Posted by: cindydyer | January 1, 2010

Honoring the Foot Soldiers

by Mary Ellen Ryall

Say No to GMO!
In 2008, I talked with Craig Winters (1951 – 2009). We discussed The Campaign’s goal of wanting to establish a Label for Genetically Engineered Foods. Craig passed away on 3 July 2009 after a long bout against cancer. He was the founder and principal driving force behind The Campaign, and worked with Congressman Kucinich to introduce a Food Labeling Bill.

© Jeffrey M. Smith, Institute for Responsible Technology

Now the work is being carried forward by Jeffrey M. Smith, Institute for Responsible Technology. Smith is the author of Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette. You can learn more about the risks of GMOs by watching Smith’s video here.

From Amazon.com and Publishers Weekly, © 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.:
Recent news headlines have focused on the disagreement between the U.S. and Europe over genetically modified foods: the U.S. exports them, but the European Union doesn’t want to import them, believing their safety remains unproven. Are genetically modified foods safe? Longtime anti-GM foods campaigner Smith presents the “opposing” case. He offers cases where GM produced results that were at best unexpected (increased starch content in potatoes), at worst grotesque (pigs without genitals). He describes how one corporation reportedly tried to bribe Canadian government scientists into approving genetically engineered bovine growth hormones they deemed unsafe; how some scientists have reported their careers were threatened as a result of their refusal to approve certain GM products in the U.S.; and how “conflicts of interest, sloppy science, and industry influence” can distort the approval process. The cases Smith presents are scary and timely, but he explores only one side of the story. Readers looking for a balance consideration of genetically modified foods will want to look elsewhere.

Visit the Institute for Responsible Technology Web site here.

Climate Change
Schuyler Houser (1943 – 2009) was a champion for climate change education. Sky, as he was known, was the President of Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College in 2003 when I graduated. I was privileged to hear him speak on Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change for Native Peoples and Homelands (Chapter 12).  His talk gave a lasting impression of how serious climate change may be for all of us. I have been paying attention ever since. The book title is Climate Change Impacts on the United States: The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change. You can read the PDF file of the book and chapter 12 at http://www.usgcrp.gov/usgcrp/Library/nationalassessment/00Intro.pdf

Thanks to Winters and Houser, we now have a road map to follow. We walk into the future with our eyes open and ready to teach others about sustainability.

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