The Front Lines of the Label GMO Food Fight Arrive in Oregon

March Against Monsanto in Portland Oregon in May. Image:

After Prop 37's narrow defeat back in 2012 in California largely due to heavy negative ad campaigns funded by Monsanto and Co. and Washington State's close no vote on I 522 after a similar cast of characters used millions in ad spending to defeat the bill, the battle for genetically modified food labeling has now descended upon Oregon.

Activists face a long road ahead of them though, needing to get 87,213 valid signatures by the end of June in order to get the measure on the 2014 Ballot. GMO Free Oregon has taken up the task of spearheading the petitioning and will need all the help they can get. You can support them here: The March Against Monsanto is leading the national GMO awareness campaign, you can support them here: has set up a simple way to send an email to Oregon's government to encourage the state to label GMOs, you can do that here.

GM food labeling is important because an overwhelming majority of consumers want to know what's in their food. A recent study showed that babies, still in the womb, are already testing positive for pesticides in their bodies that come from GMO food. There's no telling the effects that these foods are having on us over the long haul, but recent research has shown a vast amount of illnesses, diseases and disorders are likely caused by GMO foods and the extra pesticides used in their production.

Labeling also helps local farmers and organic food companies as more an more consumers become aware of the dangers of the chemicals on their dinner tables. Companies with products labelled non-GMO have seen an explosion of sales once they began using the non-GMO Project's certified label, projected to account for roughly 30% of all foods sold by 2017. According to
"the sales of food with the Non-GMO Project Verified label have risen 21 percent in natural supermarkets over the past twelve weeks (2012). The sales of organic foods have risen 17 percent during the same time period."
The real question is: will the fight for food labeling finally be won by activists in Oregon, or will big money from Monsanto and the other food giants crush the opposition again? Only time will tell.

This article may be copied used freely in part or in whole with credit to and a link to our Facebook page I Want To Be 100% Organic.

A dolphin gets tangled in a fishing line, but what happens next will restore your faith in humanity

Image: YouTube

Stephen MessengerTreeHugger

Earlier this month, while on an nighttime swim with manta rays off the coast of Hawaii, a group of divers were surprised to see a single Bottlenose dolphin approach and linger among them, though it appeared unable to swim normally.

Only after the dolphin continued to circle near around him so insistently did diving instructor Keller Laros begin to realize the animal wasn't merely being curious -- it was actually asking them for help.

The dolphin's movements were restricted because it had become entangled in fishing line and a hook was lodged in its pectoral fin.

Incredibly, the wild dolphin then appears to readily comply with Laros's efforts to help, positioning its body to make his work easier, seeming to give full trust in the terrestrial stranger.

Thankfully, Laros was able to remove the line and hook from the dolphin, very likely saving the animal's life.

"I was at the right place at the right time. I am honored to share the footage with all of you." writes Martina S. Wing, owner of the touring company Ocean Wings Hawaii, who filmed the moving rescue. "Let's make better decisions for the ocean and the creatures that inhabit it. I strive to make a difference, and you can make one, too!"

While it's always encouraging to hear stories of aquatic creatures saved from ocean debris, especially discarded fishing nets, lines and hooks -- for every one heartwarming rescue, there are countless sad endings for marine life.


Uruguay legalises production and sale of cannabis, Nature Won

Government experiment reaches new heights as it attempts to regulate marijuana business and find alternative to war on drugs

The world's most far-reaching cannabis law has been passed by the Uruguayan parliament, opening the way for the state to regulate the production, distribution, sale and consumption of the planet's favourite illegal drug.

The law, effective from next year, will: allow registered users to buy up to 40g of marijuana a month from a chemist's; registered growers to keep up to six plants; and cannabis clubs to have up to 45 members and cultivate as many as 99 plants.
A government-run cannabis institute will set the price – initially likely to be close to the current black market rate of $1 a gramme – and monitor the impact of the programme, which aims to bring the industry under state control and push illegal traffickers out of business.

Julio Bango, one of the politicians who helped draft the bill, said it would probably be four months until the first harvest of legal cannabis, by which time the government would have a licensing system in place. "We know this has generated an international debate and we hope it brings another element to discussions about a model [the war on drugs] that has totally failed and that has generated the opposite results from what it set out to achieve."

