From: “Brad Wilson” <>
Subject: [COMFOOD: ] The Farm Subsidy Paradigm Dividing Us
Reply-To: “Brad Wilson” <>Our movement continues to have a huge challenge in countering the divide and conquer strategies of agribusiness, at least from the perspective of the “farm justice” (family farm, farmers-in-the-middle) sector.

Our typical failure to successfully overcome this challenge is dramatically illustrated by contrasting videos and other materials, such as the following.  On one side, see the new report and video from the Union of Concerned Scientists:

An Apple a Day ….

On the other side, see my video review, which builds upon the UCS video, (as a teachable moment,) to give a simple pictorial tutorial of the farm bill, in terms of the other, radically different paradigm.

Review: ‘An Apple a Day:’

Paradigm change is tough, mind-wrenching.  Don’t expect resolution through just one viewing!

Brad Wilson
Fireweed Farm, Iowa CCI, NFFC, Via Campesina

Listen UP


Wednesday, April 3, 2013


From Saccharin to GE Seed, Report Profiles Monsanto’s History Peddling Chemicals for Food, Agriculture, War


SAN FRANCISCO—From its beginnings as a small chemical company in 1901, Monsanto has grown into the largest biotechnology seed company in the world with net sales of $11.8 billion, 404 facilities in 66 countries across six continents and products grown on over 282 million acres worldwide. Today, the consumer advocacy nonprofit Food & Water Watch released its report, Monsanto: A Corporate Profile.  

“There is a growing movement of people around the country who want to take on Monsanto’s undue influence over lawmakers, regulators and the food supply,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch and author of the book Foodopoly. “People need to know about Monsanto’s history as a heavy industrial chemical manufacturer; a reality at odds with the environmentally friendly, feed-the-world image that the company spends millions trying to convey.”

“At the end of March, the American public saw first hand the unjustifiable power that Monsanto holds over our elected officials when an unprecedented rider, dubbed the ‘Monsanto Protection Act,’ was tacked onto the spending bill to fund the federal government,” said Dave Murphy, founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now! “This is an outrageous interference with our courts and separation of powers and we cannot sit back and allow our elected officials to continue to take orders from Monsanto at the expense of family farmers and consumers.” 

The report offers a timeline of milestones in the company’s history including chemical disasters, mergers and acquisitions, and the first genetically modified plant cell.

“Despite its various marketing incarnations over the years, Monsanto is a chemical company that got its start selling saccharin to Coca-Cola, then Agent Orange to the U.S. military, and, in recent years, seeds genetically engineered to contain and withstand massive amounts of Monsanto herbicides and pesticides,” said Ronnie Cummins, executive director of Organic Consumers Association. “Monsanto has become synonymous with the corporatization and industrialization of our food supply.”

The report concludes with recommended actions for the federal government to take to temper Monsanto’s anticompetitive practices and control over agricultural research and government policies. It also suggests steps that regulators should take to better protect consumers and the environment from the potentially harmful effects of GE crops.

“Even though you won’t find the Monsanto brand on a food or beverage container at your local grocery store, the company holds vast power over our food supply,” said Rebecca Spector, West Coast Director, Center for Food Safety. “This power is largely responsible for something else we cannot find on our grocery store shelves — labels on genetically engineered food. Not only has Monsanto’s and other agribusinesses’ efforts prevented the labeling of GE foods, but they spend millions to block grassroots efforts like California’s Prop 37 in order to keep consumers in the dark.”

“Last November, Monsanto alone spent more than $8 million to drown out the voices of Californians who wanted the right to know whether or not their food is genetically engineered,” said Pamm Larry, a leader of the national grassroots movement to label GE foods and Proposition 37’s initial instigator. “Now Washington is bracing for the industry’s deluge of misleading advertising to defeat I-522. The best way to combat this confusion and doubt is through telling the truth and educating consumers on how labeling will empower them to make informed choices about the food they feed their families and loosen the stranglehold that corporations like Monsanto have over our food supply.”

