USDA Looks to Approve First GE, Drought Tolerant Corn with no EIS

On May 11, 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) released a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) on the first-ever genetically engineered (GE), drought tolerant corn, MON 87460.  APHIS is currently soliciting comments on this unprecedented GE crop, due August 12, 2011.  The Center for Food Safety has reviewed the Draft EA, and, our analysis shows that has USDA not adequately analyzed or accounted for the various environmental and socio-economic impacts of this novel crop, and Monsanto has failed to make any significant progress on drought resistance through genetic engineering.

As with previous GE crop approvals, USDA’s proposal fails to comply with national environmental law, making APHIS’s approval illegal.

USDA’s proposal:

  • Fails to adequately consider and protect organic consumers
  • Fails to recognize farmers and consumers have the right to choose non-GE
  • Fails to analyze the benefits of drought-tolerant organic corn as an alternative to MON87460
  • Fails to use sound science and relies excessively on Monsanto data
  • Fails to assess the environmental impacts of converting conservation land to MON87460 production

Tell USDA to obey the law! Further analysis and environmental protections are necessary before any approval should be considered.

Posted in Take Action | Leave a comment

Help Stop Mother of All Anti-Environmental Bills!

If you care about the water you drink, the air you breathe, and America’s natural heritage, we need you to stand with us right now against the mother of all anti-environmental bills.

The U.S. House is poised to vote this week on the must-pass House Interior Appropriations Bill, which contains more than 40 amendments and “policy riders.”

Taken together, these provisions represent the single worst attack on public health and the environment in American history.

Please take action right now to urge your members of Congress opposing this monstrous bill, and to oppose all anti-environment amendments.

Posted in Take Action | Leave a comment

Stop the Planting of GMO Alfalfa & Sugar Beets

On January 17, internationally recognized plant pathologist Dr. Don Huber, wrote a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack warning of the discovery of a new pathogen and a possible link between Roundup Ready® (GMO) corn and soybeans and severe reproductive problems in livestock as well as widespread crop failure.

Less than 3 weeks later, the Obama administration approved 2 new Roundup Ready® GMO crops, set to be planted this spring… Click here to read about Dr. Huber’s discovery. If it gives you pause, sign the petition to ask Sec. Vilsack to stop these seeds from being planted until further research is done.

Posted in Take Action | Leave a comment

It’s Time to Break Up Monsanto

For far too long Monsanto has been able to control important market access for family farmers. Today their power has grown too great, they own more than 90% of the GMO seed genetics in the world and this is having a harmful impact on farmer’s right to choose what type of seeds they want to plant and how American consumers want their food produced. Monsanto’s excessive market share harms farmers, the environment, innovation and our democracy. It’s time to Break Up Monsanto!

Don’t let Monsanto and GMOs destroy your organic future and our democracy!

Please add your name to the letter to President Obama, Attorney General Holder, Assistant Attorney General Varney and Secretary Vilsack

Posted in Take Action | Leave a comment

Garden Tenders Basic Training Course

Are you interested in starting a garden in your neighborhood? Do you want to grow your own food? Beautify a vacant lot? Garden at your school?  If so, this Garden Tenders class is for you.

This self-help course is designed for individuals and groups who want to improve their neighborhoods by turning vacant lots and other spaces into both community and individual gardens.  Garden Tenders participants learn how to get gardens started, and how to keep things going once the garden is in the ground.

The eight-session course combines in-depth and hands-on gardening experience with topics such as basic horticulture, sources for garden supplies, recruiting and keeping volunteers, finding other resources in your neighborhood, plant selection, starting seeds, planting and garden maintenance.
Continue reading »

Posted in Blog, Events | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Save a Farmer Today

Please call the White House today and urge the Obama administration to stand up for family farmers to make sure they receive fair market contracts and no longer experience unfair price discrimination.

Read more about this at fooddemocracynow.org.

