Within the last two days, article after article has come out with new information surrounding the freedom that we as consumers have, up until this point, taken for granted where food is concerned. The following information is long and scary – and it’s real life. We have no idea where it’s heading.
New Food Bill in New Zealand
The onslaught of information began with a recent bill that has been passed in New Zealand. This new food bill takes away the human right to grow food. For some reason, this (as well as the other information I will be covering) has received very little media coverage. The bill was brought in by the WTO – World Trade Organization – which is backed by the US FDA, which in turn has Monsanto behind it. This bill is paving the way to reduce plant diversity by insisting on only a handful of seeds – all of which will be GM Monsanto seeds. The best place to find all the details of this bill is at http://nzfoodsecurity.org, but Investment Watch was kind enough to provide the highlights:
- It turns a human right (to grow food and share it) into a government-authorized privilege that can be summarily revoked.
- It makes it illegal to distribute “food” without authorization, and it defines “food” in such a way that it includes nutrients, seeds, natural medicines, essential minerals and drinks (including water).
- By controlling seeds, the bill takes the power to grow food away from the public and puts it in the hands of seed companies. That power may be abused.
- Under the Food Bill, Police acting as Food Safety Officers can raid premises without a warrant, using all equipment they deem necessary – including guns (Clause 265 – 1).
- Members of the private sector can also be Food Safety Officers, as at Clause 243. So Monsanto employees can raid premises and be backed up by armed police.
- The Bill gives Food Safety Officers immunity from criminal and civil prosecution.
- Restrictions on the trade of food and seed would quickly lead to the permanent loss of heirloom strains, as well as a general lowering of plant diversity in agriculture.
- Organic producers of heirloom foods could lose market share to big-money agribusiness outfits, leading to an increase in the consumption of nutrient-poor and GE foods.
I find it quite interesting that something backed by the US FDA is happening in a country as remote and small as New Zealand. It seems they are taking a country that has very little power and enforcing something – starting on a small scale and working their way out into the larger world. In essence, it is the ripple effect of water, beginning small and spreading outwards quite rapidly. New Zealand, with all its rolling hills and indigenous people, are the first to experience something of this caliber.
Leaked Documents Reveal US Diplomats Actually Work for Monsanto
This may come as no surprise to some of you, because rumors of this nature have been circulating for years. But now we have proof. NaturalNews has reported that Monsanto is deeply infiltrated within the US Government. The reports show that these US Diplomats are actually pushing their agenda for Monsanto, allowing bills and laws to pass with little dispute. (As in, New Zealand’s new food bill, perhaps?)
It proves that Monsanto is intensely involved in the regulations concerning the GM seeds they have created. “Not only was it exposed that the U.S. is threatening nations who oppose Monsanto with military-style trade wars, but that many U.S. diplomats actually work directly for Monsanto.”
In 2007 Craig Stapleton, the US ambassador to France and partner to George W. Bush, requested that specific nations inside the European Union be punished for not supporting the expansion of Monsanto’s GMO crops. Despite large-scale evidence that linked Monsanto’s GM corn to organ damage and environmental devastation, the ambassador plainly called for ‘target retaliation’ against those not supporting the GM crop.
Here in the United States, the FDA and USDA have been affected by Monsanto’s infiltration, as well. Legislative decisions were passed, such as allowing Monsanto’s synthetic hormone Posilac (rBGH) to be injected into U.S. cows despite being banned in 27 countries. Monsanto managed to infiltrate the FDA positions responsible for the approval of rBGH, enlisting Monsanto employee Margaret Miller as Deputy Director of Human Safety and Consultative Services. After assuming this position, Miller reviewed her own report on the safety and effectiveness of rBGH.
From NaturalNews: “As long as these financial ties continue to exist, Monsanto will continue to reign over the food supply and continue to wreak devastation to the environment, ecosystem, and humankind.”
Whole Foods and Other Natural Groceries Cave to Monsanto and GM Foods
I had thought Whole Foods was the safest route to go when purchasing food from a grocery store. But it seems I will now be depending more than ever on my local, organic farm.
