13 September 2011

This week we’ll be looking at some coming Northstate events that have local-to -global importance.

In the first part of the program, we’ll talk with Luisa Garza of the Label GMOs campaign, which aims to get legistlation requiring GMO labeling on the California ballot. She’ll also tell us about an event coming next Monday night, when Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception, will be speaking here in Chico.

And in the second part of the show, we’ll talk with Allen Harthorn of Friends of Butte Creek about the Wild and Scenic Film Festival coming up this Friday at the Sierra Nevada Big Room.

Listen to the Program

Our Conversation with Luisa Garza

Luisa Garza is a longtime promoter of safe and healthy foods and has served on the Board of Chico Natural Foods. She is also active in the Label GMOs initiative that would place GMO labeling on a ballot initiative. Welcome Luisa.

–Before we get to a discusssion of the Label GMOs petition, we’d like to ask you to tell us about an event coming up next week, where Jeffrey Smith, author of the widely respected Seeds of Deception: Genetic Roulette, will be speaking.

–Please tell us about the event coming up. [Monday, September 19, 5 pm, Masonic Family Center. Folks can get tickets here online http://jeffreysmith.eventbrite.com/ or at Chico Natural Foods Co-op.]

–Can you tell us a little about Jeffrey Smith and why this lecture is so important? [Background: Jeffrey Smith–Seeds of Deception: Genetic Roulette The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods Jeffrey M. Smith argues that eating genetically modified food is gambling with every bite. The biotech industry’s claim that genetically modified (GM) foods are safe is explored in this book book. Sixty-five health risks of the foods that Americans eat every day are presented in two-page spreads: The left page is designed for the quick scanning reader; it includes bullets, illustrations, and quotes. The right side offers fully referenced text, describing both research studies and theoretical risks. The second half of the book, called, Genetic Roulette, argues that safety assessments on GM crops are not sufficient to identify the health problems presented in the first half.]

–In an earlier program, we talked with Pamm Larry about the Label GMO initiative in California. Can you remind us of what that involves and where the project stands? How many signatures will you need? How are you collecting them? What kind of support do you have in the legislature? What are the barriers to, first, getting the initiative on the ballot, and, second, once you’re on the ballot, what are the obstacles and the timetable?

–Why do you personally feel so strongly about this issue? What’s the harm in not knowing whether foods have been genetically modified? –The GMO industry has always reassured consumers that GM products are safe and well regulated. We assume you beg to differ with that assurance : ). Why do consumers need to be self-protective?

–Finally, how can people sign onto the Label GMOs project and even become engaged in the process of gathering signatures? What’s on your web site and what’s its address? [LabelGMOs.org]

Followup on Food Democracy: We want to follow up on our continuing coverage of the efforts of Dave Murphy and Food Democracy Now project to monitor Federal handling of food safety in general and GMOs in particular. Michael Taylor was appointed by the Obama administration as Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration–he’s widely regarded to be the “Food Safety Czar,” advising the commissioner on food safety, small farms, factory farms, use of antibiotics, and control of GMOs.

When Taylor was appointed, many food activists, including Jeffrey Smith, (speaking next week in Chico) complained. In an article in Huffington Post, Smith said this is a classic case of the fox guarding the henhouse, because Taylor has been Monsanto’s attorney and has also served as Monsanto’s vice president and chief lobbyist.

We’ve discussed Monsanto’s monopolistic practices in several Ecotopia programs, including their threats to organic farmers in Oregon, whose crops may become pollinated by Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” beets and other Genetically Modified Organisms. Because of Michael Taylor’s background with Monsanto, he is widely seen as favoring big ag and the production of food using chemicals and GMOs. He’s also responsible in part for the FDAs raids on small dairies that do not pasturize milk. Food Democracy now is circulating a petition to Preisident Obama to “fire Michael Taylor for putting family dairy farmers in the crosshairs of his federal agency while letting giant factory farm violators with massive food safety outbreak violations off without even a fine.” To learn more and to see the petition, go to http://fooddemocracynow.org. To read Jeffrey Smith’s article Michael Taylor’s background, go to http://www.huffingtonpost.com. We will also post the full links to the petition and article on our website: ecotopiakzfr.net.

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/419?akid=373.188896.pbU1LM&t=9

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-smith/youre-appointing-who-plea_b_243810.html]

Our Conversation with Allen Harthorn

Tonight we are talking about some upcoming local events that connect with broader, global issues. With us in the studio now is Allen Harthorn  of Friends of Butte Creek, and who will tellus about a film festival coming up on Friday. It’s called “Films to Change Your World.” Welcome to Ecotopia.

–Please tell us about the festival: when, where, etc.

[Sierra Nevada Brewery Big Room, Friday, September 16th. Doors open at 5:00. Films start at 6:00

Music by the Gordy Ohliger Trio

Farmers’ Market Buffet featuring organic and local goodies prepared by the Sierra Nevada Restaurant

Silent auction items

Tickets available for films only and films plus buffet. There is also a membership special. Tickets available at: Pure Skin at 136 W. 3rd Street or online at: Brown Paper Tickets More information at: www.buttecreek.org or call: Pamela at 893-0360]

–Let’s talk about the films. The one most prominently featured in your promotions is called Truck Farm. Please tell us about it. Why is it the centerpiece of your festival?

[This year, Friends of Butte Creek is proud to feature the new and award winning film: Truck Farm: A whimsical, musical documentary about the quirky world of urban agriculture. After filmmaker Ian Cheney plants a garden in the back of his pickup truck, he and the Truck Farm set out to explore the rooftops, barges and windows that represent New York City’s newest edible oases. Can these urban farmers feed a city? Can the old Dodge and its crops survive the winter? Featuring time machines, Victorian dancers, physicists, nutritionist Marion Nestle, chef Dan Barber, and explorer Henry Hudson. Award for WSFF One of the Best of the Festival.]

–What other films will you be showing? Is there are schedule online or elsewhere?

–This may be an obvious question, but how do films “change your world”? Could you give us a couple of examples?

–How does the festival benefit Friends of Butte Creek? What are your particular interests–passions–through your involvement with the Friends. [Salmon restoration. Other projects?]

–In addition to attending the festival and becoming a member, how can people become involved in the work of the Friends of Butte Creek? [www.buttecreek.org] [Repeat festival info.]

Additional local events: The September issue of David Grau’s Valley Oak Magazine is now available online at http://valleyoakmagazine.com/. It includes gardening tips for the fall and information on Bill McKibben’s 350.org project. In addition, David alterted us to several upcoming events in the Northstate.

–Tomorrow evening, September 14, 6pm to 7:30pm. Hands-On Canning Class with Stephanie Elliott at Cocina Cortes, 1110 Dayton Rd., Chico. 781-3253. There’s also an interview with Stephanie in the magazine.

–Sunday, September 18. Vegan Whole Food Prep with Eartha Shanti. Cocina Cortes, 1110 Dayton Rd., Chico. 781-3253.

–Saturday, September 24, 10:30am to 7:30 pm at Cedar Grove in Bidwell Park. Chico EarthDance. features live music, dance, vendors, veggie foods, and more. This is Chico’s 350.org Moving Planet event. There will be an info booth on 350.org and Moving Planet, and a solar oven display and workshop. You can get more info at www.chicoearthdance.org or www.350.org. Sunday,

–September 25. A workshop on Live Food Prep with Eartha Shanti. Cocina Cortes, 1110 Dayton Rd., Chico. 781-3253.]

Playlist:

Back To The Garden 4:03 Jason Webley Against The Night
Monsanto (Go Away!) 6:17 Human Naked
Let’s Go To The Movies (Album Version) 4:42 Aileen Quinn;Albert Finney;Ann Reinking;Chorus
Let’s Make a Movie 2:57 Ratcliff Bailey Deuce

Earth Anthem 3:54 The Turtles Go Green: Songs for Earth Day,
God’s Away On Business 3:00 Tom Waits Blood MoneyI Remember California 5:04 R.E.M. Green RockRain On The Scarecrow 3:46 John Mellencamp Scarecrow
Break Up The Concrete 2:39 The Pretenders Break Up The Concrete