“The chemical pesticide industry, with Monsanto leading the way, took over U.S. seed industry and engineered bacterial genes into food crops with the primary purpose of selling more weed killer that contaminates our food, water and bodies,” said David Bronner, the CEO of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps and leader in GE food labeling campaigns across the country. “Just like the citizens of Europe, Japan and China, Americans deserve the right to opt out of the genetically engineered food science experiment.”  

Monsanto: A Corporate Profile can be downloaded here:

Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.

Contact: Anna Ghosh, aghosh(at)fwwatch(dot)org, 415-293-9905



French Study Says that GMO Corn Causes Tumors in Rats

Disturbing images of the effects of a diet of GMO RoundUp Ready corn on lab rats in recently completed experiment

Folks in California are working to get laws passed that require that foods be labeled if they contain GMOs. Please do anything you can to support their efforts! It’s very important for our children! – Farmer Allan

From (
Monsanto’s GM Corn Linked to Cancer in New Study
By Ben Hirschler and Kate Kelland

LONDON, Sept 19 (Reuters) – In a study that prompted criticism from other experts, French scientists said on Wednesday that rats fed on Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) corn or exposed to its top-selling weedkiller suffered tumours and multiple organ damage. Continue reading

Help us Stop Monsanto this fall – Join Us for the Food Fight of the Century to Label GMOs!

Late last Friday biotech chemical and seed giant Monsanto doubled-down on their bet against American’s farmers and citizens.

In a desperate bid to keep Americans in the dark about what they’re eating, Monsanto just funneled another $2.9 million dollars to defeat California’s Prop 37 to label genetically engineered foods. This comes on top of their $4.2 million dollar pledge only weeks ago and brings Monsanto’s combined total to more than $7.1 million dollars!  That’s a huge pile of cash and it’s dedicated to only one thing – denying you the Right to Know what’s in your food.

It’s also appalling! And a sign that Monsanto is panicking. If we didn’t know better, we’d think Monsanto had something to hide. (In fact, we know they do).

Already giant pesticide and big food companies have donated more than $32 million to defeat Yes on 37 to label GMOs in California. Earlier this spring, the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA), of which Monsanto is a leading partner, declared that defeating Prop 37 was its single highest priority for 2012.

The good news is that we have a passionate grassroots army of farmers, moms, dads, scientists and everyday citizens who are dedicated more than ever before to defeating Goliath for our health and for our future.

Chip in $7 dollars to help defeat Monsanto’s bid to silence GMO labeling in California and the U.S. We need to make sure that we can reach an even wider audience to help defeat the lies and misinformation that Monsanto and their allies are already flooding the airwaves with and claim victory this fall

With your help, we will win!

Already, Monsanto, DuPont, Coke, Pepsi and Nestle are running deceptive and misleading ads on the air in California. The problem is, the opposition knows that lying and deception works. After all, they did it for decades, whether it was covering up the harm to human health of cigarettes, Agent Orange or DDT.

This fall, Californians will go to the ballot box to vote on one of the single most important issues of our time – whether or not we have a Right to Know what’s in our food or if corporations have a right to hide what they’re feeding us and our families.

Chip in $7 dollars to help defeat Monsanto’s bid to silence GMO labeling in California and the U.S. We now know that they’ll go to any length to defeat us.

In the past year alone 19 states have attempted to pass GMO labeling laws, but each time Monsanto and biotech lobbyists have threatened to sue. In Washington DC, both Republicans and Democrats have voted against labeling genetically engineered foods in equal numbers and the Obama administration has refused to act, despite a campaign promise the President made while on the campaign trail in 2007.

On November 6th, California could be the first state in the country to allow labeling of genetically engineered foods, creating a wave across the country to achieve this right for the entire nation.

