Monsanto Vows to Challenge Maui GMO Moratorium in Court

Story at-a-glance -

  • Despite outspending citizens 87 to 1, the chemical technology industry, led by Monsanto, was defeated in Maui
  • Maui’s GMO moratorium calls for a complete suspension of the cultivation of genetically engineered crops until studies conclusively prove they are safe
  • Monsanto has announced it will file a lawsuit to challenge the moratorium
  • Ballot initiatives to label GMOs narrowly failed to pass in Oregon and failed miserably in Colorado on November 4

By Dr. Mercola

Despite Monsanto's typical flooding of millions of dollars into Maui, where they outspent citizens 87 to 1, they ended up being narrowly defeated. As noted by Democracy Now,1 Maui County's measure is one of the strongest anti-GMO measures ever to pass.

"The Maui GMO moratorium calls for a complete suspension of the cultivation of GMO crops until studies conclusively prove they are safe.

Maui is often called 'GMO Ground Zero' and the moratorium that passed [November 4] could have national implications because multinational seed producers, such as Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences, use the county to research and develop new seed varieties."

The safety studies required to lift the moratorium are to be paid for by the seed companies, but would be conducted by the county of Maui. Not surprisingly, Monsanto has already announced it will file a lawsuit to challenge the legality of the moratorium.2, 3

As part of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Monsanto is also suing Vermont to overturn the US nation's first no-strings-attached GMO labeling bill,4, 5, 6 slated to go into effect as of 2016.

Clearly, a large part of their marketing budget involves suing farmers, counties, and states – whatever or whoever gets in the way of its plans for global domination of our food supply will pay the price...

How Did Maui Pull It Off?

You may be wondering just how Maui managed to pull off a GMO ban despite being outspent 87 to 1. According to Ronnie Cummins, director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), there are a number of potential reasons for this unlikely win.

For starters, the pro-organic, natural health consciousness is very high among consumers and organic farmers and gardeners in Maui. Reckless spraying and application of Roundup and other pesticides on the island has also alarmed and angered residents, further raising awareness about the health and environmental hazards associated with GMO crops.

Monsanto's bullying tactics may also have backfired. The more local the democracy, the less power Monsanto has to buy politicians and misleading platforms. GMO bans in counties are likely easier to win than state labeling laws.

Jackson County, OR, Josephine County, OR and Humboldt County, CA have all recently passed GMO bans,7 that prohibit the propagation, cultivation, raising, or growing of genetically modified organisms within county lines.

Keeping Market Shares by Force

Monsanto, Pepsi, Kraft, and a collection of other pesticide producers and junk food manufacturers have poured over $100 million to defeat state and county initiatives to keep American consumers in the dark about genetically engineered (GE) ingredients in our food.

This is despite the fact that more than 60 other nations already require such labeling. It really goes to show that the entire business of chemical seed engineering depends on maintaining its stronghold over the American market.

Every fight these companies engage in against consumers is a loss for their brand regardless of outcome. What sense does it make to fight consumers for anti-transparency purposes?

Eventually, once awareness reaches a certain threshold, altered consumer preferences will start to choke GMOs out of the marketplace. The question is, how long will that take? And how much environmental and health harm will accrue in the meantime?

Chemical Technology Industry Aims to Remove Local and State Rights

Ballot initiatives to label GMOs narrowly failed to pass in Colorado and is still too close to call in Oregon after the pesticide and junk food industries poured $21 million into the Oregon race, and another $17 million into Colorado. Monsanto alone has spent more than $10.65 million to keep American voters in the dark this year!

On top of all that, they are working with the federal government to take our rights away at all local levels. The GMA, whose 300-plus members include Monsanto, Coca-Cola, and General Mills, is pushing a Congressional bill called the "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014."8

The bill, dubbed the "DARK" (Denying Americans the Right to Know) Act, would actually preempt all states from passing GMO labeling laws.9 It would also bar states from enacting laws that make it illegal for food companies to misrepresent their products by labeling GE ingredients as "natural." The DARK Act would even limit the FDA's power to force food companies to disclose GE ingredients.

Another preemptive action to take away your rights has already slipped through the legislative process. Assembly Bill 2470,10 which was signed into law earlier this year, amends California's Seed Law to "prohibit a city, county, or district, including a charter city or county, from adopting or enforcing an ordinance on or after January 1, 2015, that regulates plants, crops, or seeds without the consent of the secretary." A number of anti-whistleblower bills are also being heavily pushed by industry lobbyists.11

They want to take away the rights of cities, counties, and states, and their strategy involves overpowering states and counties with costly lawsuits, and intimidating and discrediting individuals who speak out against them—whatever it takes to achieve their claim to rule the food and agriculture system. These industries are responsible for creating a fascist government that dominates the people, and we can't stand for it.

Rather than listening to American consumers and citizens, they are perpetuating the pesticide treadmill and junk food system that is destroying our environment and personal health.

GMA—Public Enemy Number One

I named the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) "the most evil corporation on the planet," as it is an industry association made up of the worst offenders in agriculture and food production.

President and CEO Pamela G. Bailey issued a statement saying that the GMA is pleased the Oregon and Colorado initiatives were defeated. Their VP had a slightly different response that indicates he may predict the backlash heading towards their member brands. Michael Gruber recently called the recent victories "hollow," stating12 that: "To be drawn in to these ballot initiatives is unpleasant and draws criticism... not to mention its tremendous cost."

