This is a Call to Action for a
Non-Hierarchical Occupation of Monsanto Everywhere

Whether you like it or not, chances are Monsanto contaminated the food you ate today with chemicals and unlabeled GMOs. Monsanto controls much of the world's food supply at the expense of food democracy worldwide. This site is dedicated to empowering citizens of the world to take action against Monsanto & it's enablers like the FDA, USDA, EPA, GMA, BIO, and the processed food companies that use Monsanto's products.




Text of the Cincinnati City Council’s GMO Labeling Resolution

Posted: November 21st, 2012 | Filed under: Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

city of cincinnati gmo resolution Text of the Cincinnati City Councils GMO Labeling Resolution  Wendell Young USDA United States Department of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Steve Chabot Sherrod Brown seeds Secretary of Agriculture Roundup Ready RoundUp Robert Portman risk Resolution public health pesiticide Ohio OH Margaret Hamburg Lisa Jackson Jean Schmidt Herbicide GMO Labeling Genetically Engineered Products Food and Drug Administration Food & Water Watch FDA Farmers EPA Environmental Protection Agency crops Cincinnati City Council Cincinnati biotechnology

City of Cincinnati

Date: October 12, 2012
To: Councilmember Wendell Young
From: John P. Curp, City Solicitor
Subject: Resolution — Supporting Labeling of Genetically Engineered Products


EXPRESSING the support of Council for the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered products so consumers are informed that the potential long-term risks of genetically engineered products to public health and the environment are largely unknown.

WHEREAS, the City of Cincinnati recognizes that consumers have the right to receive accurate and thorough information about the products they feed to their families; and

WHEREAS, the potential long-term risks to public health and the environment from genetically engineered products are largely unknown; and

WHEREAS, safety studies on genetically engineered products are limited because biotechnology companies generally prohibit their cultivation for research purposes in seed licensing agreements; and

WHEREAS, some independent peer-reviewed research that has been done on genetically engineered crops has reveled problems with liver and kidney functions in rats; deformities and neurological problems in vertebrates; and lower nutrition content in pesticide-resistant Roundup Ready crops; and

WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of the United States Department of Agriculture to ensure that genetically engineered crops are safe to grow, the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that genetically engineered products will not harm the environment and the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that genetically engineered food is safe to eat; and

WHEREAS, the United States federal agencies that regulate genetically engineered products, including crops and animals, have not yet enacted a comprehensive plan to adequately oversee and monitor genetically engineered products; and

WHEREAS, farmers who produce organic or non-genetically engineered crops run the risk of crop contamination from nearby genetically engineered crops; and

WHEREAS, farmers who unintentionally grow patented, genetically engineered seeds or who harvest crops that are contaminated with genetically engineered traits could lose marketing options and face costly lawsuits; and

WHEREAS, a 2008 CBS/New York Times poll found that 87 precent of the U.S. consumers wanted all genetically engineered ingredients to be labeled; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Cincinnati, State of Ohio,

Section 1. That the City of Cincinnati supports mandatory labeling of all genetically engineered products.

Section 2. That this resolution be spread upon the minutes of Council and a copy sent to the following:

1. Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.,Washington, DC 20460

2. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, United States Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20250

3. Margaret Hamberg M.D., Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20993

4. Senators Sherrod Brown and Robert Portman, United States Senate, Washington, DC 20510

5. Representatives Steve Chabot and Jean Schmidt, United States House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515

6. Food & Water Watch, 103 William H. Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45219

Submitted by Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls and Councilmember Wendell Young


Source: Cincinnati City Council Scan[PDF] / Cincinnati City Council Documents


Copy, paste, & customize the text of this resolution and sent it to your elected officials!

