GreenLivingPlanet.wordpress.com has moved…

moving to wordpress.orgOnwards! It’s a new adventure as I learn to use the self-hosted WordPress.org system. This wordpress.com site has not been moved to wordpress.org. You’ll see it when you go to GreenLivingPlanet.co,

It’s dusty and will go through lots of changes, but, hopefully this will mean expanded ideas and sharing. So, be patient as I setup systems for you to follow the updated site. This may be the last blog in this system and one thing I noticed is that the wordpress.com followers did not transfer, so, you’ll need to signup again and I’m working at finding the best system, right now you can follow it as an RSS in your favorite reader.

Thank You for reading, following and commenting.

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After 20 YEARS! a Victory in Vermont for Labeling GMO’s

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After 20 YEARS! a Victory in Vermont for Labeling GMO’s

Earth Day is this week and how fitting that finally the first law has been passed to make the agribusiness giants label foods that contain GMOs. People have a right to know what is in their food. Our strength grows as we are vocal by signing petitions and calling/writing our representatives to pass GMO labeling laws, purchasing organic food, growing our own organic food, shopping at farmers markets …. and other activities that raise our voices against global corporate giants that care nothing about our health, the environment or our families. But, here is, finally, a beginning. It is not the end, just the beginning and kudos to the Vermont representatives who have stood up to agribusiness global giants.

Monsanto stopped this bill awhile ago because they threatened to sue Vermont, a state government (didn’t know corporations could do that), but, apparently they can. They will sue the State of Vermont for standing up to them and they are already in our Congress to take down this bill federally. They have well positioned representatives in government and the billions to purchase any person they need.

But, for now, the people have won a Victory where the corporate bullies billions in purchasing media was not able to sway a population that knows it is right for people to know what’s in their food. And, why, if GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are so incredible for the environment and the planet’s population do they fight the labeling. You would think they would be proud to do this, because they know that people in the US, like others around the world, will not purchase this food.

To remind you of the difference in this laboratory created food, from NON-GMO Project, GMO Facts:

What are GMOs?
GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.

Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.

If you are practicing a religious or spiritual philosophy that has specific diet lifestyles, (for example, no pork, no crusteceans, vegan) then you will NOT know what your laboratory food contains. So, it even takes away our right to practice our chosen religious or spiritual philosophies.

Here is the article from Organic Consumers Association about the new Vermont GMO Labeling Law just passed:

Monsanto and Big Food Losing the GMO and ‘Natural’ Food Fight

  • By Ronnie Cummins
    Organic Consumers Association, April 16, 2014

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA’s Politics and Democracy page, our Millions Against Monsanto page and our Genetic Engineering page.

After 20 years of battling Monsanto and corporate agribusiness, food and farm activists in Vermont, backed by a growing Movement across the country, are on the verge of a monumental victory—mandatory labels on genetically engineered foods and a ban on the routine industry practice of labeling GMO-tainted foods as “natural.”

On April 16, 2014, the Vermont Senate passed H.112 by a vote of 28-2, following up on the passage of a similar bill in the Vermont House last year. The legislation, which requires all GMO foods sold in Vermont to be labeled by July 1, 2016, will now pass through a House/Senate conference committee before landing on Governor Peter Shumlin’s desk, for final approval.

Strictly speaking, Vermont’s H.112 applies only to Vermont. But it will have the same impact on the marketplace as a federal law. Because national food and beverage companies and supermarkets will not likely risk the ire of their customers by admitting that many of the foods and brands they are selling in Vermont are genetically engineered, and deceptively labeled as “natural” or “all natural”; while simultaneously trying to conceal this fact in the other 49 states and North American markets. As a seed executive for Monsanto admitted 20 years ago, “If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.”

Proof of this “skull and crossbones” effect is evident in the European Union, where mandatory labeling, in effect since 1997, has all but driven genetically engineered foods and crops off the market. The only significant remaining GMOs in Europe today are imported grains (corn, soy, canola, cotton seed) primarily from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and Argentina. These grains are used for animal feed, hidden from public view by the fact that meat, dairy and eggs derived from animals fed GMOs do not yet have to be labeled in the EU.

Given the imminent passage of the Vermont legislation and the growing strength of America’s anti-GMO and pro-organic Movement, the Gene Giants—Monsanto, Dow, DuPont, Bayer, BASF, and Syngenta—and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), representing Big Food, find themselves in a difficult position. Early polls indicate that Oregon voters will likely pass a ballot initiative on Nov. 4, 2014, to require mandatory labeling of GMOs in Oregon. Meanwhile, momentum for labeling continues to gather speed in other states as well.

