California’s Prop 37 highlights the difference between GMOs and Organic foods

GMO vs Organic prop 37

things worth noting/ zooming in about are the “natural products” lines on the left which were systematically bought out by corporations (such as Coca Cola, Pepsi, General Mills, and Kellogg) as part of their strategic green-washing campaigns.  Those supporting the organic food industry on the right of the poster include Organic Valley, Dr.Bronners, and Eden Foods.

 

For those of you voting in California, Prop 37 would require GMO labeling and increase transparency about the processes under which food is grown. Vote YES on Prop 37, November 6th.

This little news clip has more info:

 

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Milwaukee’s Growing Power Building Five Story Vertical Farm

From GROWING POWER in Milwaukee, WI:

Dear Friends,

Growing Power is undertaking something that has never been done before. We will build the first five-story vertical farm in the world. Our vertical farm will have south-facing greenhouse areas for the year-round production of plants, vegetables, and herbs. The building will provide educational classrooms, conference spaces, a demonstration kitchen, food processing and storage areas, freezers, and loading docks to further support our mission as a local and national resource for learning about urban sustainable food production. Administrative offices, volunteer spaces, and staff support areas will be closely connected to the greenhouse and educational areas to allow for active observation and participation. In essence, the vertical farm will be a hub of economic activity, community building, educational opportunities, and resource sharing for the Milwaukee community and the world.

Locally and globally, growing food naturally and sustainably has become a necessity more so than ever during these trying times. This is something we have to do in the future to be able to provide sustainable, high quality food to everyone in all situations. At Growing Power, we have proven that this model can be replicated. Ultimately, we are all responsible for making sure everyone has access to high quality food. A vertical farm will increase local food production and improve food access while creating thousands of jobs.

In Milwaukee, the Mayor and City Council support our vertical farm building and have passed the zoning requirements for Growing Power to build the five story vertical farm, which is located five blocks from the largest housing project in the city of Milwaukee. We invite you to join us. We’re in a capital campaign and asking for at least $25 or more to make our vertical farm a reality. Everyone can be a part of this solution. To show our appreciation, your name will be inscribed on a plaque that will be displayed at the vertical farm.

Learn More:

Farmers Defend Right to Protect Themselves From Monsanto Patents

New York – August 11, 2011

The 83 family farmers, small and family owned seed businesses, and agricultural organizations challenging Monsanto’s patents on genetically modified seed filed papers in federal court today defending their right to seek legal protection from the threat of being sued by Monsanto for patent infringement should they ever become contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically modified seed. The Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) represents the plaintiffs in the suit, titled Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association (OSGATA), et al. v. Monsanto and pending in the Southern District of New York. Today’s filings respond to a motion filed by Monsanto in mid-July to have the case dismissed. In support of the plantiffs’ right to bring the case, 12 agricultural organizations also filed a friend-of-the-court amici brief.

“Rather than give a straight forward answer on whether they would sue our clients for patent infringement if they are ever contaminated by Monsanto’s transgenic seed, Monsanto has instead chosen to try to deny our clients the right to receive legal protection from the courts,” said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT’s Executive Director. “Today’s filings include sworn statements by several of the plaintiffs themselves explaining to the court how the risk of contamination by transgenic seed is real and why they cannot trust Monsanto to not use an occurrence of contamination as a basis to accuse them of patent infringement.”

It is now virtually impossible for a U.S. farmer to grow crops of their choosing (corn, soybeans, canola, etc.) and remain GMO-free because of the numerous biological and human means by which seeds can spread. “Given the difficulties in minimizing GM contamination farmers must make numerous decisions about which steps are worthwhile for them and which steps are not. They are not able to make these decisions based on their own and their customers‘ interests, but must instead make these decisions with the threat of litigation from a giant corporation looming over their head,” Spiegel writes in the amici brief. “The constant threat of a patent infringement suit by Monsanto creates significant, unquantifiable costs for Plaintiff farmers and similarly situated farmers.” The plaintiffs can do everything possible to maintain non-contaminated seeds, and will very likely still become contaminated, and be placed under the threat of a lawsuit. As Monsanto’s domination of the seed industry grows, and the winds continue to disperse pollen from their GMO laced crops, the likelihood of contamination and lawsuits only increases.


Monsanto has stated that they would not sue farmers who were “inadvertently” contaminated or farmers whose crops contain “trace amounts” of GMO, however they have refused to sign a simple covenant not to sue, that would bring an effective end to the lawsuit.

Monsanto’s track record makes it clear that Monsanto intends to continue threatening and harassing farmers. “Monsanto has undertaken one of the most aggressive patent assertion campaigns in history,” wrote Ravicher. Monsanto admits to filing 128 lawsuits against farmers from 1997-2010, settling out of court with 700 others for an undisclosed amount. As Spiegel writes, “The passage of time and natural biological processes will inevitably lead to higher contamination levels, at which point Monsanto will have created a target-rich environment for its patent enforcement activities.”
Reposted from here.

In their brief, the amici describe some of the harmful effects of genetically modified seed and how easily GMOs can contaminate an organic or conventional farmer’s land. The organizations filing the amici brief were Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Ecological Farmers of Ontario, Fair Food Matters, International Organic Inspectors Association, Michigan Land Trustees, Natural Environment Ecological Management, Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Association, Organic Council of Ontario, Slow Food USA, and Virginia Independent Consumers and Farmers Association.

The brief filed by the plaintiffs in opposition to Monsanto’s motion to dismiss is available here.
The amici brief in support of the plaintiffs is available here.