"Demonizing"....I was Doing This, Not You!
I went into the BIO conference 08 in San Diego
filled with some fears. My fears
turned into some drama, and the drama turned
into some growth lessons I will not soon forget.
Date: 8/19/2008 12:58:17 PM ( 5 y ) ... viewed 1349 times
August 19, 2008
Liora Leah has made some important and insightful comments
in the last week on this Plant Your Dream Blog.
I want to thank her for taking the time.
She upholds a very important point of view
on Curezone. I want to congratulate her for the
service she provides. Some of her blogs are deeply thought
out and have taken hours to compose. Some deserve
to be Ebooks. Her own Environmentally Sensitivity to
toxic substances is leading her to Soul Inspired work
in the world. She is an excellent writer, and one of my favorite
poets and artists.
I wanted to comment on a two of her last comments:
The first was about "Demonizing" Monsanto.
Liora's comment is here:
very strange thing when the Enchanted Gardener defends Monsanto
from "demonizing" remarks made by Liora Leah.
Demonizing? I don't think there's one thing I wrote about Monsanto that isn't true. Is it "demonizing" to call into question the ethics and values of a corporation that is contributing to the devastation of our environment, jeopardizing our food crop diversity, and threatening the livelihood of indigenous and third-world farmers?
Her comments and my own
are attached to this Blog:
Homeland Security and the Future of the Biotech Revolution
I hope you read the original blog.
My comment about Demonizing was in reference
to an experience I had at BIO--the Biotechnology Industry Organization
international meeting that was held in San Diego earlier this Spring.
Here is my comment:
Positive Experience at BIO:
My comment had no intended reference to anything that Liora was
sharing about Monsanto, a Biotech corporation that has had a
powerful and questionable influence on the production of seeds
and Ag methods around the world. My comment was under the original
Blog above as well as Liora's comments about Monsanto. Her Comments
are important and deserve to be heard and discussed.
I would like the whole Biotech industry to read what she has to say,
and make its own comment.
It is very important that each industry police its own.
The case against Monsanto is powerfully stated in the DVD
THE FUTURE OF FOODS.
I hightly recommend this DVD.
In the DVD, scientists including Charles Benbrook
of the Organic Center and numbers of others,
point out some very important historical facts.
In the history of the US, in the Constitution, the original
co-creators had no intent that patents be applied to living things
such as seeds and plants.
This position was historically unheld.
In the DVD, it traces the story of one scientist who appealed a decision
to the Supreme Court. The Decision passed by one vote and overturned
the original ruling. The new ruling allowed for patents on seeds!
I have done some research on this. I would like to know the name of that
Judge and have a photo of him. That one vote has influenced the course of history.
Seeds are Liberty. Seeds are tools intended to ground the Soul in Soil.
Seeds, from an Enchanted Garden point of
seeds are tools to Plant a New World.
If you want to defeat a country, weaken their seed supply.
If you want to hurt Homeland Security, take away the strength of
your local organic family farmers.
I once read an article by Tommy Thompson, as he was stepping down
as the Sec of Ag. He was wondering why terrorists had not
taken advantage of our weak food supply. He recognized we were very
vulnerable. I have to say, we have not needed terrorists from outside to
attack our food supply. We are weakened from inside. Gratefully, there
are movements now such as Slow Food that are help us return to
being once again a SLOW FOOD NATION.
Most people today, do not have a clue how to eat. We have
become Fast Food oriented. We have no
idea how to prepare foods. We have no idea of the original diverse
bounty of foods that are available.
[ See note on the Slow Food Nation gathering at the end of this month
When patents became legal, this was the signal for major
multinational companies to buy up all the seeds of the world.
Many seed companies no longer exist. The diversity of seeds
no longer existed.
In the DVD THE FUTURE OF FOOD, it points out the dangers of this approach
to farming a FEW varieties of food. It points out the death of
vast numbers of people in Ireland due to the potato famine.
This was due to having a few varieties of potatoes available.
When insect life devastated one kind of potato, the genetic pool
was so small, that the people could not grow other kinds of potatoes.
This is one of the main dangers of genetic engineering.
It lessens the diversity of the gene pool. There are fewer kinds
Again, please go see the DVD, THE FUTURE OF FOOD.
The story is there. The DVD as well ends in the telling of
the RISING UP of a new wave of agriculture and the rising
of indigenous people.
So what was the point I was making about Demonizing?????
