TOMORROW: LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz to introduce significant climate change legislation, #ClimateActionNow, #350action

Climate rally w Ed Bagley & David Haake

Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz will be hosting a press conference tomorrow to celebrate the anticipated passage by the City Council of his resolution supporting President Obama’s new carbon rules, and to announce the introduction of his motion calling for the City to adopt a citywide 80% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050 (and 80% by 2030 for DWP).

WHO: Councilmember Paul Koretz; Members of the LA Clean Energy Coalition

WHAT:  Councilmember Koretz will be introducing a motion calling for an 80% Greenhouse Gas Reduction in Los Angeles by 2050, then marching inside to the City Council meeting for a vote on a resolution supporting the President’s new carbon rules.

WHEN: 9:30a.m., Friday, June 27, 2014

WHERE: Outside City Hall, Spring Street Forecourt – 200 N. Spring St., Los Angeles 90012

Hope you can make it!

Posted in Get Involved! | Leave a comment

Vote for Bee-Protectors, HoneyLove! #yaybees

I’m proud of our bee-protectors, HoneyLove, who have pushed Los Angeles into being a bee-protected zone.

Please vote for their being awarded as an “organization that is having a profound impact on the communities in which it operates:”

http://honeylove.org/zipcar-contest/

 

Posted in Get Involved! | Leave a comment

URGENT – #LABELGMOs – NEED YOUR HELP TO PUSH SB-1381 ACROSS FIRST FINISH LINE, #MAM, @GMwatch, @GMOTruth. #GMO, #RightToKnow, #bees

Image WE ARE THIS/close TO VICTORY IN THE CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE!

NEXT WEEK, before the end of Friday, May 30th, 2014, the entire California Senate will vote on SB-1381 (Evans): whether or not to require labeling of genetically-modified (GMO) food products for sale to eat in California.  TO CONTACT THE SENATORS IMMEDIATELY, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN.

This is a basic consumer rights issue, which encompasses all political beliefs and all economic groups.

As this ABC poll suggests, and poll after poll agrees, 93% of U.S. consumers are in support of labeling genetically-modified foods of any kind: http://tinyurl.com/ABCpollGMOs.

Companies which produce GMO foods do not want their foods labeled as such because they know consumers will avoid their products.  In a pure market economy, consumers must have all the facts at their disposal to make informed choices in order to purchase (and therefore approve) the products they want to use.  If a product is deemed defective, it will not be purchased by consumers and it will be removed from shelves.  Why then, in our supposed “free market economy,” is there any question about labeling GMO products whatsoever?  The answer: corporate money polluting our politics.  Period.

With the unchecked spread of genetically-modified soy and corn, a large unscientific experiment is taking place: people and animals are already eating GMO food and feed and we don’t truly know what effects these will have on any organism over the long-term.  No long-term study has been conducted; no results published to be refuted.  And if the whole of the U.S. population is being exposed to it, there is no control group.

Since probably 95% of all competent scientists in the field of genetic engineering are working for the side of GMO producers and only 5% are truly independent, the USDA and the FDA are generally approving genetically-modified crops and foods based mainly on science provided by companies who will profit from their sale.  That means we have a very serious scientific problem in relation to our food, our most important issue, which trickles down into health and water and resource management issues.  And, most relevant to the discussion surrounding SB-1381, it also means we have a serious Democratic problem.

What we do know, scientifically, is that early-onset diabetes and childhood obesity are both at epidemic proportions in the United States.  It is my opinion that the cause is the difference in food over the last ten years.  If you look at labels in markets, corn and soy, both highly genetically-modified crops in the U.S., have become major ingredients in most foods over the past decade.  But — and here is my salient point — if you look at the label, you have the choice to avoid those foods. 

If the people of California cannot be more effectively protected scientifically and they cannot Democratically choose whether they even want genetically-modified products in their lives (all polls suggest they do not), the choice should not be left up to the companies who have profit incentives whether or not to label their products.  Consumers should have the choice to vote in the store by reading the labels, labels reading GMO or non-GMO.  The whole population should not be subjected to potentially harmful substances without their permission or their choice.

Before next Friday, all the members of the California Senate will be voting whether or not to approve SB-1381.  We need more votes for it to pass.  Please call them ASAP to express your support of SB-1381 (Evans) tonight.

