Category Archives: Blog

This is Catie Faryl’s blog with current information. Please visit my site for all the content I have to share!

GMOs and the unscientific “Substantial Equivalents” policy

Dear Brian,
Thank you for directing attention to the “Substantial Equivalent” policy matter.  To me, it is at the crux of the problems.  It is so ironic to have GMO proponents continually dog our efforts to de-escalate from the dangerous Chem/Ag/GMOs cycle and systems by making demands for our “science” on why we think things need to change.  These multi-national corporations, who were granted the ability to own genetic material, have made sure few unbiased studies can be completed AND their real position is “we managed to convince policy makers over two decades ago that our products were safe simply by “calling it good” – ie Substantial Equivalents.
Yesterday I got some printmaking studio time and did a painting of that title “Substantial Equivalents”.  It visually conjectures the issue using an ear of natural corn and an ear of gmo corn along side a picture of a woman standing next to a blow-up doll!  This is what I think about their “substantial equivalents” !!!!   It is crude but true – a blow up doll is not a woman, and gmo foods are not whole, natural foods!  The slogan “GMO: Goddess Mightily Offended” can be taken as a warning that many people see through the rhetoric and lies of the GMO food industry and those who shop, cook and prepare foods are seeking products that are untainted and free of disturbing questions about their nutritional value, their contribution to environmental degradation, and their long term health effects, especially for the region’s and planet’s children.  We who oppose GMO and its ilk are gearing up to play hardball – no more Ms. Nice Guy!  For too long we have suffered the scientific speculation and misrepresentations, as history has proven what “science” tells us is “safe”  ten or twenty years later is discovered to be patently untrue! (X-Rays, DDT, smoking, etc). The most compelling arguments for banning gmos are in how far across the line “science” has gone to achieve uniformity, monoculture, power and profit through unnatural and unloving means.  Our natural seeds and systems are a better future and can feed the world just fine, given the generosity to work out political and distribution issues and move forward in peace without intervention from aggressive, corporate and governmental forces bent on “playing God”.
The comments and responses to your article are all focusing on the arguments and details of the “science”. My hope is that left-brainers will put on their collective intellectual thinking caps and get down to the LEGALITY, HUMANITY, MORALITY AND INTEGRITY of these issues.  The real argument should be “how do to we reverse the “substantial equivalent” platform?  It is surprising to me that anti-trust and class action suits have not been launched at undoing this pernicious and nonsensical standard.  As the world hurtles forward on this very weak and bad premise of accelerating the production of trans-species food and seed modification, and further pollutes the planet with the toxic soup of chemicals to foster a system inferior to what nature has already evolved for us, I see human folly of the highest order with devastating future consequences.
When people of good sense finally open their eyes to the tragedy of gmo and all that it represents, I hope it is not too late.  You ask great and powerful questions about the absence of outcry from the farming and food industries here in Southern Oregon.
The March against Monsanto in Medford organizing group, Families for Food Freedom, and the Chamber of Commons will be working hard to get the information out and catalyze action on May 25th (March gathering at 11 am at Vogel Plaza, Central Ave. and West Main in Medford, Oregon).  Also since GMO Free Jackson County has a list of 400 food-related supporters, perhaps its time to send them a detailed overview of exactly how bad GMO is.  Your compilation video of key points from over two dozen documentaries is filled with compelling and well-documented information.  Can copies of that be sent out or posted on line so viewers can get the intense version offered in a manageable crash course in the dangers and documented downside to health, environment and the economy that your work provided to those working on defeating GMOs in our region?
Catie Faryl    www.catiefaryl.net
Chamber of Commons
championsofthecommons@gmail.com and championsofthecommons  on facebook
(541) 535-1854
From: Realtidbits Comment Reply <realtidbits@realtidbits.com> To: bcomnes@yahoo.com Sent: Monday, May 6, 2013 5:42 PM Subject: Re: LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | MailTribune.com

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | MailTribune.com

http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130506/OPINION/305060301/-1/OPINION03

(2 Previous Replies)      Latest Reply
BrianComnes Let’s put it this way , isn’t the science that really counts the one that is in control of the release of GMOs into the market place? That is what controls what we grow and eat. All the rest is mere quibbling and strutting by advocates of either “side”.  So can ANYBODY explain to me the science that underscores the current doctrine that governs the release of GMO food in the U.S.  known as substantial equivalence (SE)?  Go ahead, convince me..make me less skeptical. The policy of substantial equivalence  is merely a  trade and commerce policy from 1992 from the OECD, an international  trade association. It was promulgated by then VP Dan Quayle and made USDA/FDA policy by none other than Mike Taylor (a revolving door Monsanto exec who is still with us today) and its sole motivation was to “reduce regulations” or provide “regulatory relief” and get US biotech products to market quicker.  Scientists within FDA and USDA at the time put up a stink, but they were ignored by the Monsanto folks who had captured the agency at a policy level.. As a result the USDA set up policies that only producer-funded short term studies were required and if Monsanto says it safe, then it safe because it is substantially equivalent. – some science there    (Hey a healthy cow and one with BSE-mad cow are substantially equivalent, are they both safe?)
Now combine that policy with the fact that GMOs are proprietary trade secrets and independent scientists can not get access to the materials or only with censoring nondisclosure restrictions.  What that leads to is perverted science because there are no independent verifiable studies of which PG  Economics or other PR firms are shining examples .”For a decade,” protested Scientific American editors in 2009, GMO companies “have explicitly forbidden the use of the seeds for any independent research,” so “it is impossible to verify that  genetically modified crops perform as advertised.”
As for the pesticide usage data, WSU’s Benbrook 20 year study,  recently updated, pretty much put to bed the earlier Barfoot/Brooks (PG Economics) study which people like the Farm Bureau insist “proves” their point of view.
And finally are over 110 farms in the Rogue Valley so clueless about their own future that they would sign a written statement supporting a GMO crop ban? Seems unlikely. How many GMO growers are there here? All I meet are Farm Bureau lobbyists and one guy who grows some GMO corn in JOSPEHINE County. And those 300 restaurants, businesses  and organizations including three Granges, are they clueless too?

