ESSAY OF THE WEEK

Millions Against Monsanto: On the Road to Victory

“The harder they come, the harder they fall, one and all.” - Jimmy Cliff

After a year of maximum profits, record stock prices, the defeat of a major GMO labeling campaign in California, pro-industry court decisions, and a formidable display of political power in Washington, D.C., the Biotech Bully from St. Louis now finds itself on the defensive.

It is no exaggeration to say that Monsanto has become the most hated corporation in the world.

Here’s just one reason Monsanto is in the hot seat. According to Green Medical News:

“ . . . “within the scientific community and educated public alike, there is a growing awareness that Roundup herbicide, and its primary ingredient glyphosate, is actually a broad spectrum biocide, in the etymological sense of the word: "bio" (life) and "cide" (kill) – that is, it broadly, without discrimination kills living things, not just plants.”

And there are so many more. Thanks to all of you, we’re making headway in the battle to reclaim our food system from the biotech bullies and Big Food. Let’s keep going by showing our support for I-522, Washington State’s GMO labeling initiative.

Read the essay

 
 

TRAITOR BOYCOTT

Safeway Plays Defense. Poorly.

Rebuttal Rule No. 1: Get your facts straight.

Last week we called for a boycott of Safeway’s O Organics™ brand products. Why? Because Safeway is a dues-paying member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), a trade group that donated $2 million to defeat California’s Prop 37 initiative to label GMOs last year, and is now the leading donor to the NO on I-522 campaign to defeat a similar initiative in Washington State.

Safeway fired back. First with a statement on its Facebook page, claiming the store “fully supports voluntary labeling of products that are GMO-free and we have not made any contributions to defeat any GMO labeling initiatives.” Of course Safeway understands that California's Prop 37 and Washington's I-522 both call for mandatory labeling of all GMO-tainted foods, not just "voluntary labeling of products that are GMO-free."

Then there was this statement by Safeway spokesperson Sara Osborne, quoted in an article circulated by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services:

"The OCA's information is incorrect. Safeway has never contributed to efforts to defeat GMO labeling initiatives," Sara Osborne, a spokeswoman for Safeway, said in an email to The Chronicle.

We thought we were very clear. By supporting the GMA, Safeway surely is – as we said, indirectly – contributing to efforts to defeat GMO labeling. Maybe you can help us get the message across? That Safeway needs to stop supporting the GMA, which is donating millions to defeat GMO labeling?

Safeway operates 169 stores in 93 cities in Washington State. That’s a lot of sales of O Organics™ products in a state where the GMA has already donated nearly a half a million dollars to defeat a labeling law. We need to let Steve Frisby, President of Safeway’s Northwest Division know, that it’s unacceptable that Safeway continues to support the GMA. Until it stops, and until Safeway steps up to support I-522, we won’t be buying any of Safeway’s O Organics™ brand products.

Read last week’s press release

Read the McClatchy article

TAKE ACTION: Just Say ‘O No!’ to Safeway’s O Organics™ Brand!

Download your wallet-sized boycott guide

Download a poster-sized boycott guide

Sign the boycott pledge

Order printed copies of the boycott guide or poster

 
 

IDIOTIC QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Because they [GMOs] are safe, there is no real reason — no health or safety benefit — for labeling."

– Brad Harwood, No on I-522 spokesman

OK, forget for a moment that there’s lots of evidence to suggest that foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) aren’t safe. According to Mr. Harwood’s logic, there’s no real reason to label ingredients if they’re safe. So . . . does that mean all those other ingredients on food labels are unsafe?

 
 

SUPPORT THE OCA & OCF

Extreme Public Relations

Extreme sports has got nuthin’ on Monsanto’s extreme public relations game.

In a July 10 article in Forbes Magazine, biotech industry-promoter Henry Miller, along with PR flack, Jay Byrne, laid out the case for calling anti-GMO activists “extremists.” Not only that, apparently we all have deep pockets. And our mission in life is to make tons of money by getting GMOs out of our food.

Does that describe you? Or are you just someone trying to feed yourself and your kids decent, pesticide-free food that doesn’t require drenching the soil in poisons in order to grow it?