Talking points:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/the_case_for_gmo_labeling

  • Concerns about the health impacts of eating genetically-modified food products; the dominance of our food supply by a handful of corporations, concerns that lower income people eat and are impacted by the processed food products which most contain genetically-modified ingredients; and that the increased use of pesticides and herbicides necessary for cultivation of genetically-modified crops are increasingly having negative impacts our groundwater, something we particularly need to protect as the drought situation worsens. 
  • There is a strong precedent to SB-1381 in the United States: the 2004 Food Allergen Labeling Act, which protected consumers by requiring labeling of possible allergens like peanuts, soy and dairy.  When it went into force, stores and companies complied, prices remained stable, there was no excessive or abusive litigation and, most importantly, consumers had more information with which to protect themselves.  We have all seen the signs, “This product made on equipment which may have once touched peanuts.”
  • Food prices also remained stable when the European Union required the labeling of GMOs ten years ago.  Sixty-four countries across the globe either label GMOs or ban them completely, including Australia, Brazil, Japan, Peru, India, China and Russia.  I am especially concerned that people in China and Russia have more rights to know what is in the food they eat than we do in California.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HERE ARE THE SENATORS WHO MOST NEED CALLS:

Ed Hernandez (D) – West Covina area – Voted NO in Health Committee – ask him to turn it around and vote YES.

State Capitol
(916) 651-4024
Fax: (916) 651-4924
——————————–
Carol Liu (D) – Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, Sierra Madre, Upland area – thank her for her usual strong environmental leadership and we need her vote on this one

State Capitol
(916) 651-4025
Fax: (916) 651-4925
——————————–
Ted Lieu (D) – West LA, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica 

State Capitol
(916) 651-4028
Fax: (916) 651-4928
——————————–
Richard Roth (D) – Riverside area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4031
Fax: (916) 651-4931
——————————–
Lou Correa (R) – Santa Ana area- emphasize disproportional effect on low income people who can’t afford organic

State Capitol
(916) 651-4034
Fax: (916) 651-4934
——————————–
Marty Block (D) – San Diego 

State Capitol
(916) 651-4039
Fax: (916) 651-4939
——————————–
Norma Torres (D) – Chino area – emphasize disproportional health effect on low income people who can’t afford organic

State Capitol
(916) 651-4032
Fax: (916) 651-4932
——————————–
Ben Hueso (D) – Chula Vista, Indio area - emphasize disproportional health effect on low income people who can’t afford organic

State Capitol
(916) 651-4040
Fax: (916) 651-4940
——————————–
Joel Anderson (R) – Temecula area – voted NO in Judiciary Committee

State Capitol
(916) 651-4036
Fax: (916) 651-4936
——————————–
Cathleen Galgiani (D) – Stockton area – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4005
Fax: (916) 651-4905
——————————–
Holly Mitchell (D) – Culver City, West LA, Beverlywood, Bel Air – thank her for her leadership with her fracking moratorium and ask her support for this

State Capitol
(916) 651-4026
Fax: (916) 651-4926
——————————–
Mark Wyland (R) – Carlsbad, San Juan Capistrano area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4038
Fax: (916) 651-4938

——————————–
Mimi Walters (R) – Irvine area – voted NO in Appropriations Committee

(916) 651-4037
Fax: (916) 651-4937
——————————–
Alex Padilla – LA area – say thanks for moving it out of Appropriations Committee and you hope he’ll work hard to get it through the full Senate.

(916) 651-4020
Fax: (916) 651-4920
——————————–
Ted Gaines (R) – Redding area

(916) 651-4001
Fax: (916) 651-4901
——————————–
Anthony Cannella (R) – Modesto area – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4012
Fax: (916) 651-4912
——————————–
Tom Berryhill (R) – Modesto area – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4014
Fax: (916) 651-4914
——————————–
Andy Vidak (R) – Bakersfield – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4016
Fax: (916) 651-4916
——————————–
Jean Fuller (R) – Bakersfield – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4018
Fax: (916) 651-4918
——————————–
Steven Knight (R) – Lancaster area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4021
Fax: (916) 651-4921
——————————–
Mike Morrell (R)  – Palm Desert area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4023
Fax: (916) 651-4923
——————————–
Bob Huff (R) – Brea area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4029
Fax: (916) 651-4929
——————————–
Jim Nielsen(R) – Chico area – Ask why he is against consumer rights and transparency

State Capitol
(916) 651-4004
Fax: (916) 651-4904
——————————–
Kevin de Leon (D) – LA area – Thank him for moving it out of Appropriations Committee and encourage his strong support of getting it through the full Senate.

State Capitol
(916) 651-4022
Fax: (916) 327-8817
——————————–

Especially if you live in any of their districts, please contact them immediately and tell them you want them to support SB 1381.  You can even call them if you don’t live in their district.

==================

For further info:

http://www.labelgmos.org/

For other endorsements:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/endorsement_main_page

Resources:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/resources

Posted in Get Involved! | Leave a comment

URGENT: California State GMO-labeling bill needs your help TODAY!! SB-1381(Evans) #labelGMOs

Image WE ARE SO CLOSE IN THE SENATE!

NEXT WEEK, before the end of Friday, May 30th, 2014, the entire California Senate will vote on SB-1381 (Evans): whether or not to require labeling of genetically-modified (GMO) food products for sale to eat in California.  TO CONTACT THE SENATORS IMMEDIATELY, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN.

