Did you happen to notice that there are now federally-mandated rules for labelling GMOs? If you missed the news, you wouldn’t be alone. It slipped in under the public radar on December 20, when the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced them on the Friday just before Christmas. The new label regulations have ambiguities and loopholes that you could drive a two-ton corn-hauling truck through. Let’s take a quick dive into what the labels are, what they mean, and the man behind them—Sonny Perdue, the Trump-appointed head of the USDA and former Governor of Georgia (2003-2011). Before shepherding the labels, he made a small fortune from businesses enmeshed in the multi-billion dollar GMO economy. The Who. Sonny Perdue, according to financial disclosure forms filed with the Senate Agriculture Committee, received hundreds of thousands of dollars from agri-businesses involved in the transport and marketing of GMOs over at least a decade he spent …Read More.
Droughts without borders
I landed in France in the second week of August for a house swap working vacation. I escaped, or so I thought, to the rolling fields of the Occitaine and the Aquitane in the southwest, where I stayed in a 400 year old house in the medieval town of Turenne. And while many things are very different–notably the language (which I recall bumpily from having lived in Paris thirty+ years ago), the absence of Donald Trump, the six hundred year old chateau perched at the top of the hill, and the abundance of duck–le canard–in every conceivable form, there is also the familiar, as I learned recently driving through the neighboring province of Haut-Vienne. Namely, the drought that has devastated crops across California has its corollary here in France. We drove past fields full of sunflowers, lilting, lamely, in the heat. Here is the photo that says it all …Read More.