suspected risk factor for childhood leukemia; however, the specific chemicals that might be responsible for this association have not been completely evaluated. The DCEG plans to evaluate the association between levels of glyphosate in homes and the association with childhood leukemia risk among participants of a case-control study of childhood leukemia in California (the California Childhood Leukemia Study [CCLS]), which was conducted by the DCEG in collaboration with University of California Berkeley from 2001 through 2007. Dust samples were collected in a second home interview for residentially stable cases and controls ages 0-7 years of age diagnosis (similar reference date for controls). 
Prior analyses of pesticides in the dust samples did not include measurement of glyphosate, a herbicide used in many lawn treatment products and on agricultural crops. A recent evaluation by the International Agency for Research on Cancer determined that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans based on epidemiology and mechanistic studies. In prior analyses of dust samples from this study by the DCEG, five (5) herbicides were measured including 2,4-D, MCPA, dicamba, dacthal, and simazine but only dacthal was associated with leukemia risk. Because self-reported treatment of lawn weeds was associated with increased risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in this study population and because glyphosate is the second most common herbicide found in products for treating lawn and garden areas in this study population (after 2,4-D), the DCEG intends to measure glyphosate levels in homes in order to evaluate the relationship with ALL. In the first phase of this study it was found that glyphosate was detected in over 80% of homes. DCEG plans to analyze an additional 89 samples to increase our power to evaluate childhood leukemia risk and to evaluate determinants of glyphosate levels in homes.

The California Childhood Leukemia study was conducted in 35 counties in California and glyphosate was the one major pesticide that was not previously measured in dust samples from the homes of cases and controls. Accurately measured levels of pesticides and chemicals in the homes are critical to properly assess these exposures as risk factors for childhood leukemia. Battelle Memorial Institute is proposed as the laboratory to conduct the glyphosate measurements for this procurement. Battelle Memorial Institute conducted all the prior analysis of dust samples for over 40 pesticides and other chemicals with good quality control results and low detection limits. Battelle has extensive and unique experience in the measurement of glyphosate in house dust samples from large studies that is not available from any other potential contract source. They are in a unique position to conduct the work because they are the only known laboratory with the demonstrated expertise and experience to conduct these measurements. They actively developed and tested the methodology to measure glyphosate in house dust samples as part of their research program.

This notice is not a request for competitive quotation. However, if any interested party, especially small businesses, believes it can meet the above requirement, it may submit a capability statement, proposal, or quotation, which shall be considered by the agency. The statement of capabilities and any other information furnished must be in writing and must contain material in sufficient detail to allow NCI to determine if the party can perform the requirement. Responses must be received in the contracting office by 12:00 PM EST, on September 2, 2016. All responses and questions can be emailed to Kimesha Leake, Contract Specialist via electronic mail at kimesha.leake@nih.gov. A determination by the Government not to compete this proposed requirement based upon responses to this notice is solely within the discretion of the Government. Information received will be considered solely for the purpose of determining whether to conduct a competitive procurement. In order to receive an award, contractors must be registered and have valid certification in the System for Award Management (SAM) through sam.gov. Reference: N02RC62644-24 on all correspondence.
:
9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 1E128
Source:  https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=29aeef7bb9269a79644617045824c71c&tab=core&_cview=0
Rockville, Maryland 20852
United States 
:
Kimesha Leake,
Contract Specialist
Phone: 2402765669
:
Seena Ninan,
Contracting Officer
Phone: 240-276-5419

EPA ADMITS #GLYPHOSATE #ROUNDUP USE IS OUT OF CONTROL

Press Release: Widespread Misuse of Roundup
For Immediate Release: April 19, 2016
Contact: Blair Fitzgibbon, 202-503-6141
EPA Admits Widespread Misuse of Roundup Herbicide Must Stop
Confirms that Label Says People & Pets Must Be Kept Away Until Spray is Dried
Groups Demand Immediate National Street Closures & Barriers for Safety
Washington, DC - The EPA’s recent review of the labeling of the herbicide Roundup has major implications nationwide. Announced by Mom Across America activist Anne Temple at the January Monsanto shareholder meeting as a point of concern, the widespread misuse of glyphosate based herbicides is practiced in nearly every town of America. On December 29th, 2015, the federal EPA Office of Pesticides Program in Washington DC confirmed that they expect all applicators of Roundup, which contains glyphosate, and any other herbicides to adhere to labels which requires them to take all necessary measures to "keep people and pets away until the solution dries." Since then, reports of spring spraying and misuse have been cited across the country. Moms Across America and Hawai’i Opposition to Pesticide Exposure (HOPE) are asking county Ag Commissioners to discontinue the use of glyphosate based herbicides, but until those steps are taken, they are demanding immediate street closures & caution tape barriers in public areas that have been sprayed with Roundup.
This landmark determination means that city road workers, school maintenance, homeowner associations, university landscapers and individual homeowners, need to comply with the label directions or risk fines and/or lawsuits. To comply with the law accurately they need to barricade off areas sprayed with these chemicals until they dry, which could be 45 minutes to 4-6 hours, according to professional pesticide applicators and the EPA, depending on weather conditions such as humidity and rain. Signs are not sufficient for pets, children and people who do not read English. States like Hawaii have fines and criminal penalties which apply to anybody who knowingly violates Section 191A-41 of the Hawaii Pesticides Law. Nationally and internationally, citizens and regulators should now be looking to enforce compliance with product directions.
Brad Edwards, with the group Hawai’i Opposition to Pesticide Exposure (HOPE), expressed cautious optimism in regards to the recent EPA determination. "With the large amount of Roundup/Glyphosate used for roadside spraying across all of our islands, this is amazing news! For years, residents in Hawaii have been begging the Hawaii Department of Agriculture to properly regulate the widespread misuse of glyphosate, but so far the Department has refused to take action against both government and private applicators. With this recent EPA ruling, the State of Hawaii will finally be forced to step in and protect members of our community from repeated exposure to this harmful chemical.”
"The fact is that cities simply cannot afford the risk of using Roundup any longer,” said Zen Honeycutt, Director of Moms Across America. “We have found glyphosate in our tap water, children’s urine, breast milk and others have found it in cereal, cotton products, beer, and wine which comes from the excessive use of Roundup on our food crops and in public areas. Internationally, the spraying of this herbicide, which has been deemed a probable carcinogen, is inhaled by people driving or walking by, and gets on the feet of pets and shoes or ankles of people walking through these areas. Chemical residues from shoes get on carpets and can then poison babies who crawl on the floor. Glyphosate has been linked to birth defects, neurotoxicity, non Hodgkin's Lymphoma etc, and mothers call for immediate action to protect our communities. We expect our officials to protect the health of our pets, citizens, city workers and our cities from harm and from lawsuits.”
We call for citizens around the world to report, file complaints with the County Ag Commissioner and file lawsuits as necessary to require public space compliance with herbicide application instructions. We also call upon city councils, schools, churches, community centers, universities and homeowners to discontinue the use of Roundup/glyphosate and toxic chemical sprays altogether and use organic, steam or mowing alternatives instead. Until these steps are taken we insist that the law and directions of the label, confirmed by the EPA, are complied with and caution tape barriers are placed around all areas sprayed with glyphosate based herbicides.
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Moms Across America is a National Coalition of Unstoppable Moms raising awareness about GMOs and toxins in our food and environment. Their motto is "Empowered Moms, Healthy Kids."

Hawai’i Opposition to Pesticide Exposure (HOPE) is a community group focused on regulatory, legislative and legal pathways to fix the broken system and protect the health of the residents of Hawai’i.
Source:  
https://www.facebook.com/notes/moms-across-america/press-release-widespread-misuse-of-roundup/586668318166376 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

NO GMO COTTON FOR THOUSANDS OF INDIA's FARMERS

Indian farmers turn to non-GMO indigenous seed, in blow to Monsanto

 
Thousands of cotton farmers in India have switched from GM Bt cotton to a non-GMO local variety
EXCERPT: Monsanto's Bollgard II technology, introduced in 2006, was slowly becoming vulnerable to bollworms… as any technology has a limited shelf life.

Indian farmers cotton on to new seed, in blow to Monsanto

By Mayank Bhardwaj and Rajendra Jadhav
Reuters, 2 August 2016
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-monsanto-idUSKCN10E05C

In a tiny hamlet at the heart of the cotton belt in northern India, Ramandeep Mann planted Monsanto's genetically modified Bt cotton seed for over a decade, but that changed after a whitefly blight last year.

Mann's 25-acre farm in Punjab's Bhatinda district now boasts "desi", or indigenous, cotton shrubs that promise good yields and pest resistance at a fraction of the cost.

Mann is not alone.

Thousands of cotton farmers across the north of India, the world's biggest producer and second largest exporter of the fiber, have switched to the new local variety, spelling trouble for seed giant Monsanto in its most important cotton market outside the Americas.

The Indian government is actively promoting the new homegrown seeds, having already capped prices and royalties that the world's largest seed company is able to charge.

"Despite the whitefly attack, farmers in northern India are still interested in cotton, but they are moving to the desi (indigenous) variety," says Textile Commissioner Kavita Gupta.

Official estimates peg the area planted with the new variety at 72,280 hectares in northern India, up from roughly 3,000 hectares last year.

