Tuesday, October 13, 2015

World Food Day Oct. 16-17 DC Rally and Route Information

A clip from our 1+ hour panel discussion with Alexis Bayden Mayer, political director for Organic Consumers Association (OCA).

Video Transcript:

Alexis: Ok so once that action was called and we knew that the DARK Act was at least in Congress. We did know how far it would go. The Truth in Labeling Coalition and Moms Across America decided to do a lobby day on Friday, Oct 16, and before the Saturday Oct 17 protest and so we've got a lot of events happening the weekend before the DARK Act gets a hearing in the Senate.

So, the timing couldn't be better.

It's really a wonderful time to come to DC. If you live in the DC area, if you can make a drive here in a day, there's no excuse not to be here and if perhaps you can take time away from your family, away from your job, to travel from a longer distance please come.

It is going to be lots of fun.

The only downside of that is Congress is actually in recess next week from the 13th to the 16th. So, its also a good idea if you're involved in your your local dominant parties politics, you might get invites to events your congresspersons, your senators, are going to be and whatever your politics, do get involved in the party because the party does control access to the politicians and you'll rarely know where the politicians are going to be unless you're part of the dominant party in your area.

If you want an opportunity to speak to a politician, a recess is actually really good time for that. So. The Columbus Day recess next week, if you're staying in town, hunt down the politicians in your area and try to speak to your Senator and even your Congressperson. Let them know that you know how they voted on HR 1599 and you're either very happy or very disappointed. So, it's a good time to reach out to the Senate and the Congress and Friday will be a really fun lobby day with the Truth in Labeling Coalition and Moms Across America.

Also on Friday, we're going to do a march on Friday afternoon. So, it'll be around rush hour and will be walking through downtown DC stopping at various points along the way. We're going to be going by the White House, going by the office of the US trade Representative, going by the Chamber of Commerce.

We didn't mention the Chamber of Commerce. But, its worse than the Grocery Manufacturers Association. Because it is all US businesses and they organized like the Farm Bureau down to the local level.

So, if you're any business person no matter how small or progressive, you probably have to be part of the Chamber of Commerce, like,  if you're a farmer and you want to get insurance for your farm, you probably have to be a member of the Farm Bureau.

So, the Chamber of Commerce is a very, very big powerful organization and they do the bidding of the largest corporations. It does not represent their small businesses which probably make up the majority of the members. It directly represents corporations like Monsanto.

We have direct evidence that since trade talks have been going on with Europe. the Chamber of Commerce has been putting pressure on European regulators not to move through very important consumer safety regulations related to dangerous pesticides, specifically endocrine disruptors.

The European Union has a new policy on endocrine disruptors that have not been put into place yet because of the US Chamber of Commerce blocking it. Because they say, "well you are going to have to deal with this new trade agreement that probably will preempt a lot of these regulations so you might as well not bother putting out this important public safety regulation at this point to protect kids from endocrine disruptors." So that is the type of thing that we know that the Chamber of Commerce is doing on a regular basis.

So, we are stopping by the Chamber of Commerce and then we're heading to the EPA and I hear that Monsanto the Grocery Manufacturers Association is perhaps on the way to the EPA from Afayette Park where these other locations are. And so, perhaps we'll stop by Monsanto's DC headquarters. The Grocery Manufacturers Association's DC headquarters their lobbying offices. Where they do their DARK Act strategy, no doubt, and then we're heading to the EPA for a rally at 5 p.m.

This I'm really excited about this because about once per month I get together with people who work at other non-profit in DC like Friends of the Earth, Center for Food Safety, Beyond Pesticides and we deliver petitions to the EPA about the pesticides that are killing pollinators and we've delivered literally millions of signatures on petitions to save the bees and the butterflies and EPA is not listening to us and of course there are serious human health problems associated with these pesticides as well.

Zen Honeycutt from Moms Across America will be speaking at the EPA protest talking specifically about glyphosate and why glyphosate needs to be ban and this is an opportune time.

The EPA was supposed to put out its new re-registration for glyphosate in July of this year and they haven't done it yet and I think that they have not done it yet because new information came out that glyphosate is probably causing cancer and the EPA can't sweep this under the rug so easily when the World Health Organization is making these announcements. It's all based on science that has already been published. Its just a new review of it. But, the EPA has always done its own reviews that always, you know, pushed individual papers under the rug and ignored the large body of evidence. But, now the World Health Organization saying very clearly, "yep, it is clear from the evidence that glyphosate is probably causing cancer."

So, obviously human health problems associated with glyphosate, cancer is only the tip of the iceberg and then of course glyphosate harms beef and the glyphosate GMOs Roundup Ready GMOs they are always coated with neonicotinoids, that is a product that's created by Bayer, but Monsanto is more than happy to coat all of its GMOs with neonicotinoids pesticides that we know kills bees and glyphosate is also destroying Monarch butterfly habitat.

Monarch butterfly habitat is the Milkweed. Milkweed has actually survived in the agricultural region of the mid-west the corridor between Mexico and Canada that the butterflies fly through every year.

But, since the advent of the Roundup Ready herbicides, Milkweed is very tough it can survive may be one dosage of herbicides per year. It can survive till up. It generally just gets kind of more distributed if it gets tilled up once a year but it cannot survive repeated doses of herbicides and when they created the Roundup Ready crops they weren't just using round up at the end of the growing season before planting to clear the field they've been spraying roundup continuously on the plant throughout the growing season.

So, our genetically modified Roundup Ready corn and our round-up ready soy is not only increasing our exposure to Roundup but it is increasing the amount of roundup in the environment. It's killed the milkweed and the introduction of Roundup Ready crops had been decimated and that has decimated the butterfly population more than 90 percent loss in the butterfly population since Roundup Ready crops were introduced.

So, this is, you know, we're about to lose a very beautiful iconic species and it is paralleled with the loss of our health and human population. So, you know the Monarch butterfly is worthy on its own, but I think it's also a symbol of the fragility of health in the human population as well.

Rachel Linden: I agree. They are the canary in the coal mine for our environment Hash tag #Epicfail.

Kathleen Hallal: But, I think the other thing too that it's trying to bubble up to the surface is how systematic their programs have been to buy scientists and buy universities and how it's being uncovered now that these big industries especially big Ag but also Pharma and other industries have bought off scientists to published papers for them and then they take these papers into their Representative or Senator and they say vote this way or approve this, you know, this looks greater you know this is a great study and we're finding out that it's sort of like a house of cards. They've just set it up and it hasn't really been studied and on all these problems you bring up deserve real independent scientific attention. We have to stop, as you say “sweeping it at all under the rug.”

Because it is growing and growing and how much longer are we going to ignore this?

Rachel: Biotech genetic engineering was built on lies. It came from lies. It only exists in the dark in the lies and we shine a light on it we talk about it and we bring attention to it...it cannot survive.

Kathleen: They are not telling the truth about scientific consensus. There is not scientific consensus. We know lots of preeminent scientists worldwide who are questioning this. How many scientists have signed the petition Alexis? I think it's like 800 scientists worldwide who are questioning the safety of GMOs and demanding more science.

We're not people who are not science based. We want more science. Please. We want stop pretending that there's not any science that shows harm from glyphosate, Roundup Ready crops, GMO crops, BT.

We want all the products explored further and we want to stop being basically force fed these foods. So, we need to stop the DARK Act. We need to have labeling now and we need more science now.

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