When we paint a picture as Black and White,
we create separation rather than communication
and potentially devalue new levels of understanding.
In 2001 or so, when BIO was in San Diego,
I attended a conference here called BioJustice.
That was a fascinatiing Eye Opener.
It was the first time I came to understand Biotech.
The conference drew the leaders of Biojustice together.
Among the participants was Percy, the farmer whose
story is told in THE FUTURE OF FOOD.
Basically, Percy was persecuted by Monsanto
when they found their Round Up Ready Canola
in his fields. They Genetically Engineered Canola--
a patented product--had likely blown into his field
from a passing truck. Mansanto sued Percy.
They claimed ownership of his field because
they owned the patent on Round-Up Ready
genetically produced Canola!
They intimidated Percy, as they have many other farmers.
They basically went out to break his back and will.
At the end of the week of BIO 2001, there was a rally.
There was a lot of tension and security around
that earlier San Diego BIO conference, and not too much communication
between those in favor and those against Biotech.
I came away from that week with a definite feeling
that the BIotech Industry was Mansanto!!!!
When, BIO returned to San Diego this Spring 08, I went into
the conference as a member of the Press Corps.
Again, I had an Eye Opener! You can read some of my Blogs
here. I wrote numbers of them.
I went in to understand and make some new friends.
I went in to see where the BIO movement
was headed. I wanted to have an influence.
I went in with KEEP the BEET Media Star.
KEEP the BEET is the "poster" beet of a project
to help each person realize they can grow a beet--
and some of their own food.
I was amazed by the number of people who came up to me
and were asking me questions about wanting to grow their own food.
On the day the Gov of CA came, Arnold, I intended to introduce
KEEP the BEET to him personally. I had a strategy, but did not plan
ahead. The BIO staff was incredibly helpful and assisting. There were
helping me get set up to take a photo of the Governor.
All of a sudden, as I was waiting on the sidelines for the opportunity
to get close to take a photo, and potentially introduce KEEP the BEET
to the Gov, a man came up to
me and basically asked me to take photos of member of the Delegation
from Argentina with the Governor. I said yes.
Within a matter of moments, I was escorted to the Argentina Consulate table
right next to the stage. Within a matter of moments, I was being questioned
and in the middle of what felt like international relations and Homeland Security.
FBI, CIA, Homeland Security Police, everyone was there to protect the Gov
and insure safety. In the unseen background were bomb sniffing dogs,
and what not. I was being asked to take off my cap. I was asked to remove
my belongings from a place behind a curtain. I was being asked to sit
here, sit there, stand here, stand there. Don't sit there. I was suddenly
being observed and noticed by all kinds of people. God only knows
what kind of research on me they were doing in a manner of seconds!
For all I knew my entire Genetic Code was being modulated!
I had no idea what I had gotten myself into.
I normally get good photos because I connect with the people in the photos.
I am directing them into position. I know what to say to bring a smile.
I know how to bring the Soul out of people.
This was not the situation. All of a sudden I was in the middle of this high
stress situation where I was being paid to take a photo of the Governor with
the Ambassador of Argentina! I had no idea who was who in their consulate.
There was some Consul of Protocol who was directing me and giving me
orders! No one, among themselves, seemed to be talking.
I was holding on to the seat of my pants, and double checking my
camera and lighting. I am not the greatest technical photographer. I
rely on intuition for the shots I get many times.
I really was out of my element. I felt like I was swept up in a world
of black suits and black glass wearing people. What is that movie
where you see stuff like that???? I felt like I was in a James Bond Movie!!!!
Oh MEN IN BLACK.
Every one has expectations. It felt like international intrique.
I had no idea what was happening.
Boy, did I start to demonize.
I thought maybe if I did something wrong, I would end up in a box
somewhere. Isn't it fascinating where the mind goes????
When that scene was done, I was led down stairs to where
we thought the Gov would be. He was visiting the California
delegation. The logistics were off. I was gratefully able
to position myself into a spot where at least I got one decent photo.
There was a mass of other photographers and FBI in front of me.
Then, I was asked to come to the Argentina booth before
I even heard the Gov speak at the CA booth. They wanted
photos of the booth. KEEP the BEET was going to have to
wait for another day.
There were a lot of unhappy people at the Argentina booth.
I was able to direct the energy, and get some photos.
At one point, I asked them to get close.
"Men in our country, do not stand like that!" was something
I heard. I was definitely out of my element and in another world!