“The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well. True coexistence is a must.” – Whole Foods Market, Jan. 21, 2011
Organic farms may be feeling the slap of betrayal from Whole Foods and other natural grocers, such as Stoneyfield Farms and Organic Valley. After more than a decade of fighting to keep Monsanto at bay, the self-appointed “Natural Elite” have put up the white flag and surrendered. Corporate officials from these three companies have already issued statements saying that they no longer oppose Genetically Modified foods from entering their shelves. With this in mind, know that the small organic farms that were once supported so whole-heartedly by Whole Foods will now have to compete tooth-and-nail with low cost GM-producing feedlots.
Last week, Whole Foods gave the go-ahead to Monsanto’s genetically engineered Alfalfa. This Alfalfa is guaranteed to spread across the US, and will feed all of the animals that Whole Foods supplies as meat to its customers. This Alfalfa is also resistant to Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, which will be heavily sprayed and soaked into the soil, creating runoff into our water system. A recent large-scale Swedish study found that spraying Roundup doubles farm workers’ and rural residents’ risk of getting cancer. Recent studies have also shown that Roundup devastates essential soil microorganisms that provide plant nutrition and sequester climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases.
Whole Foods knows that genetically modified foods do not require pre-testing, or even labeling, before it hits the shelves. The email that Whole Foods sent out to its customers admitted that this change would be permanent.
How did this change come about? According to OrganicConsumers.org, the CEOs of both Whole Foods Market and Stoneyfield are personal friends of former Iowa governor, now USDA Secretary, Tom Vilsack. They even made financial contributions to his last campaign. Vilsack traveled in a Monsanto corporate jet on the campaign trail, and was hailed “Governor of the Year” by the Biotechnology Industry Organization.
Whole Foods, and most of the large organic companies, have deliberately separated themselves from anti-GMO efforts and cut off all funding to campaigns working to label or ban GMOs.
OrganicConsumers.org has also revealed that 2/3 of Whole Foods $9 billion annual sales is derived from “natural” processed foods and animal products that are contaminated with GMOs. This is most likely one of the main reasons they are publicly calling for a cease-fire with Monsanto’s products. They have failed to educate their customers about the difference between Natural and Certified Organic, omitting the fact that nearly all of the processed “natural” foods and products they sell contain GMOs – or come from a “natural” supply chain where animals are force-fed GMO grains in Confined Animal Feeding Operations. With the exception of the “grass-fed and grass-finished” meat sector, most “natural” meat, dairy, and eggs are derived from animals raised on GMO grains and drugs. These animals are confined in CAFOs. “It’s no wonder that less than 1% of American farmland is certified organic, while well-intentioned but misled consumers have boosted organic and “natural” purchases to $80 billion annually-approximately 12% of all grocery store sales.”
Just as a reference: In the European Union, there are almost no crops that are Genetically Modified. These countries have mandated that any food that is GM must be labeled for consumers.
The US industry is undermining public health, destroying biodiversity, damaging the environment, destabilizing the climate, and bankrupting the world’s 1.5 billion seed-saving farmers. The 2010 Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision gave big corporations and the right to anonymously spend unlimited amounts of money to purchase media coverage and elections. This means that the chance of passing federal GMO labeling laws are all but non-existent.
Monsanto, Dow, and Dupont – the same people who brought you toxic pesticides, Agent Orange, and PCBs – are the very companies controlling US food. We as consumers have little choice now but to GO LOCAL. Fortunately, we still live in a large enough country where this is possible, unlike New Zealand, where this right is now being taken away.
Another way that we, as consumers, can work to make a change is to sign the new Truth-In-Labeling Campaign, formed by the Organic Consumers Association. While we cannot stop GMOs, we can join together to ask companies to label these products.
To pressure Whole Foods Market and the nation’s largest supermarket chains to voluntarily adopt truth-in-labeling practices sign here: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22309.cfm