Thanksgiving at Monsanto


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.



2015 Monsanto Shareholder Resolution

Posted: August 14th, 2014 | Filed under: Research, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , |

Unfortunately, the shareholder resolution was withdrawn in October 2014 and will not be voted on at the 2015 Annual Shareholder Meeting. More details of the demise of the shareholder resolution can be viewed here [PDF].



On August 11, 2014, the following shareholder resolution was submitted to the Monsanto Company:

WHEREAS:
Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and its key active ingredient, glyphosate, have been linked to various health problems, including chronic kidney disease, http://truth-out.org/news/item/24876-monsantos-herbicide-linked-to-fatal-kidney-disease-epidemic-will-ckdu-topple-monsanto autism, http://www.autismone.org/content/autism-explained-synergistic-poisoning-aluminum-and-glyphosate-stephanie-seneff birth defects, http://earthopensource.org/index.php/reports/roundup-and-birth-defects-is-the-public-being-kept-in-the-dark mammary tumors and pre-mature death, http://www.enveurope.com/content/26/1/14 breast cancer, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23756170 blood cancer, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24762670 ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1241196/ Parkinson’s, and http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0892036212000438 celiac disease and gluten intolerance. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24678255

Roundup has never been tested or assessed for long-term safety for regulatory purposes. However, independent studies show it is highly toxic to animals and humans. Glyphosate alone is toxic, and some of the added ingredients (adjuvants) in Roundup are, on their own, toxic. In addition, some of these adjuvants increase the toxicity of glyphosate by enabling it to penetrate plant and animal cells more easily. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1257596/

Roundup is toxic to beneficial gut bacteria but non-toxic to pathogenic bacteria. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23224412

Roundup depletes the body of macro and micronutrients. http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/48190923/glyphosate-reduces-shoot-concentrations-mineral-nutrients-glyphosate-resistant-soybeans

Roundup interferes with CYP enzymes, disrupts the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids by gut bacteria, and impairs serum sulfate transport. http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416 The consequences include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

People exposed to the spraying of Roundup suffer http://www.reduas.fcm.unc.edu.ar/report-from-the-first-national-meeting-of-physicians-in-the-crop-sprayed-towns/ increased incidence of infertility, birth defects, miscarriages, cancers, genetic damage (which can lead to cancer and birth defects), toxic liver disease, neurological developmental problems, kidney failure, respiratory problems, and allergies.

In 2014 in Brazil, the Federal Public Prosecutor http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2014/15365 requested the Justice Department suspend the use of glyphosate herbicides, and ordered the National Health Surveillance Agency to re-evaluate the toxicity of glyphosate.

Herbicide-tolerant Roundup Ready crops increased herbicide use in the U.S. by an estimated 527 million pounds between 1996 and 2011. http://www.enveurope.com/content/24/1/24

Roundup is commonly found in streams, rain and air in agricultural areas of the US. http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=2909#.U9vktKi1Z0M

Roundup has been found in the blood, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21338670 urine, http://www.foeeurope.org/sites/default/files/press_releases/foee_media_briefing_glyphosate.pdf and breast milk http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/27/us-monsanto-roundup-epa-idUSKBN0E72IH20140527 of city dwellers.

Parents http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_30153.cfm and pediatricians http://gmoinside.org/downsides-to-gmo-infant-formula-we-asked-a-pediatrician/ who have monitored children’s exposure to Roundup, have found that health improves when the herbicide is removed from their systems through an organic diet.

RESOLVED:
Shareholders request that the Board establish an independent panel, controlling for conflict of interest, to publish by July 2015, at reasonable cost and excluding proprietary information, a report analyzing the extent to which Monsanto’s Roundup/glyphosate may cause the above health problems, and describing public policy initiatives, and Monsanto policies and activities, to phase out or restrict uses of Roundup/glyphosate that increase human exposure.

Supporting Statement: Proponents believe the report should include all evidence linking Roundup, glyphosate, or Roundup’s inert ingredients or adjuvants, to the above health problems.


