Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monsanto: The Devil Isn't Dead Yet

From Centro de Periodismo Investigativo comes a disturbing story about Monsanto's apparent abrogation of the laws of Puerto Rico in order to produce seeds for their North American market, "'I am not opposed in principle to experiments done with transgenics,' said an agronomist close to the seed business. 'What bothers me is that they are subsidized to produce a product that is not for here, that does not contribute to the local agricultural economy and does not support better wages for farmers who are experiencing a difficult situation, such as coffee farmers.'" 

It is a puzzlement, at least to me, that Monsanto breaks the law because they seem to have paid off enough politicians on the mainland that the law conforms to Monsanto's needs.  Why break it - just buy yourself some more politicians and have them change it in favor of their needs? 

The More we learn about Monsanto, their business practices, their complete preoccupation with making profits at the expense of human health, the environment and any sense of decency, it amazes me that they are allowed to continue to operate with such impunity.  The fallacy that genetically modified seeds produce anything more than misery and environmental degradation are now documented and that they don't feed anyone any better than non-modified seeds is a matter of USDA record.  Time has come to roll back their pollution of the environment - the sooner the better.  We may never be able to recover some of the genetic losses caused by the indiscriminate pollution of their Frankengenes.  

Our work in saving seeds is not done and will not be done.  Monsanto has proven we cannot put our trust in corporations and government to do the right thing as far as our food supply is concerned.  We must continue to be vigilant and responsible for our food supply and that means our seeds. 


Monday, November 28, 2011

I'm Already Thinking 'Tomatoes'...

Aren't you?  The day is not far off when seed starters will be starting seeds of tomatoes (my first seeding out is in January!) and, because I order my tomato seeds online, yes, it is the beginning of tomato season for sure.

I don't count on getting tomatoes like these at The Learning Garden...
Seed Savers Exchange posted a link on Facebook which lead me to another link where I found Tomato Fest online, listing the Top Ten Tomatoes for 2011, based on their sales last year.  Before you go there, let me warn you, if you are gardening along the coast (Sunset Zones 22 and 24) you can drool over the beefsteak tomatoes all you want, but be advised, they can be dicey in our ocean influenced climate.  Even though I have proven this wrong once, I have proven it right more than once and I still hold to the thought that large tomatoes do not set fruit well in our climate because they need 85° over a 24 hour period to set fruit.  That is hard to count on when the ocean flow in the evening often chills us down into the 60's.  Having said that, you can now go and lust over these varieties.  Hey, buy the seeds and give them to a friend in Pasadena for Christmas.  How thoughtful!   Then show up in harvest season...  Heh heh...

Also note, along with this post at Tomato Fest, there is also a sale on tomato seeds.  How convenient!  Yes, give tomato seeds for Christmas to everyone (well, at least the locals) and enjoy the excess from several friends and neighbors - take note of what was grown and attend SLOLA meetings (next one December 17th!) and let us show you how to save the seeds for yourself and the library!

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and all are looking forward to a warm and loving December holiday season.  For all who want to enjoy a stress free moment in December, The Learning Garden hosts a Winter Solstice celebration, starting 6:30 PM on the 22nd until the fire goes out.  Bring something warm to drink (we'll have tea and coffee for those who bring their own cup) and maybe a sweet treat, we'll have a fireplace and a ceremony to enjoy.  No gifts, no cards, nothing special to wear (but something warm is a must!), and no stress.  Just come out and observe this important end/beginning on the calendar with peace and reflection.  

What a concept!


Friday, November 25, 2011

Another Blow to Monsanto: Roundup Pesticide Linked to Serious Soil Damage

It's hard not to gloat (so pardon me while I gloat).  This bit of news comes from the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), one of the most dedicated apologists for Monsanto and proponents of the myth of 'get big or get out' and all the mega-argri-business model of farming that has wrecked the environment, destroyed the economy of middle America, de-populated the small towns and allowed genetic modification to be marketed as a safe and sane way to create more food for Americans to throw away.  
As an organic grower from the early '70's when the organic movement didn't have the science to back it up, I assure one and all that this is but the very beginning of the avalanche of damning reports Monsanto will have to face in the coming years.  It doesn't take a brilliant mind to understand that the methodology employed by Monsanto and their claims ran counter to the ways and means of nature - and if humans have learned anything since they started running around on two legs and began waving the other two in the air, the one sure thing you can't do is fight Mother Nature.  Any thing running counter to Mother Nature will be an expensive and destructive proposition.  And guess what?  Genetic engineering is an expensive and destructive proposition. 
The destruction of the soil and the critters in the soil alone make the use of Roundup a practice that should never have been tolerated.  To join that with  'genetic engineering' that was essential to make a 'working' scheme, was merely a marketing project undertaken by Monsanto to sell more and more Roundup.  There was no thought as to what this would do to the people who used these products, no thought of the damage inflicted on the environment, no consideration of what might happen to the people who consumed these products, no thought about economic consequences for anyone else but Monsanto - the evidence is in the lack of study undertaken on these ramifications BEFORE the marketing of their poisons.  
SLOLA came into being when we began to realize that we could not trust our government to tell us the truth about genetic engineering.  After Vice-president Dan Quayle signed off on the agreement that our government would not regulate GMO crops itself, but would rely on Monsanto and the other companies involved in GMO research would tell us if their products were not as advertised.  

The wolf was put in charge of the hen house.  

SLOLA exists to ensure that the population of Los Angeles can have a source of untainted seeds, seeds that are grown organically and without genetic modifications.  No matter what the ethics of Monsanto or the number of government officials they climb in bed with, as long as SLOLA can, SLOLA will guarantee a modicum of insurance that we can eat GMO free food.
Monsanto's profits are piled high on the misery of mankind and our country embraced these thieves and liars like no other; now here is that same government admitting that Monsanto's products are destroying the soil.  Soil cannot be made in a factory.  Soil takes time to be made - a long time.  Destroying the topsoil ought to be a crime that equates with treason or murder.  It causes more destruction and grief in a country than any act of espionage can ever.  Our society is compromised in many ways by the lies of Monsanto and their allies, including the support of our own USDA for Monsanto and the concept of agri-business.  Both of these have been nothing less than a cancer on our country and our way of life. I wont even try to NOT gloat. 
You simply cannot trust a company (or a government supporting that company) who made (and STILL makes) DDT and Agent Orange, to be responsible or ethical.