I was then asked to take photos of their booth.
One of the Ambassadors was very unhappy with the shots
I was getting. It did not feel good at all.
He rushed off and came back with another photographer.
I was dismissed, but told to email my photos.
The photos were meant to be rushed via digital to meet a deadline
for publication in Argentina. I did not have the equipment to upload.
This assignment was totally unexpected. I had to rush home later and email
them. I was told to come back the next day to get the money for
I came home exhausted and unnerved. I worked late into the night
to meet the deadline of the men from Argentina.
I did not hear back after I did the emailing.
It was a very disagreeable situation. I felt sick.
I was sick the next day until I left to go down to BIO.
One of the Ambassadors was at the Booth behind a fortress of business.
Another man, the one who was to pay me,
came up. He asked me for my receipt.
Then, I spent a little time with the Ambassador who
gave me the money. He told me how much he liked my photos.
I saw another side of the man. He said
that between the two photogs, he liked my
work better. He was kind, and vulnerable
with some personal feelings.
I gave him the gift of one of my Seven Love Cures
and signed that. He was appreciative. I saw his
During the night before, I did a little research on Argentina.
It turned out their Organic Farming Industry was one of the largest
in the world. The government, as most of the other countries there
were also looking to further their BioTech industries.
Years ago, right after that first BIO conference, I had occasion
to spend a week in Sacramento as a guest of then Assemblyman
John Vasconcellos, a dear friend. One morning we went to a breakfast
sponsored by lobbyists for Nanotechnology, the next wave beyond
Biotech. I had heard about Nanotechnology at that Biojustice conference.
It was clear to me at that breakfast that John and the other attendees,
Senators, Assembly people and staff, really just wanted to be helpful and
increase business. They had no idea about the implications of Nanotechology
that basically can rewrite the entire genetic code and turn Natural
Creation Upside Down.
I had the same experience at BIO. I could see that a lot of these
nations represented here were investing in technologies without
really having a clear understanding of what they were getting into.
It was clear to me then, that the leaders of the Organic Movement
needed to be a part of BIO 2009, right in the mix. How else
was everyone going to start talking and figuring out what was
I was amazed by BIO. They had better marketing than the Organic
Industry as far as I could see. They were in the schools far deeper
than the organic movement. They had teachers all over the nation
teaching BIO to our Genius Kids. Opening night of BIO, an entire
ballroom was filled with teachers from across the nation.
Most of them were comped by major Corporations. The room
was filled with Genius Kids who were getting awards for tinkering
at their tender age with the Genetic Code.
Where he have one Congressman
who is a former Organic Farmer, their CEO, James Greenwood
is former Congressman himself! They call him Congressman Greenwood still!
James Greenwood is just as zealous or more
about transformation as those of use in the Organic Field!
Their key words at BIO are BIO, healing, fueling,
and feeding the world. Who can knock that????
On the opening night, I heard Margaret Spelling
the Secretary of Education speak. She is in President Bush's
Cabinet. I have never heard her thus far at the Natural Product
Expos, nor have I seen the Gov on hand drinking his wheatgrass!
The International BIO Conference basically had a Green Mission at the conference
that was as extensive or MORE than the Green Mission we have at the
Natural Product Expo West, one of my stomping grounds!
When all was said and done, I could see that a lot of what I
had been projecting on these men from Argentina was influenced
by my own mind, fears, and projections of Black and White.
When all was said and done, there were basically human beings
doing as best they could.
I got the money, and started to leave the Argentina nation booth.
Some kind of healing had taken place.
I felt empowered.
Well, at that point, I thought I would go find Mansanto!!!!
I wanted to get a first hand understanding of what this Mega
Giant of the "Dark Side" in my head was up to. I wanted
to find out for myself.
I looked up Mansanto. In route I stopped at a number of
other exhibits such as Australia, etc, etc.
The Conference Vendor Hall was like a United Nation's Assembly.
Do you get the picture????? There were nations, each with a booth,
from every corner of the world, all out to connect and draw Billions
to their countries. It was fascinating to be in this exhibit hall!
It was as well amazing to find good hearted
people all over the place!!!
I am running short of time now to write.
I finally was able to find the number of the booth where
Mansanto was supposed to be. They were not even there.
There was a fella from a School in St Louis. He did have
a card on the table from Mansanto, but other than that
Mansanto was no where to be found at BIO, not visibly.