Connecticut and Maine have already passed GMO labeling laws, but these laws contain “trigger” clauses, which prevent them from going into effect until other states mandate labeling as well. Vermont’s law does not contain a “trigger” clause. As soon as the governor signs it, it will have the force of law.

Divisions Between Big Food and the Gene Giants

Given what appears to be the inevitable victory of the consumer Right-to-know Movement, some of the U.S.’s largest food companies have quietly begun distancing themselves from Monsanto and the genetic engineering lobby. General Mills, Post Foods, Chipotle, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and others have begun to make changes in their supply chains in order to eliminate GMOs in some or all of their products. Several hundred companies have enrolled in the Non-GMO Project so they can credibly market their products as GMO-free.

At least 30 members (10 percent of the total membership) of the GMA who contributed money to defeat Proposition 37 in California in November 2012, have held back on making further contributions to stop labeling initiatives in other states. Among the apparent defectors in the GMA ranks are: Mars, Unilever, Smithfield, Heinz, Sara Lee, Dole, Wrigley, and Mead Johnson.  Under pressure from the Organic Consumers Association, Dr. Anthony Weil’s natural health and supplements company, Weil Lifestyle, pulled out of the GMA.

Meanwhile a number of the Gene Giants themselves, including Monsanto, appear to be slowly decreasing their investments in gene-spliced GMOs, while increasing their investments in more traditional, and less controversial, cross-breeding and hybrid seed sales.  Still, don’t expect the Gene Giants to give up on the GMO seeds and crops already in production, especially Roundup Ready and Bt-spliced crops, nor those in the pipeline such as 2,4-D “Agent Orange” and Dicamba-resistant corn and soybeans, GE rice, and “RNA interference” crops such as non-browning apples, and fast-growing genetically engineered trees.

America’s giant food companies and their chemical industry allies understand the threat posed by truthful labeling of GMOs, pesticides, antibiotics, growth promoters and toxic chemicals. They understand full well that the GMO monocrops and factory farms that dominate U.S. agriculture not only pose serious health and environmental hazards, but represent a significant public relations liability as well.

This is why the food and GE giants are threatening to sue Vermont and any other state that dares to pass a GMO labeling bill, even though industry lawyers have no doubt informed them that they are unlikely to win in federal court.

This is also why corporate agribusiness is supporting “Ag Gag” state laws making it a crime to photograph or film on factory farms. Why they’re lobbying for state laws that take away the rights of counties and local communities to regulate agricultural practices. And why they’re supporting secret international trade agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that will, among other provisions, enable multinational corporations to sue and eliminate state and local laws on matters such as GMOs, food safety, and country of origin labeling.

The bottom line is this: Corporate America’s current “business-as-usual” strategies are incompatible with consumers’ right to know, and communities’ and states’ rights to legislate.

Coca-Cola, Pepsi, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Campbell’s, Safeway, Del Monte, Nestlé, Unilever, ConAgra, Wal-Mart, and every food manufacturer with GMO-tainted brands, understand they’re not going to be able to label their products as “produced with genetic engineering,” or drop the use of the term “natural” on GMO-tainted products, only in Vermont, while refusing to do so in other states and international markets. This is why their powerful front group, the GMA, is frantically working in Washington, D.C. to lobby the FDA and the Congress to take away the right of states to require genetically engineered foods and food ingredients to be labeled, and to allow them to continue to label and advertise genetically engineered and chemically-laced foods as “natural” or “all natural.”

Industry’s Last Chance: Indentured Politicians

Conspiring with the GMA, Monsanto’s minions from both the Republican and Democratic parties in Congress, led by the notorious Koch brothers mouthpiece, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), introduced in early April in the House a GMA-scripted bill to outlaw mandatory state GMO labels and allow the continued use of “natural” or “all natural” product labels on a wide range of Frankenfoods and beverages.