Read the 2014 Shareholder Resolution

MyFoxDC: Genetically Modified Food Concerns

Posted: July 9th, 2013 | Filed under: Press, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Genetic engineering technology was introduced 20 years ago with the notion we could make enough food to feed everyone in the world. However, many are becoming increasingly concerned about the growing number of genetically modified foods in our food supply. FOX 5 Consumer Reporter Laura Evans has more on this story.


Source: Fox 5, Washington, DC

FOOD FIGHT – Earth Amplified feat. Stic.Man of Dead Prez

Posted: February 27th, 2013 | Filed under: Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Food Fight is the story of a kid who lives in a world where the food at the local corner store is killing his neighborhood — literally.

We want to get the word out — 25,000 views in the first week; can you help us reach our goal?

SHARE IT? FREE CURRICULUM, & SONG DOWNLOAD at http://SosJuice.com/foodfight

Buy Earth Amplified album

Support the movement for thriving communities by getting this into schools and donating to SoS Juice: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/341222

Credits

Crew:
Ben Zolno – Story, Producer, Director, Shooter, Editor
AshEl “Seasunz” Eldridge – Lyrics, Performance, Casting, Locations
Stic Man – Final Verse Lyrics, Performance
Rebecca Quinn – AD/Key PA, 2nd Assistant Editor
Matt Davis – 1st AC, 2nd Unit Director, Shooter
Sashwa Burrous – 1st AC, 2nd Unit Director, Shooter, Titles, FX
Sabrina Davidson – Production Coordinator
Cameron Williams – 2nd AC, PA
Elana Issacs – PA
Ashleigh Papp – PA
Brian Pierce – PA
Ryan Dexter – Titles, FX
song produced and mixed by J.Bless & Golden Horns

Cast:
Guide – AshEL “Seasunz” Eldridge
Final Verse Writer/Performer – Stic Man
Kid – Anthony Samuels and Chioke Bakari
Mom – Kanchan Hayes
Vandana Shiva – TV interviewee
Powdered Doughnut Junkies – Franceyes Jackson
Energy-Drink Junkie – Jahahara Alkebulan-Maat
Corn Chip/Nacho Cheese Junkie – Ambessa Cantave
Twizzlers Junkie – Jose Manuel Ramirez
Suit (Fried Chicken Dealer) – John Harrison
Suit (Driver) – Aaron Lehmer
Hamburger Helper – Jessica M. Young, Rana Chang, Sabrina Davidson
Toucan Sam – Lisa Aurora
Lucky Charms – Alexia Stratton
Tony the Tiger – Manuel Martinez, Jake Schoneker, Rebecca Quinn
Homeless Man – Colin Hussey
KFC Junkie – Gary Whitaker
Little Debbie – Becca Hike

LYRICS

VANDANA SHIVA:
“Once they have established the norm –
that seed can be owned as their property –
royalties can be collected.
We will depend on them
for every seed we grow
of every crop we grow.

If they control seed, they control food, they know it; it’s strategic.
It’s more powerful than bombs.
It’s more powerful than guns.
This is the best way to control the populations of the world.”

CHORUS:
That’s what the streets them say.

That’s what police them say.

That’s what the Babylon say.

Put cola upon lips

and get popped the same way now.

That’s what The Pentagon say.

That’s what the generals say.

That’s what the empire say.

Put death down your throat,

you get dropped the same way.

SEASUNZ:
There’s a war going on inside,

no man is safe from:

DDTs, PCBs,

every corner in the hood got a KFC

or McD’s. It’s crack speed like RED

Bull-ish they pulpit — so caffeine,

Kit Kat like a click-clack holes in your genes

Cuz everything at market ain’t all what it seems.

Little Debbie bussing biscuits at sugar-high fiends.

Ain’t nothing but a G thing –

GMO, MSG, genocide of street gangs.

Aspartame or street cane.

Monsanto is Rambo.

Round Up with ammo.

