GMOs, Seeds — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 5, 2012
Biodiversity, Comedy Break, Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 31, 2012
If we fail to change trajectory, then perhaps we should be re-engineering the root cause of our problem — ourselves?
It’s true that I’m well known for attacking the GMO industry, its industry financed scientists and their thus-incentivised reductionist ’science’. I’ve expressed many times that GMOs are a "solution looking for a problem". We know that GMOs are really only a bid to deal with symptoms of agricultural mismanagement, so they can perpetuate and capitalise on the temporarily highly profitable root cause (i.e. monocultures) of those symptoms. Without monocultures we would not need the many products that keep many an industry alive and many of us in employment (heavy machinery, oil, gasoline, pesticides, fertilisers, GMO seeds and the chemicals they require, etc.), but, with the present paradigm seemingly so entrenched, with our citizens and economic systems being painfully slow to change trajectory (with the industrial agriculture model still rapidly spreading its tentacles across the world’s landscapes), and it threatening our very survival as we begin to head deep into the peak oil era, I’ve had something of an epiphany….
Let me explain.Comments (15)
GMOs — by Helen Wallace August 30, 2012
by Helen Wallace, GeneWatch
Selling fish, meat and milk from GM animals will be controversial but the new draft rules will also allow billions of GM insect eggs and caterpillars to be spread in fruit and vegetables — claims campaign group.
The European Food Safety Agency’s new draft rules for approving genetically modified insects, fish, farm animals and pets should give farmers, food producers, retailers and consumers pause for thought. Selling fish, meat and milk from GM animals will be controversial but the new draft rules will also allow billions of GM insect eggs and caterpillars to be spread in vegetables and fruit.
British company Oxitec’s GM moths and flies are likely to be approved by the European Union under the new rules. The GM insects have been genetically engineered so their caterpillars die inside olives or tomatoes or on the leaves of cabbages. The company plans to release GM pests across the EU to mate with wild pests, in an attempt to reduce their numbers. Millions of GM pests must be released each week to have any effect on wild populations.Comments (5)
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 25, 2012
Although recorded back in May, for International Permaculture Day (see here and here), I found out about the interview below only yesterday. In the interview, PRI PDC Teacher, Rhamis Kent, talks to renowned environmental filmmaker, John D. Liu, whose fantastic work we’ve featured on this site multiple times (here, here, here and here for example). John covers a lot of ground in the 90-minute discussion, sharing, amongst many other things, the great need for systemic socioeconomic and political change. John explains, as regular readers know I have myself many, many times before, how permaculturists can be a big part of the solution, but that unless the system itself changes, the ability to practice permaculture will remain a pipe dream for most.
The video is a little choppy in a few places, but still very watchable. It’s well worth taking the time to hear what John has to share from his very broad experience.
Community Projects, GMOs — by Richard Widows August 21, 2012
I don’t think I could provide anyone with a better example of the madness and hypocrisy that plagues the Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) debate, than what is currently happening in California around the campaign to label GMO – or Proposition 37.
What is Proposition 37?
This year, over 1 Million Californians signed a petition seeking a referendum on the labelling of GMO products, far more than the 500 thousand odd signatures required to force a ballot. Enter Proposition 37, a ballot to require mandatory labelling of GMO foods in California.
Why is it needed? Well, at this point in time, there is absolutely no requirement to label GMO products in the US. This means that the entire US population is eating GMO foods every single day, without knowing it, and worst of all, without the ability to make the personal choice to avoid it.Comments (0)
GMOs, Seeds — by International Permaculture Day August 20, 2012
On Sunday 6th May 2012, we launched the first International Permaculture Day and were honoured to interview world-renowned environmental activist and seed defender Dr. Vandana Shiva. Dr. Shiva spoke to us about the importance of seed sovereignty as the basis for permanent (sustainable) agriculture and about the grave and growing threat of patented seeds to life, diversity and freedom. In response, she’s started a global campaign to “Occupy the Seed” and is calling on permaculturalists and others everywhere to join. For more information about the initiative, see her Invitation to join the Global Citizens Alliance for Seed Freedom below.
To spearhead the campaign, Dr. Shiva has also announced plans for a Seed Freedom Fortnight of Action and has asked the permaculture community to play a leading role in this; see Vandana’s Message to Permaculturalists, again below. International Permaculture Day is collaborating with her to promote to the fortnight — learn how you can participate via the following links:Comments (5)
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Seeds, Society — by Navdanya International
A Global Citizens Report on the State of GMOs — False Promises, Failed Technologies
People who point out the emptiness of the pretensions of powerful people and institutions are often compared to the child in Hans Christian Andersen’s fable who says that the emperor has no clothes.Comments (0)
Biodiversity, Community Projects, DVDs/Books, Education, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, GMOs, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants, Seeds, Society, Trees, Village Development — by Navdanya International
The Manifesto on the Future of Seeds outlines ways and means to strengthen and accelerate the movement toward sustainable agriculture, food sovereignty, biodiversity and agricultural diversity and help defend the rights of farmers to save, share, use and improve seeds, as well as to enhance our collective capacity to adapt to the hazards and uncertainties of environmental and economic change.
The Manifesto on the Future of Food develops in detail principles on which to base the transition to a sustainable food and agricultural system as outlined in the Florence Declaration on the Global Rights to Food. Most importantly it sets out practical vision, ideas and programs toward ensuring that food and agriculture become more socially and ecologically sustainable, more accessible, and toward putting food quality, food safety and public health above corporate profits.