A growing number of studies have shown that there are serious environmental and health issues that relate to GMOs and their patented seed technology. Even as the U.S. government continues to rubberstamp the approval of new GMO crops, countries around the world are banning or halting the import of GMO seeds into their country, including most recently, France, India, Egypt and China, as they are waking to the realities of this untested and unsafe technology.

In California, all we’re asking for is a simple label to appear on a package to inform consumers if their food contains GMO ingredients — a right that citizens in 50 countries already have.

I think we deserve this right, don’t you? Please join us in defeating this biotech Goliath and make GE labeling a reality with me today. Time is running short.

Chip in $7 dollars to help defeat Monsanto’s bid to silence GMO labeling in California and the U.S. – it’s time to fight back!

Thank you for contributing what you can today – Together we can win!

Thanks for participating in food democracy,

Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Action! Team

P.S. All money raised for this campaign will go through Food Democracy Action!, a 501(c)4 allied organization of Food Democracy Now!, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action. Donations are not tax-deductible. Thank you for your support!


Jenny’s List

·      How did somebody steal half a million bees?
o   Massive Bee Infestation Transforms Roof Into Huge Hive
·      Devon Peña’s response to Ag Professional’s Commentary: Urban Farming is an urban myth
·      Food for thought: This summer, Oakland libraries are serving free lunches to children, five days a week
·      Tuna Packers Settlement: Bumble Bee Foods LLC & Tri-Union Seafood (Chicken of the Sea) LLC Reach A Deal with California
·      It’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ For Food
·      Washing State: First cottage food permit goes to law’s prime mover
·      Farm Bureau Gets a Closer Look in New Report
“[The Farm Bureau] opposes the labeling of genetically engineered food, animal welfare reform and environmental regulations. In Washington, its well-funded team of lobbyists and lawyers seek to dismantle the federal Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act, opposing pesticide restrictions and increased scrutiny of green house gas emission and the pollution from CAFOs,”
o   Whose Side is the Farm Bureau On?
·      There Is More Than One Way to Grow a Tomato – Biodynamic Farming Is Probably the Weirdest
Biodynamic farming produces wholesome, pesticide-free food and drink – but the methods are a little out of the ordinary.
·      Potatoes For Breakfast
·      Pineberries and cream? The new summer fruit which looks like a white strawberry… but tastes like pineapple
·      Coca Cola Booted From Bolivia
·      Trading Recycling for Food and Services
·      Edible Bus Stop turns London Transit routes into a network of community gardens
Guerrilla gardening at it’s best…
·      Method’s New Soap Bottle Is Made Fro Pacific Garbage Patch Trash
·      Butan Bets Organic Agriculture Is The Road To Happiness
·      Drought and Heat
o   US Drought 2012: Half Of Nation’s Counties Now Considered Disaster Areas
o   Drought bill offers livestock farmers up to $100,000 each
o   Voice of America: US Drought Linked to Climate Change
You think?
o   Activists Call on Agriculture Secretary to Discuss Links between Drought and Climate Change
o   Rising Food Prices Will Make It Even Harder to Eat Healthy
o   Drought May Mean Fewer, Small Animals at Fairs
o   Climate Change Study Ties Recent Heat Waves To Global Warming
·      Rebranding the Food Movement to Broaden Its Appeal
·      Mushrooms can be green too!
Premier Mushrooms (Calusa Calif.) and the triple bottom line…
·      Bucky Box (NZ)
o   5 Tips for Local Food Delivery
o   Tips for Local Food #1: Get Social – a guide to social media for local food enterprises
o   Tips for Local Food #2: Existing Resources & Support – standing on the shoulders of giants
·      Russia to Slaughter at Least 33,000 Pigs After African Swine Fever Outbreak
·      Enormous Asian Tiger Prawns Invading US Waters Worry Environmentalists
·      Threatened sharks and rays granted critical protection in the Mediterranean
