**For Immediate Release**
November 9, 2016
Contact: Karen Hudson (707) 795-7859
CITIZENS FOR HEALTHY FARMS AND FAMLIES DECLARES VICTORY ON MEASURE M
Sonoma County Becomes Sixth California County to Ban GMO Crop Cultivation;
Creates 13,734 square mile GMO- free Growing Zone.
Sonoma County – Today, with 100% of the precincts reporting, Sonoma County’s Measure M Campaign declared victory with 55.9% of the vote.
“After five years educating the residents of Sonoma County and three years working to pass this ban, the voters have spoken, and we are delighted with their support. The majority of voters understand the importance of preserving our local agricultural heritage for future generations.” said Karen Hudson, Campaign Manager “Yes on Measure M
Measure M will prohibit the growing of GMO crops in Sonoma County protecting local farms, pastures, and cover crops from contamination. Because pollen cannot be contained, contamination from GMO crops has resulted in millions of dollars in lost export revenue for farmers throughout the country.
Sonoma County’s agriculture embraces its local family farms, which are organic or non-GMO. Measure M was designed to protect their right to grow using traditional methods.
It was endorsed by hundreds of local farmers, vintners, businesses, community organizations, and thousands of individuals across Sonoma County.
GMOs are not delivering the promise of higher yields. Heavy herbicide spraying is creating herbicide resistant weeds and affecting the microbial balance in the soil. Nutrient deficient soil and resistant weeds are reducing crop yields. As we begin to understand long term impacts, both consumers and farmers are moving away from GMOs. More than 35 countries prohibit growing genetically engineered crops and many have restrictions on imports.
"We are thrilled that the people of Sonoma have seen through the pesticide industry’s corporate public relations spin as expounded by both UC Davis and the Farm Bureau during the campaign. Sonoma County has sent a loud message that the control of our agriculture and plant genetics should remain in the capable hands of our local farmers.”
-Mark Squire, Tara Firma Farm
Measure M’s growing prohibition takes effect immediately upon approval by voters in Sonoma County, with two exceptions to provide a transition period for those currently growing GMO crops.
First, a person or legal entity who is already raising or growing genetically engineered organisms in the County on, or before, the date Measure M was approved by the voters of Sonoma County, shall be permitted to maintain such organisms until the end of their natural growing cycle. At the time of harvest the plants must be removed, and they may no longer grow GMOs.
Second, any person or other legal entity in possession of genetically engineered seed purchased before the date Measure M was approved may cultivate those seeds in the growing cycle immediately following the enactment of this Ordinance. At the conclusion of that time period, any person or other legal entity who has continued propagating, cultivating, raising or growing genetically engineered organisms in the county during this transitional period shall be required to destroy and safely dispose of, or remove completely and permanently from the County, any remaining genetically engineered organisms.
None of the provisions of Measure M shall be construed to permit any person or other legal entity that is not currently in possession of genetically engineered seed or already propagating, cultivating, raising or growing genetically engineered organisms in the County to begin to do so after this Ordinance is approved by the voters of Sonoma County.
Other than Section 7(a) above, none of the provisions of the Ordinance shall be construed to permit any person or other legal entity who is already propagating, cultivating, raising or growing genetically engineered organisms in the County to propagate, cultivate, raise or grow any genetically engineered organisms not already living and established in the County, or otherwise to begin any new activity prohibited by Section (5) of this Ordinance, after it takes effect.
“Citizens for healthy farms and families would like to thank all of our endorsers, those giving donations, volunteers, steering committee members, and voters for giving our farmers, dairies, vintners, wildlife, families, and environment the same protection provided five other CA Counties.” - Karen Hudson.
Full list of endorsers available at www.gmofreesonoma.com
For more information regarding GMOs please visit:
Should toxic pesticides and herbicides be sprayed near schools? These chemicals are PROVEN neurotoxins and we say NO!