In the News – from Champions of the Commons 4/14/13

In the news  April 14, 2013 from the Chamber of Common

 RIGHTS

A New Civil Rights Movement: Liberating Our Communities from Corporate Control

                        TheBigPictureRT·3,642 videos

Published on Apr 2, 2013

www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZD9Iisiywm

Thomas Linzey, Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) joins Thom Hartmann. Towns across Pennsylvania are fighting back against corporate power – all in an effort to put the power of the people back into our Democracy. How will these efforts in the Keystone State influence the national fight to overturn Citizen’s United – and take corporate cash our of politics?

CELDF is making sense with its interpretation of the problems surrounding the tightening box of laws and restrictions and why is it so difficult to escape this box. In a presentation today at Josephine County Fairgrounds, Kai Huschke spoke on Community Rights vs Corporate Control. The presentation was sponsored by Illinois Valley Pesticide Awareness Coalition and GMO Free Jackson County.  Friend them on Facebook. and ask about the video of Kai’s talk

Kai will speak on Monday at 11 am at the Ashland Library following the 9 to 11 am meeting of GMO Free Jackson County

MOVE TO AMEND RALLY – MAY 10TH    FIND INFO ON FACEBOOK AT JACKSON COUNTY MOVE TO AMEND

 

 

 

 

The Environment:

Speakers Allan Savory: Grassland ecosystem pioneer

Allan Savory works to promote holistic management in the grasslands of the world.

Why you should listen to him:

Desertification of the world’s grasslands, Allan Savory suggests, is the immediate cause of poverty, social breakdown, violence, cultural genocide — and a significent contribution to climate change. In the 1960s, while working in Africa on the interrelated problems of increasing poverty and disappearing wildlife, Savory made a significant breakthrough in understanding the degradation and desertification of grassland ecosystems. After decades of study and collaboration, thousands of managers of land, livestock and wildlife on five continents today follow the methodology he calls “Holistic Management.”

In 1992, Savory and his wife, Jody Butterfield, formed the Africa Centre for Holistic Management in Zimbabwe, a learning site for people all over Africa. In 2010, the Centre won the Buckminster Fuller Challenge for its work in reversing desertification. In that same year he and his wife, with others, founded the Savory Institute in Boulder, Colorado, to promote large-scale restoration of the world’s grasslands.

Intrigued by this talk? Get more resources — videos, books, papers and news >>

“Allan’s message is vital to the restoration of the world’s grasslands — a long-ignored component of the earth’s lungs.”

Christina Allday-Bondy

Quotes by Allan Savory

  • “Burning one hectare of grassland      gives off more, and more damaging, pollutants than 6,000 cars. And we are      burning in Africa, every single year, more than one billion hectares.Watch this talk »More TEDQuotes…

 

Allan Savory on the Web

GMOs:

March against Monsanto in Medford May 25, 2013 see info on facebook, same name

Good News:

“H.B. 2175, whose chief sponsor is Representative Deborah Boone (D-Cannon Beach), provisions that all foods containing or made with genetically engineered material be properly labeled in the state of Oregon. Any food products made with or containing GMOs that are not properly labeled beginning on January 1, 2014, will be deemed misbranded, and its manufacturer held liable for breaking the state’s food labeling requirements.”Oregon To Ban GM Salmon And Mandate GMO Labeling

www.honeycolony.com

One state hopes to lead the country in demanding proper and honest labeling for genetically modified foods.

Catie Faryl HOORAY For REPRESENTATIVE DEBORAH BOONE! A TRUE CHAMPION OF THE COMMONS! FINALLY SOME GOOD NEWS!!!

collecting data on impact of more gmos in oregon

Individuals in Jackson and Josephine Counties are working on compiling a list of organic organizations and businesses across the State of Oregon in order to help Representative Peter Buckley work with legislators on upcoming House Bills that can either positively or negatively impact Oregon’s “green brand”.  If you read please call me at (541) 535-1854 or send me an email at championsofthecommons@gmail.com  Check the two sites below and see if you or friends’ businesses have been included.

 

This data can also be important when  organizing to defeat GMOs on a national level.

If your business isn’t listed, please consider adding it on this site http://www.farmerspal.com

Also http://www.localharvest.org/organic-farms/list.jsp  This seems quite comprehensive, and gives farms, csa’s, markets, ranchers, and more categories to find by zip code.  There is even a search feature for beekeepers and other organic products.

Opposing Senate Bill SB633 – to remove ag/seed control from Counties to State

Comments for Senate Committee regarding Senate Bill 633, Public Hearing Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The issue of Seeds is truly the debate of our time; it brings all differences of belief and opinion to common ground. Seeds represent our Sovereignty and are at the core of all economic freedom. Seeds are the true wealth given to all people, not just to a few patent holders. “Under all is the Land”* is a main theme of our democratic system therefore legislation that privatizes land, water, seed and genes or puts them under the auspices of Big Government involve great risks of undermining the biological, social and economic stability and survivability of our State and our Country.

It is unwise to tamper with the basic patterns established by Mother Nature. Evidence is mounting that foreshadows vast consequences if our State goes “retrograde” by supporting the trajectory of chemical and monoculture food-growing systems while the rest of the world is implementing more successful practices. France, Peru and many other countries have banned or are tightly controlling genetic modifications and breaking the addictive cycle created by dependence on fossil fuel, out of which the industrial-agricultural complex sprung at the end of the Great Depression and the beginning of World War II.

As an artist and writer who observes and illustrates trends and envisions positive solutions, I see SB 633 as counterproductive to the future of our economy and a disconnection from the rising potential, in fact the necessity, of returning to sane agriculture practices under local control.

It is difficult for me to believe multi-national seed and pesticide companies’ claims that their actions are altruistic and that they just “want to Feed the Planet” when the legacy of DDT and other petroleum-based, Big Oil-subsidiary products have been known as carcinogenic, environmentally dangerous money-makers since Rachel Carson wrote “The Silent Spring” in 1962. The use of DDT was banned in America in 1972, yet  farmers were not encouraged to taper off chemical fertilizers and sprays at that time, but were instructed and directed to use and abuse different ag-drugs.

Right now we have the opportunity to reverse the addiction to genetically modified seeds, Round Up Ready and other chemical products being used in large scale farming that actually give less yield and worse outcomes than what Nature, when respected and understood, can provide.  Let’s show some leadership and forward thinking like Vermont, a leader in wise initiatives across America, and many other States who are applying heavy restrictions on GMOs, requiring labeling and seeking bans.

Southern Oregon is known for its organic and gmo-free foods and lifestyle and the trend across the country and the world is also moving in that direction. We want to keep our State an attractive destination for tourists and new residents. (One out of six people I spoke with while canvassing had just moved to the Rogue Valley because of our relatively clean food, water, and air – their health is demanding it!)

Removing local control of these issues will have, in my opinion, significant economic impact due to more farm failures and decreased allure for tourists, not to mention the impact of limiting our ability to grow healthy foods for our region and for export. Without studying the significant repercussions of Senate Bill 633, including backlash against all exports of edible and grow-able products from America, a huge mistake may be made. We will be unable maintain a regional open pollinated seed crop, which in the future may be more valuable than gold or any other wealth.

As a parent, and someone who cares deeply about people and all sentient beings, I am not buying, serving or consuming the products in question. I’d like my future grandchildren to enjoy a healthy Rogue Valley childhood, and along with thousands of concerned citizens I will continue working to co- create the very best future for Oregon. I ask the Senate Committee to please reject Senate Bill 633.

Sincerely, Catie Faryl, Phoenix, Oregon   March 10, 2013

 

Here are some sources for more information:

U.S.A. produces 53% of GMO crops compared tiny fractions in other countries:

www.ornl.gov/sci/tech/resources

www.genomic.energy.gov

Places where GMOs have been banned:

www.organicconsumers.org/gefood/countrieswithbans.cfm

current.com/…/93975745_peru-bans-genetically-modified-foods-as-…

www.purezing.com/living/toxins/living_toxins_gmofoods.html

Information about health concerns and diseases linked to GMOs:

www.naturalnews.com

www.responsibletechnology.org

Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception and short video summarizing it at www.articles.marcola.com

www.gmofreeworldblogspot.com

www.fridayharborholistichealth.com

http://www.fridayharborholistichealth.com

Videos related to these issues:

“Alcohol can be a Gas” – makes the connection between Big Oil, the destruction of high grade farm fuels through Prohibition and the orchestrated addiction of America to fossil fuels

“The Future of Food”

“Genetic Roulette”

“Fresh”

WATER:

www.takepart.com  Tell the EPA – Don’t Delay to Protect Clean Water

WAR and AVOIDING IT:  article titled Congress walig through back door to war on Iran, Rogue Valley Community Free Press,

In the News from Chamber of Commons 4/7/2013

In the News:  A Report from The Chamber of Commons  April 7,2013  championsofthecommons@gmail.com

 

GMOs

–  www.heirloomgardener.com  Spring 2013 Heirloom Gardener Magazine

“Regulators Discover a Hidden Viral Gene in Commercial GMO Crops – new findings in products approved as safety for past 20 years, EFSA (European Food Safety Authoriy) reports this has serious ramifications for crop biotechnology…..but ……even greater ones because if it is a viral gene it may not be safe for human consumption

“EU Freezes Approval of GM Crops to 2014” – The European Commission has decided to freeze the approval process for genetically modified food crops…..the Commissions’ prior approval of GM crops has poisoned relations with 27 EU members.  Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg and Poland have provisions that allow them to block the cultivation of GM crops on their territory

 

http://www.panna.org/blog/     Ground Truth website

March 31, 2013 – “ Bumper crops in India, no GE required” – “Agroecology” the best hope for feeding a hungry world. Farmers in the state of Bihar are setting yield records for rice, potatoes and wheat – without the use of genetically engineered (GE) seeds or pesticides.  www.panna.org/blog/bumper-crops-india-no-ge-required

March 31, 2013 – “Bees need help now! Time to up the ante” – with other options exhausted …..beekeepers are suting EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).  Bees are in trouble and they’re vital to our food system and … economy. They’re responsible for pollinating one in three bits of food we eat.

American Beekeepers cannot survive for long with the toxic environment EPA has supported. www.panna.org/blog/bees-need-help-now-time-ante

Green Gazette – Longest-Running GMO Study Finds Tumors in Rats – This French study involved 200 rats and spanned two years.  Previously the longest study lasted just 240 days, says Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Union and an expert on GMO Research.

 

FAIR TRADE, INDUSTRY

For a Better World: issues and challenges in fair trade – Issue 6 Spring 2013 (a free publication you can find at your Food Co-op or visit their website at www.fairworldproject.org  :

– Why Industrial Hemp?  Article

–  TRADE POLICY REFORM CORNER ACTION ALERT:  NAFTA has had negative and often unintended consequences for many people in North America, including farmers, workers and consumers.  Right now there’s a similar trade agreement being negotiated by 12 countries including USA, Mexico, and Canada called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) The TPP threatens to have effects similar to NAFTa but on a larger scale, threatening human rights, the environment and jobs.

