A report from Food and Water Watch about the Omnibus Appropriations bill just passed by Congress:
Our policy staff just finished combing through the 2,000-page omnibus appropriations bill that Congress must pass this week to keep the government running, and here’s how some of the key issues that impact our food and water fared.
Let’s start with some good news:
1. We stopped the Monsanto rider that would prohibit states from labeling genetically engineered foods (a.k.a. the DARK act). After thousands of phone calls and letters from people like you, legislators didn’t include it in the appropriations bill.
2. An amendment to label genetically engineered salmon was included. We’ll still be working to stop the introduction of GMO salmon in our food system, but this is an important step.
3. The attempt to overturn our national parks’ ability to ban bottled water did not make it into the final bill. Thank you to all of our supporters who took action on this issue!
4. We kept important food safety measures in the final bill including banning the purchase of chicken processed in China in school lunches and limiting the beef imports that may have been exposed to foot and mouth disease.
Now the bad news:
1. The 40-year ban on exporting crude oil is being removed. This fossil fuel industry giveaway happened despite massive opposition from everyone involved in fighting climate change and working for a renewable energy future.
2. Mandatory Country of Origin labeling for beef and pork is being repealed despite massive consumer and farmer outcry about the importance of these labels for our everyday decision making. Unfortunately because these deals were made behind closed doors and Congress didn’t follow the normal appropriations process, our members of Congress will only get a single up or down vote on the entire 2,000-page bill that includes these and many other amendments that affect a whole range of issues. It’s likely that this bill will pass this week to avoid a government shutdown, but that doesn’t mean we’ll stop working to protect your food and water. – F&WW
The mariner would like to add that the bill includes full funding of health care for first responders to 9/11 – a bill championed by Jon Stewart.
While on the topic of sustaining quality food and water sources, in a recent post, the mariner recommended viewing the series Breakthrough on the National Geographic channel. The most recent episode covered some of the new methods for extracting fresh water from many sources. It is an excellent review of an issue that is worldwide and growing worse as fresh water becomes scarcer. In a scant 100 years, human population will grow from 7 billion to 12 billion. Water ranks with climate change as a critical issue that transcends national differences. If you missed the show, it can be seen online at: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/breakthrough-series/episodes/water-apocalypse/
There is an interest in further inquiry about Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth. The mariner strongly recommends acquiring a DVD copy of the Bill Moyers interview and to purchase Campbell’s lecture series either in DVD or book form.
Transformation (metamorphosis) of consciousness, requiring consciousness to let go of the body, is of particular interest. In the interviews, Campbell says that everything in our known world has duality – an opposite value. For example, birth and death, consciousness and unconsciousness, physical and metaphysical, good and evil, before and after, etc. Transformation requires the separation of consciousness from the physical self. Transformation lifts consciousness into a unilateral existence where duality does not exist.
Mariner asked readers to identify the role of a few animals in mythology:
In Europe, the dragon – In many western myths, serpents and dragons are conflated into fearsome figures of evil that must be slain by heroes.
In Asia, the dragon – Dragons represent good things, good fortune and power. Only the Emperor could wear the golden five-toed dragon.
Lakota tribe (North America), the bison – Bison represented the source of the way of life for the plains Indians.
In China, the boar – The boar represents wealth and good fortune.
Celts in Britain, the boar – Boars were a symbol of courage in battle.