This blog is cross-posted on Hello Cool World.
NEWSFLASH - VANCOUVERITES DON'T MISS THE FINAL SCREENING OF SHADOWS OF LIBERTY TONIGHT AT VIFF. This is an amazing film, and a must-see for anyone who cares about independant media. Mark Achbar describes the film as "taking up where Manufacturing Consent Left off" and "the best films on this topic so far." Check out the film. ShadowsofLiberty.org It ends with a call to action for the fight to keep the internet free!
... Read on for our Stop the Trap blog! ...
Stop the Trap! Send a message to governments involved in the TPP to make the process transparent, accountable, and open to public participation and to all interested stakeholders.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) has been described as "NAFTA on steroids," a trade agreement designed in secret by lobbyists from big corporations and industry. The breathtaking power grab would allow them to essentially write their own regulations and circumvent democracy, granting them powers over our health, environment, internet use, labour rights, and more. The countries involved in negotiations are United States, Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
When Big Tobacco/Oil/Media/Pharma/Agriculture/Retail and other corporations get together to party, we know we're in for one hell of a hangover.
Sandy is part of The Corporation's grassroots team and has been working on the film's outreach efforts since 2003.|
In the Monsanto faqs section, under the link titled: Monsanto, the Government, Monopoly Claims, the company sidesteps the question entirely by briskly restating that consumers have a choice not to buy the product. The fact that they don't even attempt to provide an actual answer to the question is very telling.
The issue is taken seriously by anti-trust groups, however:
"In a White Paper published today, the American Antitrust Institute analyzes the dismal state of competition in the transgenic seed industry. The analysis concludes that agricultural biotechnology giant Monsanto possesses the market power to frustrate competition in soybeans, cotton, and corn, potentially slowing innovation and adversely affecting prices, quality, and choices for farmers and ultimate consumers of vitally important commodities. Download the White Paper above. "Transgenic Seed Platforms: Competition Between a Rock and a Hard Place," concludes that antitrust enforcement and/or federal legislative relief is needed” said American Antitrust Institute’s vice president and senior fellow, Diana Moss in their report American Antitrust Institute Says Competition in the Transgenic Seed Industry is Impaired by Monsanto.
|Jennifer Slattery is a dedicated human rights activist, former private investigator, and a member of the Occupy Movement. She lives in NY, and would be happy to answer any and all questions you might have: firstname.lastname@example.org|
In Part 3 of this 4-Part Series (read Part 1 and Part 2), guest blogger Jennifer Slattery takes on the myth that GM crops will miraculously solve world hunger. Putting aside the fact that hunger is not a supply issue but a distribution problem, Jennifer shows how GM crops fail even to deliver on increasing yields.
So come the answers from the green-washing corporatists: that we are stopping the end of world hunger by opposing GM crops. Yeah right guys, nice try. As if we’re dumb enough to believe that your terminator seed crops, (that destroy themselves after one season and never grow back), will feed more people than ones that grow back year after year naturally. The fact is that GM crops are less hearty even when they grow that one time. Yet Monsanto still brazenly claims on it's website that it's GM products increase crop yields across the board:
"Mexico - yield increases with herbicide tolerant soybean of 9 percent.
Romania – yield increases with herbicide tolerant soybeans have averaged 31 percent.
Philippines – average yield increase of 15 percent with herbicide tolerant corn.
Philippines – average yield increase of 24 percent with insect resistant corn.
Hawaii – virus resistant papaya has increased yields by an average of 40 percent.
India – insect resistant cotton has led to yield increases on average more than 50 percent."
However, Monsanto's claims aren't in sync with the facts on the ground; where a thirteen year study showed that:
"the UCS [Union of Concerned Scientists] report concluded that genetically engineering herbicide-tolerant soybeans and herbicide-tolerant corn has not increased yields. Insect-resistant corn, meanwhile, has improved yields only marginally. The increase in yields for both crops over the last 13 years, the report found, was largely due to traditional breeding or improvements in agricultural practices."
In Part 2 of this 4-Part Series, guest blogger Jennifer Slattery (read Part 1 here) delves into Monsanto's objections to the labelling of genetically modified foods. Some have suggested this has less to do with fear of consumer reprisal, and more to do with ensuring any adverse health effects are not traceable back to them, with all the legal liability that comes with it.
Monsanto's explanation for why we cannot have our food properly labelled, according to their website's article What’s the Problem with Labeling Genetically-Modified (GM/GMO) Foods? is insulting to say the least:
"Mandatory labeling of food containing GM ingredients might seem like a no-brainer. However, once you consider the facts, it becomes clear there is no sense in mandatory GMO labeling."
Is it clear to you? Me neither. This statement contains the logical fallacy of presenting the company's self-serving opinion as if it were a fact. Saying unequivocally that "once you consider the facts, it becomes clear there is no sense in mandatory GMO labeling" is an insult to the intelligence of anyone who reads it. We want to know what is in our food, whether it's harmful or not. So what "facts" could possibly change our opinion that knowledge of exactly what we are putting in our bodies is worth having?
Frankencorn, courtesy of Kevin McCarthy
This 4-Part Series by Guest Blogger Jennifer Slattery puts Monsanto squarely in the corporate crosshairs. Voted as the worst corporation of 2010 in Corporate Accountability's Corporate Hall of Shame, Monsanto's efforts to conceal the health and safety concerns around Bovine Growth Hormone's inclusion in milk was featured in The Corporation.
The American people are sick of Monsanto Mr. President; figuratively, literally, however you want to look at it. As this online petition, that has quickly accumulated four hundred thousand signatures, should clearly be telling you: We don’t want Monsanto on our plates, infecting our farmlands, and especially not in our Government.
You were elected, in part, because of your pledge in the 2008 campaign to keep your administration free of lobbyists, and yet you have appointed Michael Taylor, a former VP and lobbyist for Monsanto as senior advisor to the commissioner at the FDA. Michael Taylor is the same man who oversaw the FDA policy that allowed genetically modified foods into our food supply in the first place. He has been bouncing back and forth between the regulators and the regulated for decades; the epitome of crony capitalism's revolving door in Washington. First he was Monsanto's attorney, then the policy chief at the FDA, and then again rejoined Monsanto to be rewarded with the position of vice president and chief lobbyist, and now back at the FDA. It's enough to make us sick; again, literally.
So now the only protection of our health is given to this White House resident lobbyist from a food mutating monopoly? This is the best person to entrust the responsibility that labels contain clear and accurate information (like whether or not they contain genetically modified ingredients) when the company has made it painfully clear that it opposes such safeguards? Is this not a policy that lets profit motivations trump human health concerns?
So here is where our first myth in the web of Monsanto's defensive lies comes in: