This Is How Lay’s $177 Billion Owner Tried To Sue Local Indian Farmers For Growing Their Patented Potatoes and Failed

By Mayukh Saha

In a twist in the classic David vs Goliath story, the Goliath has rallied against David here. We are talking about the potential lawsuit with which PepsiCo has threatened small-time farmers in a small village near Ahmedabad, Gujarat in India.

But why?

The multi-billion dollar industry has alleged that four farmers of this particular village have been growing a special variety of potatoes whose rights have been bought by the industry. This means that what they have been doing has been a classic case of infringement on one’s patented property. And while they have threatened the small farmers with a lawsuit containing reparations of almost $143,000 each, they have decided to first try to settle amicably.

The potatoes in question are FL-2027, a variety that PepsiCo has exclusive rights over, since 2016 as submitted in the district court, and verified by CNN.

A spokesperson for the company told that they were looking at a lawsuit only because they wanted to safeguard the rights of several thousand farmers who were under a contract with PepsiCo. This would ensure that their privileges and rights aren’t infringed.

Interestingly, PepsiCo is India’s largest potato buyer, and this particular potato has been used to make its uber-famous Lays. PepsiCo is also one of the first international companies in India that went for localization and employed several thousand farmers to grow a variety of these protected potatoes.

PepsiCo mentions how there were many farmers who were given the legal right to grow these potatoes, but not Fulchand Kachchawa and Suresh Kachchawa living near Deesa, north of Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

But as we would have it, the small farmers have found themselves being supported by a number of activists and lawyers. Around 190 activists have written to the Indian Ministry of Agriculture, stating how these claims were not only false but could also be an attack on the sovereignty of the nation itself. India Today, a big-time media company writes how the activists believe that these claims are untenable and go against the spirit of a true business transaction.

Now, unless the matter is taken to court or dealt with amicably, we wouldn’t know who is in the wrong.

But if the words of Kapil Shah, head of the law group Janta is to be believed, the behemoth has made a big mistake by accusing these farmers. It will go against their rights to practice free agriculture.

On the 2nd of May 2019 Pepsico announced that they have withdrawn the Indian potato farmer lawsuits after political pressure.

In the end it’s awesome to hear that justice finally prevailed.

IMAGE CREDIT: Twitter

This article was sourced from Truth Theory.

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Smirnoff Vodka Switches to Non-GMO Corn, Upsets Big Ag

By Jeffrey Green

Smirnoff vodka is now made with non-GMO corn. Apparently, they made the announcement a few months ago but didn’t get much exposure in the corporate or independent media.

“While Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka has always been gluten-free, 10-times filtered and triple-distilled, now the brand has made a substantial investment in transitioning to using non-GMO corn during distillation,” Smirnoff said in the announcement.

“By using non-GMO corn for Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka, we’re ensuring that anyone who avoids gluten and GMO ingredients in their everyday life still has the option to enjoy a delicious Smirnoff cocktail,” said Jay Sethi, Vice President, Smirnoff, Diageo North America.

They released a short commercial promoting the new GMO-free vodka recipe.



Previously, Smirnoff used genetically-modified corn which many people prefer not to consume.

According to Organic Consumers Association,

GMOs are created in a lab, by inserting a gene from one organism into another unrelated organism, producing plants and animals that would never occur in nature. No long-term safety studies have been done on humans, but animal studies link the consumption of GMOs to an increase in allergies, kidney and liver disease, ADHD, cancer, infertility, chronic immune disorders and more.

Popular GMO corn strains like Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Corn are designed to withstand being heavily sprayed with glyphosate, which has been determined to be “probably carcinogenenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2015.

It’s still unclear if GMOs themselves are the cause of illness in lab tests, or whether the chemical herbicide glyphosate is the primary cause.

Yet, it grows increasingly certain that glyphosate is indeed detrimental to human health. Monsanto-Bayer is neck-deep in lawsuits by sick farmers and others. And nearly all processed food has harmful glyphosate in them.

