Hungary Destroys All Monsanto GMO Corn Fields

Hungary has taken a bold stand against biotech giant Monsanto and genetic modification by destroying 1000 acres of maize found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds, according to Hungary deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar. Unlike many European Union countries, genetically modified (GM) seeds are banned in Hungary. In a similar stance against GM ingredients, Peru has also passed a 10-year banon GM foods.

Planetsave reports:

Almost 1000 acres of maize found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds have been destroyed throughout Hungary deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar said. The GMO maize has been ploughed under, said Lajos Bognar, but pollen has not spread from the maize, he added.

Unlike several EU members, GMO seeds are banned in Hungary. The checks will continue despite the fact that seed traders are obliged to make sure that their products are GMO free, Bognar said.

During their investigation, controllers have found Pioneer and Monsanto products among the seeds planted.

The free movement of goods within the EU means that authorities will not investigate how the seeds arrived in Hungary but they will check where the goods can be found, Bognar said. Regional public radio reported that the two biggest international seed producing companies are affected in the matter and GMO seeds could have been sown on up to thousands of hectares in the country. Most of the local farmers have complained since they just discovered they were using GMO seeds.

With season already under way, it is too late to sow new seeds, so this years harvest has been lost.

And to make things even worse for the farmers, the company that distributed the seeds in Baranya county is under liquidation. Therefore, if any compensation is paid by the international seed producers, the money will be paid primarily to that company’s creditors, rather than the farmers.
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Peru Approves 10 Year Ban On GM Crops, Brazil Speeds Up Approvals

Bolivia is the main land standing between Peru and a Roundup-Ready Paraguay. Despite South American territories jumping on the GM crop bandwagon, Peru has issued a 10-year moratorium on all GM planting in an effort to preserve their biodiversity. This temporary ban includes prevention of GMO imports, cultivation, breeding and production.

Some UN legislators opposed the ban, concluding that GM food is already consumed and can cover food needs better as the sales are greater than organic. Meanwhile, Brazil’s vote to approve commercial application of a GM bean variety is expected shortly. Without much testing or proof of crop worth, the idea is to speed up evaluations and approvals, in an attempt to resist golden mosaic virus.

A couple weeks ago, HFA reported on the deaths and sickness resulting from the vast unhindered spraying in Paraguay and other parts of South America. With soy becoming a lucrative “green gold” crop and apparent economy booster, it’s a relief to see Peru taking a stand.

~Health Freedoms

 

NEWS FROM LATIN AMERICA
1.Peru approves 10 year ban on GM crops – GENET-news
2.Brazilian commission changes its internal statutes to speed up approval of GM crops – GM-Free Brazil

NOTE: URGENT: help keep Bolivia GM free! Please act today: http://bit.ly/mx0LsZ


1.PLENARY SESSION OF THE CONGRESS APPROVED MORATORIUM OF TEN YEARS FOR THE ENTRANCE OF TRANSGENIC
via GENET-news

SOURCE:  Andian, Peru
AUTHOR:  Machine translation of the Spanish text
URL:     http://www.andina.com.pe/Espanol/Noticia.aspx?id=RT87MrHPjyo=
DATE:     07.06.2011

SUMMARY: “The Plenary Session of the Congress, approved the opinion of the law project that declares a moratorium of ten years that prevents the import of Genetically Modified Organisms on the national territory for cultivation, breeding or of any transgenic production.”

