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GMOFreeUSA and their pals love their autocrats

GMOFreeUSA and their pals love their autocrats

UPDATE: This is an update of a post I did on 6/13/2014. I felt it needed to be posted again, since I just found another authoritarian country the antis love, Gambia.

Since the Anti-GMO movement doesn’t have the facts or real science their side, they hitch their wagon to anybody or anything that promotes their cause no matter how illegitimate. When they’re not doing that they’re making shit up.

Their latest nonsense is favoriting countries with less than stellar democratic leanings who are banning GMOs. Here’s GMOFREEUSA’s latest hero country

thailandcoup1

Seriously? They are celebrating a military coup because they champion organic farming? Time Magazine had this to say about the coup

Since seizing power, Thailand’s military has crushed all forms of dissent, imposed a nightly curfew and imposed severe curbs on civil liberties, and taken over all government departments.

Hey! They like Russia and Putin, too.

And of course, what list be be complete without China?

Again, seriously? Have they not been paying attention to rash of real poisonous food scandals? From Atlantic Magazine, It Will Be Hard to Beat China’s Latest Food Contamination Scandal

The Telegraph has this handy little list Top 10 Chinese Food Scandals

But, NO GMOs!

Could there be a more imbecilic movement than the Anti-GMO movement? Well, the anti-vaccine movement, but then again, many Antis belong to that movement as well.

UPDATE: Friend of the blog mem_somerville alerted me to the fact that Syria also banned GMOs. I found this

syria

 

 

Gambia is the latest fave rave of the antis. The President of Gambia has reportedly said he will “slit the throats” of homosexuals and “no white person can do anything about it”. This March, the EU cut aid to Gambia due to human rights violations. A report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has found evidence of significant human rights violations in Gambia.  See article here

 

 

 

Why do we have to pay more to eat local?

Why do we have to pay more to eat local?

 I grew up above the grocery store my dad owned in a small town in northeast Pennsylvania. Most of our stuff was local. We’re talking 1960s.

Steigerwalt brought his eggs.  The Lehigh Valley Dairy* and Zimmerman’s gave us milk and orangeade and iced tea. They were local. The meat came from the various meat-packing houses like A&B and Swift’s, while being national and regional companies, used locally bought livestock. Whitaker supplied the fresh corn. I used to go with my dad to get it.

(As an aside, when I went to visit my mom in the hospital before she died, there was this old couple there. My mom said, “Do you know this guy?” Nope. He said that he remembered me. I was the kid who unloaded the crates of eggs that he delivered.)

And, as another aside I baled hay, had my arms up to my elbows inside a cow turning a calf around, shoveled shit out horse stalls, had to hold onto a horse condom when the stud pulled out, and all kinds of other stuff that made me realize I should pursue other avenues.

Oh man, I’ll never forget that cow moment. My cousin called over the old farmer across the way to help with the breached birth. I remember it like it was yesterday, and this was like 1969. The old man said, “The kid has to put his hands up there to turn the calf around.” I looked at him and said, “I don’t think so.” He looked at me, dead serious, and said, “If you don’t, it dies and that’s money.” (It was because I had thin arms. It was easier than them doing it.)

So much for the romantic old days.

Back when most everything was local, at least in the summer, it was affordable to the average person. It was common, not “artisanal.” The people where I grew up were mostly working class, factory people.

Sure, people had gardens, but those were mostly tended to by the wives of the men who were off at work in the factories. That stuff was used mostly for canning for the winter. It was utilitarian and not some weird fetish.

So, the question I have is, why should locally sourced food now come at such premium prices?

Maybe, because I’m the Hey you kids get out of my yard! guy gives me a skewed perspective. I remember when the food these nitwits want never existed, at least in my lifetime. The local farmers used pesticides, much worse than today, and they used whatever new stuff came along to make their lives easier, and they still couldn’t feed the whole area. Food had to brought in from out of the area to make up the difference.

Those fuckers worked hard and they had no notions of organic or harmony with nature.  They busted their asses to fight nature so they could make a living.

And no one would ever think of telling farmers how to grow their food.

