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Corporate Villains and Truth-in-Labeling
#259, January 13, 2011
In this issue:
Quote of the Week
Monsanto: Corporate Villain of the Year
Fifty-one percent of those polled recently by the popular online newsletter Natural News chose Monsanto as the "Most Evil Corporation of the Year." Author and activist Mike Adams explains why:
* Monsanto behaves like an evil corporation that pretends to be angelic. The Monsanto website is an orgy of touchy-feely corporate spin that tries to position the company as the savior of life on planet Earth.
* Monsanto's GMO crops are now linked to roughly 200,000 suicides of farmers and farm workers in India.
* Monsanto put anti-GMO politicians in France and Europe on a "retaliatory target list" that was assembled by the United States ambassador to France, working in conspiracy with the leaders of the GMO industry.
January Fundraising Appeal
Help OCA Mobilize Millions Against Monsanto and Factory Farms
The powerful antidote to corporate crime and villainy is mass grassroots awareness and grassroots action. GMOs, Factory Farms, and deceptively labeled consumer products pose a mortal threat to public health, the environment, climate stability, farm animals, and all living things. GMOs and organic crops, GMOs and biodiversity, cannot "coexist." As we speak, organic crops are being contaminated with Monsanto's GMOs. We need your financial support to educate and mobilize consumers, to protect and maintain strict organic and Fair Trade standards, and to pressure the entire food industry to adopt Truth-in-Labeling practices.
Alerts of the Week
Organizing a Grassroots Truth-in-Labeling Campaign in Your Community
"If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it."
- Norman Braksick, president of Asgrow Seed Co., a subsidiary of Monsanto, quoted in the Kansas City Star, March 7, 1994
The Millions Against Monsanto and Factory Farms Truth-in-Labeling campaign will no doubt turn out to be a protracted struggle. But restoring consumers' right-to-know is well worth the effort, since once the thin veneer of "normalcy" or acceptability is lifted off of Monsanto and Food Inc.'s products, millions of consumers will demand non-GM, organic, local, and non-factory-farm products.
Groundwork: Organizing a Truth-in-Labeling Petition Drive in Your Local Community
(1) Form a volunteer "Millions Against Monsanto and Factory Farms" committee and begin to educate and mobilize a thousand or more petition-signers in your community.
* Circulate the GMO/CAFO Truth-in-Labeling petition
* Download and Distribute OCA's Millions Against Monsanto flyer: Ten Things Monsanto Does Not Want You to Know
(2) Order "Millions Against Monsanto" bumper stickers or T-shirts from the OCA national office. Use these tools to create visibility for your Truth-in-Labeling campaign in your community. You can go here to place your order.
(3) Register your local Truth-in-Labeling campaign with the Organic Consumers Association. Send an email with your full contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and give us an idea of how much support you believe there is in your local community. Designate yourself or a group of volunteers as local coordinators. OCA staff can let you know how many people have already signed labeling petitions in your local community. Once you are ready, OCA will set up a Truth-in-Labeling "listserv" or email communications network for your local area. Set a preliminary goal for the number of petition signers (OCA suggests a minimum of 1,000) that you need in order to move forward.
(4) Stay tuned for an OCA webinar or online seminar for more tips on how to organize a Millions Against Monsanto and Factory Farms Truth-in-Labeling campaign in your community.
Alerts of the Week
Truth-in-Labeling: Tell TransFair that Fair Trade Is a Movement, Not a Brand
For more than sixty years, hundreds of organizations allied with conscious consumers across the United States and the world have actively supported a different approach to trade based on dialogue, transparency and respect, in order to create greater equity in the international economic system. We call it Fair Trade.
One organization, TransFair USA, is currently in the process of changing its name to "Fair Trade USA" and has applied for the name to be trademarked. Such an umbrella phrase attempts to legally claim, as an exclusive brand, a term that encompasses this broad movement far beyond its specific work. This outrageous move is the ethical equivalent of an organization or business trying to get a monopoly patent on the word "Organic."
As a consumer organization dedicated to building equitable markets for disadvantaged farmers and artisans through Fair Trade and organic certification, we believe that the term "Fair Trade" should be celebrated as a movement, not a brand claimed by any one organization.
OCA has also joined forces with Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, the top selling producer of certified fair trade and organic soap to request that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launch an investigation of deceptive practices in advertising and labeling of certain "Fair Trade Certified" personal care products.
Alerts of the Week
Hell No! No New GMOs!
The USDA is currently accepting public comments on whether to approve Monsanto's GMO alfalfa. This is the first time -- because they were ordered to by the courts -- that the USDA is considering what impact GMO crops have on organic varieties that could get contaminated with Franken-genes. Please take action today.
Alerts of the Week
Public Comment Needed to Ban Toxic Pesticide Triclosan by Feb.7, 2011
Triclosan is an endocrine disruptor that has been shown to affect male and female reproductive hormones, increasing cancer risk. Triclosan adversely effects fetal growth and development. The pesticide accumulates in sewage sludge spread on (non-organic) farmland and is taken up by food crops. In waste treatment, it breaks down to dioxin, an even more dangerous chemical.
Alerts of the Week
California: Label GMO Salmon
California is the first state to introduce legislation to label GMO salmon. Please ask your CA Assembly Member to cosponsor.
Alerts of the Week
Ask Your State Legislators to Introduce Bills to Label GMO Foods
The federal government isn't going to do it... we should get our state legislators to label GMO foods.
Organic News From Mexico
From January 17th through the 21st the OCA's sister organization, Via Organica will host a multinational gathering of climate defenders in San Miguel de Allende.
Ciudades Semillas (Seed Cities) is a network of grass-roots projects in cities across Mexico and Latin America that are developing solutions to major environmental issues such as energy use, consumption, waste, fosod, and farming. As global populations increase, the management of urban resources such as housing, transportation, and food becomes ever more critical. Delegates from the US and eight Latin American countries will come together for a five-day conference that will include seminars, a tour of the Via Organica Farm School and Research facility and a day trip to the city of Aguascalientes where BerniLabs produces non-toxic, biodegradable, biopesticides that attract beneficial insects and repel pests.
Ciudades Semillas is led by Luis Flores from Consumers International's regional headquarters in Santiago, Chile and Maite Cortés from Guadalajara's Colectivo Ecologista Jalisco (CEJ). CEJ has been a leader for 26 years in the organic and sustainability movement in Mexico. For more information in English and Spanish on the OCA's Via Organica project check out our Mexican Newsletter, Boletín Vía Orgánica.
Video of the Week
Save the Bees!
A new documentary unravels the mystery of why billions of honey bees have been disappearing from hives across the United States.
"Vanishing of the Bees" follows a group of U.S. beekeepers hit by Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which first struck in 2004 and made U.S. headlines three years later.
Countless bees would suddenly vanish, leaving an empty hive but few bodies. While all of the causes of this disaster are yet to be established, strong evidence suggests a link to Bayer's insecticide imidacloprid.
Tell EPA and USDA to ban Bayer's insecticide imidacloprid!
Watch & Take Action
Book of the Week
Meat: A Benign Extravagance by Simon Fairlie
Meat: A Benign Extravagance examines the role of livestock and meat eating in our food, farming, and ranching systems--looking at all angles including health, environment, climate, and ethics. As a longtime vegetarian, author Simon Fairlie pulls no punches. If you are a committed vegan or a carnivore and just want your prejudices caressed, then this is not the book for you. However if you are prepared to have your beliefs subjected to the utmost scrutiny, then this is a "must read" book that will give you a thorough mental workout.
The Machine Changes, the Work Remains the Same
Why Mexico is Such a Mess: NAFTA and Bad Ag Policy
Genetic Engineering 'Has Polluted Rivers Across the United States'
The Future of Food Riots
Feds Yank GE Crops From All Northeast Refuges
LOCAL [[State]] NEWS OF THE WEEK
[[State]] - Get Involved Locally
- Learn more about OCA related action alerts and other news in [[State]] here.
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