Lima, jun. 07 (ANDINA). The Plenary Session of the Congress, approved the opinion of the law project that declares a moratorium of ten years that prevents the import of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) on the national territory for cultivation, breeding or of any transgenic production. It was sustained by the president of the Agrarian Commission, Aníbal Huerta (PAP), who declared that in the face of the danger that can arise from the use of the biotechnology a moratorium must be approved to take care of our biodiversity. It received the endorsement of congressmen Elizabeth Leon (BPCD), Franklin Sanchez (PAP), Mauritius Mulder (PAP), Oswaldo Luizar (BPCD), Jorge of Castillo (PAP), Oswaldo de la Cruz (GPF), Luis Wilson (PAP), Yonhy Lescano (AP), Aldo Estrada (UPP), Hilda Guevara (PAP), Gloria Branches (BPDC) and Maria Sumire (GPN). From different viewpoints, they agreed in the defense of the national biodiversity due to our greater climatic diversity, but they differed with regard to the moratorium. Congressman Alejandro Rebaza (PAP), made some precisions to the opinion and, like the colleagues Sanchez and Estrada, proposed a technical commission of prevention and investigation that issues a report in two years. The legislators Raul Castro (UN) and Juan Carlos Eguren (UN) expressed themselves against the moratorium, because they considered that already we consumed transgenic products and that the doors to biotechnology could not be closed because the transgenic production, that is necessary for covering the food needs, has 70% more sale than the organic production. The parliamentarian José Saldaña (AN) remembered that the biologists have asked to file the project in debate because already exists a law on the matter, whereas legislator Yaneth Cajahuanca (GPN) suggested to leave the project for the next session. On the other hand, congressmen Luis Giampietri (PAP) and Édgard Núñez (PAP) said that it is not possible to close the doors to science and that it is possible to decided on a prudential moratorium of five years. Finally, the president of the Commission of Andean Towns, Washington Zeballos (BPCD), informed on the modifications to the opinion and that the term of the moratorium would have to be of ten years. The proposal was approved by 56 votes to favor, zero against and two abstentions and exonerated from second voting by 50 votes to favor, four against and three abstentions. The approved norm establishes a moratorium of ten years, determines as competent authority of the subject to the Ministry of the Environemnt and creates a Technical Commission of Evaluation and Prevention of Risks of Use of GMOs, that in two years will have to issue a report on the subject.


2.Brazilian commission changes its internal statutes to speed up approval of GM crops and hasten the release of modified beans
Update from the GM-Free Brazil Campaign
Brazil | Rio de Janeiro | June 07 2011

On May 17th a public hearing was held in Brasilia to discuss an application for commercial release of the first genetically modified bean variety. Beans are part of Brazil’s staple diet, consumed daily by most of the population. The new variety was developed by Embrapa (the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation) for resistance to the golden mosaic virus and is already just waiting for commercial authorization from CTNBio (National Biosafety Technical Commission, the official body responsible for evaluating and authorizing GM crops).

The hearing was held at the head offices of Embrapa itself, the state company making the application. This unprecedented event raised the prospect of CTNBio adopting the procedure of ‘consulting society’ at the premises of all applicant companies, with, who knows, the next hearing being held at Monsanto’s head office. The president of CTNBio, Edilson Paiva, claimed they had been unable to find another auditorium available in Brasilia, hence the choice.

The representative for the NGO Terra de Direitos questioned the confidentiality granted to various sections of Embrapa’s report. CTNBio withheld more information than the areas requested by the company, a fact likely to hinder monitoring of the product’s impacts after its commercial release. In this case access to all the data was denied even to the member of the Commission responsible for reporting on the evaluation process.

Field studies were undertaken in just three localities over a two-year period. Interpreted generously this mean that the environmental impacts of the technology were tested in two biomes at most. Brazil’s legislation requires studies to be undertaken in all biomes where the modified plant might be grown. As the Terra de Direitos representative pointed out, Embrapa is applying for unrestricted release of the new GM bean variety throughout the country, despite the lack of adequate data.

AS-PTA’s representative also questioned the absence of data on the potential impacts of genetic modification on the common bean varieties already consumed in Brazil. All the tests were carried out on a single type of bean, rather than those consumed in the country on a daily basis. At the same time, various parts of Embrapa’s report themselves state that the test results vary according to the type of bean receiving the transgene. Despite these tests not being conducted, the application is for release of the GM variety for subsequent incorporation into other bean plants.

Even more revealingly, only two of the 22 transgenic events generated for resistance to the mosaic virus actually worked. As the evaluation report states, it remains unknown why these produced the expected results while the other 20 events did not. Indeed the report concludes that more studies are needed to understand the transgene in question. In other words, when in doubt, release it. This abandonment of the Precautionary Principle was highlighted at the hearing by AS-PTA.

The representative from CONSEA (the National Nutritional and Food Security Council) stressed that the human right to healthy and adequate food will be achieved through agroecology, not through the development of GM seeds. He cited experiments run by Embrapa over an eight-year period that showed considerable success in controlling the bean plant mosaic virus through organic farming methods and without any loss of productivity.

CTNBio approves changes to rules to speed up commercial releases

The day after the public hearing on the GM bean application, the monthly meeting of CTNBio also began in Brasilia. Opening the plenary session, the Secretary of Research and Development Policies and Programs of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Carlos Nobre, emphasized the importance of the Commission’s work and the need for risk evaluation to be based on the Precautionary Principle, much to the incredulity of many of those listening to him. As soon as the Secretary left the plenary session, the president of CTNBio announced that the vote would be taken on changing the body’s statutes. But after hearing the first question, he immediately announced that the process would be sped up to avoid the ‘obstruction principle.’