From Peace House Calendar:Trans-Pacific Partnership Action

April 28 & 29

SUNDAY, APRIL 28

Jackson County People’s Assembly on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Just weeks prior to a new TPP negotiating round in Peru, we call on the 99% who are harmed by corporate globalization to oppose the TPP.  We will join cities and towns around the world that are holding community assemblies to discuss the problems with the TPP and the free trade model. Elizabeth Swager of Oregon Fair Trade Campaign will be down to brief community leaders on the TPP negotiations, and to strategize for a scheduled meeting with Senator Wyden’s staff the next morning.Multi-national community resistance put a freeze on the WTO. It stopped the Free Trade Area of the Americas. It can stop the TPP.  4:30 p.m. at the Grass Shack Café,  205 Fern Valley Rd., Phoenix, Oregon (Ext 24 off I-5).

 

MONDAY, APRIL 29

Delegation to Senator Wyden’s office re the TPP

Tell Senator Wyden NOT to FAST TRACK the TPP!  Noon at his office in the Federal Courthouse, 310 West 6th St., Rm 118 in Medford.

For more information, visit http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/oregon/2013/02/12/oregon-

 

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s website   www.sustainableagriculture.net

– “Downstream from your Jeans” by Corrine Platt-Rikkers – GMO seeds that need forever-increasing amount of pesticides and water is costing farmers dearly.  Associated water pollution and “dead zones” discussed.

 

LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL

Community Rights vs. Corporate Control – April 14 4 pm at Josephine County Fairgrounds, Flower Building, A Free public event with Kai Huschke from Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

Move to Amend

 

FUKUSHIMA – Get Involved – Stand Together and Take Action for an End to all Things Nuclear www.nuclearfreeplanet.org

For fact sheet and upcoming events, contact championsofthecommons@gmail.com

Watch for next  IN THE NEWS – next Monday

Catie Faryl (541) 535-1854

In the News:  A Report from The Chamber of Commons  April 7,2013  championsofthecommons@gmail.com

 

GMOs

–  www.heirloomgardener.com  Spring 2013 Heirloom Gardener Magazine

“Regulators Discover a Hidden Viral Gene in Commercial GMO Crops – new findings in products approved as safety for past 20 years, EFSA (European Food Safety Authoriy) reports this has serious ramifications for crop biotechnology…..but ……even greater ones because if it is a viral gene it may not be safe for human consumption

“EU Freezes Approval of GM Crops to 2014” – The European Commission has decided to freeze the approval process for genetically modified food crops…..the Commissions’ prior approval of GM crops has poisoned relations with 27 EU members.  Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg and Poland have provisions that allow them to block the cultivation of GM crops on their territory

 

http://www.panna.org/blog/     Ground Truth website

March 31, 2013 – “ Bumper crops in India, no GE required” – “Agroecology” the best hope for feeding a hungry world. Farmers in the state of Bihar are setting yield records for rice, potatoes and wheat – without the use of genetically engineered (GE) seeds or pesticides.  www.panna.org/blog/bumper-crops-india-no-ge-required

March 31, 2013 – “Bees need help now! Time to up the ante” – with other options exhausted …..beekeepers are suting EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).  Bees are in trouble and they’re vital to our food system and … economy. They’re responsible for pollinating one in three bits of food we eat.

American Beekeepers cannot survive for long with the toxic environment EPA has supported. www.panna.org/blog/bees-need-help-now-time-ante

Green Gazette – Longest-Running GMO Study Finds Tumors in Rats – This French study involved 200 rats and spanned two years.  Previously the longest study lasted just 240 days, says Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Union and an expert on GMO Research.

 

FAIR TRADE, INDUSTRY

For a Better World: issues and challenges in fair trade – Issue 6 Spring 2013 (a free publication you can find at your Food Co-op or visit their website at www.fairworldproject.org  :

– Why Industrial Hemp?  Article

–  TRADE POLICY REFORM CORNER ACTION ALERT:  NAFTA has had negative and often unintended consequences for many people in North America, including farmers, workers and consumers.  Right now there’s a similar trade agreement being negotiated by 12 countries including USA, Mexico, and Canada called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) The TPP threatens to have effects similar to NAFTa but on a larger scale, threatening human rights, the environment and jobs.

From Peace House Calendar:Trans-Pacific Partnership Action

April 28 & 29

SUNDAY, APRIL 28

Jackson County People’s Assembly on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Just weeks prior to a new TPP negotiating round in Peru, we call on the 99% who are harmed by corporate globalization to oppose the TPP.  We will join cities and towns around the world that are holding community assemblies to discuss the problems with the TPP and the free trade model. Elizabeth Swager of Oregon Fair Trade Campaign will be down to brief community leaders on the TPP negotiations, and to strategize for a scheduled meeting with Senator Wyden’s staff the next morning.Multi-national community resistance put a freeze on the WTO. It stopped the Free Trade Area of the Americas. It can stop the TPP.  4:30 p.m. at the Grass Shack Café,  205 Fern Valley Rd., Phoenix, Oregon (Ext 24 off I-5).

 

MONDAY, APRIL 29

Delegation to Senator Wyden’s office re the TPP

Tell Senator Wyden NOT to FAST TRACK the TPP!  Noon at his office in the Federal Courthouse, 310 West 6th St., Rm 118 in Medford.

For more information, visit http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/oregon/2013/02/12/oregon-

 

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s website   www.sustainableagriculture.net

– “Downstream from your Jeans” by Corrine Platt-Rikkers – GMO seeds that need forever-increasing amount of pesticides and water is costing farmers dearly.  Associated water pollution and “dead zones” discussed.