Washington Post: Probe of 3 FDA Officials Sought

Posted: November 9th, 2012 | Filed under: Genetic Crimes, Press | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

probe of 3 FDA officials sought michael taylor Washington Post: Probe of 3 FDA Officials Sought Washington Post Toxic Susan Sechen Sidney Wolfe Senate Revolving Door Resignation Research Regulatory Capture recombinant bovine somatotropin rBST Public Citizen Health Research Group old news Monsanto Milk Michael Taylor Margaret A. Miller King and Spalding Jim OHara Jeremy Rifkin Jack M. Kress historical gmo George E. Brown Jr. GAO FDA Ethics drug David R. Obey David A. Kessler Cows Conflict of Interest Center for Veterinary Medicine bST biotechnology Bioethics Bill Goold Bernie Sanders Bernard Sanders

Probe of 3 FDA Officials Sought

Industry Ties Before Approval of Bovine Growth Hormone Are at Issue

By John Schwartz, Washington Post Staff Writer, April 19, 1994

Three members of Congress have called for a federal investigation into possible conflicts of interest involving three officials of the Food and Drug Administration, which approved a controversial genetically engineered Monsanto Corp. drug last year. All three agency officials had some ties to Monsanto before coming to the FDA, but an agency spokesman denied there was any misconduct.

In a letter Friday to the General Accounting Office, Reps. George E. Brown Jr. (D-Calf.), David R. Obey (D-Wis.) and Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) asked the watchdog agency to conduct a 30-day review of the FDA’s approval of recombinant bovine somatotropin (bST), a substance that increases milk yields in cows.

“A troubling pattern of unanswered questions is emerging that suggests an altogether too cozy relationship between some FDA officials central to this food safety decision and their close dealings with the Monsanto Company,” Sanders said in a statement.

The letter- which cites an anonymous March 16 complaint ostensibly written by members of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM)- asks the GAO to probe the roles of three “key” FDA officials in the approval of the Monsanto drug.

The highest ranking is Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for policy, a past FDA employee who rejoined the agency in 1991 from the Washington law firm King and Spalding, which represents Monsanto. Also named was Margaret A. Miller, deputy director of the agency’s office of new animal drugs. The letter characterized her as “a former Monsanto company employee” who wrote the FDA’s opinion on why milk from bST-treated cows should not require special labeling.

A third staff member, Susan Sechen, was described as a data reviewer at the FDA who had worked as a graduate student for a Cornell University professor who conducted Monsanto-sponsored research on bST.

Anti-biotechnology activist Jeremy Rifkin first made the charges about Taylor in February, when he petitioned the FDA to rescind the approval of bST and investigate the three staff members’ role in the agency’s policy.

On March 15, FDA Commissioner David A. Kessler sent Rifkin a four-page letter stating that “none of the activities of Mr. Taylor cited in your petition were in violation of any applicable law or regulation, or were otherwise inappropriate … I believe that Mr. Taylor’s behavior adhered to all applicable ethical standards.”

Kessler said that Taylor had not been “intimately” involved in Monsanto’s efforts to obtain approval, as Rifkin charged, and that he was involved in the FDA’s bST policy only in the final stages of review.

Kessler attached a nine-page memo by FDA ethics official Jack M. Kress supporting that position. Upon arrival at the FDA in the summer of 1991, Taylor recused himself for one year from taking part in any agency action dealing directly with Monsanto or any other King and Spalding clients.

Some longtime agency critics found the charges against Taylor misplaced. Sidney Wolfe, a physician who heads the Public Citizen Health Research Group here has filed complaints with the FDA about revolving door ethics issues concerning other officials. But he said yesterday that “It’s barking up a silly kind of tree to be going against Mike Taylor.”

Wolfe said that “as far as we’re concerned, he’s done a perfectly good job.” Wolfe compared Rifkin’s charges to saying that anyone who worked for a drug company and began working for the FDA should not be allowed to say anything about drugs in general- a stance that Wolfe characterized as “preposterous.”

As for the two other FDA employees named in the House members’ letter, agency spokesman Jim O’Hara said there was no impropriety. “As we have learned of these allegations, we have looked at them. The appropriate safeguards against conflict of interest have been taken,” O’Hara said.

Miller was no involved in the decision to approve bST, and Sechen’s involvement with the bST review was approved at the outset by the FDA’s ethics and program integrity division, which “determined that there was no a conflict of interest based on the information they were provided,” O’Hara said.