The regulations were set to be altered at the meeting following a court ruling that obliged CTNBio to introduce more transparent procedures and allow access to the information received for evaluation, except for data covered confidential business information.

The members of the Commission used the chance to alter the statutes to approve changes to the ritual of the evaluation process. They shortened the evaluation periods, meaning that GMOs releases will be even quicker in practice, reinforcing CTNBio’s image as a rubber-stamping institution that has so far never refused a request for commercial release.

The vote to approve the release of GM beans is set to take place shortly.

========================================================

GM-FREE BRAZIL – Published by AS-PTA Agricultura Familiar e Agroecologia. The GM-Free Brazil Campaign is a collective of Brazilian NGOs, social movements and individuals.

AS-PTA an independent, not-for-profit Brazilian organisation dedicated to promoting the sustainable rural development. Head office: Rua das Palmeiras, 90 | CEP: 22270-070, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Phone: 0055-21-2253-8317 Fax: 0055-21-2233-8363

This article can be found on the AS-PTA website at http://aspta.org.br/itens-de-campanha/gm-free-brazil/

Should you have any comments, suggestions or questions, feel free to contact us atboletim@aspta.org.br

Do participate! Indicate this bulletin to a friend.

To subscribe email: boletim@aspta.org.br

Source:

http://www.gmwatch.org/latest-listing/1-news-items/13231-peru-approves-10-year-ban-on-gm-crops

PLU Codes Don’t Really Indicate GM Products – BIG STORY

Anything starting with 4 could be GMO still… PLU doesn’t really mean a thing besides our Organic labels!

—-

HFA considered posting one of those produce 5-digit PLU code guides that reportedly told shoppers whether a food was a GMO or not. Trouble is, have you ever seen the beginning “8,” the supposed GM red flag? This article explains why.


Jeffrey Smith has checked main sources for these PLU codes and doesn’t want consumers to waste any more time squinting at veggie stickers. PLU codes were never meant to communicate to shoppers, but to retailers for other purposes like inventory. A beginning 9, will label organic produce, but the GM 8 never really circulated. It’s not surprising since most informed buyers would avoid them. Seed companies hide the GM seed origins from planters.

There are buyer’s guide links towards the end, and Health Freedoms will bring more news about how to live GM free and take action, in response to many of our readers’ concerns.
~Health Freedoms
Let’s put a rumor to rest. No, the 5-digit PLU codes on produce do not tell you what is genetically modified or natural. This urban legend has circulated long enough, even on the best of websites. It’s time to take it down.
The 4-digit PLU codes on the sometimes-pain-in-the-neck labels glued to apples, for example, tell the checkout lady which is a small Fuji (4129) and which is a Honeycrisp (3283). She’ll know what to charge you and the inventory elves will know what’s what. If there’s a 5-digit code starting with 9, then it’s organic.
These numbers, organized by the Produce Marketing Association, have nothing to do with you. According to Kathy Means, Association Vice President of Public Relations and Government Affairs, this is an optional convention for retailers and their supplier and is not designed as a communication tool for customers. If you want to know which items are organic, look for the word Organic; and stop squinting at tiny codes.
GMO codes are hypothetical
Those that run PLU-universe figured that someday some retailer might want to distinguish between a GMO and a non-GMO for price or inventory purposes. So they created a convention of 5 digits starting with an 8, just in case it catches on. But it hasn’t. No one uses that number 8 as far as we can tell. And why would they? Most Americans say they would avoid GMOs if they were labeled.
Some seed companies don’t even want gardeners to know which seed is genetically modified. One company that sells zucchini seeds outfitted with virus genes announced that they would refuse to sell seed packets in Vermont, since the state legislature requires GM seeds to be labeled.

Shopping Guide helps you avoid GMOs

Where does that leave you—if you happen to be one of those finicky eaters who values your immune and reproductive systems, and don’t want your kids to end up with the organ damage common among GMO-fed lab animals? Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. Go to www.NonGMOShoppingGuide.com and peruse the long lists of non-GMO and GMO brands by category. Download a two-page version, order the pocket guide, or even equip your iPhone with the new app “ShopNoGMO”.

Although a list of non-GMO brands won’t help you figure out if your produce is genetically modified, the great news is that there are only 4 GMO veggies or fruits at this point: papaya, but only from Hawaii and no where else; some zucchini and yellow squash, and some corn on the cob. For these, unless it says organic or boasts a non-GMO sign in the store, eating them is a gamble. It could be GMO.

