The ‘Chuckanut Century’ ride is held the second Sunday after Labor Day every year and is the club’s signature ride. The 2014 Chuckanut Century is on September 14th and starts and ends at the Depot Market Square.
After the ride, or even if you don’t ride..the ‘Bite of Bellingham’ is happening the same day, same area 12-4 pm….thanks for droppin’ in today and have a super fun Friday & weekend! .bb >*<
Thanks for stoppin’ in to ‘Bellingham Blog’ :) a<|>w*
“Today the Court has confirmed once and for all that all genes are part of the natural world and cannot be patented,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety. “This groundbreaking decision is a victory for all of us that have long argued that nature and humanity should not and cannot be owned and controlled by corporations.”
“The decision is an important step in restoring balance to medical and scientific research, to move beyond flawed gene theory, and protecting people and nature from patent-created exploitation,” added Kimbrell.
CFS represented the following groups in their Supreme Court brief:
International Center for Technology Assessment
Council for Responsible Genetics
Indigenous People’s Council on Bio-colonialism
Friends of the Earth
Center for Environmental Health
More information can be found at www.centerforfoodsafety.org
Fire’y Bellingham Bay Sunset on June 5th 2013 for you…..
4 – Downtown Building Art extra…. :)
- 10% of proceeds to benefit the ‘Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival’
- Mon. 5/20 6:30 PM
88 minutes • 2011 • USA • In English • Unrated
Bitter Seeds explores the future of how we grow things, weighing in on the worldwide debate over the changes created by industrial agriculture. Companies like the U.S.-based Monsanto claim that their genetically modified (GM) seeds offer the most effective solution to feeding the world’s growing population, but on the ground, many small-scale farmers are losing their land. Nowhere is the situation more desperate than in India, where an epidemic of farmer suicides has claimed over a quarter million lives. Every 30 minutes one farmer in India, deep in debt and unable to provide for his family, commits suicide.
Bitter Seeds follows a season in a village at the epicenter of the crisis, from sowing to harvest. Like most of his neighbors, cotton-farmer Ram Krishna must borrow heavily in order to afford the mounting costs of modern farming. Required by a money-lender to put up his land as collateral, he gambles on everything he has. (re-posted from Pickford schedule)
Official Website of Bitter Seeds
Bitter Seeds (NR)
Rounding out his “Globalization Trilogy” with another affecting, character-driven portrait designed to indict corporate opportunism, Micha X. Peled exposes the issues underlying a rash of farmer suicides in “Bitter Seeds.” Focusing on a small agrarian community in central India — a country where a quarter million farmers have taken own their lives in the last 16 years — Peled follows a hopeful young woman, Manjusha Amberwar, studying to be a journalist so she can help put a stop to the trend that claimed her father and now threatens her uncle. His emotional, gripping doc should sprout awareness in public-broadcasting and educational quarters.
Like a mellower, more narratively inclined version of activist helmer Robert Greenwald, Peled has previously taken on Wal-Mart (“Store Wars”) and overseas sweatshops (“China Blue”) by profiling the people most affected by mega-companies’ profit-driven agendas. In “Bitter Seeds,” he implicates U.S.-based biotech monolith Monsanto (makers of DDT and Agent Orange, per one of the pic’s slides) in the Indian farmers’ deaths, but does so through a story compelling enough to support a scripted drama.”
Thanks for stopping in at Bellingham Blog a<|>w*
Thanks for stopping by!!! *Bellingham Blog* a<|>w*
-reposted From Organic Consumers Association……
Save the Honeybees!
TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA to Ban Neonicotinoid Pesticides Before They Devastate the U. S. Bee Population
It’s no longer a mystery. We know what’s killing the bees. They’re being poisoned by neonicotinoid insecticides, manufactured by Bayer and Syngenta. Why do we care? Of the 100 crop species that provide 90 percent of the world’s food, over 70 are pollinated by bees. No bees, no pollination. No food?
