Posts tagged Iowa
By Tom Laskawy
It’s been a good week if you enjoy a little GMO schadenfreude. The FDA has reportedly bowed to public pressure to extend the comment period on its approval of genetically engineered salmon, and Illinois, Maryland, and Iowa are the latest states to buck GMOs by introducing labeling bills into state legislature.
Even the Supreme Court has an opportunity to take Monsanto down a peg. On Feb. 19, the court will hear arguments in a patent infringement case between an Indiana farmer and Monsanto (I covered it in detail here). If Monsanto prevails, it’ll move a few more paces towards agricultural monopoly; if it loses, the company will take a couple steps back. It’s encouraging that the Supreme Court chose to hear the case over the solicitor general’s urging to dismiss it, but Monsanto could have an inside man: As in other Monsanto-related cases, former Monsanto-lawyer-turned-Supreme-Court-Justice Clarence Thomas has no plans to recuse himself.
But GMOs took the biggest punch this week from academia: Tom Philpott highlights a USDA-funded study [PDF] by University of Wisconsin scientists who found that several types of GMO seeds (including Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready varieties) actually produce a lower yield than conventional seeds. Only one seed — a corn that produces its own pesticide to combat the corn borer — offers any significant yield benefit. In other words, planting most genetically modified seeds results in less harvest per acre than planting non-genetically modified seeds.
The researchers looked at 20 years of data from test plots in Wisconsin from 1990-2010, both on research plots and on plots in participating farmers’ fields. Philpott flags a key point from the study:
Then there’s the question of so-called “stacked-trait” crops — that is, say, corn engineered to contain multiple added genes — for example, Monsanto’s “Smart Stax” product, which contains both herbicide-tolerant and pesticide-expressing genes. The authors detected what they call “gene interaction” in these crops — genes inserted into them interact with each other in ways that affect yield, often negatively. If multiple genes added to a variety didn’t interact, “the [yield] effect of stacked genes would be equal to the sum of the corresponding single gene effects,” the authors write. Instead, the stacked-trait crops were all over the map. “We found strong evidence of gene interactions among transgenic traits when they are stacked,” they write. Most of those effects were negative — i.e., yield was reduced.
This matters because stacked-trait crops are a favored approach to combat the superweeds and bugs that are part and parcel of years of GMO crops. But the more you stack, the worse your yield. The scientists also found evidence of a “yield penalty” that comes simply from the act of manipulating plant genes.
In short, the more one meddles with plant genes, the worse yields get; when you change multiple genes at once, yields drop even further. This should give pause to those who see GMO seeds as the means to address more complex problems like drought tolerance, nutritional value, or plant productivity. These are traits involving dozens, if not hundreds, of genes. This study suggests genetic manipulation of food crops at such a scale is a losing game.
A few years ago, the Union of Concerned Scientists published a report with a similar conclusion, but this is one of the first rigorous attempts to establish through controlled experiments the yield benefit (or penalty) of GM seeds. The UW scientists do note that they determined that GM seeds do provide farmers with lower “yield risk”; essentially, that farmers are less likely to face catastrophic crop losses when using GMO seeds. But there are other conventional techniques that researchers have concluded can support yield, reduce environmental harm, and increase farmer income without having to pay big bucks to biotech companies.
Not that we should expect biotech companies to just roll over: With five such companies controlling nearly 60 percent of the global seed business, it may be impossible for farmers to find sufficient conventional seed. (Learn how the seed business became so consolidated in the Center for Food Safety’s new report “Seed Giants vs. U.S. Farmers.”)
But we should take what we can get. Between Supreme Court justices who may be fed up with the company’s aggressive intellectual property tactics and farmers who could get fed up with its ineffective intellectual property, Monsanto’s stumbles could mean a few sure steps forward for food growers and eaters.
Tom Laskawy is a founder and executive director of the Food & Environment Reporting Network and a contributing writer at Grist covering food and agricultural policy. His writing has also appeared in The American Prospect, Slate, The New York Times, and The New Republic. Follow him on Twitter.
Bill Schickel, the Iowa GOP Co-Chair, was upset with the dominance of positions held by Ron Paul supporters and members of Campaign for Liberty, stating about the situation, “that is disenfranchising to many, many of our Republicans”. Later he mentions that he is running to ‘bring all of these groups together”.
By the way, Schickel failed in his bid and the supporters of Ron Paul and Liberty are still holding the positions of chairman, next co-chair and treasurer.
By News Desk
Rio Queen Citrus is recalling 840 cartons of Dry Pints of Mexican cherry tomatoes in “Karol” brand boxes due to possible Salmonella contamination.
According to Rio Queen, the tomatoes were distributed through retail stores in Texas and South Carolina. According to local news station WOWT, however, the tomatoes were also distributed to Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The product was originally distributed in a bulk container of 12/1 Dry Pints in boxes labeled “Karol” with the Lot No. “01W45” stamped in the upper, right-hand corner on the face of the box. The box states “Distributed by Interstate Fruit & Vegetable”, which is an affiliated business of Rio Queen Citrus, Inc.