·      5 Perennial Veggies to Plant Once and Enjoy… Forever
·      A Greenhouse Effect (Brooklyn, NY)
·      Edible City: The Movie
·      Farms Threatened by Palm Beach Florida Zoning Changes and New Rules and Petition to Protect Our Right To Farm, Palm Beach County
·      Generation Food Project
·      Oregon at the Forefront of Battle Against Nestlé Water Grab
·      An Urban Farm (Portland, OR) Feeds Local Neighborhood with Help from Disabled
·      Food Shift: Building a Just and Sustainable Food System
Saving the food we waste…
·      Center for Investigative Reporting: The hidden costs of hamburgers
·      Forced to Work on a Broken Ankle? Workers Defy Abusive Supervisors for Big Union Win
A firsthand look at the backbreaking conditions that lead Pilgrim’s Pride employees to fight back – and win.
·      Marysville, California (Peach) Farms are Desperate For Workers, Despite High Unemployment
They seem to think the labor problem is due to “People just sitting at home doing nothing…” and claim “You could easily make $20 an hour over here.” Emm, I think that working conditions, pay and immigration laws may have more to do with it… Fieldwork is specialized, not just anyone can walk out and harvest, each cultivar takes specific skill set for harvesting well…
·      Some Alberta seniors will soon be eating better meals – they can thank the union for them
·      Wal-Mart punishes its workers
Employees who demonstrated against the company tell Salon they’ve lost their jobs and faced other consequences
·      A Better Economy Through Empowered Foodmakers
·      Monsanto sued for underpaying workers
·      To end poverty in America we need to stop paying poverty wages
·      Beyond Throwaway Cities: How To Build An Export-Proof Local Economy
We invest billions to create a functioning city. How do we create local businesses that won’t be tempted to pack up our jobs and leave town?
·      Number of Farmers Markets In US Surges (up 9.6% in the last year)
Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill
·      San Luis Obispo, CA Announces ‘Buy Local’ Food Policy
The city of San Luis Obispo, located in central California has announced a “buy local” food policy for its jail and Juvenile Services Center, reports the San Luis Obispo’s Tribune.
·      It’s All About the Farm Bill
o   Congress Set to Take Food Aid Away From Millions of Hungry Americans
This makes no sense from a humanitarian point of view or from an economic one.
·      Kids Sue to Force (US) Government Action on Global Warming
·      GOP Senators Celebrate ‘Meat Monday’ After USDA’s ‘Meatless Monday’ Mishap
o   Much Ado about Meatless Monday: Why the USDA Retraction Matters
·      Richmond, California Unanimously Approves Pesticide Restrictions
·      Hog-tied… Muscatine County (IA) Supervisors tell residents: our hands are tied when it comes to keeping a hog confinement operation out of Nichols
·      USDA, EPA Launch Tool to Better Assess Pathogen Risk and here is the USDA link
·      US judge strikes down EPA water rules for mines
·      US government sues New Mexico for damages in groundwater case
Feds trying to take over New Mexico’s water supply?
·      Please make comments to the USDA on Arctic Apple (GMO, non-browning)
·      Olympic sponsor (DOW) speeds up pesticide arms race
… has just been granted approval in South Africa for a new GM 2,4-D tolerant maize…
·      California Proposition 37, GMO Labeling
o   California Democratic Party… Officially Endorses Proposition 37, California Right to Know
o   Why Major Food Organization is Teaming Up With Monsanto and Friends to Block Your Right to Know What’s in Your Food
“Big Food companies like ConAgra, Smucker, Hormel, Kellogg, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo want to block consumer protection legislation.”
o   Fighting GMO Labeling in California Is Food Lobby’s “Highest Priority”
o   Who Supports Truth-in-Labeling on GMOs?
o   Big 6 pesticide corps want your vote
·      Pepsico Global Genetically-Modified Food and Ingredient Policy
I kid you not…
·      Wal-Mart OK with selling genetically modified sweet corn (Agent Orange Corn)
·      International Standards for Trade in Nano-coated Produce?
·      Cows make ‘human’ milk
Scientists in China have created genetically modified cows that produce “human” milk.

