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Food and Farming

A Food Revolution: The Climate Case for a Factory Farm Ban

Organic Consumers Association - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 13:19

The way we grow our food and raise livestock has changed significantly over the past several decades. Independent, small-scale family farms are increasingly giving way to industrial factory farms.

Factory farms have problems, one of which is their contribution to global climate change.

Categories: Food and Farming

Fluoridation on Trial: Coverage Lacking

Organic Consumers Association - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 13:19

Largely unseen, a lawsuit that aims to outlaw public water fluoridation is moving forward in the federal District Court of Northern California. In earthquake-prone California, this suit could eventually shake a pillar of U.S. public health policy.

Categories: Food and Farming

Latest Update on Toxicity of Popular Weed Killer and Proposed Rule for Labeling of GMOs

Organic Consumers Association - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 13:19

Government researchers warn the Roundup formula is far more toxic than glyphosate in isolation, due to synergistic interactions between various chemicals. Testing by the U.S. National Toxicology Program reveals glyphosate formulations such as Roundup “significantly altered” the viability of human cells by disrupting the functionality of cell membranes. The Ramazzini Institute in Italy is raising public funds to perform a comprehensive, independent, global glyphosate study. Stage 1 will investigate the chemical’s carcinogenicity and chronic toxicity potential.

Categories: Food and Farming

Landmark Lawsuit Claims Monsanto Hid Cancer Danger of Weedkiller for Decades

Organic Consumers Association - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 13:19

On 18 June, DeWayne Johnson will become the first person to take the global seed and chemical company to trial on allegations that it has spent decades hiding the cancer-causing dangers of its popular Roundup herbicide products – and his case has just received a major boost.

Last week Judge Curtis Karnow issued an order clearing the way for jurors to consider not just scientific evidence related to what caused Johnson’s cancer, but allegations that Monsanto suppressed evidence of the risks of its weed killing products. Karnow ruled that the trial will proceed and a jury would be allowed to consider possible punitive damages.

Categories: Food and Farming

Monsanto in Epic Fail with Attempted Attack on Global Glyphosate Study

Organic Consumers Association - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 13:19

The peer-reviewed accepted manuscripts from the pilot phase of the Global Glyphosate Study were revealed last Wednesday in a Press Conference at the European Parliament.

Categories: Food and Farming

The Peril on Your Plate

Organic Consumers Association - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 13:19

The biotech giants are promising cutting-edge traits in GMO seeds and weed-killing chemicals, to feed the hungry and bring farmers bigger harvests of pest-resistant crops. From India to the UK and across the Atlantic, people question the safety of GMOs to both the environment and human health. RTD looks at the hidden dangers of the GM industry and agricultural chemicals.

Categories: Food and Farming

Chicken Challenge Moves to the Metro

Organic Consumers Association - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 13:19

Swords remain crossed over Costco’s plans for a chicken plant in Fremont and the battle lines moved to Omaha Saturday.

Dozens turned out at the Costco near 120th and Dodge to protest the proposed facility.

Categories: Food and Farming

Fight for Farm Bill not over

Wine And Water Watch - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 10:33

Support family farmers and veteran farmers, NOT large conglomerates.

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition:

Last week, we got one of the best anniversary gifts we could ask for – family farmers and grassroots advocates heard our call to action and defeated the toxic House Farm Bill! In the entire history of the farm bill, last week marked only the second time in history that a farm bill failed on the House floor.

