Amendment 1 is Destructive to Independent Agriculture

I was asked to do an op ed piece on Amendment for a Missouri newspaper, it is copied below. Please feel free to spread it about and re-post at your will. We need to stop this change to our Constitution!

by Doreen Hannes

Amendment 1, on the Aug. 5 ballot in Missouri, is deceptive right from the first sentence. The amendment was supposed to be on the ballot in November but has been moved up to the August primary election, likely to minimize opportunity for those who see the danger of the amendment to educate voters on the issue.

Originally, the proposed amendment specifically protected “modern practices and agricultural technology.” That means factory-style farming of livestock and biotech, particularly genetically modified plants and animals. Yes, animals. Today there are pigs crossed with mice, spider genes inserted into goats and human genes inserted into cattle. They are all patented, and just as you cannot tell GMO corn from heirloom corn by looking at it, you cannot tell genetically modified animals have other species of DNA in them.

The entities pushing amendment 1 are large agri-biz and biotech companies, including Monsanto, owner of patents on genetically modified life forms, which is experienced in destroying farmers’ livelihoods by taking them to court over crops contaminated by Monsanto’s seed, and Cargill, who helped bring even more illegal immigration by dumping cheap GMO corn into Mexico’s market and destroying the small Mexican farmer’s ability to make a living. Another biotech organization that supports the amendment is Syngenta, which looks to secure more ground for its patented life forms. Farm Bureau (even though it has among its membership some of the best people in the world) is arguably the biggest proponent of free-trade agreements, which destroy the ability of American farmers to sell their products in an open and honest market at a livable price.

Several of us who fought in the legislature to stop this wrong-headed proposal from becoming a constitutional amendment offered a substitute that would actually benefit Missouri family farmers. The proponents of amendment 1 would not hear of it. They said it wouldn’t protect their “constituents.” Here is the substitute offered:

“That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri’s economy. To protect this vital sector of Missouri’s economy, the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in direct trade with consumers shall be forever guaranteed in this state. No law shall be enacted which abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural practices that secure independent family farm’s ability to save seed, preserve livestock bloodlines, or impede their access to market.”

The supposed “right to farm” amendment is being sold as a way to mitigate the effects on agriculture of “radical animal rights activists.” While the radical animal rights movement is dangerous, its proponents have not consolidated agriculture and negotiated away the family farm in order to line the pockets of multi-national corporations, bureaucrats and lobbyists. The major pushers for Amendment 1 have certainly done so.

Should this change to our constitution pass, courts, lawyers and bureaucrats must define “farming” and “ranching.” If you’re harmed by a factory-farm, you won’t have much recourse to sue. GMOs, which are increasingly being outlawed in other countries, will be unstoppable, and vertical integration (quite possibly under Chinese ownership) will take over Missouri’s family farms and reduce them to a fond memory.

If you want to save the family farm, vote NO on Amendment 1.

 

 

 

 

Norway Study on Glyphosate and Missouri’s Amendment 1- “Right to Farm”

If anyone wants one more reason to have GMO food labeled, a very solid study out of Norway shows Round Up accumulation in treated crops to be excessive when ready for consumption.

Should Amendment 1 pass in Missouri, Monsanto’s home state, there will be even more uncontrolled GMO proliferation and spraying of Round Up and 2-4d. Amendment 1 masquerades as a protection against animal rights activists, but it will provide for complete factory farming in the State with no ability to constrain it left to the citizens.

Here are a few questions about Amendment 1:

•If it is to halt the animal rights agenda, then why hasn’t the legislature simply passed legislation to prohibit the most extreme of their activities?

•If it is to protect agriCULTURE as opposed to agriINDUSTRY, then why was the original wording specifically tailored to protect “modern technology”?

•Since we, and all other states, already have statute that prevents nuisance suits against existing farms and ranches, why do we need to change our Constitution? Do we have to protect our right to use an indoor flush toilet in the Constitution as well? Isn’t enumerating every single right of man a little beyond the pale?

•Additionally, who is going to define the terms farm, farmer, rancher, ranching, farming? Regulators, courts and lawyers…Do we trust them?

