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Jeffrey Smith interviews Ken Roseboro, the editor of The Organic and non-GMO Report about some great news re: Mexico corn imports. Last December, Mexico adopted a full ban on all imports of glyphosate, herbicides and all GMO corn. Recently Ken interviewed the vice minister of agriculture in Mexico, Victor Suarez, who is now looking to import ONLY non-GMO corn into Mexico. Ken was able to connect Victor to a non-GMO corn supplier in the US who will now be working with Mexico. This and much more great news from Ken Roseboro.
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Notes for this week's Podcast
This week's Transcript
Speaker 2: (00:08)
I'm Jeffrey Smith and I'm with the Institute for responsible technology and my very good friend, Ken Roseboro who I adore. Who's been a, a pillar in communicating the information about GMOs and Roundup to the world is joining us today. Ken, I always like to tell what you do, but I want you to tell what you do. Tell us what, tell us, tell everyone what you do, and then we're going to dive into some really good news. Okay.
Speaker 3: (00:36)
Great to be with you Jeffrey as always. Um, so yeah, my name is Ken Roseboro and the editor publisher of the organic and non GMO report. We've been focusing on the organic non GMO markets and the GA concerns around GMOs for the past 20 years. Um, since 2001, um, we also publish a directory of suppliers of non GMO and organic grains and ingredients called the non-GMO source book. The only directory that's kind in the world. So that's,
Speaker 2: (01:12)
Can you, you, you know, I, um, I like to pull people into interviews and whatnot, uh, get to the source, speak to the actual scientists. And I always find that you do that more often than I do. You have me beat there because you're, you're just producing article after article and as a, as a trained journalist, you actually get in there and get quotes from people and get the thing all the time. And I like to do that, but, um, I just look at you and go, I wish I had time for like 10 digit know, you're just, all you're doing is publishing, uh, uh, constantly all the time. So I don't, I know you don't have ton of time. Let's, let's start out with, um, let's start out with the Mexico thing. You, who did you interview about that? It was some very big, big
Speaker 3: (01:59)
Wig. Yeah. I interviewed the, um, vice minister of agriculture, Victor. His name is Victor Suarez. Uh, Timothy Wise connected me to him. I don't know if you know Timothy. Yeah, yeah. He's written a lot about sustainability issues. So he connected me with him. He goes, when I heard about this, this news about Mexico, Mexico, as you know, uh, last December announced they were going to ban glyphosate, herbicide and imports of GMO corn from the United States, which immediately, um, made us agribusiness angry, uh, because Mexico is the second largest or the largest market for, um, us corn, which is as you know, 90 plus percent GMO. So, um, when I heard about this news, I thought my, one of my first thoughts was well is a non-GMO opportunity for suppliers with non GMO corn in the United States. So I told, I told Timothy that and he connected me with Victor Suarez. And so I interviewed him by email and he, he doesn't speak English. I understand. So we did an email interview and, um, and he said that Mexico would like to import non GMO corn from the United States. They want to, um, they want to be self-sufficient in non GMO corn production in Mexico, but there's still going to need to import some non GMO corn. So I, um, interviewed several suppliers of non GMO corn and non GMO corn seed in the U S clothing. Um, Ken doll Meyer from Clarkson grain. You, you know, Clarkson, Glade, no
Speaker 2: (03:55)
Clerks had been that been there. Yeah, yeah,
Speaker 3: (03:57)
Yeah. And, um, a man named bill Neiber who's from, uh, what's the name of the company, uh, high fidelity genetics in Iowa. There are non GMO corn seed company, as well as a couple of other suppliers. Um, and they all said, yeah, we can supply Mexico. If they want non GMO corn, we'll, we'll deliver it to them. So unlike us agribusiness reaction to Mexico's ban, which was how dare they do this. They can't do this to us. We're gonna take them to court. We're going to get the RO trade organization afterwards. Uh, instead of that reaction to the non-GMO suppliers reaction was this is an opportunity for the us to supply them with non GMO corn. So that's, that's where it stands. And I think Mexico could feel confident that they could find suppliers of non GMO corn in the U S because as you know, there are quite a few of them. Oh yeah. And they're ready, willing, and able to give MC Mexico, whatever they want. So, so amidst all this, you know, all this gnashing of teeth from agribusiness, there's this other side that says we can do this. They're they're our customer. Let's give them what they want. You know, basic business 1 0 1.
