ESSAY OF THE WEEK
Quietly into the Night? Not Monsanto.
The average American eats more than 150 pounds of genetically engineered food every year. This despite the fact that scientists – the independent ones – agree that GE foods are ruining our health and our environment.
Fortunately, after 20 years of fighting for labels on foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), we’ve reached a turning point. We, as consumers and farmers, are demanding a say in what we eat and what we plant.
In an interview with Mercola.com, OCA’s Ronnie Cummins explains why we must marshal every last resource to win the GMO labeling battle in Washington State on Nov. 5. And once we win, how we’ll have to continue the fight against Monsanto. With every ballot we cast. With every food purchase we make.
Because Monsanto will not go quietly into the night. At least not yet.
Big Rules Spell Bad News for Small Farms
Love your local farms, farmers markets, and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture)? They could be in trouble thanks to heavy-handed new rules proposed under the Food Safety & Modernization Act (FSMA).
Unless the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) agrees to some key changes in the FSMA, your local farmer could be forced to shell out up to $20,000 for a fancy “Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Control plan.” For a farmer on a small budget, all that extra cost and paperwork means raising prices. Higher prices could force even the most loyal consumer to reluctantly settle for inferior, industrial food, trucked in from out-of-state corporations.
And that could force your farmer out of business. While perpetuating the chemical-intensive, environmentally unfriendly corporate agribusiness model.
Under the guise of “food safety,” the FSMA would create new barriers for small and mid-scale farmers and processors who have for years been working to create local markets – restaurants, co-ops, groceries, schools – for their locally grown produce.
Who wins? The big guys, as usual. Who loses? Consumers. Farmers. Local markets. And Mother Earth.
TAKE ACTION BY NOVEMBER 15: Tell the FDA: The FSMA puts small and mid-scale farmers and processors at a competitive disadvantage against corporate farmers and producers who can more easily absorb costs, fees and fines. Please revise the FSMA to level the playing field for small growers
Too Close to Call?
With less than two weeks to go, Monsanto and Big Food are eating away at our lead in Washington State. We’re still ahead, but make no mistake. The opposition’s $17.1 million worth of misleading TV and radio ads, mailers and flyers, is hurting us.
The single most important thing we can all do right now is get on the phone. Call voters in Washington State. Urge them to get out and vote YES on I-522. And remind them that any company willing to spend $17.1 million to keep a simple label off of its products has something to hide. And that something can’t be good.
These next two weeks are critical. Please volunteer an hour of your time to call voters. The campaign will tell you how to do it. It’s easy. And it won’t cost you anything but a little time.
Outed! Big Food Spends Big Money to Keep You in the Dark
Big surprise. Big Food was hiding its big donations to the NO on I-522 campaign by funneling them through the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA).
We knew it was true. Now we know who they are. The companies who make billions of dollars by selling you their products. But who don’t want you to know what they’re putting in those products.
Why were they so desperate to hide their donations that they were willing to break the law? Because you, consumers, boycotted them, and their natural and organic brands, after they publicly donated more than $26 million to defeat GMO labeling in California last year.
We’ll be updating our boycott list soon, based on this new list of donors. In the meantime…
- Kudos to Ben & Jerry’s, who kept its parent company, Unilever, from donating to the NO on I-522 campaign. For this, and for making a huge in-kind contribution to the YES on I-522 campaign, we’ll take Ben & Jerry’s off the new boycott list, when we make it official.
- Shame on Seth Goldman, CEO of Honest Tea, for telling the media that Honest Tea’s parent company, Coca-Cola, wasn’t “directly lobbying” to defeat I-522. As it turns out, Coke was the third highest food company donor, spending more than $1 million to kill I-522. If you haven’t already, please tell Mr. Goldman what you think.
- Welcome! To two new organic and natural brands, who will be added to our new boycott list. Sweet Leaf Teas, an organic brand, and Gerber organic baby foods are both owned by international food conglomerate, Nestlé, which donated $1.1 million to the NO on I-522 campaign. Why not get a jump on the boycott by posting on their Facebook pages today? Sweet Leaf Tea and Gerber organic.
And, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the top food donor to the NO on I-522 campaign. PepsiCo plunked down a cool $1.6 million in Washington State. Please let the folks at Pepsi’s subsidiary, Naked Juice, know how you feel about that.