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July 2012
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THE GREENS / GREEN PARTY USA (G/GPUSA)
The Original Green Party
Publishing Green Politics Since 1992

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Dear Reader,

"Occupy Monsanto" will be a national day of action September 17, and Gateway Green Alliance, St. Louis's Greens/Green Party USA affiliate, will play a leading role by co-sponsoring a two-day event in St. Louis, headquarters city for Monsanto. G/GPUSA's national membership meeting will precede the event in St. Louis September 14. Details can be found in this newsletter.

According to a recent survey, 95 percent of those polled want food labels to disclose whether the foods contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). In California, volunteers have collected enough signatures on petitions to put labeling of GMOs on the ballot in November. This may be the year when we begin to end one of the largest experiments on human beings.

In this issue of Green Politics we have put an emphasis on GMOs, but we also have other compelling articles. Barbara Chicherio and Don Fitz were recently in Cuba to celebrate the “March Against Homophobia.” Be sure to check out the article and pictures. Our resident writer Paul Kesler has a provocative article on Fascism & Theocracy.

These are complex times. We know you, the reader, can help point the way forward for us all. Give us your comments and ideas. Tell us the focus you want to see in future issues of the Green Party newsletter.

You can reach us at http://www. greenparty.org/newsletter/contact_us.php.

In solidarity
The Print Collective

Phil Ardery, Jr
Barbara Chicherio
Devin Ceartas
Elizabeth Fattah
Wes Wagar

Whole Foods Market Rejects Dialogue on GMO Food Safety

by Don Fitz

Drivers passing by the Brentwood (MO) Whole Foods Market (WFM) on June 9 spied a 14 foot tall coyote puppet.  Next to the puppet was a sign reading "Coyote Jim Says" followed by "GMOs Contaminate Food" and "Whole Foods Sells GMOs."

Twenty members of the Gateway Green Alliance (GGA) and Safe Food Action St. Louis (SFA), along with Occupy St. Louis supporters were reminding customers that higher prices at WFM do not necessarily buy better food.  The action followed the refusal of WFM to discuss the safety of food it sells which contains GMOs (genetically modified organisms).

GMO Protest
June 9 demonstrator warns customers of Whole Foods Market in St. Louis that WFM sells GMO-contaminated foods. Whole Foods Market had rejected dialogue with Safe Food Action group.

Many of the customers who stopped to talk were aware of health and environmental problems caused by GMOs and wanted to know how to avoid them.  But they were mostly unaware of the large number of GMO products sold by WFM.

In April 2012 GGA and SFA presented WFM the results of a survey they did on attitudes toward food labeling by 315 participants in St. Louis. The poll found that 95% wanted labels on foods containing GMOs.  If also showed that WFM customers were the least likely of five groups to be willing to serve GMOs. But, at the same time, they were the most likely to expect food at WFM to be free of GMO contamination.

Safe Food Action sent the April findings to WFM and asked management to contact them by May 14 to discuss the findings and recommendations.  When WFM stonewalled them, the safe food advocates called a picket for June 9.

Continue reading the Whole Foods article here.

Greens/Green Party USA will hold a national membership meeting September 14 in St. Louis. The meeting precedes by two days the Monsanto/GMO action conference previewed in this issue of Green Politics. Keep current with plans for the G/GPUSA national membership meeting by checking www.greenparty.org throughout the summer, and PLAN TO ATTEND!

Join Midwest GMO/Food Safety Event – St. Louis, September 16-17

Occupy Monsanto (Sept. 17) is a national day of action. All across the US there will be events and demonstrations expressing concerns regarding Monsanto's increasing control of food and Monsanto's continued aggressive development of GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) technology. Many are also voicing demands for labeling foods that contain GMOs.

cartoon
Cartoon published with permission from its creator, Joe Mohr. See joemohrtoons.com

The World headquarters of Monsanto is in St. Louis. Safe Food Action, The Gateway Green Alliance and the Organic Consumers Association are hosting a two-day event Sept. 16-17 to examine and discuss GMO technology and the larger issue of food safety. Website for the event: www.gmofreemidwest.org.

Please join us for a conference and two days of education and direct action regarding GMOs and Monsanto. Learn more about GMOs' effect on human health, the environment, the economy and the use of GMOs to dominate the globe. There may be opportunities to interact with the Monsanto family.

To see the preliminary agenda for the conference (subject to adjustments), click here.

Understanding GMOs: What Is Genetic Engineering?

by Ricarda Steinbrecher, The Women's Environmental Network

Monsanto Corporation and its enforcers, enablers and distributors, particularly the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Whole Foods Markets, don't want Americans to understand the difference between (1) genetic variations achieved by breeding and (2) genetically modified organisms (GMOs) – new life forms created by genetic engineering.

More than a decade ago, Synthesis/Regeneration published a background paper researched and written by Dr. Ricarda Steinbrecher for Women's Environmental Network

Writing with the minimum scientific language needed to make the key distinctions, Dr. Steinbrecher differentiates breeding—"the natural process of sexual reproduction within the same species"—from genetic engineering. "Genetic engineering (GE) is used to take genes and segments of DNA from one species, e.g. fish, and put them into another species, e.g. tomato." She points out that "placing the new gene into a receiving higher organism is rather crude, seriously lacking both precision and predictability." Read Dr. Steinbrecher's paper here.