Moms Across America works to eliminate exposure to toxins completely, we do not want toxic chemicals sprayed anywhere, at any time. But the bare minimum would be to stop spraying around schools. At the very least we should be able to trust that our children are safe from neurotoxins at school and in the playground!
EWG explains the close proximity to thousands of schools and fields sprayed with toxins in this article: click here.
The following is a letter that we ask you to copy, personalize and mail before Nov 17.
We appreciate the critical work of PANNA- Pesticide Action Network North America, and for initiating this campaign.
Together we can make a difference!
This is a blog post from an email sent Election day. A reminder of the importance of the power we have no matter who is in office.Read more
It's Halloween season. Beware of the scare tactics about health advocates that may sneak up on you. A previous article by a GMO proponent Julie Kelly in The Chicago Tribune used the Jelly Belly Company decision to go organic as a “lifestyle choice” to spread more lies about GMOs.
As a mother of three boys, one which almost died from food and another who nearly lost his future potential due to autism symptoms, I am fed up with the treacherous marketing tactics used by the food and chemical industry and their supporters.
The fact is that GMOs are foreign proteins, made in a lab, and they’re not proven to be safe for humans. Foreign proteins can cause inflammation in the gut, allergic reactions and over time, ulcers which develop into cancer. Look at the gross reality of the American Farmer Howard Vlieger’s pigs stomachs which ate GMO feed and ask yourself which is scarier? The slightly higher price for organic candy or not knowing whether or not the kids you give GMO candy to will have stomachs like these?
The author fails to mention that 100% of major GMO crops are “Pesticide Plants.” Pesticides kill.
Health in American has been on a rapid decline over the last 2 decades. Unfortunately, many people are resigning themselves to this reality -this being the new "Normal".
This is anything but Normal.
One can go to any of the major health organizations, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetic Association and you will see that while they mention some of the obvious causes of these chronic diseases, such as inactivity in children and poor diet, they never mention what we believe to be key factors.
As children growing up in the 60's and 70's, hearing about someone with cancer was a very scarce thing, let alone hearing of a child getting cancer. Now there are entire hospitals dedicated to children with cancer.
The CDC lists cancer as one of the leading causes of death in children 5-14 years old. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!
Kidshealth.org states that 1 in 3 children in the United States is considered overweight or obese.2 The American Heart Association concurs with these numbers.3 They both state the cause as being inactivity in children as well as too much junk/fast food. While these are certainly contributing to the rapid increase of obesity in our population as a whole, we think they are missing the mark in many key areas.
The following is a document you can hand out to your Dept of Health, regional EPA, school principals, Board of Ed or doctors. We hope that together, we can shift this health crisis to an opportunity for community empowerment, health and justice.
Click and download the "Childhood Crisis in America"
Thank you for creating healthy healthy communities with us!
Anne, Zen and MAA Team
While traveling last week to the Monsanto Tribunal, I was deeply disturbed to see a large sign at the security checkpoint in an international airport declaring "Zika Causes Birth Defects." The sign warned pregnant women to avoid areas where they could get bitten by mosquitoes. Although I am a huge fan of precaution and appreciate the warning for all, I am more concerned with the influence of chemical companies to create hype and create fear which permits the use of toxic chemicals. The fear around the Zika Virus microcephaly birth defects has been useful to get the US government to approve 1.8 billion dollars in taxpayer funds to go towards Big Pharma vaccines and Big Chem aerial spraying of neurotoxins over our homes, schools, waterways, gardens, playgrounds, and parks. The toxins which have been shown to be in vaccines and aerial sprays are much more concerning to us than the cold-like symptoms of the Zika Virus. Tens of thousands of women in other countries have had the Zika virus while pregnant and did not have babies with birth defects. In fact, research has shown that it is likely the spraying of larvicides (pesticides) that contaminated the water in Argentina, which are more likely to be the cause of the microcephaly birth defects. So, as a person who has been intensely aware of the chemical company shenanigans, I was very glad to post this guest blog by Ian Trottier regarding the evidence around the Zika Virus not being the cause of brain deformities. Please read, follow the money, question the motives of Big Chem, and share this info.
Anyone who doubts the tenacity of our food movement, is exhausted by the apparent losses we have experienced and have therefore given up almost all hope…fear not. The movement for non GMO, toxin free food, clean water, healthy soil, and fair farming practices, is alive and expanding. The Monsanto Tribunal and People’s Assembly at The Hague, Netherlands, could not have been more energetic, determined or well represented by leaders and activists from around the world. I personally met people from the Netherlands, France, Germany, Switzerland, UK, Argentina, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Africa, Australia, Paraguay, the USA, China, Philippines, and more. We began on Oct 14th at the People's Assembly in the Bazaar of Ideas building in The Hague, Netherlands, at the Student hotel, a large room, flooded with sun and excitement, The flanking rooms were filled with people roaming around tables stacked with flyers in every language and draped with banners with every combination of “Monsanto OUT” that you can imagine.
Monsanto, arguably the most hated company in the world, has a decades long history of poisoning people and the planet. Search online for DDT, Agent Orange, Aspartame, High Fructose Corn Syrup, GMOs and Glyphosate/Roundup and you will have enough material to read for years. Read about what Monsanto did to the town of Anniston, Alabama, where they produced PCBs and almost destroyed the town.
The Monsanto Tribunal, organized by Navdanya, Organic Consumers Association, IFOAM, Marie-Monique Robin, and more, was a people’s tribunal with international judges who will deliver a verdict which will likely influence forthcoming legal judgments. The intention is to create a new criminal term, called “Ecocide” which would make it illegal to poison people and the planet with toxins.
We are long overdue for such a criminal category. According to Will Allen's "War on Bugs", since the 1890’s farmers and factories have been using toxins which have been poisoning our soil, water and air. The past two decades have seen a huge increase in the use of toxins. 2/3 of all the glyphosate ever produced has been used in the last 10 years. According to the journal Environmental Sciences Europe, 9.4 million tons worldwide of glyphosate based herbicides have been used on our soil, town road sides, parks, playgrounds, school yards, and food. Glyphosate, the declared “active” chemical ingredient in Roundup, is a chelator (makes vital nutrients and minerals unavailable), an antibiotic (weakening the immune system) a reproductive effector (leading to miscarriages and birth defects), causes kidney and liver damage (28,000 have died in Sri Lanka who came in contact with Glyphosate based herbicides or GBH) and has been linked to cancer (nearly 1000 plaintiffs have filed against Monsanto for the link to non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.) Glyphosate has been discovered, by Seralini's team in France, however to be one of the least toxic of the 50-100 chemicals in the chemical mixture "Roundup". The other formulants are 1000-100,000 X more toxic. These same chemicals are not required to have safety studies, and the EPA admitted directly to me that they have NO long term safety studies for the final formulation of Roundup. Hence, the worldwide claim that Roundup and the 700 other glyphosate based herbicides are safe is completely unfounded.
On October 15-16th, 2016, the Monsanto Tribunal brought the people and experts together who have experienced harm from or have researched the impact of glyphosate based herbicides made primarily by Monsanto. The testimonies were deeply disturbing and tragic.
The first two testimonies were by mothers who had used Roundup during their pregnancies and had babies with malformations. They learned that at the particular time of their gestation and their exposure to Roundup was the same time as the bodily function of their child that was deformed. Glyphosate is acknowledged by the EPA as a “reproductive effector.” One mother stated that her son was about to undergo his 51st surgery. The mothers did not cry or lash out angrily as they would be justified to do so, but tears did well in my eyes, because I know the love of a mother and how much all we want for our children is for them to be healthy, happy and live productive, meaningful lives. These children have been robbed of that future. Their health and their futures have been compromised by the toxic chemicals their mothers were exposed to. This means our country, our planet has been robbed, for who knows what these children would have invented or contributed to our society? Think of Google - created by two boys.
