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SINCE THERE'S NO WAY TO GET AWAY FROM MONSANTO'S GLYPHOSATE, THE CORRECT RESPONSE IS TO BAN IT.

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Wednesday, 17 June 2015 Category Potatoes in History 1 Comment

This study from two years ago serves as a good reminder it's not just farmers and their livestock which have glyphosate in their bodies. Here's the context. First, organic crops - of course - do not use Monsanto's herbicide glyphosate. But most GE crop ARE sprayed with glyphosate. However, in addition, many conventionally grown crops - sometimes called 'Non-GE crops' - such as wheat, oats and dry beans often are sprayed with glyphosate as a harvest-aid drying agent. IMPORTANTLY, STUDIES HAVE SHOWN URBAN RESIDENTS - with no direct exposure to glyphosate - EXHIBIT ALARMING LEVELS OF GLYPHOSATE. "A German study that concluded in June 2013 has discovered a significant amount of glyphosate in the Urine of people and animals from all across Europe. The analysis of the urine samples found that all had concentrations of glyphosate at 5 to 20 times more than the limit for drinking water. Apart from being used increasingly in food production, glyphosate-based weedkillers are often sprayed onto railway lines, urban pavements and roadsides.
"The study used the urine of city workers, journalists and lawyers who had no direct contact with glyphosate, so it’s interesting to see that it turned up in their urine samples -and this was from an urban population in Berlin...Recent studies have linked glyphosate to Autism, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. It doesn’t stop there, as studies have also linked glyphosate to cancer as well." Jim

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/09/04/significant-concentrations-of-glyphosate-aka-roundup-herbicide-found-in-urine-of-people-across-europe/

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ANOTHER NEW LONG-TERM STUDY SHOWS THE SUPERIORITY OF ORGANIC FARMING - THIS TIME BENEFICIAL IMPACT ON SOIL LIFE.

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Wednesday, 17 June 2015 Category Potatoes in History 1 Comment

How food is grown DOES matter, not only for the quality of food and freedom from pesticide residues, but also from the impact on the soil and the overall environment. "A recent study published in Agronomy for Sustainable Development has confirmed that organic farming is beneficial for soil organisms. The study compared soil organisms among fields that had been managed using different farming practices for 14 years as part of a long-term study...'Long-term conservation and organic alternative cropping systems improved the abundance and/or biomass of soil biota and altered the structure of the soil food web compared to a conventional system,' the study reported. Abundances of larger soil animals increased from 100 to 2,500% and microorganisms increased from 30 to 70% over the conventional field with conservation agriculture demonstrating the healthiest and most diverse soils." Jim


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MPORTANT NEW STUDY: ORGANIC FARMING DOCUMENTED AS A SOLUTION FOR SAVING POLLINATORS.

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Friday, 12 June 2015 Category Potatoes in History 1 Comment

Modern, chemical-intensive agriculture is deadly to essential crop pollinators such as bees. A new study documents that ORGANIC FARMING IS GOOD FOR POLLINATOR HEALTH. "Seventy-five percent of all crops grown for human consumption rely on pollinators, predominantly bees, for a successful harvest. However, over the last decade, both native and honey bee populations have been declining at alarming rates, raising concerns about the impact on our global food security. To complicate the situation, many of the factors linked to bee population declines are a direct result of commonly utilized agricultural practices. Fortunately, organic farming practices can provide critical solutions that not only decrease risks to pollinators, but actively support the growth and health of our pollinator populations...Large-scale chemically intensive agricultural production has been implicated as a major source of threats to pollinators...Organic farmers also use numerous integrative pest management techniques which promote environments that support beneficial insects such as pollinators by providing them with habitat and nutritious floral food sources. A number of studies reviewed here have demonstrated that organic farming practices alleviate many threats to honey bees and that organic farms support significantly more pollinators than conventional farms." Jim

https://www.ota.com/news/press-releases/18208

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NEW STUDY CONFIRMS SUPERIORITY OF ORGANIC FARMING.