Speaker 2: (05:30)
Yeah. I remember talking to Lynn Clarkson and he actually had just given a lecture, Hey customer, tell me what you want. You know, it's like, that's where we grow. Um, I remember giving a backstory by the way, Ken can, I know you're going to share about five or six other really good stories, but I want to spend more time on this one because its significance cannot be overstated. I remember, um, there was a memo circulating in around 1999 or 2000 in aims at the university of Iowa where it was telling the ag department, we should tell farmers to grow what customers want, except for GMOs. We should tell them, we should tell him to go for GMOs. Even if the customers don't want them. It was this mindset that somehow it was up to us agribusiness and the land grant universities to push GMOs, irrespective of what customers wanted.
Speaker 2: (06:31)
And this attitude of course has pushed to GMO all around the world. Now the history of, of corn in Mexico is one of it's a sacred plant. It's part of their rituals. It's part of their world philosophy. It's part of their daily, uh, food. And what happened during NAFTA is they allowed that they were forced to allow us corn imports and the U S corn was being, um, uh, paid for in part by the U S government. So the, the cost of buying us corn in Mexico was below the cost of production in Mexico. So they increased the amount of imports from 2 million metric, tons to 6 million metric tons. And about I'm told I may be wrong on the number, but at the time I think it was about 2 million corn farmers left their farms. And many of them ended up migrating into the United States some illegally.
Speaker 2: (07:38)
So we actually created the basis for that. Now they weren't and allowing illegally to plant GM corn because Mexico is the source of the original genetics for corn. And they knew that if we're planted, it would be a contamination event. And so they wanted to protect it. So they brought in food. But of course, when you, when you buy corn as food and you give it to a farmer, they're going to plant something. So it ended up being planted. And then there's the story of Berkeley professor Ignacio, Capella, who was just testing GMO, uh, uh, detection equipment in Wahaca and to his absolute shock because he thought the testing equipment must be faulty. He discovered widespread contamination in Wahaca at a time when growing GM corn was illegal. Now I wrote in my book seeds of deception, how he was summoned before a government official and brought to an abandoned building, surrounded by dump.
Speaker 2: (08:46)
And he thought he might be killed and gave him fresh. And they just intimidated the heck out of him. And a certain point this official, according to allegedly, it was friendly and smile and says, asked about his family and his child. And where does the child go to school and then told them, you're going to retract your paper. You're going to say it was a mistake. And then you're going to do some work. We're going to do some research and show. And the research is going to show some good research is going to show that there's no contamination. So the government efficient was telling Ignacio that they were what the results of the research was going to be before it was done. And basically wanted Ignacio to change his opinion, Ignacio didn't. And the official allegedly said, we know where you're an implantable implicated. We know where your child goes to school. This was completely blew the mind of Ignacio Capella, but we learned later how close the government was to the biotech industry. Now that all shifted recently with the current government where they kicked out, both GMO corn and Roundup and shocked the American agriculture. And they tried to suit didn't. They, they took what happened when they tried to Sue.
Speaker 3: (10:05)
Yeah. They, um, tried to get an injunction to stop, to stop these bands, but there was a, uh, a court in Mexico, a high court in Mexico, um, ruled against them. So,
Speaker 2: (10:18)
So the thing is contamination is real. They were planting. I don't think they illegally plant GMO corn in Mexico anywhere. I know that they beekeeper was able to keep it out of one portion, but I think it's illegal everywhere, but they did, they did plant GM cotton and 2000 kilometers away was at that distance, they found they found contaminated cotton. Oh
Speaker 3: (10:44)
Yeah. I, yeah. I saw something about that. Yeah.
Speaker 2: (10:47)
How did that happen? How does it travel that far? I remember I'm interviewing, uh, a person who was an expert at, um, air pollution. And, uh, he had valuated that something the size of corn pollen. Well, first of all, corn pollen is usually viable for only a couple of hours, but it's potentially viable for 24 hours. And he looked at, he was from Texas and he looked at the normal, um, weather patterns in Texas and found a particular version that was extreme, but not yet, but still happened. And he said that if that happened, when the pollen was airborne, that the pollen could travel in 24 hours, 500 miles. So, you know, we know that when blue corn was planted in the Midwest two or three miles away, there were little single kernels of blue corn in a field because pollen can pollinate per kernel of corn through those tassels. But it's theoretically possible that it could be pollinating 500 miles away depending on the air conditions, the climate conditions, right? Yeah.