Posted in Take Action | Leave a comment

Stop the Planting of GE Alfalfa

In a precedent-setting final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the planting of Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) acknowledges for the first time that GE contamination of organic and conventionally grown crops presents a huge problem in the U.S.  Yet, the document falls woefully short of proving that GE alfalfa is safe for the environment or that it will afford all farmers their fair share of the US agricultural economy.  In fact, the EIS sorely lacks the type of rigorous scientific data and analysis that the public expects from the Agency to justify going forward with any type of deregulation of GE alfalfa.

That is why we are calling on our supporters to urge USDA to adopt a moratorium on the planting of GE alfalfa.

Click here send a letter to Secretary Vilsack

Posted in Take Action | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Save the Bees, Tell the EPA to ban Bayer’s toxic pesticide clothianidin

For the past several years scientists have been alarmed by the mysterious collapse of bee populations worldwide. Known as “Colony Collapse Disorder”, massive bee die-offs discovered by beekeepers has resulted in the loss of as much as 30% of the commercial honeybee population in the U.S. since 2006.

Last month a leaked EPA memo uncovered proof that the U.S. government approved a pesticide toxic to bees based on “fatally flawed” science and they have no intention of banning it even though it is harming the U.S. bee population. Incredibly, beekeepers and scientists around the world are pointing to Bayer’s clothianidin as a leading factor in colony collapse and 4 European countries have already banned it.

Click here to join us in telling the EPA to immediately ban the sale and use of clothianidin until proper tests can be conducted.

Posted in Take Action | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Andrew Kimbrell, George Devault to speak on GMO’s at PASA conference

Many of you are familiar with the controversy about genetically modified foods. Knowing about “GMO’s” may be crucial to our health, but most people don’t know about this issue enough to know whether they should be concerned or not.

At the annual conference of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) Thursday, February 3rd at State College, PA, there will be an all-day “track” on GMO’s. Andrew Kimbrell from the Center for Food Safety and George DeVault of the Seed Saver’s Exchange will be two of the speakers. They will discuss what GMO’s are and how they got into our food supply, possible health risks, seed saving and how GMO’s affect farmer (and gardener) freedom, etc. Dave Mortensen of PSU will explain environmental impacts, and Shelby Fleischer of PSU will touch on whether there are possibilities that GMO’s can ever be part of a sustainable food system.

If you care about the health of you and your family, and the health of our local farms, this will be a day not to be missed.

This day must be pre-registered for; there are no walk-ins. I also highly recommend the remainder of the conference, with many different speakers and workshops on Friday and Saturday. There are also other “pre-conference tracks” to choose from, some of which are already sold out. The entire conference schedule can be obtained at www.pasafarming.org/conference2011.

Posted in Blog, Events | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Happy Holidays!

To All of our members and friends!

We want to wish you and your family and friends a wonderfully slow holiday to enjoy.  May the New Year bring us together to break bread, drink wine & beer, and share moments with friends.

Our dedicated committee is working hard so that next year our Slow Food Philly Chapter can take the challenge that Carlo Petrini delivered at Terra Madre to spread the message, to shine the light, and to assume the leadership.  We are working hard to provide you with events and opportunities to learn, volunteer, and take political action so that we can demonstrate by our deeds how much we truly cherish this precious planet we live in.

Please take a moment to visit our newly designed website and also to sign up for one of our seminars being offered at the Restaurant School.

Happy Holidays! In Swedish: Trevlig Helg!, Portuguese: Boas Festas!, Turkish: Mutlu Bayramlar!, Romanian: Sarbatori Fericite!, Mandarin: Jie Ri Yu Kuai,  Catalan: Bones Festes!, Japanese: Tanoshii kurisumasu wo!, Italian: Buone Feste!, South African (Xhose): Ii holide eximnandi, German: Forhe Feiertage, Dutch: Prettige feestdagen, Hawaiian: Hau’oli Lanui (pronounced how-oh-lay la-new-ee), Gaelic: Beannachtaí na Féile, Slovenian: Vesele Praznike, Indonesian: Selamat Hari Raya!, Croatian: Sretni praznici!, Bulgarian: Theseita Koleda

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment