TAKE ACTION – FINAL DAY: Tell the FDA Not to Destroy Organic Farms

Written by Max Goldberg on December 15, 2014. Follow Max on Twitter: @livingmaxwell.

 

vegetable farm

(My apologies that I am sending this to you so late, but I have had a crazy travel schedule to California and have spent an inordinate amount of time offline. Blog posts about my West Coast trip are coming soon, however.)

PUBLIC COMMENTS ARE DUE TODAY – DECEMBER 15TH

In response to recent widespread, and sometimes deadly, outbreaks of foodborne illness, Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) charging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with improving its oversight of the food industry.

Last year, the FDA released a draft of its new policy and an overwhelming number of our comments forced the agency to re-write the rules. This demonstrates that speaking up does have an impact!

The FDA has now released a new version of the rules, which addresses many of our concerns.

However, a number of pitfalls for farmers remain in the new draft, which will also impact consumers of local, organic food purchased at farmers markets, CSAs and co-op grocers.  For some small organic farmers, these rules have the potential to put them out of business. Read More »

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TAKE ACTION – Don’t Let Proposed FDA Food Safety Rules Devastate Small Local and Organic Farmers

Written by Max Goldberg on October 28, 2013. Follow Max on Twitter: @livingmaxwell.

farmers-market

With the continued popularity and importance of farmers markets around the country, it would seem logical that our government would put in place policies to protect these treasured institutions and the people who supply them the food.

The problem, however, is that the success of local and organic farmers markets is a serious threat to Big Agriculture. These massive companies would prefer that our entire diet consist of nutritionally-devoid, genetically-modified soy and corn instead of healthy organic produce grown by local farmers. Read More »

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USDA Gives $500,000 Grant for Genetically-Engineered Pig Development

Written by Max Goldberg on January 2, 2013. Follow Max on Twitter: @livingmaxwell.

Several days ago when I wrote about the imminent approval of genetically-engineered salmon, I also said something else: this will pave the way for genetically-engineered animals and cloned animals.

Well, the USDA recently announced that it would be giving $500,000 to Recombinetics, a Minnesota-based company for “TALEN-mediated chromosome targeting for monosexing and genetic containment in livestock.”

Translation: money for the company to help introduce genetically-engineered animals (pigs) into the food and biomedical marketplace.

Make no mistake about it. The USDA is very, very pro-biotech.

The grant that Recombinetics received came from the USDA’s Biotechnology Risk Assessment Grants (BRAG) program, which was established in 1992. Read More »

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Approval of Genetically-Engineered Salmon Appears Imminent, Tell the FDA “No”

Written by Max Goldberg on December 22, 2012. Follow Max on Twitter: @livingmaxwell.

For several years, the FDA has been considering whether to approve genetically-engineered salmon and it just released (right before a major holiday) an Environmental Assessment as to whether it is safe or not.

(If you are not familiar with this whole genetically-engineered salmon issue, please see the video at the bottom of this post which gives a great explanation.)

Continuing the Obama administration’s pandering to the biotech industry, the Environmental Assessment (EA) said GE-salmon is safe and poses no real risks, and this report paves the way for approval in 2013.

Needless to say, this is horrible news.

The public backlash against this “FrankenFish” has been very clear, yet it has fallen on completely deaf ears.

– Over 400,000 comments were submitted demanding that this GE-salmon be rejected.

– More than 300 environmental, consumer, health and animal welfare organizations, salmon and fishing groups and associations, food companies, chefs, and restaurants filed joint statements with FDA opposing approval. Read More »

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Nuclear Radiation from Fukushima is Found in Bluefin Tuna Near California

Written by Max Goldberg on June 1, 2012. Follow Max on Twitter: @livingmaxwell.

This has not been a particularly good few days for fish. Or for the citizens of our planet, for that matter.

Last week, the Senate gave into pressure from the biotech industry and voted that further environmental testing on the safety of genetically-engineered salmon is not necessary.

(In case you are new to this whole GE-salmon issue, here is an excellent video about it.)

Our government seems incredibly intent on making sure that this horrible technology gets into the environment and ruins the ocean’s ecosystem forever. It even went so far as to give the company that owns this technology, AquaBounty, a $500,000 grant last fall as it teetered on the brink of bankruptcy. Read More »

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Vietnam Veterans and Prominent D.C. Chefs Join the Fight Against GMOs, Urge President Obama Not to Hastily Approve 2,4-D Corn

Written by Max Goldberg on May 25, 2012. Follow Max on Twitter: @livingmaxwell.

Genetically-modified food not only poses very serious health risks, pollutes our water supply, and presents an existential threat to organic food, but it has created a monster called superweeds.

Superweeds, as profiled in the New York Times, are weeds that have become resistant to the ubiquitous herbicide RoundUp, grow uncontrollably, and now infect 13 million acres of land throughout the U.S.

How to deal with this?

The chemical and biotech industries say that the only solution to kill the superweeds is to throw more toxic chemicals at the problem. So, what they have proposed is a genetically-engineered corn that is resistant to 2,4-D. (They’ll plant this genetically-engineered corn and spray it with 2,4-D, with the goal of killing the weeds that grow around the corn but not kill the corn itself.)

2,4-D was the primary ingredient in Agent Orange, the herbicide warfare program in Vietnam that killed an estimated 400,000 people and caused 500,000 kids to be born with birth defects.

Advocacy groups, such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, have cited numerous studies linking 2,4-D exposure to serious illnesses and cancers, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Read More »

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Farmageddon, a Must-Watch Movie, is Now Available on DVD

Written by Max Goldberg on April 27, 2012. Follow Max on Twitter: @livingmaxwell.

If you’re a new reader to my blog, you may not be aware of a very important documentary called Farrmageddon.

Last year, I wrote several posts about this movie and also screened it for a fundraiser that I held to raise money for The Center for Food Safety.

Farmageddon exposes the USDA’s brutal crackdown on farmers selling raw milk and how the agency’s heavy-handed, corrupt and politically-motivated ways have destroyed the lives of small, organic farmers trying to do the right thing. Read More »

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