Over the past seven years, the honeybee die-off, known as “colony collapse disorder” (CCD), has claimed 5,650,000 hives, valued at $1.61 billion. Italy, France, Slovenia and Germany have taken action to limit the use of bee-killing pesticides. But here in the U.S.?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is getting ready to approve
a deadly new neonicotinoid called Sulfoxaflor. Several environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the EPA, claiming the agency has failed in its obligation to protect one of the Earth’s most vital pollinators from dangerous pesticides.
The EPA needs to hear from all of us. Please sign the petition below. If we get 100,000 signatures, we’ll swarm the EPA offices in Washington D.C. And you can join us!
TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA to Ban Neonicotinoid Pesticides Before They Devastate the U. S. Bee Population (click link to sign the ban)
now…Nice discovery walking around town!
And a Sunset too!!
An ‘about’ of book & author from www.foodopoly.org
“Blending history, reporting, and a deep understanding of American farming and food production, ‘Foodopoly’ is the shocking and revealing account of the business behind the meat, vegetables, grains and milk that most Americans eat every day, including some of our favorite and most respected organic and health-conscious brands. Hauter also pulls the curtain back from the little-understood but vital realm of agricultural policy, showing how it has been hijacked by lobbyists, driving out independent farmers and food processors in favor of the likes of Cargill, Tyson, Kraft and ConAgra. ‘Foodopoly’ demonstrates how the impacts ripple far and wide, from economic stagnation in rural communities at home to famines overseas. In the end, Hauter argues that solving this crisis will require a complete structural shift—a change that is about politics, not just personal choice.”
“Wenonah Hauter owns an organic family farm that provides healthy vegetables to hundreds of families as part of the growing nationwide Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement. Yet, as one of the nation’s leading healthy-food advocates, Hauter believes that the local food movement is not enough to solve America’s food crisis and the public health debacle it has created. In ‘Foodopoly’, she takes aim at the real culprit: the control of food production by a handful of large corporations—backed by political clout—that prevents farmers from raising healthy crops and limits the choices that people can make in the grocery store.” From http://www.foodopoly.org
Please… get informed… the ‘Foodopoly’ website & book will help! We are all in this together and you can get involved. Thank you…. *Bellingham Blog* a<|>w*
“…a meticulously researched tour de force…examines the pernicious effects of consolidation in every sector of the food industry.” Publishers Weekly
- By Katherine Paul, Ronnie Cummins
Organic Consumers Association, Feb. 27, 2013
*Bellingman Blog* posted this essay from Organics Consumers Association in accordance with….Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, ‘Fair Use’… and the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this blog post does not constitute legal or technical advice.. as stated by ‘Organic Consumers Association’ at the end of their essay as well.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments in a seed patent infringement case that pits a small farmer from Indiana, 75-year old Vernon Hugh Bowman, against biotech goliath Monsanto. Reporters from the New York Times to the Sacramento Bee dissected the legal arguments. They speculated on the odds. They opined on the impact a Monsanto loss might have, not only on genetically modified crops, but on medical research and software.
What most of them didn’t report on is the absurdity – and the danger – of allowing companies to patent living organisms in the first place, and then use those patents to attempt to monopolize world seed and food production.
The case boils down to this. Monsanto sells its patented genetically engineered (GE) “Roundup Ready” soybean seeds to farmers under a contract that prohibits the farmers from saving the next-generation seeds and replanting them. Farmers like Mr. Bowman who buy Monsanto’s GE seeds are required to buy new seeds every year. For years, Mr. Bowman played by Monsanto’s rules. Then in 2007, he bought an unmarked mix of soybeans from a grain elevator and planted them. Some of the soybeans turned out to have been grown from Monsanto’s patented Roundup Ready soybean seeds. Monsanto sued Mr. Bowman, won, and the court ordered the farmer to pay the company $84,000. Mr. Bowman appealed, arguing that he unknowingly bought soybeans grown from Monsanto’s seeds, not the seeds themselves, and that therefore the law of “patent exhaustion” applies.
The press and public have fixated on the sticky legal details of the case, and the classic David vs. Goliath nature of the fight. But win or lose, Mr. Bowman’s predicament is part of a much bigger problem.