The next testimony was by a woman who developed non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after spraying Roundup, as directed, on her coffee farm in Kona, Hawaii. She lost almost everything, her good health, her farm, her livelihood, and freedom to enjoy life without pain. Her testimony of her numerous trips to the mainland for treatments and enormous cost to her family, was overwhelming. Her lawyer reported that he currently knows of 1000 cases of non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that will be filing and he expects 5000 by the end of next year. He was confident, measured and clear. I was grateful for their testimonies and their courage.
The next two testimonies were by two men from Sri Lanka who reported that 28,000 people have died who were exposed to GBH either through the farm or water. They directly correlated the exposure to GBH to their liver and kidney damage, which even the EPA recognizes on their fact sheet about glyphosate. 5,000 of those who died were women and children who never worked on the farms or sprayed Roundup. Exposure through water, air and physical contact with the farmers, who did not wear protective gear, is suspected. The government recognized the tremendous impact to their country and are the first country to ban glyphosate due to scientific reasons. The thunderous applause was allowed by the court at the end of their testimony.
Many more testimonies, 30 in all, regarding health impact to animals, soil, farms and society were heard by the judges over the next 48 hours. The judges asked thoughtful and challenging questions. The evidence was overwhelming. Although invited, Monsanto declined to attend and therefore will claim that the verdict will be one sided. They chose to make and sell the products, and they continue to chose to ignore the thousands of reports of harm from their products. Ignoring something does not make one less responsible. It only makes one responsible for more harm that is occurring as they continue to allow harm to happen through the sale and use of their products.
600 people also gathered for the People’s Assembly held consecutively at a different location, where leaders and activists of 30 countries and global groups brainstormed, planned, sang and danced together well into the night. The opportunity to connect with people from all over the world who feel as passionately as we do about stopping the harm from Monsanto and other big chemical companies, was rejuvenating.
Global citizens came together in The Hague in a very impactful way. It is the beginning of a new stand for accountability. Millions around the world are calling for this Chemical Era to end and for the corporations to stop poisoning us. I have faith we will prevail because we, especially we mothers, make 85-90% of the household purchases. The chemical companies only have the power they have because we give them our money. If we don’t buy toxic products and GMO chemically farmed food, they can’t sell them, and they will have to stop poisoning the planet.
We the people have the power, and it is only a matter of time before we all realize this. I just hope it is sooner rather than later.
The verdict by the Monsanto Tribunal expected in April around Earth Day. The judges have an enormous amount of evidence to review, including data from the USA, and over 500 testimonials sent in by supporters like you.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Blair Fitzgibbon, 202-503-6141
Moms Descend on Monsanto Tribunal in The Hague
The Hague - Mothers Across the World and Moms Across America are attending the Monsanto Tribunal at The Hague, Netherlands for the next 2 days to hold Monsanto accountable for decades of ecocide. Moms Across America Executive Director Zen Honeycutt will be speaking tomorrow at the People's Assembly on pesticides. Honeycutt and MAA leader, chef and mom Amber King will be posting Facebook live updates and interviewing the attendees.
"We believe it is crucial that people from other countries understand the health crisis we are experiencing in the USA,” said Honeycutt. “The connection if these health issues to the GMOs and Toxins in our food, water and consumer products is undeniable. We must protect our future generations around the world."
To stay up to date on the happening at the Tribunal, Like and "Get Notifications" at https://www.facebook.com/MomsAcrossAmerica/?ref=bookmarks
30 witnesses and legal experts from five continents will testify in The Hague before five international judges. These witnesses will tell the judges, and the world, how Monsanto has ruined their health, their communities, and their livelihoods. We will make the theme of this year's World Food Day (October 16th) the damage to health and nature caused by chemical industrial agriculture. Citizens’ tribunals have a long history of drawing widespread attention to corporate corruption, and of ultimately leading to criminal trials. Like you, we want the Monsanto Tribunal to push courts in countries all over the world to hold Monsanto accountable for its crimes.