Now THAT’s people power in action! The fight isn’t over yet, however. The House is scheduled to re-vote on their version of the farm bill by June 22, after they take up the controversial Goodlatte-McCaul immigration bill – legislation that fails to ensure fair wages, working conditions, or a path to citizenship for current or future agricultural workers. Together we can and must stop the toxic House farm bill AND the anti-immigrant Goodlatte-McCaul bill. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is committed to this fight, and committed to representing the millions of American farmers, agricultural workers, and families whose lives will be dramatically affected by the outcome of our next farm bill. Donate to support our work, join the fight for an equitable, pro-farmer 2018 Farm Bill today! Here are five provisions in the House farm bill that would weaken pesticide protections:
  1. Preempting Local Pesticide Restrictions – Section 9101 would prevent cities, counties and communities from restricting certain uses of pesticides even if they deem restrictions necessary for protecting children’s health or the environment. For example, this provision would prevent a city or county from restricting chlorpyrifos – an insecticide so dangerous it was slated to be banned by the Environmental Protection Agency – from being sprayed near schools or hospitals. ​
  2. Reversing Course on Endangered Species Protections – Section 9111 would allow the EPA to approve pesticides without going through the current consultation process with expert wildlife agencies to assess to how they would impact hundreds of threatened or endangered species, as currently required under the Endangered Species Act.
  3. Rolling Back Clean Water Act Protections – Sections 9117 and 9118 would allow farmers to spray pesticides into water – including drinking water sources – without obtaining a permit under the Clean Water Act, as currently required by law.
  4. Allowing New Pesticide Approvals Without Finalizing Safety Rules – Section 9119 reauthorizes the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act, which provides funding for EPA pesticide reviews, without finalizing rules designed to protect farmers and farmworkers, as Sen. Tom Udall and others have rightly demanded.
  5. Weakening Restrictions on Methyl Bromide – Section 9121 would weaken restrictions on methyl bromide, a highly toxic fumigant that is being phased out because it depletes the ozone layer.
  6. Helps the big get bigger and rich get richer

Over the last three decades, American agriculture has become increasingly consolidated. As of 2015, a majority of our food (51 percent) came from farms with over $1 million in annual sales – up 20 percent since 1991. Federal policy has historically contributed to this consolidation – as well as to the homogeneity and inequity caused by consolidation – by directing disproportionate resources toward the largest and wealthiest agribusiness operations. Sadly, the House Agriculture Committee’s draft farm bill chooses to expand access to unlimited subsidies for mega-farms instead of acting as a champion for America’s small-medium scale, beginning, and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

The bill includes a litany of bonuses for mega-farms, but perhaps the most egregious is the attempt to throw out a 30-year old rule preventing corporations from receiving unlimited commodity payments. Lucrative loopholes in the bill for the largest, wealthiest agribusiness operations would allow:

  • Most corporate farms to receive multiple payments, rather than being limited to a single payment under a single payment cap, which is currently the case.
  • Mega-farms to more easily reorganize as “family farms,” thereby increasing farm subsidy payments to a single farm by hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
  • Unlimited subsidies and no accountability to taxpayers by removing payment limitations from marketing loan gains and loan deficiency payments.
  • An exemption for partnerships, joint ventures, LLCs, and Subchapter S corporations from the adjusted gross income means-testing provision that makes any person or legal entity with an average adjusted gross income exceeding $900,000 (effectively $1.8 million for many couples) ineligible for commodity or conservation payments.
    1. Cripples conservation programs

    Healthy soil, clean water, fresh air, and thriving wildlife habitats – these are just some of the many benefits of the farm bill’s voluntary conservation programs. Farmers and ranchers know that conservation practices directly contribute to the long-term sustainability and profitability of their operations, and financial and technical assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) can help them put those practices into action. Voluntary conservation programs like the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) are incredibly popular because they provide producers with the tools and resources they need to be effective stewards.

    Despite the fact that CSP and EQIP are so popular, they regularly have to turn away half of qualified applicants due to lack of funds. Instead of increasing support for these crucial programs, however, the House bill cuts the farm bill conservation title by nearly $1 billion and cuts funding for working lands conservation programs by nearly $5 billion over 10 years. The bill also:

    • Eliminates the funding and authority for CSP, the nation’s largest conservation program and only comprehensive conservation program offered through USDA.
    • Rolls CSP into EQIP, but jettisons the most important defining features of the program.
    • Fails to provide the authority and funding for USDA to measure, evaluate, and report on conservation outcomes associated with conservation programs, as included in the bipartisan Healthy Fields and Farm Economies Act, missing an important opportunity to improve program accountability and transparency.
    • Weakens a host of environmental protections provided by the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act.The nutrition provisions of the House farm bill would, if enacted, increase food insecurity and hardship for more than 1 million low-income households (over 2 million people). These individuals and families would lose in part or in whole the benefits provided by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).4. Less Local FoodThe House bill, instead, would torpedo the progress that has been made in helping farmers connect to new and fast-growing markets for local and regional food, value-added products, and organic agriculture, by:
    • The steady growth of consumer interest in local and regional foods has helped to swiftly transform the “farm to fork” food system from niche industry into a serious economic driver. According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, more than 167,000 U.S. farms sold locally produced food through direct marketing practices (e.g., farmers markets) in 2015, resulting in $8.7 billion in revenue. Sales approaching $10 billion is certainly impressive, but it is only a fraction of what could be achieved if Congress chose to support this growth through the 2018 Farm Bill.
    • The House Committee’s bill includes provisions for new requirements and restrictions that are untested, costly, and devastating for low-income families. Not only will these provisions throw millions of Americans into food insecurity, they will also take dollars from the pockets of the local farmers who rely on sales from SNAP customers at farmers markets and other direct market venues. According to the Farmers Market Coalition, each year SNAP participants spend more than $19.4 million at farmers markets; that’s a very significant part of the local food and farm economy that would be harmed by the provisions of this bill.
    • 3. More hungry and food insecure families
    • Failing to renew mandatory funding for the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, which helps rural Americans access capital and business training services.
    • Failing to renew mandatory funding for the Value Added Producer Grants Program, as mentioned above.
    • Eliminating all mandatory funding and baseline for the Rural Energy for America Program, which helps farmers and other rural businesses increase their sustainability and reduce their energy bills by producing their own renewable energy.With the average age of the American farmer approaching 60 years and increasing numbers of producers retiring without succession plans for their land or operations in place, we are on the verge of a nationwide farmer shortage if measures are not taken to help onboard the next generation of American producers. The House bill makes a few steps in the right direction on beginning farmer and rancher issues, but still falls far short of what is needed. The bill:
    • 6. Uncertain future for beginning farmers and ranchers
    • Reauthorizes the popular Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, but fails to provide the program with permanent funding that would ensure support for new farmer training and outreach in every state.
    • Raises loan limits on guaranteed loans to $1.75 million, which will increase access to credit for larger, wealthier operations and decrease access for beginners and small and mid-sized farms.
    • Provides no funding for Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Accounts, which would provide asset building and financial literacy services.Farmers of color have historically experienced widespread discrimination and gaps in access, both within the agriculture industry generally, and in terms of accessing USDA programs and resources specifically. In order to correct some of these historical inequities and attempt to level the playing field for all farmers, Congress created the Outreach and Technical Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers (Section 2501) program in the 1990 Farm Bill. For over 20 years, Section 2501 has served as the only farm bill program dedicated to addressing the specific needs of minority farmers, and in the 2014 Farm Bill it was expanded to also serve military veterans.8. Public research and seed breeding falls behindThe House farm bill fails to provide farmers and researchers with the tools and resources necessary to bring our nation’s public breeding and research into the 21st century by:
    • Farmers, like most other professions, rely on research to develop best practices and grow sustainable businesses. Though the terms “agricultural research” and “seed breeding” can sometimes conjure science fiction-esque images, there is nothing more natural and traditional than farmers developing and testing seeds that are well suited to a particular climate and growing style. Where once America’s public research and seed breeding programs were robust, however, today we are quickly falling behind countries like China when it comes to our investment in agricultural research. Without public seed breeding and research programs, family farmers are forced to rely on expensive, private options that may not have sustainability and regional-adaptability on their priorities list.
    • Even though the mission of Section 2501 was expanded in the last farm bill – and the need for the program is stronger than ever – funds for the program were also cut in half in the very same bill. Sadly, the House bill does nothing to increase funding for the program, and actually expands the program’s mission even further by adding a new programmatic priority.
    • 7. No closer to equity for farmers of color
    • Not providing targeted funding for much-needed public breeding research.
    • Not increasing coordination across USDA research agencies, which would increase outreach and identify gaps and overlaps in public plant breeding research.
    • Not improving the status, staffing, and funding for the USDA Office of the Chief Scientist, leaving it under-resourced and lagging other federal research agencies.Combined with commodity subsidy programs, the federal crop insurance program makes up a significant portion of the federal farm bill – for instance, in fiscal year 2018 these two are projected to make up roughly 75 percent ($17 billion) of the farm program portion of the bill. While the price tag is hefty, the benefits are also significant – when the program works as intended, it provides a crucial safety net for America’s farmers. Unfortunately, however, the federal crop insurance program is far from efficient or fair. The program spends billions of taxpayer dollars each year, yet persistently fails to address the needs of many producers (e.g., beginning farmers, diversified and organic farmers, smaller-scale farm operations), while also allowing other producers (e.g., the largest and wealthiest commodity crop businesses) to leverage their crop insurance subsidies as a way to grow bigger and gobble up scarce farmland.
    • While the House’s farm bill does include an important improvement extending crop insurance discounts for a subset of beginning farmers, it largely fails to increase program access, equity, environmental improvement, and accountability. The bill:
    • 9. No Risk Management Improvements for Farmers
    • Fails to include the innovative proposal within the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act that would make it easier for new farmers to access revenue-based crop insurance policies through the Non-insured Disaster Assistance Program.
    • Eliminates the Risk Management Education Partnership program, which helps educate farmers on mitigating production, financial, and other risk on their farms.
    • Fails to remove barriers to conservation activities, which discourage farmers from engaging in regenerative practices such as cover cropping.
    • Fails to include common sense limits on crop insurance premium subsidies, or a means-tested subsidy reduction for high-earning participants.In 2010, Congress passed legislation that would become the first real overhaul of our federal food safety policies since 1938: the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). FSMA gave the Food and Drug Administration broad new powers to prevent food safety problems, detect and respond to food safety issues, and improve the safety of imported foods. In 2016, FDA finalized a series of complex rules based on FSMA and governing food safety across farms and other food producing operations.
    • With so many farmers and food processors struggling to understand and comply with both the FSMA rules and increasingly common food safety requirements from private buyers, we had hoped to see a House draft farm bill that would prioritize food safety training, outreach, and assistance. Instead, however, the bill:
    • 10. Food safety support takes a back seat
    • Fails to provide mandatory funding for or improve access to the Food Safety Outreach Program.
    • Fails to include the proposed Food Safety Cost-share Program, which would support specialty crop producers in accessing new markets and complying with FSMA.
    • Requires no actionable deliverables (only a report) from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service on how to better conduct training and outreach to small and very small meat processors.
Categories: Food and Farming