The GMA’s federal offensive to prop up the dangerous and evermore unpopular technology of transgenic foods comes on the heels of two high-profile ballot initiative battles in California (2012), and Washington State (2013), where GMA members were forced to spend almost $70 million to narrowly defeat GMO labeling forces. The 15 largest contributors to stop GMO labeling in California and Washington include the following GMA members:

(1) Monsanto: $13,487,350
(2) Dupont: $9,280,159
(3) Pepsico: $4,837,966
(4) Coca-Cola: $3,210,851
(5) Nestlé: $2,989,806
(6) Bayer CropScience: $2,591,654
(7) Dow Agrosciences: $2,591,654
(8) BASF Plant Science: $2,500,000
(9) Kraft Foods (now in part Mondolez International) $2,391,835
(10) General Mills: $2,099,570
(11) ConAgra Foods: $2,004,951
(12) Syngenta: $2,000,000
(13) Kellogg’s: $1,112,749
(14) Campbell Soup: $982,888
(15) Smucker Company: $904,977

The Fire Next Time

These “dirty tricks,” “dirty money” ballot initiative victories in California and Washington now ring hollow.  If Congress or the FDA, prompted by these same companies, dare to stomp on states’ rights to require GMO labels on GMO food, if they dare to repress the rights of millions of consumers to know whether or not their food is genetically engineered, they run the very real risk of detonating an even larger and more vociferous grassroots rebellion, including massive boycotts and a concerted effort to throw “Monsanto’s Minions” out of Congress. The widespread furor last year over the so-called “Monsanto Protection Act,” surreptitiously appended to the Appropriations Bill, and then, after massive uproar, subsequently removed, is but a partial foreshadowing of the turmoil yet to come.

Likewise Congress or the FDA should think twice before legally sanctioning the patently outrageous practice of allowing companies to continue to label or advertise GMO or chemically tainted food as “natural” or “all natural.”

Given the fact that 80-90 percent of American consumers want genetically engineered foods to be labeled, as indicated by numerous polls over the last 10 years, and given the fact that it is obviously unethical and fraudulent to label or advertise GMO or heavily chemically processed foods as “natural,” even the FDA has so far declined to come to the rescue of Monsanto and Big Food. In the face of 65 so far largely successful national class-action lawsuits against food companies accused of fraudulently labeling their GMO or chemically-laced brands as “natural, ”Big Food’s lawyers have asked the FDA to come to their aid. But so far, the FDA has declined to throw gasoline on the fire.

It’s clear why “profit at any cost” big business wants to keep consumers in the dark. They want to maximize their profits. The consumer, the environment, the climate be damned. But let’s review, for the record, why truthful food labeling is so important to us, the overwhelming majority of the people, and to future generations.

Here are three major, indeed life-or-death, issues that drive America’s new anti-GMO and pro-organic food Movement:

(1)     There is mounting, and indeed alarming, scientific evidence that genetically engineered foods and crops, and the toxic pesticides, chemicals, and genetic constructs that accompany them, are hazardous. GMOs pose a mortal threat, not only to human and animal health, but also to the environment, biodiversity, the survival of small-scale family farms, and climate stability.

(2)     Genetically engineered crops are the technological cornerstone and ideological rationale for our dominant, out-of-control system of industrial agriculture, factory farms, and highly processed junk food. America’s industrial food and farming system is literally destroying public health, the environment, soil fertility and climate stability. As we educate, boycott and mobilize, as we label and drive GMOs off the market, we simultaneously rip the mask off Big Food and chemical corporations, which will ultimately undermine industrial agriculture and speed up the “Great Transition” to a food and farming system that is organic, sustainable and climate stabilizing.

(3)     Fraudulent “natural” labels confuse consumers and hold back the growth of true organic alternatives. Consumers are confused about the difference between conventional products marketed as “natural,” or “all natural”and those nutritionally and environmentally superior products that are “certified organic.” Recent polls indicate that many health and green-minded consumers remain confused about the qualitative difference between products labeled or advertised as “natural,” versus those labeled as organic. Many believe that “natural” means “almost organic,” or that a natural product is even better than organic. Thanks to growing consumer awareness, and four decades of hard work, the organic community has built up a $35-billion “certified organic” food and products sector that prohibits the use of genetic engineering, irradiation, toxic pesticides, sewage sludge and chemical fertilizers. As impressive as this $35-billion Organic Alternative is, it remains overshadowed by the $80 billion in annual spending by consumers on products marketed as “natural.” Get rid of fraudulent “natural” labels on GMO and chemically tainted products, and organic sales will skyrocket.

With the passage of the Vermont GMO labeling law, after 20 years of struggle, it’s time to celebrate our common victory. But as we all know, the battle for a new food and farming system, and a sustainable future has just begun.