The tomatoes were distributed to stores between November 10 and November 19 and may have been repackaged by individual retailers.
No illnesses have yet been connected to this recall. The contamination was discovered through routine testing by the U.S. Food and Dug Administration.
Consumers who have purchased Mexican cherry tomatoes in the listed states are asked to contact their retail store or place of purchase to determine if they were among the facilities to receive this product.
Why the GOP Is Scared of Ron Paul and 4 Reasons He Might Still Get the 2012 Republican Nomination
Why would the GOP be scared of Ron Paul but end up nominating him?
Romney and the GOP have demonstrated both poor judgment and poor sportsmanship that might cost them by damaging Romney’s electability among the Ron Paul supporters thus leading to a splitting of votes, which in turn, could cost the GOP the entire election.
Dr. Ron Paul is still in the race for president and is a strong contender for the 2012 GOP nomination.
To be on the GOP ballot Aug. 27, 2012 in Tampa and get a 15-minute speaking slot, a candidate must have won the plurality (majority) of delegates in at least 5 states.
Well, Ron Paul did win the plurality of delegates in 5 states, enough to be eligible for the nomination and a 15-minute speaking slot at the GOP convention. The states he won are Louisiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Maine and Nevada. Then Ron Paul went on to win the plurality in Massachusetts, Romney’s home state and half the delegates in Oregon. Dr. Ron Paul also has around 500 delegates who support him. The exact number of delegates that Romney and Paul have is still a mystery but should be clarified at the convention.
So… Ron Paul won his 5-plus states, he’s on the ballot and writing his speech, right? Not exactly.
By Jonathan Terbush
An Iowa woman who was running for a state Senate seat has dropped that bid after deciding the U.S. government is a sham, and has instead unilaterally declared herself a U.S. Senator from the Republic of Iowa in an alternative government, the Republic for the United States of America.
As Jason Noble of the Des Moines Register first reported, the candidate, Randi Shannon, had been running for the state’s 34th Senate district. However, she recently came to believe that the real U.S. government was replaced with an illegal one after the Civil War so, rather than continue her state-level pursuit, she dropped that bid and named herself a Senator of the what she thinks is the true government.
In a letter fittingly posted to her campaign’s Facebook page on July 4, Shannon wrote that the country was founded as the Republic for The United States for America in 1787, and that it remained as such until the 1860s, when it was abandoned during the Civil War. Once the war ended, she wrote, the government was replaced by the, “UNITED STATES CORPORATION,” [sic] which has endured to this day as the nation’s farcical governing body.
By Seamus Light
“It will be just the beginning of the end” says Ron Paul, referring to the fate of Keynesianism, big government, and the old Republican party.
On Friday, Dr. Paul released a video to his supporters, outlining his thoughts on his campaign, the upcoming GOP convention in Tampa, and the larger libertarian movement he has participated in and helped inspire.
First, he addressed the criticisms of his campaign by saying, “There are individuals who think the campaign was less than perfect.” Continuing, “Others think the campaign had achieved success far beyond anyone’s expectations.”
Noting the number of supporters who will be attending the convention (even within the ranks of supposedly “bound” Romney delegates), as well as the Ron Paul rally set to occur outside the convention place on August 26, Dr. Paul spoke optimistically about what his campaign has achieved, both in terms of this election cycle, and also within Republican party leadership as a whole.
He went on to compare the fight against establishment Republicans with the closing days of the Vietnam War: That although the United States had won all major battles, and possessed an incomparably advanced and well-funded arsenal, it was all but irrelevant in terms of the larger war. In this way, although Mitt Romney’s establishment Republicans won more states in the primary season, the war of ideas has spelled doom for the old guard, as a young and participatory class of libertarians has already begun its takeover of the GOP. Already, libertarians have ousted establishment Republicans in states such as Nevada, Alaska, and Iowa; and in some cases, forcing neoconservatives to form “shadow parties.”
By Agence France-Presse
White House hopeful Mitt Romney spent Saturday courting small-town Americans and pushing his jobs agenda, but a botched campaign stop showed it isn’t always easy connecting with everyday voters.
After laying out the case for a Romney presidency at a factory in northeastern Pennsylvania, the Republican flagbearer headed to a Wawa gas station in Quakertown for a brief chance to meet locals and travelers as part of his six-state bus tour through the US industrial heartland.
It wasn’t to be — or at least not as the campaign had planned. An hour ahead of Romney’s scheduled arrival, prominent Democrat Ed Rendell, the former Pennsylvania governor, showed up to lead anti-Romney protests.
A local news report said between 150 and 250 anti-Romney protesters were there, substantially outnumbering the candidate’s supporters about half an hour before Romney’s scheduled 12:40 arrival.
Ron Paul loyalists were triumphant at the Iowa GOP convention today, overcoming an attempt to knock very well-organized members of the liberty movement off the national convention rolls.
“The movement has a huge responsibility when it goes to Tampa to show Iowa we’re a real movement and we’re not there to be ramble rousers,” said Dubuque Republican Dave Cushman, a liberty activist and new GOP state central committee member.