Sonoma County GSA: Groundwater basin re-prioritization and Implications

Wine And Water Watch - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 10:23

Read this as good news. High priority basins mean closer watch on over pumping our aquifers. The watershed starts on the hillsides amnd not just basins!~

As reported to yesterday, the Department of Water Resources, DWR, just released the draft prioritization of groundwater basins as required by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, SGMA.

THE SANTA ROSA PLAIN BASIN status has been re-prioritized from a MEDIUM PRIORITY basin of concern to a HIGH PRIORITY basin of concern now requiring preparation of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) and a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA). The NAPA SUB BASIN has been similarly re-prioritized.  

As reported, the WILSON GROVE, ALEXANDER VALLEY and DRY CREEK VALLEY have been added to Sonoma County’s MEDIUM PRIORITY basins.  

Again, all these re-prioritized basins NOW REQUIRE preparation of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) and a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA).

The North Coast Stream Flow Coalition (through the Institute for Conservation Advocacy Research and Education, ICARE) along with its collaborative partners (Clean Water Action (Jennifer Clary), Union of Concerned Scientists and Nature Conservancy) have been working diligently on this issue since 2015 by working closely with DWR, making comments on the regs and BMPs, and providing factual information about undesirable results, such as land subsidence, surface water depletion, salt water intrusion, decline in water quality, wells going dry etc.

Categories: Food and Farming

How Farmed and Frankenfish Salmon Endanger Our Most Perfect Food

Organic Consumers Association - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 12:17

In November 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved AquaBounty salmon, a genetically engineered (GE) “frankenfish” engineered to grow about twice as fast as typical farm-raised salmon. In Canada, the GE salmon are already being sold and eaten, to the tune of 5 tons in 2017, and could be coming to U.S. grocery stores as early as 2019, with no labels as such. Farmed fish facilities, often described as CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) of the sea, pump water from rivers into their hatcheries, then pump it back out to the river once it’s no longer clean.

Categories: Food and Farming

Two Major Legal Victories in Federal Court Case to End Water Fluoridation

Organic Consumers Association - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 12:17

Fluoride Action Network (FAN) is among a coalition of environmental, medical and health groups suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban artificial water fluoridation. FAN has recently won two major legal victories, defeating efforts by the EPA to dismiss the case and limit the evidence that can be considered. Legal experts say the lawsuit will be precedent setting and increase other challenges to EPA chemical rules by environmental watchdog groups.

