Bobbi, who lives just north of Algoma, shared this note most recently on our efforts here in northeast Wisconsin in addressing some of the serious environmental issues we are facing. I think Bobbi’s simple note speaks volumes and I wanted to share her words with others.
Here is what Bobbi wrote:
“When people come together anything is possible. Communicating and networking with our neighbors, not only for prosperity, but for the strength in numbers. I used to think that being a loner was ok, [which I could easily be]. It’s not ok; it puts us at risk.”
“Better things come from people coming together.”
Thank you Bobbi, and everyone who has “come together” for the common cause of the collected wealth of our community and protection of our natural resources. Our strength is in numbers, Bobbi is right—
“Better things come from people coming together”.
Kewaunee CARES Citizens Advocating Responsible Environmental Stewardship
“Globalized industrialized food is not cheap: it is too costly for the Earth, for the farmers, for our health. The Earth can no longer carry the burden of groundwater mining, pesticide pollution, disappearance of species and destabilization of the climate. Farmers can no longer carry the burden of debt, which is inevitable in industrial farming with its high costs of production. It is incapable of producing safe, culturally appropriate, tasty, quality food. And it is incapable of producing enough food for all because it is wasteful of land, water and energy. Industrial agriculture uses ten times more energy than it produces. It is thus ten times less efficient.”
― Vandana Shiva — Author of Stolen Harvest, Earth Democracy, Water Wars, Soil Not Oil, Biopiracy, Staying Alive, Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed, The Violence
Submitted by Jim Goodman, dairy farmer from Wonewoc, Wisconsin
Food is big business, everyone eats. Global food production is about profit.
In the North, store shelves are always full. It’s cheap, were told it’s safe, healthy and suddenly it’s sustainable, because sustainable sells.
Sustainable agriculture used to be defined by peasant farmers, by organic farmers; farmers who avoided using pesticides on their crops, farmers who avoided using antibiotics and hormones on their livestock, farmers who relied on integrated farming practices to make their farms regenerative — sustainable.
Now, Monsanto bills itself as a leader and innovator in sustainable agriculture. Elanco tells us technology yields sustainability and Elanco president Jeff Simmons tells us that “access to safe, proven, efficiency-enhancing technologies ensures: the three rights”, Food as a basic human right, Choice as a consumer right, and Sustainability as an environmental right.
What, biotechnology giants are standing up for the rights of people and the environment? The same corporations who for decades have ridiculed consumer protests and environmental concerns because their technology, their GMO’s (Genitally Modified Organisms), their crop protection chemicals, their seed patents were all based on “sound science”?
But, “sound science” has no scientific definition. It does not mean peer reviewed, or well documented research. “Sound science” is only a term, an ideological term, used to support a particular point of view, policy statement or a technology. “Sound science” is little more than the opinions of so called “experts” representing corporate interests.
For example, if the public has concerns about the environment, our health or the safety of our food after having been forced to accept scientific advancements like agricultural biotechnology, highly toxic pesticides, or “fracking”, our concerns are blown off because they are not based on “sound science”.
Without doubt, these practices are, inherently unsafe and in the case of GMO’s, ineffective as well. In the end, they are of benefit only to the industries that own the technology. And because our society is so afraid of doing anything that might anger industry, or give industry a reason to outsource more jobs, science that does not support industry is not ”sound science”.
Simply put, “sound science” always supports the position of industry over people; corporate profit over food safety, the environment and public health. So when someone says something is based on “sound science”, get ready to be duped.
“Sound science “is really all about deception. It paints a picture that is hard to resist, a story we want to believe. We wanted to believe that smoking was good for us, that nuclear energy was completely safe, that dioxin was not a problem —- all stories backed by “sound science”.
Farmers wanted to believe that if they bought into the GMO system, they would actually make money, but the dream turned on them. Patented seeds, the cost of fertilizer and chemicals pushed the small farmers out of business, their farms gobbled up by the corn/soy mono-culture that made Monsanto, Cargill and all the other multi-national agri-business corporations rich.
Peasant farmers in the global South were pushed off their land, rain forests were cleared to grow more corn and soy and rural communities could no longer feed themselves.
Simmons also tells us, hunger should not be happening in the United States. He is dedicating his life to ensure that everyone has food security. “ There is no issue more important in the next seven years than food security. A healthier, more sustainable, more peaceful world is possible. We’ve talked enough. We have enough technology. Now is the time to act.”
So, people are hungry because there is not enough food. “Sound science” and technology are needed to grow more food and the owners of the seed patents, proprietary chemicals, the grain processors and meat packers will give the technology and food to those who need it?
People are hungry because they are poor and they are poor because the corporate system has outsourced their jobs, ruined their local economy and taken their land away.
Farmers cannot feed people when seeds are patented and cost more than they are worth.
Farmers cannot feed people when local markets are destroyed by a global food system and when the “sound science” they are told will make them profitable and help them feed the hungry turns out to be a lie.
GMO’s are safe and they hold the promise of feeding the world. Really? On vary rare occasions the “sound science” gets debunked by those behind the science.
GMO’s will not feed the world “If anyone tells you that GM is going to feed the world, tell them that it is not… To feed the world takes political and financial will.” – Steve Smith, head of GM company Novartis Seeds UK (now Syngenta), public meeting on proposed local GM farm scale trial, Tittleshall, Norfolk, UK, 29 March 2000 .
Others wrote in 1937, at the height of our Depression, frequently calling attention to the parallel between impoverished land and impoverished people. In 1938 Sterling North of the Chicago Daily News wrote, “Ardently as I have scanned the writings of Europe’s half –pint Napoleons I find but one undoubted truth uttered between the two of them. Each has said in effect, “It takes a rich land to support a democracy.’” North continued, “Every time you see a dust cloud, or a muddy stream, a field scarred by erosion or a channel choked with silt, you are witnessing the passing of American democracy…The crop called Man can wither like any other…”