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Tuesday, 09 June 2015 Category Potatoes in History 1 Comment

A new study published in the 'Proceedings of the National Academies of Science (PNAS)' documents that not only is organic farming doing a better job at biodiversity and protecting the environment but it also provides farmers with greater farmer profitability than the conventional alternative. "But consumers shouldn’t feel upset over paying the higher cost. In essence, organic shoppers are paying more to protect their own health, the environment where the food is grown, the farmworkers that grow the food, the soil the food is growth in, and the pollinators and other wildlife in the area. For example, organic methods of farming strawberries lead to healthier berries and soils, and result in improved pollination success. In terms of row crops, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agricultural Systems Lab finds organic methods of corn and soybean production significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions coming from soils. In fact, organic systems, particularly no-till organic, sequester more greenhouse gas emissions than they emit, and result in more fertile soil than conventional genetically engineered no-till agriculture." Jim

http://www.beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/?p=15810

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ANALYSIS OF MAJOR COURT VICTORY UPHOLDING JACKSON COUNTY GE BAN.

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Tuesday, 02 June 2015 Category Potatoes in History 1 Comment

Family farmers have been asserting for years that we have a right to grow our crops free from GE contamination and ruination by Biotech. Friday's Federal Court ruling confirmed the correctness of our position and has DRAMATICALLY VALIDATED OUR RIGHT TO PROTECT OURSELVES - and our customers - from flawed GE technology. "U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke has found the GMO ban is not pre-empted by the state’s 'right to farm' law, thereby allowing the ordinance to become effective on June 5...'While farming practices may not be limited by a suburbanite’s sensitivities, they may be limited if they cause damage to another farm’s crops,' Clarke said. Growers are able to file lawsuits over such grievances under the 'right to farm' statute, and Jackson County’s ordinance simply 'serves to prevent such damage before it happens' — even if it hasn’t yet occurred, he said...The judge has recognized that genetically engineered crops pose a significant commercial threat to non-biotech growers, which was a key issue in the litigation, Kimbrell said. 'This case is a resounding affirmation of the right of farmers to protect themselves from GE contamination.'" Jim

http://www.capitalpress.com/Oregon/20150529/judge-upholds-jackson-county-gmo-ban

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INNOVATIVE CONCRETE TENT.

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Tuesday, 26 May 2015 Category Potatoes in History 1 Comment

This video (2:19) is definitely worth watching. With daily aftershocks and the seasonal monsoon coming to earthquake-devastated Nepal in just a few weeks, wouldn't it be wonderful if our military could airlift in 100,000 of these units to those in critical need? Jim

http://theshrug.net/this-cool-technology-will-blow-you-away-wait-till-you-see-what-this-thing-can-do

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RECALLING THE FIRST MEMORIAL DAY.

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Tuesday, 26 May 2015 Category Potatoes in History 1 Comment

This story is one most of us never learned in school. "In the recognition of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, let us not forget that freed slaves created Memorial Day. Let us remember that their prayers and observations were not just for the deceased Union soldiers on that first Memorial Day, but also for members of their families and their community who died in a war that was meant to free them." Jim & Megan

http://sfbayview.com/2014/05/the-first-memorial-day-was-black/

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SRI LANKA ACTS BOLDLY AND BANS GLYPHOSATE.

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Tuesday, 26 May 2015 Category Potatoes in History 1 Comment

This action is the logical follow after a study conducted in Sri Lanka zeroed in glyphosate's role in the rising epidemic of chronic kidney disease among farmers. "Addressing the function, President Sirisena said he is satisfied to have taken a significant decision on behalf of the farmer fraternity today. The President, who was the Health Minister of the former government, said the government has decided to totally ban the imports of Glyphosate, which is linked to the kidney disease, as the number of kidney patients was surging." Here is background and the study itself. Jim

 

http://www.colombopage.com/archive_15B/May22_1432308620CH.php

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BREAKING NEWS! COURAGEOUS AUTHOR STEVEN DRUKER THROWS THE GAUNTLET DOWN AND ISSUES TRUTH CHALLENGE TO MONSANTO.

