Archive for the ‘Reading Room’ Category
January 18th, 2013 by Kathie
The Organic Consumers Association is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The following story was taken from their newsletter:
Activists in Washington State expect that next week, the Secretary of State will certify the signatures required to put I-522, a citizens’ initiative to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs), on the ballot. Assuming history repeats itself, the most aggressive – and devious – opponent of I-522 will be Monsanto. Monsanto alone contributed $8.2 million of the $46 million used to defeat Prop 37, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act. And it looks as though the World’s Most Hated Corporation is already at work to defeat I-522.
This past week, social media sites were buzzing with an infographic titled, “Actions Speak Louder than Words: The Truth about Biotechnology.” The truth about the infographic? It comes from the Find Our Common Ground website, which claims to be the work of a group of volunteer farm women. Except that it’s not. The website’s domain name is owned by Osborn Barr, a public relations firm that works for Monsanto. In fact, Monsanto was its founding client. Most people wouldn’t know that. And many people, who may be hearing about GMOs for the first time, also wouldn’t know that the infographic promotes blatant lies about the safety of, and science behind, genetically engineered foods.
We will see more and more of this phony propaganda circulating in the media and on social media sites, as Monsanto tries to scare voters in Washington State out of voting for a simple label on their food. The same label consumers in 61 other countries already have. Monsanto will stop at nothing, including hiding behind a phony group of “volunteer farm women,” to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food.
That’s why we have to act now. We have to get the truth out to Washington voters today. Next October will be too late.
Go here to see the infographic in question. Go here to see the website for the “volunteer farm women” web site. What is interesting about this site is that, if you check out the News/In the News page, you won’t see any real news articles, just a couple of videos and some other text. You might also note the none of these women farmers give the names of their farms, which seems highly unusual. There is just no real way to tell who these women are. Kudos to the Organic Consumers Association for bringing this to light.
If you are thankful that the Organic Consumers Association is keeping an eye on Monsanto and will be a key informant for the truth about I-522, consider showing your appreciation with a donation.
November 1st, 2012 by Kathie
Beth Terry didn’t just give up plastic bags. She has attempted to give up all plastic. For the past five years, since 2007, Terry has strived to bring absolutely no new plastic into her life. She comes to Port Townsend at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18 to speak of her experience at the Cotton Building at 607 Water St. The event is free.
“Bringing Beth Terry to town seems like a natural thing to do considering that the city’s plastic bag ban went into effect this month,” said Kathie Meyer, outreach coordinator for the Port Townsend Food Co-op. “And she has graciously waived her speaking fee to come here.”
It was one day, while laid up from surgery, that Terry became personally affected by a photo of a baby albatross carcass, dead from being fed plastic bits by its mother. It was then she decided, if something were to be done about the effects of plastic on the global environment, she had to start with herself.
Since her “plastic awakening,” Terry went from personally generating almost four pounds of plastic waste per month (yes, she weighed it) to a little over two pounds per year. The average American, she says, generates between 88 and 120 pounds per year.
To keep herself on track, Terry started a blog (www.myplasticfreelife.com) which grew into a book titled Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too. Her book combines useful information about plastic-free alternatives with personal stories and the occasional rant.
“I didn’t write this book to tell anyone what to do, but as an invitation to join me in this journey of personal and ecological discovery. Sure, in all honesty I do want to inspire you and your friends and family to use less plastic. But more than that, to learn what it is about plastic that makes it the symbol of what Captain Charles Moore (discoverer of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch) calls the ‘crisis of our civilization,’ and figure out ways to get out from under the thumb of plastic addiction,” Terry writes in her book’s introduction.
Terry walks her talk in every area of her life. She made sure that her book was as plastic-free as possible too. “Most books are full of plastic,” she writes. “So we’ve stripped things down. The jacket is uncoated, the thread is made of cotton, and the boards and spine are exposed. Our printer even managed to find a plastic-free glue to use. With all that in mind, we assure you that if the book’s not 100% free of plastic, it’s as close as can be!”
Beth Terry’s book is for sale and signing at her presentation. Her appearance is presented with the cooperation and sponsorship of the City of Port Townsend, Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Program, Old Consulate Inn, Port Townsend Food Co-op, Port Townsend Public Library, and Jude Rubin, aka the “Plastic Bag Monster.”
For more information, call 385-2831, ext. 309.