Who would have known you can die from a diet

Diabetes and the -itis from the dairy and the dose

of the high fructose

cuz your ribs too close

so you might start a riot.

Might be a FOOD FIGHTER!

CHORUS REPEATED

SEASUNZ:
They shootin’!

Made you look

at the labels on the food that you cook.

Just say no to cocoa box

cuz when you Google the ingredients, you might get got.

Is your milk on drugs? Cuz your brain on Fox.

Factory farming spawning the Meatrix plot,

Globally warming us all, enough cows and NOx

driving the climate, driving a hummer or not.

Drive-in like a drive-by.

E.coli served super sized with a side of super lies.

so tell me what’s more gangsta than that?

Bullets or burgers both blaze burners to black.

Breakfast is a little like Texas,

Petro is everything that you’re eating on

My pesto is backyard like choppin’ chard.

My school lunch pack a punch.

FOOD FIGHT IS ON!

CHORUS REPEATED

STIC.MAN:
What’s Beef?

Beef is when you’re 12 years old and obese

clogged arteries, can’t see your own feet

until you’re up in ICU, guaranteed to be an ‘I see you”

From that processed food.

Suicide. It’s a suicide.

Don’t want no microwaves, no pesticides.

Fast food’s a slow death in disguise.

It’s the wild wild westernized world of deception and lies.

What’s Beef?

Beef is when you starve in a famine.

Nothing won’t grow and the land stays barren.

Pollution in the river, mercury in the salmon.

What sense do it make, being at war with the planet?

We’re at war for the mind so impressionable.

Instead of vegetables,

we reach for Red Bulls.

Poor diets kill more brothers than pistols.

We’re fighting for our lives like Michael Vic’s pit bulls.

Dog eat dog, America eats the young,

We die from beef, but more from meat than the gun.

Bullets for breakfast and mass murder meals.

Enemy of the state, and your plate is the battlefield

in this FOOD FIGHT!


Source: SOS Juice & Seed Freedom

Monsanto: Big Guy on the Block When it Comes to Friends in Washington

Posted: February 19th, 2013 | Filed under: Genetic Crimes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Political heavyweight Monsanto took on an Indiana soybean farmer today in the U.S. Supreme Court over Monsanto’s patents of its Roundup-resistant seed.

And, once again, Justice Clarence Thomas was on the bench, hearing the case with the other justices. Thomas worked as a corporate lawyer for Monsanto in the 1970s. Thomas has participated in at least one other case involving the company, Monsanto v. Geertson, which resulted in a favorable decision for Monsanto; Thomas joined the majority in that case.

Some have criticized Thomas’ participation in cases involving a previous employer. Monsanto is so used to the question that it gets space on the company website.

Thomas knows something about the subject of today’s case: In 2001, he authored an important decision in this field, J. E. M. Ag Supply, Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, which — while it didn’t involve Monsanto — held that new, developed plant breeds are patentable.

At issue today were Monsanto’s patents of its herbicide-resistant seed. Monsanto requires farmers to use its purchased seed for just one planting cycle; they must buy new seed every spring. Farmer Vernon Bowman has not reused any of the soybean seeds hepurchased. However, Monsanto’s patent does allow growers to sell second-generation seed to a grain elevator, where Bowman purchased his seed and has been planting it in some of his fields since 1999.

That’s where Monsanto took issue. It claims Bowman’s use of the second-generation seed infringed the company’s patent rights, even if it was sold by a third party and is not the original Monsanto seed, but descended from it. Monsanto won its case in a lower federal court.

Monsanto typically reaches a settlement with farmers it has sued for patent infringement. This time, The Guardian reports, the case traveled to the Supreme Court because 75-year-old Bowman — already bankrupt from an unrelated land deal — couldn’t pay damages and is fighting the case with literally nothing to lose.

Clarence Thomas aside, Monsanto has plenty of other ties to Washington. Eight lawmakers own stock in Monsanto, including Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Reps. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.).