This is a basic consumer rights issue, which encompasses all political beliefs and all economic groups.

As this ABC poll suggests, and poll after poll agrees, 93% of U.S. consumers are in support of labeling genetically-modified foods of any kind: http://tinyurl.com/ABCpollGMOs.

Companies which produce GMO foods do not want their foods labeled as such because they know consumers will avoid their products.  In a pure market economy, consumers must have all the facts at their disposal to make informed choices in order to purchase (and therefore approve) the products they want to use.  If a product is deemed defective, it will not be purchased by consumers and it will be removed from shelves.  Why then, in our supposed “free market economy,” is there any question about labeling GMO products whatsoever?  The answer: corporate money polluting our politics.  Period.

With the unchecked spread of genetically-modified soy and corn, a large unscientific experiment is taking place: people and animals are already eating GMO food and feed and we don’t truly know what effects these will have on any organism over the long-term.  No long-term study has been conducted; no results published to be refuted.  And if the whole of the U.S. population is being exposed to it, there is no control group.

Since probably 95% of all competent scientists in the field of genetic engineering are working for the side of GMO producers and only 5% are truly independent, the USDA and the FDA are generally approving genetically-modified crops and foods based mainly on science provided by companies who will profit from their sale.  That means we have a very serious scientific problem in relation to our food, our most important issue, which trickles down into health and water and resource management issues.  And, most relevant to the discussion surrounding SB-1381, it also means we have a serious Democratic problem.

What we do know, scientifically, is that early-onset diabetes and childhood obesity are both at epidemic proportions in the United States.  It is my opinion that the cause is the difference in food over the last ten years.  If you look at labels in markets, corn and soy, both highly genetically-modified crops in the U.S., have become major ingredients in most foods over the past decade.  But — and here is my salient point — if you look at the label, you have the choice to avoid those foods. 

If the people of California cannot be more effectively protected scientifically and they cannot Democratically choose whether they even want genetically-modified products in their lives (all polls suggest they do not), the choice should not be left up to the companies who have profit incentives whether or not to label their products.  Consumers should have the choice to vote in the store by reading the labels, labels reading GMO or non-GMO.  The whole population should not be subjected to potentially harmful substances without their permission or their choice.

Before next Friday, all the members of the California Senate will be voting whether or not to approve SB-1381.  We need more votes for it to pass.  Please call them ASAP to express your support of SB-1381 (Evans) tonight.

Talking points:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/the_case_for_gmo_labeling

  • Concerns about the health impacts of eating genetically-modified food products; the dominance of our food supply by a handful of corporations, concerns that lower income people eat and are impacted by the processed food products which most contain genetically-modified ingredients; and that the increased use of pesticides and herbicides necessary for cultivation of genetically-modified crops are increasingly having negative impacts our groundwater, something we particularly need to protect as the drought situation worsens.

  • There is a strong precedent to SB-1381 in the United States: the 2004 Food Allergen Labeling Act, which protected consumers by requiring labeling of possible allergens like peanuts, soy and dairy.  When it went into force, stores and companies complied, prices remained stable, there was no excessive or abusive litigation and, most importantly, consumers had more information with which to protect themselves.  We have all seen the signs, “This product made on equipment which may have once touched peanuts.”
  • Food prices also remained stable when the European Union required the labeling of GMOs ten years ago.  Sixty-four countries across the globe either label GMOs or ban them completely, including Australia, Brazil, Japan, Peru, India, China and Russia.  I am especially concerned that people in China and Russia have more rights to know what is in the food they eat than we do in California.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HERE ARE THE SENATORS WHO MOST NEED CALLS:

Ed Hernandez (D) – West Covina area – Voted NO in Health Committee – ask him to turn it around and vote YES.

State Capitol
(916) 651-4024
Fax: (916) 651-4924
——————————–
Carol Liu (D) – Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, Sierra Madre, Upland area – thank her for her usual strong environmental leadership and we need her vote on this one

State Capitol
(916) 651-4025
Fax: (916) 651-4925
——————————–
Ted Lieu (D) – West LA, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica 

State Capitol
(916) 651-4028
Fax: (916) 651-4928
——————————–
Richard Roth (D) – Riverside area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4031
Fax: (916) 651-4931
——————————–
Lou Correa (R) – Santa Ana area- emphasize disproportional effect on low income people who can’t afford organic

State Capitol
(916) 651-4034
Fax: (916) 651-4934
——————————–
Marty Block (D) – San Diego 

State Capitol
(916) 651-4039
Fax: (916) 651-4939
——————————–
Norma Torres (D) – Chino area – emphasize disproportional health effect on low income people who can’t afford organic