·      Roundup Herbicide Linked to Parkinson’s Related Brain Damage

Jenny Huston, MA, CEC, CDM, CFPP
Farm to Table Food Services
Oakland, CA 94606
Twitter: @chefjennyhuston

King College Scientists dismantle GM industry safety claims

Subject: [COMFOOD:] King College Scientists dismantle GM industry safety claims Scientists dismantle GM industry safety claims  19 July 2012 A major report from a team of genetic scientists at London’s King College has concluded that GM crop technology is “fundamentally unsound” and poses “scientifically proven risks to human and animal health”. GMO Truths and Myths [ ] examines the findings of a large body of peer-reviewed studies into the safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and compares them with the claims made by the GM industry. From: ejpmuhly <

Landmark Family Farmers Lawsuit Grows




For Immediate Release
Jim Gerritsen

(207) 429-9765

Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association


Prominent Allies Join Effort to Reinstate Challenge to Monsanto Patents


WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 17, 2012 – Eleven prominent law professors and fourteen renowned organic, Biodynamic®, food safety and consumer non-profit organizations have filed separate briefs with the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit arguing farmers have the right to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement by agricultural giant Monsanto. The brief by the law professors and the brief by the non-profit organizations were filed in support of the seventy-five family farmers, seed businesses, and agricultural organizations representing over 300,000 individuals and 4,500 farms that last year brought a protective legal action seeking a ruling that Monsanto could never sue them for patent infringement if they became contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically modified seed. The case was dismissed by the district court in February and that dismissal is now pending review by the Court of Appeals. The plaintiffs recently filed their opening appeal brief with the appeals court.

“Monsanto continues to claim that Plaintiffs’ concerns about being accused of patent infringement after being contaminated by Monsanto’s transgenic seed are unsubstantiated and unjustified,” said attorney Dan Ravicher of the not-for-profit legal services organization Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), which represents the plaintiffs in the suit against Monsanto known as Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al. v Monsanto. “But now two impeccable groups have joined with plaintiffs in explaining to the Court of Appeals how real and legitimate their concerns really are, especially since Monsanto continues to refuse to simply promise never to sue contaminated farmers for patent infringement.”

The first group filing a brief in support of the OSGATA plaintiffs includes eleven prominent law professors from throughout the United States, including Professor Margo Bagley of the University of Virginia School of Law, Professor Michael Burstein of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Professor Rochelle C. Dreyfuss of the New York University School of Law, Professor Brett Frischmann of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Professor Erika George of University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, Professor Shubha Ghosh of the University of Wisconsin Law School, Professor Megan M. La Belle of the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, Professor Kali Murray of Marquette University Law School, Professor Ted Sichelman of the University of San Diego School of Law, Katherine J. Strandburg of the New York University School of Law, and Melissa Wasserman of the University of Illinois College of Law.

In their amicus brief, the law professors point out that, “broad standing to challenge the validity of patents ensures that the courts can effectively play their critical role in screening out invalid patents.” They add, “In actions challenging the validity of a patent, the alleged injury is not only the risk of an infringement suit, but a present restraint on economic activity due to the presence of a potentially invalid exclusive right.” The law professors went on to note, “But the validity of issued patents is uncertain until they are tested in court. This uncertainty creates real and present risks for persons wishing to engage in economic activity that might be the subject of an issued patent….When a person is deterred from undertaking valuable activity by the risk that the activity may encroach on another’s exclusive rights, that person has incurred an actual, concrete and particularized injury.”

“We are grateful for the brilliant and powerful amici briefs submitted to the appeals court by these two stellar groups, supporting our family farmers’ quest for justice,” said Maine organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen, President of lead Plaintiff, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association. “An erroneous interpretation of law by a single judge is not going to cause our farmers to abandon our rights to farm the way we choose, to grow good food and good seed for our families and for our customers, free from Monsanto’s trespass and contamination. Denial of the property rights of American farmers is an attack on the property rights of every American. We will fight until family farmers receive justice.”

