We welcome back friend of the show, and a super green human, Eva Radke, founder of Film Biz Recycling, an organization that diverts set materials from film, television and theatre, and recycles, reuses, redistributes and re-purposes those items. “Not in a Dumpster” is the mantra of Film Biz Recycling, and there are exciting new projects which are on the horizon for the coming year. The prop shop is a great place to find clothes, furniture and collectibles that have been used to dress sets such as 30 Rock, Gossip Girls, The Amazing Spiderman 2 and many more. To find out all the great things Film Biz Recycling is doing, and to get information about the prop shop, go to filmbizrecycling.org
The need is greater than ever to be involved in the growing sustainability and food movement. The threats that our agriculture industry pose on climate change and human survival are blatantly obvious at this point, yet it seems that many US politicians have forsaken their duty as representatives of the common good of America while instead succumbing to the pressures of politics and corporate interest. For the sake of being concise, I won’t get into the details of the destruction that Monsanto Company and similar operations are causing to humanity and to nature. For a summary of these details, click here.
Today, I am focusing more on the dilemma of Michael R. Taylor slithering his way from atop multiple powerful positions working for Monsanto Company to holding America’s health in the palm of his hand as head honcho of the FDA. And last but not least, I hope to begin to show you all how gravely this affects us all.
To start off I want to ask a question. When did it become acceptable in this country to let someone switch so freely between the position of corporate lobbyist/lawyer and policy maker in the same field? That is what FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food and Veterinary Medicine Michael R.Taylor did. Also, do me a quick favor and google the relationship he has had with King & Spalding, a law firm that has a history of representing Monsanto. This, my friends has been called by Marion Nestle, who wrote Food Politics, “a classic example of the revolving door.”
There are those who argue for Taylor’s innocence however. Bill Marler who wrote Mike Taylor and the Myth of the Monsanto Man, claims that after knowing of him (not directly knowing him) for nearly 20 years, he is convinced Taylor is non-partial to Monsanto. Taylor himself is quoted in the article saying, “The government has clear rules about what a person can and cannot work on under those circumstances (potential partiality to an industry),” Marler then establishes his line that Taylor “follows those rules very carefully.” Marler continues to explain that when Taylor held the Deputy Commissioner for Policy (FDA) in the mid-’90s, the FDA Ethics Counsel said that he could work on general policy matters, such as policies for food labeling, but that he was precluded from any involvement in specific product approvals of interest to Monsanto. HOLD ON!
Seeing as one of the biggest US food policy issues right now is the requirement of food companies to label GMO foods, this seems like an issue that former Monsanto lawyer and VP of public policy at the largest GMO company in the world should not be engaging in! American health is at stake!
Also, according to PF Louis in his article Biotech industry at war over GMOs; millions of dollars funneled to lawmakers, “Monsanto Mike (Taylor) was able to influence the approval of rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone), which forces cows to yield more milk while causing infections that require antibiotics. So many milk and other dairy products became contaminated with the synthetic hormone rBGH, antibiotics, and infected cow blood and puss.” If you are unaware of the futility that over antibiotic use in factory farms is causing modern medicine please check out some of these links. I encourage you to explore the topic in more detail.
Long story short, America’s reckless agricultural techniques and lack of quality governmental oversight has created a situation in which Americans are falsely assured by their own government about the safety of their food. It is a situation that still has its solutions though. What we need is mass education which will contribute to a snowballing in consumer awareness about the importance of the local and sustainable food movement. It has started to take hold around the world but with EVERONE’S help, we will begin to change. Their have been sparks of change so far, but we need to keep the passion strong to get the fire roaring. As we eat locally and buy from small farms, food becomes much healthier, less mysterious, and more tasty. While food transportation costs and emissions are reduced, air becomes cleaner in cities and communities become stronger through community farms and other CSA projects. If you take away one thing from this blog, let it be to buy food that comes from within 100 miles of where you live!
I want to end this Green Stream blog with a note of optimism, because although there are many problems with our current food regulatory system and agricultural sector, there is much we all can do.
Buy local and Stay Green!
Find out more info about eating clean and stayed tuned for The Many Shades of Green’s interview with Ashley Spivak from Clean Plates!
It’s that time of year again, when consumerism and family collide into what we call the holiday season. To help you incorporate sustainable choices into your gift giving, decorations and food, we’ve invited Elissa Olin from Green in BKLYN, Ashley Spivak from Clean Plates and Eva Radke of Film Biz Recycling to share their tips and ideas. greeninbklyn.com, cleanplates.com & filmbizrecycling.org
A river runs through it, and it is up on the roof. Tune in to find out how my guest Gennaro Brooks-Church, Director of EcoBrooklyn, created a river on a roof, which uses gray water and rain water filtration systems to cut down on water use, while creating a beautiful waterscape. We also discuss ways to keep your home more energy efficient, by using less waste, via reusable materials and installing passive heating and cooling systems. Water is a precious commodity, and we talk about the sewage/water issues affecting the neighborhoods closest to the Gowanus Canal. Gennaro is building green to keep his “Build It Forward” mantra alive for future generations. For more info go to www.ecobrooklyn.com
Body care with a purpose is how my guests Selima and Tami Lust describe their natural beauty/body care company, Iwilla Remedy. Handcrafted in Brooklyn via a social partnership with Brooklyn Community Services, Iwilla Remedy has a line of products that are plant based and paraben free. Tami and Selima took first place in the 2013 PowerUp Business Plan Competition sponsored by the Brooklyn Public Library. Connecting business and community makes for a very special company, that prides itself on combining excellent product with social responsibility. So lavish yourself in some lavender oils and be one with nature. For more information visit www.iwillaremedy.com.
Features Jeff Hittner, co-founder of Ethikus, an online community of ethical consumers and businesses, helping people discover ethical and sustainable shops in New York City, particularly small, local businesses.