Before the passage of the bill, president José Mujica called on the international community to assist in what he admitted was an experiment aimed at finding an alternative to the deadly and unsuccessful war on drugs.

"We are asking the world to help us with this experience, which will allow the adoption of a social and political experiment to face a serious problem – drug trafficking," he said earlier this month. "The effects of drug trafficking are worse than those of the drugs themselves."

If the results of the law prove negative, Mujica has said it could be rescinded. The current illegal market in Uruguay is estimated to be worth $30m (£18m) a year, according to Martin Fernández, a lawyer working for the Association of Cannabis Studies, who says one in five Uruguayans have tried marijuana. The government estimates 115,000 people are regular users.

Consumption of marijuana has been permitted for many years in Uruguay – one of Latin America's most tolerant nations – but production and sales are prohibited and largely run by gangs who smuggle drugs in from Paraguay.

The government is taking a political risk by trying to regulate the business – a move not supported by most voters. Opposition politicians have demanded a referendum.

"Public perception, reflected in public opinion polls, is that this measure is the wrong way to address a serious problem," Gerardo Amarilla of the National party said.

Drug rehab workers have mixed views about the likely risks and benefits. Nancy Alonso, a psychologists who runs an addiction treatment centre, believes the law will create social and health problems.

"Marijuana is highly addictive. It's 15 times more carcinogenic than tobacco. It produces psychological disorders like depression, anxiety and – for big consumers – schizophrenia," she said. "As a healthcare agent, I think the social harm will be huge."

However, staff at the government-funded Ciudadela treatment centre are more upbeat. "I think the law is a positive step," said Pablo Anzalone, a programme co-ordinator. "State regulation will reduce problematic consumption. We also hope that it will generate more money for us and other treatment centres."

Growers were ecstatic that their pastime will no longer get them thrown in jail. To celebrate, several planned what they called "a final march with illegal cannabis" through the streets of Montevideo.

Marcelo Vazquez said he now had the opportunity to fulfil an ambition. "It's a utopia," he said. "I want to work, pay taxes and grow cannabis for clubs, for medicine, for whatever."

Juan Guano, who runs a small shop selling growbags, heat lamps and books on cannabis cultivation, said he expected his market to expand. More hopefully, he predicted the measure could help Uruguayan and world society.

"Uruguay doesn't need to prove anything to anyone, but obviously the outside world will be watching how this works. We are not regulating marijuana with the aim of encouraging others to follow our lead, we are doing it because this is what we need as a society. But one possible positive is that, if things go well, other countries in the region could take this as a model for marijuana regulation."


America Could End Homelessness in One Year by Doing This

Kevin E. Lake | Free Patriot

If America really cared about solving the problem of homelessness among it’s citizenry, here’s an idea that would work. Oh- and that opening line references the fact that as far back as 2011 empty houses in America outnumbered homeless families by five times, according to Amnesty International.

Anyway, let’s say the problem with homeless people in America was a result of not enough housing. Then, this idea would work.

Did you know that you can make houses out of plastic bottles? By filling them with sand, and molding them together with mud or cement, the walls created are actually bullet proof, fire proof, and will maintain an comfortable indoor temperature of 64 degrees in the summer time.

And it’s not like there is any shortage on used plastic bottles out there. Here are some statistics from
"The United States uses 129.6 Million plastic bottles per day which is 47.3 Billion plastic bottles per year. About 80% of those plastic bottles end up in a landfill!"
To build a two bedroom, 1200 square foot home, it takes about 14,000 bottles.

The United States throws away enough plastic bottles to build 9257 of these 2 bedroom houses per day! That’s just over 3.35 million homes, the same number of homeless people in America.

Many people in third world countries have taken up building homes out of plastic bottles, from Africa to Asia. Perhaps the trend will catch on in America and all of those bottles will stop ending up in the landfills. Wouldn’t they be better off housing the homeless? Kinda like all those empty houses scattered all over the country?

Follow The Free Patriot contributor and Iraq War veteran Kevin E Lake on Facebook.