* The Lehigh Valley Dairy was the so-called “milk money” that was involved in the Nixon scandal

History is elusive to the true believing Organicker

History is elusive to the true believing Organicker

 

… And in places like Mooney’s Market circa 1920 and 1939, Palmerton, Pa. To whom do these simpletons think farmers sold their food?

twostores

 

 

apnyc1936
A&P NYC 1936

 

Then there’s these two excerpts from an 1872 book by Daniel Mc Cabe, Lights and Shadows of New York Life

With the first light of dawn, and frequently long before the darkness has passed away, the market farmers and gardeners of Long Island and New Jersey crowd the boats with their huge wagons heavily loaded with vegetables and fruits for the city markets.

The stock seems immense, but it disappears rapidly.  Fruits command high prices in New York, but sell readily.  The market is very rarely overstocked.  The same may be said of vegetables.  Good vegetables are always in demand.  Those who furnish pure, fresh vegetables and meats are sure of a prosperous trade, but the amount of tainted wares of this kind disposed of daily is surprising.  Nothing is lost here.  Everything finds a purchaser.

 

 

Anti-GMO/Organic activists… GIMME! GIMME! GIMME! ME! ME! ME!

Anti-GMO/Organic activists… GIMME! GIMME! GIMME! ME! ME! ME!

MONSANTOMILK

Lately it has occurred to me that along with buying into nonsense and bad science, the Anti-GMO and organic crowd sounds like a bunch of entitled, spoiled children. Look at the GMOInside meme above. The crowd is always making demands about their food.

Who makes demands about their food and drink? Well, fed, affluent, self-entitled westerners, that’s who. More to the point, assholes.

When I was a kid, if anybody went into a store or to a farm and and demanded they sell/grow only things the way we liked, we would have been laughed out of the place. The farmers may have socked you one.

Yet, these organic antis feel they right to demand things. They have this self-entitled idea that they have the right to dictate because it’s what they believe. That’s right, believe.

My dad had a grocery store and people would come in and ask if he could stock this or that. They didn’t demand he stock it, especially at the expense of other products. If some customer came in and demanded that he stock XYZ produce instead of ABC produce, he would have told them to go somewhere else.

What kind of mental disorder does one have to have to fear their entire food supply? This has been written elsewhere, but these people should feel lucky the have ability to bitch about their food. In too many places in the world, people are starving. I think anything that works, whether it be organic, conventional, or GMO should be part of the solution.

Even better yet, how about using the best parts of all those methods? How about using what works?

Kickstarter campaign to build anti-GMO Scaredy Cat Town

Kickstarter campaign to build anti-GMO Scaredy Cat Town

The anti-gmo/organic crowd seems to be a bunch of ‘fraidy cats. Corporations, gmos, pesticides, most of the modern world get them squealing like stuck pigs. Everything’s giving us cancer and all kinds of other scary diseases.

And because they feel impotent to stop it, they create scenarios where everyone is on the take and it’s one big conspiracy. Something needs to be done to help these poor creatures.

It is in that spirit I suggest we start a Kickstarter campaign to buy these scaredy cats their own town where they can go live and be free of the pernicious and deadly effects of progress. We’ll call the town, Scaredy Cat Town.

In Scaredy Cat Town, they will be free to plant their organic heirloom seeds and live a life free from health laws and the modern age.

Of course, the internet will be banned as well as computers because the internet was created by the military, which they hate and because IBM, which was instrumental in starting the home computer age, built computers for the Nazis.  That makes the internet and computers bad.

Since they feel so enamored of tradition and old school methods of living life, the town will be based on life as it was in the late 1800s. Lots of labor intensive living.

But wait, where will their lighting come from? Gas? Oh, no. Extracting gas is an environmental no-no. They’ll have to get their lighting from fires made with wood. Uh oh, can’t do that either because they don’t want to destroy our old growth forests.

Well, solar must be the answer. Oops, you need modern technology to create solar panels and that is an environmental nightmare as well.

Oh, and no modern medicine. Much of modern medicine has been created by unnatural methods and in many cases by GE. Only traditional herbs and secret spices will be allowed to cure illness and disease.

This isn’t that crazy of an idea. In the 1960s, the hippies moved to communes which pretty much did these very things. That worked out so well, that communes are thriving today in the 21st Century.

Yeah, this post is snarky. But I think it points out, as I’ve written before, somewhere along the line the hippie ethos blended with progressive thought. Although, It was a non-gmo hybrid.