If you’re not sure if GMOs are bad for you, we’ve got you covered there too. Visit www.HealthierEating.org, and read, listen, or watch, and find out why more and more doctors and medical organizations are prescribing non-GMO diets to all patients.

Jeffrey Smith The world’s leading consumer advocate promoting healthier, non-GMO choices

Source:

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/blog/24

GMO Toxins in Vast Majority of Pregnant Women and Fetuses

Last week we posted about the people in South America falling ill from the intense unregulated spraying of GM soy crops. Roundup Ready plants always allow and warrant the most dousing yet. We are well aware of the dangers of pesticides in both GM and non-GM produce. Fortunately, the biological changes of being pregnant somehow keep Glyphosate (Roundup) out of the bodies of pregnant women and their unborn babies.

But, the other form of GM toxicity doesn’t get as much traction – perhaps because officials and scientists have always assured us of its safety. They are the toxins built into the plant itself through genes, that work as a bio-pesticide, toxic to insects and other pests. Blood tests show that in this form, those toxins show up in 100% of pregnant women and their fetuses!

We can see evidence of the toxic effects by even just consuming animals who eat GM feed. Yet the USDA continues to flash green lights for GM crop approvals considering the crops safe for both animals, people, and children in the womb.

~Health Freedoms

GMO Toxins in Vast Majority of Pregnant Women and Fetuses: Canadian Study

The GMO mass experiment on the public is producing results. The toxic elements can be found in nearly all pregnant women and children.

The toxins designed into genetically modified crops are finding their way into the bloodstreams of all pregnant women and their fetuses. This shocking result belies the genetic modification industry’s claims that such toxins are destroyed by the digestive tracts of people who eat the animals fed these GMO crops. Obviously, that claim was based on nothing.

(If you’ve seen news reports claiming less than 100% are affected, it’s because they picked up the wrong figures from the study, as shown below.)

The Study and Results

The study, “Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec”, was published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology. The authors, Aziz Aris and Samuel Leblanc, examined the blood of 30 pregnant women and 39 nonpregnant women. All births associated with the study were considered normal; babies were at normal birth weights and considered healthy.

The authors looked for:

  • Glyphosate, brand name Roundup
  • Gluphosinate, a broad-spectrum herbicide
  • AMPA, aminomethyl phosphoric acid, a metabolite of glyphosate
  • 3-MMPA, 3-methylphosphinico propionic acid, a metabolite of gluphosinate
  • Cry1Ab, the Bt toxin of gluphosinate

Interestingly, both glyphosate and gluphosinate were found in large percentages of nonpregnant women, but neither was found in pregnant women or their fetuses. Obviously, a metabolic change occurs when a woman becomes pregnant. One might have hoped that would be adequate to prevent the toxic effects of GMO feed crops. Unfortunately, it appears that the opposite occurs with Bt corn metabolites, though no toxins from gluphosate were found.

The Bt GMO toxins, 3-MPPA and Cry1Ab, show up in mothers and fetuses, as this table shows:

Toxin Maternal Fetal Cord
3-MPPA 100% 100%
Cry1Ab 93% 80%

Toxicity of 3-MPPA and Cry1Ab

The first thing that needs to be noted is that 3-MPPA and Cry1Ab are used in pesticides for their toxic effects. There can be little doubt that ingestion of them carries some risk.

Unsurprisingly, there is little serious research on these chemicals, since the manufacturers control access for studies. Nonetheless, there is enough information available to know that assumptions of safety in genetically engineered foods is irresponsible. The risks are serious.

3-MPPA

3-MPPA is a propionic acid. Notice that the PAN Pesticides Database shows several issues with propionic acid, including:

  • Inhalation: burning sensation, cough, shortness of breath, and sore throat.
  • Skin: burns, pain, blisters.
  • Eyes: redness, pain, blurred vision, severe deep burns.
  • Ingestion: abdominal cramps, burning sensation, nausea, shock, collapse, sore throat, vomiting.

Propionic acids are classed as Bad Actor Chemicals, and 3-MPPA is one of them. One surely must ask how the FDA and USDA came to accept the notion that any GMO with 3-MPPA should be classed as “generally accepted as safe”.

And now we have proof that the highly toxic 3-MPPA is showing up in nearly all pregnant women and fetuses!