That is still a tiny percentage overall, and most farmers in the key producing states of Gujarat and Maharashtra are sticking to Monsanto's GM cotton, which has been instrumental in making India a cotton powerhouse.

And the impact of whitefly, a pest that thrives in dry weather, may not be as big this year, as monsoon rains are likely to be plentiful. Experts said two straight droughts fanned last year's infestation.

But the new seed is still a setback for Monsanto, which has also been hit by a roughly 10 percent decline in cotton acreage in India this year as farmers switch to crops like pulses and lentils in the aftermath of the whitefly blight.

SEED SALES SLIDE

Monsanto's Bt cotton sales in India have fallen 15 percent so far in 2016, said Kalyan Goswami, executive director of the National Seed Association of India.

The firm, which last year sold some 41 million packets of Bt seeds in India, could stand to lose up to 5 billion rupees ($75 million) due to lower sales and the steep cut in royalties enforced by the government earlier in 2016, according to Reuters calculations. The company, which unsuccessfully challenged India's decision to slash royalties in the courts, declined to comment for this article.

But in the wake of the whitefly infestation, Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India) Pvt Ltd (MMB), a joint venture with India's Mahyco, said last year that Monsanto and its Indian licensees marketed their product as resistant to bollworms, not other pests.

Some experts were optimistic the indigenous cotton seeds developed by the Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR), which comes under the farm ministry, would catch on over time.

"Just wait for the crucial three to four years to see a complete, natural turnaround. By then most farmers will give up Bt cotton and go for the indigenous variety," said Keshav Raj Kranthi, head of CICR.

Kranthi said planting a hectare with the Indian variety cost less than half the 80,000 rupees farmers paid to sow Bt cotton over the same area, and the crop yield was almost as high.

Unlike GM seeds, farmers could also store and replant the local seeds the following year, he added.

Some experts voiced caution over the new variety, however.

"By all accounts, the indigenous cotton looks pretty promising, but it will be put to test this year," said Devinder Sharma, an independent food and trade policy analyst. "It's a potential game changer, but it has to succeed first."

BOLLWORMS REAPPEAR

Experts began raising doubts last year about the resilience of Monsanto's lab-altered Bt seeds, which still account for more than 90 percent of the cotton seeds sold in India.

Monsanto's Bollgard II technology, introduced in 2006, was slowly becoming vulnerable to bollworms, they said, as any technology has a limited shelf life.

Kranthi cited the increase in insecticide consumption as a sign of rising pink bollworm infestation.

In 2015 cotton farmers used an average 1.20 kg of insecticides per hectare, up from 0.5 in 2006, when Bt cotton seeds were at the pinnacle of their productivity.

Between 2006 and 2015, fertilizer consumption for the cotton crop doubled to 270 kg per hectare, said Kranthi, indicating rising costs of cultivation and stagnating yields of Bt cotton.

But the more pressing concern for many has been whitefly, with farmers like Mann answering the call from India's farm ministry and state agriculture universities to switch to local seeds to fight it.

"The only other option we had this year was to plant the Bt cotton again or leave the land fallow. Both were fraught with economic risk, and to obviate that risk we decided to plant the desi (indigenous) variety," he said.

($1 = 66.75 rupees)

(Editing by Euan Rocha and Mike Collett-White)
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Saturday, July 30, 2016

REVERSING CAMPAIGN PROMISE OBAMA SIGNS BIG-FOOD VOLUNTARY-ONLY NON-LABEL GMO SHAM BILL

President Obama signs DARK Act into law
DARK (Denying Americans the Right to Know) Act allows companies to use QR codes, 1-800 numbers and other difficult to access technology to label food products that contain GMOs, instead of clear, on-package text



President Obama Signs GMO ‘Non-labeling’ Bill, Leaves Millions of Americans in the Dark
Center for Food Safety, July 29, 2016 http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/4438/president-obama-signs-gmo-non-labeling-bill-leaves-millions-of-americans-in-the-dark#

Today President Obama signed into law a GMO labeling bill that discriminates against more than 100 million Americans. The bill recently passed through Congress and allows companies and producers to use QR codes, 1-800 numbers and other difficult to access technology to label food products that contain GMOs, instead of clear, on-package text. The law also sets a dangerous precedent to override the sovereignty of states, as many state labeling laws, including Vermont’s recently enacted GMO labeling law, are now void.

Consumer, food safety, farm, environmental, and religious groups along with several food corporations representing hundreds of thousands of Americans condemned the bill when it was before Congress.