 

 

 

How YOU are Making a Difference for Animals

I’m working at moving my blog over to wordpress.org where it will be self hosted and can offer more, but, until then I must continue to share. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is just my favorite non-profit for animals, and I know there are many more. Here is there current newsletter…

 

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World Society for the Protection of Animals USA · 450 7th Ave, 31st Floor, New York, NY 10123, United States
This email was sent to tanaree4@yahoo.com. To stop receiving emails, click here.

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Moving day is soon … to WP.org

moving to wordpress.orgIt’s time to move so I can expand, write more, offer you more.

The new home will be as a self-hosted wordpress.org site and it’s exciting.

It’s just time to grow, go through some changes, be able to offer more depth than where this is at, so, if the site is down for a bit, it will be back!!!

It’s wonderful to write and share…you’ll still find the site at GreenLivingPlanet.co

Thanks to a most wonderful community of followers, I appreciate you and am grateful.

Tana

Love and Compassion are Not a Luxury

Compassion and love are not mere luxuries. As the source both of inner and external peace, they are fundamental to the continued survival of our species.

—The Dalai Lama

I got this in an email today and it is so pertinent as the planet is struggling to survive. Being human is a highly responsible position as we lovingly care for ourselves,  our families, all animals and beings, the environment which include plants, water, all things that give us life – all interconnected on this planet. Without love and compassion great clouds of darkness would rise over the horizon with no escape.

Top 10 Famous Vegans

A recent piece by the Associated Press got us thinking: Where are all the famous vegans? Gossip sites already tell us about famous people dating so-and-so, famous people shopping at some boutique you’ve never heard of, famous people traveling to some island they own, but we hardly get to hear about what famous people are eating–or not eating. So, turn the page for our compilation of 10 famous vegans.

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10. Bill Clinton (Age 65)
When it comes to food and former President Clinton, one might refer back Phil Hartman’s impersonation of Clinton as a
McDonald’s aficionado on Saturday Night Live. But after leaving office and suffering a couple of health scares, including stent surgery on his heart last year, the popular politician changed the way he eats. Most notably, Clinton went vegan and lost more than 20 pounds for Chelsea Clinton’s wedding earlier this year. He may still be sneaking pieces of meat from time to time, though…
9. Ellen Degeneres (Age 53)
Ellen told Katie Couric (above) that after watching Earthlings, she stopped herself from eating meat and all other animal products. Images of slaughterhouses and factories filled with animals proved powerful enough to change Ellen’s eating habits.

“I do it because I love animals and I saw the reality, and I just couldn’t ignore it anymore.”
She and her wife Portia De Rossi served an entirely vegan menu at their wedding in 2008, and the couple recently partnered with Chrissie Hynde on plans to open a vegan restaurant on Ventura Boulevard. Ellen also runs a vegan blog through her show’s website.

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8. Alanis Morissette (Age 37)
We can’t remember the last time this singer did anything
relevant, but she managed to steal some headlines when she debuted a slimmer figure in 2009. Morissette said that she decided to change her lifestyle and diet after reading Eat To Live. She lost 20 pounds on the vegan diet and said she has “no more aches and pains.” Is she that old? Time must fly when you’re famous in the ’90s.

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7. Steve-O (Age 37)
This Jackass star came to prominence by risking his physical well-being for the sake of comedy. He even titled his memoir, Professional Idiot. As far as his diet goes, though, Steve-O refuses to risk his health by consuming animal products. He attributes his conversion to a religious experience during his time in rehab for a cocaine addiction. Apparently, a
Krishna Consciousness youtube video motivated him enough to begin fearing animal consumption.As Steve-O wrote in his blog: “I got into being vegan because I was simply looking to benefit from being more compassionate. I have since come to learn that it is an animal-based diet that is responsible for the overwhelming majority of cases of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, multiple sclerosis, and all kinds of other problems.”

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6. Ozzy Osbourne (Age 62)
This bumbling rocker’s bat-eating days are over, and all it took was a movie. Osbourne only recently announced his venture into vegan life, which came about after he watched the documentary
Forks Over Knives. During an appearance on his wife Sharon’s show The Talk, Ozzy said the vegan diet helps him stay fit while he’s on tour and keeps him from going “on binges.”Continued from page 1

5. Joaquin Phoenix (Age 37)
He’s made use of his famous name in order to advocate for animal rights by narrating the Earthlings documentary that made Ellen turn vegan, and filming the PETA commercial above, quite fitting for Thanksgiving week.And despite his controversial life in the public eye, including a stint in rehab for alcoholism, a cringe-worthy venture into rapping and a supposed retirement from acting (the rapping and retirement both turned out to be hoaxes), the plant-based vegan diet has remained a constant in Phoenix’s life. In an interview with Animal Liberation Front, he vividly recalled turning vegan at age 3. Yup, age 3.