Categories: Food and Farming

To Curb 'Scary Amount of Power,' New Campaign Urges FTC to Break Up Facebook

Organic Consumers Association - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 12:17

"It's time to make Facebook safe for democracy."

That's the central demand behind the new Freedom From Facebook campaign, a joint project of several progressive advocacy groups who say the social media giant—which also owns and operates the popular WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram platforms—has become too powerful and must be confronted.

Categories: Food and Farming

Monsanto in Epic Fail with Attempted Attack on Global Glyphosate Study

Organic Consumers Association - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 12:17

Monsanto's PR campaign against the Global Glyphosate Study was met with contempt and disdain from journalists, politicians and the public in countries across Europe.

Categories: Food and Farming

Landmark Lawsuit Claims Monsanto Hid Cancer Danger of Weedkiller for Decades

Organic Consumers Association - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 12:17

On 18 June, Johnson will become the first person to take the global seed and chemical company to trial on allegations that it has spent decades hiding the cancer-causing dangers of its popular Roundup herbicide products – and his case has just received a major boost.

Categories: Food and Farming

North Bay Organizing Project new publication “Regeneration”: Rights of Nature

Wine And Water Watch - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 09:47

Please scroll down for Spanish version of this article.

Article 2: Rights of Nature

Author: George Beeler & Jennifer Schallert

 

Under the current system of law in almost every country, nature (i.e., the elements of the natural world that include plants, animals, ecosystems) is considered property that is subject to ownership. This treatment of nature as property confers upon the owner the right to destroy nature associated with that property. The phrase “the rights of nature,” identifies ecosystems and natural communities not as merely property that can be owned and manipulated, but as entities that have an independent right to exist and flourish. Laws recognizing the rights of nature thus transform the status of natural communities and ecosystems from things to be owned, into rights-bearing entities with privileges that can be enforced by people, governments, and communities.

 

The same system that treats nature as a commodity also treats human beings as commodities to be exploited. The extreme extraction of natural resources from the Earth mirrors the way labor is extracted from workers to maximize profit. Such exploitative methods translate to unsustainable agricultural practices that are not in the best interest of our community. For example, monocrops and monocultures can require high levels of pesticides and produce poor quality soils, displacing people and existing ecosystems at the cost of diverse ecologies and cultures. Diversity is our best defense against unforeseen change, and the richness it brings to our economies and communities must be prioritized and protected.

We as people have become so out of balance with our extractive economies that we view the Earth as a resource that can be taken from or polluted, without limit or consequence. Extractive economies produce pollution and waste without considering the value of natural commodities like clean air, unpolluted waterways, and biodiversity. Modern science mirrors what has long been known by indigenous peoples: that an interconnected view of local ecological systems can restore the planet back to a healthy balance.

 

With this growing understanding that we are intricately connected to our local ecosystem comes a deep responsibility to protect nature. As we engage in the long recovery from the devastating fires in Sonoma County, we believe it is imperative to reframe our relationship with the natural world, and by extension, to one another.

 

The suffering and destruction from the catastrophic wildfires and extreme weather in our county is just the beginning. The blind, extractive profit motive by a few is ruining the environment for us all. We can both ignore the signs of distress and freeze up from fear, or we can accept these messages from our Earth and change our ways. Many people in Sonoma County are waking up to the threats affecting nature and are taking action. The boldest action so far is the NBOP Rights of Nature work aimed at restoring and protecting the environment for a better life for all of us now and for future generations.  

 

Artículo 2: Derechos de la naturalezaAutor: George Beeler & Jennifer Schallert

Bajo el sistema legal actual en casi todos los países, la naturaleza (es decir, los elementos del mundo natural que incluyen plantas, animales, ecosistemas) se considera propiedad sujeta a propiedad. Este tratamiento de la naturaleza como propiedad confiere al propietario el derecho a destruir la naturaleza asociada con esa propiedad. La frase “los derechos de la naturaleza” identifica a los ecosistemas y las comunidades naturales no como meras propiedades que pueden ser poseídas y manipuladas, sino como entidades que tienen un derecho independiente a existir y florecer. Las leyes que reconocen los derechos de la naturaleza transforman así el estado de las comunidades naturales y los ecosistemas de las cosas que se poseen, en entidades con derechos que tienen privilegios que pueden ser aplicados por las personas, los gobiernos y las comunidades.