The FDA said the bill’s narrow and ambiguous definition of “bioengineering,” would “likely mean that many foods from GE sources will not be subject to this bill” and that it “may be difficult” for any GMO food to qualify for labeling under the bill. Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson said the bill raised “serious questions of discrimination” and left “unresolved matters of equal protection of the law”.

The following is statement from Andy Kimbrell, executive director at the Center for Food Safety:


“I don’t know what kind of legacy the president hopes to leave, but denying one-third of Americans the right to know what is in the food they feed their families isn’t one to be proud of. This law is a sham and a shame, a rushed backroom deal that discriminates against low-income, rural, minority and elderly populations. The law also represents a major assault on the democratic decision making of several states and erases their laws with a vague multi-year bureaucratic process specifically designed to provide less transparency to consumers.”

Saturday, July 23, 2016

BOYCOTT, BAN, DIVEST IN #GMOS AND BIG AG FACTORY FARMS, PESTICIDES #OurRevolution

Beyond Frankenfoods and the DARK Act: A Grassroots-Powered Revolution

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July 19, 2016 Organic Consumers Association
by Ronnie Cummins Environment & Climate,
Politics & Globalization
Here’s your mid-summer culinary directive from Congress and the White House: Shut up and eat your Frankenfoods.
Don’t worry about mutant genes, pesticide residues, and a growing list of horrors in your food. Don’t worry about your health, your children’s health, global warming or the health of the environment.
Just put your trust in America’s industrial food system and in Monsanto’s minions—the indentured scientists, politicians, regulatory agencies and members of the mass media who all toe the line for the biotech industry.
In case some of us didn’t notice, given our mounting daily dose of insults and injustices, the federal government, aided and abetted by the Organic Trade Association (now known as the Organic Traitors Association), justslapped you and millions of other health and environmentally concerned consumers in the mouth. Ignoring theprotests of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and the entire grassroots food movement, ignoring 22 years of consumer pressure, multiple state ballot initiatives and “Right-to-Know” legislative efforts, the infamous DARK Act (Deny Americans the Right to Know) is about to be enshrined in federal law by President O’Bummer.
On July 14, the House of Representatives voted 306-117 to kill Vermont’s popular mandatory GMO food labeling law, which had already begun to force major junk food and beverage giants (Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Kellogg’s, NestlĂ©, Campbell’s, Dannon, Smuckers, Starbucks) to label their GMO-tainted products nationwide. As soon as President Obama signs the DARK Act, (or simply lets it go into effect by not vetoing it) states will no longer have the right to mandate labeling of genetically engineered foods.
The 90 percent of consumers who want to know what they’re eating can now look forward, on a permanent basis, to what amounts to no labeling. What we will get, if anything, in a few years will be bogus Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) trade-marked QR smart codes or 1-800 numbers on processed food packages that will serve to keep consumers in the dark about Frankenfoods and their omnipresent toxins, while pretending to provide so-called “disclosure.”
Passage of the Roberts-Stabenow bill, popularly known as the DARK Act, confirms what most consumers knew or suspected all along: we live in an authoritarian state, ruled by the “1%”, the corporate elite. This is not a democracy. The overwhelming majority of elected public officials and bureaucrats don’t give a damn about what you think or want. Short-term profits and out-of-control campaign donations literally trump public health, environmental, justice and climate concerns. Congress and the White House, Republicans and Democrats alike, are little more than “yes men and women” for their big donors, in this case multi-billion-dollar food corporations, grocery and restaurant chains, Monsanto and the rest of corporate agribusiness.
Money trumps all. That’s why activists from the Organic Consumers Association last week threw several thousand dollars in small bills from the visitors’ balcony onto the U.S. Senate floor, just moments before the passage of the DARK Act. They shouted below to a room of startled Senators, “Here’s Monsanto’s money, come and get it.” After “money bombing” the U.S. Senate, OCA Political Director Alexis Baden-Mayer and three other activists were arrested by the Capitol police. A CSPAN live video camera caught much of the action.
