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Chile Stands up to Monsanto
By Kathryn Gilje
The council's decision ensures that farmers, beekeepers and rural residents can find out exactly where GE crops are planted—basic information that is critically important as they seek to protect their farms, apiaries and families from toxic pesticide drift and contamination by pollen from GE plants.
María Elena Rozas, leader of Pesticide Action Network (PAN)—Chile and the Chilean organization, Alliance for a Better Quality of Life, described the decision's impact in Chile:
This important decision ends the secrecy that was imposed by Monsanto and its Chilean partners. Beekeepers and ordinary people will be better prepared to defend their traditional farms, bees and families from exposure to the associated aerial spraying. It will now be possible for people to ensure that GE seed growers are legally accountable for contamination of organic and conventional crops and pollen.
Rozas reports that the multinational seed corporations lobbied hard against greater transparency, but in the end, "the council sided with citizen rights." The council decision came after Monsanto appealed a similar 2010 ruling.
Pushing back against GE promotion
Currently, Chile only allows GE crops to be grown for export, not for internal consumption. The Chilean government may soon consider both labeling of GE crops and the possibility of opening domestic markets to GE crop consumption.
But there is a strong national campaign in Chile against the spread of GE crops (also known as genetically modified organisms, or GMOs). The "I don't want GMOs in Chile" campaign reflects widespread concerns that GE crop plantings in the country undermine both food sovereignty and integrity of traditional seeds and agricultural practices.
Global seed and pesticide corporations like Monsanto are aggressively encouraging South American countries to jump on their pesticide treadmill, and our PAN International partners report that the companies have made the most headway in Brazil and Argentina. Other countries in the region are pushing back. In addition to the Council decision in Chile, Peru recently affirmed another ten-year moratorium on GE crop planting anywhere in the country.
As Rozas notes:
There is still much work to be done to enforce transparency, and to ensure that Chile's policies heed scientific evidence of the negative impacts of GMOs on farming, agriculture and food systems adapted to local growing conditions and climate over generations.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Derrick Z. Jackson
As much as hurricanes Katrina and Maria upended African American and Latinx families, the landfall of the coronavirus brings a gale of another order. This Category 5 of infectious disease packs the power to level communities already battered from environmental, economic, and health injustice. If response and relief efforts fail to adequately factor in existing disparities, the current pandemic threatens a knockout punch to the American Dream.
'We Need People's Bailout, Not Polluters' Bailout': Climate Groups Move to Preempt Big Oil Giveaway Amid Pandemic
By Andrea Germanos
A coalition of climate organizations strongly criticized President Donald Trump's in-person Friday meeting with the chief executives of some of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world, saying the industry that fueled climate disaster must not be allowed to profiteer from government giveaways by getting bailout funds or preferred treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.
An Important Note
No supplement, diet, or lifestyle modification — aside from social distancing and practicing proper hygiene — can protect you from developing COVID-19.
The strategies outlined below may boost your immune health, but they don't protect specifically against COVID-19.
By Zak Smith
It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:
By Hector Chapa
With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.
But can these masks be effective?