State Capitol
(916) 651-4032
Fax: (916) 651-4932
——————————–
Ben Hueso (D) – Chula Vista, Indio area - emphasize disproportional health effect on low income people who can’t afford organic

State Capitol
(916) 651-4040
Fax: (916) 651-4940
——————————–
Joel Anderson (R) – Temecula area – voted NO in Judiciary Committee

State Capitol
(916) 651-4036
Fax: (916) 651-4936
——————————–
Cathleen Galgiani (D) – Stockton area – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4005
Fax: (916) 651-4905
——————————–
Holly Mitchell (D) – Culver City, West LA, Beverlywood, Bel Air – thank her for her leadership with her fracking moratorium and ask her support for this

State Capitol
(916) 651-4026
Fax: (916) 651-4926
——————————–
Mark Wyland (R) – Carlsbad, San Juan Capistrano area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4038
Fax: (916) 651-4938

——————————–
Mimi Walters (R) – Irvine area – voted NO in Appropriations Committee

(916) 651-4037
Fax: (916) 651-4937
——————————–
Alex Padilla – LA area – say thanks for moving it out of Appropriations Committee and you hope he’ll work hard to get it through the full Senate.

(916) 651-4020
Fax: (916) 651-4920
——————————–
Ted Gaines (R) – Redding area

(916) 651-4001
Fax: (916) 651-4901
——————————–
Anthony Cannella (R) – Modesto area – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4012
Fax: (916) 651-4912
——————————–
Tom Berryhill (R) – Modesto area – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4014
Fax: (916) 651-4914
——————————–
Andy Vidak (R) – Bakersfield – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4016
Fax: (916) 651-4916
——————————–
Jean Fuller (R) – Bakersfield – big AG-heavy district

State Capitol
(916) 651-4018
Fax: (916) 651-4918
——————————–
Steven Knight (R) – Lancaster area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4021
Fax: (916) 651-4921
——————————–
Mike Morrell (R)  – Palm Desert area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4023
Fax: (916) 651-4923
——————————–
Bob Huff (R) – Brea area

State Capitol
(916) 651-4029
Fax: (916) 651-4929
——————————–
Jim Nielsen(R) – Chico area – Ask why he is against consumer rights and transparency

State Capitol
(916) 651-4004
Fax: (916) 651-4904
——————————–
Kevin de Leon (D) – LA area – Thank him for moving it out of Appropriations Committee and encourage his strong support of getting it through the full Senate.

State Capitol
(916) 651-4022
Fax: (916) 327-8817
——————————–

Especially if you live in any of their districts, please contact them immediately and tell them you want them to support SB 1381.  You can even call them if you don’t live in their district.

==================

For further info:

http://www.labelgmos.org/

For other endorsements:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/endorsement_main_page

Resources:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/resources

Posted in Get Involved! | Leave a comment

URGENT THIS FRIDAY AT LA CITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE: Support new statewide GMO-labeling bill

Image

This coming Friday, May 16th, 2014, 9:00am in Room 340, at Los Angeles City Hall (200 N. Spring Street), a Los Angeles City Council Committee will be voting on a resolution of support for SB-1381 (Evans): whether or not to require labeling of genetically-modified (GMO) food products for sale to eat in California.  TO CONTACT THE COUNCILMEMBERS IMMEDIATELY, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN.

This is a basic consumer rights issue, which encompasses all political beliefs and all economic groups.

As this ABC poll suggests, and poll after poll agrees, 93% of U.S. consumers are in support of labeling genetically-modified foods of any kind:
http://tinyurl.com/ABCpollGMOs.

Companies which produce GMO foods do not want their foods labeled as such because they know consumers will avoid their products.  In a pure market economy, consumers must have all the facts at their disposal to make informed choices in order to purchase (and therefore approve) the products they want to use.  If a product is deemed defective, it will not be purchased by consumers and it will be removed from shelves.  Why then, in our supposed “free market economy,” is there any question about labeling GMO products whatsoever?  The answer: corporate money polluting our politics.  Period.

With genetic engineering, without much Democratic decision-making at all, a few companies and scientists are trying to change the permanent genetic makeup of all life, life that was made either through divine intervention or through millions of years of evolution.  Either way, we have no right – simply for profit, or for research – to change them fundamentally.  Regardless of how far we humans have evolved, we are not, ourselves, Gods, and we do not truly understand “life” the same way we understand machines.

With the unchecked spread of genetically-modified soy and corn, a large unscientific experiment is taking place: people and animals are already eating GMO food and feed and we don’t truly know what effects these will have on any organism over the long-term.  No long-term study has been conducted; no results published to be refuted.  And if the whole of the U.S. population is being exposed to it, there is no control group.