Speaker 3: (12:04)
Yeah. It reminds me of a quote. I heard Fred Kirschman say one time said nature is hardwired to spread its seed. You know, it's just nature finds a way. You know, I,
Speaker 2: (12:17)
I love the example of Hawaii. It was pure lava rock. Now it's a lush tropical paradise. Where did it get those seeds being 2000 miles away from the nearest mainland, right. And then, and then Monsanto and the biotech industry have the goal to try and tell Hawaiians that they could plant genetically engineered crops and that they wouldn't contaminate next door. It's like guys, you're in Hawaii proves that contamination concur travel 2000 miles. And you're saying that you won't contaminate the field next door. It was, it was like, was ridiculous. Anyway, tell me, was there anything else that the vice minister of agriculture said that, uh, give you a sense of why the ban was in place or the level of supporting headboard, or
Speaker 3: (13:11)
He just said that they want, um, there's a quote. He said the Mexican government is committed to a fair, healthy, sustainable, and competitive competitive Agrifoods Agrifoods system and intensively promote agro ecological and sustainable practices and reduce the use of agrochemicals.
Speaker 2: (13:33)
So I grew up at college, tell us what I know the answer, but tell us what agro ecology means.
Speaker 3: (13:40)
Agro ecology. Well, it's, um, it's similar to organic. It just means using practices that, that build biodiversity, enhance soil health and are good, you know, protect water sources, you know, no agrochemicals or reduced use of agrochemicals no GMOs, um, you know, agro, um, farming practices that are beneficial to everyone, to the plants, to the environments, as a soil, to pollinators and to people, you know, healthy food, healthy plants, healthy people as Rodale as a sign at the Rodale Institute sets.
Speaker 2: (14:28)
So it's, what's interesting is the naysayers might claim. And we're going to hear a research report that also demonstrates that organic, which could be considered a subset of agroecology, um, that it can in fact, feed the world. You know, people say, oh, agroecology, you know, that's just for backyard gardens and boutiques, but if you really to feed the world, then you need RO you need monocultures with chemical inputs. Well, the single most thorough evaluation of how to feed the world was the UN sponsored. I asked, um, international study on advance. What is it? I asked them, Hey, I stabbed report the international study for agriculture. And I used to be able to say it because it was published in 2008. So I had 13 years to forget it. Um, I used to pick out the acronym. I forgot the acronym. Yeah. I know it used to quote it like almost every week, several times international study on the advancement of agriculture trade knowledge and science for them.
Speaker 2: (15:40)
Anyway, I interviewed the, the chair co-chairman of that. I interviewed, uh, the chairman of the different, uh, regions, like the continents. I interviewed many people that had put that together and it turns out these were the more than 400 scientists were involved in writing it. And it was 2,500 pages. And it was like, what can actually feed the world contribute to sustainable agriculture and eradicate poverty? And one of the conclusions was GMOs have nothing to do with those goals zero. So they're not even considered, which then of course the U S government pulled its support out of the ice tad report saying no way, we're going to pay attention to this because we live in breathe GMOs. But the recommendation that the i-STAT report gave was over to you, Ken.
Speaker 3: (16:28)
Well, it was supporting agro ecological methods to feed the world.