 

LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL

Community Rights vs. Corporate Control – April 14 4 pm at Josephine County Fairgrounds, Flower Building, A Free public event with Kai Huschke from Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

Move to Amend

 

FUKUSHIMA – Get Involved – Stand Together and Take Action for an End to all Things Nuclear www.nuclearfreeplanet.org

For fact sheet and upcoming events, contact championsofthecommons@gmail.com

Watch for next  IN THE NEWS – next Monday

Catie Faryl (541) 535-1854

March 21, 2013 letter to the editors re “stop proliferation of gmos in Oregon”

Letter to the Editor regarding SB 633 and related bills:
It’s not just that Monsanto, Syngenta and other bullying, foreign profit-takers are contaminating our heirloom and regionally adapted seeds and crops. It is also their chemical mixtures of Round-up to kill everything in the soil, avoid plowing and then plant genetically altered seeds that is so destructive.   
Media, business and government blame the public for being sick and “out of shape”, because they are worried about how America can afford health care. It’s the omnipresence of GMOs, refined white GMO beet sugar, GM corn, soy, corn syrup and processed and animal feed, plus unhealthy growing and livestock practices foisted upon the farm communities, that are causing harm. The huge rise in obesity, diabetes, cancers and heart attacks is related to these foods, which is what poor, and beleaguered middle class, and unemployed are habituated to buying since its mass production makes it cheap, available and soothing, though of diminished nutritional value.  
Our air and water are filled with pesticides and chemical fertilizers, killing off animals and insects, polluting streams, rivers, lakes and oceans, giving people asthma and other conditions. We are literally breaking the food chain within nature. The addictive cycle of Chemical, GMO, and Pharmaceutical agriculture must be ended through a massive intervention followed by a period of detoxification and economic reforms. 
We must undo the patents that allow mega-corporations to own “intellectual property rights” of genetically modified organisms, genes and seeds and find remedies for binding contracts that force farmers to continue paying and using these products.   Don’t believe the lies from Chem/AG that their products are safe and their objectives altruistic and that they just want “to feed the world”.  If that were true, billions of dollars wouldn’t have been spent perfecting and owning gene code, but instead used to build wells, and support native and sustainable systems.  80% of the world’s food is still grown in small and mid-size operations, the majority of it by women.  
FREE THE FARMERS AND THE LAND FROM THIS CYCLE OF ABUSE!  This tired system in place since WWII is losing its efficacy. It has depleted the soils, bred pesticide-resistant pests and spray resistant plant diseases, and made people lazy, ill and unresponsive. In the 1950s we were told how wonderful DDT was, yet it was finally banned in America in 1972, (when corporations like Monsanto, Dow, and others simply sold those toxins in the third world and polluted THEIR wells and soils.) GMO is being banned all over the world. We need to transition out of it before all our crops are non-exportable and our citizens, animals, and environment deteriorate further.    Folks, these aren’t Mendel’s peas, seeds or crops anymore! 
This is TRANS-SPECIES TAMPERING, the ultimate arrogance, human folly and act of aggression by putting things where things simply do not belong! How it ever became legal for scientific, moral, and political reasons is highly questionable. Everyone needs to stop and reconsider this dangerous practice.  In my book GMO stands for GODDESS MIGHTILY OFFENDED! Catie Faryl   Chamber of Commons        Champions of the Commons on Facebook www.catiefaryl.net

 
The Law declares him a thief who from the commons steals the goose, but the greater thief the law lets loose who steals the commons from the goose!   
       an English Proverb

collecting data on impact of more gmos in oregon

A subcommittee of GMO Free Jackson and Josephine Counties are working on compiling a list of organic organizations and businesses across the State of Oregon in order to help Representative Peter Buckley work with legislators on upcoming House Bills that can either positively or negatively impact Oregon’s “green brand”.  If you received this email bcc I already have your contact info but would appreciate you forwarding this to others who may be in other Oregon counties, or if there is something you think I might not have, please call me at (541) 535-1854 or send me an email at championsofthecommons@gmail.com  Also please check the two sites below and see if you’ve been included.  This data can also be important when in organizing to defeat GMOs on a national level.
Here’s a good reference source, though rather incomplete for Jackson County.  At least it is organized by State, so legislators should be able to get an idea of at least part of what is happening in each Oregon County. If your business isn’t listed, please consider adding it on their site.   http://www.farmerspal.com       Please check this website and if your business is not on their considering entering it.   I posted it on Champions of the Commons facebook page, since I am having difficulty getting shared posts to get on the general GMO Free Jackson County facebook page.  I posted it also on the GMO Free closed group, but many can not get on there.   Another site, which has National listings, that Gary Fowler found is
http://www.localharvest.org/organic-farms/list.jsp  This seems quite comprehensive, and gives farms, csa’s, markets, ranchers, and more categories to find by zip code.  There is even a search feature for beekeepers and other organic products.
Do anyone have an opinion about including biofuels and other value added products that are not food? What about health and healing businesses? what about home gardeners and seed savers?

TIME TO REFRAME THE GMO ISSUE – NATURAL FOODS WERE & ARE THE BEST STANDARD

REFRAMING THE GMO ISSUE: The task ahead is to correctly REFRAME the issue by pointing out that up until the use of DDT and other fossil fuel directives following WWII, all food was “organic”. The word “organic” has allowed the ‘powers that be’ to put those doing correct agriculture with time-tested, planet friendly methods on the defense. We have had to defend what actually is the healthy and natural growing systems that pre-existed for millennia prior to the advent of multi-national corporations selling a mix of chemical products and questionable promotions to farmers in America. Now we have come to a place in time where this truth must be told. They may have more money and a “well-oiled machine” but the Truth is more powerful. So let’s start reminding people that it wasn’t long ago when all food was NATURAL which is exactly what we need to return to. A transition time back to whole systems would eventually mean that the cost of food would come down as healthy and natural will again be the STANDARD. GMO and CHEM/AG is the aberration and that must be exposed.