March Against Homophobia Celebrates New Outlook in Cuba

by Don Fitz and Jacquelyn Omotalade

"This discussion has changed my mind about homosexuality. Now I understand what my lesbian friend went through. When she graduated from medical school in Cuba, she cried. She told me that she could live her life the way she wanted to when she was in Cuba. But now she would return to Honduras as a doctor and would have to hide her lifestyle, hide who she is."

These were the words of a young woman wearing the medical school bata (white shirt) who identified herself as Honduran. The Honduran medical student spoke at an open forum which was part of the International Day Against Homophobia (May 17, 2012) in Cienfuegos, Cuba. The forum featured Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro, who is director of the National Sex Education Center.

Cuba_march Cuba_man
March Against Homophobia, May 17, 2012, Cienfuegos, Cuba. At left, leading the march (L-R), Mariela Castro (straw hat), a Cuban activist, Dale Mitchell, and Barbara Chicherio. Photo by Gina Gregory-Burns. At right, a happy celebrant in the Cienfuegos march. Photo by Don Fitz.

Castro is internationally recognized for her successful effort to overcome resistance to offering sex education in Cuban schools and her current attempt to have gay marriage legalized in Cuba . About 500, including many medical students, attended the forum at the Medical University of Cienfuegos. We were part of a group of 15 who came with the "Gender and Health Care" program offered by Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba (MEDICC). [1]

Continue reading about Cuba's march against homophobia here.

Cuba_Mariela_Barb Cuba_stilts
At left, Mariela Castro and Barbara Chicherio, President of Greens/Green Party USA.
At right, stilt walkers in the Cienfuegos "March Against Homophobia." Photos by Don Fitz.

This entire article, translated to Spanish and with photos, can be accessed here.
Para leer este artículo en español, y ver mas fotos, aplasta aquí.

Fascism, Theocracy, and Their Discontents

by Paul Kesler

A specter is haunting America. Or perhaps two specters.

One of these is fascism. Throughout its history, America has had to deal with this threat in at least one of its manifestations. While not always an immediate or observable threat, it has always been present at some level, perhaps just beneath the surface of our common lives, yet only occasionally breaking into public awareness.

But what, exactly, is fascism? For want of a better definition, we might invoke the famous quotation by Mussolini: Fascism is the merging of state and corporate power. That can at least serve as a guidepost.

But aren't corporations a relatively recent phenomenon? And, if so, doesn't that mean that fascism, too, is a fairly late development in American history?

I would maintain that fascism is in fact what Mussolini claimed that it is, but that it is also something more. In my view, fascism is actually the fusion of state power with monetary and financial power, whenever this fusion is effected in such a way that these powers are united AGAINST the common people. It is entirely possible that these forces can unite in a salutary manner, so that they benefit the masses. The latter type of fusion promotes democracy, whereas the former promotes despotism.

There are, to be sure, many other elements that typically characterize fascism, such as extreme nationalism, militarism, attacks on organized labor, criminalization of dissent, etc. However, in my view, these are secondary elements which, if traced back far enough, ultimately derive from the manner in which monetary, financial, and governmental power interact.

But what of that other "specter"? For want of a better word, I'll call it "theocracy." Taken literally, the word means "rule by God," but a literal definition, construed in literal terms, would amount to a red herring. "Theocracy" ultimately means "rule by people who claim to represent God," and these kinds of people are suitably termed "theocrats." Like fascists, theocrats have always been with us (and not just Americans), but also like fascists, they've usually hovered around the periphery of mass consciousness. Yet it was precisely the tendency of autocrats to invoke divine authority that motivated the founders to mandate the separation of church and state in the Constitution.

Continue reading Kesler's article here.

Pesticides Harmful Even When Dose Is Low

by Kristin Schafer

A newly published study in Endocrine Review overturns the notion that low doses of the harmful chemicals in pesticides are harmless to humans. Summarizing the study for the Pesticide Action Network, Kristin Schafer writes, "Tiny amounts of certain chemicals can have devastating effects on human health. It's all about the hormones. Our systems are largely regulated by these powerful chemical messengers, and the intricate process of fetal development is all but completely orchestrated by them."

Read Schafer's summary article here

Synthesis/Regeneration is produced in St. Louis and sent to members of the Greens/Green Party USA. S/R No. 58 is titled “Occupy: The Turning Point?”.

Article titles in S/R No. 58 include "Occupy Wall Street and the US Labor Movement," "Wisconsin's Painfully Moderate Labor Uprising" and "A Green Perspective on Occupy St. Louis."

Rates for S/R are:
1-4 copies, $3.95 each;
5-9 copies, $3.00 each;
10+ copies, $2.00 each.

Please make checks to “Synthesis Regeneration” and mail to
P.O. Box 300275
St. Louis MO 63130.
No postage charges if in US.
Non-US add 25% Canada, 80% other.

Subscriptions to S/R (4 issues) are $15 (US).
Non-US subscriptions are $20 Canada, $30 other.

Did you know that membership in The Greens/Green Party USA brings with it a free subscription to Synthesis/Regeneration? You can join by clicking here.

War Crimes Commission Convicts George W. Bush

by Yvonne Ridley

Blacked out by the U.S. mainstream media but reported in World News Daily, a week-long war crimes tribunal in Malaysia has convicted former U.S. President George W. Bush and seven members of his Administration. Malaysia's retired Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad initiated the tribunal, which took testimony from witnesses who were tortured by U.S. soldiers and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bush & Co.
Convicted war criminals (L-R) Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, and Richard Cheney.

Full transcripts of the charges, witness statements and other relevant material will now be sent to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as to the United Nations and the Security Council.

Read the World News Daily account here.

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