1.USA: rBGH free dairy map!
2.Canada: Will MPs vote for Monsanto or Canadians?
3.Hawaii: House panel OKs compromise taro bill
4.Thailand: ROTTING CORN: Monsanto admits dumping tainted seeds
5.Jamaica: Anti-biofuel song
NOTE: Did you blink a couple of days back and miss Vanity Fair's damning investigation into Monsanto? If so, it's here http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/05/monsanto200805
1.rBGH free dairy map!
2.Bill to Label Genetically Engineered Foods: Will MPs vote for Monsanto or Canadians?
Press release, OTTAWA, April 3 2008
Today the House of Commons will debate a Private Member's Bill (C-517) proposed by Gilles-Andre Perron, Bloc Quebecois MP for Riviere-des-Mille-Iles. If adopted, this bill will legislate the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods (also called genetically modified or GM). More than 40 countries across the world already have adopted labeling laws including Europe, Russia and China.
'We have a fundamental right to know what foods are genetically engineered,' said Tony Beck of the grassroots coalition GE Free BC.
The Federal government has refused to establish mandatory labeling despite years of polls that show 79% to 90% of Canadians and QuÃƒ©bÃƒ©cois want these labels. 'Our government has tried everything to keep Canadian consumers from having the ability to chose non-GE foods,' said Beck.
A Canadian standard for voluntary labeling of GE foods was released in 2003. 'Of course no companies have ever voluntarily labeled their foods as containing GE ingredients,' said Sharon Labchuk of the P.E.I. Coalition for a GMO-Free Province, 'It is only mandatory labeling that will give consumers choice in the grocery store.'
'Without mandatory labeling, Canadians have no tools to track potential health effects from consuming GE foods,' said Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, 'Canada hosted an international conference on post-market surveillance which would have set up a system to track GE foods and their health impacts, but the government abandoned this project when it became clear that mandatory labeling would also be required.'
More independent scientific studies are raising health concerns about GE foods. 216 contamination events with have been recorded raising additional questions about health risks of GE food and GE crops in our environment. GE soy, canola and corn are grown in Canada and end up as ingredients in most processed foods that Canadians eat. 'This Private Members Bill is an outstanding chance for our Members of Parliament to listen to consumers and support democracy and choice for consumers,' said Josh Brandon, Agriculture Campaigner, Greenpeace Canada.
SOURCE: Canadian Biotechnology Action Network
SOURCE: GE Free BC
SOURCE: PEI Coalition for a GMO Free Province
Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, (613) 241 2267; Jessica Wilson, Communications, Greenpeace Vancouver, cell: (778) 228-5404; Tony Beck, GE Free BC, (cell) (604) 671-2106, (604) 671-2106; Sharon Labchuk, PEI Coalition for a GMO Free Province, (cell) (902) 940-1262, (905) 621
3.House panel OKs compromise taro bill
Honolulu Advertiser, April 3 2008
The state House Agriculture Committee this morning passed a bill that would impose a five-year moratorium on experiments with genetically modified Hawaiian taro but would allow continued testing of Chinese varietals.
State Rep. Clifton Tsuji, D-3rd (S. Hilo, Puna, Kea'au), the committee's chairman, described it as a compromise from a 10-year moratorium that had been sought by some taro farmers and had passed the state Senate last session. The committee vote was 9 to 3.
The bill now goes to the full House for a vote and, if it passes, the bill would go back to the Senate for a possible conference committee.
Several taro farmers said today they would continue to argue for a 10-year moratorium and believe that allowing testing on Chinese taro could potentially contaminate Hawaiian taro.
Monsanto Hawai'i praised the committee's compromise as a recognition of the cultural significance of Hawaiian taro and of the scientific value of continued experimentation.
Monsanto admits dumping seeds
Bangkok Post, April 4
Agri-giant Monsanto Thailand denies the three tonnes of corn seeds it discarded on farmland in Phitsanulok were genetically modified, but admits they were coated with chemicals. The local environment office says the chemical coating could harm the soil and any animals which eat the seeds.
The manager of the Monsanto factory in Wang Thong district, Atipong Chatchawal, made the admission in an explanatory document he handed to the local environment office yesterday.
Local farmers earlier complained about a stench emanating from piles of corn seeds left on a rai of land in Ban Rong Bom.
In the document, Mr Atipong said the seeds were not genetically modified but were substandard seeds that the company decided were not fit for sale and had to be disposed of.
The seeds were coated with anti-fungal and anti-weevil chemicals including metalaxyl, carbosulfan and captan as well as a red coating, he said.
The coatings were to prolong the storage life of the seeds. He insisted the chemicals would not contaminate soil or water, as they were present in very small amounts.
The disposal process involves burying the seeds and when the seedlings grow from the buried seeds the land would normally be ploughed over.
Mr Atipong said a contractor had dumped the seeds on the ground and did not proceed further.
He promised his company would finish the process.
However, Phitsanulok environmental official Decha Ngarmnikulchalin said the facts were that Monsanto had actually dumped expired seeds on other people's land.
The company hired a non-commissioned policeman to get a local landowner to accept the waste, he said. The chemicals could kill organisms in the soil and animals which eat the corn seeds.
He accused the company of trying to cut costs by not hiring a professional disposal firm.
Local environmentalist Chatree Chaiyawong said he believed the company had no intention to complete the disposal process in the first place. It had resorted to abandoning its waste many months ago.
He wondered why the discarded seeds had not been buried on the company's own land if they were really as safe as claimed.
Local authorities will test the water in the area for any sign of contamination and inform local people of the danger posed by the expired seeds and the potential danger from the chemicals in the seed coating.
5.Anti-biofuel songThanks to Raoul Bhambral
GMO and Agrofuels Campaigner
Friends of the Earth Europe
for sending this!-
A Jamaican reggae singer wrote an anti-biofuel song!
Be sure to listen to it, it's worth it!