For an increasing number of people from around the world, Monsanto today is the symbol of industrial agriculture. This chemical-intensive form of production pollutes the environment, accelerates biodiversity loss, and massively contributes to global warming.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Monsanto, a US-based company, has developed a number of highly toxic products, which have permanently damaged the environment and caused illness or death for thousands of people. These products include:
PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), one of the twelve Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) that affect human and animal fertility;
2,4,5 T (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid), a dioxin-containing component of the defoliant, Agent Orange, which was used by the US Army during the Vietnam War and continues to cause birth defects and cancer;
Lasso, an herbicide that is now banned in Europe;
RoundUp, the most widely used herbicide in the world, and the source of the greatest health and environmental scandal in modern history - this toxic herbicide is used in combination with genetically modified (GM) RoundUp Ready seeds in large-scale monocultures, primarily to produce soybeans, maize and rapeseed for animal feed and biofuels.
Monsanto promotes an agroindustrial model that contributes at least one third of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions; it is also largely responsible for the depletion of soil and water resources, species extinction and declining biodiversity, and the displacement of millions of small farmers worldwide. This is a model that threatens peoples’ food sovereignty by patenting seeds and privatizing life.
According to its critics, Monsanto is able to ignore the human and environmental damage caused by its products and maintain its devastating activities through a strategy of systemic concealment: by lobbying regulatory agencies and governments, by resorting to lying and corruption, by financing fraudulent scientific studies, by pressuring independent scientists, by manipulating the press and media, etc. The history of Monsanto would thereby constitute a text-book case of impunity, benefiting transnational corporations and their executives, whose activities contribute to climate and biosphere crises and threaten the safety of the planet.
The Monsanto Tribunal, aims to assess these allegations made against Monsanto, and to evaluate the damages caused by this transnational company. The Tribunal will rely on the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” adopted at the UN in 2011. It will also assess potential criminal liability on the basis of the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2002. The Tribunal shall also assess the conduct of Monsanto as regards the crime of ecocide, which it has been proposed to include in international criminal law. It shall examine whether the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court in force since 2002 should be reformed, in order to include the crime of ecocide and to allow for the prosecution of individual and legal entities suspected of having committed this crime.
For Immediate Release: October 13, 2016
Contact: Blair Fitzgibbon, 202-503-6141
Mothers Across the World Launches Global Toxic Free Zone Map
View Map Here: http://www.momsacrosstheworld.com/
Los Angeles - Ahead of the Monsanto Tribunal in The Hague, Mothers Across the World is launching their Global Toxic Free Zone Map, showing the successes of citizens around the world who have had their communities eliminate the use of toxic chemicals.
"The rise of reports of harm to our children from pesticides around the world have motivated us to encourage moms and supporters to ask their home owner's associations, schools, churches, parks and recreation departments, towns and counties, to discontinue the use of Roundup and toxic chemicals and to use alternatives." stated Zen Honeycutt, Co-Creator of Mothers Across the World. “This collaborative map shows the locations that we know of currently. We invite everyone who knows of a pesticide free zone to add their information and get on the map.”
The map shows the approximate location of the town and the details of the pesticide free zone. Some examples are descriptions like "Total ban of pesticides and rodenticides" or "No Roundup or Glyphosate and 2,4-D.” The information has been gathered from various resources primarily from Michelle Schumacher of Non Toxic San Clemente, CA who is also a Mothers Across the World supporter.
If you know of an area that is pesticide free and not on our map, please email us the city, state/province, country, zip/post code, and a brief description of how that area is pesticide free. We will add it as a zone to this map. Please email us at [email protected] with the word 'map' in the subject line. Meanwhile, please share this important map with everyone you know!
Glyphosate in Napa Valley Groundwater:
3.3 Times Higher Than What is Allowed in European Drinking Water
Napa, CA., October 4, 2016
In a joint partnership, Label GMOs Napa County and the Napa County Green Party did what the U.S. government has not been doing-- tested local water supplies for glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, the most commonly used herbicide in the world.
Although the Safe Drinking Water Act was originally passed by Congress in 1974 to protect public health by protecting drinking water and its sources, including rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and groundwater wells, the federal government does not test for glyphosate.
