Ronnie Cummins

6 rules for organizing a grassroots regeneration revolution

Over the past five decades, as a food, natural health and environmental campaigner, anti-war organizer, human rights activist and journalist, I’ve had the inspiring and at times depressing opportunity to work and travel across much of the world.

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How Regenerative Farming Can Reverse Rural Poverty and Forced Migration in the Americas

One of the most politically charged debates today, especially in the United States and Europe, is the so-called "immigration crisis." There are approximately 250 million (3 percent of the world’s 7.6 billion people) migrants in the world today. About 20 percent, or 47 million of those, live in the U.S. Another 35 million live in Europe.

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Federal Govt. Report Says Global Warming Is Costing Taxpayers Billions: Here's How to Fix It

Another report sounding the alarm about climate change. Another missed opportunity to talk about the most promising solution: regenerative agriculture.

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Only One Out of 11 Popular Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Flavors Tested Negative for Cancer-Causing Herbicide Glyphosate

"The Vermont brand has been built on a bucolic image of cows grazing on endless pasture...Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream and other Vermont companies have used this idyllic imagery to sell their products. Gone are the days, however, when most of Vermont’s cows were grazing in spectacularly scenic landscapes. Now a majority of Vermont’s cows are locked up in...‘confined animal feeding operations’ or CAFOs...grazing on concrete with a diet rich in GMO corn and pesticides." — Vermont’s GMO Addiction: Pesticides, Polluted Water and Climate Destruction, Regeneration Vermont

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Do You Question the Value of the USDA Organic Seal? Here's What You Need to Know

A recent series of articles by a Washington Post reporter could have some consumers questioning the value of the USDA organic seal. But are a few bad eggs representative of an entire industry? 

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The Ways We Must Understand How Health Is Connected to Food, Exercise, Stress and the Rest

As evidenced by the 2016 primary and general elections, Americans—Democrats, Republicans, Greens, and Independents—want real change, radical change, not just “business as usual.” That’s why Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) nearly won the Democratic Party nomination in 2016 with his call for a “revolution,” including Medicare for all, reining in Wall Street, higher taxes on corporate profits, an end to wars in the Middle East, and free tuition for students at public colleges. Polls consistently indicated that had Sanders won the Democratic Party nomination, he could have defeated Trump by a significant margin.

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One of the World's Largest Pesticide Makers Could Be Bought by a Chinese Company: Here's What That Means

We all love to hate Monsanto. We also know that Monsanto isn’t the only poison-maker trying to pass itself off as a “farmer-friendly producer of food to feed the world.”

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'Organic Traitors' Team Up With Monsanto and Big Food Lobby to Keep Consumers in the Dark About GMOs

"You [Gary Hirshberg from Stonyfield Farm and Just Label It] and the other Organic Traitors (Organic Trade Association, UNFI, Whole Foods, Environmental Working Group, Organic Valley) need to issue a joint press statement denouncing the anti-consumer, anti-states’ rights Roberts/Stabenow bill and telling Congress to step back and let the Vermont law do its work, forcing companies, including your bosses at Danone, to label or reformulate their GMO and pesticide-tainted foods." — email from Ronnie Cummins to Gary Hirshberg and the organic elite, June 30, 2016

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Monsanto and Bayer May Merge, Creating a Company That Would Control Nearly a Third of the World's Seeds

The two multinationals that teamed up during the Vietnam War to poison millions of people with Agent Orange herbicide are looking to become one. 

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The Media Got It Wrong About a New Report Saying GMOs Are Safe: Here Are 3 Takeaways

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine on GE crops and technology was met with cheers from the biotech industry, but little meaningful scrutiny by the mainstream media. Initial media reports boiled the message down to “GMOs Are Safe” and “healthy,” some even claiming that the study “proves” the safety of genetically modified crops.

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Meet Monsanto's Evil Twin, an Industry That Does Major Damage and Gets Shockingly Little Attention

What do you know about the worldwide chemical fertilizer industry? If you’re like most people, not much. 

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Dozens of Nations Back Regenerative Farming Initiative That Can Help Solve Global Warming

France, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the U.K., Germany and Mexico are among more than two dozen countries that have signed on to an agreement that one day may be recognized as the most significant climate initiative in history.

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Regeneration Revolution: Why We Need to Stop Using 'Sustainable' When It Comes to Food

Last week, PoliticoPro reported that the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture wants “farmers and agricultural interests to come up with a single definition of sustainability in order to avoid confusing the public with various meanings of the term in food and production methods.”

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The Global Food War Is Escalating -  Whose Side Are You On?

If governments won’t solve the climate, hunger, health, and democracy crisis, then the people will … Regenerative agriculture provides answers to the soil crisis, the food crisis, the health crisis, the climate crisis and the crisis of democracy. -- Dr. Vandana Shiva, speaking at the founding meeting of Regeneration International, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica, June 8, 2015

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Will Monsanto Launch Another 'Sneak Attack' in Congress?

"Something is going to happen. If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu."

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House Votes to Let Monsanto Deceive Consumers About GMOs

On July 23, 275 members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of H.R. 1599, the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act. By voting for the DARK Act, these politicians voted against truth and transparency, against science, against the more than century-old right of states to legislate on matters relating to food safety and labeling.

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America's Red Meat Horror Show: Why We Must Get Rid of Factory Farms

For the first time since the advent of industrial agriculture, the federal government is considering advising Americans to eat “less red and processed meat.”

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Danger on Your Dinner Plate: 12 Ways to Drive GMOs Off the Market

"Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food," said Phil Angell, Monsanto's director of corporate communications. "Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA's job." - New York Times, Oct. 25, 1998

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How Can the Climate Movement Force the Billionaires and Corporations to Change Their Ways?

The People’s Climate Summit, Lima, Peru, December 11, 2014 : Marching and chanting (“Change the System, not the Climate!”), an energetic and colorful corps of indigenous people, campesinos, students, union members, and climate activists make our way through the traffic-clogged streets of Lima, from the Campo de Marte to the Plaza San Martin. Today’s “Mega-March,” 15,000 strong, is both invigorating and frustrating. Invigorating to take to the streets with a growing international Movement. Frustrating to realize that we are still losing the battle.

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Our Life or Death Task: Move Several Billion Tons of Excess CO2 Back Underground

If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current levels [398 ppm.] to at most 350 ppm…”— Dr. James Hansen

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10 Reasons Consumers Buy Organic

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA), in a series of action alerts over the past month, has criticized the gradual erosion of organic standards by vested corporate interests in the organic products industry.

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How the Food Industry Uses the Threat of Law Suits to Stop GMO Labeling Laws

The food industry is playing every conceivable angle in its quest to keep labels off foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs)—including, according to a leaked document, threatening to sue the first state that passes a GMO labeling law. (Maine and Connecticut passed GMO labeling laws in 2013. But both have “trigger” clauses that prevent the laws from taking effect until at least four neighboring states, with a combined population of 20 million inhabitants, pass similar labeling bills).

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The Stakes Are Raised in the David and Goliath Battle with Food Corporations

2014 is shaping up to be a decisive year for the future of food and farming.  Grassroots activists are gearing up for new legislative battles, including state GMO labeling laws and county bans on growing genetically engineered crops. Meanwhile multinational food corporations last month raised the stakes in the ongoing David vs. Goliath battle by petitioning the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to allow companies to continue to label or market products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as "natural." And all signs point to efforts by industry and the FDA to float either voluntary, or watered-down mandatory GMO labeling laws that would take away states’ rights to impose strict GMO labeling laws, and also exempt a large percentage of GMO ingredients from labeling.

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Did the Anti-GMO Movement Really Lose in Washington?

The following originally appeared on Organic Consumers Assocation, and is cross-posted here with their permission.

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5 Things We Can Learn from the Battle Against GMOs

Twenty years after the controversial introduction of unlabeled and untested genetically engineered foods and crops, opposition to GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and Monsanto has created one of the largest netroots-grassroots movements in the U.S.

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On World Food Day, Here's What We Need to Do So We Don't Cook the Planet

“Here's the single most important thing you need to know about the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report: It's not too late. We still have time to do something about climate disruption. The best estimate from the best science is that we can limit warming from human-caused carbon pollution to less than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit - if we act now. Bottom line: Our house is on fire. Rather than argue about how fast it's burning, we need to start throwing buckets of water.” -- Michael Brune, Director, Sierra Club, Sept. 27, 2013

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Proof That Biotech Companies Are Getting Desperate

Thirteen years after Golden Rice was featured on the cover of Time magazine under the headline “This Rice Could Save a Million Kids a Year,” biotech’s golden child is back in the headlines. Just when public opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is at an all-time high, and the biotech and junk food industries are once again pouring millions of dollars into a campaign to defeat laws that would require labels on foods containing GMO ingredients.

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Why Coca-Cola's New Ad Campaign May Be Dangerous to Your Health

It was laughable when Coca-Cola launched a campaign to fight obesity. And even more laughable when the king of soda’s anti-obesity campaign shifted all the blame for those extra pounds to lack of exercise and chairs (yes, chairs). 

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How Monsanto Can Be Defeated

“The harder they come the harder they fall, one and all.” -- Jimmy Cliff, reggae classic

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Secret Trade Agreements Threaten to Undo Our Last Shreds of Food Safety

If you think the U.S. government is doing a sub-par job of keeping your food safe, brace yourself. You could soon be eating imported seafood, beef or chicken products that don’t meet even basic U.S. food safety standards. Under two new trade agreements, currently in negotiation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could be powerless to shut down imports of unsafe food or food ingredients. And if it tries, multinational corporations will be able to sue the U.S. government for the loss of anticipated future profits.

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