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Posts Tagged ‘GMOs’

Today On The Fallon Forum: GMOs, Pipelines, ACA

fallon forumCatch this week’s Fallon Forum live on Monday from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon on KDLF 1260 AM “La Reina.” Join the conversation by calling in at (515) 528-8122. And you can hear the Fallon Forum on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 5:00 pm on Wednesday and on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 pm on Wednesday.

Dear Friends,

Dr. Charles Goldman makes his inaugural appearance on KDLF1260 AM this week. I always enjoy co-hosting with Charles – especially when he’s wrong, i.e., when we disagree, as we do on at least one of this week’s topics.

Here’s the line-up:

– Frank Cordaro talks about why the World Food Prize remains a target for activists opposed to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and why some members of Occupy the World Food Prize got arrested again this year.

– Gas for $1.99 per gallon looks good to most Americans. But what are the broader political consequences? Does it mean increased carbon pollution as Americans drive more? Does it also mean Big Oil won’t be able to justify the cost of building new pipelines and extracting oil from tar sands?

– Has the insurance industry rigged the Affordable Care Act so that state cooperatives, such as Iowa’s CoOportunity Health, are guaranteed to fail? Bonus question: Has unlimited spending by health-care corporations on elections and lobbyists rendered Congress a wholly-owned or merely partially-owned subsidiary of the Drug-Insurance-Medical (DIM) Complex?

ed fallon– The military draft used to be the darling of war mongers. Now some critics of US foreign policy want to bring it back. Does politics make strange bedfellows or what? Is Congress likely to restore the draft? Could this debate come to blows?

Ed Fallon

Ed Fallon is a former lawmaker who served in the Iowa House for 14 years before running for governor and US Congress. Since 2009, he has hosted the Fallon Forum, a talk show available online and on three Iowa radio stations. 

This Week On The Fallon Forum: Tea Party Fiasco, Climate Reality, GMOs

fallon forumJoin the Fallon Forum at the new time  of 6:00-6:30 pm, Monday-Thursday.

Dear Friends,

We have a fascinating line-up of guests on the program this week:

Monday, Kevin Barrett discusses, “The American Resistance,” a book he co-authored with Jim Fetzer that purports to “connect the dots between resistance efforts against the American Empire and the White Rose resistance against Hitler.” We also talk with Climate Reality activist Kat Haber, who just returned this week from the World Wilderness Congress in Spain, about the significance of the permafrost loss in her home state of Alaska.

Tuesday, we dig into the GMO debate and talk with Mary Hanson Harrison with Womens International League for Peace and Freedom about some of the events organized this week opposing genetically modified crops. I’m very excited to have Frances Moore Lappe, author of “Diet for a Small Planet,” join us, too. And we are working to confirm Jim Hightower, former Texas Agriculture Commissioner.

Wednesday, Bill Gray, candidate for Des Moines City Council is my guest. And Steffen Schmidt, a.k.a. Dr. Politics, joins us to discuss the government shutdown, assorted tea party mischief, and how the current Washington, DC fiasco is likely to resolve.

Thursday, David Courard-Hauri, Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at Drake University, discusses a recent scientific report showing how areas in the tropics are projected to experience unprecedented climates within a decade. An article about the report says “rapid change will tamper with the functioning of Earth’s biological systems, forcing species to either move in an attempt to track suitable climates, stay and try to adapt to the new climate, or go extinct.”

Join us live, Monday-Thursday, from 6:00-6:30 pm on the Fallon Forum  website. Call-in at (855) 244-0077 and add your voice to the dialogue. Video and audio-only podcasts available after the program. The Fallon Forum also can be heard on KHOI 89.1 (Ames) Wednesdays at 5:00 pm and KPVL 89.1 (Postville) Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. Thanks!


Upcoming October events. Click here for more information and links.

Iowa College and University Climate Tour
Rob Hogg will be concluding his tour of  Iowa colleges and universities this fall to speak about climate change. Stops include the University of Iowa on 10/15; and Luther College 11/14 & 11/15.   Please visit for further details. If you or someone you know would like to schedule an appearance by Rob at an Iowa college or university, email him @

October 16 – Occupy the World Food Prize Events (Des Moines)
Jim Hightower, Texas author, will be the keynote speaker, beginning at 7:00 pm at First United Methodist Church, 10th & Pleasant. His topic will be “From Factory Farms to GMO’s, the Upchuck Rebellion is Taking Root with the Good Food Movement.” Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace will make a guest appearance as the evening begins.