Monsanto itself contributed more than $500,000 to federal candidates in the last election cycle, primarily favoring Republicans. Monsanto spent nearly $6 million on lobbying in 2012, down from its $8.8 million record in 2008. That’s still enough to keep Monsanto the big guy on the agribusiness block — it has spent the most on lobbying by far in the industry since 2008; the American Farm Bureau is the only other to even come close. The majority, by far, of Monsanto’s lobbyists have made at least one trip through the revolving door; in-house lobbyist Michael Holland, Jr., for instance, logged 13 years working for various House Republicans before he jumped to Monsanto in 2011.

Third on that agribusiness lobbying list is CropLife America, one of a number of political heavyweights that have jumped on board with Monsanto. CropLife submitted an amicus brief to the Court supporting Monsanto’s position. Other powerful groups that have filed amicus briefs on Monsanto’s behalf include Pioneer Hi-Bred International (from the 2001 plant patent case), Business Software Alliance, American Seed Trade Association, New York Intellectual Property Law Association, American Intellectual Property Law Association, Bayhdole25, Washington Legal Foundation, Biotechnology Industry Organization, CHS Inc. and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, as well as a number of soybean associations and economists.

The Obama administration pushed the Court not to take the case in the first place, echoing concerns of those filing briefs for Monsanto that a reversal of the lower court’s decision could adversely affect other patents involving DNA, nanotechnology or other self-replicating technology, according to the Huffington Post

A few parties have written amicus briefs in Bowman’s support, including the Center for Food Safety, Knowledge Ecology International, the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, the Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Association, the International Imaging Technology Council, the American Antitrust Institute, National Farmers Union, Food & Water Watch, the Organization for Competitive Markets, the National Family Farm Coalition and the Public Patent Foundation.


Source: The Center for Responsive Politics

Prepared Statement to Monsanto Shareholders and the Board of Directors Given at the 2013 Annual Shareholder Meeting

Posted: January 31st, 2013 | Filed under: Genetic Crimes, Incident Reports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


Monsanto Annual Shareholder Meeting
Building A
800 Lindberg Road
Creve Coeur, MO
January 31, 2013

Good Afternoon. I am here speaking on behalf of Harrington Investments, the Pesticide Action Network and my 75 shares . Our resolution for consideration by fellow shareholders addresses serious and potential risks associated with our Company’s genetically engineered crops, the toxic chemicals applied to these crops, and the related civil liability our Company may face due to their continued sales.

I realize our resolution is the same as last year and is unlikely to receive enough votes today to pass. So instead of speaking to the merits of the resolution or the Board’s prepared response, I am going to use my limited time to inform fellow shareholders that a massive tidal wave of consumer rejection of foods derived from our company’s patented technology has yet to crash down, but will soon.

What I am speaking of is a historic re-ordering of what crops farmers will be permitted to grow and the near-complete collapse of our customer base if we don’t change our business practices. Customers in our value chain are beginning to reject our patented technology due to the unsustainable consequences its use brings for human health and that of our soil and water.

First of all, why is our Company and it’s industry partners as a whole so vigorously hostile to new independent, peer-reviewed research? Last Fall, Dr. Seralini’s research clearly showed that rats fed this Company’s NK603 corn over their lifetime had serious health issues versus rats fed the control, a non-genetically engineered diet. We know the Company’s Technology Agreement does not permit farmers to give their seed away to scientists for research purposes. But in order for Monsanto to uphold its official pledge of “Transparency,” the Company’s patented technology must be scrutinized by scientists in every country in the world, without restrictions. The Company must embrace all research, in all its forms, to be truly transparent with current and future customers.

It is clear from the research of Dr. Seralini, that exposure to glyphosate and our Roundup Ready family of herbicides in only trace amounts of drinking water was linked to severe tumors in these rats over a lifetime of feeding. Moreover, our Company’s own rat feeding trials were woefully inadequate in measuring the long-term health risks of foods derived from our Company’s technology because our studies took place over only 90 days versus a rat’s entire lifetime as shown in Dr. Seralini’s study. To dismiss long-term animal feeding studies that were reviewed by the same scientific journal that years earlier did not reveal the long-term impacts of eating GMOs in Monsanto’s own studies is another example of this Company being two-faced and opaque. Customers, government regulators, and concerned scientists deserve nothing less than crystal-clear transparency from this Company. This starts by welcoming research by scientists who may be critical of our patented technology.