Although reluctant to comment in the face of a possible investigation, Taylor said yesterday that “I would welcome any scrutiny of my actions.”

Much of the material used in the lawmakers’ letter, including the anonymous CVM letter alleging Miller’s conflict of interest, came from Rifkin, a long-standing opponent of bST. Bill Goold, a spokesman for Sanders, said the search of scientific literature relied upon by Sander’s staff in drafting the letter came from Rifkin’s organization.

Rifkin has fought against the approval of bST for more than seven years as a part of an all-fronts assault against biotechnology. He called his ethical charges “a significant scandal” that he said showed moral weakness at the top of the organization. “We want Kessler’s resignation,” Rifkin said yesterday. He said that the nine-page ethics memo by FDA’s Kress was “people in government trying to protect their own.”

Sanders and Obey have previously taken stands against the approval of bST and its use without consumer labels that identify the milk as coming from cows treated with the drug.

But many Capitol Hill staff members were surprised to see Brown- who chairs the Science, Space, and Technology Committee- as a signer of the letter.

Sources familiar with the process said key committee staff members felt they had been end-run by activists. One congressional aide said staff members who normally would be informed of such an action were unaware that Brown had signed the letter.

“George’s issue is with the process of approval. He wants to make sure people are squeaky-clean,” the aide said. Brown did not see the FDA response to the Rifkin petition before signing the Sanders letter, an aide said. Obey said yesterday that he had seen the FDA response and “I’m frankly not impressed.”

Some acquaintances of Taylor were incredulous that the official would be the object of ethical scrutiny. “There’s no more ethical person in this town than Mike Taylor,” said Wayne Pines, a former FDA official who now consults with companies on FDA matters. “Mike would never get involved in a situation in which there’s a conflict- that’s such a no-brainer.”


Source: Washington Post, April 19, 1994

AP/Huffington Post: World Food Prize Activities Incites Occupy Protest In Iowa

Posted: October 17th, 2012 | Filed under: Press | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

01LowDoesntWant e1349112622672 AP/Huffington Post: World Food Prize Activities Incites Occupy Protest In Iowa Syngenta Pioneer Hi Bred Paul Minehart Norman Borlaug Monsanto Kenneth Quinn Jane Slusark Iowa Green Revolution Frank Cordaro Foreign Service Dupont Des Moines Public Library Des Moines Daniel Hillel Cargill biotechnology Bayer CropScience Ban Ki moon

Photo taken in St. Louis 9/17/2012


World Food Prize Activities Incites Occupy Protest In Iowa

By DAVID PITT 10/17/12 07:19 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa — It’s difficult to argue with the goals of the World Food Prize Foundation – to recognize people who have helped improve the quality and availability of food to reduce world hunger.

But as the Des Moines-based foundation prepares for its 2012 award ceremony, which will be attended by dignitaries including Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, dozens of protesters hope to disrupt the activities.

Members of Occupy Des Moines plan civil disobedience efforts and expect to be arrested as they obstruct participants at the World Food Prize headquarters on Wednesday and at the Iowa Capitol on Thursday before the $250,000 prize is awarded to this year’s recipient.

Organizer Frank Cordaro said he expected about 30 people to turn out Wednesday, with 10 willing to be arrested. By Wednesday afternoon, police arrested five activists on trespassing charges after they tried to enter a private event.

The group opposes what it sees as a focus on corporate agriculture motivated more by profit than food safety or protection of natural resources.

“The prize is corporate agriculture’s way of branding themselves in the minds of the American people as the good guys, the people who are feeding the hungry and the best last chance the human race has to meet our basic needs,” said Cordaro, 61, a former Roman Catholic priest who’s been jailed numerous times for acts of civil disobedience to social issues. “The truth is the prize is owned and scripted for corporate agriculture and large corporate entities who want to make a profit first and don’t really care about the planet.”