The anti-gmo/organic movement is appealing to a well fed, first world, urban, western, liberal left. And what they want is for the people who supply their food to work hard to supply them with it. Rather than allow their food providers, i.e, farmers to do what works best for them, they advocate labor intensive work… by others… to supply them with their food.

They want the coveniences of modern life, but can’t grasp the concept that all progress comes with risks, trade-offs and benefits.

The anti-GMO movement is anti-science/progress. They said so.

The anti-GMO movement is anti-science/progress. They said so.

One of the issues rolling around regarding the anti-gmo movement is whether they are anti-science. The issue has been bandied about on various blogs and columns and in the Twittersphere.  After all, the movement isn’t against all science, just the science that disagrees with their worldview, and that worldview seems to be corporations + science = bad.

I happened to stumble across a Reason Magazine article from 2001 which might help decide the issue. It is written by Ronald Bailey and titled  Rebels Against the Future. Witnessing the birth of the global anti-technology movement

Bailey starts off by quoting Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project.

“Major anti-technology movements will be active in the U.S. and elsewhere by 2030.”

Much to Bailey’s credit, he saw that future was now, or then, as they case may be.

Bailey attended the 2000 International Forum on Globalization’s Teach-In on Technology and Globalization held at Hunter College in New York City. What he came away with foreshadows the rise of the anti-gmo movement. It was at this confab that various mossbacked 60s activist groups and their young fellow travelers made their case against the future.

If it’s new, they hate it. What they fear and loathe most is biotechnology, but now some are beginning to train their sights on nanotechnology as well… Whenever one of speakers revealed shocking truths about corporations (always invoked simply as they), the audience would murmur in horrified dismay: “They can move genes between species!” or “They are patenting genes!” or “They have 1,200 nanotech patents!” It seems that few of the attendees had bothered to read a paper for the past few years, so all this was news to them. “Progressives” they may call themselves, but they certainly haven’t been keeping up with progress. (my emphasis)

It is now 13 years later and that mindset resonates with too many progressives.

The goal of the Teach-In, according to conference organizer and IFG head Jerry Mander (best known for his book Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television), is to “bring together the protest movement born in Seattle with the leading critics of technologies, Luddites if you will.” (my emphasis)

Proudly Luddite.

And what is it about technology that scares them?

“…technology’s symbiotic relationship with corporate power,” according to Mander. He doesn’t much care for the Internet because he thinks “it’s facilitating the greatest centralization of unregulated corporate power in history.” Besides the Internet, “now we have biotechnology and its younger sibling nanotechnology, which can potentially redesign nature from the atomic level up,” declared Mander. “With these technologies, nothing will be outside of corporate control. They will achieve the full realization of a bionic society.”

There it is. Corporations, the boogeyman of the left.

Now we all know that corporations are not good citizens and are only in it for the money. But to fight against progress and science because of the paranoid idea that corporations might misuse it is worse than misguided. It’s stupid.

Bailey also quotes Pat Mooney, (hopefully, no relation) head of the Canadian Rural Advancement Foundation International

“Although it’s a long way off, they are moving toward creating nano-assemblers that could manufacture anything,” explained Mooney. “You could take materials from sewage, air, water, anything to build what you want.” He added, “Just read the White House press release from January 23 last year. It promises that nanotechnology could clean up the environment, end hunger, cure disease, and extend life. It’s scary.” (again my emphasis)

Huh? What?

I’ve said this before but I’m sill trying to figure out when the dumbass, Luddite hippie ethos merged with progressive thought?

There’s more nuttiness. You have to read the whole article. Rebels Against the Future

 

Anti-GMO movement are liars and a disgrace to progressive activism

Anti-GMO movement are liars and a disgrace to progressive activism

Never in the history of progressive movements have so few lied to so many. That pretty much sums up the anti-gmo movement. It is the most dishonest, wretched and immoral movement to ever come out of the left. They traffic in lies, obfuscation, threats and violence.

It used to be progressives, liberals and the left based their arguments on evidence and facts. They may have been coming from different perspectives but the debate was honest. The anti-gmo movement has jettisoned that honesty and intellectual rigor. They have not only allowed fringe crazies into the house, they have allied with them.

