GMOs: the real issue

If you are following the GMO issue,  you know that the people of Oregon will vote on GMO food labeling this November. To me its a no brainer. People have a right to know whats in their food and how its produced. I’m voting YES for labeling. As usual the debate is being side tracked into discussions about the evils of GMOs. Like it or not GMOs are here to stay. The real question is who controls this process. Who owns it? How is it used. Right now corporate interests have a lock on GMOs. Their only concern is for profit not the public good. How can the public gain control of this science?

Cooperative Cafe: Deepening Co-op Democracy through Participation

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My Key Take-aways from the

Co-op Café 

 Participation: Connecting Our Co-ops and Communities

  •    Participation is a central element in democracy;
  •    Democracy isn’t complete until social equity and inclusivity is woven into the fabric of co-op decision-making and relationships with the community.
  • Education is key to reaching co-op goals, serving member-owners and our communities;
  • Defining growth as optimizing co-operative principles and resources in serve to member-owners and our communities.

Thanks to the CDS Consulting Co-op team for organizing and facilitating this event.  

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Distressing Co-op News from Europe

Fagor, one Mondragon’s core co-ops is heading for bankruptcy. Fagor did produce home appliances, but ceased production three weeks ago. Mondragon is both horizontally and vertically organized meaning the 110 co-ops within Mondragon support each other through interlocking arrangements including bailouts if needed. However, Mondragon cannot meet Fagor’s debt of 1.2 billion dollars or come up with the 200 million dollars life line proposed by Fagor to their fellow co-ops in Mondragon. Where does this leave Mondragon? Because of the interlocking nature (solidarity) of Mondragon it could bring down the entire organization. Mondragon can’t meet the cost of the solidarity commitments made to Fagor by the organization. The workers, besides losing their jobs will lose all their equity in the business. If will be interesting to watch this unfold. Hopefully, there will be a creative solution.

Now lets go to the UK where the Cooperative Banks are on the verge of collapse. The Coop Banks are swimming in bad debts. The UK co-op movement at the moment can’t come with the cash to bail out the system. The bank managers want to convert the Banks to a private model of outside investors and American hedge funds. Can you believe this!!

The lesson to be learned from this mess; co-ops are not outside the market economy and they can make horrible mistakes. Now is the time to reflect on Mondragon and the UK cooperative banks and seek a solution.
The following is a link to the Economist article on this situation.
http://www.economist.com/news/business/21589469-collapse-spains-fagor-tests-worlds-largest-group-co-operatives-trouble-workers
peace, bob davis