Well, you reap what you sow… and the more GMOs that are sowed, the bigger the price to be paid. One wonders how much longer this group of evil doers can keep up their nefarious schemes. Mining fertilizers that run-off and contaminate our fresh water bodies, along with increasingly dangerous pesticides soaking into our soils and waters, depleting aquifers, monocultures spreading with no regard to lessons learned, fed to animals confined and loaded with antibiotics… The safety of the entire GMO 'food' production is a boldfaced lie when you look at the primary food crops sickening Americans:

  • High fructose corn syrup—one of the primary sources of calories in the American diet—is made from GMO corn (Bt corn), registered with the EPA for producing its own internal pesticide
  • Hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fats) known to cause heart and cardiovascular disease is made from GMO soy that is resistant to pesticide. This allows it to soak up much more of it than non-GMO soy
  • Sugar beets are also genetically engineered, ensuring that even foods sweetened with "regular sugar" fall into a more toxic category, courtesy of elevated pesticide contamination

Corn syrup, trans fats, and sugar – what a "safe and healthy" food system these companies have created... The continued argument that GMOs are safe is a horrible joke. These ingredients are now foundational in the US diet, and there is virtually no doubt that they are primary contributors to Americans' failing health. These ingredients promote disease in and of themselves, but making matters worse, they're also genetically engineered and loaded with pesticides, which ratchets up their hazard profile yet another notch.

Add in the fact that much of the corn and soy is fed into confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) where antibiotics are mixed in for good measure, and you really have to wonder how long this house of cards will stand... The writing is on the wall and the strategy is clear. They want to take away our rights as high up the chain as possible, and there has never been a more important time to fight for our local rights to preserve health and diversity. A top down attack is on the way, and we must be resilient to prevent this from happening. Local battles will turn the tide, but to ensure there's even the chance of doing so we must preserve local rights! Local food and local democracy is the key to preserving diversity, improving health, and saving the environment.

In the meantime, stop buying products from those who are not just opposing your right to know – but are trying to take away your rights entirely through federal and state preemption laws. Support your local farmers, buy as close to the farm as possible, and cut out the processors. Look for dairy, meats, vegetables, fruits, and anything you can purchase locally. This is a small effort that will have a massive impact!

Watch This Important  60 Minutes Video

If you have the time please watch this 20 minute video from 60 Minutes two days ago.  It is a classic demonstration of the dangerous situation related to ground water. You probably had no idea it was this bad. What 60 Minutes fails to disclose is that this is largely a result of conventional agriculture that requires loads of irrigation and that the use of cover crops and mulch could radically reduce water consumption.

This is a Flash-based video and may not be viewable on mobile devices.

GE Crops, Glyphosate, and the Deteriorating Health in the US

One of the most recent studies13 investigating the effect genetically engineered (GE) crops and glyphosate has on Americans' health noted that: "Evidence is mounting that glyphosate interferes with many metabolic processes in plants and animals and glyphosate residues have been detected in both. Glyphosate disrupts the endocrine system and the balance of gut bacteria, it damages DNA and is a driver of mutations that lead to cancer..."

The researchers searched US government databases for GE crop data, glyphosate application data and disease epidemiological data. Correlation analyses revealed "highly significant" correlations between glyphosate applications and the following health problems among the US population. According to the authors: "The significance and strength of the correlations show that the effects of glyphosate and GE crops on human health should be further investigated."

Hypertension Stroke Diabetes
Obesity Lipoprotein metabolism disorder Alzheimer's
Senile dementia Parkinson's disease Multiple sclerosis
Autism Inflammatory bowel disease Intestinal infections
End stage renal disease Acute kidney failure Thyroid cancer
Liver cancer Bladder cancer Pancreatic cancer
Kidney cancer Myeloid leukemia  

Recent research14 also shows that there are significant compositional differences between GE soybeans and non-GE varieties. Glyphosate readily accumulates in the former, which means more of this toxin is making it into the body of those who consume GE foods. They also differ in terms of nutritional quality, with organic soybeans having the healthiest nutritional profile. According to the authors, "This study rejects that genetically modified soy is "substantially equivalent" to non-GM soybeans."

US food policy is also part and parcel of the problem. Not only are American taxpayers subsidizing Monsanto and junk food products via farm bill subsidies, tax payer money is also used to take away our right to local democracy through preemption, and the money is being used for lobbying for even more tax dollars through the farm bill... As noted by Bittman and Pollan in a recent Washington Post15 editorial:

"The contradictions of our government's policies around food become clear as soon as you compare the federal recommendations for the American diet, known as MyPlate with the administration's agricultural policies. While MyPlate recommends a diet of 50 percent vegetables and fruits, the administration devotes less than one percent of farm subsidies to support the research, production and marketing of those foods. More than 60 percent of that funding subsidizes the production of corn and other grains — food that is mostly fed to animals, converted to fuel for cars or processed into precisely the sort of junk the first lady is urging us to avoid."

Organic Food Resources

Here are some great resources to obtain wholesome organic food. Eating locally produced organic food will not only support your family's health, it will also protect the environment from harmful chemical pollutants and the inadvertent spread of genetically engineered seeds and chemical-resistant weeds and pests.

  1. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
  2. Farmers' Markets -- A national listing of farmers' markets.
  3. Local Harvest -- This Web site will help you find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.
  4. Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals -- The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.
  5. Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) -- CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.
  6. FoodRoutes -- The FoodRoutes "Find Good Food" map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs, and markets near you.