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The article below I found interesting and wanted to share with anyone who is concerned about happenings in our world today.
We should all be worried about this company and the stuff they are “genetically engineering” that appears to be killing us a little at a time every time we eat something. I’m glad the Obama administration is at least investigating them and the FDA needs to get off of their asses and check into this. It always seems the government, who we rely on to protect us, is always the last ones to act on something. One can only hope the media will get in on this and report it to the public using every media outlet. Yeah, right.
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Monsanto: The evil corporation in your refrigerator
Bob Cesca Feb 4th 2010 at 7:30PM

When we consider the rogue’s gallery of devilish, over-sized, greedy and disproportionately powerful corporations, we generally come up with outfits like Microsoft, Bechtel, AIG, Halliburton, Goldman-Sachs, Exxon-Mobil and the United States Senate. Yet somehow, Monsanto, arguably the most devilish, over-sized, greedy and disproportionately powerful corporation in the world has been able to more or less skulk between the raindrops — only a household name in households where documentaries like Food Inc. are regarded as light Friday evening entertainment. My house, for example. But for the most part, if you were to ask an average American for their list of sinister corporations, Monsanto probably wouldn’t make the cut.

It should.

Founded by Missouri pharmacist John Francis Queeny in 1901, Monsanto is literally everywhere. Just about every non-organic food product available to consumers has some sort of connection with Monsanto.

Anyone who can read a label knows that corn, soy and cotton can be found in just about every American food product. Upwards of 90% of all corn, soybeans and cotton are grown from genetically engineered seeds, also known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). These genetically enhanced products appear in around 70% of all American processed food products. And Monsanto controls 90% of all genetically engineered seeds. In other words, Monsanto controls — and owns patents on — most of the American food supply.

When you consider, as Walletpop originally reported, that one-in-four food labels is inaccurate, that the F.D.A.’s testing is weak at best, then how can we trust one corporation to have so much control over our produce? The answer is, we can’t.

Recently, a study by the International Journal of Biological Sciences revealed that Monsanto’s Mon 863, Mon 810, and Roundup herbicide-absorbing NK 603 in corn caused kidney and liver damage in laboratory rats. Scientists also discovered damage to the heart, spleen, adrenal glands and even the blood of rats that consumed the mutant corn. A “state of hepatorenal toxicity” the study concluded.

This hasn’t slowed down Monsanto’s profit machine. In 2008, Monsanto cleared over $2 billion in net profits on $11 billion in revenues. And its 2009 is looking equally as excellent.

Author and food safety advocate Robyn O’Brien told me, “Monsanto is expecting gross margins in Q2 2010 of 62%, its corn and soy price mix to be up 8-10% and its glyphosate revenue to expand to an estimated $1 billion in gross profit by 2012, enabling Monsanto to further drive R&D into seeds and to price those seeds at a premium – further driving price increases on the farm and in the grocery stores.”

This, O’Brien says, in the same year when farm income declined by around 34%.

Because Monsanto claims that its GMOs create higher yields and therefore comparatively higher revenues per acre for struggling American farmers, they’re certainly a tempting option. On the surface, that is. Monsanto controls its seeds with an iron fist, so even if you happen to own a farm next to another farm upon which Monsanto seeds are used, and if those seeds migrate onto your land, Monsanto can sue you for royalties.

Additionally, if you use seeds from crops grown from Monsanto seeds, a process known as “seed cleaning,” you also have to pay royalties to Monsanto or it will sue you. All told, Monsanto has recovered $15 million in royalties by suing farmers, with individual settlements ranging from five figures to millions of dollars each.

Back in 2004, farmer Kem Ralph served eight months in jail and was fined $1.3 million for lying about Monsanto cotton seeds he was hiding in his barn as a favor to a friend. They weren’t even his seeds (yeah, that’s what they all say!). By way of comparison, the fine in Ralph’s home state of Tennessee for, say, cocaine possession, is $2,500.

In keeping with the Orwellian nature of modern marketing, one of the first phrases you see on the front page of the Monsanto website is “we help farmers.” Funny. In a cruelly ironical way, that is.

In fairness, the argument in support of Monsanto is generally “it makes more food for lower prices.” Of course this is a red herring. Basic economics proves that choice and competition create lower prices. Not monopolies. This applies not only to American grocery stores, but also in terms of feeding developing nations where food is scarcer. Moreover, stronger Monsanto herbicides, compatible with herbicide resistant seeds, are giving rise to mutant Wolverine-ish super weeds that have adapted and are rapidly spreading through the air to farms that don’t use Monsanto GMOs, destroying obviously vulnerable crops. Say nothing of the inevitable mutant bugs that will adapt to the pesticides that are implanted into the Monsanto Mon 810 genetic code. And if further studies indicate similar organ damage in humans, the externalized costs to health care systems will begin to seriously out-weigh the benefits of cheaper food.