And, of course, the move by Smirnoff was roundly attacked by Big Ag sources as “farmer smearing,” “a marketing gimmick” and “anti-science.”

Others opined that since alcohol is already considered a carcinogen, who cares if it’s made with GMOs?

Shouldn’t we have a higher standard for any product we consume? Shouldn’t we support products that use the absolute best ingredients available to them?

Bravo to Smirnoff!

Jeffrey Green writes for Natural Blaze where this article first appeared.

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Signed by the Governor: Arkansas Decriminalizes CBD Despite Ongoing Federal Prohibition

By Mike Maharrey

Last week, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a bill into law that decriminalizes hemp-derived cannabidiol. This will not only open up markets in Arkansas, but it is also a crucial step given the FDA’s continued regulation of CBD.

Rep. Justin Boyd (R-Fort Smith) introduced House Bill 1518 (HB1518) on Feb. 19. The new law removes hemp-derived cannabidiol that is not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for marketing as medication from the state’s list of controlled substances. This effectively removes all criminal and civil penalties for possessing hemp-derived CBD products in Arkansas.

HB1518 passed the House by a 91-1 vote and was approved by the Senate 32-2. With Gov. Hutchinson’s signature, the law goes into effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns.

Passage of HB1518 ensures the state will not regulate CBD and CBD products. This is crucial because despite removing the plant from the list of controlled substances late last year, the federal government still bans the sale of CBD products under FDA rules.

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2018 Farm Bill and CBD

With the passage of the farm bill, the federal government now treats industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity instead of a controlled substance. While the DEA will no longer have the authority to regulate hemp, the provisions of the farm bill have no bearing on FDA rules and regulations regarding CBD. In fact, a section in the farm bill makes this explicit.

Section 297D, paragraph (c)(1) “Regulations and Guidelines; Effect on Other Law” states “nothing in this subtitle shall affect or modify the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.”

Practically speaking, the passage of the farm bill does not mean CBD will now be federally-legal in all 50 states, as some hemp supporters claim. In fact, the FDA still maintains a strict prohibition on the sale of CBD in the U.S.

To date, the FDA has only approved one medication with cannabidiol as an active ingredient – Epidiolex for the treatment of seizures. But the FDA classifies CBD as “a drug for which substantial clinical investigations have been instituted.” Under federal law, that designation means the FDA maintains full control over the substance and it cannot be marketed as a “dietary supplement.” The agency maintains that the sale of CBD or any food products containing the substance is illegal.

To date, the agency hasn’t changed its position on CBD. In a recent congressional hearing, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he understands that Congress wants a pathway to CBD availability, but said “it is not a straightforward issue” due to the fact that the agency has approved CBD for treatment of epilepsy and it is ““subject of substantial clinical investigation.” Both of these factors prohibit CBD from being sold as a “health supplement” and from being added to food.

Gottlieb said, “the law does allow us to go through a regulatory process and go through a notice and comment rule-making to establish a framework to allow it to be put into the food supply.” He said the first step would be a public meeting “sometime in April”

In effect, the agency can continue to enforce these same rules even with the passage of the 2018 farm bill. While farmers can now legally grow hemp for commercial purposes, including the production of fiber, biofuel, building products, paper, clothes and even food products that don’t contain CBD, the sale of cannabinol or food products containing CBD remain federally-illegal, as it has been all along, unless the FDA changes its policy or Congress passes legislation specifically legalizing CBD.

IN EFFECT

With the passage of HB1518, Arkansas will not interfere with the sale of CBD products regardless of continued federal prohibition. And without state cooperation, the FDA will likely have trouble regulating it in Arkansas.

Despite past and ongoing federal prohibition, CBD is everywhere. A New York Times article asserted that “with CBD popping up in nearly everything — bath bombs, ice cream, dog treats — it is hard to overstate the speed at which CBD has moved from the Burning Man margins to the cultural center.”