The real issue is this: Why have we surrendered control over something so basic to human survival as seeds? Why have we bought into the biotech industry’s program, which pushes a few monoculture commodity crops, when history and science have proven that seed biodiversity is essential for growing crops capable of surviving severe climate conditions, such as drought and floods?
As physicist and environmentalist Vandana Shiva explains, we have turned seed, which is the heart of a traditional diversity-rich farming system across the world, into a powerful commodity, used to monopolize the food system. According to a recent report by the Center for Food Safety and Save our Seeds, three companies – Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta – control 53 percent of the global commercial seed market. They have pressured farmers to replace diverse, nutritional seeds, seeds that are resilient because they’ve been bred by small-scale farmers to adapt to local climates and soil conditions, with monocultures of genetically engineered seeds. In the U.S. these crops are predominately corn and soybeans. According to the report, entitled “Seed Giants vs. U.S. Farmers,” 93 percent of soybeans and 86 percent of corn crops in the U.S. come from patented, genetically engineered seeds.
Monsanto profits handsomely from selling its patented seeds. But the real profits are in selling farmers its proprietary pesticides, like Roundup. Farmers can spray huge amounts of Roundup on Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soybeans, killing everything except the soybean plants. It’s a win-win for Monsanto. And it’s sold as a win to farmers, who have been told that by following the Monsanto method, they’ll increase their yields and make more money. Monsanto even claims that its GE crops are the answer to world hunger.
But little of what Monsanto has promised, to farmers and the world, has proven true.
Since farmers first began buying into Monsanto’s scheme in 1995, the average cost to plant one acre of soybeans has risen 325 percent, according to the Center for Food Safety’s report. Corn seed prices are up by 259 percent. Those increases don’t include the cost of the lawsuits Monsanto has aggressively filed against farmers the company claims have violated patent agreements. By the end of 2012, Center for Food Safety calculates that Monsanto had received over $23.5 million from patent infringement lawsuits against farmers and farm businesses.
And the rest of us? What have we gained from this aggressive monopoly of seeds and crops? Nothing. In fact, the losses continue to mount.
Monsanto promised that its GE crops would help the environment by reducing the need for pesticides. But according to the USDA, farmers used up to 26 percent more chemicals per acre on herbicide-resistant crops than on non-GE crops. And as several dozen aggressive “superweeds” have become resistant to glyphosate, the primary herbicide used on GE crops, the biotech industry is ramping up its war on weeds with a new generation of GE crops that can surviving spraying with 2,4 D, paraquat, and other super-toxic herbicides.
As for GE crops being necessary to feed the world, that promise has also been debunked. In 2010, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) warned that the loss of biodiversity will have a major impact on the ability of humankind to feed itself in the future.
According to “A Global Citizens Report on the State of GMOs: Failed Promises, Failed Technologies:”
The fable that GMOs are feeding the world has already led to large-scale destruction of biodiversity and farmers’ livelihoods. It is threatening the very basis of our freedom to know what we eat and to choose what we eat. Our biodiversity and our seed freedom are in peril. Our food freedom, food democracy and food sovereignty are at stake.
It’s safe to say that the majority of the general public would love to see the small farmer from Indiana knock Monsanto down a peg. Last year, a Monsanto ally threatened to sue the state of Vermont if legislators passed a law requiring labels on all foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Lawmakers capitulated, despite the fact that voter support was running at more than 90 percent. Later in the year, Monsanto and large food corporations spent $46 million to defeat a citizens’ initiative in California that would have required mandatory labeling of GMOs.
Monsanto may be Public Enemy Number One, but a win for Mr. Bowman is hardly a win for mankind. It’s time we ask ourselves: How long are we going to let Monsanto bully farmers and politicians into controlling the very source of life on earth? How long will we tolerate the growing monopolization and genetic engineering of seeds by an aggressive cabal of chemical and pesticide corporations who pose a deadly threat to our health, our environment and the future of our food? And when does “how long” become too late?
Katherine Paul is director of development and communications at the Organic Consumers Association.
Ronnie Cummins is founder and director of the Organic Consumers Association. Cummins is author of numerous articles and books, including “Genetically Engineered Food: A Self-Defense Guide for Consumers” (Second Revised Edition Marlowe & Company 2004).
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