October 16 – Jefferson County Farmers & Neighbors Annual Meeting (Fairfield)
Join speakers Lynn Henning, Charlie Speer and Richard Middleton, 7:30 pm at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center, 200 North Main Street for “NO MORE! How One Woman and a Team of Lawyers are Helping Neighbors Stand Up to Factory Farms.” Free admission or a donation of $5 is welcome to support JFAN’s mission.

October 16 – President of Iceland to Speak on Climate Change (Des Moines)
President Olafur Grimsson will speak about climate change and his country’s conversion to 100% renewable electricity at the Harkin Institute, Drake University at 6:30 pm. His lecture will take place at Sheslow Auditorium, 2507 University Avenue. It is free and open to the public.

October 16 to 18 – World Food Prize Symposium (Des Moines)
Attend the annual symposium on “Biotechnology, Sustainability, and Climate Volatility”. General registration is $525. For details, visit

October 17 – Food, Land and Small Planet Producers (Ames)
Frances Moore Lappe, author of Diet for a Small Planet, will be at the United Church of Christ leading a discussion with farmers Harriet Nakabbale from Uganda and Kijoolu Kaliya from Tanzania. The reception with locally sourced food will begin at 6:00 pm. The discussion and program will begin at 7:00 pm. The Ames United Church of Christ is located at 217 6th St in Ames. Parking is available on the street or nearby lot. Co-sponsored by Oxfam, the ISU Sustainable Agriculture Student Association, others.

October 19 – Working for a Democratic Food System (Des Moines)
Women Feeding the World Committee of WILPF DSM invites you to the Jane Bibber Memorial Symposium and Strong Feisty Woman Award Luncheon at First Unitarian Church, 1800 Bell Ave., 8:00 am – 3:00 pm. Frances Moore Lappé will be the keynote speaker and recipient of the Strong Feisty Woman Award. Marybeth Gardam will receive the award as the local WILPF member. Three workshops on agricultural and environmental issues with leading experts will be offered, ending with a comprehensive panel discussion. Limited seating – $45.00/individual –$25.00/student. For more information or to make your reservation, please contact Sandra Jennings,, 515-619-9174.

October 19 – Contra Dance at Odd Fellows Hall (Des Moines)
Contra-Indications is hosting the dance at Odd Fellows Hall, 2904 Kingman Blvd, 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm, with a lesson at 7:30 pm. Live music by Porch Stompers; Jennifer Hamilton from Fairfield as caller. $10 adults; free under 12; $25 family maximum. Visit

October 20 – Crop Walk (Sioux City)
Help feed the hungry here and abroad. 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm, Grace United Methodist Church.

October 22 – The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America (Ames)
Wenonah Hauter, the Executive Director of the Food and Water Watch and author of the book Foodopoly will speak at ISU in the Sun Room at 8:00 pm. Co-sponsored by the ISU Sustainable Agriculture Student Association, Women and Gender Studies Program, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Women, Food and Agriculture Network, Iowa Farmers Union, others.

October 23 – Let’s Talk Water with Bill Stowe, CEO & Director of Des Moines Water Works (Knoxville)
Join the Marion County Democrats Legislation Education Committee, 6:30 pm at the Grand Theater in Knoxville. This is the second in a two-part series focusing on water quality and sustainable agriculture. Bill Stowe will address the record nitrate levels in Des Moines and what happens downstream at Lake Red Rock. For more information, visit here.

October 23 – Support Iowa’s Matthew Shepard Scholarship Program (Des Moines)
Attend Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine, sponsored by The Eychaner Foundation. Beginning at 7:00 pm, at the Fleur Cinema, the film follows director Michele Josue, a close friend of Matt’s, as she travels to pivotal locations in Shepard’s life, interviewing other friends and family members, and gaining insight into the beautiful life and devastating loss of Matthew Shepard. Minimum suggested contribution starts at $25 for adults and $5 for students, with higher recognition levels available.