Speaker 2: (16:36)
And it was basically GMO's don't increase, yield on average. Whereas had ruck logical methods can, can increase staples by a hundred percent in terms of, uh, of, of yield. I remember quoting in one of my books, there was a study on 12 million farms, uh, output, and they found a 74% increase, uh, from organic on average and up to a hundred percent for some staples. And there's more research since then, since that was, that book came out in 2007. There's a lot more information. In fact, you have one of the good news is your research. Uh, you, you're going to share with the research in Europe about,
Speaker 3: (17:22)
Um, the French national center for scientific research. The acronym is CN R S they're considered to be one of the world's leading research institutes. And they just came out was just a couple of weeks ago, um, with a, uh, report that said an organic, sustainable fire diversity friendly agro food system could feed Europe's population by 2050. Um, and, um, and it's interesting because some of the requirements for, for that system are long diversified crop rotations, which is an organic practice, as well as, um, integrating crops and livestock, which organic and regenerative practices do. So, um, yeah, so they basically said organic practices could feed the world. And in fact, Europe has made a commitment. Um, I think through the European commission that they want to increase their farmland to organic. They want 30% of their farm land to be organic by the end of the decade by 2030. That
Speaker 2: (18:40)
Is incredible. I have to say, this is, this is, you know, the change in the Mexico government from being locked up with Monsanto is very big news. This is also very big news. A friend of mine was arguing with members of the European commission to try and get them to back down on a farming plan for Poland several years ago. And tried to convince them saying if you implement this plan, it will be like what happened in, in, um, Portugal where you'll destroy all the small farmers and you'll just end up with large farmers and the response shockingly was, but you know, this is what we're trying to do. This is by design. We, they believe that only the large farms would actually work to feed Europe. Whereas evidence shows that the, that the output per acre, the nutrition per acre, the ecological footprint per acre is actually better on small farms. And, um, it also supports economic development, cultural diversity, diversity of seeds, which also means, uh, resilience in times of climate change, as well as greater nutrition, because you have a variety of different, um, products that are grown on different, uh, fields and farms. So it's, um, the fact that they know what 30% is spectacular. Yeah.
Speaker 3: (20:01)
Yeah. That's amazing. Um, and incentivize that, what's that? Do you know how they're going to incentivize that? Well, I know there's some governments like Germany and, um, Denmark are providing financial support for farmers to transition to organic. You know, imagine if the USDA did that,
Speaker 2: (20:24)
It would be, it would, the USDA has been so pro Monsanto that even the FDA, the, where the, where the GMO, um, policy was written by Monsanto's former attorney who later became Monsanto's vice president, even though the FDA is mandated officially to promote biotechnology. That wasn't good enough for the biotech industry. They convinced the Congress to pass what we call the dark act, denying Americans, the right to know, and gave the USDA the, the mandate to create the quote GMO labeling bill, which is a complete facade. Now that, that goes into effect what next year?
Speaker 3: (21:08)
Yeah. January of 20, 22. Yeah.
Speaker 2: (21:11)
So tell us, tell us what it doesn't do
Speaker 3: (21:17)
I know from what, from my reading it's it sounds like it's the weakest GMO labeling law in the world. Um, it doesn't cover products that, um,
Speaker 2: (21:31)
Well, let me put it this way. Let me put it this way. Just to, you have pure genetically engineered soybean oil, it doesn't have to be labeled pure genetically engineered high fructose corn syrup. Doesn't have to be labeled. You have gene edited mushrooms. Doesn't have to be labeled. You have, um, uh, oh God, [inaudible] from sugar beets. It doesn't have to be labeled. Um, so the vast majority of products that contain GMOs don't have to be labeled GMO. And if it has to be labeled, it doesn't have to be labeled GMO. Tell us what they wanted to be labeled. Ken
Speaker 3: (22:13)
Speaker 2: (22:15)
You won't even put that. They put B E B E. I want to thank those in Facebook land, because we had a contest to try and rename what bee should mean. And people gave some great ideas, but I was part of the committee that chose my favorite. I forget who submitted it by elsewhere, if it's a B, because the thing is, they don't want to say GMO because there's a stigma. And so there's a nice picture of a farm.
Speaker 3: (22:48)
Yeah. Greenfield. Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, the companies don't even have to put that label on, they can put a website or a smart label, you know, one of those QR code, QR codes. Yeah. Which nobody reads, I mean, the USDA did a, did a survey and they found that 70% of consumers don't, don't even use those things.
Speaker 2: (23:12)
And of course it requires someone to have a smartphone, which is a way of a classist thing. And then also it's going to be in a, in a supermarket or a grocery store that has wifi or, or, or, or coverage accessibility. And then it's like, oh yeah, everyone slows down when they've got kids and they're going, they're creating their daily. It's like, let's do a QR code, navigate to a website and figure out in the website where to go to find out if it's genetically engineer. It's interesting that the USDA is being run by Tom Vilsack, former governor of Iowa. He was the biotech governor of the year by the biotech industry organization. And then Sonny Perdue became, uh, the USDA secretary. And here was also biotech governor of the year guess. And now it's Villsac again. I remember speaking to Vilsack and, you know, raising my hands from the audience and whatnot. I, I asked him a question at a, at a conference and, and I, I published what he said because it was clearly, uh, something that I wanted to get out. I don't think he was happy with me. Um, but he's now back as the USDA secretary and he actually there's some good news coming out of Villsac. It's like this just in headline news, Tom Vilsack is saying things which sound positive. Like what?