Since probably 95% of all competent scientists in the field of genetic engineering are working for the side of GMO producers and only 5% are truly independent, the USDA and the FDA are generally approving genetically-modified crops and foods based mainly on science provided by companies who will profit from their sale.  That means we have a very serious scientific problem in relation to our food, our most important issue, which trickles down into health and water and resource management issues.  And, most relevant to the discussion surrounding SB-1381, it also means we have a serious Democratic problem.

What we do know, scientifically, is that early-onset diabetes and childhood obesity are both at epidemic proportions in the United States.  It is my opinion that the cause is the difference in food over the last ten years.  If you look at labels in markets, corn and soy, both highly genetically-modified crops in the U.S., have become major ingredients in most foods over the past decade.  But — and here is my salient point — if you look at the label, you have the choice to avoid those foods. 

If the people of California cannot be more effectively protected scientifically and they cannot Democratically choose whether they even want genetically-modified products in their lives (all polls suggest they do not), the choice should not be left up to the companies who have profit incentives whether or not to label their products.  Consumers should have the choice to vote in the store by reading the labels, labels reading GMO or non-GMO.  The whole population should not be subjected to potentially harmful substances without their permission or their choice.

This Friday, 3 Los Angeles City Councilmembers of the Rules/InterGovernmental Affairs Committee will be voting whether or not to allow the full City Council to vote on SB-1381.  Please call them ASAP to express your support of the City Council resolution supporting SB-1381 (Evans) today.

Talking points:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/the_case_for_gmo_labeling

  • Concerns about the health impacts of eating genetically-modified food products; the dominance of our food supply by a handful of corporations, concerns that lower income people eat and are impacted by the processed food products which most contain genetically-modified ingredients; and that the increased use of pesticides and herbicides necessary for cultivation of genetically-modified crops are increasingly having negative impacts our groundwater, something we particularly need to protect as the drought situation worsens. 
  • There is a strong precedent to SB-1381 in the United States: the 2004 Food Allergen Labeling Act, which protected consumers by requiring labeling of possible allergens like peanuts, soy and dairy.  When it went into force, stores and companies complied, prices remained stable, there was no excessive or abusive litigation and, most importantly, consumers had more information with which to protect themselves.  We have all seen the signs, “This product made on equipment which may have once touched peanuts.”
  • Food prices also remained stable when the European Union required the labeling of GMOs ten years ago.  Sixty-four countries across the globe either label GMOs or ban them completely, including Australia, Brazil, Japan, Peru, India, China and Russia.  I am especially concerned that people in China and Russia have more rights to know what is in the food they eat than we do in California.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HERE ARE THE COUNCILMEMBERS ON THE RULES/INTERGOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE:

Herb Wesson - Council District 10 – (323) 733-8233

councilmember.wesson@lacity.org

——————————–

Jose Huizar - Council District 14 – (213) 473-7014

——————————–

Tom LaBongeCouncil District 4 - (213) 485-3337
tom.labonge@lacity.org

——————————–

Especially if you live in any of their districts, please contact them immediately and tell them you want them to support the City Council resolution supporting SB 1381, which is coming up in “Rules Committee” this Friday.  Even if you live in another district, since this is a committee, it is fine to call and voice your support.

==================

For further info:

http://www.labelgmos.org/

For other endorsements:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/endorsement_main_page

Resources:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/resources

Posted in Genetically-Modified Food | Leave a comment

URGENT: New California statewide GMO-labeling bill needs your help!

Image

This coming Tuesday, April 1st, 2014, 9:30am in Room 113, the California Senate Agriculture Committee will be voting on SB-1381 (Evans): whether or not to require labeling of genetically-modified (GMO) food products for sale to eat in California.  TO CONTACT THE SENATORS IMMEDIATELY, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN.

This is a basic consumer rights issue, which encompasses all political beliefs and all economic groups.

As this ABC poll suggests, and poll after poll agrees, 93% of U.S. consumers are in support of labeling genetically-modified foods of any kind:
http://tinyurl.com/ABCpollGMOs.

Companies which produce GMO foods do not want their foods labeled as such because they know consumers will avoid their products.  In a pure market economy, consumers must have all the facts at their disposal to make informed choices in order to purchase (and therefore approve) the products they want to use.  If a product is deemed defective, it will not be purchased by consumers and it will be removed from shelves.  Why then, in our supposed “free market economy,” is there any question about labeling GMO products whatsoever?  The answer: corporate money polluting our politics.  Period.

With genetic engineering, without much Democratic decision-making at all, a few companies and scientists are trying to change the permanent genetic makeup of all life, life that was made either through divine intervention or through millions of years of evolution.  Either way, we have no right – simply for profit, or for research – to change them fundamentally.  Regardless of how far we humans have evolved, we are not, ourselves, Gods, and we do not truly understand “life” the same way we understand machines.