The big question for the food movement, and in fact for all of global civil society, is: What’s next? If Congress is bought and sold, if we can’t change federal public policy, if states’ rights and local rights are being steadily preempted, then how can we change our toxic, out-of-control food system, not to mention our toxic suicide economy and the rotten political system as a whole?
The answer of course is to build grassroots power.
Millions of us must channel our anger into actions designed to take back control of our health and our food, and our society. We must hit the Establishment where it hurts, in the bottom line. Boycott contaminated foods and other consumer products, and give your support (“buycott”) to organic and grass-fed producers and brands. Stop buying or consuming junk foods, and all heavily processed, GMO, factory farmed and chemical foods.
Take action today and everyday. Put your wallet back in your pocket unless the grocery store label or the restaurant menu says “organic,” “grass-fed,” or “GMO-free.” Learn or re-learn how to cook at home from scratch. Invite your friends over and plan how everyone can become part of the Revolution, a Revolution that we desperately need if we are going to survive and thrive.
Food policies and politics go hand-in-hand. Conscious consumers need to both change our consumer buying habits and stop supporting corrupt politicians. The U.S. currently is led, or rather misled, by a corporate-dominated corps of 500,000 elected and appointed public officials at the federal, state and local levels. Ninety percent of these so-called “public officials” are looking out for their cushy jobs and careers, by looking after the profits of corporations and special interests, instead of working for the public good. These handmaidens of the Elite need to be thrown out of office.
The Food Revolution will never really happen, unless we join forces with the U.S. (and global) grassroots as part of a larger Political Revolution.
It’s time to drive GMOs and the toxic pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, and growth hormones, off the market, for good.
It’s time to take down not just GMOs, but the entire out-of-control system of factory farms, industrial agriculture and junk food.
It’s time to mobilize public consciousness and market pressure so we can transform our entire degeneratechemical- and energy-intensive industrial food and farming system, which is pumping out billions of tons of climate-disruptive greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and destroying soils, biodiversity and the climate, into a regenerative and organic system that can restore biodiversity and revitalize public health, animal health the environment, rural communities and the body politic, while drawing down billions of tons of excess CO2 from the atmosphere and safely sequestering this carbon in the soil and forests, where it belongs.
What we’ve accomplished so far
Congratulations to the USA food movement for slowly but surely winning consumers’ hearts and minds.
Congratulations for standing up to Monsanto, Big Food and corporate agribusiness, and for exposing their minions in Congress, the corporate mass media, and the sell-outs in academia.
Before we move forward, let’s take stock of what our food movement has accomplished so far, against all odds, by working together.
• We’ve educated a critical mass of American consumers about the health and environmental hazards of Genetically Modified Organisms and the toxic chemicals that accompany them. When we started this battle, public awareness of genetically engineered food and crops, and the damage they inflict on the environment and human health, was marginal at best. Today “GMO” and “glyphosate” are household words.
• We’ve doubled demand for organic and grass-fed food in the U.S. over the past six years.Organic food and grass-fed meat and animal products are now a $50-billion-a-year powerhouse, the fastest-growing segment of the food market. The market for non-GMO labeled products has grown to $25 billion. Organic, grass-fed and non-GMO foods now constitute approximately 10 percent of all grocery store sales, and represent a growing segment of restaurant sales as well.
• We’ve forced multi-billion-dollar junk food conglomerates, including General Mills, Kellogg’s, Campbell’s, Mars, Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Con-Agra, Dannon, and others to start labeling their products as GMO, or else remove GMO ingredients, at least temporarily. Even after the passage of the DARK Act, companies that started and then stopped labeling their GMO-tainted brands will face a public relations disaster. Consumers will understand that the QR codes on thousands of non-organic processed food products are the “Mark of Monsanto,” the “skull and crossbones” prompting us to boycott them.