The second group filing a brief in support of the OSGATA plaintiffs, made up of fourteen non-profit agricultural and consumer organizations, includes the Farm and Ranch Freedom AllianceBiodynamic Farming and Gardening AssociationCarolina Farm Stewardship AssociationFood and Water WatchInternational Organic Inspectors AssociationMaine Alternative Agriculture AssociationMichigan Land TrusteesNatural Environmental Ecological ManagementNebraska Sustainable Agriculture SocietyOrganic Consumers AssociationSlow Food USAVirginia Association for Biological FarmingVirginia Independent Consumers and Farmers Association, and Wisconsin Natural Food Associates.

In their amicus brief, the non-profit agricultural and consumer organizations point out, “The Plaintiff and Amici organizations, farmers, and seed businesses have suffered significant harm due to the threat of patent infringement suits by Monsanto.” They also noted, “Defendants have chosen to patent products that, by their very nature, will inevitably end up on the private property of people who have no desire to use them. Plaintiffs’ uncontroverted allegations show that, for the first time in history, they can be sued for something as natural as pollen drift, while simultaneously being forced to take expensive and burdensome steps in order to continue their normal businesses. The quandary of this type of liability is precisely the sort of situation that the Declaratory Judgment Act was intended to address.” The amicus brief further explained, “The Supreme court has stated that the plaintiff “need not ‘bet the farm'” yet in this case, that is precisely what the district court effectively required Plaintiffs to do in order to get their day in court – continue farming the disputed crops until they are unquestionably liable to Defendants for potentially crippling levels of damage before being able to seek a declaratory judgment as to their rights…The district court noted that ‘unlicensed – and unintented – use of transgenic seeds is         inevitable…’ but then failed to address the fact that such unlicensed use is actionable and places Plaintiffs at risk of enforcement actions by Defendants.”

“It’s time to end Monsanto’s scorched-earth campaign of frivolous lawsuits against America’s family farmers,” said Dave Murphy, founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now!, a grassroots community of more than 300,000 farmers and citizens dedicated to reforming food and agriculture. “Monsanto’s claims against farmers for patent infringement are exceedingly weak, violating Americans’ most basic sense of fairness and decency. Our Founding Fathers would be outraged”, stated Murphy.

About OSGATA: The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association is a         not-for-profit agricultural organization made up of organic farmers, seed growers, seed businesses and supporters. OSGATA is committed to developing and protecting organic seed and it’s growers in order to ensure the organic community has access to excellent quality organic seed free of contaminants and adapted to the diverse needs of local organic agriculture.


Bill Moyers: Vandana Shiva on the Problem with GMOs

1. [COMFOOD:] Bill Moyers: Vandana Shiva on the Problem with  Genetically-
Modified Seeds – ejpmuhly <

Concise and wonderful overview of how ethically, intellectually, morally and spiritually bankrupt our corporate-led, crony-capitalist system supported by a corporate-owned government has become, and its global manipulations.

Vandana Shiva on the Problem with Genetically-Modified Seeds
July 13, 2012
Bill Moyers talks to scientist and philosopher Vandana Shiva, who’s become a rock star in the global battle over genetically modified seeds. These seeds  considered “intellectual property” by the big companies who own the patents  are globally marketed to monopolize food production and profits. Opponents challenge the safety of genetically modified seeds, claiming they also harm the environment, are more costly, and leave local farmers deep in debt as well as dependent on suppliers. Shiva, who founded a movement in India to promote native seeds, links genetic tinkering to problems in our ecology, economy, and humanity, and sees this as the latest battleground in the war on Planet Earth.

Footage from Bitter Seeds courtesy of Teddy Bear Films