Speaker 3: (24:38)
Yeah. Well, um, the organic industry worked for, I don't know how many years on these animal welfare rules, you know, the come up with rules for treating farm animals, better, giving them greater access to outdoors.
Speaker 2: (24:55)
Oh, I should say something. Ken, if Tom Vilsack is listening, Tom or Mr. Vilsack secretary Vilsack, I actually am really glad that you're doing this. I've read some things that you did. Let said lately that I really like, I think you and I should meet. In fact, you had said you're pulling together voices to be heard back when I asked you a question in an auditorium years ago, but you never met with me. I would love to meet with you and share some thoughts about genetically engineered microbes and why introducing them into the environment could be a cataclysm. Had I have data, I have research and some of the companies in the United States like Monsanto bear are supporting the introduction of these genetically engineered microbes, which could collapse ecosystems back to you, Ken. Okay.
Speaker 3: (25:48)
Yeah. So, um, so you, uh, the organic industry worked on these rules for a long time and they submitted them to the USDA during the Obama administration and the Obama administration was going to implement these roles. And then the new administration came in and they decided to kill the rules. Um, and, and, uh, so they didn't want them. So the organic trade association filed a lawsuit over that. And then Tom Vilsack secretary Vilsack spoke. He was the keynote speaker at the organic trade association meeting a couple of weeks ago. And he said he was, he was supporting, supporting, uh, reviving those animal welfare rules and getting them passed. So w and there were several things. He mentioned that meeting that were supportive of organic farmers. He was, um, he wanted to bring back the cost share program for organic certification for farmers where the USDA provides funds to help farmers pay for organic certification. Um, the animal welfare roles. There was something about, um, and enhancing the fo fraud prevention program, uh, cause there's a lot of concerns about organic fraud. So, so he said some good things at that meeting. So it was
Speaker 2: (27:15)
People I love that. I actually I'm so relieved. I've heard, I've read some of this stuff, but it was before that meeting. I wasn't aware of that speech. I am so glad to hear that because people that I know that know Tom Vilsack like him and respect him. And like, I believe he's probably a very respectable good man. And I also know that in his position, the USDA has been structurally running in favor of the biotech industry by design for 25 years. So even if he were anti GMO, he probably couldn't express that in his position and stay in his position. The fact that he's now stepping up in favor of some of these organic rules, that's really,
Speaker 3: (28:00)
Yeah. And he wants to increase the funding for organic research. So, you know, I recognize is organic. You know, it's a 62 sales are now organic products were over $60 billion, which was a record in 2020. It was a 12 more than a 12% increase over 2019. So, you know, he sees organic is it's, uh, it's, you know, it's a multi-billion dollar business and that, that needs support needs support from the government. So the previous administration did not, the previous administration was hostile or to organics
Speaker 2: (28:40)
Food basically. Um, doesn't progress that much year on year on, but organic has been like the, the wonder child it's like zooming ahead to some point at one point years ago was 20% a year, but then it could couldn't sustain that level of growth or would have, you know, compounding interest would have taken over the universe. But, um, but now at 12% is enormous. Now, one of the things that you and I talked about in previous meetings was the pandemic inspired people to eat healthier. Hello. You know, it's like, you want an immune system, you have an immune system, you want to feed it, don't feed it. Monsanto's Roundup, eat it, organic food, are you kidding?
Speaker 3: (29:30)
Yeah. And that's what people were doing last year. And it continued, I interviewed executives at some organic food companies like nature's path and Amy's and, and Eden foods. And they all said sales are just through the roof, you know, during the pandemic. Cause, cause people saw organic as a healthier choice to build immunity. And that is just continuing, um, organic sales are just continuing to be strong. So it's, uh, a good trend. It's a good trend. That's just going to continue.