• We’ve alerted millions of consumers that they can’t trust the mass media, Congress, regulatory agencies, or the scientific establishment. If consumers or farmers want truthful information about food and farming they need to tune in to the alternative and social media. This alternative media includes the mass circulation newsletters, websites and Facebook pages of groups like Mercola.com, the Organic Consumers Association, Center for Food Safety, Food Democracy Now, Friends of the Earth, Pesticide Action Network, Moms Across America, Regeneration International, Seed Freedom, and hundreds of others that refuse to regurgitate industry propaganda.
Ten steps toward the Food Revolution
The food movement has made huge strides in the past few years. But now is not the time to sit back and settle for what we’ve accomplished. We must build on our success, and ride our momentum to a future where organic and regenerative food and farming are the norm, not just the alternative.
Here’s what we need to do next:
• Boycott every food product that displays a QR code. Since Congress has stabbed us in the back and replaced Vermont’s mandatory GMO labels with QR Codes and 1-800 numbers, these QR Codes must become a veritable “skull and crossbones” symbol on food and beverage containers, helping us launch the largest boycott in modern history.
• Boycott factory-farmed meat, dairy and poultry, i.e. everything that isn’t labeled or marketed as organic or 100% grass-fed or pastured. Factory farms are the lynchpin of industrial agriculture and fast-food restaurants. The U.S. factory farm meat, dairy and poultry cartel is an out-of-control, trillion-dollar industry based on cruel, filthy, disease-ridden and environmentally destructive animal prisons (euphemistically called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations or CAFOs). These animal prisons run on GMO- and pesticide-tainted animal feeds; labor exploitation; false advertising; corporate corruption of government; and the use of massive amounts of dangerous pesticides, chemical fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones, and growth promoters.
Factory farm products—meat, dairy, poultry and fish—are the number one cause of water pollution, soil degradation, greenhouse gas emissions and human diet-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease,   diabetes, and obesity. We will literally never get rid of GMOs, chemical-intensive mono-crops, antibiotic resistance, animal cruelty and agriculturally derived greenhouse gas emissions until we eliminate factory farms, which now imprison 95 percent of farm animals in the U.S., and 70 percent of all farm animals in the world.
Right now, the overwhelming majority of U.S. farmland is utilized to raise factory farm-destined animals before they are sent to the feedlots, or to grow GMO- and chemical-intensive grains to feed them. We need to stop feeding herbivores (cattle, sheep, goats) GMO- and pesticide-contaminated grain, and instead put the world’s billions of farm animals back onto the pastures, rangelands and agro-forestry paddocks, where they belong.
• Make organic, grass-fed and regenerative food and farming the dominant force in the market by 2025. We need to educate consumers and change public policy so as to make organic and regenerative food at least 50 percent of the market by 2025, just as France and other nations are starting to do. In order to do this, we will need to eliminate the multi-billion-dollar taxpayer subsidies for industrial agriculture and GMOs that make chemical food seem “cheap,” compared to organic and grass-fed food, despite industrial food’s massive and costly damage to the environment, public health and the climate.
• Pressure investors and pension funds to divest from industrial agriculture and reinvest in regenerative agriculture, in order to reach our goal of 50 percent organic and regenerative by 2025.
• Ban patents on living organisms and eliminate monopoly control of seeds.
• Boycott foods, body care products and animal feeds derived from tropical deforestation.
• Stop subsidizing non-sustainable biofuels (corn, soy, palm oil).
• Cancel or defeat so-called Free Trade (NAFTA, WTO, TPP, TTIP) agreements that favor corporate-controlled industrialized agriculture and foster unfair labor practices. Instead, we must support fair trade and justice throughout the food and farm chain, including a $15 dollar-an-hour minimum wage in the U.S.
• Force governments and industry to move to zero fossil fuel emissions and mobilize grassroots support for the International 4/1000 Initiative to sequester as much carbon in our soils and forests through regenerative farming, grazing and land use as humans are currently emitting.
• Move beyond single-issue, "silo" thinking (“my issue is more important than your issue”) and start “connecting the dots” between food and farming and all the burning issues: health, justice, climate, environment, peace, and democracy.
If passage of the DARK Act has taught us anything, it’s that we must commit to working together to build a Movement of Movements powerful enough to bring about a political revolution, not just a food revolution.
Ronnie Cummins is international director of the Organic Consumers Association and a member of theRegeneration International steering committee.