Secondly, last year I warned shareholders and the Board of Directors that the Company’s misguided hostility to safe food activists and farmers was fueling a consumer backlash. There was the Just Label It campaign, which last year sent over 1.1 million petition signatures to the FDA requesting labels for GMO foods. This effort led by Stoneyfield Organic CEO Gary Hirshberg, set the record for the most public comments on a petition to the FDA ever. And most recently social media campaigns have emerged, like the GMO Inside campaign, which urges grocery shoppers to label the suspected GMO foods and post the photos to Facebook and Twitter, as they have done by the thousands.

And then there was Proposition 37 in California. When I asked you Mr. Grant straightforwardly last year, “How much would this Company spend to defeat the California Right2Know Ballot initiative,” you refused to answer my question. Today fellow shareholders I am displeased to report our company wasted $8.2 million dollars to defeat transparency in food labels. Spending millions of dollars through lies and misinformation is not the way to stop the customer backlash towards GMOs. It’s only made it worse. Shareholders need to take this breech of trust very seriously.

While the proposition to label GMO foods in California failed to pass by a slim margin, people now say that if this Company was so proud of its patented technology, it would demand labels just as much as grocery shoppers do. This paradox exists because the Company is not being transparent with itself. This blatant denial of the wishes of customers in our value chain has the fuel to generate a wild fire of grassroots activism against this company. Customers recognize the lack of transparency in our food labels means there must be something to hide and they are wising up to the fact that its our patented technology that is being concealed.

For that matter why is this a closed-door meeting and no video feed made available to the hundreds of millions world-wide who eat our patented technology? Why must we meet in secret if the Company truly embraces transparency?

Since last year’s shareholder meeting we know more than 6 million Americans have voted & signed petitions demanding more transparency in food labels. This voting block is not going away because they vote three times a day- breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Throughout 2012 there were over 150 large-scale protests against this Company’s opaque & undemocratic control of global food policy. There were at least 50 protests at Monsanto facilities world-wide this past September 17 alone and just this last Tuesday there were thousands who took to the streets of Argentina protesting this company. Unless things begin to change and become more transparent, these protests will increase in size and number. Mr. Grant, the grassroots are Roundup resistant.

The way forward is by upholding the Company’s pledge to transparency. First, this means following the lead of other Fortune 500 companies like Apple, Coca-Cola, and Walmart and begin to stream over the Internet audio & video of all future shareholder meetings. Second, the Company should cease its efforts to stymie legislative solutions that provide increased transparency around GMO foods. States like Washington, Hawaii, Connecticut, Oregon, New Mexico, Vermont, and even here in Missouri have legislative solutions in the works. These efforts should be embraced by the Company, not fought off with lobbyists & lawyers. Third, the company needs to provide scientists access to the Company’s seeds & existing body of research. Let independent scientists provide the much-needed peer-reviewed studies, so the public at large believes this Company is being truly transparent.

A video published yesterday on the Wall Street Journal’s website, Mr. Grant said quote “we need to do much better job explaining where food comes from” We wholeheartedly agree. From independent scientific experimentation to honest food labels to streaming future shareholder meetings, this Company needs to look inward and become transparent.

Thank you for your time and I will answer questions shareholders may have.

PressTV: Argentina activists rally against US Monsanto expansion in Latin America

Posted: January 31st, 2013 | Filed under: Press, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


Argentinians have said no to what they call Monsanto´s “deathly” business in Latin America.

In Buenos Aires, the action group “Millions against Monsanto” has led a protest at the House of Cordoba, a province located in the center of Argentina where the US multinational company is developing its biggest regional factory.