If you think protecting Monsanto, one of the proponents of Amendment 1, should be part of Missouri’s Constitution, then you should vote for this proposed amendment.

Read this study if you are still of the mindset that Round Up is a good thing. Think about telling your grandchildren that you voted to have them sterilized by the food supply because you thought eating herbicides was good business.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814613019201

As with everything political, you have got to look at the interests of those who are the major supporters of a proposed action. Cargill, Monsanto, Missouri Corn and Soy Growers, and the biggest proponent for destructive free trade agreements, Missouri Farm Bureau, are the major supporters of Amendment 1. Many members of Farm Bureau are the best people you may ever meet! Farm Bureau even does some things that are actually positive for real farmers. Amendment 1 is just NOT one of those positive actions.

Study Indicates Glyphosate (Round Up) Doubles Chance of Lymphoma

With Amendment 1 on the ballot here in Missouri for August 5th, this is terrifically pertinent information. NO independent studies of long term exposure or ingestion have been done in the US!

Study: Glyphosate Doubles Risk of Lymphoma

Scientists at the International Agency for Research on Cancer have found what appears to be a strong link between pesticide exposure and a blood cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Analyzing 44 individual research projects published since 1980, the scientists, writing in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, said that people exposed to the weed killer glyphosate, marked by Monsanto under the brand name Roundup, had double the risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Those exposed to 2,4-D, another potent weed killer marketed by Dow Chemical, were 40 percent more likely to develop this disease.

The authors, scientists who work in the IARC Section of Environment and Radiation in Lyon, France, theorized that these pesticides were causing genetic mutations in white blood cells, thereby weakening the body’s immune system and ability to fight off disease.

Previous studies have observed that farmers with exposure to 2,4-D have experienced impaired immune systems.

Last month, EWG reported that research by scientists at the Arctic University of Norway had detected “extreme levels” of glyphosate on genetically engineered soybeans.

Crop scientists have genetically engineered soy to survive blasts of glyphosate so that farmers can use this chemical to get rid of weeds near crops. Over time these weeds have become resistant to glyphosate and grown hardier. In turn some farmers have resorted to spraying more of the pesticide to try to kill the tougher “super weeds.”

Genetic engineering’s early promise to reduce pesticide use now seems empty. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently reported that herbicide use doubled—from 62 million pounds in 1996 to 128 million pounds in 2012. Glyphosate now represents more than 83 percent of the chemical pesticides used in the U.S. annually.

The IARC study was published April 23, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was considering approving GE seeds of corn and soybeans engineered to withstand 2,4-D, a suspected carcinogen. If the EPA approves the new GE seeds and if 2,4-D is used to kill weeds on some of the 170 million acres of corn and soybeans grown in the U.S. annually, the USDA estimates that 2,4-D use is likely to triple, dramatically increasing people’s exposure to a pesticide that may cause cancer.

How can consumers reduce their exposures to these pesticides? When we eat GE foods, we are taking a dose of pesticides with them. Right now, we can’t tell which foods are genetically engineered. We have to guess. EWG believes people have the right to know which foods are genetically engineered. What can you do? Tell your elected representatives to support legislation to label GE foods.

Note from Food Revolution Network: Additional tools for reducing pesticide and GE food exposure are the Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce and the Institute for Responsible Technology’s non-GMO shopping guide.

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Strong Arming El Salvador for Monsanto

This is just another example of the corporate control that dominates agriculture. Monsanto forces everyone to consume their toxic swill in the US unless they grow all their own food or buy ONLY from others or grow all their own food. This is just one of the many reasons why people who care at all about health and economic freedom should be against Amendment 1 on August 5th in Missouri. It is not about constraining HSUS from harming animal agriculture, it is about complete carte blanche for GMO’s of both animal and plant varieties in the State.

Here’s the article regarding El Salvador:

US pressures El Salvador to buy Monsanto’s GMO seeds

 

As one of the preconditions to authorizing close to $300 million in aid, the United States is pressuring El Salvador to purchase genetically modified seeds from Monsanto instead of non-GM seeds from local farmers.