With the unchecked spread of genetically-modified soy and corn, a large unscientific experiment is taking place: people and animals are already eating GMO food and feed and we don’t truly know what effects these will have on any organism over the long-term.  No long-term study has been conducted; no results published to be refuted.  And if the whole of the U.S. population is being exposed to it, there is no control group.

Since probably 95% of all competent scientists in the field of genetic engineering are working for the side of GMO producers and only 5% are truly independent, the USDA and the FDA are generally approving genetically-modified crops and foods based mainly on science provided by companies who will profit from their sale.  That means we have a very serious scientific problem in relation to our food, our most important issue, which trickles down into health and water and resource management issues.  And, most relevant to the discussion surrounding SB-1381, it also means we have a serious Democratic problem.

What we do know, scientifically, is that early-onset diabetes and childhood obesity are both at epidemic proportions in the United States.  It is my opinion that the cause is the difference in food over the last ten years.  If you look at labels in markets, corn and soy, both highly genetically-modified crops in the U.S., have become major ingredients in most foods over the past decade.  But — and here is my salient point — if you look at the label, you have the choice to avoid those foods. 

If the people of California cannot be more effectively protected scientifically and they cannot Democratically choose whether they even want genetically-modified products in their lives (all polls suggest they do not), the choice should not be left up to the companies who have profit incentives whether or not to label their products.  Consumers should have the choice to vote in the store by reading the labels, labels reading GMO or non-GMO.  The whole population should not be subjected to potentially harmful substances without their permission or their choice.

This Tuesday, 5 members of the California Senate Agriculture Committee will be voting whether or not to allow the full Senate to vote on SB-1381.  We need more votes to pass it out of committee.  Please call them ASAP to express your support of SB-1381 (Evans) today.

Talking points:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/the_case_for_gmo_labeling

  • Concerns about the health impacts of eating genetically-modified food products; the dominance of our food supply by a handful of corporations, concerns that lower income people eat and are impacted by the processed food products which most contain genetically-modified ingredients; and that the increased use of pesticides and herbicides necessary for cultivation of genetically-modified crops are increasingly having negative impacts our groundwater, something we particularly need to protect as the drought situation worsens.
  • There is a strong precedent to SB-1381 in the United States: the 2004 Food Allergen Labeling Act, which protected consumers by requiring labeling of possible allergens like peanuts, soy and dairy.  When it went into force, stores and companies complied, prices remained stable, there was no excessive or abusive litigation and, most importantly, consumers had more information with which to protect themselves.  We have all seen the signs, “This product made on equipment which may have once touched peanuts.”
  • Food prices also remained stable when the European Union required the labeling of GMOs ten years ago.  Sixty-four countries across the globe either label GMOs or ban them completely, including Australia, Brazil, Japan, Peru, India, China and Russia.  I am especially concerned that people in China and Russia have more rights to know what is in the food they eat than we do in California.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HERE ARE THE SENATORS ON THE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE:

Ted Lieu –  Senate District 28 – (Mar Vista, Santa Monica, West LA, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Pacific Palisades, Bel Air, San Pedro, Rancho Palo Verdes).

State Capitol
(916) 651-4028
Fax: (916) 651-4928
senator.lieu@sen.ca.gov

——————————–

Cathleen Galgiani – Committee Chair - Dem 5 – (Stockton, Lodi, Galt, Lanthrop, Manteca, Tracy, Modesto, Salida, Riverbank)

State Capitol
(916) 651-4005
Fax: (916) 651-4905
senator.galgiani@senate.ca.gov

——————————–

Lois Wolk - Dem 3 – (Davis, Vacaville, Woodland, Fairfield, Napa, Sonoma, Vallejo, Calistoga, Winters, Dixon, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, St. Helena)

State Capitol
(916) 651-4003
Fax: (916) 651-4903
senator.wolk@senate.ca.gov

——————————–

Anthony Cannella - Rep-12 – (Modesto, Salinas, Merced, Madera, Turlock, Hollister, Ceres)

(916) 651-4012
Fax: (916) 651-4912
senator.cannella@senate.ca.gov

——————————–

Tom Berryhill - Rep -14 – (Fresno, Modesto, Salida, Lodi, Sonora, Waterford, Oakdale, Escalon, Ripton)

(916) 651-4014
Fax: (916) 651-4914
senator.berryhill@senate.ca.gov

——————————–

If you live in any of their districts, please contact them immediately and tell them you want them to support SB 1381.

==================

For further info:

http://www.labelgmos.org/

For other endorsements:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/endorsement_main_page

Resources:

http://www.caforgefoodlabeling.org/resources

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LA COUNCIL COMMITTEE MOVES FORWARD MORATORIUM ON FRACKING IN LA, #UnfrackLA

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LOS ANGELES – In a packed hearing room, the Los Angeles City Council Planning and Land Use Committee headed by Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar approved two motions calling for a moratorium and for land use restrictions on the controversial oil and gas extraction method fracking.

