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Organic Insider

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The Calculated Strategy to Take Down Journalist Carey Gillam Can be Seen as a Step to Dismantle Organic

For anyone who cares about the integrity of organic and the future of our industry, what has transpired with Carey Gillam should be of incredible concern.

Recently released court documents revealed that Gillam, a journalist and author of Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science, was the target of a carefully-crafted campaign by Monsanto to discredit her.

According to The Guardian, Monsanto’s actions included the following:

  • Keeping a “Carey Gillam Book” spreadsheet, with more than 20 actions dedicated to opposing her book before its publication, including working to “Engage Pro-Science Third Parties” in criticisms.
  • Paying Google to promote search results for “Monsanto Glyphosate Carey Gillam” that criticized her work.
  • Labeling Gillam and other critics as “anti-glyphosate activists and pro-organic capitalist organizations”.
  • Monitored U.S. Right to Know, a food research organization where Gillam currently works, through its “intelligence fusion center” — a term that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies use for operations focused on surveillance and terrorism.

By discrediting Carey Gillam in the court of public opinion, it has the effect of confusing consumers about the actual harm of glyphosate, a chemical that the World Health Organization said is a “probable human carcinogen” and one that it is known to the state of California “to cause cancer.”

“Monsanto spoke many times in its documents about the fact that people won’t trust messaging that comes from the company directly. So, they work to fool the consumer by pushing their propaganda out through individuals and groups that look like they are independent of the company. Deception is their default,” said Carey Gillam.

But this strategy extends far beyond placing seeds of doubt in the minds of consumers.

Based on internal Monsanto documents uncovered by U.S. Right to Know, a domestic policy adviser at the White House said, “‘We have Monsanto’s back on pesticides regulation.”

On August 8th, this promise was kept.

The Trump administration’s EPA told companies not to warn customers about products that contain glyphosate, which would counter a California regulation that requires labels to warn consumers that the Roundup ingredient is potentially cancer-causing.

PESTICIDE CRITICS AND ORGANIC FOOD ADVOCATES — THE SAME ENEMY

One could easily assume that those same entities who are attempting to take down critics of glyphosate are also trying to dismantle the organic food industry.

At a recent House Agriculture Subcommittee, Greg Ibach, the USDA’s Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, said his agency was open to having the discussion of allowing gene editing in organic.

For nearly everyone in our industry, the mere idea of having a discussion about allowing gene editing in organic is blasphemous. It is an absolute non-starter and would single-handedly destroy our industry.

That being said, if the USDA truly wants to go down this path, it would need to get the approval of the National Organic Standards Board, a 15-member advisory panel that makes recommendations to the USDA about organic rules, ingredients and processes. All NOSB members are on staggered 5-year terms, and each one is appointed to the board by the Secretary of the USDA.

This administration has already approved two members to the NOSB and if President Trump wins in 2020, his USDA will have named all 15 of the NOSB members by 2023. Whether every single one of these members would be in favor of gene editing in organic is unclear, but what will not be in question is that the entire board will be appointed under a Trump administration.

Very conveniently, Greg Ibach said at the same House subcommittee hearing,

“We’re looking forward to making some new appointments as terms expire this coming year….we’re looking forward to be able to create a more diverse organic standards board to be able to provide us input across the board.”

The NOSB is already a reasonably diverse group and has representatives from different minority groups, with women holding 6 of the 15 board seats. By no means is the NOSB currently comprised of a homogeneous set of members.

So, when Greg Ibach says he wants a more diverse board, this could very well mean he would like participants that are more welcoming to gene editing in organic and other non-traditional organic methods.

Taking down critics of glyphosate and damaging the organic food industry are one and the same, and organic advocates cannot ignore what is unfolding before our eyes. And that it is highly orchestrated.

But we were warned.

In 2017, former USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said, “forces of darkness” are “coming together and saying, ‘Let’s sharpen our knives on organic.’”

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Living Maxwell

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Cornucopia’s Organic Egg Scorecard – Because Not All Organic Eggs are The Same

Just as The Environmental Working Group recently put out its bottled water rankings, The Cornucopia Institute has done something similar but with eggs.

While many people may assume that all organic eggs are very similar, this does not appear to be the case. Cornucopia rated all brands of eggs based on 22 criteria that are important to consumers, and the results — not to mention the accompanying video — were quite telling.

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A message from Foodstirs

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Living Maxwell

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BREAKING: Impossible Foods is “Misleading Consumers” About its GMO Protein, FDA Rejects the Claim That it is Safe for Consumption

* Impossible Foods is “misleading consumers” about the key ingredient in the Impossible Burger.

* The Company told the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) that its soy leghemoglobin was  “substantially similar” to proteins consumed daily by the global population, in the form of meat and other vegetables.

However, on the Impossible Foods website, it claims that the heme in the Impossible Burger is “identical” to the heme humans have been consuming for hundreds of thousands of years in meat and other foods. 

* The FDA told Impossible Foods that its arguments “do not establish safety of SLH (soy leghemoglobin) for consumption.” The company decided to sell the Impossible Burger to the public anyway.

* Impossible Foods relied on the expert testimony of scientists who have worked for or have links to Monsanto, the Gates Foundation, Philip Morris and all of the major biotechnology companies.

* 20 minutes after eating an Impossible Burger for the first time, a man Tweeted “went into anaphylactic shock & taken to ER.”

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One of the biggest stories in the food world over the past few years has been the Impossible Burger, the plant-based burger that bleeds when you bite into it.

The goal of the Impossible Burger is to help make a dent in climate change by offering a plant-based burger that does not come from an animal. Animals require a tremendous amount of water and feed, and also produce greenhouse gases. Because the burger is made from plants, the other thing that the Impossible Burger would do is to help alleviate the killing of animals.

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Living Maxwell

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Non-Organic Milk Tests Positive for Illegal Antibiotics, High Levels of Growth Hormones and Controversial Pesticide Contaminants

For years, I have been warning about the health risks of drinking non-organic hormonal milk.

But it isn’t just the synthetic growth hormones that are worrisome.

It is also the alarming level of antibiotics that animals receive and the pesticide-soaked, GMO grains they are fed.

A recently published report from researchers at Emory University, in collaboration with The Organic Center, is validating our concerns with non-organic milk.

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