October 24 – National Food Day
Order Cool Harvest for your World Food Day (October 16, 2013) and Food Day (October 24, 2013) activities. Cool Harvest is a food, faith, and climate program for congregations brought to you by Interfaith Power & Light. The program comes with fall “harvest” guide for a hosting a cool potluck and a movie. Did you know that almost one-fifth of climate change pollution comes from the food industry? And as you will learn in this program, the foods that are healthier for the planet are also healthier for our bodies.

October 24 – Chasing Ice Movie Night (Des Moines)
The local chapter of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) will be hosting their first movie night 7:00 pm at the Fleur Cinema. Chasing Ice is James Balog’s story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. This documentary film is  rated PG13. David Courard-Hauri, Director of the  Environmental Science & Policy Program at Drake University, will be hosting the event including an introduction to the film as well as a discussion following. The event is open to the public. Ticket costs are $9.00 for adults and $7.00 for seniors and kids.

GMO Crops Breed A New Form Of Slavery

Occupy the World Food PrizeJim Hightower and his speech, From Factory Farms to GMOs, The Upchuck Rebellion Is Taking Root, has top billing at the Occupy the World Food Prize event on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Des Moines. Maybe that position should have gone to the special guest, Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson.

Leave it to the Roman Catholic Church to point out one of the evils of the agricultural revolution that is genetically modified organisms (GMOs): over-reliance on corporations during third world development. In an article in the National Catholic Reporter, Rich Heffern quoted Cardinal Turkson, “making growers reliant on proprietary, genetically modified seeds smacks of the ‘usual game of economic dependence,’ which in turn, ‘stands out like a new form of slavery.'” Few people I know are talking about GMOs in terms of slavery, but the type of dependency U.S. corporations seek to create in Africa and elsewhere is tangible, and a normal part of development. Cardinal Turkson is at the center of this issue. (For more information, click here).

Cardinal Turkson is president of the pontifical council for justice and peace, a member of the Roman Curia, and potentially the first black Roman Catholic pope. He will be part of the World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogues, and has accepted the invitation to speak at Occupy the World Food Prize. As the National Catholic Reporter pointed out on Oct. 7, he will be talking to both sides in the GMO debate.

During an interview with Des Moines activist Ed Fallon, Occupy the World Food Prize organizer Frank Cordaro said, “our lessons from the occupy movement have taught us that the global financial system controls everything… and lo and behold, we discovered this World Food Prize, and when you look under the covers, it is completely owned and scripted by corporate ag.” “It’s not a world food prize, it’s a corporate world food prize,” Cordaro told National Catholic Reporter in a separate interview.

This year’s World Food Prize laureates are three individuals who have been instrumental in the development of GMOs used by Monsanto and Syngenta Biotechnology, and their companies underwrite a substantial part of the costs of the World Food Prize. Their election to the hall of laureates appears to be self-serving of corporate interests.

Cardinal Peter Turkson is expected to speak against the use of GMOs during the Borlaug Dialogues, which are another attempt by corporations to control the message about their business through so-called opposing views. The dialogues are another in a series of corporate attempts to create a false sense of rational discussion, when, like this year’s laureates, it is self serving at best.

The event flyer for the Occupy the World Food Prize is here. The World Food Prize website is here.

Are GMOs Killing Monarch Butterflies?

Photo Credit Conservation Magazine

Photo Credit Conservation Magazine

The population of Monarch butterflies declined sharply this year. In Iowa, they have seldom been seen, even among people who preserve their milkweed plants for the orange and black insects to feed and reproduce. According to official counts, the population declined by as much as eighty percent in Mexico this winter.

During a recent interview, Orley Taylor— founder and director of Monarch Watch, a conservation and outreach program— talked about the factors that have led to the sharp drop in the monarch population. Among them, Taylor said, is the increased planting of genetically modified corn in the U.S. Midwest, which has led to greater use of herbicides, which in turn kills the milkweed that is a prime food source for the butterflies.

“What we’re seeing here in the United States,” he said, “is a very precipitous decline of monarchs that’s coincident with the adoption of Roundup-ready corn and soybeans.”

There isn’t a clear answer to why Monarch butterflies are in decline. There are concerns that the lower population makes survival of the species, and its ability to rebound to previous numbers tenuous. If you’d like to read more, here are some useful articles:

Why Monarch Butterflies’ Numbers are in Freefall by Vidya Kowri.

The Monarch Butterfly Decline, and What You Can Do About It by Matt Miller.

Tracking the Causes of Sharp Decline of the Monarch Butterfly by Richard Conniff.

“Foodopoly” Author Wenonah Hauter Coming to Iowa

Foodopoly Author Wenonah Hauter Comes to Iowa

DES MOINES, IOWA – Wenonah Hauter, the executive director of the national consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch, will be in Des Moines, Davenport, and Iowa City discussing her new book, Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America from June 19-21.

Already, Foodopoly has been called “…a meticulously researched tour de force…examines the pernicious effects of consolidation in every sector of the food industry” by Publishers Weekly; “A forceful argument about our dysfunctional food system” by Kirkus Reviews; and “politically brave” by the San Francisco Chronicle. In addition, Foodopoly has received praise by such environmental and food justice luminaries as Bill McKibben, Vandana Shiva and others.

In Iowa, we are seeing the Foodopoly front and center – as Iowa has the most factory farms in the country and produces billions of bushels of genetically engineered corn and soybeans.

Who: Food & Water Watch and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement will be hosting events with Wenonah Hauter about her new book, Foodopoly.

When and Where:

Wednesday, June 19 from 6:30-7:30 pm at Beaverdale Books
2629 Beaver Ave, Suite 1
Des Moines, IA 50310

Thursday, June 20 from 7-8 pm at St. Ambrose University Library
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

Friday, June 21 from 7-8pm at Prairie Lights Bookstore
15 S. Dubuque Street
Iowa City, IA 52240

About Foodopoly:

Through meticulous research, Hauter presents a shocking account of how agricultural policy has been hijacked by lobbyists, driving out independent farmers and food processors in favor of the likes of Cargill, Tyson, Kraft, and ConAgra. Hauter illustrates how solving this crisis will require a complete structural shift, a grassroots movement to reshape our food system from seed to table, a movement that has the commitment and foresight to build the political power necessary to change the way food is produced, marketed, distributed and sold—a change that is about politics and economic change, not just personal choice. More information about Foodopoly and Hauter can be found at


Matt Ohloff
Regional Organizer
Food & Water Watch
505 5th Street, Suite 818
Des Moines, IA 50309

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Friday Food Talk: Senate Says States Can’t Require GMO Labeling

Follow Food Democracy Now! on FB and Twitter

WASHINGTON, June 21 – The Senate [yesterday] rejected an amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to let states require clear labels on any food or beverage containing genetically engineered ingredients.

The vote on the amendment to the farm bill was 26 to 73.

“This is the very first time a bill on labeling genetically engineered food has been brought before the Senate. It was opposed by virtually every major food corporation in the country.

While we wish we could have gotten more votes, this is a good step forward and something we are going to continue to work on. The people of Vermont and the people of America have a right to know what’s in the food that they eat.”

In the past year, 36 bills dealing with the labeling of genetically engineered foods have been introduced in Vermont, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia.

Co-sponsored by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Sanders’ amendment would have made clear that states have the authority to require the labeling of foods produced through genetic engineering.

(click here to read the entire article at Food Democracy Now!) 


Friday Food Talk: Do You Know What You’re Buying At The Grocery Store?

Action Alert from Food Democracy Now!

Do you know what you’re buying at the grocery store? Chances are you don’t.

Today an estimated 80% of processed foods sold in the U.S. contain ingredients, known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), that have been genetically engineered in high-tech laboratories and most Americans don’t have a clue!

For the past 20 years Americans have been denied their basic right to know what they’re eating because of a flawed regulatory system that has relied on corporate science without adequate peer-reviewed testing and scientific oversight.

It’s time to for that to change.

Click here to tell the FDA, it’s time to Label GMO foods!

Already more than 40 countries around the world require labeling of foods that contain GMOs. While Americans who live in the “land of the free” have no idea what’s in their food, citizens in the European Union, Japan, Russia and even China have the legal right to know.

Recent polling has shown that 93% of Americans support mandatory labeling of GMOs.

Already more than 900,000 citizens have signed the petition urging the FDA to finally require mandatory labeling of foods that contain ingredients that have been genetically engineered in high tech laboratories. Help us reach 1 million today!

Please join us in making sure that Americans have a right to know what’s in their food.

Tell the FDA it’s time to label GMOs!

After all, who doesn’t want to know where their food comes from?