Thursday, May 08, 2008

The World According to Monsanto

The World According to Monsanto

On March 11 a new documentary was aired on French television. It is a documentary most Americans will never see, explaining how the gigantic biotech corporation Monsanto is threatening to destroy the agricultural biodiversity which has served mankind for thousands of years.

For millennia, farmers have saved seeds from season to season. But when Monsanto developed GM seeds that would resist its own herbicide, Roundup, Monsanto patented the seeds. For nearly all of its history the United States Patent and Trademark Office refused to grant patents on seeds, viewing them as life-forms with too many variables to be patented. But in 1980 the U.S. Supreme Court allowed for seed patents in a five-to-four decision, laying the groundwork for a handful of corporations to begin taking control of the world's food supply.

Since the 1980s, Monsanto has become the world leader in genetic modification of seeds and has won 674 biotechnology patents, more than any other company. Farmers who buy Monsanto's Roundup Ready seeds are required to sign an agreement promising not to save the seed produced after each harvest for re-planting, or to sell the seed to other farmers. This means that farmers must buy new seed every year.

Monsanto puts pressure on farmers, farmers' co-ops, seed dealers, and anyone else it suspects may have infringed its patents of genetically modified seeds. To do this, Monsanto relies on a shadowy army of private investigators and agents. They secretly videotape and photograph farmers, store owners, and co-ops. They infiltrate community meetings. They gather information from informants about farming activities.

Some Monsanto agents pretend to be surveyors. Others confront farmers on their land and try to pressure them to sign papers giving Monsanto access to their private records. Farmers call them the "seed police" and use words such as "Gestapo" and "Mafia" to describe their tactics.

The World According to MonsantoWatch the documentary

Download the Video
The DVD Torrent fileWorld According to Monsanto - DVDRip English

Le Monde Selon Monsanto, the French DVD

Monsanto Wikipedia

How your diet affects global climate change


Food accounts for 13% of all Greenhouse Gas emissions.

Red meat and dairy are responsible for nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions from food for an average U.S. household.

Replacing red meat and dairy with chicken, fish, or eggs in your diet for one day per week reduces emissions equal to 760 miles per year of driving.

Switching to vegetables one day per week cuts the equivalent of driving 1160 miles per year.

Learn more:

Rip Out Your Lawn

SUSTAINABILITY TIP & QUOTE OF THE WEEK:RIP OUT YOUR LAWN..."But the act I want to talk about is growing some, even just a little, of your own food. Rip out your lawn, if you have one, and if you don't, look into getting a plot in a community garden. Measured against the problem we face, planting a garden sounds pretty benign, I know, but in fact it's one of the most powerful things an individual can do to reduce your carbon footprint, sure, but more important, to reduce your sense of dependence and dividedness: to change the cheap-energy mind."

An excerpt from author Michael Pollan's editorial in the New York Times this week on dealing with Climate Change in your everyday life.

A few words from Phiya Kushi

"It has become clear to me that many macrobiotic promoters have unintentionally turned macrobiotics into a religion. It is subtle but it is done the moment when someone suggests that certain behaviors dictate or define whether or not someone "is" macrobiotic or not. This includes if a person chooses to eat meat, dairy or junk food. Religion, as Karen Armstrong so brilliantly pointed is not about belief systems but is about behaviors. When macrobiotic teachers start dictating that certain behaviors determine whether someone is macrobiotic they are passing judgment on people and preaching a new religion. I was guilty of this as well. But macrobiotics is not a religion. People are free to to do and behave as they please including what food choices they make. Macrobiotics is, instead, a field of study, of exploration and self-discovery. Macrobiotic is experiential and is about learning and growing. The true aim of macrobiotics is to set people free, not to limit and enslave them into a rigid structure and set of rules of conduct and behavior. I make food suggestions to people only because they ask me, not because I believe that they should behave in a certain way. People are free to do as they please as long they are not harming themselves or others. I hope that macrobiotic promoters can take a hard look at themselves and see if they are inadvertently promoting a religion or not." Phiya Kushi Apr 30 2008