Speaker 2: (30:08)
My Facebook is frozen. I hope our, our zoom isn't. But anyway, um, I think we better wrap it up just in case it is. Cause I'm going to have to ask you to do the whole thing again, if it is, have you ever been interviewed and someone said, oh, um, we got to do it again because
Speaker 3: (30:25)
No, fortunately not. You probably have. You probably had, I have interviewed so many times a thousand I think. Yeah. Many, many times. Yeah.
Speaker 2: (30:36)
All right. So we cover increase in organic. We cover the, the research out of France. We covered Mexico. I covered the good news from Villsac. Um, and there's also, um, a class action now against Paraquat, which is they call what glyphosate 2.0
Speaker 3: (30:53)
Yeah. Yeah. There's an Iowa farmer actually is leading this lawsuit, um, because Paraquad has been linked with Parkinson's disease. So there are more than a hundred lawsuits being filed against Syngenta, which makes Paraquat and also Chevron Chevron makes, uh, Paraquat and Paraquat is banned. You know, it's, it's, it's legal in the us to use Paraquat, but it's banned in 30 countries, including all the EU countries and even China it's banned in China, which, you know, I guess a bastion of environmental protection, you know? So yeah, it's glyphosate 2.0. Um, so we'll see. The same thing happens with what happened with, uh, glyphosate.
Speaker 2: (31:46)
So the backstory is that they don't have a lot of chemicals left. That act is herbicides, right? So when they sprayed Roundup everywhere, the weeds develop weeds out smarter than Monsanto develop resistance. So what happened then? And
Speaker 3: (32:08)
They, uh, decided to use Dicamba and older herbicide that has RA that has major drift problems, that it turns from a liquid to a gas and spreads for miles, uh, damaging other crops and, um, fruits and vegetables and things like that. Since it's been introduced, like CAMBA has been an absolute disaster. Um, there was a, uh, the largest peach producer in Missouri, bill Bader filed a lawsuit against Monsanto because he lost 30,000 peach trees to Dicamba drift.
Speaker 2: (32:46)
Yeah. Then he won and he won the lawsuit one, he won the lawsuit and then he got 15 million for a compensatory damages. And what was the punitive damage you're going to do damage?
Speaker 3: (32:58)
This was what 200 million or
Speaker 2: (33:01)
250, 50 million. And you know what happens is it's like, we've covered this once, but this is so, so typical of the biotech industry. Ridiculous. I mean, who thinks this way? So DICOM, everyone knows that Dicamba volatilizes moves and can damage neighbors, right? So they predicted that the amount of complaints would go from a handful, literally a handful 40 50 in an entire year to thousands. They predicted this is what came out in the discovery from the China trial. They knew that it would damage tremendous numbers of acres. They're talking about thousands of complaints. And I don't know what the average farm size is in the Midwest. I don't know, 10,000 acres thousand acres. So they know what was going to contaminate or damage millions of acres. And they, their thought was if it damages other soybean acreage, where there were then it'll force the farmers to buy their soybean seeds, which are resistant to both Roundup and to Dicamba. And it was it also the cotton as well or cotton. So both, they were like, this was a plan that was a business plan to extort to, I don't know if the ones extort, but it's like, we will damage your crops unless you buy our plants. So that will not be damaged. And so a lot of farmers did that.
Speaker 3: (34:39)
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It's like, it's like what the mob used to do. You know,
Speaker 2: (34:43)
The thing is that it's what might Santo did when they, when they set out the crop cups, they would, they would pretend that someone's farm was, was contaminated and send them a letter saying, we think you've used, you've used re-used our seeds. Uh, and so you have to give us $170,000 and we may not Sue you. And they made poster children of these people. They made it very high profile. So everyone was scared to plant non-GMO because of the plant of non GMO and the crop cops found any contamination on their property. They could be sued by Monsanto, like Percy Spicer. So this, this mob mobster, uh, attitude worked for them in the past. This became a, uh, this became a pear in the Dicamba trials. The jury was, it was a jury trial. Yeah, I think so furious. That's like, yeah, sorry. 15 million for compensatory damages, 250 million on issue to punish you punitive damages. It's like by the third round of trial, so much more information had come out about the devious nature of what Monsanto was doing to hide their carcinogenicity of Roundup. The jury awarded like 51 or 52 million in compensatory damages to the couple, the affiliates, but in the, in the punitive damages, $2 billion.