Ultimately, there are better, healthier ways to make cheaper food. Until then the best thing we can do is to demand further investigations and buy organic products whenever practical.

And if you can’t afford to buy organic, O’Brien recommends, “A great first step, given how pervasive these ingredients are in processed foods that often use these ingredients to extend shelf life, is to reduce your exposure to processed foods and stick with pronounceable ingredients and foods that your grandmother would have served her kids.”

Meanwhile, let’s endeavor to make Monsanto a household name. But not in a good way.

On January 15, the Obama Justice Department launched an anti-trust investigation against the corporate behemoth over its next generation of genetically modified “Roundup Ready” soybean seeds. The very next day, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, which challenges the safety of genetically modified agricultural products — the centerpiece of the Monsanto empire. If the investigation fails, farmers will have to switch over to the next generation of Roundup Ready seeds in 2014. And the cycle of corporate abuse and monopolization will continue.

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I read this blog/opinion from sphere on aol. I wanted to share it. This is something that has to have stiff penalties for and school buses should be equipped with video cameras to identify those that refuse to stop for stopped school buses.
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Opinion
Finding Meaning — and a Cause — in Our Son’s Death
Lori Key
Special to Sphere

(Jan. 22) — On a cold Friday afternoon, Dec. 11, 2009, my life was forever changed.

The day started like any other, as we got our family up and each of our children to school. The afternoon rolled around, and I waited, as I did every school day, for my precious 5-year-old son, Nathaniel Glenn Key, to hop off the bus and come happily home.


Courtesy of Lori Key
Nathan Key was killed as he was getting off his school bus by a driver who decided to pass the stopped bus.
But that day, a driver decided to recklessly pass and ignore the school bus’ flashing red lights and stop sign and drive around it.

He hit and killed Nathan, just a few feet from our house, just days before Christmas.

The pain my husband and I have experienced is unbelievable and seemingly unendurable. Our memories of him are too few. I would give anything just to have him back in my life, if only for a moment.

But we have endured, barely.

In the natural course of events, life develops a cycle of normalcy. As part of life’s cycle, belabored justifications of death are occasionally used for comfort when we lose our elderly friends or family, but such subtle consolation does not easily extend to the death of a child. The old expect to die and leave their children behind, and we were no different.

For us, the world has become a much darker place, with dimly lit mornings that seem less smiling. In our small community, aching emptiness abounds, and sympathetic hearts blindly search for an answer to perhaps the most difficult of life’s questions.

It has now become the goal of my family — our obsession — to make sure this type of accident never happens again. No other family should have to suffer from what we have experienced.

And though I’m painfully aware that no law can prevent each and every accident, I am dedicated to making sure that something positive comes from Nathan’s death.

What we have learned since has been deeply troubling. Every school day, thousands upon thousands of cars drive around stopped school buses. In Virginia alone it happens about 600,000 times a year, according to one study. A New York study found that 50,000 times a day drivers didn’t stop for a school bus that was letting children on or off.

As a result, 18 children — most of them under age 8 — were killed last school year while getting on or off a school bus, according to a national survey by the Kansas State Department of Education.

One of the big problems is that in many states the penalty for failing to stop for a school bus is weak and enforcement is lax. In my home state of Mississippi, a violator faces only a small fine — in the rare event that he or she is caught red-handed.


Nathan Key memorial
Courtesy of Lori Key
This makeshift memorial to Nathan stands on the side of the road where he was killed.
This madness has to stop.

My husband and I have been working with Mississippi Sen. Chris McDaniel to develop a comprehensive school bus safety act — called “Nathan’s Law.”

This law would, among other things, raise the fine for a first offense to $500 for passing a stopped school bus, in addition to license suspension for a period of 30 days and discretionary imprisonment for up to 48 hours.

For any subsequent violation, the fine would climb to $800, plus a 90-day license suspension and the possibility of one year in prison. A driver who injured a child while passing a stopped bus could face up to five years in jail.

The law would also encourage a statewide marketing campaign to educate our citizens concerning the new law and the importance of school bus safety. More important, it would authorize school districts to mount cameras on their stop arms to help catch lawbreakers.

This law isn’t just needed in my home state. Tougher penalties and better enforcement are needed around the country.

For the sake and safety of other children, we must take action to help prevent this type of event from ever happening again.

It’s my prayer that something positive will come from such a senseless tragedy. I hope that Nathan’s life and death will serve to inspire safety reforms all across our country.

Perhaps then we will be able to see God’s purpose, even in our heartbreak.
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Lori Key lives in Laurel, Miss.

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stop and think about who would be left behind when smoking kills you.

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