According to activists, the construction of the facility has been approved by provincial authorities but no official report on environmental damages has yet been conducted.

Political complicity, leaders of the protest said, is fostering the expansion of Monsanto´s “chain of profit and death”: Monsanto sells seeds that are resistant to its own glyphosate-based Roundup, a key herbicide used in Argentina´s “green gold” soybean industry.

In the meantime, thousands of farmers are exposed to serious health risks -cancer, birth defects, intestinal, heart and neuronal conditions- as a recent investigation by the University of Buenos Aires shows.

But Argentina is only one link of Monsanto´s billionaire expansion in Latin America.

In Paraguay, for instance, demonstrators denounced that the biotech company has managed to introduce its transgenic soy thanks to economic lobbies linked to the impeachment of President Fernando Lugo last year. They called it the “agribusiness coup”.

Monsanto has reported to have nearly tripled its profits in the first fiscal quarter of 2013 as its regional sales boom and governments allow the US-based firm to spread.

Meanwhile, on the margins of the anti-Monsanto demonstration, Argentine left-wing opposition lawmakers held a political meeting to condemn the corporate power of agribusiness and the increasing control of food sovereignty by transnational companies.


Source: Press TV Youtube Channel & Press TV website

The Garden Island: Walter Ritte, Andrew Kimbrell address Hawai‘i SEED event

Posted: January 20th, 2013 | Filed under: Press | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |
andrew kimbrell hawaii seed tour kauai The Garden Island: Walter Ritte, Andrew Kimbrell address Hawai‘i SEED event Wheat Walter Ritte University of Hawaii Syngenta sustainability sugar beets State Capitol Salmon RoundUp rice Public Land Development Corporation Proposition 37 PLDC pesticides Nancy Redfeather Molokai Lihue Kaua‘i War Memorial Auditorium Kauai Kaho‘olawe International Center for Technology Assessment India HI Hawaii SEED Tour Hawaii government GMOs GMO Labeling Gary Hooser Flavr Savr FDA Family Dupont Dr. Vandana Shiva Dow Chemical Dicamba Corporations Center for Food Safety California Bayer Andrew Kimbrell alfalfa Agent Orange 2 4 D

Walter Ritte, Andrew Kimbrell address Hawai‘i SEED event

By Laurie Cicotello – The Garden Island

LIHU‘E — Wendell Berry once said, “To live, we must daily break the body and shed the blood of Creation. When we do this knowingly, lovingly, skillfully, reverently, it is a sacrament. When we do it ignorantly, greedily, clumsily, destructively, it is a desecration. In such desecration we condemn ourselves to spiritual and moral loneliness, and others to want.”

Environmental attorney Andrew Kimbrell shared Berry’s quotation with a standing room only crowd on the final evening of the Hawai‘i SEED Tour event featuring Dr. Vandana Shiva Thursday at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Auditorium (see Saturday’s online edition for a full story about Shiva’s presentation).

Berry’s quotation resonated the most during the evening, with Dr. Shiva also paraphrasing it before announcing that she would return to Kaua‘i, “only when you have driven those criminals off this island.”

Opening the event for Dr. Shiva Thursday night were Kimbrell and Hawaiian activist Walter Ritte.

In introducing Ritte, emcee Nancy Redfeather of Hawai‘i noted his work in 1975 reclaiming Kaho‘olawe from the U.S. military, which was using it for target practice.

She also recalled watching him and his two sons testify to stop a company from doing biological drug testing in Hawai‘i and how they successfully blocked the effort.

“On Moloka‘i, we are fiercely protective of our natural resources,” Ritte said. “We have a cash economy and a subsistence economy and we need both to survive.”

He said some islands have lost one of those economies and people get by on a cash economy.

On Moloka‘i, though, he said, “We fiercely protect the environment because that’s how we feed our family. The skills that allow us to harvest these resources and feed our families are traditional skills. Monsanto is the No. 1 problem we have right now.”

He said Native Hawaiians are asking him ‘We have sovereignty and rights to take of, why are you wasting your time on GMOs?’

