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Label GMOs Whole Foods Supports Americans’ Right to Know


Whole Foods Market has become the first company in the industry to decide that all products containing genetically modified organisms (GMO) in its U.S. and Canadian stores must be so labeled by 2018. “We support the consumer’s right to know,” said


Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, in announcing the policy. “The prevalence of GMOs in the United States, paired with nonexistent mandatory labeling, makes it very difficult for retailers to source non-GMO options and for consumers to choose non-GMO products.” Genetic engineering introduces changes in DNA structure—usually to increase crop yield, plant hardiness and aesthetic appeal, rather than improve nutritional content. Acknowledged downsides of artificially transferring genes into plants include substantial increases in the use of chemicals and genetic cross-contamination of fields. While major food companies funded the defeat of California’s Prop 37 calling for GMO labeling, 82 percent of Americans are pro-labeling, according to a recent poll by market research firm YouGov. On April 8, Americans will demand that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stop choosing Monsanto’s industrial interests over policy transparency and public health. Concerned citizens are beginning to take back America’s food system.


Join the Eat-In for GMO Labeling, Stone Soup style, outside of the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD 20740, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., April 8. Visit Occupy-Monsanto.com.


Keystone XL Fight Protesters Rally Again Against Tar Sands Pipeline


In February more than 10,000 citizens rallied at the White House, calling on President Obama to honor his clean energy campaign promises and reject the pro- posed Keystone XL Pipeline, resulting in multiple arrests of protest leaders. The 1,700-mile pipeline, a project of TransCanada Corporation, would carry tar sands crude oil south from Alberta, Canada, through multiple heart- land states to refineries on the Gulf Coast. “As our nation’s worst-ever economic recession


drags on, creating jobs in the clean energy sector should be priority number one,” states a Sierra Club Beyond Oil campaign spokesperson. “Building the poisonous Keystone XL pipeline would put the brakes on clean energy and exacerbate the pollution and public health problems that come with America’s dependence on dirty, dangerous oil.” The Sierra Club reports that pipeline plans require clear-cutting boreal forests and consuming huge amounts of energy and water, leaving behind toxic lakes. An associated oil spill could devastate aquifers that supply water to 30 percent of America’s irrigated farmland (2,554 U.S. oil pipeline spills occurred from 2000 to 2009). Opponents are also concerned the pipeline would exacerbate air pollution and cancer, respiratory illnesses and other health problems in communities surrounding oil refineries in Chicago, Detroit and Houston.


For states directly impacted, visit Tinyurl.com/KeystoneXLMap. Learn more and take action at SierraClub.org/dirtyfuels/tar-sands.


natural awakenings April 2013 17


Online Literacy Students Learning to Adopt Internet Academics


The findings of a survey of teach- ers conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, in collaboration with the Col- lege Board and the National Writing Project, show that the Internet has opened up a vast world of information for today’s students, but digital literacy skills need improvement. Three-quarters of Advanced Placement and National Writing Proj- ect teachers say that the Internet and digital search tools have had a “mostly positive” impact on their students’ re- search habits, but 87 percent say these technologies are creating an easily distracted generation with short atten- tion spans, and 64 percent say they do more to divert students’ attention than to help them academically. The good news is that 99 percent


of teachers in the study agree with the notion that, “The Internet enables students to access a wider range of resources than would otherwise be available,” and 65 percent agree that, “It makes today’s students more self- sufficient researchers.”


Read the full report at Tinyurl.com/ TeenResearch.


NYC .com


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