In November, voters in Washington State will try to pass a law to make it easier to protect their kids from GMO foods by labeling GMO ingredients. That doesn’t sound “extreme” at all to us. So we’re trying to help them. That’s why organic consumers and natural health advocates have made this campaign and other Right to Know efforts our number one priority.
 
Your pockets probably aren’t very deep. But we hope you’ll reach in and help. Because it will take all of us to get this, and other similar laws, passed. We’re approaching our campaign goal of $150,000 by July 27, but we’re not there yet. Because it will take all of us to get this, and other similar laws, passed. We’re approaching our campaign goal of $150,000 by July 27, but we’re not there yet. And if we miss the mark, we’ll miss out on a matching grant from natural health leader, Mercola.com. If you haven’t contributed yet, can you make a donation today? Thank you!

Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in Washington, Vermont and other states)

If you need your donation to be tax-deductible, you can donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)

 
 

FARM BILL UPDATE

Back from the Dead. Worse than Ever.

Just when we thought the 2013 Farm Bill was dead. Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives surprised everyone by passing a last-minute House version of the Farm Bill. And it’s a doozy.

The House wants Congress to buy into a bill that has everything that Monsanto and corporate agribusiness wants. And not much of anything that America needs. Glaringly absent from the House version is the section that provides nutrition assistance to families. Because, well, you know, we shouldn’t be subsidizing food for hungry kids.

What did make it into the House version of the bill? Big subsidies for Big Ag, meaning lots of government cash for rich owners of mega-farms growing GMOs or torturing animals so we can have lots of antibiotic- and hormone-laced meat.

Here’s what else made it into the House version of the Farm Bill: The King Amendment. Introduced by the King of Animal Torture himself, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), the King amendment is an attempt to block modest animal welfare reforms. Like California’s voter-passed law that gives confined farm animals just enough space to stretch their limbs and turn around. But the King Amendment is written so broadly that some analysts say it might also block states from passing GMO labeling laws.

We have our own name for the King Amendment: The Monsanto & Animal Torture Protection Act. You might expect a Congressman from Iowa who gets money from Monsanto, the National Pork Producers Council and Coca-Cola to protect factory farms and GMOs. But does he really want to be known as an advocate of farm animal torture?

Where does the Farm Bill go from here? Leaders of the House and Senate are preparing to iron out the differences between their two versions, in the hope of passing a Farm Bill this year. King's Monsanto & Animal Torture Protection Act isn’t in the Senate version. Let’s act now to keep it from becoming law!

Take Action: Stop the Monsanto & Animal Torture Protection Act!

 
 

Video of the Week

Whistleblower? Or Terrorist?



In the "United States of ALEC," if you try to report a crime that occurs on a factory farm, it’s you who are the criminal. And not only that, you should be convicted of an “act of terrorism.”

Watch the video

 
 

ORGANIC RETAIL AND CONSUMER ALLIANCE

Top Grocer Spotlight: Berkshire Organics

In 2008, Aleisha and Brian Gibbons started a small, local and organic produce delivery service out of their home in the Berkshires area of Massachusetts. Today they not only run a thriving, year-round market and delivery service, but they’ve also helped a friend, Pamela Denholm, start her own produce delivery service for residents in the South Boston area. And they’ve started a local school delivery program that they’re converting into a 501(c)3 non-profit.

But that’s not why we named Berkshire Organics to our list of Top ‘Diligent Dozen” Right to Know Grocers. Berkshire Organics made our list because of Aleisha and Brian's commitment to educating themselves and consumers about GMOs, and to working to eliminate GMO products from their market, even when it means losing customers or profits.

More about Berkshire Organics

More about the Right to Know Grocers Contest

 
 

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week

We Have to Embrace Apocalypse If We're Going to Get Serious about Sticking Around on This Planet

Allan Savory: ‘Agriculture is More Destructive than Coal Mining’

EPA to Allow Consumption of Toxic Fracking Wastewater by Wildlife and Livestock

10 Processed Food Secrets the Food Industry Hides

Defecation Nation: Pig Waste Likely to Rise in U.S. from Business Deal

Food Contaminants May Lead to Dangerous Metabolic Changes

 
 

MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSORS

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Organic Bytes is a publication of Organic Consumers Association

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