According to Sustainable Pulse, a website covering developments related to genetically modified organisms and sustainable agriculture, the US will reportedly withhold $277 million in aid through the Millennium Challenge Compact if El Salvador refuses to purchase GM seeds from the biotech company Monsanto.

The website states that the stalled aid package was originally put on hold in late 2013, when it was revealed that Millennium Challenge Corporation would not deliver funds to the country unless “specific” economic and environmental reforms were made. Apparently, one of those is related to the purchase of GMO seeds.

Speaking with Verdad Digital, however, the president of the El Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technologies (CESTA) criticized the US negotiating position and said the country should back away from its demand.

“I would like to tell the U.S. Ambassador to stop pressuring the Government (of El Salvador) to buy ‘improved’ GM seeds,” CESTA president Ricardo Navarro said, adding that the move would hurt the local economy and only benefit US companies.

Navarro specifically singled out Monsanto for criticism as well, saying, “There is a harmful corporation on the planet called Monsanto … it is truly disturbing that the U.S. is trying to promote them.”

In Europe, too, Monsanto’s GM seeds have garnered criticism. In March, France banned the growth and sale of the company’s insect-repelling maize seed MON 810, just a few days before it was revealed that insects in the US were developing resistance to the crop.

The comments from Navarro also arrive as Monsanto is under fire in several South American countries, including El Salvador and Brazil. As RT reported previously, El Salvador passed legislation in September 2013 banning glyphosate, used in Monsanto’s Roundup pesticides, as well as dozens of other agricultural chemicals.

Similar proposals are being considered in Brazil, where the country’s prosecutor general recently urged the National Health Surveillance Agency to “reevaluate the toxicity of eight active ingredients suspected of causing damage to human health and the environment,” including glyphosate and seven other chemicals.

As for why glyphosate is coming under such heavy scrutiny, new research has indicated that while the chemical is not as dangerous on its own, it becomes extremely toxic to humans once it mixes with natural metals found in soil.

Meanwhile, other reports have linked glyphosate to the outburst of a fatal kidney disease that has killed thousands of people in El Salvador and Sri Lanka, and could also help explain similar situations in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and India.

 

Mo DNR- Blueway Style Control with NonPoint Management Plan

(From PRCNEWS.org, links at original post)

The Missouri DNR (and their counterpart in virtually every other State in the Union) has taken point on bringing about the EPA’s desired Clean Water Restoration Act plans. The CWRA never made it through Congress, but the EPA has no compunctions about handing out money to State agencies to have them move forward without legislative oversight by taking a full on back door approach to control land, water and people through “integrated land and watershed management”.

The ploy is coming to your doorstep via “nonpoint source” pollution management plans. Missouri’s plan is contained in a 166 page pdf, and it not fun reading…at least not for me. Here is a link to the pdf. You may make comments to the DNR through July 8th regarding the NPS Management Plan.

If past agency actions mean anything, they will say, “This is only a draft!” Well, as my friend Bob said regarding the National Animal Identification dissimulation, “It’s like finding a diary of a guy with very detailed plans about how he is going to come into your house, take all of your possessions and then rape and murder your wife and children, in extreme detail. When you confront him with it, he says, ‘Why are you so upset? It’s just a draft.'”

Here again is the link to the Missouri DNR “draft” for Nonpoint Source Pollution Management.
Areas to be managed under the NPS Management Plan. Note that they extend beyond the borders of Missouri.
Critical to understanding this plan are the definitions. Following are the most important definitions for our understanding.

First of all, we have to know what “noinpoint source pollution” means. From the plan, here it is:

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution: Occurs when water runs over land or through the ground, picks up natural or human-made pollutants, and deposits them in surface waters or groundwater. Pollutants commonly associated with NPS include nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen), pathogens, clean sediments, oil and grease, salt, and pesticides.

Then we need to know what specifically the agency defines as “pollutant”. NPS is what occurs when water runs over land or through the ground….like when it rains. So we look for the definition of “pollutant”. Here it is:

Pollutant: Dredged spoil, solid waste, incinerator reside, sewage, garbage, sewer sludge, munitions, chemical waste, biological material, radioactive materials, heat, wrecked or discarded equipment, rock, sand, cellar dirt, filter backwash or industrial, municipal or agricultural waste discharged into water.

