From Our Readers
Rally Against Monsanto
On May 25, people in cities around the world will be gathering in rallies to send a loud and clear message to the Monsanto Corporation: “We do not want your genetically modified foods (GMOs)!”
In fact, at this writing, 290 rallies around the world are planned; 190 of these will be here in the United States. Massachusetts will be having five and one will be in Pittsfield. Our rally will be at Park Square from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Why are people so upset with Monsanto? Here are just a few reasons:
Studies conducted in Austria and France have shown that Monsanto’s genetically modified foods can lead to serious health conditions such as food allergies, systemic inflammation caused by a condition referred to as leaky bowel syndrome, cancerous tumors, infertility, autism and birth defects.
Monsanto is spending millions of dollars to make sure that foods containing genetically modified ingredients are not labeled as such. Here in America, the FDA, an agency created to ensure food safety, is directed by a former Monsanto executive. The Congress and the president recently passed the “Monsanto Protection Act” [a [provision in the Emergency Budget Bill], which, among other things, blocks courts from halting the sale of Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds.
Monsanto has created a monopoly on the world’s food supply, including exclusive patenting rights over seeds and their genetic makeup. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was a former Monsanto attorney and has ruled in favor of Monsanto against the people every time.
GMO seeds are harmful to the environment because they promote a significant increase in herbicide usage. This results in increased ground water contamination, soil depletion and soil contamination.
What solutions are being advocated? We encourage consumers to vote with their dollars by purchasing organic produce and avoiding processed foods, particularly those containing corn, soy, canola or cottonseed oil. We encourage consumers to ask questions about whether an item is genetically modified when they shop.
Here in Pittsfield, in a survey of three major grocery store chains, two acknowledge that they are stocking GMO produce and the third claimed to “not really know because they don’t go out of their way to advertise such a thing.”
We demand labeling of GMO foods so that consumers can make better, informed decisions. We demand the repeal of relevant provisions of the Monsanto Protection Act. We call for further scientific research to be done here in the United States on the health effects of GMOs by impartial researchers not beholden to Monsanto.
Please bring a sign or use one of ours and join us at Park Square on Saturday, May 25th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sanford: Bringing Adultery Out of the Closet
America is undergoing a profound cultural shift concerning people’s belief about marriage. These changing attitudes are personified by the recent political victory of the formerly disgraced ex-governor, now congressmans Mark Sanford of South Carolina.
Because of the actions of this brave man, America is altering its attitude about adultery. First some background: experts estimate that up to 40 percent of men cheat in America (the rest go to other countries like Argentina).
Many of America’s greatest leaders were committed adulterers, but always in secret. Now adultery is the new family value. It’s true that Democrats still discriminate by demanding that adulterers resign in disgrace. But Republicans have a more progressive approach, perhaps because they are compassionate conservatives.
Other people hate adultery on moral grounds. But if you think it’s wrong to have an extra-marital affair, then don’t have one. Feminists complain that men have a higher adultery rate than women. I’m sure that we can get a government grant to give women equal opportunity as adulterers, and it shouldn’t be too hard to get men to volunteer to support the effort.
But I digress. It’s time for adultery to come out of the closet. Even with the election of Congressman Sanford, we still have a long way to go before infidelity is accepted by everyone as a basic human right. But some day people will judge “extra-marital Americans” not on the validity of their vows, but on their contrition once they’re caught.
Correction: Last week our cover illustration was erroneously credited to Raul Colon. The artist was Lulu Delacre, and the credit should have read: Copyright 1996, Lulu Delacre. Tour Development by Smith Kramer Traveling Exhibitions, Kansas City, Missouri.