For him, the answer boils down to food sustainability.

“If we are not going to learn how to feed ourselves, we are never going to be independent, self-sufficient and sovereign, never. Never,” he said.

Ritte described having the doors shut on protesters last year during an anti-GMO rally at the State Capitol.

“It was a horrible feeling,” Ritte said. “These elected officials have joined the corporations. They have declared a war on our environment and this island has the most to lose, because it is the most beautiful island in all of Hawai‘i. You have the most to protect.”

He said his job for the evening was to instill in the audience the idea that talk alone would not solve problems.

“If we don’t do anything, we are going to lose. We need you to participate in government,” Ritte said.

He praised the efforts of the Hawai‘i SEED leadership in getting people involved on both leading a three-mile march from UH to the Capitol on O‘ahu and in filling the entire facility on Kaua‘i.

“It’s these women who have all this energy and commitment. Holy burning on my ballbearings, I cannot keep up with this group,” Ritte said to applause. “The leadership right now coming from Kaua‘i is ahead of any other island. No other island can fill rooms like this. The leadership is coming from your island. You guys are in the lead, just like you were on the Superferry.”

Ritte also addressed the issue of the Public Land Development Corporation, calling on Gary Hooser to take the lead on making changes. With the changes in House leadership, Ritte said the doors are open to affecting change statewide.

Ritte said yesterday marked the 120th anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. He said the issue needs to be made pono, to be corrected in order to move forward.

“If you build the foundation of how we’re going to protect our environment, using the most powerful laws in the state, it’s not going to be just the Hawaiians rising up. It’s going to be all of us joining up and rising up together because of the love we have for future generations,” he said.

In thanking the crowd for allowing him to share his mana‘o, he said, “We are all here because we love our environment and we love our Islands. We need to protect them come hell or high water.”

Along with Shiva was Andrew Kimbrell, who became the executive director of the International Center for Technology Assessment in 1994 and the executive director of the Center for Food Safety in 1997. As one of the leading environmental attorneys in the nation, he has authored several books on the environment, technology in society and food issues. In 1994, Utne Reader named him as one of the world’s leading visionaries.

Kimbrell opened his talk by paying homage to emcee Nancy Redfeather and her work in the legislature and to Jeri Di Pietro, president of Hawai‘i SEED.

He shared a story about Walter Ritte after he stopped the genetic engineering of taro. A group was sitting around trying to figure out the next step and Kimbrell suggested the company might try to patent taro, to which Ritte replied, ‘They can’t patent my older brother!”

The next thing Kimbrell knew, Ritte and his Hawaiian warriors chained themselves to a building where the Regents for the University of Hawai‘i was meeting to give up the patents they had on taro, which ultimately they did.

“To my knowledge, it’s the only time a patent holder has ever given up a patent, particularly under the threat of imprisonment,” Kimbrell said. “They say if you want something done, give it to a busy man. I say if you want anything done, give it to this man.”

Kimbrell said he met Dr. Vandana Shiva in 1989 at the first global warming conference for NGOs. He said the “beauty and nobility of her presence” immediately drew him to her.

He said that during that first meeting, Dr. Shiva said that in India, her people “have for millennia lived, more or less, in harmony with the world, but here in the West, in less than 150 years, you’ve created almost a terminal threat to the planet. So from now on at this conference, why don’t we call you the underdeveloped world?”

Kimbrell fired off a long list of products his group has stopped, including the Flavor Savor genetically engineered tomato to wheat, alfalfa, sugar beets, slo mo grass, rice, even biopharmaceuticals.

“Monsanto can be stopped. We were outspent 20:1 by Monsanto and won,” Kimbrell said to applause, adding that it’s not a matter of “if we’re going to have labeling, but when.”

He described writing Proposition 37 in California, and how they lost the proposition 51 to 49. He said Monsanto spent $50 million and only won by a narrow margin.

“I love suing Monsanto,” Kimbrell said in discussing gene and patent cases heading to the U.S. Supreme Court. “It never stops them from being passive aggressive cause we just get to sue them.”