Rock? Sand? Biological material? How on earth are you supposed to stop rain and wind from moving rock, sand and…leaves, pollen, bugs, skin cells, egg shells, or other “biological material”? Obviously you can mitigate animal waste from livestock to a certain degree, but you can’t stop the trees.

Ok, fine. So we are again going to remove nature from involving itself in natural processes. If you are familiar with “good agricultural practices”, you already know about that.

Now then, what exactly is it that the DNR is going to “manage”? Well, “waters of the state” via “watershed” management. So how have they defined “waters of the state”? Here it is…and it is not good:

Waters of the state: All rivers, streams, lakes, and other bodies of surface and subsurface water lying within or forming a part of the boundaries of the state which are not entirely confined and located completely upon lands owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by a single person or by two (2) or more people jointly or as tenants in common. These waters also include waters of the United States lying within or adjacent to the state.

And then the watershed portion of their management is the real cherry on top in this plan. Here’s their definition:

Watershed: An area of land that catches rainfall and snowmelt, which then drains into low-lying bodies of water. Watersheds come in all shapes and sizes, from a few acres to over a million square miles and are sometimes difficult to delineate. Consequently, Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) were created to logically convey the drainage relationship of stream systems, watersheds, and larger river basins.

So, even if you have a pond that is wholly contained on your property and you are a single person with free and clear title and no grant money that might cloud your title, you are still within a water shed, and therefore you fall into their management plan for “nonpoint source pollution”, which is anything that might get into water.

Following are some things that they intend to achieve through this new management plan. These will look very familiar to those who fought the White River Blueway designation at this time last year:

•Removing dams and levees

•Keeping a buffer zone from livestock

•Wetland Restoration and Renaturalization

The restoration of wetlands that are hydrologically connected to surface waters is important for the effective filtering of NPS pollutants. Projects that restore previously existing wetland areas that are being degraded through existing land uses such as farming, mowing or other activities are encouraged.

 Nutrient management projects (must include more than planning);

 Sediment control projects (particularly riparian or other filter areas);

 Some forestry BMPs;

 Some controlled drainage projects;

 Livestock exclusion and manure management projects;

 Conservation crop rotation projects with cover crops;

 Riparian re-vegetation and/or protection projects; and

 Buffers and field borders.

It’s beginning to sound entirely too familiar, isn’t it? The US Army Corps of Engineers and the USDA and EPA are partners in this plan. They will be doling out grant money to increase “stakeholder” support for these NPS management plans.

Please contact your County Commissioners and your State Representatives about this. It is entirely too overreaching and they are planning on throwing around grant money like we aren’t nearly 18 trillion dollars in debt.

Comments should be submitted to the Department of Natural Resources, Water Protection Program, Watershed Protection Section, P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176 or by email to greg.anderson@dnr.mo.gov. Emails should provide contact information of the sender (i.e., name, mailing address, phone number) and include “Nonpoint Source Management Plan” in the subject line.

 

 

 

 

“Sustainable” Food Shed for Military and Federal Government Support

Recently, I heard about a group calling themselves “Sustainable Ozark Partnership”…From the name, I didn’t like it. After finding a document delineating their desire to take a four county area surrounding Ft Leonard Wood and bring about total agricultural control to support the military base and other federal entities, specifically the Department of Homeland Security, I really don’t like it.

While I am total support of local food, I am completely against the leveraging of grant money to bring in “CEA” (controlled environment agriculture: very tall buildings that are dedicated to growing specific crops via computer controlled rotation and fertilization) buildings and make local farmers the captive supply food line for federal interests. And that is exactly what the “Sustainable Partnership” wants to do.

On it’s face, it looks like a feudal fiefdom for the military. Or a foodal fiefdom, if you prefer.

Here is the document with their intentions. Of course, one of those intentions is to get “stakeholders” to engage in the plan with the group seeking the grant money.

I haven’t had much time to devote digging into this, but I did find that similar plans are underway for Ft Hood in Texas. It is highly likely that there are many other programs in the works around armed services bases across the nation.

 

 

 

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