Co-author of the fracking moratorium motion, Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz said, “We’ve begun the worst drought in California history.  Each fracked well reportedly uses five to ten million gallons of water and turns it into what is, essentially, untreatable toxic waste.  We have other methods of extracting oil and gas; there is no substitute for drinking water.”

Moratorium co-author Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin mentioned the recent earthquakes in Oklahoma (more than 2,800 in 2013), which the US Geological Survey suspects are attributed to fracking wastewater disposal.  “We cannot continue to allow the safety of the neighborhoods we represent to be jeopardized by dangerous drilling,” Bonin said, “I am very excited by today’s progress and I look forward to continuing this conversation with the full council on Friday.”

Land Use restrictions author Councilmember Bernard Parks mentioned the health impacts of fracking near residential neighborhoods and schools.

Kwazi Nkrumah of the MLK Coalition discussed the social justice impacts of fracking and climate change.  He invited everyone in the room to fight by attending the Great March for Climate Action launch event, a cross-country march beginning in Los Angeles and ending in Washington D.C. in time for the November mid-term Congressional elections.  The marchers’ aim is to keep action on climate change at the top of the Congressional debate all the way across the country.

Residents of the Esperanza Community Housing Corp recently affected by the oil company AllenCo’s recently shut down University Park oil drilling pad and of the Harbor Gateway North Neighborhood Council and the Mar Vista Community Council, testified alongside members of the environmental, social justice and health advocacy groups: with Food & Water Watch leading the way, Sierra Club, NRDC, the MLK Coalition and Citizens for a Safe Community.

The motions are scheduled to be heard before full City Council this coming Friday, February 28th.

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Great March for Climate Action launch day press announcement at LA City Hall, THIS WEDS, 9:15am, #ClimateMarch, @350Action

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Join Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, the Sierra Club and the Southern California Climate Action Coalition (350.org/LA) to announce the fast-approaching Great March for Climate Action and to encourage everyone to take climate change personally. The worst drought in California history is here and each of us in California will be directly affected by it. 

Press Conference Details:

Wednesday, February 19th
9:15am
Los Angeles City Hall 
200 N. Spring Street (outside Spring Street steps)
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Bring: Climate Action Signs (fracking, tar sands, carbon tax, Obama masks, et al)

For details on the Great March launch event: http://tinyurl.com/ClimateMarchRSVP

Facebook Page: http://j.mp/ClimateMarchFB

National Great Climate March website: ClimateMarch.org

“There are not two sides, but the whole of humanity. There are no winners and losers, we all either win or lose in the future we make for ourselves.”
                                          – U.N climate chief Christiana Figueres

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Bee Day is finally here! TOMOROW: Weds, Feb. 12th at LA City Hall, #yaybees

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Please join us!

LA City Council is voting on 3 pending bee measures on February 12th.  If you haven’t been following the issue, “colony collapse disorder” has been devastating bee colonies around the country.  Bottom line, we need bees to pollinate our food crops.  And our flowers.

LA currently has a healthy honey bee population and we want to keep it that way.
 
Press event:
When: February 12th, 2014
           9:15am
Where: Los Angeles City Hall
           Spring Street Steps forecourt
Who: Councilmembers Koretz, Bonin, likely Huizar…
         Rob and Chelsea MacFarland: http://honeylove.org/team/
         Urban farmers (invited, but not confirmed)
What: To talk up these measures in support of bees:
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Exposing $22 Million In Corporate Lies About I-522 (hint: vote YES!), #YesOn522

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I am here to tell you why it is important for voters in Washington State to ignore all the lies that are coming at you from every paid media outlet.  It is important to vote YES on Initiative 522 (label GMOs).  

When the Seattle City Council voted 8-1 to endorse I-522, Councilmember Richard Conlin said, “Consumers have the right to know what is in their food, just as they have the right to know ingredients and nutritional information.”   Amen. 

He also said Washington farmers are increasingly dependent on exports and with 64 other countries worldwide now requiring labeling, those markets could be lost.  With a genetic-engineering company trying to shove GMO salmon onto the marketplace, Washington’s fishing community could also be at extreme risk.

Yet, there is a massive disinformation campaign going on from every outlet—TV, radio, mass mailings—being funded by the same folks who told us DDT, PCBs and Agent Orange aren’t dangerous to human health (they are), using the same lies they used in California, and none of what they’re saying is true.  Their lies are so egregious that the Washington State Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the Grocery Manufacturers Association two weeks ago, saying that they illegally collected and spent more than $7 million while shielding the identity of its contributors.  Is it weird to anyone else besides me that the Grocers don’t want us to know what’s in the food we’re buying from them? 

