Friday, January 15, 2010

Look What You Missed!

Not able to get down to the beach yesterday? I was fortunate to have a friend invite me out on a walk, since Sven planned to attend a seminar on Celtic History at the library, a course he really enjoys.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” a woman said as my friend locked her car at Maguire Landing.

The stranger was just standing there, enjoying the view, a big smile of satisfaction on her face.

Here’s the real reason people choose to reside in Wellfleet, this wide expanse of beige and blue, magnificent at low tide.

My friend is heading off to Las Vegas, Hawaii, and India this weekend. “I feel like such a deserter,” she said. “This is where I’d prefer to be.”

We were able to witness extensive erosion of the dune at LeCount Hollow, similar to what I reported last week at Ballston Beach in Truro.

As we walked along, I told her how very worthwhile Food Inc., is, a sobering film everyone should see, out on DVD. The fact that Monsanto controls 90% of our seeds, through patents, staggers me. How could we have allowed this monster of a company to impose genetically modified seed on our farmers? The monopoly on seed stock has evolved since 1996 without anyone calling foul ball.

Later, with this information still bouncing through my head, I opened the Cape Cod Times and read about secret chemicals that exist in the environment due to a loophole in federal legislation, created in 1976 to make manufacturers report new chemicals, except for around 20%, which remain secret. Lyndsey Layton, of the Washington Post, explains, “The law exempts from public disclosure any information that could harm their bottom line.”

Excuse me? Who is the EPA supposed to be protecting? Citizens need to support the Obama Administration as it attempts to rewrite chemical regulations. We saw what happened with the health care bill. The public option seemed like a good idea to many members of Congress until insurance companies had their say behind closed doors, and it got dropped faster than Joe Lieberman’s integrity.

Do we really want a secret chemical in household dust, a chemical similar to one banned last year from children’s products because of linkage to reproductive problems and health effects? Look what you missed, look what we all missed.

In Food Inc., Monsanto bullies a holdout, who has saved his own soybean seeds, suing the brave farmer until he caves, bankrupt. Why was he unable to prove his innocence? Neighbors had planted the "legal" seeds and they contaminated his organic crops. Food & Water Watch is conducting a campaign to stop genetically engineered, ie. modified, alfalfa seed. You can join the movement to save organic seed here. At risk? Organic milk.

I believe the time to overturn the power of lobbyists and corporations has come. Enough already. Here in Massachusetts, the Republican candidate has pulled ahead of Martha Coakley in the polls. He is now poised to grab Ted Kennedy's Senate seat and offer up the 41st vote, defeating health care. Who do you think is responsible for this situation? Mr. Brown has not come from behind by himself.

We must demand clean air and water, safe food, control of toxic substances, integrity in our politicians. None of us have the means to stand up to giants like Monsanto. That’s what unions are for. Where does one sign up?