Cry1Ab

Though the PAN Pesticides Database lists no toxicity for Cry1Ab, any assumption of safety is misplaced. If we look further, we find that story is false. Greenpeace has been studying Cry1Ab, and what they’ve found is far from calming. They have found that:

  • Cry1Ab is a potent immunogen, meaning that it creates an immune response. It contains a gene for resistance to the antibiotic streptomycin. Therefore, it is likely to increase the problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
  • The immunogenic response can be initiated by either injection or gastrointestinally, that is, by eating it.
  • The immunogenic response affects the mucus membranes and can be systemic.
  • Cry1Ab binds to to proteins in the mouse gastrointestinal tract.

And now we have proof that the highly toxic Cry1Ab is showing up in all pregnant women and fetuses!

Study Authors’ Claims Versus Reality

The authors conclude only:

Since the basis of better health is prevention, one would hope that we can develop procedures to avoid environmentally induced disease in susceptible population such as pregnant woman and their fetuses.

After showing evidence that virtually all pregnant women and fetuses are accumulating toxins in their blood because of genetically modified crops, all the authors suggest is the development of procedures to avoid exposure in pregnant women and their fetuses? Surely they can do better than that.

They have demonstrated that there is no truth behind any claim that any genetically modified food can be considered GRAS—generally recognized as safe. Yet, that’s the excuse the USDA is using to virtually rubber stamp every application for a GMO. The only thing that even slows them down is a strong public outcry, as with GM salmon.

We now have proof that virtually every pregnant woman and every fetus is—or soon will be—intoxicated with dangerous chemicals because of genetically engineered foods. Experiments have demonstrated that the effects of GMOs can be catastrophic.

As documented in Antidepressants Increase Death Rate: Non-Pharma Funded Research, even when researchers’ results clearly slow serious risks in profitable Big Pharma or Agribusiness products, they pull their punches in the conclusions. This study is no different.

Genetically modified organisms are enormously profitable. There is no other reason that the term GRAS can exist in reference to them. They have never been shown to be safe—and now it’s obvious that an entire generation is at risk because of them. The results of the mass experiment are in. It’s time to call a halt—and hope that the damage doesn’t pass down the generations.

Source:

http://www.gaia-health.com/articles451/000460-gmo-toxins-pregnant-women-fetuses.shtml

USDA to Let Monsanto Perform Its Own GMO Studies

Last summer, Federal Judge Jeffrey White rebuked the USDA for its continual approval of new GM seeds without proper environmental impact studies; a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act. The USDA continues to run over the legal system and approved the novel GM sugar beet crops anyway. Their rationale? A GM sugar beet ban might cause sugar prices to rise…

A probing environmental impact evaluation of Roundup Ready sugar beets would most likely be harsh, right? Cross-pollination and RoundUp resistant superweeds are just a couple of the Monsanto-wreaked problems. The USDA has dismissed the legal system too much already, so to concede a little, it finally decides some environmental impact studies are in order. In a seemingly passive-aggressive act of childish defiance, the USDA is allowing the GMO industry to conduct its own impact studies! Unless they want to pay other researchers to do it, of course.

Judge White wants the USDA to be more guarding of the environment, but the USDA is doing the exact opposite in the name of “not being too burdensome” to the industry. A spokesperson for a biotech industry organization is lauding the moves, believing that the USDA’s new program will speed up GMO crop acceptance and remove its vulnerability to those pesky legalities.

~Health Freedoms

USDA moves to let Monsanto perform its own environmental impact studies on GMOs

Last August, Federal Judge Jeffrey White issued a stinging rebuke to the USDA for its process on approving new genetically modified seeds. He ruled that the agency’s practice of “deregulating” novel seed varieties without first performing an environmental impact study violated the National Environmental Policy Act.

The target of Judge White’s ire was the USDA’s 2005 approval of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready sugar beets, engineered to withstand doses of the company’s own herbicide. White’s ruling effectively revoked the approval of Monsanto’s novel beet seeds pending an environmental impact study, and cast doubt upon the USDA’s notoriously industry-friendly way of regulating GM seeds.

A rigorous environmental impact assessment would not likely be kind to Roundup Ready sugar beets. First, sugar-beet seeds are cultivated mainly in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, also an important seed-production area for crops closely related to sugar beets, such as organic chard and table beets. The engineered beets could easily cross-pollinate with the other varieties, causing severe damage to a key resource for organic and other non-GMO farmers. Second, Monsanto’s already-unregulated Roundup Ready crops — corn, soy, and cotton — have unleashed a plague of Roundup-resistant “superweeds,” forcing farmers to apply ever-higher doses of Roundup and other weed-killing poisons. Finally, the Roundup herbicide itself is proving much less ecologically benign than advertised, as Tom Laskawy has shown.

