Opinion/Editorial Archive

Are the “Wires and Lights in a Box” Keeping us in the DARK?

Friday, July 17th, 2015

by Gayla Prewitt

DARK ActYou are probably familiar with the quote, “…control the food and you control the people.” I would like to take those words a step further and say, “Control the message about what we are doing to the food and you control the people even more.” With Congress set to vote soon on legislation that could forever change the way we label genetically modified food, I ask, where is the news coverage? Have you seen a single story about the, “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act,” on a mainstream television news channel?

Opponents of the bill have dubbed H.R. 1599, the DARK act, or the “Deny Americans the Right-to-know Act.” The bill, as proposed, would take away states’ rights to require labeling of GMO food and leave the system as it is currently, a voluntary labeling system. You would think an issue as fundamental as the safety and labeling of the food we eat would at least warrant a mention, if not be one of the lead stories. Is this an isolated incident? Read Full Article »

This Changes Everything: Our Imperative to Respond Intelligently

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

The Call of the Land
Steven McFadden

“Any attempt to rise to the climate challenge will be fruitless unless it is understood as part of a much broader battle of worldviews. Our economic system and our planetary system are now at war.” ~  Naomi Klein

naomi kleinAuthor Naomi Klein has stepped forward once again with a book – This Changes Everything – that is compelling, momentous, consequential. Her work weaves science, geopolitics, economics, ethics and activism to sound a sane yet urgent call to action.

In this context, farms and food are keys to the challenges that require action, and to the solutions.

Our current global economic models, Klein writes, are waging war against life on earth. This economic war has unleashed pervasive and accelerating climate chaos. This does indeed change everything.

Confronting this reality is no longer about recycling paper bags and changing the light bulbs. It’s about changing the world before the world changes so drastically that no one is safe. Read Full Article »

Industrial Agriculture to Blame in Bird Flu Outbreak

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Green Bay Press Gazette
by Michael Greger

Source: USDA

Avian influenza is sweeping the Midwest with outbreaks in 12 different states.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency in Wisconsin, enlisting the help of the National Guard to contain the disease. Last month, an outbreak struck a Jefferson County egg facility that confines some 200,000 chickens. Since then, 10 other farms have been infected.

Across the country, millions of birds have already died from the virus directly or been slated to be killed to prevent the flu from spreading. Highly pathogenic bird flu outbreaks like these, which were once a rare occurrence, now happen almost every year.

While the poultry and egg industries try to blame ducks and geese flying overhead (strange, since these animals have been doing so for thousands of years) the real culprits are the overcrowded, unsanitary and inhumane conditions in today’s industrial animal agriculture system. Read Full Article »

Democracy in the Grocery Aisle?

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Commentary by Will Fantle

Source: iStock

One of the more interesting takeaways from the state-based battle to enact GMO food ingredient labeling has been the deluge of money that Monsanto, their biotech allies, and Big Food corporate interests have been willing to spend to drown out your right-to-know about what you are putting in your mouth. Cornucopia’s research reveals that these supporters of ignorance have collectively showered more than $100 million on the four state referendums to date, in California, Washington, Colorado and Oregon.

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Citizens United, whatever constraints existed on corporate spending in elections have evaporated. Although state referendums are a different electoral animal, the willingness of corporate power to spend all that they need to prevail has been fully demonstrated. They have juiced the system and tilted electoral power in their direction. Read Full Article »

Stop Making Us Guinea Pigs

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

The New York Times
by Mark Bittman

Source: Montecruz Foto

The issues surrounding G.M.O.s — genetically modified organisms — have never been simple. They became more complicated last week when the International Agency for Research on Cancer declared that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the widely used herbicide Roundup, probably causes cancer in humans. Two insecticides, malathion and diazinon, were also classified as “probable” carcinogens by the agency, a respected arm of the World Health Organization.

Roundup, made by Monsanto for both home and commercial use, is crucial in the production of genetically engineered corn and soybean crops, so it was notable that the verdict on its dangers came nearly simultaneously with an announcement by the Food and Drug Administration that new breeds of genetically engineered potato and apple are safe to eat. Which they probably are, as are the genetically engineered papayas we’ve been eating for some time. In fact, to date there’s little credible evidence that any food grown with genetic engineering techniques is dangerous to human health — unless, like much corn and soybeans, it’s turned into junk food. But, really, let’s be fair.

Fair, too, is a guess that few people are surprised that an herbicide in widespread use is probably toxic at high doses or with prolonged exposure, circumstances that may be common among farmers and farmworkers. Read Full Article »