In The News – Chamber of Commons Heat Sheet

In the News:  A Report from The Chamber of Commons  April 7,2013  championsofthecommons@gmail.com

 

GMOs

–  www.heirloomgardener.com  Spring 2013 Heirloom Gardener Magazine

“Regulators Discover a Hidden Viral Gene in Commercial GMO Crops – new findings in products approved as safety for past 20 years, EFSA (European Food Safety Authoriy) reports this has serious ramifications for crop biotechnology…..but ……even greater ones because if it is a viral gene it may not be safe for human consumption

“EU Freezes Approval of GM Crops to 2014” – The European Commission has decided to freeze the approval process for genetically modified food crops…..the Commissions’ prior approval of GM crops has poisoned relations with 27 EU members.  Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg and Poland have provisions that allow them to block the cultivation of GM crops on their territory

 

http://www.panna.org/blog/     Ground Truth website

March 31, 2013 – “ Bumper crops in India, no GE required” – “Agroecology” the best hope for feeding a hungry world. Farmers in the state of Bihar are setting yield records for rice, potatoes and wheat – without the use of genetically engineered (GE) seeds or pesticides.  www.panna.org/blog/bumper-crops-india-no-ge-required

March 31, 2013 – “Bees need help now! Time to up the ante” – with other options exhausted …..beekeepers are suting EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).  Bees are in trouble and they’re vital to our food system and … economy. They’re responsible for pollinating one in three bits of food we eat.

American Beekeepers cannot survive for long with the toxic environment EPA has supported. www.panna.org/blog/bees-need-help-now-time-ante

Green Gazette – Longest-Running GMO Study Finds Tumors in Rats – This French study involved 200 rats and spanned two years.  Previously the longest study lasted just 240 days, says Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Union and an expert on GMO Research.

 

FAIR TRADE, INDUSTRY

For a Better World: issues and challenges in fair trade – Issue 6 Spring 2013 (a free publication you can find at your Food Co-op or visit their website at www.fairworldproject.org  :

– Why Industrial Hemp?  Article

–  TRADE POLICY REFORM CORNER ACTION ALERT:  NAFTA has had negative and often unintended consequences for many people in North America, including farmers, workers and consumers.  Right now there’s a similar trade agreement being negotiated by 12 countries including USA, Mexico, and Canada called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) The TPP threatens to have effects similar to NAFTa but on a larger scale, threatening human rights, the environment and jobs.

From Peace House Calendar:Trans-Pacific Partnership Action

April 28 & 29

SUNDAY, APRIL 28

Jackson County People’s Assembly on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Just weeks prior to a new TPP negotiating round in Peru, we call on the 99% who are harmed by corporate globalization to oppose the TPP.  We will join cities and towns around the world that are holding community assemblies to discuss the problems with the TPP and the free trade model. Elizabeth Swager of Oregon Fair Trade Campaign will be down to brief community leaders on the TPP negotiations, and to strategize for a scheduled meeting with Senator Wyden’s staff the next morning.Multi-national community resistance put a freeze on the WTO. It stopped the Free Trade Area of the Americas. It can stop the TPP.  4:30 p.m. at the Grass Shack Café,  205 Fern Valley Rd., Phoenix, Oregon (Ext 24 off I-5).

 

MONDAY, APRIL 29

Delegation to Senator Wyden’s office re the TPP

Tell Senator Wyden NOT to FAST TRACK the TPP!  Noon at his office in the Federal Courthouse, 310 West 6th St., Rm 118 in Medford.

For more information, visit http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/oregon/2013/02/12/oregon-

 

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s website   www.sustainableagriculture.net

– “Downstream from your Jeans” by Corrine Platt-Rikkers – GMO seeds that need forever-increasing amount of pesticides and water is costing farmers dearly.  Associated water pollution and “dead zones” discussed.

 

LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL

Community Rights vs. Corporate Control – April 14 4 pm at Josephine County Fairgrounds, Flower Building, A Free public event with Kai Huschke from Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

Move to Amend

 

FUKUSHIMA – Get Involved – Stand Together and Take Action for an End to all Things Nuclear www.nuclearfreeplanet.org

For fact sheet and upcoming events, contact championsofthecommons@gmail.com

Watch for next  IN THE NEWS – next Monday

Catie Faryl (541) 535-1854

letter to the editor about gmo & state attempted takeover of ag decision

Executive Vision

Executive Vision

Trench Art

Trench Art

On Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 8:17 PM, catie faryl <catiefaryl@hotmail.com> wrote:

Letter to the Editor regarding SB 633 and related bills:
It’s not just that Monsanto, Syngenta and other bullying, foreign profit-takers are contaminating our heirloom and regionally adapted seeds and crops. It is also their chemical mixtures of Round-up to kill everything in the soil, avoid plowing and then plant genetically altered seeds that is so destructive.   
Media, business and government blame the public for being sick and “out of shape”, because they are worried about how America can afford health care. It’s the omnipresence of GMOs, refined white GMO beet sugar, GM corn, soy, corn syrup and processed and animal feed, plus unhealthy growing and livestock practices foisted upon the farm communities, that are causing harm. The huge rise in obesity, diabetes, cancers and heart attacks is related to these foods, which is what poor, and beleaguered middle class, and unemployed are habituated to buying since its mass production makes it cheap, available and soothing, though of diminished nutritional value.  
Our air and water are filled with pesticides and chemical fertilizers, killing off animals and insects, polluting streams, rivers, lakes and oceans, giving people asthma and other conditions. We are literally breaking the food chain within nature. The addictive cycle of Chemical, GMO, and Pharmaceutical agriculture must be ended through a massive intervention followed by a period of detoxification and economic reforms.  We must undo the patents that allow mega-corporations to own “intellectual property rights” of genetically modified organisms, genes and seeds and find remedies for binding contracts that force farmers to continue paying and using these products.  
Don’t believe the lies from Chem/AG that their products are safe and their objectives altruistic and that they just want “to feed the world”.  If that were true, billions of dollars wouldn’t have been spent perfecting and owning gene code, but instead used to build wells, and support native and sustainable systems.  80% of the world’s food is still grown in small and mid-size operations, the majority of it by women.
FREE THE FARMERS AND THE LAND FROM THIS CYCLE OF ABUSE!  This tired system in place since WWII is losing its efficacy. It has depleted the soils, bred pesticide-resistant pests and spray resistant plant diseases, and made people lazy, ill and unresponsive. In the 1950s we were told how wonderful DDT was, yet it was finally banned in America in 1972, (when corporations like Monsanto, Dow, and others simply sold those toxins in the third world and polluted THEIR wells and soils.) GMO is being banned all over the world. We need to transition out of it before all our crops are non-exportable and our citizens, animals, and environment deteriorate further.   
Trench Art

Trench Art

Folks, these aren’t Mendel’s peas, seeds or crops anymore!  This is TRANS-SPECIES TAMPERING, the ultimate arrogance, human folly and act of aggression by putting things where things simply do not belong! How it ever became legal for scientific, moral, and political reasons is highly questionable. Everyone needs to stop and reconsider this dangerous practice.  In my book GMO stands for GODDESS MIGHTILY OFFENDED! Catie Faryl Chamber of Commons Champions of the Commons on Facebook www.catiefaryl.net The Law declares him a thief who from the commons steals the goose, but the greater thief the law lets loose who steals the commons from the goose!   

    –   an English Proverb

Opposing Senate Bill SB633 – to remove ag/seed control from Counties to State

Comments for Senate Committee regarding Senate Bill 633, Public Hearing Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The issue of Seeds is truly the debate of our time; it brings all differences of belief and opinion to common ground. Seeds represent our Sovereignty and are at the core of all economic freedom. Seeds are the true wealth given to all people, not just to a few patent holders. “Under all is the Land”* is a main theme of our democratic system therefore legislation that privatizes land, water, seed and genes or puts them under the auspices of Big Government involve great risks of undermining the biological, social and economic stability and survivability of our State and our Country.

It is unwise to tamper with the basic patterns established by Mother Nature. Evidence is mounting that foreshadows vast consequences if our State goes “retrograde” by supporting the trajectory of chemical and monoculture food-growing systems while the rest of the world is implementing more successful practices. France, Peru and many other countries have banned or are tightly controlling genetic modifications and breaking the addictive cycle created by dependence on fossil fuel, out of which the industrial-agricultural complex sprung at the end of the Great Depression and the beginning of World War II.

As an artist and writer who observes and illustrates trends and envisions positive solutions, I see SB 633 as counterproductive to the future of our economy and a disconnection from the rising potential, in fact the necessity, of returning to sane agriculture practices under local control.

It is difficult for me to believe multi-national seed and pesticide companies’ claims that their actions are altruistic and that they just “want to Feed the Planet” when the legacy of DDT and other petroleum-based, Big Oil-subsidiary products have been known as carcinogenic, environmentally dangerous money-makers since Rachel Carson wrote “The Silent Spring” in 1962. The use of DDT was banned in America in 1972, yet  farmers were not encouraged to taper off chemical fertilizers and sprays at that time, but were instructed and directed to use and abuse different ag-drugs.

Right now we have the opportunity to reverse the addiction to genetically modified seeds, Round Up Ready and other chemical products being used in large scale farming that actually give less yield and worse outcomes than what Nature, when respected and understood, can provide.  Let’s show some leadership and forward thinking like Vermont, a leader in wise initiatives across America, and many other States who are applying heavy restrictions on GMOs, requiring labeling and seeking bans.

Southern Oregon is known for its organic and gmo-free foods and lifestyle and the trend across the country and the world is also moving in that direction. We want to keep our State an attractive destination for tourists and new residents. (One out of six people I spoke with while canvassing had just moved to the Rogue Valley because of our relatively clean food, water, and air – their health is demanding it!)

Removing local control of these issues will have, in my opinion, significant economic impact due to more farm failures and decreased allure for tourists, not to mention the impact of limiting our ability to grow healthy foods for our region and for export. Without studying the significant repercussions of Senate Bill 633, including backlash against all exports of edible and grow-able products from America, a huge mistake may be made. We will be unable maintain a regional open pollinated seed crop, which in the future may be more valuable than gold or any other wealth.

As a parent, and someone who cares deeply about people and all sentient beings, I am not buying, serving or consuming the products in question. I’d like my future grandchildren to enjoy a healthy Rogue Valley childhood, and along with thousands of concerned citizens I will continue working to co- create the very best future for Oregon. I ask the Senate Committee to please reject Senate Bill 633.

Sincerely, Catie Faryl, Phoenix, Oregon   March 10, 2013

 

Here are some sources for more information:

U.S.A. produces 53% of GMO crops compared tiny fractions in other countries:

www.ornl.gov/sci/tech/resources

www.genomic.energy.gov

Places where GMOs have been banned:

www.organicconsumers.org/gefood/countrieswithbans.cfm

current.com/…/93975745_peru-bans-genetically-modified-foods-as-…

www.purezing.com/living/toxins/living_toxins_gmofoods.html

Information about health concerns and diseases linked to GMOs:

www.naturalnews.com

www.responsibletechnology.org

Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception and short video summarizing it at www.articles.marcola.com

www.gmofreeworldblogspot.com

www.fridayharborholistichealth.com

http://www.fridayharborholistichealth.com

Videos related to these issues:

“Alcohol can be a Gas” – makes the connection between Big Oil, the destruction of high grade farm fuels through Prohibition and the orchestrated addiction of America to fossil fuels

“The Future of Food”

“Genetic Roulette”

“Fresh”

* Under all is the Land – from National Association of Realtors

King Lear

Asbestos Arks

Asbestos Arks

KING LEAR

The day after seeing King Lear at Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Thomas Theatre, I hurried to the library and checked out three different books about the play.  Of course I’ve seen King Lear at least four or five times, but in the intimate setting of the smallest theatre on OSF’s campus I saw and heard things that I hadn’t truly understood or previously perceived.