The anti-gmo movement can’t deal with facts and evidence. They dismiss every challenge to their fabrications and distortions with allegations of industry propaganda. One of the biggest offenders in this area is GMWatch, an anti-gmo group that would make make Goebbels proud. (Yup, I went there)

Whenever a progressive writer decides to do some research into this issue and they come to realize the activists are full of shit, the discrediting machine goes into full gear. Nobody does this better than GMWatch.

When environmentalist Mark Lynas did his mea culpa on gmos, the GMWatch propaganda machine went into overdrive. They questioned his bona fides as a “founding member” of the anti-gmo movement.

Now, whether he was or not, is beside the point. What GMWatch did was not refute his evidence and facts but embarked on a smear campaign to discredit him and thereby his facts.

The latest victim of GMWatch is Nathanael Johnson of GRIST who did a multi-part series on gmos to separate the non-gmo wheat from the chaff. What was his crime? He dared to believe actual experts in the biotech field.

GMWatch, or rather Claire Robinson, Minister of Propaganda at GMWatch wrote:

Being wrong on GM as often as he is, ignoring or twisting corrections to support his preconceived views, and in the process misleading the readers of a till now respected publication like Grist, doesn’t make him exciting, creative, or cool. It just makes him an unreliable source.

Wow, what brass ones she has. If there is anyone who engages in that behavior its GMWatch.

It seems that if you work in biotech for a living, that excludes you from being a reliable source in the minds of the antis. It would be like dismissing the expertise of a heart surgeon because he does that for a living.

Slowly, as mainstream and progressive journalists come to see through their lies and bullshit, the antis like GMW are going nuts. They have turned to attacking those who see through their lies. Since they don’t have the science on their side they claim those who have changed their minds as falling for industry propaganda. They’re also big on cherry picking and taking things out context

GMWatch is proficient at this technique. What’s even more lame is that they link to their sources and when you actually read the source, it doesn’t say what they claim.

One of their latest bits of nonsense is in response to Golden Rice. They quote  the World Health Organization as saying  “Vitamin A supplementation has already “averted an estimated 1.25 million deaths since 1998 in 40 countries.” This is true.  What they left out was the next part “…supplementation capsules lasts only 4-6 months, they are only initial steps towards ensuring better overall nutrition and not long-term solutions” and “Food fortification takes over where supplementation leaves off. “

And then you get the physical destruction of gmo field trials. The very same activists who claim there haven’t been enough studies, destroy field trials that are designed to do just that. The  latest travesty was the destruction of a Golden Rice trial field in the Philippines. Greenpeace and others applauded.

Side note: Greenpeace tweeted that the Russians were “illegally” boarding their ship in the Arctic. That’s rich. A group that engages in destruction of property whining about illegality.

But wait…there’s more. Not only do the antis promote lies and destruction of property, scientists report having received death threats. One of those scientists is Kevin Folta who has been in the forefront of trying to dispel the lies peddled by the anti-gmo Philistines.

Folta, a stout yeoman for science if there ever was one, has written on his blog, Illumination that he’s received more than few death threats over the past few years. The latest salvo of veiled threats came after he flew to Hawaii to try to get a dialogue going regarding the science of biotech. Hawaii has become the latest gmo battleground.

email1If death threats aren’t enough, Folta reports that activists are now creating fake websites purporting to be the original biotech sites and impersonating biotech scientists.

Critics of biotechnology are now stealing the identities of reliable information sources, creating bogus inflammatory websites, and then promoting them as the real thing.  Why?  They realize that these sources of legitimate, unbiased science communication have appeal to those in the middle seeking quality information.

I highly recommend Folta’s blog. I have never met the man, but I have had extensive digital communications with him. He’s as honest as they come and due to that, he is one of the top targets of the anti-gmo activists like GMWatch.

And speaking of GMWatch which we were, here is their notion of what science is

Even if such a “consensus” of GMO safety did exist, it wouldn’t be worth the paper it was written on. Science does not advance in the manner of a flock of sheep, by “consensus”, but through the generation of new data. The new data in turn lead to new conclusions that build a new paradigm. It doesn’t matter if just one scientist or hundreds generate the new data.  (my emphasis)

What our good Claire fails to understand is the consensus she derides is arrived at, not because of one scientist, but studies that have been replicated enough times there is no doubt. Then it becomes a consensus. Robinson and GMWatch borrow from the climate denial camp when they assign more weight to fringe scientists whose flawed work has never been reproduced and has been discredited by the overall scientific community.

