A number of Washington State companies and organizations record their support for I-522 on this short video. My daughter Gurdeep Stephens speaks on behalf of Nature’s Path at 1:18
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
The days of the GMO chemical companies poisoning us in silence are over. For the 1st time on Hawai’i a legislative body has passed a strong law to protect the locals and visitors from toxic agriculture chemicals that are known cancer causing agents and hormone disruptors.
The past few years, the movement on Kaua’i and throughout the State of Hawai’i has been ignited by Professional Surfer Dustin Barca.
After 2491 passed Dustin Barca Stated:
“After years of blood sweat and tears, a healthier future for our families and precious natural resources is now possible. As ground zero for the largest chemical companies in the world, we look to set a precedent for the rest of the world in how to deal with the most evil entities on earth.
I just want to thank every single person involved in making this happen. Without unity we would accomplish nothing.“
2491 is a first step in finding out about the impact and destruction of our islands by the chemical companies. On Kaua’i the chemical companies experiment on 15,000 acres and the total acreage across the State is 40,000 – 60,000 acres.
We must acknowledge the monumental effort of Council Members Gary Hooser and Tim Bynum that drafted this law and the 4 other council members that voted to pass 2491. Despite Mel Rapozo voting against 2491, the bill passed, 6-1. Over the past month, massive opposition from Governor Abercrombie and the Mayor Carvalho of Kaua’i gained momentum, last night the Mayor wanted a one month extension to vote on it.
This is a historic moment for Klayton Kubo of Waimea. He has been raising awareness about the dangers of Pioneer/ Dupont poisoning his backyard for 13 years.
The regulation and protection provisions of 2491 include:
1. Buffer zones for schools, parks, beach’s and hospitals that are bordered by chemical fields.
2. Disclosure of any GMO crops.
3. Notify the public before they spray.
4. The county will have to conduct and environmental assessment of the effects of the enormous quantities of chemicals being sprayed.
5. Disclose what pesticides/ herbicides they spray, where they are spraying and in what quantity.
The largest economic development opportunity on Kaua’i and all of the islands, is not chemical destruction and experimentation as most politicians believe, but land cleanup and remediation of GMO test fields. We must create just opportunities through land cleanup and restore the land to grow organic food.
Hawai’i imports over 90% of our food. Given the toxic state of a lot of our agriculture land, including GMO experimentation or toxic sugar and pineapple fields that were never cleaned up, growing food is not the first step, or we will only be growing more toxic food.
Our massive campaigns across Hawai’i will continue over the next few months, we must pass Bill #113 on Hawai’i Island. On Oahu, after 18 months of pressure, it is time for Kamehameha Schools to EVICT MONSANTO from Hale’iwa. The largest lease to any GMO company on Oahu is the Kamehameha Schools lease of 1,033 acres above the most famous surf breaks in the world. No environmental assessment of chemical contamination has ever occurred in Hale’iwa.
Any day, the chemical companies will file a lawsuit to block the implementation of 2491. The chemical companies are fighting for the right to spray toxic chemicals, (many of them are banned throughout the world) less then 500 feet from schools, such as Waimea Canyon Middle School.
Judge rules that GMOs are imminent threat
Devon G. Peña | Seattle, WA | October 11, 2013
An October 10 press release with Mexico City byline announces the banning of genetically-engineered corn in Mexico. According to the group that issued the press release, La Coperacha, a federal judge has ordered Mexico’s SAGARPA (Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca, y Alimentación), which is Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture, and SEMARNAT (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales), which is equivalent of the EPA, to immediately “suspend all activities involving the planting of transgenic corn in the country and end the granting of permission for experimental and pilot commercial plantings”.
The unprecedented ban was granted by the Twelfth Federal District Court for Civil Matters of Mexico City. Judge Jaime Eduardo Verdugo J. wrote the opinion and cited “the risk of imminent harm to the environment” as the basis for the decision. The judge’s ruling also ruled that multinationals like Monsanto and Pioneer are banned from the release of transgenic maize in the Mexican countryside” as long as collective action lawsuits initiated by citizens, farmers, scientists, and civil society organizations are working their way through the judicial system.
The decision was explained during a press conference in Mexico City yesterday by members of the community-based organizations that sued federal authorities and companies introducing transgenic maize into Mexico. The group, Acción Colectiva, is led by Father Miguel Concha of the Human Rights Center Fray Francisco de Vittoria; Victor Suarez of ANEC (National Association of Rural Commercialization Entertprises); Dr. Mercedes Lopéz of Vía Organica; and Adelita San Vicente, a teacher and member of Semillas de Vida, a national organization that has been involved in broad-based social action projects to protect Mexico’s extraordinary status as a major world center of food crop biodiversity.
October 16, 2013
AG alleges association skirted disclosure rules in $7.2 million contribution to No on Initiative 522 campaign
SEATTLE– Attorney General Bob Ferguson today filed suit in Thurston County Superior Court alleging that the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) violated the state’s campaign disclosure laws. Ferguson alleges the GMA illegally collected and spent more than $7 million while shielding the identity of its contributors. The funds were spent to express opposition to Initiative 522, a measure requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods, seeds and seed products in Washington.
“When Washington state voters overwhelming approved Initiative 276 in 1972, they voiced their desire for transparency and openness in elections,” Ferguson said. “Truly fair elections demand all sides follow the rules by disclosing who their donors are and how much they are spending to advocate their views.”