The protesters say the foundation also supports organizations that promote and sell crops that include genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs. While many scientists say genetic modification has been useful in developing crops resistant to pests, drought and disease, opponents worry it could result in harm to the environment or people.

World Food Prize Foundation President Kenneth Quinn, a retired career diplomat and Foreign Service officer for the U.S. Government, said he’s dealt with a variety of protests in his career, but he’s puzzled that people would object to an organization founded by a man who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to fight hunger. Norman Borlaug was honored in 1970 for work that boosted agricultural production in what has become known as the “Green Revolution.”

“I’m greatly disappointed that people would feel that his organization and his prize that he created, his goal of ending hunger in the world would somehow be worthy of disruption and civil disobedience,” Quinn said.

The prize created in 1986 has grown in stature in recent years, with hundreds of scholars and agribusiness leaders gathering for several days in Des Moines for speeches and seminars. Last year, the private, nonprofit foundation moved to the former Des Moines Public Library after a $30 million renovation paid in part with donations from companies including DuPont and Cargill.

Speakers from Monsanto Co., Bayer CropScience, and Syngenta have been invited to participate in events this week.

DuPont Pioneer spokeswoman Jane Slusark said the company respects protesters’ right to voice their opinions, but to fight hunger, “it’s going to take all of us working together, even if we do not always agree.”

Spokesmen for Monsanto and Syngenta also defended their companies’ efforts to develop technologies that boost crop production. Syngenta spokesman Paul Minehart said scientists have turned to genetic modification and other biotechnologies to boost food production as the world’s population increases.

“We don’t have more land and we don’t have more water that can be used efficiently and effectively for agriculture, so how are you going to be able to feed this growing population with limited resources?” Minehart asked. “We’re trying to make sure we are providing farmers what they need to be able to get the most yield and have the most productive crops that they can.”

Noting that “Dr. Borlaug believed in science,” Quinn said a panel discussion on biotechnology was planned this week because food production may depend on it as climate change brings more cycles of drought and flooding.

Ironically, while the protesters and some panels will focus on biotechnology and other facets of agribusiness, the winner of this year’s prize is being celebrated for low-tech work.

Israeli scientist Daniel Hillel, 81, helped develop drip irrigation methods that conserve water while allowing food to be grown in some of the world’s driest climates. The system Hillel developed, called micro-irrigation, carries water through narrow plastic pipes to plants, where it trickles continuously onto the roots. Over decades, it has dramatically improved farm production and helped thousands of Jewish and Muslim farmers.

Like some of those protesting the prize, Hillel has been concerned with preserving natural resources.

“We need to learn how to manage land so that it will not degrade and do it efficiently. At the same time, we must maintain natural ecosystems without encroaching upon them without excessive deforestation and destruction of biodiversity,” he told The Associated Press in a June interview when he was announced as this year’s winner.


Source: Huffington Post

INCIDENT REPORT: Occupy Monsanto goes to the home of Monsanto

Posted: September 29th, 2012 | Filed under: Incident Reports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

03ErmalRats e1348275986158 INCIDENT REPORT: Occupy Monsanto goes to the home of Monsanto Whole Foods Market Suzanne Renard STL Stan Cox St. Louis Safe Food Action St. Louis Rats Priti Cox Picket Orin Langelle Organic Consumers Association Occupy Monsanto MO Millennium Hotel International Symposium on Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms GMO Free Midwest GMO Labeling gmo GM soy Global Justice Ecology Project Gateway Green Alliance Fisher Wellness Center Eric Herm Dr. Ollie Fisher Dr. Irina Ermakova Don Fitz death Creve Coeur cotton Carmelo Ruiz Marrero CAMP Brian Tokar Black Bear Bakery biotechnology Barbara Chicherio Anne Peterman
Photo by Don Fitz


Occupy Monsanto goes to the home of Monsanto

By Carmelo Ruiz Marrero

In the city of St. Louis, there is no one who does not have a friend, relative or neighbor working at Monsanto. This city on the banks of the Mississippi river has the doubtful honor of hosting the world headquarters of the Monsanto corporation. Founded in 1901, it was one of the world’s leading chemical companies in the twentieth century. At the start of this century it transformed itself into a biotechnology giant, or as the company likes to put it, “a leader in the life sciences industry”. Nowadays, Monsanto is the world’s largest seed company (global market share: 27%) and owns over four fifths of the planet’s genetically modified (GM) seed.