Robinson then goes on to play the Galileo gambit.

Galileo didn’t have “consensus” support for his observation that the earth went round the sun. But because the data supported him, people eventually came round to admitting he was right.

RationalWiki describes this gambit

The Galileo gambit, or Galileo fallacy, is the notion that if you are vilified for your ideas, you must be right. It refers to Galileo Galilei’s famous persecution at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church for his defence of heliocentrism in the face of the orthodox Biblical literalism of the day. People use this argument repeatedly in response to serious criticisms that more often than not they just don’t understand.

They go on to say

Cranks who use the gambit to claim persecution by “big science” often fail to see the irony in the comparison — it was the Catholic Church that censored Galileo, not the “scientific establishment.”

An additional irony arises when we consider that if the maverick idea does manage to amass enough evidence to win over the majority, it will become the new consensus — at which point, by the fallacy’s own reasoning, the idea must become wrong!

The bottom line is the anti-gmo groups are a disgrace to honest progressive activism. It makes me question the motives of the groups like GMWatch.   It makes me angry that groups like GMWatch are liars and frauds. The fact that a non-scientist of average intelligence like me can easily debunk their lies and cherry picking should be an alert to the average person who is looking for honest information.

March against Monsanto: NYC version

March against Monsanto: NYC version

models

First off, if you’re going to have a protest about how we’re all being poisoned, you need to have it led by healthy, well-fed, good-looking people.

Second, you need music and what better music to have than the Occupy Wall Street All-No-Star Band with special guest, Zuccotti Park Sax Guy.

Saturday’s March against Monsanto was everything I expected it to be. The one thing I didn’t expect was how the protest stayed on point. In almost every protest I’ve participated in since the 1970s, there were always groups pimping their own causes(s) which took away from the actual issue of the protest. This one didn’t.

One of the reasons may be this isn’t really an issue that resonates with the wider progressive movement. Or maybe it was just a problem of outreach.

I missed the rally, but I did arrive in time to catch the march to Washington Square where there would be a teach-in where people could discuss the issue in groups. What that meant was let’s stand around looking serious and nod our heads knowingly in agreement. Washington Square was a sea of signs plastered with all the bad science and misinformation and surprisingly, I had very few Woody Allen-Marshall McLuhan moments.

My first encounter was with a guy who had a button that read, Stop Monsanto. Ask me why. I did and he wouldn’t tell me. Seriously. I said, “You have a button that says ask me, so I am.” He sheepishly smiled and responded, “That’s just what the button says.” Then he scurried away.

My next little chat was with a woman manning(?) a table. She was actually very nice and claimed to be a nurse. She echoed the talking points about weed resistance, mono cropping etc. I explained that weed resistance was an age-old problem and farmers have always had to stay one step ahead of the weeds. It wasn’t just a gmo problem. That’s where I got my first dog head tilt.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I asked her if gmos were so dangerous, why were they so popular among farmers? “Well, they want to make a profit, right? Next!

Meandering around and listening in on the discussion groups it dawned on me, every discussion was one talking point after the other. It was like listening to the gmo rerun channel.

I came across a how to detoxify from gmos discussion. It was more a pitch for Isogenics than a real discussion. But even though the audio in this short video is bad at times due to the wind, what I want you to see is the guy at the beginning.  He is rambling on about the new proposed strain of gmo wheat that will eat your liver and kill your kids. He makes another appearance later.

I saw a trio holding signs, one of with the usual gamut of the dangers of gmos. Where did she get her information? “Have you ever heard of the Institute for Responsibility Technology?  I’m not sure if I actually physically cringed, but I had to explain to her the history of Jeffrey Smith.  Second dog head tilt of the day or maybe it was blank stare.

They were thinking of taking their protest show on the road and join some others in Times Square. I warned them that might not be such a good idea because the cops don’t “take kindly to protesters going off the Rez.”  They could wind up in the jail for the holiday weekend.