Speaker 2: (36:17)
And of course the jury, the judge reduced it because he wasn't above the legal limit and whatnot. But I mean, I sat with the periods after that night after the visit, what's it like, you were just awarded $2 billion and like you said, it's totally surreal. I don't even know what that number is. I can't visualize it. And like down, down at the end of the table was, was, uh, Lee Johnson, who was the first, uh, person who won the first case. Right. And he had been given 89 million, which was also lowered by the, by the courts, but he's finally got paid and it's all, it's all good. So anyway, uh it's because the w the information is getting out and when information gets out, people like the vice minister of Mexico don't have to get their information just from the us trade representative. And from Monsanto, we can give which the U S trade mech is. Is he still, is he still pushing Monsanto wares all over the,
Speaker 3: (37:18)
I think so. Yeah. I mean, there was, there were emails that were found, you know, about this whole Mexico thing. Um, emails showed that the, uh, us trade rep was, you know, was pushing, um, Mexico's counterpart to, uh, to back down on these bands. But so far, Mexico is standing firm, and I hope they continue.
Speaker 2: (37:44)
I'll tell you one story before we go, which I love that was early on in my international activism. I mean, I was doing local activism 25 years ago. And then I published my book in 2003 seeds of deception, the first one. And, um, very quickly ended up in Ken Kuhn where like, within, within 10 days of my plugging the book, I was at the world trade organization meeting. And, um, there was, uh, there was a press conference with the us trade rep and the U S secretary and vitamin of the USDA. Now, when I thought of press conferences, I thought of like, you know, maybe 25 press in a room. And I said, great, let me ask a question of them. So I walk into the room cause I have a press credentials, right. So I walk into the room and there must be at least 600, maybe a thousand press is a full auditorium.
Speaker 2: (38:38)
There's a bank of cameras that are up on stage. And I'm like, oh my God, there's like hundreds of press. So, um, I'm a little nervous and I don't get nervous speaking in public, but I'm a little nervous. And, uh, so it was like, okay, we have time for a few questions. My hand goes up, they don't call on me. And my hand goes up. They don't call on me. I said, okay, one more question. It was the fifth question. Your hands comes up. They call on me. Right. So here I am. And I, and I described this whole thing about GMOs and say, you know, now that we've discovered that this problem and this problem, then, then Zol forget the Zola. I forget the, the trade representative. He said sounded like, yeah, yeah. Is that like, is it I'm having trouble hearing you, everyone laughs.
Speaker 2: (39:27)
Everyone laughs because yeah, of course you don't want to hear this. So my question of course, is giving out all this information about how GMOs were found to be dangerous and all this. And I asked their response and so they both respond. Zella responds. And then Ann venison says, we look at this very carefully. We look at the economics, we look at the agriculture, we look very carefully at the health and that was a lie either. She did not know or she was lying. So first of all, when I left the room, I was immediately surrounded by press. They want it to talk to grow, right. But I was part of the press Corps and the press Corps. I wrote it. I has computers and printers and what not. So I typed up a press release and it said an sec, us secretary of agriculture, misrepresents, us GMO policy to the WTO delegates and world press.
Speaker 2: (40:23)
And then I described that there's no required safety studies that, you know, and there's absolutely an abdication of responsibility because she, she said that they look carefully at it and I gave it to the people behind the desk. And I said, can I get some copies? And I said, how many? I said 650. They said, sure. And I put one in every cubby of all the press or were there because everyone had their own cubby. So within a day, um, I got a call and it was like, can you speak in Brussels next week, next month? So I went there and I found that a Shiva was there and Christina [inaudible], who's the daughter of, of the, the then president of Germany. Christina ended up writing the forward to my book for the German edition fondant. She even wrote the Fords of my book and the Italian edition.
Speaker 2: (41:17)
Um, there was a pat Voni was there from etc group, but no one was talking about the health dangers and the corrupt captured approval system. They're talking about their own areas. So I was presenting to this room full of the European parliament, European commission, everyone in Brussels gave new information that they had never heard of it. Someone came up to me after and said, you're the bombshell because of what you said is true about GMOs, then it doesn't matter if they're bad for the environment. It doesn't matter that about patenting. They have to be removed. And I'm like, that's right. That's why I wrote the book. Anyway. It was, it was like all of a sudden, just within, within, you know, six weeks of publishing my book, I had been in, um, in Mexico then Brussels and I was invited to Brazil. And then I went to south America within nine months, I was in five continents and I traveled eight of those nine months and then six to nine months a year for the next 13 years. So, um, anyway, now we have 50. Now we have 48% of the world's population, knowing that GMO foods are not safe and 51% in America and you and I, and all of our colleagues around the world can take credit for that.