Monsanto is therefore the very embodiment of the biotech-agricultural-industrial complex, the company has worked very hard to earn that distinction. That also means that it symbolizes everything that is wrong with the food system.

Monday September 17 was the Occupy Monsanto campaign’s international day of actions against the corporation (1). Concerned citizens all over the world were called upon to carry out protest actions at the Monsanto facility nearest to them. Groups as far away as Chile and Argentina picketed Monsanto offices and circulated photos of their actions on social media.

That day I was, of all places, in St. Louis picketing the company headquarters’ main entrance. I was accompanied by dozens of local activists plus some who came from as far away as Chicago and the San Francisco bay area (2). Among the demonstrators who addressed the small crowd was Texas farmer Eric Herm, who used to plant Monsanto’s GM Roundup Ready cotton but turned against chemical and biotech agriculture. He narrates his journey of discovery and transformation in his book “Son of a Farmer, Child of the Earth” (3).

This picket was the culmination of two days of protests and educational events organized by GMO Free Midwest (4) and Occupy Monsanto. A series of events were hosted by Safe Food Action, the Gateway Green Alliance (5) and the US Organic Consumers Association (6) in different parts of the city to agitate and educate about the threat of GM crops and foods to human health, small farmers, rural economies, and food sovereignty worldwide.

On Sunday the 16th the organizers held a day-long series of educational activities, including talks and film screenings, in the Community Arts and Movement (CAMP) (7) building between Cherokee street and Minnesota Avenue in South St. Louis, and the Black Bear Bakery a short walk away. CAMP is a community organization that promotes creative expression, social interconnection, healthy living and sustainability through a great variety of activities that celebrate diversity and encourage critical thinking, such as classes, projects, artists in residence, bicycle repair, community gardening, mural painting, and much more. The Black Bear Bakery, known for its Lickhalter rye bread, is a worker-owned collective that hosts a great deal of cultural, political and creative activities, including music performances, film screenings, meetings, presentations and press conferences (8).

Presenters that day included Dr. Ollie Fisher, a former Monsanto employee who turned his life around and is now dedicated to promoting integral holistic health and operates the Fisher Wellness Center (9); Priti Cox, an artist from India (10) who has been chronicling and analyzing the devastating effects of corporate globalization on Indian society; geneticist and author Stan Cox (11), who works at the Kansas-based Land Institute developing deep-rooted perennial food crops (12); Orin Langelle and Anne Peterman, both from the Global Justice Ecology Project (13), who work on a variety of issues ranging from climate justice to the campaign to stop GM trees; social and environmental justice activist Daniel “Digger” Romano, who helps create local food networks as an alternative to the corporate-dominated agrotoxic food system; organic farmer, beekeeper and teacher Suzanne Renard; Eric Herm, and myself.

In my presentation I provided a political and historical context to the current global battle around GM crops and the patenting of seeds, basing myself on two recent articles of mine, “The Grand Botanical Chess Game” (14) and “Seeds of Empire” (15). This is part of a much broader research work I’m doing on the geopolitics of seeds and genomes, from a social ecology perspective.

The following day was the big day: Occupy Monsanto Day. Activities began with a conference on the myths and realities of the much-ballyhooed “green economy” at the Millennium hotel in the downtown area, with Don Fitz of the Gateway Green Alliance and Orin Langelle as presenters and myself as moderator. On the same floor of the Millenium a biotech industry-sponsored international scientific symposium on the biosafety of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) was taking place that same day. Not a coincidence, but rather clever planning and foresight. Months earlier, professor Brian Tokar of the Vermont-based Institute for Social Ecology informed GMO Free Midwest organizer Barbara Chicherio of the upcoming industry symposium, noting that it would coincide with the Occupy Monsanto actions. So the protest organizers cleverly booked the Lewis & Clarke conference room in the hotel, directly across the hall from where the industry activity would take place.