One guy said, “I’ll ask that cop over there. Here hold this.”  And he handed me his sign. Not wanting to seem like a party pooper, I took it. The result was this damning photo taken at my request.

monsantomonopoly

Finally, I came across Vegan Guy.  He had a nice little crowd.  As I walked up I heard him saying, “Don’t take my word for it. Look it up yourself. Look at the ingredients in vaccines…” I immediately spoke up and asked if he was anti-vax.  He stopped mid-sentence and looked at me, eyes wide and smiled a toothy, Vegan grin,

“I”m not taking about vaccines right now but that is a conversation we can have privately.”

“But are you anti-vax?”

He ignored it and continued talking as I said, “Oh, so you are,” getting a slight giggle from the crowd.

That’s when I noticed Liver Guy standing next to me. I had to talk to this guy. He said he was pro-vaccine which I said was a good thing. I asked him why he called gmos contamination. He told me that just because it’s created in a lab doesn’t mean it’s not contamination.

The conversation turned to pesticides and I asked why Bt was okay when sprayed by organic farmers and not okay when one of the genes was engineered in the plant. I explained Bt was weak and degraded quickly in the environment due to rain and sunshine which necessitates more spraying… Well, you can listen to part of it here.

Now, this was that guy from the earlier video who was talking about the gmo liver, kid killing wheat and he tells me that I should have brought my sources with me? The last line of that audio cracked me up. I told him yes, and his last words to me were, “I’m moving over there,”  and then skedaddled. The audio at that point is weak. I really wanted to post that.

I  didn’t get a chance to ask him if he had his sources with him about the child-killing gmo wheat, but he was gone in a flash. I should have led with that.

So, what did we learn? We learned that although many people had signs about tumerous rats etc, very few them knew who Seralini is and weren’t familiar with his study. Around the same number didn’t know who Jeffrey Smith is.

Among those who did know, there were many head tilts when I mentioned Seralini and Smith were frauds who refuse to publicly debate scientists who want to challenge them.

Probably the biggest eye-opener was that for the first time, the real agenda was out in the wide open. It’s not just about labeling. The end goal is to eliminate gmos. There were no Just Label It signs. It was all about ridding the world of the poison of gmos and sending Monsanto packing. It’s about the misguided notion that if you bring down Monsanto, you eliminate the technology of gmos.

It’s about time the activists running the shows in various states come clean. They’ve been allowed to dance around the issue for too long. Labeling is a red herring. If they feel gmos are so dangerous, then why stop at labeling?

The final takeaway was that, given my non-confrontational conversations, save Liver Guy, I’ve come to believe the fanatical, fire-breathing,  anti-gmo crackpots on the interwebs are just that, crazy keyboard jockeys who have no relation to  their real world counterparts. And that’s the depressing thing. (Although, I have a sneaking suspicion Liver Guy is one of those people and he escaped from the basement. Earlier in our conversation he said he wasn’t there to debate, but to “impart information. Not to discuss or debate, but impart” )

I want the anti-gmo crowd to be this one-dimensional cartoon. It would make it much easier to dismiss them.  Instead, they’re nice, friendly, smart, well-meaning dumbasses. Just the kind of people I could hang around with and well, pretty much do.

Oh, I almost forgot Illuminati Guy. I had no clue what the hell he was talking about, except the fact we were the only ones who are hearing this information. I’m not quite sure what that information is, but I am one of the lucky few outside the Illuminati that knows it.

Is organic farming the boy in the bubble of agriculture?

Is organic farming the boy in the bubble of agriculture?

In their opposition to GMOs, organic farmers point to the possible contamination of their crops. The use of the word contamination in itself is hyperbole and note the qualifier, possible. What they mean is cross-pollination, a less scary sounding word. Their vocabulary is full of maybescould happens, and what ifs?

Organic farmers seem to be feel everything modern is a threat to their crops and it doesn’t even have to be that modern. Conventional farming, large-scale farming, the Moops. Everything seems to be a threat organic farming including food safety rules.

 He and other organic farmers say stricter food-safety regulations, developed after a cluster of outbreaks of bacterial contamination in spinach and lettuce in 2006, threaten the principles upon which their farms are based.

If your principles are at odds with food safety, perhaps you might want to re-think your principles.

