Tag Archives: Farming

Rights Group Says Israel Uses Settler Violence Against Palestinians to Take Over West Bank Land

“Settler violence is a form of government policy, permitted and aided by official state authorities with their active participation,” according to a report from the Israeli group B’Tselem.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 11-14-2021 by Common Dreams

The Um Zuqa farm is one of six “farms” set up by settlers in the northern Jordan Valley in the past five years. It was built in 2016 on a site that housed the Palestinian village of Khirbet al-Mzoqah, which Israel demolished after occupying the West Bank. (Photo: Eyal Hareuveni, B’Tselem)

The Jerusalem-based rights group B’Tselem released a report Sunday that accuses Israel’s “​​apartheid regime” of using settler-colonist violence to take control of Palestinian farmland and pastureland, focusing on nearly 11 square miles in the illegally occupied West Bank.

“Settler violence against Palestinians serves as a major informal tool at the hands of the state to take over more and more West Bank land,” says the report. “The state fully supports and assists these acts of violence, and its agents sometimes participate in them directly.” Continue reading

Share Button

With ‘Merger From Hell’ Reportedly Approved by DOJ, Warnings of Agrichemical Chokehold on Food System

Watchdog groups raise concerns after Wall Street Journal reports that Bayer’s bid to acquire Monsanto has been approved.

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 4-9-2018

(L-R) Executive Vice President for the Agriculture Division of the E. I. DuPont de Nemours and Company James Collins, President and CEO of Dow AgroSciences, LLC, Tim Hassinger, CEO of Syngenta International AG Erik Fyrwald, President and CEO of Bayer CropScience North America Jim Blome, and Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of the Monsanto Company Robb Fraley testify during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee September 20, 2016 on Capitol in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on ‘Consolidation and Competition in the U.S. Seed and Agrochemical Industry.’Photo: Zimbio

Watchdog groups sounded alarms on Monday after the Wall Street Journal reported that the proposed mega-merger of Bayer and Monsanto has cleared its final regulatory hurdle in the United States.

The reported approval from the Justice Department came “after the companies pledged to sell off additional assets,” the Journal reported, and despite concerns raised by hundreds of food and farm groups. It also comes weeks after the European Commission gave its thumbs up. Continue reading

Share Button

US/India WTO Agreement: How Corporate Greed Trumps Needs of World’s Poor and Hungry

Published on Friday, November 14, 2014 by Common Dreams
by Andrea Germanos, staff writer

The United States cheered on Thursday an agreement it reached with India as progress for the World Trade Organization (WTO). Critics, however, say deal is likely a win for corporations and economic loss for developing countries.

A fact sheet from the U.S. Trade Representative explains that there are two parts to the deal that broke what had been an impasse over agreements from Ministerial meeting last year in Bali. The first is that the two countries stated they would move forward on the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)—the WTO’s first multilateral trade agreement of the body’s two-decade existence. The second is an agreement on India’s food security program, which allows for domestic “food stockpiling.”

Photo by Ansuman (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Ansuman (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Continue reading

Share Button

Patented Crops of Court Rulings

Soybeans and corn fields. Photo by Dwight Burdette (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Soybeans and corn fields. Photo by Dwight Burdette (Own work) CC-BY-3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Over a million individual farmers, growers and organic agriculture professionals were recently sent the message by the US Supreme Court that Monsanto has more rights than they do, under the laws and courts of the United States. The high court refused to hear the appeal in the case of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, et al., v. Monsanto Company, et al. Supreme Court Case No. 13-303, filed in 2011.

The decision means that the courts, whose rulings are based on limited understanding of farming practices and issues, will not hear enough evidence to fully understand the plight of the American farmer. Monsanto retains their right to sue farmers, but farmers do not have the right to sue Monsanto.

Monsanto has no shame in their handling of the issue. On their website, they claim “The vast majority of farmers who are presented with facts showing infringement admit the violation and pay a settlement.” Interpretation: We intimidate with fear and heavy handed tactics until the farmer admits we’re bigger than they are – then we make the farmer pay.

They continue with “Since 1997, we have only filed suit against farmers 145 times in the United States. This may sound like a lot, …but it’s really a small number. Of these, we’ve proceeded through trial with only eleven farmers. All eleven cases were found in Monsanto’s favor.” Interpretation: We’ve actually filed suit on 410 farmers and 56 small farm businesses in 29 states, and intimidated over 4,500 farmers into out-of court settlements. We just don’t want you to know. about any of that, as we want the number to look small. We got all but 11 of the cases dismissed, but we are bigger than them, we have more money and highly paid attorneys and have bribed lobbied more branches of government than the average farmer even knows exists. Undefeatable, we will win every time, so we don’t really need to care. (See CorpWatch and Center for Food Safety reports.)

What can we do? On May 24, 2014, March Against Monsanto is organizing a global action with rallies in most major cities of nearly all nations.
Write or call
your state and national representatives, telling them your opinion that favoring a corporate giant over a small farmer is not acceptable. Putting the nation’s food supply at risk is not acceptable. GMO foods are not accepted in most foreign markets, also risking the jobs and economic stability of those farmers growing export foods – this is not acceptable.

Tell everyone, spread the word and GET INVOLVED!

Corporations are not people. Money is not speech.

Share Button