One thing that hit home was how very dark and un-redeeming this tragedy is for virtually every character in it.  Next thing was how rift with incredible quotes from the Bard this play is.  If “Ripeness is All” (Act  5, Scene 2) we are really treated to a very dirty, gritty, smelly production this time around!

The set is dark with lots of wrought iron gates, hardware and technology features.  Center stage a “dumbwaiter from hell” serves as a map case for the bequeathed kingdom, a conveyance for darklings in the dark, a sand and fire pit and a hovel hole for hairy homelessness.  A massive staircase stretches upward into the ethereal regions of majesty and ego. It is the golden light leading to an afterlife (whom many will hope for, but few here have earned)  built straight up into the rafters.  Shadows lurk up there too and there’s plenty of noise – timpani drums and indecent, reverberating curses from fathers, and viperous verbal bites from serpent-toothed offspring and pelican daughters.  Set changes and management of props  are cleverly handled by officers in uniform who start out as roadies and techies to handle TVs and other devices, and evolve over the course of the play to security guards, Police, a full riot gear Swat Team and finally a terrifying military force.

I always try to read the Director’s notes in the Playbill before the action starts, and also I like to close my eyes when the house goes dark, and open them to a new world.  I was instantly struck by a direct reference by Director Bill Rauch to Climate Change – “Eternally relevant, this play has a renewed urgency in our current era of frightening weather extremes.  We have left intact some of the often-cut political machinations.” In this story, “sin is plated with gold” (Act 4, Scene 6) and “even dogs are obeyed in office”!

What is most important to me about theatre, and why I write reviews, is to see what we can learn about our own times and experiences from art and drama of the past . . . . Bill Rauch continues in his notes to say “ One of my all-time favorite lines is in King Lear – The Storm Rages”.  Director Rauch touches on the plight of the homeless in his note “How does the former king describe a mentally challenged homeless person groveling in the mud as “Thou art the thing itself? ”.  This production of King Lear doesn’t pull any punches.  It exposes all our folly and foolishness; no age group, class, caste, sex or group is spared, and the visceral events remind us of how close we all live on the edge by the grace of benevolent climes and with the support and love from community, good friends and families.

“Elf all my hairs!”  (Edgar, Act 2, Scene 3); I love that line!  As if all that befalls us is caused by some impish malice!  Sometimes it happens that “Age is unnecessary”. . .  (Act 2, Scene 1) and we become useless. “The young arise when the old do fall!” There is a tempest in Lear’s mind and his anger is riled when his youngest and favorite daughter does not follow suit with over-glorious (and false) praise and glorified, flowery flatteries that her two older sisters have bestowed on their father, Lear.  Lear has apportioned one third of his kingdom to each of his daughters, but ends up cursing and banishing his favorite, Cordelia, when she answered him with facts and reminders of her devotion to him, rather than making grand yet meaningless statements like her sisters.

This sets into action the tragic story of how things in families can go from so-so to bad to worst.  Halfway through I began to wonder, where is Lear’s wife? (clues in Act 3, Scene 4).  Without a mother present, the family dynamics seem to have gone completely a-rye!  The question is raised   “Is man no more than this – unaccomodated man is an animal!”.  What incestuous nonsense has transpired or just how demented are all these people?  The two older sisters prove to be quite self-serving and disloyal as the play evolves, but one must wonder, beyond the obvious jealousy of the favoritism previously showered on Cordelia by her father, that there is a huge unbalance in the mix.  I suppose inheriting the wealth and power Lear has passed on to his heirs,(pre-mortem and with plenty of hooks)  is motivation enough.  But all around, there is distrust, anger and envy.  Envy and ego make a deadly combination, and as has been said about the Seven Deadly Sins, envy is the one without redeeming gratifications of the carnal senses.

The story of King Lear is reminiscent of the Saturn and his offspring.  His “power does curtsy to his wrath”.  Is it creeping senility or Alzheimer’s that adds wind and fire to this storm?  Like Saturn, Lear is so intent on his rage that he ends up destroying the things and people dearest to him.  Saturn ate his children and Lear’s appetite for self-aggrandizement and praise unleashes all his rage and unhinges his sensibilities.  The loyal fool and angelic Kent try to pull Lear back from the brink, but his anger has blinded him even as the Earl of Gloucester is cruelly blinded.

When trust is gone, and dragons’ wrath is given rein to storm, forgetting all prior sweetness and love, lives are lost. “As flies to wanton boys are we to the Gods, times plague when madmen lead the blind”.  Yet in Lear’s story, as ours, we can only look to our own misdeeds and “darker purpose” to place the blame.  Human folly is Infinite Jest.

Some say when we’re born we cry because we miss God. In this play Shakespeare states “When we are born we cry to be borne to this stage of fools”.  Quote the Fool, “Prithee, nuncle, be contented: ‘tis a naughty (wicked) night to swim in.  Now a little fire in a wild field were like an old lecher’s heart – a small spark, all the rest on’s body cold.  Look, here comes a walking fire.”

Catie Faryl    www.catiefaryl.net     March 5, 201