How has the Obama USDA responded to Judge White’s rebuke? By repeatedly defying it, most recently in February, when the agency moved to allow farmers to plant the engineered seeds even though the impact study has yet to be completed. Its rationale for violating the court order will raise an eyebrow of anyone who read Gary Taubes’ recent New York Times Magazine pieceteasing out the health hazards of the American sweet tooth: the USDA feared that the GMO sugar beet ban would cause sweetener prices to rise. Thus the USDA places the food industry’s right to cheap sweetener for its junk food over the dictates of a federal court.

In early April, the USDA made what I’m reading as a second response to Judge White, this one even more craven. To satisfy the legal system’s pesky demand for environmental impact studies of novel GMO crops, the USDA has settled upon a brilliant solution: let the GMO industry conduct its own environmental impact studies, or pay other researchers to. The USDA announced the program in the Federal Register for April 7, 2011 [PDF].

The biotech/agrichemical industry has applauded the new plan. Karen Batra of the Biotechnology Industry Organization told the Oregon-based ag journal Capital Press that the program will likely speed up the registration process for GMO crops and make the USDA’s approach less vulnerable to legal challenges like the rebuke from Judge White. Capital Press summed up Batra’s assessment of the plan like this: “The pilot program will not only help move crops through the process more quickly, but the added resources will also help the documents hold up in court.”

In other words, the industry plans to produce studies that find its novel

products environmentally friendly, and fully expects the USDA to accept their assessments. Judge White had ruled that the USDA should be more rigorous in assessing the risks of new GMO crops, yet his decision seems to be having the opposite effect. No doubt the USDA’s latest scheme reflects the administration’s stated desire to not be too “burdensome” in regulating industry.

Tom Philpott is Grist’s senior food and agriculture writer. You can follow his Twitter feed at twitter.com/tomphilpott.

http://www.grist.org/industrial-agriculture/2011-04-19-usda-to-let-monsanto-do-own-environmental-impact-studies-on-gmos

Watch – “The Future of Food” Documentary for FREE – NOW!

Thanks for taking your education further in what is happening with your food by checking out The Future of Food! Please click the link below! Sit back and get ready to discover whats really going on with our food supply!

The Future of Food

The Future of Food has brought about a great movement in our challenge for food freedom! Please share The Future of Food with everyone you and when you get the chance support the individuals who created The Future of Food by buying their DVD off your favorite medium aka Amazon, Google.. etc.

-Nathan Scheer
Health & Economics of America

Egg Crisis Unmasked – What The Hell Is Going On!??

With more than half a billion eggs removed from the shelves and thousands of people seriously ill from salmonella poisoning, the ongoing egg recall is one of the worst food crises in recent history.

What’s startling about the recall isn’t just its size – it’s that the source of the crisis is just two factory farms.

We like to think of our food as being produced on small, healthy, local farms. The food industry knows this, and encourages our misperception by marketing eggs under brands such as “Farm Fresh” and “Sunshine.” But in reality there’s nothing fresh or sunny about our domestic egg production.

Ninety-five percent of eggs are produced on a handful of massive factory farms. These farms aren’t the scenic landscapes you see printed on labels or shown in commercials. They are huge industrial wastelands.

Wright County Egg, one of the two factory farms responsible for the current salmonella scandal, has 7.5 million egg-laying chickens crammed together so closely in battery cages that the birds can’t even stretch their wings. The chickens often live in their own bacteria-breeding excrement, and never see the light of day.

In response to the unsanitary conditions of factory egg farms, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued new egg guidelines that would beef up safety standards. This is a step in the right direction, but the problems we have with egg production are just a microcosm of the broader problems of our industrial food system.

In the short term, what we really need is comprehensive food security bill that mandates more frequent inspections of factory farms and gives the FDA the tools to prevent deadly and costly food outbreaks before they ever happen.

The U.S. house passed such a food safety bill more than a year ago, but it has since stalled in the Senate. The egg recall has given this bill renewed attention, and we need to take advantage of this growing pressure for reform. Join us in calling on the Senate to pass a food safety bill when it returns after Labor Day.

In the long term, we hope this outbreak and recall helps hatch a broader movement for a safe and healthy alternative to our industrial food system. To learn more about the movement for local, healthy, sustainable food, check out the Sustainable Food cause on Change.org.