BOYCOTT, BAN, DIVEST IN #GMOS AND BIG AG FACTORY FARMS, PESTICIDES #OurRevolution

Beyond Frankenfoods and the DARK Act: A Grassroots-Powered Revolution

AddThis Sharing Buttons
Here’s your mid-summer culinary directive from Congress and the White House: Shut up and eat your Frankenfoods.
Don’t worry about mutant genes, pesticide residues, and a growing list of horrors in your food. Don’t worry about your health, your children’s health, global warming or the health of the environment.
Just put your trust in America’s industrial food system and in Monsanto’s minions—the indentured scientists, politicians, regulatory agencies and members of the mass media who all toe the line for the biotech industry.
In case some of us didn’t notice, given our mounting daily dose of insults and injustices, the federal government, aided and abetted by the Organic Trade Association (now known as the Organic Traitors Association), justslapped you and millions of other health and environmentally concerned consumers in the mouth. Ignoring theprotests of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and the entire grassroots food movement, ignoring 22 years of consumer pressure, multiple state ballot initiatives and “Right-to-Know” legislative efforts, the infamous DARK Act (Deny Americans the Right to Know) is about to be enshrined in federal law by President O’Bummer.
On July 14, the House of Representatives voted 306-117 to kill Vermont’s popular mandatory GMO food labeling law, which had already begun to force major junk food and beverage giants (Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Kellogg’s, NestlĂ©, Campbell’s, Dannon, Smuckers, Starbucks) to label their GMO-tainted products nationwide. As soon as President Obama signs the DARK Act, (or simply lets it go into effect by not vetoing it) states will no longer have the right to mandate labeling of genetically engineered foods.
The 90 percent of consumers who want to know what they’re eating can now look forward, on a permanent basis, to what amounts to no labeling. What we will get, if anything, in a few years will be bogus Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) trade-marked QR smart codes or 1-800 numbers on processed food packages that will serve to keep consumers in the dark about Frankenfoods and their omnipresent toxins, while pretending to provide so-called “disclosure.”
Passage of the Roberts-Stabenow bill, popularly known as the DARK Act, confirms what most consumers knew or suspected all along: we live in an authoritarian state, ruled by the “1%”, the corporate elite. This is not a democracy. The overwhelming majority of elected public officials and bureaucrats don’t give a damn about what you think or want. Short-term profits and out-of-control campaign donations literally trump public health, environmental, justice and climate concerns. Congress and the White House, Republicans and Democrats alike, are little more than “yes men and women” for their big donors, in this case multi-billion-dollar food corporations, grocery and restaurant chains, Monsanto and the rest of corporate agribusiness.
Money trumps all. That’s why activists from the Organic Consumers Association last week threw several thousand dollars in small bills from the visitors’ balcony onto the U.S. Senate floor, just moments before the passage of the DARK Act. They shouted below to a room of startled Senators, “Here’s Monsanto’s money, come and get it.” After “money bombing” the U.S. Senate, OCA Political Director Alexis Baden-Mayer and three other activists were arrested by the Capitol police. A CSPAN live video camera caught much of the action.
The big question for the food movement, and in fact for all of global civil society, is: What’s next? If Congress is bought and sold, if we can’t change federal public policy, if states’ rights and local rights are being steadily preempted, then how can we change our toxic, out-of-control food system, not to mention our toxic suicide economy and the rotten political system as a whole?
The answer of course is to build grassroots power.
Millions of us must channel our anger into actions designed to take back control of our health and our food, and our society. We must hit the Establishment where it hurts, in the bottom line. Boycott contaminated foods and other consumer products, and give your support (“buycott”) to organic and grass-fed producers and brands. Stop buying or consuming junk foods, and all heavily processed, GMO, factory farmed and chemical foods.
Take action today and everyday. Put your wallet back in your pocket unless the grocery store label or the restaurant menu says “organic,” “grass-fed,” or “GMO-free.” Learn or re-learn how to cook at home from scratch. Invite your friends over and plan how everyone can become part of the Revolution, a Revolution that we desperately need if we are going to survive and thrive.
Food policies and politics go hand-in-hand. Conscious consumers need to both change our consumer buying habits and stop supporting corrupt politicians. The U.S. currently is led, or rather misled, by a corporate-dominated corps of 500,000 elected and appointed public officials at the federal, state and local levels. Ninety percent of these so-called “public officials” are looking out for their cushy jobs and careers, by looking after the profits of corporations and special interests, instead of working for the public good. These handmaidens of the Elite need to be thrown out of office.
The Food Revolution will never really happen, unless we join forces with the U.S. (and global) grassroots as part of a larger Political Revolution.
It’s time to drive GMOs and the toxic pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, and growth hormones, off the market, for good.
It’s time to take down not just GMOs, but the entire out-of-control system of factory farms, industrial agriculture and junk food.
It’s time to mobilize public consciousness and market pressure so we can transform our entire degeneratechemical- and energy-intensive industrial food and farming system, which is pumping out billions of tons of climate-disruptive greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and destroying soils, biodiversity and the climate, into a regenerative and organic system that can restore biodiversity and revitalize public health, animal health the environment, rural communities and the body politic, while drawing down billions of tons of excess CO2 from the atmosphere and safely sequestering this carbon in the soil and forests, where it belongs.
What we’ve accomplished so far
Congratulations to the USA food movement for slowly but surely winning consumers’ hearts and minds.
Congratulations for standing up to Monsanto, Big Food and corporate agribusiness, and for exposing their minions in Congress, the corporate mass media, and the sell-outs in academia.