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Tuesday, 26 May 2015 Category Potatoes in History 1 Comment

Our friend, public interest attorney and hero Steven Druker is author of the recently published and acclaimed book "Altered Genes, Twisted Truth - How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science."
Steve has issued a breathtaking challenge to Monsanto: provide evidence of erroneous content in Altered Genes, Twisted Truth OR ELSE THE WORLD WILL CONCLUDE GE FOODS SHOULD BE BANNED.
"I want you to inform me of any inaccuracies you can find in my book. I want you and your colleagues to attempt to refute Altered Genes, Twisted Truth in the same manner this letter has refuted two of the main assertions in the brochure you submitted. Moreover, I challenge you to do so. I challenge you to read the book and send me a specific list of any inaccurate statements of fact that you detect in it, accompanied by an explanation of why the statement is erroneous and a reference to the evidence that conclusively corroborates your claim...If by July 20th you and your allies have not been able to refute the essential factual accuracy of Altered Genes, Twisted Truth according to the terms set forth above, the world will have a right to assume that it is as sound as the experts who reviewed it have affirmed – and to conclude that GE foods are unacceptably risky and must be banned."
Steve will be in NYC TODAY speaking at the March Against Monsanto (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Millions-Against-Monsanto-NYC/179532495435891) and you can bet he'll be speaking about this history-making challenge. You can HELP by purchasing and reading "Altered Genes, Twisted Truth" (http://www.chelseagreen.com/…/altered_genes_twisted_truth:p…) and by spreading the word to friends and family. Thanks! Jim & Megan

http://www.globalresearch.ca/a-challenge-to-monsanto/5451253

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WINONA LADUKE ON THE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN SEED, ANCESTORS AND CLIMATE CHANGE.

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Tuesday, 26 May 2015 Category Potatoes in History 1 Comment

Do NOT miss this excellent TEDx talk (16:36)! Winona is a longtime customer who for many years has bought our organic seed potatoes for her White Earth reservation in north-central Minnesota. We first spent time with Winona at the original Slow Food Terra Madre conference in Turin, Italy in 2004. She is the real deal. "Over the next twenty years we're going to spend 20% of world GDP on climate-change-related disasters. And amidst that we have a food system that is increasingly concentrated in both its monoculture and ownership...Until we restore the relationship that we have with the foods that the Creator gave us, we're missing something. We need to buy these foods locally. We need to support this. That's how you address climate change in itself. Go organic and local. Sequester your carbon. But more than that, to me, it is also about how we re-establish this relationship with our ancestors and our relatives - the ones that have roots." Jim & Megan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHNlel72eQc

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ORGANIC FARMERS INCREASE RESISTANCE TO INDUSTRY'S PROPOSED 'ORGANIC CHECKOFF' MANDATORY TAX.

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Wednesday, 20 May 2015 Category Potatoes in History 0 Comments

'Slate' coverage of the growing battle being waged by organic farmers against the orchestrated 'Organic Checkoff' mandatory tax proposal being pushed by processor trade group Organic Trade Assn (OTA). If organic processors want their products promoted, organic farmers are vociferously suggesting (http://noorganiccheckoff.com/what-are-farmers-saying-about…/) they should pay for it themselves. OTA should NOT expect hard-pressed organic farmers to swallow a proposal requiring farmers pay a mandatory tax. "...by virtue of its current income cutoff, the proposal '[allows] voting rights to the large farms,' Ed Maltby, the executive director of the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance and a retired dairy farmer, says. 'So, it’ll be the large conglomerates that dominate discussion'...Maltby worries that the organic checkoff would follow the same blueprint as existing checkoff taxes. 'The beef checkoff really shows how there’s no transparency' in those programs, Maltby says. '[Checkoff] money goes to corporate interests in the end and supports corporate policy'....an organic checkoff tax would likely carry disproportionate benefit for industrial, corporate growers. Paying into a national tax fund is a far cry from the type of regional economic development that will best serve small farmers as they struggle to maintain a hold in an increasingly monopolized, corporate-controlled industry." Jim

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2015/05/organic_checkoff_proposal_why_farmers_oppose_the_organic_trade_association.html

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MAMAS DON'T LET YOUR BABIES GROW UP TO BE GMO SHILLS.