The Organic Seed Trade Association (OSGATA) lawsuit against Monsanto is a classic example of paranoid what if thinking.  They sued to have Monsanto promise not to sue organic farmers if their crops get contaminated from neighboring gmo fields. They admitted in court filings that it hasn’t happened yet, but it might happen. 

Monsanto, in response, offered up the reasoning that why would they sue someone who isn’t using, and has no use for their seeds?

Here is an aerial view of the lead plaintiff  Jim Gerritson’s, organic farm taken from their site. Where is this contamination going to come from? Is Monsanto going to fly over his farm in planes dropping seeds so they can sue him?

woodprairie

Last year, a federal court dismissed the suit. It is currently under appeal.

The latest threat  to organic farms comes to us from Shoreham, Vermont.  Raj Bhatka, is a kind of unlikable guy who was fired from the Trump reality show The Apprentice and ran an unsuccessful campaign for Congress.  He built a rye whiskey bottling plant, Whistle Pig on some farmland and wants to start distilling his own rye whiskey and his organic farming neighbors are against it.  They, you guessed it, feel the distillery might be a threat to their crops.

WCAX.com reports:

Bhatka’s neighbors, George Gross and Barbara Wilson, who own a small organic berry farm called Solar Haven Farm, have voiced concerns about potential traffic, noise and black fungal growth or BFG, which can be produced from ethanol in the fermentation and whiskey-aging process.

“We believe the ethanol could be a potential source [my emphasis] of mold on our crop,” Gross said.

The article says that both sides have spent tens of thousands of dollars in this booze fueled fight. Bhatka says he’s not a rich guy and that “In an attempt to work through the rules, there are ample loopholes for malcontent and slightly insane neighbors with a budget to slow things down.”

His neighbors claim they are not trying to stop him just to ensure he follows the rules. George Gross claims they are not trying to queer his deal. “It’s not our intention to stop WhistlePig. We want them to be compliant with the law and respect the community and neighbors they have.”

When Gross refers to the community and neighbors, he is referring specifically to his farm. The town Selectmen have no problem with Bhatka. And seemingly, neither do most people in the area.

The aptly named Geoff Green, Environmental Commission coordinator for the area said, “Even a whiskey distillery can have potential big impacts on the environment and that’s what it’s all about.”

The angle the Gross’ are using is to claim that Bhatka’s business has been running for two years without a Act 250 permit which is required since his business is not considered a farm. According to state law, to be considered a farm, 50%  of the ingredients have to be grown on the farm. Since the state says the whiskey’s main ingredient is water they don’t qualify, even though they grow rye for their whiskey, organic rye no less.

Organic farming seems to be the Boy in the Bubble of agriculture. Organic farmers are always complaining about threats to their method of farming; and that’s what it is, a method. If organic farming is so fragile, how on earth do they think it is a viable and sustainable way of farming?

After SCOTUS victory, Monsanto calls it quits

After SCOTUS victory, Monsanto calls it quits

Hours after their victory in the Supreme Court, seed and chemical giant Monsanto filed for bankruptcy citing the enormous cost of “buying everybody off.”

At a hastily called press conference, Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant told assembled reporters the company never really thought through their “buying everybody off, scheme .”

“I mean, do you know how many people are in the Nation Academy of Sciences? Something like 2,000. So, a few million to a scientific body here and a few million to every independent scientist in the world there, and it begins to add up.” That’s not even including  having to pay those thousands of keyboard jockeys who defend us on internet comment boards. 

The final straws were the members of the Supreme Court. “Those bastards didn’t come cheap,” Grant sighed.

Anti-gmo activists were left slack jawed. “We just lost our boogeyman,” one activist lamented. “It’s not fair.”

Asked what was next for the bankrupt Monsanto, Grant explained that it was too early to tell, but excitedly suggested they were thinking of getting into the organic farming business.  “Man, do you know what a cash cow that racket is? I was in Whole Foods the other day and they get like 4 bucks for a freakin’ tomato. Sweet. We’ve gotta get in on that action.”

Hours after the announcement, Organic Consumer’s Association honcho Ronnie Cummins and alt-health freak Mike Adams had to be talked down off a Maharishi University rooftop after Jeffrey Smith pleaded with them saying, “Cmon guys. We can still make stuff up about gmos.”

In a related story, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said she planned to retire from the Court and buy the Bronx.

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