Seedy Saturday in Richmond!

They Eat What? The Reality of Feed at Animal Factories

When many Americans think of farm animals, they picture cattle munching grass on rolling pastures, chickens pecking on the ground outside of picturesque red barns, and pigs gobbling down food at the trough.

Over the last 50 years, the way food animals are raised and fed has changed dramatically—to the detriment of both animals and humans. Many people are surprised to find that most of the food animals in the United States are no longer raised on farms at all. Instead they come from crowded animal factories, also known as large confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

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BC Urban Farmers start off on right foot!

A few Sundays ago, in fact, the only nice Sunday we’ve had so far, 40+ of us from the BC Urban Farmers group sat around tables and hashed out a strategy for forming an organized collective.

After 6 hours we came up with the beginnings of a plan to get our message out, and firm up who we are and what we stand for.

Not all the members farm in urban areas. I do both. Both have different models and different varieties based on space available. It is in these findings that we can come together and compare notes, making us all the more wiser. Intensive agriculture is not new, but it is making a comeback as it feeds a large number of people, has multiple markets, and you can earn a living wage from it.

I have posted our “conclusions” from our first meeting for you to look at: (January+30+Urban+Farmer+Meeting+Summary). Feel free to join us. Even if you have a smaller garden, everyone’s experience here counts. All gardening has value. Especially today…

Human overshoot and our Planet today – Great little story

This is an interesting story about how human intervention does not always work. In most cases, never works. Especially when humans try to control the food supply. This is a great way for kids to learn about “overshoot”.

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The Future of Canadian Food rests in Parliament for one more day!

April: This is only important if you eat. If you don’t eat, it doesn’t matter.

Bill C-474 (“an analysis of potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any new genetically engineered seed is permitted”) protects farmers from losing their crops, their livelihoods and their farms (More links below). As GE seed/crop corporations like Monsanto sweep in and take over every food crop growing in Canada, you, the consumer, will lose ALL choices of what you buy and consume. Including all vegetables.

We as farmers will no longer be able to save seeds. Which means, if we buy them at the inflated costs, YOU will be paying double for your groceries.

However, if you don’t eat, it doesn’t matter.

Below, Tom Rudge is a farmer in the Yukon. I know Tom. He works hard to feed you and I. The Yukon is a GE Free Zone, thanks to many that brought it forward and passed it. That doesn’t mean Tom’s farm is safe. I have included Tom’s letter to Harper. Read it, as it applies to ALL farmers. In 24 hours, we will find out if we have a future or not.

Subject Heading: My future and Bill C-474: Your future too?

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Exposing Monsanto’s Minions

A few posts down I spoke of Monsanto’s GE alfalfa deregulation. It was a complicated issue, and has opened up the issues and awareness of GMO. Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumer’s Association lashed back. While there are two sides to every story, one side is not being told, and Ronnie wants that exposed. He makes a valid point: one that I found valid in the beginning as well, but did try to understand “why” the Organic groups bowed to the concession of co-existence. So my question now is “Why didn’t they demand that co-existence was not ever an option, but would allow deregulation with the option of coming back to the table to sue?” Below is Ronnie Cummin’s backlash:

Monsanto Nation           By Ronnie Cummins

My exposé last week, “The Organic Elite Surrenders to Monsanto: What Now?” has ignited a long-overdue debate on how to stop Monsanto’s earth killing, market-monopolizing, climate-destabilizing rampage. Should we basically resign ourselves to the fact that the Biotech Bully of St. Louis controls the dynamics of the marketplace and public policy? Should we seek some kind of practical compromise or “coexistence” between organics and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)? Should we focus our efforts on crop pollution compensation and “controlled deregulation” of genetically engineered (GE) crops, rather than campaign for an outright ban, or mandatory labeling and safety-testing? Should we prepare ourselves for a future farm landscape where the U.S.’s 23 million acres of alfalfa, the nation’s fourth largest crop, (93% of which are currently not sprayed with toxic herbicides), including organic alfalfa, are sprayed with Roundup and/or genetically polluted with Monsanto’s mutant genes?

Or should we stand up and say Hell No to Monsanto and the Obama Administration? Should we stop all the talk about coexistence between organics and GMOs; unite Millions Against Monsanto <http://www.millionsagainstmonsanto.org> ,  mobilize like never before at the grassroots; put enormous pressure on the nation’s grocers to truthfully label the thousands of so-called conventional or “natural” foods containing or produced with GMOs; and then slowly but surely drive GMOs from the market?

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Feb 8 is the Day We Support All Farmers (Or Not)!

URGENT Action Alert: Please Distribute Widely –
SEND A MESSAGE TO YOUR MP BY FEB. 8th VOICING YOUR SUPPORT FOR BILL C-474

Help Protect our Farmers
Support Bill C-474

A simple action today could stop genetically engineered (GE) seeds from causing chaos on Canadian farms – lost markets, lost crops and livelihoods, and permanent crop contamination.

Private Members Bill C-474 is currently scheduled for a vote at third reading in Parliament on February 9th. The Bill could effectively stop GE alfalfa and GE wheat from being commercialized in Canada. It would require “an analysis of potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any new genetically engineered seed is permitted.”

GE Seeds and ‘Market Harm’
With greater scrutiny of GE crops in Europe, Canadian flax and alfalfa farmers stand to lose their traditional export markets if these crops are commercialized in Canada. Late last year, Canadian flax exports were found contaminated with a GE variety not approved for our export markets. Canadian flax farmers are paying a heavy price, with some facing the prospect of no markets at all for their crops.

They recognized the potential threat, and in 2001 farmers even took steps to remove GE flax from the market. But despite their best efforts, contamination occurred, creating market uncertainty and depressed prices. Farmers are now paying to test and clean up their seed supplies. They may yet need to abandon their farm-saved flax seed and buy certified seed – all unnecessary and preventable costs.

Allowing for the commercialization of GE alfalfa and GE wheat could also lead to similar problems. Please protect Canada’s farmers and support Bill C-474.

ACTION

Write a letter to your MP instantly. Our friends at CBAN have made it simple. Take action by February 8!
Find out more about this issue and share it with your friends and families by visiting cban.ca or Parliament of Canada.
Learn about the importance of crop diversity and food sovereignty at www.usc-canada.org and at www.seedmap.org.

For more action options and information visit cban.ca or contact:

Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network by Email (coordinator@cban.ca) .

Your actions make a difference!

Thanks for your support of this important issue!