But things did not go as planned. We were changed at last minute to a different conference room on the far end of the floor, half the size of the space that had been paid for. Here is Don Fitz’s account of what happened when Chicherio brought our complaint to the hotel executive in charge:

– “If you don’t stop talking to me, I will have you removed from the hotel,” was the most thoughtful answer he seemed able to come up with. Looking at his name tag, Barbara saw that he was “Rich Martin, Director of Catering and Convention Services.”

As the conversation was unfolding, Orin Langelle with the Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP) pulled out his camera to film the interaction. Rich put up his hand, growling “No photos! You get away from me or I’ll have you removed from the hotel.” Nearby Orin was Anne Petermann, also with GJEP. She slid her camera away as she quietly caught Rich on film. –

Fitz’s full account plus some photos of the activity are available at the Occupy Monsanto site (16).

A Russian scientist participating at the industry symposium came over and briefly joined us as the conference was starting. It was none other than Irina Ermakova. Her name may be little-known to the American general public but she is a celebrity and hero among anti-GM activists. In 2007 she published the results of her ground-breaking animal feeding studies on GM soy. In short, she found that the offspring of rats fed GM soy had a death rate of 50% within three weeks of birth, when the normal rate is 10%. For her findings, Ermakova was badly abused by biotech crop supporters, particularly the editors of Nature Biotechnology magazine (17). Apparently, the industry symposium’s organizers felt they needed a token radical voice in their activity lest they be accused of “bias”. It was a pleasant surprise and a total thrill to have her briefly join us and address our conference. Later, she joined us again when we had an anti-GM picket across the street from the hotel.

Our following action of the day was at the local Whole Foods Market, the Wal-Mart of the organic movement (18). The Whole Foods retail chain, which many consumers believe sells only organic, natural, healthy, wholesome and of above average quality foods, actually sells some GM among its many items that are not labeled “organic”. No, not everything they sell is organic, and if it isn’t then there is no guarantee that it’s GM-free. Whole Foods does not have a GM-free policy and does not even support mandatory labels on GM foods. We walked up and down the aisles talking to customers about GM foods and the importance of labeling them. The reception among the clientele was overwhelmingly positive, and even employees wanted to know about the issues. Other members of our group took non-organic items to the cash register and questioned the cashiers whether their purchases were GM-free. There were no unpleasant clashes with the store’s management and there were no arrests, even though police did show up.

The grand event of the day was the picket at the main entrance to Monsanto’s main offices, in the Creve Coeur suburb (19). What surprised us was the number of passerby drivers who expressed their approval and solidarity with our protest. That is no small thing in the world’s ultimate biotech company town.

– Ruiz-Marrero is a Puerto Rican author, environmental educator, and long-time activist on biotech issues. He currently works at the Organic Consumers Association coordinating social media campaigns. Ruiz-Marrero, a graduate of the Institute for Social Ecology’s MA program, has been involved with Green politics since the 1980’s, when he was active in the Green Committees of Correspondence. He is currently on the editorial board of Synthesis/Regeneration, a journal of Green social thought (http://www.greens.org/s-r/).

FOOTNOTES:
(more…)

YouTube Video of Occupy Monsanto, NOFA/Mass, & Doo-Occupy at the BIO International Convention

Posted: June 20th, 2012 | Filed under: Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Check out this awesome video by Dennis Trainor Jr. that was filmed on Monday outside of the BIO International Convention in Boston.


If you are in the New York City area next week, check out the world premiere of his new documentary:

American Autumn: an occudoc
Opening Night Screening and Party – Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Indie Screen @ 289 Kent Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Doors open at 7pm / Admission is FREE / cash bar / RSVP

UStream of the Sidewalk Session at the BIO International Conference

Posted: June 18th, 2012 | Filed under: Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Part 4


(more…)

Page 2 of 3123