“My family and I were on a boat, catching fish. As one fish was caught, he was writhing, then he was thrown against the side of the boat. You couldn’t disguise what it was. This was what we did to animals to eat them. The animal went from a living, vibrant creature fighting for life to a violent death.”
4. Alicia Silverstone (Age 35)
The former Clueless actress says, “As if!” to the thought of eating animal products. Excuse the film reference, but we couldn’t resist. Silverstone shared the reasons behind her diet with Oprah back in 2010, saying her Clueless days were full of steak and donuts, not much else. Sixteen years later, she’s created somewhat of an empire out of her veganism. She wrote a cookbook, The Kind Life, and launched a lifestyle and food website to accompany her book.

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3. Russell Simmons (Age 54)
This Def Jam co-founder and mogul strongly abides by the power of yoga, saying the ritual led him to see the harm in consuming animal products. According to what he wrote in a post for The Ellen Show site, his yoga mentors taught him to understand the sanctity of his body and the importance of a “non-violent” lifestyle. For Simmons, that meant stopping his contribution to animal suffering and the global effects of animal consumption. He wrote, “The more I opened myself up to the idea of the full scope of exactly what non-violence translates to, the less interested I became in consuming the energy associated with the flesh of an animal that only knew suffering in his/her life and pain and terror in its death.”

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2. Mike Tyson (Age 35) The former boxer’s bizarre public trajectory got a little weirder when Animal Planet gave Tyson his own reality show, Taking On Tyson, where he nurtures and races pigeons. But it turns out that Tyson has been a lifelong bird-lover, and his first punch as a child was directed at a boy who killed one of his birds. Tyson went vegan in 2009 and said it made him feel better than ever.

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1.Thom Yorke (Age 43)
The Radiohead frontman lists the song “Meat Is Murder” by The Smiths as one of the reasons he chose to go vegan (Morrissey, the famous Smiths frontman, is vegetarian). Yorke told the United Kingdom’s Animal Aid that aside from the song, meat consumption caused him physical illness until he gave it up for good (plus, he was trying to impress a girl). Animal Aid cites Yorke as a vegetarian, but MTV Europe confirmed Yorke is a vegan.

From: LA Weekly blogs link

VegFest – Novi MI, April 13, 2014 – Speaker activist/actress Daryl Hannah

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46100 Grand River, Novi

April 13, 2014!

View photos from VegFest 2013

Michigan’s largest vegan organization presents VegFest2014 annual vegan tastefest, health, and environmental expo at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi on April 13. VegFest brings a variety of experts, innovative products, and activities.

The event features talks by some of the nation’s foremost experts on plant-based nutrition, cooking demonstrations, children’s activities, and a food court featuring delicious options from local restaurants, bakeries, caterers, and food companies. Also included are national brand samples, eco-friendly products, cruelty-free fashion, literature, cookbooks and more. All vegan, of course!

Event Details:

April 13, 2014 10:30 a.m.– 5 p.m.
Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi, Michigan
VegFest Members receive FREE admission!
$7.00 prepaid / $10 admission at event (free for children under 6)
Download the Flyer

VegFest 2014′s exciting presenters line-up includes actress and environmental advocate Daryl Hannah, NBA champion and former Piston John Salley, cardiologist and author Joel Kahn, MD, Michigan Senior State Director for The Humane Society of the United States Jill FritzChef Erika Boyd of Detroit Vegan Soul, Chef Robert Hindley of Henry Ford Hospital West Bloomfield, and Chef John Heath of Jazzy Veggie.

Schedule of Events and Speakers

Room 1

11:15 A.M. – Introduction to VegFest – Jeff Hampton
11:30 A.M. – Jill Fritz
12:45 P.M. – Daryl Hannah
2:00  P.M  – John Salley
3:15  P.M. – Dr. Joel Kahn

Room 2 – Cooking Demonstrations

12:15 Jazzy Veggie
1:30 Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital
2:45 Detroit Vegan Soul

Children’s Activities

Fun activities to make a healthy, compassionate diet and lifestyle interesting and exciting for the whole family!

– See more at: http://vegmichigan.org/activities/vegfest/#sthash.UP1OBRF3.dpufVegFestLogo1