ESSAY OF THE WEEK

Monsanto’s Evil Twin

Before there was Monsanto with its GMOs (genetically modified organisms), there were junk food companies hard at work peddling their influence, and promoting their agendas, in Congress.

Now, the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association of America (GMA), which represents the world’s largest purveyors of junk food, is working in cahoots with Monsanto to protect their obscene profits by doing everything in their power to keep labels off of GMO-contaminated foods.

The GMA is pushing for a watered-down, voluntary GMO labeling law, one that would allow GMO-contaminated foods to be labeled “natural.” And it’s threatening to sue any state that passes a GMO labeling law. And it's even going after the Washington State attorney general for the right to hide campaign contributions.

If Monsanto is the most evil corporation in the world, the GMA is surely the Biotech Bully’s evil twin.

Read the essay and watch the video

TAKE ACTION: Tell the FDA: No Watered-Down, Voluntary Federal GMO Labeling Rules!

 
 

ACTION ALERT

Pledge to Help Bees this Valentine’s Day!

Love food? Love flowers? Then we need your help to deliver a “Give Bees Some Love” Valentine’s Day card to your local Home Depot and Lowe’s Stores!

 A new study co-authored by the Friends of the Earth and Pesticide Research Institute found that seven out of 13 samples of garden plants purchased at top retailers in Washington D.C., the San Francisco Bay Area and Minneapolis contain neurotoxic pesticides known as neonicotinoids.

Neonics, made by Bayer CropScience and Syngenta, are routinely  applied  to Monsanto's GMO Bt-spliced corn, canola and cotton seeds. This fastest-growing class of toxic insecticides has been linked by numerous studies to the mass die-off of honeybees. That’s why they’ve been banned in the European Union. But here in the U.S.? They’re still in use—and still being sprayed on plants you may be buying for your home garden.

How do we get bee-killing plants and insecticides out of garden centers and urban and rural environments? We started by asking the CEOs of two of the largest national chains—Home Depot and Lowe’s—to stop selling them. More than 500,000 people have signed petitions, including almost 75,000 who have signed the one started by OCA.

But it seems we haven’t yet caught their attention. So the OCA is joining with other organizations, from all over the country, who are asking activists to swarm their local Home Depot and Lowe’s stores Valentine’s week (February 10th-16th). Please sign up to deliver a Valentine asking your local Home Depot and Lowe’s stores to “show bees some love” and stop selling bee-killing pesticides and garden plants pre-treated with these pesticides.

TAKE ACTION: Sign Up to Deliver a “Give Bees Some Love” Valentine to your Local Home Depot or Lowe’s Store

Home Depot on Facebook

Lowe’s on Facebook

 
 

ACTION ALERT

Stopped in their (Fast) Tracks?

The Obama administration’s plan to ram two potentially devastating international trade agreements through Congress appears to be dead, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s announcement on Wednesday, January 29, that he opposes plans to fast track the deals.

But just in case there’s still a little life left in them, today’s the day to speak out.

Thanks to the work of more than 75 organizations, including the OCA, today, January 31, has been declared an inter-continental day of action to stop fast track—and stop the trade deals that would weaken U.S. and world food safety standards, threaten domestic and international food sovereignty laws, and allow transnational corporations to sue governments for alleged future lost profits unless the corporations are allowed to freely peddle their unproven, unsafe goods with reckless regard for existing food safety laws.

Let’s not take any chances. Please join in today by taking at least one action!

Find an inter-continental day of action event in your city

Call your Representatives in Congress

Join the thunderclap

TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress: Don’t Fast-Track Dangerous Trade Deals!

 
 

SUPPORT THE OCA & OCF

‘Sweet’ and ‘Sweat’ Go Hand-in-Hand

It was a good week.

Your relentless writing and phoning to Congress members helped a large coalition of activist groups defeat the King Amendment.

Your persistence and willingness to pressure Congress also appears to have scuttled the Obama administration’s plans to fast-track two potentially devastating international trade deals.

And your unprecedented pounding of Monsanto seems to have caught the attention of CEO Hugh Grant.

Every victory, no matter how large or small, is sweet. But as those of you who have been fighting these battles for years know, these victories don’t happen overnight. And they don’t come easy.

Behind every sweet victory, there’s plenty of sweat.

These victories are your victories. Without your engagement, without your passion, our voice would be small. Our victories would be few and far between. Thank you for helping us with the wins. And please stick with us as we continue the fight to take back our food and farms and democracy.

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 Oregon, Vermont and other states)

 
 

CAMPAIGN UPDATE

Victory! King Amendment Dropped from Farm Bill!

Thanks to the work of hundreds of organizations and hundreds of thousands of activists, the King Amendment—an attempt by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) to wipe out hundreds of state laws designed to protect food and agriculture standards—has been dethroned. The amendment did not survive the House version of the Farm Bill, which passed this week.

It’s a huge victory. For animal welfare. For states’ rights. For every group and individual who fought for its defeat.

That said, the Farm Bill, expected to sail through the Senate next week, falls far short in many key areas. According to Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), a staunch supporter of local and organic farming:

"This Farm Bill is a real missed opportunity. Subsidies for the biggest farms were protected while help for struggling families was cut.   Even bipartisan provisions that would have created real reform in crop subsidy programs were stripped out of this bill at the eleventh hour—and loopholes that would allow the largest agri-businesses to collect almost unlimited payments were included.   I wish I could vote for this bill because there are some good provisions that we fought for to help sustainable farmers.   But in the end, it’s just too much of a giveaway to corporate special interests."

Read Pingree’s statement

More on the farm bill

 
 

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Knee Deep in the Big Muddy

We lost one of the great ones this week—Pete Seeger. "Pete is America's tuning fork. His songs capture the essence and beauty of this country." – Studs Terkel, author and oral historian.

Watch the video

 
 

CAMPAIGN UPDATE

Occupied: Monsanto Shareholder Meeting

On Tuesday, January 28, anti-GMO activists and activist-stockholders occupied Monsanto’s annual shareholder’s meeting. Their goal? Push shareholders to pass a resolution to label foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

No surprise that the resolution failed. But this might surprise you. More than 4 percent of Monsanto’s shareholders, who collectively own more than $2 billion worth of Monsanto stock, voted to support the labeling resolution.

Meanwhile, protests outside the meeting, complete with fishy cars blocking the entrance to Monsanto’s campus, resulted in the arrests of 10 activists. The protests also caught the attention of CEO Hugh Grant (pictured), who responded by saying Monsanto needs to do “a better job of communicating” about GMOs.

Or maybe Monsanto needs to do a better job of, if not cleaning up its act, at least labeling its soil-destroying, genetically manipulated, pesticide- and herbicide-saturated crops?

More here and here

Read Dave Murphy’s (Food DemocracyNow!) Open Letter to Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant

Watch the video of the arrests

 
 

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week

Is Monsanto Giving Up On GMOs?

Monsanto Is Going Organic in a Quest for the Perfect Veggie

Retraction of Paper Indicating Severe Damage to Rats from Monsanto's GMOs Is ‘Scientific Censorship’

Monarch Butterflies Drop, Migration May Disappear

Slow Cities: The Growing Movement Putting Sustainability and Community Back in the Forefront

5 Shady Ways Big Pharma May Be Influencing Your Doctor

 
 

MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSORS

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