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Wednesday, 20 May 2015 Category Potatoes in History 0 Comments

This discerning article by Dr. Jonathan Latham concludes there is a VERY ROCKY ROAD AHEAD for the increasingly pariah GE crops. "The media lynching of Chipotle has an explanation that is important to the future of GMOs. The cause of it is that there has long been an incipient crack in the solid public front that the food industry has presented on the GMO issue. The crack originates from the fact that while agribusiness sees GMOs as central to their business future, the brand-oriented and customer-sensitive ends of the food supply chain do not...over the last five years, as the reputation of GMOs has come under increasing pressure in the US, the cost to food brands of ignoring the growing consumer demand for GMO-free products has increased. They might not say so in public, but the sellers of top brands have little incentive to take the flack for selling GMOs...for agribusiness titans who have backed GMOs, like Monsanto, Dupont, Bayer and Syngenta; a race to be GMO-free is the ultimate nightmare scenario...New GMO products are coming on stream that will likely make crop biotechnology even less popular than it is now...For Monsanto and GMOs the situation suddenly looks ominous." Jim

http://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/monsantos-worst-fear-may-be-coming-true/

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'ALEC' IN THE HOT SEAT AND ACCUSED OF TAX FRAUD BY WATCHDOGS.

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Monday, 18 May 2015 Category Potatoes in History 0 Comments

The ratchet is being turned up on American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). "On Tuesday, Common Cause announced that it was submitting a new round of evidence to the IRS showing that ALEC does not qualify as a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity because, under federal law, 'no substantial part' of such a charity's activity can 'be attempting to influence legislation.' Common Cause President Miles Rapoport told reporters on Tuesday that his group has now gathered enough evidence to prove beyond a doubt that ALEC has always been a lobby group, not a charity." Jim

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/30809-wielding-new-evidence-watchdogs-push-irs-to-investigate-alec-for-tax-fraud#

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INDISPENSABLE INSIGHT FROM ETC GROUP INTO THE TRUTH BEHIND MONSANTO MERGER MANIA.

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Monday, 18 May 2015 Category Potatoes in History 0 Comments

Yes, your instincts were correct to be skeptical about Monsanto's recently disclosed desires for tax-evasion-via-merger with one Euro-based multi-national or another. However, that side show is only the tip of the iceberg of the march by Industrial Ag towards absolute and total consolidation - a tightening noose 'round the neck of both farmers and consumers. Do not miss this MUST READ report from Pat Mooney and his team at ETC Group. "When a single corporation sells the seed, knows the prevalence of pests and sells the pesticide, knows the local soil conditions, then divvies up the fertilizer, predicts the weather at harvest and sells the crop insurance, the notion of cross-sector (and antitrust) begins to lose meaning." Jim

http://www.etcgroup.org/content/seedy-characters?utm_content=refugia%40zoho.com&utm_source=VerticalResponse&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=Seedy+Characters&utm_campaign=Monsanto%2FSyngenta%3A+From+Gene+Giants+to+Agribehemothscontent

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NY TIMES ARTICLE ON NEW LEAKED USDA VOLUNTARY GMO LABELING PROGRAM.

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Monday, 18 May 2015 Category Potatoes in History 0 Comments

Time will reveal program details and those details will indicate whether this program merits respect. However, experience has taught us all to be wary of both USDA and the NY Times. "In his email, Mr. Vilsack said a large food company had approached the agency about using the verification program to get approval for its system of vetting crops for genetic alteration. Mr. Vilsack did not disclose the name of the company, and the food industry has buzzed with speculation about who it was." Jim

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/16/business/us-approves-sunopta-system-for-detecting-genetically-modified-crops.html?ref=business&_r=1

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STUNNING LEAKED DETAILS FROM SECRET TPP TRADE DEAL DISASTER.

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Friday, 15 May 2015 Category Potatoes in History 0 Comments

The TPP represents a dark bi-partisan corporate coup of epic proportions. NOW is the time to call your U.S. Senators and urge them to VOTE NO on TPP. "According to language in the TPP’s leaked intellectual property chapter, the trade deal would require all participating countries to enact automatic market exclusivity periods on many essential medical drugs, including biological therapies used to treat cancer. In this way, no country would be able to take action within their borders to bring down the cost of treatment by reforming the patent system or reducing the period of exclusivity. It could also limit the U.S. government from negotiating with pharmaceutical companies for lower prices and better reimbursements for patients requiring Medicaid and Medicare. And it would spell disaster for developing countries signing on to the deal...The TPP will include an “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” (ISDS) provision, which allows international investors—mainly multinational corporations—to sue a country if its laws interfere with their profits. Corporations are able to bypass domestic courts and go before an international tribunal of private lawyers, who can, in turn, force nations to pay compensation or 'reparation' to corporations—sometimes handing over millions in taxpayer dollars...TPP would enable countries importing goods to the U.S. to bypass our existing chemical safety regulations...We must take a stand and demand public health comes before corporate profit. We must stand against the TPP which blatantly and unapologetically shifts power away from people and toward corporations." Thanks to our friend Chris Hardy for this article. Jim

http://ecowatch.com/2015/05/14/tpp-increase-risk-breast-cancer/

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WENDELL BERRY ON THE MANY PITFALLS OF INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE.