He noted there are five major companies equal to Monsanto including Dow Chemical, DuPont, Syngenta and Bayer.

The crowd loudly tried to correct him, shouting out “Pioneer!” to which Kimbrell reminded them that Pioneer is a subsidiary of DuPont.

Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta own 51 percent of the world’s seeds, he said.

The seeds are designed to withstand huge applications of pesticides, which the same companies sell, Kimbrell said.

He said the Big 5 put out 115 million more pounds of pesticides and “we get rid of 40 million pounds of pesticides,” but it creates an adaptation of super weeds through survival of the fittest and weeds that can’t be killed with RoundUp.

Dow Chemicals said took over and created 2,4-D resistant crops.

“2,4-D is one of the elements in Agent Orange. So then they start a chemical arms race because Monsanto says they are going to go with Dicamba,” Kimbrell said, adding that these crops are currently up for USDA approval.

Kimbrell said Dicamba is one of the most terrifying weed killers as well because it volatilizes. “That means that under certain warm and wet conditions, it comes back up in a cloud after it’s been sprayed and can move miles over an organic farm and kill everything there. We’ve had conventional farmers say they don’t want this thing, so our work is not done.”

He went on to say “one of the most troubling things for me” is that the FDA is currently finalizing the approval of genetically engineered salmon.

“The salmon was originally engineered with human growth genes to make it grow larger, faster, and now they put some pout genes to do the same thing,” Kimbrell said.

He added that researchers said it would take a very small number of these salmon to decimate all salmon.

“Sixty fish like this, if they are released into a population of 60,000 native salmon, can cause extinction in thirty generations,” Kimbrell said.

He said there are about 45 days left for people to contact the FDA and tell them not to approve the fish.

Kimbrell added that 1.25 million people so far have signed a labeling petition asking President Obama to label GMO foods and said it is the largest response the FDA has ever had.

Based on the passion shown for the petition, Kimbrell encouraged the audience to have passion for their convictions.

“People who make war just for making war will fight for any side and quit when they want, but if you’re a lover … If you are a lover of seas, if you are a lover of lands, if you are a lover of rivers, if you are a lover of animals, then you will fight. You will fight for that. Lovers are the best fighters.”

Kimbrell once got called out for being against progress, but offered that the question needs to be “progress toward what?”

“The U.N. just came out with a report that said the way we are going to feed the world is not through genetic engineering, is not through toxic inputs, is not through pesticides, is not through the 2,4-D and the Dicamba and the RoundUp that is in the dust on Moloka‘i and hurting and killing children on this island. We know it’s the toxic herbicides. That is not progress. That can never be progress,” Kimbrell said, adding the companies are destroying the Earth and making “zillions of dollars” in the process, all in the name of progress. “We’ll occupy progress,” he said.

He said biotech companies would like for people to remain passive consumers, but noted that Ritte said everyone is a creator capable of making decisions, “in the food we grow, the food we buy, the food we feed out children, the food we allow in our schools and in our communities is either going to progress this terrible mechanistic nightmare that’s now reached it’s endpoint in the actual engineering of the seed to be intolerant to these horrifying toxins and poisons or be organic and beyond, which is the fastest growing sector in American agriculture that is organic, local, appropriate scale, humane, socially just and biodiverse.”

Kimbrell encouraged the audience to be creators by getting involved to no longer be part of the desecration as described by Wendell Berry.

“Don’t just read a poem, write a poem. Don’t just listen to music, write music. Don’t just eat food, grow food. That’s the way to do it. Don’t just watch romantic movies, make love,” he said.

In the end, he encouraged the crowd to come together in the food movement.

“As you fight every battle here, I hope you all together, in cooperation, in love, can knowingly, skillfully, lovingly and most important reverentially, come together to create a new food future.”


Source: The Garden Island


Click here to watch Videos of Dr. Shiva, Walter Ritte, Andrew Kimbrell, and Makana


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