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.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jim Gerritsen (207) 429-9765
Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association
OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto Oral Argument Slated for January 10, 2013
WASHINGTON, ME – November 23, 2012 – On November 21, 2012, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., announced that it would hear the Appeal of Dismissal in Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto at 10am on Thursday, January 10, 2013. The landmark organic community lawsuit was originally filed in Federal District Court, Southern District of New York, in March 2011.
OSGATA et al v. Monsanto challenges the validity of Monsanto’s transgenic seed patents and seeks preemptive court protection for farmers when Monsanto seed trespasses onto their farms and contaminates their crops. Should contamination occur, innocent farmers would be placed in legal jeopardy and could be held liable by Monsanto for patent infringement because of the farmers’ “possession” of Monsanto technology without having paid royalty on that “possession.”
Plaintiffs are being represented in the case by lawyers from the Public Patent Foundation, who are providing their legal services to the farmers pro bono. Plaintiff lawyer Dan Ravicher asked Monsanto for a binding legal covenant guaranteeing family farmers that they would not be pursued for patent infringement should they become contaminated by Monsanto seed. Monsanto refused to provide this assurance to the farmers.
The farmers’ Appeal brief, filed last summer, cites legal and factual errors by Federal District Court Judge Naomi Buchwald which in toto caused her to erroneously conclude that the farmers lacked standing under the Declaratory Judgment Act to seek court protection. In addition, two powerful Amicii briefs were filed in support of the farmers’ position – one by a group of eleven law professors and another by a group of fourteen non-profit agricultural and consumer organizations. These briefs will be studied by the three judge Appellate panel during their deliberations.
“American family farmers have gone to court seeking justice and protection from Monsanto. We are not seeking one penny from Monsanto,” said Maine organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen, President of lead Plaintiff Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association. “We satisfy the requirements of the Declaratory Judgment Act. We want our day in court so that our families can achieve protection from this perverse injustice. We are prepared to prove at trial that the U.S. Patent Office improperly granted Monsanto patents on their genetically engineered seed and that those patents are invalid.”
OSGATA has re-established its Farmer Travel Fund in order to raise funds to enable family farmers to travel to the Oral Argument in January. The Farmer Travel Fund is in immediate need of contributions to support this convergence of farmers from across the United States in solidarity for the OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto lawsuit effort. Plaintiffs believe it is critical that the courtroom for the Oral Argument of this major lawsuit be filled with concerned Plaintiff-farmers in order to visibly demonstrate that the case is not just an academic dispute of patent law. Rather it is a monumental issue affecting the rights of American family farmers, with implications of global significance.
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. www.osgata.org
Public Health minister Beth Mugo subsequently directed all Public Health Officers at all ports of entry and all other government regulators to enforce the ban on importation of Genetically Modified Foods in the country.
This she says was following the decision made by the cabinet to ban the importation of GMO foods into the country due to inadequate research done on GMOs and scientific evidence provided to prove the safety of the foods until such a time that the country will certify that they have no negative impacts on the health of consumers.
“Consequently, the government has decided that until such an informed policy decision is made, all GMO food imports are completely banned. All relevant government agencies have according been instructed to immediately comply with this directive and enforce the ban on importation of all GMO foods.”
She urged stakeholders to verify the custom entry documents of food consignments to ascertain that their GMO certificate.
“The protection of the consumer and assurance to the public on the safety of food is extremely important in making decisions about food importation, distribution and consumption. Where there is apprehension and uncertainty with regard to the safety of food products, precautionary measure to protect the health of the people must be undertaken.”
She threatened legal action against those who do not comply with the directive.
” I am therefore, calling upon all stakeholders and government regulators involved in importation of GMO foods to take note of this directive that no importation of GMO foods will be allowed into the country until further advice by the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation.”
Source: Kenya Broadcasting Corporation
It has come to our attention that Kaiser Permanente, the largest managed healthcare organization in the United States, has advised its members against GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in food.
In its Northwest Fall 2012 newsletter, Kaiser suggested membership limit exposure to genetically modified organisms.