The Grocery Manufacturers Association is a trade association, based in Washington DC, representing more than 300 food, beverage and consumer product companies. It is the biggest donor to the No on I-522 campaign.
The Attorney General’s Office alleges the GMA established the “Defense of Brands Strategic Account” within its organization and asked members to pay assessments that would be used to oppose I-522. GMA then funded opposition efforts while shielding contributors’ names from public disclosure.
Ferguson alleges the GMA should have formed a separate political committee, registered with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission (PDC), and filed reports indicating who contributed, how much they contributed and how the money was spent to oppose I-522.
The AGO filed suit in Thurston County Superior Court to compel the GMA to register with the PDC and file disclosure statements.
The AGO is preparing to seek a temporary restraining order asking the court to order the GMA to immediately comply with state disclosure laws.
The AGO is also requesting civil penalties and costs of investigation and trial, including reasonable attorney’s fees, injunctive relief and any other relief the court deems appropriate.
The suit stemmed from a citizen action letter received by the Attorney General’s Office in late August. Upon receipt of the letter, the office immediately referred the case to the PDC for investigation. Working closely with the PDC, the Attorney General’s Office reviewed information provided to the PDC during its investigation and determined there was sufficient evidence to file a court action.
The complaint can be found, here.
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The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal officer for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Attorney General Bob Ferguson is working hard to protect consumers and seniors against fraud, keep our communities safe, protect our environment and stand up for our veterans. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.
When Rumi spoke to disciples of his impending death.
From old memory:
When I die, take my body and cut it into pieces;
Spread it as manure on the field.
In that field, plant grain, and when ripe, gather it;
Then grind into flour, and bake it into bread;
Not those who eat that bread,
But those who Serve it,
Shall have divine intoxication!
In 1972, Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj (1894-1974), my beloved Guru, visited Dallas, Texas. In His hotel room, he told me and Frank Ford, an organic farmer, “To grow a blade of grass, is more than a patriot’s work.”
This painting by Michael Schulbaum of the writer with Master Kirpal, is adapted from a photograph taken in India, November 1968.
Going to bat for organic gardening at harvest time. That’s one of my gigantic cukes! And look, Ma, no chemicals!
I’ve been so busy lately and have a demanding travel schedule coming up until mid-October, that I’ve been remiss in posting many interesting and important happenings on this blog, and will likely leave things a bit fallow for now, but to fill you in very briefly:
Personally, and corporately, my family and I been actively advocating for, and on behalf of our good Ole Earth and Her denizens. You can see some of the great work my daughter Gurdeep is doing on her beautiful blog: thedeeperside, introducing the powerful film by Jeremy Seifert, GMO OMG at the LA Premiere, Arjan’s speaking on a panel at the Seattle GMO OMG Premiere, my speaking on a panel at the Portland Art Museum, advocating, along with Vandana Shiva, Sen Maralyn Chase and others, support of Washington’s State Initiative 522 to have mandatory labeling of GMOs on all foods, sharing my farmer/poet/songwriter dad’s lovely songs in praise of the land, imploring people everywhere to protect and care for the fragile earth we all share, to protect it against the depredations of the five global pesticide/GMO companies who also control most of the world’s seeds, and to encourage, by example, the practice of meditation and spirituality (after all, we are not just physical, mental and emotional, beings—but perhaps even more importantly—spiritual beings, our real, true nature, which embraces all humanity and all life on the planet; for when we do recognize our true Self, we embrace the inherent unity and Light of all existence, and we begin to see the temporal nature of all else). Anyway, I believe with all my soul that while we are here on earth, we are here not just to claw out a livelihood, but also here to serve humanity, the natural environment (what is left of it), and that includes protection of biodiversity and creatures, great and small. I will be interviewed this morning by John and Ocean Robbins, and then our family is off to Baltimore to receive an organic leadership award from the Organic Trade Association, shared equally with my life-partner, Ratana Stephens…my muse, my love (we’ve been together for over 45 years), and joined by our beautiful kids. Lots of love to all of you!
The Paradise of Kauai is being poisoned by Dow and Dupont, using this beautiful island as a laboratory to grow mutant GMO seeds and crops, while poisoning the environment with dangerous pesticides and herbicides. This was largely hidden from view, but the people of Hawaii are starting to wake up and fight for the right to enjoy a clean and safe environment. My family and I went to Kauai in January 2012 to celebrate my 68th birthday—a lovely relaxing experience, hiking, swimming, body surfing, snorkeling with fish and turtles, relaxing and meditating. Our four grandkids had a super time. We visited an amazing organic farm growing all kinds of exotic fruits, but the next day, we were shocked to discover vast acreages on the Island that are being used by Dow and Dupont for growing GMO crops. These giant pesticide companies are using up to three times more pesticides than what are used in North America, some of which are not allowed anymore, and the locals are being victimized. As the old saying goes, “It’s time to grow less corn, and raise more hell!” I’m sure some of my meditator friends are wondering why I’m bothering with all this, when this world of Maya is illusory. To those, i would say, remember, this earth is our Mother, and it behooves all her children to take care of Her, even while endeavoring to become spiritually liberated. Why do we let a handful of giant pesticide and seed companies to play God with our food and our environment?