El mismo sistema que trata a la naturaleza como una mercancía también trata a los seres humanos como mercancías para ser explotados. La extracción extrema de los recursos naturales de la Tierra refleja la forma en que se extrae la mano de obra de los trabajadores para maximizar los beneficios. Dichos métodos de explotación se traducen en prácticas agrícolas insostenibles que no redundan en el mejor interés de nuestra comunidad. Por ejemplo, los monocultivos y monocultivos pueden requerir altos niveles de pesticidas y producir suelos de mala calidad, desplazando a las personas y los ecosistemas existentes a costa de diversas culturas y ecologías.

 

La diversidad es nuestra mejor defensa contra los cambios imprevistos, y la riqueza que aporta a nuestras economías y comunidades debe ser priorizada y protegida. Nosotros, como personas, nos hemos vuelto tan desequilibrados con nuestras economías extractivas que consideramos que la Tierra es un recurso que puede ser tomado o contaminado, sin límites ni consecuencias. Las economías extractivas producen contaminación y desechos sin considerar el valor de los productos naturales como el aire limpio, las vías fluviales no contaminadas y la biodiversidad. La ciencia moderna refleja lo que los pueblos indígenas conocen desde hace mucho tiempo: que una visión interconectada de los sistemas ecológicos locales puede devolver al planeta a un equilibrio saludable. Con esta creciente comprensión de que estamos intrincadamente conectados a nuestro ecosistema local, surge la gran responsabilidad de proteger la naturaleza. A medida que nos involucramos en la larga recuperación de los devastadores incendios en el condado de Sonoma, creemos que es imperativo replantear nuestra relación con el mundo natural y, por extensión, el uno con el otro.

 

El sufrimiento y la destrucción de los catastróficos incendios forestales y el clima extremo en nuestro condado es solo el comienzo. El beneficio ciego y extractivo de unos pocos está arruinando el medio ambiente para todos nosotros. Ambos podemos ignorar los signos de angustia y congelarnos ante el miedo, o podemos aceptar estos mensajes desde nuestra Tierra y cambiar nuestros caminos. Muchas personas en el condado de Sonoma están despertando a las amenazas que afectan a la naturaleza y están tomando medidas. La acción más atrevida hasta ahora es el trabajo de NBOP Derechos de la Naturaleza, cuyo objetivo es restaurar y proteger el medio ambiente para una vida mejor para todos nosotros ahora y para las generaciones futuras.

 

 

Categories: Food and Farming

Monsanto Papers and trial mid June

Wine And Water Watch - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 09:32
The Monsanto Papers The first trial in the Roundup litigation is set for June 18, 2018 in the Superior Court for the County of San Francisco. …first plaintiff is from Benicia California. With preregistration you can hear the trial, see below. https://usrtk.org/pesticides/mdl-monsanto-glyphosate-cancer-case-key-documents-analysis/

The Monsanto Papers

More than 400 lawsuits are pending against Monsanto Co. in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, filed by people alleging that exposure to Roundup herbicide caused them or their loved ones to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and that Monsanto covered up the risks. The cases have been combined for handling as multidistrict litigation (MDL) under Judge Vince Chhabria. The lead case is 3:16-md-02741-VC.

On March 13th, 2017, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria ruled — over Monsanto’s objections — that certain documents obtained by plaintiffs through discovery could be unsealed. The documents listed below include discovery materials, transcripts of court proceedings, depositions and other case-related items.

Recent updates in the federal MDL:

Parties, attorneys and journalists may listen to case management conferences and hearings by telephone—but may not participate—using the CourtCall remote court appearance service. Advance registration is required. This can be done online (journalists select “other” from the drop-down menu) or by calling CourtCall at (866) 582-6878 no later than noon on the day before the case management conference.

