GMO’s: The Effects of Emerging Technologies, Trouble at every Turn

GMO SafetyIn my last blog, I uncovered some of the places genetically modified organisms are entering our world and permeating our very lifestyles. It is safe to say that the rapid advances of genetic engineering are transforming our daily lives sometimes unseen and mostly untested.  What do we really know about their effects on the environment and our health? Some insist that the technology is safe and to stop being anti-science luddites. Others hold to the precautionary principle. Let’s take a look at some of the consequences being uncovered by scientists around the globe. Here is what we know: Continue reading

Help Stop the Toxic Treadmill

Pesticide SprayRecently the World Health Organization classified Glyphosate, the world’s most widely sprayed herbicide as a possible carcinogen. The reaction around the world was swift, everywhere but here in the US, government agencies began banning the herbicide while companies pulled glyphosate from their shelves. As a result of bad press, and the fact that glyphosate doesn’t work well anymore, the chemical companies began a new strategy. They’ve introduced new toxic technologies to combat the problem they created. Continue reading

There’s a new spud in town!

spudBack in the days when I was buying and selling organic produce, retailers were always looking for something new. New items often meant pretty packaging or fancy slicing because really, how many new produce items are there under the sun?  Well apparently now we have a new one under the soil. In early November the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved a new genetically modified potato that can be planted throughout the United States. Continue reading

Non GMO-Month heralds a David and Goliath battle!

Non-GMO infographic_lgAs I head off to the IFOAM Conference in Istanbul, I reflect that October is celebrated as Non-GMO Month. Celebrate we should, the Non-GMO Project has made many remarkable gains. Annual sales of products carrying the Non-GMO Project Verified seal now total more than $8.5 billion, growing more than 20% annually!  My local New Leaf Store in Santa Cruz is one of more than 2,000 retailers who are participating in the celebration, bringing awareness and eliminating the presence of GMO ingredients in our food supply. Continue reading

Ruminations on Seeds and Weeds…

Indigenous SeedsDown on the farm there is simultaneously an explosion of weeds and a retraction of seeds, a waxing and a waning, the yin and yang of Big Ag. These concurrent phenomena are (not coincidentally) caused by the same companies who are striving to control and harness agriculture. They hope to force every last bushel of productivity out of every single acre, achieving yields well beyond those imagined even a few years ago. These companies laid down their financial roots producing toxic chemicals. In days gone by they brought chemical warfare into the fields of battle. Now the battle is being fought in the fields of our farms. Corn fields, soy fields, cotton fields, are all now battle fields, where weeds run rampant and seeds are at a premium. How is it that the proliferation of weeds and the demise of our seeds are entwined? This story begins thousands of years ago… Continue reading