Before we move forward, let’s take stock of what our food movement has accomplished so far, against all odds, by working together.
• We’ve educated a critical mass of American consumers about the health and environmental hazards of Genetically Modified Organisms and the toxic chemicals that accompany them. When we started this battle, public awareness of genetically engineered food and crops, and the damage they inflict on the environment and human health, was marginal at best. Today “GMO” and “glyphosate” are household words.
• We’ve doubled demand for organic and grass-fed food in the U.S. over the past six years.Organic food and grass-fed meat and animal products are now a $50-billion-a-year powerhouse, the fastest-growing segment of the food market. The market for non-GMO labeled products has grown to $25 billion. Organic, grass-fed and non-GMO foods now constitute approximately 10 percent of all grocery store sales, and represent a growing segment of restaurant sales as well.
• We’ve forced multi-billion-dollar junk food conglomerates, including General Mills, Kellogg’s, Campbell’s, Mars, Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Con-Agra, Dannon, and others to start labeling their products as GMO, or else remove GMO ingredients, at least temporarily. Even after the passage of the DARK Act, companies that started and then stopped labeling their GMO-tainted brands will face a public relations disaster. Consumers will understand that the QR codes on thousands of non-organic processed food products are the “Mark of Monsanto,” the “skull and crossbones” prompting us to boycott them.
• We’ve alerted millions of consumers that they can’t trust the mass media, Congress, regulatory agencies, or the scientific establishment. If consumers or farmers want truthful information about food and farming they need to tune in to the alternative and social media. This alternative media includes the mass circulation newsletters, websites and Facebook pages of groups like Mercola.com, the Organic Consumers Association, Center for Food Safety, Food Democracy Now, Friends of the Earth, Pesticide Action Network, Moms Across America, Regeneration International, Seed Freedom, and hundreds of others that refuse to regurgitate industry propaganda.
Ten steps toward the Food Revolution
The food movement has made huge strides in the past few years. But now is not the time to sit back and settle for what we’ve accomplished. We must build on our success, and ride our momentum to a future where organic and regenerative food and farming are the norm, not just the alternative.
Here’s what we need to do next:
• Boycott every food product that displays a QR code. Since Congress has stabbed us in the back and replaced Vermont’s mandatory GMO labels with QR Codes and 1-800 numbers, these QR Codes must become a veritable “skull and crossbones” symbol on food and beverage containers, helping us launch the largest boycott in modern history.
• Boycott factory-farmed meat, dairy and poultry, i.e. everything that isn’t labeled or marketed as organic or 100% grass-fed or pastured. Factory farms are the lynchpin of industrial agriculture and fast-food restaurants. The U.S. factory farm meat, dairy and poultry cartel is an out-of-control, trillion-dollar industry based on cruel, filthy, disease-ridden and environmentally destructive animal prisons (euphemistically called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations or CAFOs). These animal prisons run on GMO- and pesticide-tainted animal feeds; labor exploitation; false advertising; corporate corruption of government; and the use of massive amounts of dangerous pesticides, chemical fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones, and growth promoters.
Factory farm products—meat, dairy, poultry and fish—are the number one cause of water pollution, soil degradation, greenhouse gas emissions and human diet-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease,   diabetes, and obesity. We will literally never get rid of GMOs, chemical-intensive mono-crops, antibiotic resistance, animal cruelty and agriculturally derived greenhouse gas emissions until we eliminate factory farms, which now imprison 95 percent of farm animals in the U.S., and 70 percent of all farm animals in the world.
Right now, the overwhelming majority of U.S. farmland is utilized to raise factory farm-destined animals before they are sent to the feedlots, or to grow GMO- and chemical-intensive grains to feed them. We need to stop feeding herbivores (cattle, sheep, goats) GMO- and pesticide-contaminated grain, and instead put the world’s billions of farm animals back onto the pastures, rangelands and agro-forestry paddocks, where they belong.
• Make organic, grass-fed and regenerative food and farming the dominant force in the market by 2025. We need to educate consumers and change public policy so as to make organic and regenerative food at least 50 percent of the market by 2025, just as France and other nations are starting to do. In order to do this, we will need to eliminate the multi-billion-dollar taxpayer subsidies for industrial agriculture and GMOs that make chemical food seem “cheap,” compared to organic and grass-fed food, despite industrial food’s massive and costly damage to the environment, public health and the climate.
• Pressure investors and pension funds to divest from industrial agriculture and reinvest in regenerative agriculture, in order to reach our goal of 50 percent organic and regenerative by 2025.
• Ban patents on living organisms and eliminate monopoly control of seeds.
• Boycott foods, body care products and animal feeds derived from tropical deforestation.
• Stop subsidizing non-sustainable biofuels (corn, soy, palm oil).
• Cancel or defeat so-called Free Trade (NAFTA, WTO, TPP, TTIP) agreements that favor corporate-controlled industrialized agriculture and foster unfair labor practices. Instead, we must support fair trade and justice throughout the food and farm chain, including a $15 dollar-an-hour minimum wage in the U.S.
• Force governments and industry to move to zero fossil fuel emissions and mobilize grassroots support for the International 4/1000 Initiative to sequester as much carbon in our soils and forests through regenerative farming, grazing and land use as humans are currently emitting.
• Move beyond single-issue, "silo" thinking (“my issue is more important than your issue”) and start “connecting the dots” between food and farming and all the burning issues: health, justice, climate, environment, peace, and democracy.
If passage of the DARK Act has taught us anything, it’s that we must commit to working together to build a Movement of Movements powerful enough to bring about a political revolution, not just a food revolution.
Ronnie Cummins is international director of the Organic Consumers Association and a member of theRegeneration International steering committee.