This was happening when both the DEA and FDA prohibited CBD. It will undoubtedly continue as long as market demand remains and states don’t interfere. The FDA can’t effectively enforce prohibition without the assistance of state and local officials.

According to the FDA, the agency prioritizes enforcement based on a number of factors, including “agency resources and the threat to public health. FDA also may consult with its federal and state partners in making decisions about whether to initiate a federal enforcement action.”

Even with both the FDA and DEA theoretically enforcing federal laws and regulations banning CBD, state and local action have already nullified federal prohibition in practice and effect. There’s no reason to think that won’t continue as long as states maintain the same stance on CBD as they did under the 2014 farm bill. Simply put, the federal government lacks the personnel and resources to crack down on CBD – even if the FDA wants to.

Michael Maharrey [send him email] is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center, where this article first appeared. He proudly resides in the original home of the Principles of ’98 – Kentucky. See his blog archive here and his article archive here. He is the author of the book, Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty. You can visit his personal website at MichaelMaharrey.com and like him on Facebook HERE

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Study Shows that Bees Love Hemp, Which is Wonderful News for the Environment and the World

By Vic Bishop

Just under the radar of public concern is the fact that bees and pollinator insects are dying off in catastrophic numbers; and if we are unable to reverse this trend, we face a very different kind of future.  Bees in particular appear to be acutely affected by neonicotinoid pesticides along with other fungicides and herbicides. They are losing their habitats.

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At the same time, another crisis is converging. Fossil fuels. We need a new, natural, sustainable material to use for construction, packaging, fuel, clothing, and so much more. Fossil fuel extraction is a disaster that could be corrected with a massive global investment in hemp. This may well come to pass, as Congress recently legalized hemp farming in the U.S. for the first time since the last legal hemp fields were planted in 1957 in Wisconsin.

An interesting new scientific study connects theses two burgeoning crises, showing the bees absolutely love hemp plants. Hemp crops apparently attract an array of different bee species, offering them a plentiful source of pollen for foraging.

For the study, published this month in the journal Biomass and Bioenergy, researchers at Colorado State University set up 10 traps at industrial hemp fields in northern Colorado and collected bees over the course of five days during peak flowering season.

There are few other crops that pollinate in the region during the same timeframe, so the team wanted to know whether the non-psychoactive cannabis cousin of marijuana represented “a potentially valuable source of pollen for foraging bees,” which play a critical role in maintaining “sustainable productivity in natural and agricultural ecosystems.”

When the researchers looked at their collection, they found almost 2,000 bees from 23 different bee genera. Most of those (38 percent) were classic honeybees, but there were also specialized genera such as Melissodes bimaculata and Peponapis pruinosa that turned up in surprisingly “high proportions.” [Source]

The scientists involved in this study did have one word of concern, noting that as hemp production expands, so will the temptation and practice of using, and overusing, chemical pesticides, which would turn this opportunity into another disaster.


Vic Bishop is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com. He is an observer of people, animals, nature, and he loves to ponder the connection and relationship between them all. A believer in always striving to becoming self-sufficient and free from the matrix, please track him down on Facebook.

This article (Study Shows that Bees Love Hemp, Which is Wonderful News for the Environment and the World) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Vic Bishop and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio and internal links. 

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The Cornucopia Institute Issued A Guide To Organic Certifiers: Information Consumers Ought To Know

By Catherine J. Frompovich

In March 2019, The Cornucopia Institute produced a 22-page online report “The Gatekeepers of Organic Integrity.”

On page 5, they discuss “hydroponics” as being incompatible with organic principles. Then, on page 7 “Container Hydroponics” is discussed along with the certifiers allowing them. Livestock management projects are covered starting at page 9 through 15. Certifiers and imported goods are covered on page 16. Personally, I find the report’s Conclusion somewhat inconclusive, pardon my saying.

Here is where consumers will find a “Guide to Domestic USDA Accredited Certifiers.”