I spent about 30 minutes with the fella from the School
in St Louis. I listened to what he was up to. I had KEEP
the BEET with me. He was fascinated by the project and the
Enchanted Garden and all I had to say. We struck up quite
a friendship. Every booth had lots of giveaways at BIO.
Amazingly, there were organic seeds of Cilantro as a giveaway, that were
packaged up at the booth where I had gone in Search of
It was clear to me that a lot of the folks down here
really had no idea that of the impact of Genetic Engineering
on organic seeds!
If you took a survey, and asked the question:
Did you know that Organic Seeds and Genetically Engineered
Seeds cannot exist side by side without the Genetically Engineered
Seeds destroying the Organic Seeds, it would be fascinating to
hear the results.
As the week progressed, I made some contacts
with people that could end up being long-term friends.
I spent a lot of time at the Georgia booth. There were
a couple foks from Saint Joseph's Hospital, a lovely man and woman.
They were positive about
helping me get one of my Sunflower blowup photos
into their hospital in Georgia. I gave a poem to the woman.
She said she would treasure it.
That was what I had in mind when I wrote my comment
about Demonizing. I really learned something.
There are a lot of well meaning innocent people who
get swept up in movements and momentums.
We will never get into the world of friendship
unless we take risks and expose what we believe.
we need to interact.
On the final day, one of the Chief Scientists from
Murdock University came over to the Enchanted Garden here.
He had gone to Australia drawn to meet Bill Mollison,
creator of Permaculture, a very powerful system of
natural agriculture. The College where he taught
had departments in Permaculture, Biotech, and Organic
Waste Management. He was head of the Department
of Organic Waste Management. He was involved
in research to create electricity out of waste.
Back home, he spends time exchanging ideas with his
colleagues in the other departments.
He asked the Biotech department, why do
you want to invent something for killing bugs
when nature already has an answer? Just
build up the soil, he told them.
After he got over my own obvious friendliness
that at first had him backing up, he said later
he was impressed by the depth of my questions
He ended up joining the Enchanted Garden Club,
my international network of support.
We went to Whole Foods Market and the Farmers Market.
He knew as much about plants as I did!
He said he wanted to go Salsa dancing. I set him up
with an M.D. lady doctor friend who spends a lot of time
at Thich Nat Hahn's retreat in Escondido called
Can you see where I am coming from???
If we just build walls between us,
where have we gotten?
Georgia in going to be the next site for BIO 2009.
Someone gave me an Atlanta Braves baseball hat
at their booth. I am not a baseball fan.
I wore that hat for about six weeks following
BIO, and imagined I could go to BIO Georgia.
I did not meet the Governor, but I did meet
a man from Georgia--an Ag man-- who was close friends
and an Ag Advisor to the
Gov of Georgia.
I am not a person who spends a lot of time
preaching to the Choir, or for that matter,
preaching at all. At Bio, I was really connecting
with new kinds of people, many who truly
will want to KEEP the BEET if given have a chance
to share where they are coming from.
Attending BIO was one of the most empowering
experiences of 2008 for me. I am in gratitude
for the generosity of BIO and its outstanding staff
for honoring my Press Credentials.
I learned a very important lesson or two
that I will never forget.
THE GOVERNOR + AMBASSADOR
My eyes were on the Governor and the Ambassador. Other eyes were on me.
IN SEARCH OF MONSANTO:
I was looking for Mansanto at BIO. I traced down the booth # and went there.
There was a likeable man from an Ag school St. Louis who appreciated the work
I was doing with KEEP the BEET. I did find a card from Mansanto on the table
but they were no where to be found. I also found some organic Cilantro in a package
at that booth.
LIORA'S MOTHER EARTH HEALS BLOG
on TOXINS IN THE HOME:
LIORA LEAH: "Please sign this Petition to Help Farmers
and stop Mansanto Abuse:
SLOW FOOD NATION CONFERENCE:
ORGANIC CENTER VIDEO:
[ I have eight photos in this! Hooray!!]
Leslie's BIO BLOGS:
Beautiful People of BIO Web Gallery and LInks:
KEEP KEEPERS Of THE WORLD UNITE:
KEEP THE BEET MEDIA STAR has her say:
GROCERY STORE WARS
produced by Free Range Studios
for the Organic Trade Association:
Five minute video with Star Wars Characters:
SLOW FOOD NATION BLOG:
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