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Thursday, 14 May 2015 Category Potatoes in History 0 Comments

Recent "The Atlantic" article by Wendell is characteristically incisive, original and MUST READ. A monumental loss to the fabric of rural culture and our country's ecological security is the steep decline in the "eyes-to-acres ratio." "...for any parcel of land in human use there is an “eyes-to-acres ratio” that is right and is necessary to save it from destruction. By “eyes” Wes means a competent watchfulness, aware of the nature and the history of the place, constantly present, always alert for signs of harm and signs of health. The necessary ratio of eyes to acres is not constant from one place to another, nor is it scientifically predictable or computable for any place, because from place to place there are too many natural and human variables. The need for the right eyes-to-acres ratio appears nonetheless to have the force of law...We can suppose that the eyes-to-acres ratio is approximately correct when a place is thriving in human use and care." Jim

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2015/03/farmland-without-farmers/388282/

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THE ECOLOGIST WEIGHS IN ON THE NEED FOR SAFE FOOD PRODUCTION FREE FROM ADDICTION TO FARM CHEMICALS.

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Wednesday, 13 May 2015 Category Potatoes in History 0 Comments

Rural residents are hugely impacted. The necessary paradigm shift goes way beyond simple focus on celebrity chemicals like glyphosate and neonicotinoids. Fortunately, the proven system called organic farming stands ready to meet the need. "In relation to rural residents, the glyphosate cancer risk is just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, people across the UK who live near conventionally farmed cropland have no protection from any of the poisons currently permitted under Government policy to be sprayed on fields...As the real life exposure for residents, as opposed to a mere bystander, is both repeated acute and chronic exposure over the long term, it is cumulative, and is to innumerable mixtures and cocktails of pesticides used on crops...Considering how many millions of rural residents will be living in this situation then this is, without a doubt, a catastrophic public health and safety failure on a truly scandalous scale...One of the first duties of any Government should be to protect the public, but this is patently not happening...This is largely because of the relentless lobbying of the narrow and self-serving interests of the agro-chemical industry and big agricultural producers that for decades have had almost complete control over Whitehall in setting the pesticides policy agenda." Jim

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2848400/its_not_just_glyphosate_and_neonicotinoids_why_we_need_a_pesticidefree_future.html

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SWEDES SHOW HOW EATING ORGANIC ELIMINATES A FAMILY'S PESTICIDE LOAD.

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Monday, 11 May 2015 Category Potatoes in History 0 Comments

Established 'pesticide tolerances' DO NOT grapple with the impact of MULTIPLE chemicals in food and should therefore be suspect. Keep that fact in mind when you read about this study which shows an IMMEDIATE AND DRAMATIC DECREASE in pesticide levels in people when their diet switched to ORGANIC FOOD. "The Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL) was commissioned by Coop, Sweden's largest grocery store cooperative, to find out whether switching to an all-organic diet could reduce the level of pesticides found in people's bodies...The results were fairly astonishing, especially in the kids. On average the pesticide loads in the family's bodies dropped by a factor of 9.5. In some cases, undetectable levels of some of the chemicals occurred after just a day or so. IVL tried to control the experiment as much as possible by asking the family to use only organic personal hygiene products and detergents, and not to buy any new textiles during the two weeks of organic consumption." Jim

http://www.treehugger.com/family/swedes-show-how-eating-organic-nearly-eliminates-your-pesticide-load.html

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JIM HIGHTOWER EXPOSES THE LOOMING DISASTER THAT IS TPP.

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Monday, 11 May 2015 Category Potatoes in History 0 Comments

JIM HIGHTOWER EXPOSES THE LOOMING DISASTER THAT IS TPP. You can always count on maverick populist Jim Hightower to speak the truth. Jim spoke at our local college back in the 1980s during his tenure as the elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner He is quick-witted and a real firecracker. We have been listening to him ever since. We'd support him as USDA Secretary in a heartbeat.


http://www.whav.net/cms/?p=8489

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