March 14, 2019, Cornucopia issued a press release wherein this appeared:

[….] the USDA’s poor oversight of federally accredited third-party certifiers has paved the way for illegal output from “factory farms” that now dominate the $50 billion organic market basket.

[….]

“You can run but you can’t hide,” said Kastel. “Congress intended this to be a transparent process and we aim to shed sunlight on the cozy relationship between organic scofflaws and the certifiers they are paying.

The graphic below is taken from Cornucopia’s online report.

The Cornucopia Institute does an excellent job of keeping tabs on the organic food growing industry for which I, for one, am truly grateful. They are at the forefront of making certain the “organic” label means what it says.

Congratulations and kudos to The Cornucopia Institute, and thank you for what you do.

Image credit: Pixabay

Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.

Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.

Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.

Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)

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70% of Produce Sold in US is Contaminated With Pesticides, Even After You Wash It

By Elias Marat

If you’re buying fresh fruits and vegetables in the United States, 70 percent of it will carry pesticide residues on it even after you’ve washed it, according to a new study from a widely-respected health advocacy group.

The Environmental Working Group’s annual analysis of U.S. Department of Agriculture data offers grim evidence of the over-saturation of pesticides and toxic chemicals in conventional agriculture in the United States, with top crops such as spinach and strawberries counting among the most contaminated produce.

The group hopes the report will inform shoppers of the risks inherent in buying and consuming conventionally-grown produce versus organic fruits and vegetables.

Most surprisingly, kale–that trendy dark green superfood that’s risen to the top of health-conscious grocers’ lists in the past decade–is among the top three contaminated fruits and vegetables, with 92 percent of non-organic kale containing residues from at least two or more pesticides. Some kale sampled carried the residue of no less than 18 different types of pesticides.

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In a statement, EWG toxicologist Alexis Temkin said:

“We were surprised kale had so many pesticides on it, but the test results were unequivocal … Fruits and vegetables are an important part of everyone’s diet, and when it comes to some conventionally grown produce items, such as kale, choosing organic may be a better option.”

Both spinach and kale carried between 10 to 80 percent more pesticide residue by sheer weight than any other crop, respectively ranking second and third on the “dirty dozen” list of popular vegetables carrying the most pesticides.

Strawberries lead the pack, containing an average of nearly 8 different pesticides per sample–a shocking figure when considering that the average U.S. resident consumes around eight pounds of fresh strawberries per year.

Strawberry growers in regions across the west coast dump vast amounts of pesticides and poisonous gases on fields to make them safe for strawberry cultivation before further exposing crops to fumigation. The use of toxic pesticides in agricultural communities has seen California cities such as Oxnard, Santa Maria and Watsonville face mounting numbers of respiratory disorders, birth defects and illnesses, particularly by farm workers and neighborhoods near the fields.



And while the European Union has banned many of the pesticides used by U.S. strawberry growers, lobbyists from corporations like Dow Chemical Company have ensured that government turns a blind eye to the overuse of carcinogenic pesticides.

The EWG also noted that over “90 percent of samples of strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, nectarines and kale tested positive for residues of two or more pesticides.”

All nutritional experts and scientists agree that people benefit from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, as well as fresh produce–be it organic or conventional, depending on people’s budgetary constraints.

Yet the continued excessive usage of pesticides–largely by big food manufacturers and growers seeking to minimize costs–has made it difficult for health experts and regulatory bodies to accurately gauge the extent of pesticide exposure in our day-to-day lives, let alone to understand how the combinations of chemicals we’re exposed to can affect our bodies.

EWG research analyst Carla Burns noted:

The main route of pesticide exposure for most Americans who do not live or work on or near farms is through their diet … Studies have shown that eating fruits and vegetables free of pesticides benefits health, and this is especially important for pregnant women and children

Yet the researcher noted that regardless of the grim findings from the EWG study, “the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure.”

EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” for 2019 is:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes



This article was sourced from The Mind Unleashed

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