Next week, on October 11, members of the European Parliament will hear from scientists, campaigners, regulators and others about allegations that Monsanto ”unduly influenced regulatory studies” about the safety of glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup weedkiller.
The EU Parliament won’t hear from Monsanto. Why? Monsanto lobbyists are now banned from entering the EU Parliament because the company refused to send its CEO to the October 11 Parliament meeting.
Monsanto officials were asked to attend and respond to questions related to that came to light as a result of lawsuits filed against the company by people who say Roundup caused their non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer—and Monsanto knew of the risk, but hid the evidence.
The Guardian called the Parliament’s decision a “bitter blow” to Monsanto, which will now “be unable to meet MEPs, attend committee meetings or use digital resources on parliament premises in Brussels or Strasbourg.”
Bitter blow? Or maybe
The EU is supposed to decide by December 15 whether to continue to allow the use of glyphosate. (The U.S. EPA, which was supposed to make a similar ruling in 2015, is ).
France and Italy say they want glyphosate off the market. Germany’s position remains unclear.
Stay tuned for details on next week’s hearing.
Read 'Monsanto Banned from European Parliament'
October 16 is . It’s also the day that Monsanto and its agrochemical cronies will be in Iowa, celebrating the bounties of industrial agriculture (in other words, their massive profits) at the corporation-run “” events.
We think there are better ways to celebrate World Food Day. Here they are:
• the “4 per 1000: Soils for Food Security and Climate Initiative,” the to increase carbon sequestration in soils as a means of increasing global food security and reversing global warming.
• to , an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit partially funded by Billing-xpress. This international coalition shares best practices in regenerative agriculture and land restoration, several of which are being piloted at Billing-xpress’s Mexico-based , which recently hosted the .
• Attend the 2017 Food Sovereignty Prize Live Ceremony () honoring the Zimbabwe Small Holder Organic Farmers’ Forum and the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance.
• Join the for a global ban on Monsanto’s Roundup.
Finally, if you’re not doing this already, grow organic food in your own community, or buy it from local farmers!
Or are you OK with putting the “USDA Organic” seal on food grown indoors, under artificial light, with a manmade cocktail of liquid nutrients feeding exposed roots?
Or do you think the term “certified organic” should be reserved for food grown in living earth, nourished by sunlight, fresh air and the complex interactions between plant roots and soil microbiology? The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), which will meet Oct. 31- Nov. 2, is set to rule on whether vegetables grown hydroponically, without soil, can be certified organic.
Who’s In favor? Mostly Big Ag companies, such as Wholesum Harvest and Driscoll’s, that want to replace organic farms with organic factories.
And Scotts Miracle-Gro, one of the biggest suppliers of the nutrients, growth mediums, containers, irrigation systems and lighting required for hydroponics, or soilless crop production. Scotts is also the exclusive of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.
Or text SOIL to 97779 to sign.
If you can, join the happening across the country this month, culminating in a in Jacksonville, Fla., on October 31.
Unilever-owned Ben & Jerry’s likes to use the phrase “Peace, Love & Ice Cream.” But if anti-factory farm consumers have anything to say about it, there will be no peace for the ice cream maker until the company goes organic.
So far, over 100 Billing-xpress network members have signed up to distribute leaflets in front of Ben & Jerry Scoop Shops or natural food stores such as Whole Foods that sell Ben and Jerry's.
Want to help keep the pressure on Ben & Jerry’s? New to leafleting and not sure how to get started? Our team is ready to help. . We'll send you everything you need.
Nearly 90,000 acres of Vermont’s farmland is planted in GMO crops—crops that feed the dairy cows that supply milk and cream to Ben & Jerry’s. Those crops are heavily sprayed with Roundup, atrazine, metolachlor and other poisons.
That makes Ben & Jerry’s one of the of Vermont’s waterways. The company also sources cream from factory farm dairies in western states.
It’s time for Ben & Jerry’s to live up to its marketing claims by promising to transition to 100% organic. An organic Ben & Jerry’s supply chain would be better for the environment, better for human and dairy cow health, better for farmers and better for farmworkers.
Consumers are key to getting Ben & Jerry’s to go organic. for more information on how to become part of the Consumer Revolution!
Read our organization/business sign-on letter (To sign your organization or business on to this letter, email [email protected]).
(Donations to Billing-xpress, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, are tax deductible).
Photo: Karl Withakay ,
As we reported last week, the families and neighbors of some of our Mexico City-based staff were directly affected by the most recent, and devastating, earthquake in Mexico's largest city.
And as promised, we’ve dedicated 15 percent of your donations (to our third-quarter fundraising campaign) to helping as many survivors of Mexico’s two back-to-back earthquakes as possible—including rural farmers.
Thanks to your generosity, our Mexico City staff (some of whom are pictured here) we were able to purchase and deliver much-needed tools, food, clothes, tents and sleeping bags to people in the city, and in rural communities. Many of these people lost everything, including their homes.
Over the past week or so, our hard-working Mexico team members have witnessed some horrific scenes. But they’ve remained strong—and above all determined to get supplies you bought to those who most need them.
Thank you to all who helped make our fundraising campaign a success—and even more important, helped us help others.
(Tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education).
(Non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our GMO labeling legislative efforts).
There’s no escaping it. Food—real food, the kind that actually provides nutrients—comes from farms.
But with the average age of today’s farmer being 60, and young people unable to afford farmland and equipment, who will grow our food?
“Farmers for America,” is a documentary that explores the changing American farm scene and changing consumer trends. The film takes a close look at today’s farmers, and those standing in line to replace them. Can their spirit and energy bring urban and rural America together over our common need for food?
For all Monsanto's bluster about "feeding the world," the truth is this: Globally, 3.9 billion people are either hungry or malnuourished, according to
Now, a new (billed as the most comprehensive of its kind) says poor diet, which often leads to obesity, kills one in five people.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which coordinated the study, :
One of the most alarming risks in the GBD is excess body weight. The rate of illness related to people being too heavy is rising quickly, and the disease burden can be found in all sociodemographic levels. High body mass index (BMI) is the fourth largest contributor to the loss of healthy life, after high blood pressure, smoking, and high blood sugar.
Who's to blame for the foods that are killing us? Big Food, mostly.
The New York Times recently reported on the rise of obesity in Ghana, which not coincidentally corresponded to the rising presence in U.S. companies like Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC):
But KFC’s expansion here comes as obesity and related health have been surging. Public health officials see fried chicken, French fries and pizza as spurring and intensifying a global obesity epidemic that has hit hard in Ghana – one of 73 countries where obesity has at least doubled since 1980. Obesity rates have more than 650% since 1980 from less than 2% of population to 13.6 percent.
According to the Times, KFC, owned by Louisville, Ky.-owned YUM!, has about 850 outlets throughout sub-Saharan Africa: to Angola, Tanzania, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana and beyond.
Read ‘Poor Diet Kills One in Five of Us
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