Speaker 2: (42:34)
All right. So I want to, I want to end by saying this. We just launched, and this is an information for you can, because you don't know this yet. Um, we launched a white paper last week and we have a, if you go to protect nature now.com, you can go to our take action, our advocacy platform, and send that white paper summary to all of your elected officials. And it's about the dangers of GMO microbes. And last week we did a federal, a legislative report this week. It's the white paper. Last week. We only have all of the U S reps come up. Now we have us Canada, Australia, UK, and EU. And to your information, all your reps come up single click. You can send them better yet. Customize your message. And you can tweet them. Then you can send information to media, just in the U S up to last week, we had reached over 2000 members of elected officials and over 1300 media outlets were getting the information out.
Speaker 2: (43:34)
That's absolutely critical because if you go to protect nature now.com and look at the film, which just want to tell you award that, uh, called don't let the gene out of the bottle. It's only 16 minutes. You will see that GMO microbes are an existential threat that can not only cause a catastrophe, but a cataclysm. So we're seeking to lock down and release if any GMO microbe into keeping it in the lab or facility and to not even do genetic enhancement of potentially pandemic microbes, because they can be released accidentally. So, so we have a whole global plan, 50 global allies so far, and it's, it's many people who I said, I, I say this to people. It's an existential threat on the level of climate change. And virtually every single person says it's more dangerous. I've asked eight audiences. Do they think that GMO GMOs in general are more dangerous than change? And even at climate conferences, the average audience response is more, which surprised me, but we now have evidence that the microbes in particular are the most dangerous. And so I encourage people to go to that. And, and Ken, you want to interview me about the white paper? Don't you?
Speaker 3: (44:50)
Yeah, we'll have to do that. Yeah.
Speaker 2: (44:54)
All right, everyone. This is Ken Roseboro can tell people how they can read your great words in your, in your, um, publication.
Speaker 3: (45:02)
Yeah. You can go to our website, um, non hyphen GMO report.com. We just redid our website. So, um, check us out. There's a lot of articles there. You can read. You can go. We also are on Facebook and Twitter. Uh, you can follow our news on, on those social media platforms as well.
Speaker 2: (45:24)
And for, and for those on your social media, you can also come over to the Institute for responsible technology or responsible technology.org. Or as I said, protect nature now. Dot com. You have a tremendous Facebook following can hundreds of thousands of people.
Speaker 3: (45:39)
Yeah. It's over 800,000 on Facebook. Yeah. So don't leave Ken, just add me. It's a two for responsible technology. I think we posts post things from your websites.
Speaker 2: (45:58)
No, you were great. You're great. I, we, we share your stuff. You share my stuff. Get on the same team for a long time. In fact, I used to work in the same organization. That's
Speaker 3: (46:08)
Right, right. A long time ago.
Speaker 2: (46:12)
1999. Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 3: (46:15)
2000. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So we'll keep getting a lot of good information out. Yeah. All right then. Yeah.
Speaker 2: (46:24)
All right, everyone. I'm going to just check. I don't know. Uh, I see a beautiful message from my friend, Tom, Tom, I'm going to follow up with your, your request. I'm going to call you. Um, anyway, thank you all for listening. Uh, thank you, Ken. Please check in with us. After you put out your next wonderful publication, you give insights that no one else in the world has. You're very popular in the whole non-GMO movement and also among the farmers and the brand owners. They, they love what you're doing. They really appreciate it. And so thank you. Thank
Speaker 3: (47:00)
You. Thank you. We're just finishing issue. Number 200.
Speaker 2: (47:04)
My God. You've been busy. Yeah.
Speaker 3: (47:08)
200, never missed a deadline. Never missed a deadline.
Speaker 2: (47:12)
Well, I'm happy. I'll be happy to, to blur a bit and saying happy birthday, Ken, how'd your 200th
Speaker 3: (47:19)
20th, 20th year or two hundreds of issue. Yeah.
Speaker 1: (47:28)
Speaker 4: (47:33)
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