After a two-day tug-of-war marked by bouts of angry shouting, Iowa Republicans elected 25 delegates to send to the national convention in Florida in late August.
By far, the majority will be Paul backers – much to the disappointment of some Iowa Republicans who wanted to send a more mixed “unity” delegation to vote for all-but-certain nominee Mitt Romney.
Cushman said he doesn’t anticipate any attempt to nominate Paul as president instead of Romney – members of the liberty movement simply want to espouse the Paul message.
“The goal is not to embarrass the party,” he said. “The goal is to make the party stronger and broaden the base, and walk the Republican talk.”
Delegates at the state convention today voted 794 to 689 to approve the official, Paul-heavy at-large slate. And Friday night, 11 of the 12 district delegates elected are backed by the Paul movement.
Hacking Democracy – Full Length
When you can’t control the Politicians or the voters, then you control the counting! Go back to paper votes and we will have a President that was voted in!
P.S. This movie is called “Hacking Democracy” because voting is a democratic process. They makers are aware that the U.S. was founded as a Constitutional Republic.
Election Fraud – Electronic Voting Machines
Also another post for reference:
Funny, now presumptively we as a people should go out and decide which is the lessor of two evils and vote for accordingly. Personally, I see two choices. Writing in is one and standing down is the other. BTW, standing down is not my style and highly unlikely. Admitted, I have strange beliefs, such as honor, duty and principle. There may be a few others out there that hold the same beliefs, such as all that took an oath to protect and defend our Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. So what is the popular “vote” based on participation? One candidate pulls in 3,000 to 8,000 on short notice to speak, another pulls in 100 folks, half of which are security and media. Yup, I’m probably just delusional, lol, not!
By Jack Hunter
“The Ron Paul Revolution Won’t Stop Here”
I have made the case that Ron Paul is not only changing the Republican Party, but is catering to a new, emerging electorate that eschews the big government aspects of both parties. Writing today at CNN.com, Timothy Stanley makes some of the same observations:
Paul’s campaign represents a message that is bigger and perhaps more popular than the candidate himself. As it continues to collect small numbers of delegates and capture control of local GOPs, Paulism is proving itself to be in rude health. Long after Mitt Romney is nominated, feted at the convention, beaten by Obama and recycled as a question on Jeopardy (“In 2012, he lost every state but Utah.” “Who is … Britt Gormley?”), Paul’s philosophy will still be a factor in national politics — something to be feared and courted in equal measure…
I have to declare a great deal of affection for Paul. Unlike other politicians, he seems motivated by ideas — and he communicates his passion with the zeal of a nutty professor detailing the thrilling possibilities of quasars and black holes. This is a doctor who refused to accept Medicare payments but lowered his prices for patients who couldn’t afford him, who declined a government pension and never voted for a tax increase, who told Republicans they need to end the War on Drugs (and most other wars, too). He’s pure…
Paul’s 2012 candidacy has had certain hidden successes. Aside from all the money he raised, Ron Paul also attracted an unusual coalition of young people, libertarian Republicans, and disaffected Democrats — a coalition large enough for him to run even with Obama in some polls. The pull among the kids was big enough to fuel talk of a new generational voting bloc. In Iowa, he took 48% of the under-30s, compared with Santorum’s 23% and Romney’s 14%. In New Hampshire, he got 47%, while Romney took just 26%…
Within the GOP, the Paulites are still the unbeaten masters of the administrative procedure. Last Saturday, they swept a confusing ballot process in Louisiana to give themselves control of 70% of delegates attending the state’s nominating convention, which could mean they end up numerically “winning” Louisiana. Similar things have happened in Minnesota and even Romney’s home state of Massachusetts.
Combine this administrative brilliance with generational politics and you get a silent grass-roots revolution that is putting many Paulites in positions of power. In 2010, more than a dozen of them won elections as Republicans, including Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan and Sen. Rand Paul (son of Ron) of Kentucky. This year, two dozen active Paul backers are seeking election to Congress, along with more than 200 running for local office. The Paulites have effectively taken over the Iowa GOP. The state central committee now has six members who are passionate for Paul, and the head of the local party is now a Paulite. Given the importance of Iowa to the 2016 nomination, this is a coup in every sense.
All of this means the GOP can no longer ignore its libertarian “fringe.” On the contrary, it will have to reach out to a new generation of activists who don’t regard religious piety or continual warfare as sacred tenets of conservatism. Even Romney will have to take Sarah Palin’s advice not to “marginalize” the Paulites if he is to emerge from the nominating convention with a united party.
Whatever happens in 2012, we are living through a significant moment in the history of conservatism. The age of Bush and Obama — twin specters of lavish spending and imperial design — have birthed anti-government movements of right (tea party) and left (Occupy). The one that will last longest and have the most impact is the one that has been the most pragmatic and politically savvy.
The Ron Paul revolution won’t stop here.
The time is NOW to take back our personal liberties and freedoms!
Ron Paul 2012: Restore America Now
Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site by following the link below and donate today!