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Are Whole Foods and Monsanto a Team?

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Touch the Soil News #456 This is a rather odd question to pose. Whole Foods represents the charge for more organic food and Monsanto is about genetic engineering to clinch a market for its agricultural chemicals. The question came up recently as the battle for GMO labeling reached brutal clashes. Vermont law to require clear GMO labeling was overturned by Federal politicians. In this clash, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey recently came out in favor of supporting the same position as Monsanto – in diluting the GMO labeling mandate. Whole Foods came out in favor of the federal legislation which demonstrates disregard of “States” rights (Vermont). In addition, it gives…

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Vermont GMO Label Victory – U.S. Senate Seeks to Undermine

GMOLabel.Consumerist

Touch the Soil News #426 For the first time in U.S. History, food manufacturers have to label foods containing GMO products. The Vermont Law requiring GMO labeling went into effect on July 1, 2016. The Consumerist published a number of photos showing food labels in Vermont. One wonders why all the fuss by national politicians to do away with this basic reporting of food ingredients? https://consumerist.com A can of Spaghettios showing the GMO label used to comply with Vermont law (photo courtesy of the Consumerist) Depending upon which statistics you read, food manufacturers and GMO seed companies have spent up to $100 million over the past few years thwarting individual…

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News Round-Up

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Touch the Soil News #343 March 18, 2016 – Walmart to Begin its Own Milk Processing In a surprise announcement, Walmart is going to open its own milk processing plan in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The more than 250,000 square foot facility will produce Walmart’s own white and chocolate milk brands called Great Value and Member’s Mark. The new facility will supply white and chocolate milk to 600 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in the Midwest. March 18, 2016 – General Mills to Label GMO Ingredients While it is not all voluntary, General Mills announced it would label all foods containing genetically engineered ingredients. Part of the decision stems from the…

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GMO Industry – In Triple Retreat

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Touch the Soil News #337 Retreat #1: The U.S. House passed a bill prohibiting individual states from requiring labeling of GMO ingredients in foods – an effort heavily lobbied and funded by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Monsanto and other GMO interests. The bill then went to the U.S. Senate. After several months of reviewing the bill, the Senate rejected the bill which is now dead. This was the first national-scope legislation promoted by GMO interests that failed. Approximately 88 percent of Americans wanted this bill to fail and want GMO labeling – making the defeat of this bill a major victory for the American public.   Retreat #2: With the…

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A Shock – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Says Mandatory GMO Labeling

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Touch the Soil News #326 The tensions have been high as the State of Vermont is set to require mandatory labeling of foods containing GMO ingredients on July 1, 2016. Trying to circumvent that process, the U.S. Senate has been in debates over making labeling voluntary – against the wishes of most Americans and overturning Vermont’s rights to know. In a sweeping public announcement last Friday (3/4/16), Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack went of record on his position the nation should pass a mandatory GMO labeling law. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack shocked the nation with his Mandatory GMO labeling position. Vilsack’s position – requiring mandatory labeling of GMOs…

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Move Over Monsanto – Make Room for Syngenta

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Touch the Soil News #315 Monsanto, arguably one of the most hated corporations in the world, is not alone in the GMO realms of dissatisfaction. Syngenta, an agrochemical company equal in size to Monsanto is being accused of leading tens of thousands of farmers in the U.S. astray by encouraging them to raise Vipter – a GMO corn. According to a report by Food Democracy Now, at the heart of the controversy is that Syngenta led farmers to believe that this variety of GMO corn would be accepted in China – a large importer of corn. Unfortunately for Syngenta, that was not the case and China backwashed on the American…

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The GMO War

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Touch the Soil News #284 Monsanto – Global overproduction in corn and soybeans coupled with continued growth of anti-GMO sentiment is hurting Monsanto profits. In response, the company plans to cut 3,600 jobs over the next two years – 16 percent of its global workforce.   Recently it came to surface that a 2009 federal spending bill requires the Food and Drug Administration to create guidelines for the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered salmon. Would you buy GMO salmon?   President Obama’s family avoids conventional soy and corn – 90 percent of the world’s soy and corn products are GMO products with concerns about allergies and digestive issues.   In…

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The Battle to Control What We Think About Food

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Touch the Soil News #219 We’ve all heard the expression putting a “Spin” on information or truth. The “spin” essentially means that by turning and twisting information, you can drop the truth and add false ingredients. We were particularly interested in a report that just came out called “Spinning Food.” The upshot of the report is that Industrial food companies create “Front Groups” that look like legitimate enterprises, but are used to put a “Spin” on the story of food. The authors of the report include Kari Hamerschlag, Anna Lappe and Stacy Malkan with support from Friends of the Earth. Cover of the special Spinning Food report (courtesy of Friends…

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News Roundup

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Touch the Soil News #214 Beer Breweries Illustrate Public Demand for Diversity The demand for a more diverse supply of agricultural products is not just in food, but drink as well. The Brewers Association recently announced that the U.S. now has over 4,000 breweries. That last time this was so was in 1873. California Leads in Curtailing Antibiotics in Farm Animals According to Reuters, California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill that sets the strictest government standards in the United States for the use of antibiotics in livestock production. The bill, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, will restrict the regular use of antibiotics for disease prevention…

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Knocking on Heaven’s Door – Monsanto

Photo - John Vovotny, licensed under Creative Commons Share Alike 2.0

Touch the Soil News #206 Many are familiar with Bob Dylan’s song – Knocking on Heaven’s Door. The lyrics of the song talk about getting close to knocking on heaven’s door. So, is Monsanto having problems that are serious? We’ll let you be the judge. Inspecting a Monsanto facility in the Netherlands (photo – Luther Bissett – Licensed under Creative Commons Share Alike 2.0) Following are a number of problems/issues that Monsanto is currently plagued with. Together, all of these items carry a real punch. Monsanto made several “desperate” attempts to buy Syngenta. Syngenta is a Swiss company in similar lines of business with success in geographic areas not dominated…

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