Additionally, thousands of other plaintiffs have made similar claims against Monsanto in state courts. Plaintiffs’ attorneys estimate the total number of plaintiffs at approximately 4,000. The first trial in the Roundup litigation is set for June 18, 2018 in the Superior Court for the County of San Francisco. Documents pertaining to that case as well as others are also included below in the middle column.  An expert admissibility and summary judgment hearing was held May 10 in San Francisco County Superior Court. Details regarding the time and location of the trial can be found here: (STATE CASE) Dewayne Johnson V. Monsanto trial date set

European Parliament Joint Committee hearing on the Monsanto Papers took place in October 2017. Information from Carey Gillam’s presentation, “Revelations from the Monsanto Papers.”

Categories: Food and Farming

'Bringing Livestock Back' Workshop June 14 in Hoffman

Land Stewardship Project - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 22:00

HOFFMAN, Minn. — A special “Bringing Livestock Back” workshop will be held Thursday, June 14, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Hoffman Community Center, 127 Main Avenue West. This event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Land Stewardship Project (LSP) and the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota. For more information and to reserve a spot, contact LSP’s Bryan Simon at 320-492-2526 or bsimon@landstewardshipproject.org.

This workshop will provide basic information on how integrating livestock and row-crop farming can help increase your farm’s profitability and resilience, bring a family member into your farm operation, increase your farm’s revenue without buying more land, and take your farm’s soil health and nutrient cycling to the next level. Local farmer success, science and economics all tell us that farms with livestock integrated into row-crop production make for a more successful farm business than row crops alone.

Topics to be covered include:

• The financial benefits/economic analysis of having livestock in an annual crop operation.
• The basics of soil health and soil building with livestock on annual cropland.
• Local farmers will share their strategies and successes in integrating livestock into a cropping rotation.
• Learn about resources and peer networks helping farmers start to reintegrate livestock onto cropland.
• Cover-cropping strategies for grazing and soil building.
• Next steps for livestock integration.

“If you have heard some of the talk about soil health, if you are worried about your farm’s resilience in the face of less predictable weather patterns and extreme weather events, if you are looking for a way to diversify your business, or if you want to bring in another family member without buying more land, then livestock may be the answer for you,” said Simon. “This workshop is a good place to start.”

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Categories: Food and Farming

LSP Statement: Gov. Daytons Veto of Ag Policy Bill Right Call for Rural Minnesota

Land Stewardship Project - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 22:00

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — On May 21, 2018, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the Omnibus Agriculture Policy Bill (House File 4133). The Land Stewardship Project supports this veto action and believes it is in the best interest of rural communities. The bill contained an unacceptable provision that severely undermined a law designed to address soil erosion. This law allows farmers and rural residents protection from excessive soil loss and erosion impacting their land through remediation overseen by the Board of Water and Soil Resources, when they are not protected by a county ordinance.

The Omnibus Agriculture Policy Bill contained many other positive policies that were prevented from passage due to the inclusion of this “poison” pill provision. For example, included in the bill was a provision to expand the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit to a larger number of qualified beginning farmers.

In addition, in an attempt to force the Governor to sign the bill, the Senate and House Agriculture Policy Committees used an obscure law to pass resolutions that would significantly delay the Minnesota Department of Agriculture from adopting the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule. This action, taken in the final hours of the legislative session, shows misplaced priorities and resulted in missed opportunities to find agreement and pass policy that would help rural Minnesota and family farmers.

The Governor’s veto letter is here.

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Categories: Food and Farming

Indian Supreme Court Says Seeds, Plants and Animals Are Not Patentable

Organic Consumers Association - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 12:14

There has been a major victory for the planet, for biodiversity, for seeds, for farmers, for the rule of law in India’s Supreme Court with the court refusing to overrule a decision of the High Court that upholds article 3j of India’s Patent law , amended to implement the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement of the WTO.

Categories: Food and Farming

What Is Camu Camu Good For?

Organic Consumers Association - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 12:14
  • Camu camu (Myrciaria dubia) is a small orange-red fruit, similar in size to that of a large cherry, with a tart flavor; the camu camu tree grows primarily in South America. Camu camu contains exceptionally high amounts of vitamin C — anywhere from 1,882 to 2,280 milligrams per 100 grams of fresh fruit. For comparison, acerola cherries typically contain around 1,678 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams. Vitamin C is an important immune booster and helps defend against viral attacks and inflammation. It’s also used by your body for wound healing, repairing and maintaining the health of your bones and teeth. 
Categories: Food and Farming

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