Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 03/14/2011


On this episode of Locus Focus we initially planned to focus on the USDA’s recent decision to deregulate round-up ready alfalfa. But first we need to reflect upon last Friday’s earthquake and tsunamis that have devastated Japan. As horrific as the earthquake and tsunamis destruction is, the potential catastrophe that would result if the cores of any of Japan’s stricken nuclear reactors melt down stretches the limits of imagination. The official response to the nuclear reactor crisis in Japan is frustrating to say the least, so we'll be talking with nuclear expert Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy & Environmental Research, to help us understand what is really at stake with Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors.

Arjun Makhijani is President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Takoma Park, Maryland. He earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley in 1972, specializing in nuclear fusion. A recognized authority on energy issues, Dr. Makhijani is the author and co-author of numerous reports and books on energy and environment related issues. He was the principal author of the first study of the energy efficiency potential of the US economy published in 1971. He is the author of Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy (2007).


When the USDA deregulated the growing of Roundup Ready (GMO) alfalfa last month, Ronnie Cummins with the Organic Consumers Association wrote a dispatch revealing collusion between three big time organic food companies and the forces (i.e. Monsanto) that shaped the USDA's decision. Whole Foods, Stonyfield Farms and Organic Valley argue that Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack only allowed for two options: allowing organic and GMO farmers to co-exist by regulating how GMO crops are grown or allowing total deregulation of GMO crops. They say that organic farmers need legal protection from cross-contamination of GE crops as well as compensation if their crops are contaminated. Cummins believes that by supporting "co-existence," Whole Foods, Stonyfield and Organic Valley are selling out the rest of the organic food movement, still bent on stopping the profileration of GMO food. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Ronnie Cummins about why he believes that Whole Foods' claims that it is still part of the fight to hold back the expansion of GMO crops is greenwashing.

Ronnie Cummins is the national director of Organic Consumers Association and co-author of Genetically Engineered Food: A Self-Defense Guide for Consumers.

Read Whole Food's response to Organic Consumers Association claims:


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