Tipping point? On April 16, 2014 the Vermont Senate passed this country’s first no-strings-attached law requiring mandatory labeling of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and outlawing the practice of labeling GMO-contaminated foods as “natural” or “all natural.”
It’s been a 20-year struggle, and it’s not over yet. The law, set to take effect July 1, 2016, has food manufacturers scrambling to figure out a way to stop this “outrage”: the consumers’ right to know what’s in their food! Monsanto is threatening to sue Vermont, though their prospects of winning are widely considered nil. On May 10th, the Grocer’s Manufacturers Association (GMA), representing big producers like General Mills, PepsiCo, Kraft, etc., announced it would sue the state. Meanwhile, the gene and junk food giants are pouring money into Congress to try to pass a federal law intended to strip every state of the right to pass GMO labeling laws. The corporate agribusiness is also funding “Ag Gag” – state laws making it a crime to photograph or film factory farms, as well as taking away the rights of counties and communities to regulate agricultural practices.
But the tide is turning. Consumers all over the country have let it be known that they want labeling! Now other states, like Massachusetts, New York, Minnesota, Colorado, to name a few, are looking at Vermont’s law as a model. Oregon and Arizona have ballot initiatives pending. Connecticut and Maine have already passed labeling laws that kick in when surrounding states pass similar laws. The expectation is that, once food manufacturers can’t stop GMO labeling legislation in one state, they’ll realize it’s just more cost effective to reformulate all their products to be GMO-free (as has happened in other countries). So it could be just a matter of time.
Thanks to Organic Consumers Association which has been at the forefront of this fight! By tirelessly informing and organizing, OCA has shown that “People Power” can bring significant change. If we all get involved, maybe there’s hope for a healthy planet after all! Take action – join the GMA boycott!
To your health!
Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy (FACT)
Detox – The Body Owner’s Guide
by Consuelo Reyes, President of FACT
In my 25 plus years in Natural Healing at FACT, I have seen the notion of “detoxification” go from a hush-hush, no-go, not-in-polite-company type subject to “in,” get-with-it-everybody’s-doin’-it-cool thing to do! In many ways this is progress. However, I am concerned that, as detox has become more mainstream, the original concept has become diluted, and the consequences can be counterproductive and dangerous.
The confusion lies in the difference between a low-toxicity diet and detoxification. Many people nowadays are packing in high quality nutrition foods along with lots of raw vegetable juices, especially greens, and thinking, “This is detox.” That would be wrong! Read More
Detox Your Home
Take off Your Shoes: One of the easiest ways to prevent outdoor chemicals from becoming indoor toxins is to leave your shoes at the door. Insist that everyone else does, too.
Open the Windows: According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is more dangerous than outdoor air pollution, even in the biggest and most industrialized cities. To help exchange and circulate the air inside your home, open your windows as often as you can. Individuals with chemical sensitivities should consider a high-efficiency particulate arresting (HEPA) air filter. Read More
Art By the Numbers
Does art imitate life, or reflect it? Chris Jordan, a Seattle-based photographer/artist, uses large scale arresting imagery to convey the vastness of waste generated by our mass consuming society and its impact on our environment. He feels that the constant barrage of statistics we hear – in millions, billions, trillions – is too abstract to really inspire change: “I’m trying to translate these numbers from the deadening language of statistics into a visual language that allows some kind of comprehension.”
The above image, from his series “Running the Numbers – An American Portrait,” is part of a huge photo composed of two million disposable plastic bottles, the amount used up every 5 minutes in the U.S. You can see the rest of this series on his web site, including presentations of:
- 38,000 shipping containers, the number processed through American ports every twelve hours.
- 426,000 cell phones, the number of cell phones thrown away in the U.S. every day.
- 8 million toothpicks – the number of trees harvested in the U.S. every month to make the paper for mail order catalogs.
- 170,000 disposable Energizer batteries, equal to 15 minutes of Energizer battery production.
- 30,000 reams of office paper, or 15 million sheets – the amount of office paper used in the U.S. every 5 minutes.
- 60,000 plastic bags, the number used in the U.S. every 5 seconds.
- 106,000 aluminum cans, the number discarded in the U.S. every 30 seconds.
- 1.14 million brown paper supermarket bags, the number used in the U.S. every hour.
- 410,000 disposable coffee cups – the amount disposed of every 15 minutes in the U.S.
Why Organic Food Is Really the Least Expensive Food on Earth
American supermarkets today – vast caverns of colorful canned, boxed, frozen, fresh “goods” – dazzle the eyes and project an image of aplenty in the Land of the Free. And the prices are low. Americans spend on average less than 7% of their income on food, far less than in other countries. But cheap food is not necessarily quality food, nor is it the most cost-efficient.
Actually, organic food is the cheapest food in the U.S., because you only pay for it once, whereas, for chemical-laden, denatured and genetically-modified food, you pay at least six times: Read More
A Supermarket in California
by Allen Ginsberg
What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon.
In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!
What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes! – and you, Garcia Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons?
I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.
I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel?
I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans following you, and followed in my imagination by the store detective.
We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting artichokes,
possessing every frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier.
Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in an hour. Which way does your beard point tonight?
(I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.) Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we’ll both be lonely.
Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage?
Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe?