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GMO Labeling Fight Moves to Washington State

Activists in Washington State have been hard at work on I-522, a November 2013 ballot and legislative initiative to require mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). And they need our help!

Building on our Movement's near-victory in California (where we got 48% of the vote, despite being outspent five to one) the Label It WA team is rushing to meet a December 31, 2012 deadline for signature-gathering. They’ve already collected 230,000 signatures. But they need 100,000 more by December 31 to make sure they have the 241,153 valid signatures required to get on the ballot in 2013.

This is another critical battle for GMO labeling, one with some strategic advantages we didn't have in California. I-522 already has strong support from Washington farmers, ranchers, and dairies, both organic and conventional, who are up in arms about the economic and environmental threats posed by genetically engineered wheat, apples, and alfalfa.  Plus, Washington is far smaller than California in terms of population and registered voters and boasts a powerful network of co-ops, independent natural food stores, and grassroots organizations who are already fully on board with the campaign.

In addition, Washington's new Governor, Jay Inslee, is a longtime Congressional supporter of GE food labeling and organic agriculture. According to Washington State law, if the state legislature feels there is majority support for a ballot initiative, in this case mandatory GE food labeling, they can pass it into law before it goes for a statewide vote in November 2013.

If you live in Washington and can help collect signatures, or are willing to set up a meeting with your state legislator in December to convince him or her to support GMO labeling and I-522, sign up here.

Label It WA also needs money, for paid signature-gatherers, for public education, for coalition-building and to counter the inevitable attacks from Monsanto and Big Food.  The Organic Consumers Fund has donated an initial $60,000 to the campaign, but we need to raise more. To support the campaign, donate here.

Monsanto and Big Food would love to see us go away, but the millions of people in California and across this country who fought for Prop 37, the California Right to Know GMO labeling initiative, have made it clear: we are here to stay. How is it that in 60 other countries, citizens have fought for and won this basic right, yet here in the U.S. we continue to let dirty corporate money corrupt our food and our politics?

Let’s get I-522 on the ballot in Washington, let's help Washington voters convince their legislators to enact I-522 into law even before November 13, and let’s win.

Volunteer in Washington

Follow 'Label It WA' on Facebook
 
 

Boycott

Keep the Pressure on the Organic and 'Natural' Traitor Brands: Call Their Customer Service Lines!

It wasn’t just Monsanto, DuPont and Dow that ponied up millions to defeat Prop 37, the California Right to Know GMO labeling initiative. Nearly half of the $46 million contributed to NO on 37 came from huge multinational food and beverage companies – companies whose subsidiaries make billions of dollars every year selling some of your favorite organic and “natural” brands.

That’s why the OCA has called for a boycott of these traitor brands, until they stand up to their parent companies and pledge their loyalty to the consumers who have made them so profitable.

We need to show these companies that if they side with Monsanto, they lose our business. If they want to win us back, they need to speak up publicly in favor of GMO labeling. And they need to dig into their wallets to support labeling efforts in Washington State and Vermont.

This week we’re asking you to call these companies, and ask them to do two things:

1. Speak out publicly in favor of the pending GMO Labeling Ballot Initiative (I-522) in Washington State in 2013, as well as the pending GMO labeling bills coming up in Vermont and other states.

2. Contribute as much or more money to the Yes on I-522 Campaign in Washington than their parent corporations spent to defeat Prop 37 in California.

You can find the customer service phone numbers here

Learn more about the brands and the boycott

Join the boycott
 
 

SUPPORT THE OCA AND OCF

Make 2013 the Beginning of the End for Monsanto!

A spokesperson for Monsanto has admitted that while they narrowly won (52% - 48%) the battle to defeat GMO labeling in California, sooner or later, they’re going to lose one.

Let’s make it sooner.

Activists in Washington State have already filed I-522, an initiative to the State legislature that would establish mandatory labeling of foods produced through genetic engineering. On the other side of the country, Vermont legislators are preparing to reintroduce a GMO labeling bill there, one designed to withstand Monsanto’s threats to sue the state.

A win in these two states would have the same national impact as a win in California.

You fought hard with us in California. Tens of thousands of you donated to the YES on 37 campaign. We lost the final vote count, but we won the support of millions of people, from all over the country, who are more committed than ever to standing up to Monsanto’s arrogance and lies and millions of dollars.

Monsanto is vulnerable. We are growing stronger.

The Organic Consumers Fund has committed an initial $60,000 to the Label It WA campaign, and $30,000 to Vermont. Can you contribute to the fund today to help us honor our commitment?

Your donation today will help activists in Washington and Vermont collect signatures, educate the public and pressure their legislators. It will also show Monsanto that we’re already back on our feet and that our movement is gathering steam.

Please donate whatever you can today to keep the GMO labeling fight alive. Thank you!
 
Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)
 
Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in California and other states)
 
 

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Stand With Walmart Strikers on Black Friday... and Other Ways to Have a Just and Sustainable Holiday

More people work and shop at Walmart than anywhere else. Now, for the first time in the company's 50-year history, Walmart workers are walking off the job to protest low wages and cuts in benefits.

Walmart made $15 billion last year and paid its CEO $18.1 million. The wealth of the company’s owners, the Walton Family, is equal to the combined wealth of 40% of Americans. Surely the Waltons can meet Walmart workers' demands for “more-predictable schedules, less-expensive health-care plans and minimum hourly pay of $13 with the option of working full-time?”

Learn more about the Walmart strike

Watch this video, made by workers in the OUR Walmart campaign


 
Watch these other inspirational videos on how to use your consumer power this holiday season to build communities of justice & sustainability
 
 

Cuba

Join Ronnie Cummins and OCA Staff on an Organic Agriculture Tour to Cuba Feb. 13-23, 2013

Come and explore Cuba with us this winter.

Take a first-hand look at Cuba's organic agriculture and its cooperatives, both rural and urban. Examine some of the economic and social policies that aim toward greater food sovereignty as the country adjusts to an ongoing energy and climate crisis. Investigate the rapidly expanding cooperative sector and other facets of Cuban society.

The tour cost is estimated to be $1400 plus airfare. The per person price includes hotel, meals and a full program of activities, translation, guide and transportation.

This is a legal people-to-people educational exchange under the license of the Center for Global Justice, organized in collaboration with Via Organica (OCA's Mexico network), and the Organic Consumers Association. This people-to-people exchange comes under a specific license issued to the Center for Global Justice by the US Treasury Department.

For more information and application, contact: info@viaorganica.org

Deadline for application is January 1st.
 
 

Little Bytes

Essential Reading for the Week

This Is Your Thanksgiving on Climate Change

Corporate Giant Comes Out Against GMOs

Look Out Monsanto: Campaigns to Label Genetically Engineered Foods Are Heating Up

Goldfish Crackers Targeted in 'Natural' Lawsuit over Genetically Engineered Soy as Prop 37 Supporters Launch 'GMO Inside' Initiative

Climate Activists Hit Hard With 'Do the Math' National Tour
 
 

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