“The Safe Drinking Water Act requires the testing for pesticides, and they do for about 200; however, none of them test for glyphosate,” wrote Dr. Don Huber, Emeritus Professor of Plant Pathology at Purdue University, in an email on April 29th of this year.
Therefore, on July 6th, 2016, the groups took three water samples from three different water sources in the Napa Valley-- a sample from the Napa River, taken at the Oak Knoll bridge in Napa; a sample of municipal tap water from outside a home in Yountville, which gets its water from Rector Reservoir; and a sample of unfiltered well water from outside a home on Hedgeside Avenue in Napa. The groups shipped the samples via overnight mail to Microbe Inotech Laboratories in St. Louis, Missouri to be tested for glyphosate.
The results of these tests indicated that while the sample from the Napa River did not contain a detectable level of glyphosate (<0.05 parts per billion or ppb), and the sample of municipal water in Yountville contained only a small amount of glyphosate (0.091 ppb), the well water contained 0.729 ppb, which is lower than what is allowed in the United States at 700 parts per billion but is higher than what has been shown to cause harm and three times higher than what is allowed in drinking water in the European Union at 0.1 ppb.
Scientists have shown that 0.1 ppb of glyphosate, also a patented antibiotic, kills beneficial gut bacteria, which make up 70% of the immune system in humans.(1) In addition, scientists have shown that only 0.1 parts per trillion of glyphosate stimulates the growth of breast cancer cells.(2)
Moreover, many other toxic compounds are used in these glyphosate-based herbicides. These other compounds have recently been shown by French scientist Gilles-Eric Seralini to be 1000 times more toxic than glyphosate alone, as well as endocrine and nervous system disruptors, making the current allowable levels of glyphosate too high to protect human health.(3)
Given the low levels of glyphosate that have consistently been found in municipal water supplies compared to the higher levels found in groundwater, Dr. Michael Antoniou, geneticist at King’s College in London, stated via email, “What we can detect in human urine has to be coming from food and man-made drinks, such as wine and beer, rather than tap water.”
Glyphosate is sprayed in vineyards throughout Napa County in the winter when the vines are dormant. According to the California Department of Pesticide Registry, 50,417 pounds of glyphosate were applied on Napa County vineyards in 2013 alone, the last reported year.
In March 2016, Moms Across America reported that tests of ten wines from the California North Bay, including wines from Napa County, all contained varying levels of glyphosate. At the Acres USA Conference in 2011, Dr. Huber stated that the glyphosate is likely absorbed through the roots and bark of the grapevines and is then translocated into the leaves and grapes, making its way into the wine itself.
“These test results point to two environmental issues in Napa County-- herbicide use and over-extraction of groundwater, both primarily due to agriculture,” said Amy Martenson, Co-coordinator for Label GMOs Napa County.
“It is not surprising that glyphosate would be in higher concentrations in groundwater versus surface water, because groundwater is stored in alluvial aquifers, similar to reservoirs, that do not get the flushing actions that surface flows get,” stated Chris Malan, watershed advocate and Napa County Green Party County Council Member. “As people extract more and more groundwater, the contaminants become more and more concentrated, which is devastating to future generations who will need to depend on clean aquifers."
Concerned about the amount of pesticide use in Napa County, the negative impacts to the environment and human health, and its likely connection to Napa County’s high cancer rate, Label GMOs Napa County and the Napa County Green Party have called on local officials to reduce pesticide use by taking the following actions:
Follow the lead of other environmentally progressive cities and counties in the U.S., and ban the use of pesticides on all publicly-owned lands, except if needed to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its residents.
Direct the Agricultural Commissioner to use his authority under AB 947 to create school protection zones, banning pesticide use a quarter of a mile around all schools.
Make organic certification a criteria for all new Williamson Act contracts, which give tax breaks to landowners in the Agricultural Preserve and Agricultural Watershed to keep their land in agriculture; these contracts could be tied to organic farming practices and sound environmental stewardship but currently are not.