Now and then I think back to the first days of OCA.
The winter of 1997-98, hunkered down in our small cabin in northern Minnesota, our then-tiny staff waged its first big battle against Big Food, Monsanto, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Then and now, protecting your right to safe food, and safeguarding organic integrity, were central to our mission. And so were you. Can you make a donation to keep OCA going strong in 2019?
Twenty years ago, as USDA bureaucrats sought to degrade organic standards, we realized they were more interested in rewarding their corporate donors than they were in protecting consumers.
They wanted to allow GMOs and irradiated foods to be certified organic. They wanted to let organic farmers fertilize their crops with toxic sewage sludge.
Back then, OCA was a fledgling organization with scarce resources. No army of social media followers to spread the word. All we had were a couple of telephones and a fax machine.
We were small. But our mission was big . . . and we had you. Together, we took on Big Food and the USDA. And we won.
Today, OCA represents a network of more than 3 million consumers, in the U.S. and Mexico. Together, we are exposing the corruption that lets industrial agribusiness damage our health and environment.
Together, we’re growing the market for organic and regenerative food. We’re building a food and farming system that produces safe, healthy food, protects the environment, nurtures biodiversity—and holds the potential to restore climate stability.
But we can only keep doing this work as long as you support us. If you make a donation to OCA between now and the end of December, it will be matched by Dr. Mercola. Please donate today, online, by mail or by phone, to double your impact!
Right now, the food movement is at a crossroads. We have a chance to reshape our future . . . but only if we act.
Backed into a corner by growing consumer demand for transparency and accountability, the giants of the industrial, GMO food system are lobbying Congress harder than ever to hold on to their “right” to poison and pollute, with impunity.
They may be able to buy their way to securing industry-friendly policies for a while longer. But Big Ag is losing in the courts. And losing in the court of public opinion.
We used the courts this year to stop General Mills from using the word “natural” on their Nature Valley Granola Bars, contaminated with Roundup weedkiller. The same for Post and its Shredded Wheat brand. We forced Handsome Brook Farm to stop deceiving consumers with false claims of “pasture-raised” eggs. We’re also suing Ben and Jerry’s, Monsanto, and other large companies for labeling fraud.
But the movement’s biggest win this year . . . the win that could lead to a long-overdue ban on Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller . . . was a California jury’s unanimous decision to hold Monsanto accountable for poisoning a school groundskeeper and causing his terminal cancer.
The plaintiff in the case, Dewayne Johnson, had good attorneys and a strong case. However, consumer awareness, and years of consumer education and activism, also played a role in the stunning win against Monsanto. Last year alone, OCA invested $300,000 in public education and mobilization around exposing the hazards of Roundup.
We’re already seeing the impact of Johnson’s landmark victory against Monsanto. In the last few months, the French government launched an initiative to phase out glyphosate. Tanzania cracked down on illegal pro-GMO propaganda by ordering the destruction of Monsanto/Gates GE crop trials. And Germany set new restrictions on glyphosate, with an eye toward establishing an end date for its use.
We could be moving toward a global ban on glyphosate, as early as next year. But we need your help. Make your tax-deductible donation by midnight, December 31, and your donation will be doubled.
Here are a few of the ways we’ll put your donation to work:
• OCA is a major funder of U.S. Right to Know, which exposes corruption in the food industry. USRTK published internal emails showing collusion between Monsanto and the EPA. The emails were used in the California trial against Monsanto.
• OCA is a founding member and major funder of Regeneration International, a transnational non-profit network building global regeneration alliances to scale up regenerative organic food, farming, and land use.
• OCA is collaborating with other organizations and our legal team to stop two major factory farm operations: Costco’s poultry factory farm in Nebraska, and a Norway-based corporation’s proposed salmon factory farm which would pollute the surrounding waterways and destroy 50 acres of woodlands on the coast of Maine.
We can’t predict with certainty what the coming year will bring. Will politicians and policymakers come to their senses, and ban pesticides? Will industrial food producers heed the science on soil health, human nutrition, and climate change? I can’t say.
But I can promise you this: We will be as relentless as ever in defending your right, against threats old and new, to healthy food and a clean environment.