The Manifesto on Climate Change and the Future of Food Security highlights the need to change to a productive model that minimizes the system’s vulnerability to external shocks and hazards and that contributes sustainably to mitigating the effects of climate change, based on a strong multifunctionality able to maximize the role of agriculture as a service of the ecosystem and as a tool to strengthen such system, and that guarantees family farming a pivotal role in a new system of production.
The Manifesto on the Future of Knowledge Systems: knowledge sovereignty for a healthy planet makes evident that the multiple crises that face humanity today — the financial implosion and economic collapse, climate chaos and the energy and food crises — are rooted in a reductionist, fragmented and mechanical way of thinking, with the world being equated to a huge machine, free to be manipulated and improved at will. A new way of thinking is vital for the return to a balanced and healthy planet, one based on sustainability, resilience and equity. Some of the themes addressed include: corporate control of science and the merging of knowledge and power; the commercialization of knowledge and biopiracy; the need to integrate traditional and indigenous cultural knowledge with independent science.Comments (2)
Researchers confirm Bt toxicity to non-target beneficial insects and show how experiments claiming to refute their results were designed not to find the effect. A fully referenced version of this article is posted on ISIS members website and is otherwise available for download here.
A new study confirms that the Cry1Ab Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin present in genetically modified (GM) crops kills the larvae of the two-spotted ladybird (Adalia bipunctata L.), a species that GM supporters claim to be unaffected by the toxin .
The study raises questions regarding the integrity of previous work published by GM proponents, whose experimental protocols were re-tested and shown to lack the scientific rigour required to pick up signs of toxicity even in target insects that the pesticide is designed to kill.Comments (1)
Biodiversity, Biofuels, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Richard Widows August 8, 2012
We are in the early stages of a global food crisis, the likes of which has never previously been seen. Nearly 1 billion people (or 1 in 7) experience chronic hunger and another 1 billion are faced with serious nutritional deficiencies. Meanwhile, reports suggest that nearly 2 billion people are overweight. Combine these figures and you realise that approximately 4 billion people suffer from food related health issues — more than half of the world’s population. This statistic alone is evidence enough of the need for urgent discussion about our food system.Comments (1)
Dramatic Health Recoveries Reported by Patients Who Took Their Doctor’s Advice and Stopped Using GMO Foods
Consumerism, GMOs, Health & Disease — by Jeffrey M. Smith August 3, 2012
Are genetically modified (GM) foods making you sick – I mean really sick? Up until recently, all that we could say was thank goodness you’re not a lab rat; GM feed messes them up big time. GMOs (genetically modified organisms) appear to trigger the immune systems of both mice and rats as if they were under attack. In addition, the gastrointestinal system is adversely affected, animals age more quickly, and vital organs are damaged. When fed GM foods, lab animals can also become infertile, have smaller or sterile offspring, increased infant mortality, and even hair growing in their mouths. Have I got your attention?
Biotechnology corporations such as Monsanto try to distort or deny the evidence, sometimes pointing to their own studies that supposedly show no reactions. But when scientists such as French toxicologist G.E. Seralini re-analyzed Monsanto’s raw data, it actually showed that the rats fed GM corn suffered from clear signs of toxicity – evidence that industry scientists skillfully overlooked.Comments (1)
GMOs — by Richard Widows July 27, 2012
The recent announcement that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have donated close to US$10 million to research what has been termed as ‘fertilizer free’ grain crops, whilst applaudable on the surface, only serves to distract us from the real solution to global hunger — agroecological (or natural farming) systems at the local level.
But first, let’s consider the concept of ‘fertilizer free’ food. What is actually being referred to here is the concept of transferring the genes responsible for nitrogen fixation from legume plants into grain crops, such as wheat and rice. In theory this sounds great. The application of nitrogen fertilizers is one of the most unsustainable and damaging practices in agriculture; if all plants produced their own nitrogen life would be much easier.Comments (9)
Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change — by Earth Policy Institute July 25, 2012
by Lester R. Brown , Earth Policy Institute
In the early spring of 2012, U.S. farmers were on their way to planting some 96 million acres in corn, the most in 75 years. A warm early spring got the crop off to a great start. Analysts were predicting the largest corn harvest on record.Comments (1)
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, GMOs, General, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 24, 2012
National Food Plan, Green Paper
The Australian federal government has issued a green paper on a National Food Plan for public consultation, which will include a series of public meetings in various places over the next several weeks, until September 30, 2012.
This is an excellent opportunity for permaculturists, localvores, agro-ecologists, etc., to get their message across and help ensure that it’s not just the big corporations who shape Australia’s food future (to their own disastrous ends).
Inset, at right, is the full Green Paper, and here is a summary. You’ll see that the focus is on dollars and exports, rather than sustainable peak-oil-generation resilience.
Please share this page, and encourage as many lucid souls as you can to get involved and breathe some sanity into Australia’s food future.Comments (6)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, People Systems, Society, Village Development — by David Bollier July 17, 2012
MST: The Landless Workers Movement
Raj Patel has been tracking the pathologies of the global food system for many years. An activist and academic who teaches at the UC Berkeley Center for African Studies, Patel has just published a second, updated edition of his 2008 book, Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System.
The problem with the food system is not that we don’t produce enough calories to eradicate hunger, Patel notes. It’s that the food system has its own priorities of institutional consolidation and profit, which means that more than one billion people in the world are malnourished and two billion are overweight – which is worse than when the first edition of Patel’s book came out.Comments (0)