Their lies were so egregious in California, StanfordUniversity even forced them to take one commercial off the air because they represented the spokesperson as a Stanford professor, which he wasn’t. That should tell you all you need to know about the opposition’s integrity.  Dana Bieber is an expensive hired gun and the gun she’s firing is full of lies.

And the latest, the opposition is falsely posing as the Democratic Party and sending out postcards with fake endorsements which the Democratic Party does NOT agree with.  Here are the real Democratic Party endorsements, including YES on I-522!  And all the overall Yes on 522 endorsements.

Here’s the real story about Initiative 522:

Genetically-engineered food products (GMOS) defined: For one example, Bt-corn has the gene of a pesticide artificially inserted into it in a laboratory.  When an invading insect eats Bt-corn, its gut walls disintegrate until it dies from its own stomach bacteria.  Then they sell it to us as food.  The food folks at the FDA don’t regulate Bt-corn, but, here’s the best part, the Environmental Protection Agency DOES regulate it… as a pesticide.  And corn is in everything: corn chips, corn flakes, soda pop, candy, high-fructose corn syrup, and a massive list of additives that goes on and on.

I want the ability, through labeling, to choose not to eat a pesticide.

Health effects of GMOS – The companies who sell GMOs claim patent protection and will not allow long-term health studies to be performed by independent entities.  Beside, there is no control group.  We are all eating genetically-engineered food products without our knowledge.  The FDA and USDA have former GMO corporate execs at the helm, which is a major conflict of interest and why the federal government bureaucracies haven’t moved on labeling.

Initiative 522 is a well-written, well-researched proposition, put together by a diligent group of food industry, food policy, farm, science and health experts, whom I trust implicitly.

Initiative 522 specifically only addresses genetically-engineered crops sold whole or as ingredients in other food items, to make it as easy as possible for stores and companies to comply. These crops include: corn, soybeans, canola, sugar beets, cotton, Hawaiian papaya, some zucchini, and crookneck squash. WashingtonState law requires that ballot measures only address one state code at a time. Items not included in Initiative 522—alcohol and meat—are covered by different state or federal codes and therefore do not apply.

There is a strong precedent to Initiative 522 in the U.S.: The 2004 Food Allergen Labeling Act protects consumers by requiring labeling of possible allergens like peanuts, soy and dairy. When Congress approved it, the same food companies objected and made the same claims, yet, when the Act went into force, stores and companies complied, prices remained stable, there was no excessive or abusive litigation, and consumers had more information with which to protect themselves (we have all seen the labels, “This product made on equipment which may have once touched peanuts”).

Initiative 522 offers no economic incentives for lawyers to sue.  The only new enforcement provision added by I-522 allows a consumer to sue only for an order to force required labeling to take place—not to recover any money at all.  Consumers cannot file a class action without first giving notice, and if the defendant fixes the labels, then no class action is permitted. Any penalties from a violation go only to the state, not the plaintiff or lawyer.

Initiative 522 does not include a “bounty hunter” provision. The same pesticide companies making claims about lawsuits are themselves suing farmers across the country for saving their own seeds.

Food prices remained stable when the European Union required the labeling of GMOs ten years ago. Sixty-four countries across the globe either label GMOs or ban them completely, including Australia, Brazil, Japan, Peru, India, China and Russia. Why on Earth do people in Russia and China have more rights to know what’s in their food than we do? That’s not the country I grew up in.

Creates extra paperwork for retailers? As mentioned, there are only 8 GMO crops that retailers will have to label themselves.  Otherwise, it’s up to the company producing the processed food boxes.  Besides, they already label them on the produce they sell with the PLU codes developed by the Produce Marketing Association.  So-called “conventionally grown fruit” has a label with 4 numbers.  Anything organic or genetically-engineered has an extra number.  Organic starts with a “9” and genetically-engineered starts with an “8.”  Organic bananas are 94011, for example.  It’s FOOD, they already keep tight paperwork.  That’s how they track an e-coli outbreak back to a certain corner of a certain field.  Anyone who believes farmers who use GMO seeds don’t already keep reams of paperwork to address the patent protection situation, aren’t paying attention.

If you have other questions or concerns, I would be happy to address them. This is one of the most important issues of our time and Washington State has the opportunity to lead the way towards greater transparency and a more level playing field (organic farmers are not federally subsidized; GMO farmers are), which is what our free market economy is supposed to be all about. 

To sum up: Vote Yes on Initiative 522!  It is our right to know what’s in the food we feed our families.

 

To learn more about how the Pesticide and Junk Food Industries are using the exact same lies in WashingtonState that they used in California:

http://truefoodnow.org/2012/10/17/california-newspaper-editorial-boards-spread-false-claims-and-faulty-logic-on-proposition-37/

or

NY Times editorial: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/15/g-m-o-s-lets-label-em/

or

http://yeson522.com/about/faq/

 

Thanks for reading!

All the best to you,

 Andy

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