“GMOs have been added to our food supply since 1994, but most people don’t know it because the United States does not require labeling of GMOs,” according to the newsletter.
Sounding like a radical organic health proponent, the huge corporate Kaiser continued, “Despite what the biotech industry might say, there is little research on the long-term effects of GMOs on human health.”
Independent studies have shown GMOs to cause organ damage in rats and the inability to reproduce. Kaiser gave tips on how its members can avoid GMOs, including buying organic, looking for the “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal and to download the “ShopNoGMO” app.
Since corporations are required, by definition, to augment their bottom line, we think Kaiser’s efforts to encourage GMO avoidance for the members for whose health costs they must (sometimes!) pay – is telling.
What do soda, canned chicken soup, margarine, and corn flakes have in common? They all contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.
GMOs have a piece of DNA from a difference species, such as bacteria or viruses, spliced into their DNA. Genetically engineered corn, for example, has DNA added so that it has a pesticide built right into it. This process creates a new species of plant that would have never occurred in nature.
WHERE DO YOU FIND GMOs?
GMOs have been added to our food supply since 1994, but most people don’t know it because the United States does not require labeling of GMOs. As of 2012, most corn, soybeans, canola, cotton, and sugar beets are genetically modified. Nearly 80 percent of processed food and most fast food contain GMOs.
Despite what the biotech industry might say, there is little research on the long-term effects of GMOs on human health. Independent research has found several varieties of GMO corn caused organ damage in rats. Other studies have found that GMOs may lead to an inability in animals to reproduce.
Here are several ways you can help limit your exposure to GMOs:
- Buy organic. All USDA Certified Organic foods are GMO-free.
- Avoid foods that contain nonorganic soy, corn, and canola or cotton-seed oil.
- Look for the “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal.
- Ask your local market. For example, Trader Joe’s produce and Trader Joe’s labeled foods are GMO-free; Whole Foods Market’s 365 Everyday Value products are sourced to be GMO-free.
- Download the ShopNoGMO app.
- Visit nongmoshoppingguide.com and nongmoproject.org
G.E. Seralini, et al. “New analysis of a rat feeding study with a genetically modified maize revels signs hepatorenal toxicity,” Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 52: (2007) 596-602
A Kilic and M.T. Akay “A three-generation study with genetically modified Bt corn in rats: Biochemical and histopathological investigation,” Food and Chemical Toxicology 46 (2008) 1164-1170
A. Velimirov, et al. “Biological effects of transgenic maize NK603xMON810 fed in long-term reproduction studies in mice,” Bundesministerium für Gesundheit, Familie und Jugend report, Forschungsberichte der Sektion IV Band (March 2008)
* Corrected URL
Source: Willamette Live
On September 22, 2011, the White House unveiled their on-line petition microsite to provide citizens the opportunity to directly petition president Barack Obama’s administration. In the year since the petition platform went online, there have been over 50,000 petitions submitted, and of those petitions, 116 were able to reach the signature threshold and 103 of those petitions received a response from the White House. Except the petitions related to GMO….
On September 23, 2011, the second day after the “We The People” petition platform went live, there was this petition submitted:
Without a response from the White House, nearly 7 months later a second petition on GMO was submitted:
There is currently a third petition on GMO which is in the process of collecting signatures on We The People. But why should people sign this petition when the White House has failed to answer the previous two?
Yesterday an official from the White House said that they were going to respond to Secession Petitions that were recently submitted. So why is the White House ignoring petitions on GMO that have been languishing for over a year?
We believe its due to Monsanto’s pervasive influence on the White House & the FDA. With over 90% of Americans in support of labeling GMO foods, its not like President Obama will lose any support from the American public for taking a stand on GMO like he did in 2007. Therefore, we demand that the White House immediately answer the petitions on GMO and have the FDA promulgate regulations for mandatory GMO labeling.
Probe of 3 FDA Officials Sought
Industry Ties Before Approval of Bovine Growth Hormone Are at Issue
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