If you don’t take any other action this week, please take one of these.
Call your Congress member, especially if he or she is a member of the House Committee on Agriculture or the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Or, write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, post on your Congress member’s Facebook page, or organize a rally outside your Congress member’s home office on May 26, 27 or 28.
Do something. Make noise.
Because if we don’t, Congress could take away our right to know about GMOs in our food. Forever.
We’re talking about HR 1599, "The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act," introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) Ironic. Pompeo’s bill proposes nothing if not inaccurate labeling of foods—by preventing you from ever learning which foods may contain GMOs.
Critics of the bill have dubbed it the DARK Act, aka "Deny Americans the Right-to-Know" Act. Because that’s exactly what it does.
HR 1599 now has 31 Republican and 11 Democrat co-sponsors, representing 28 states. With Vermont’s GMO labeling law set to take effect July 1, 2016, Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association are desperate to pass the DARK Act.
Our job is to stop them. But we need you.
Read the essay
Find out if your Congress member is on the Agriculture or Energy and Commerce Committee
Find out if your Congress member is a co-sponsor of the DARK Act Organize a Day of Action against the DARK Act
What do you get when you let the chemical industry write a “chemical safety” bill?
A bill that protects chemical companies, not consumers.Almost 40 years after Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Americans are being exposed to tens of thousands of chemicals that have never been safety tested by the EPA. These chemicals, more than 80,000 of them, are in the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the homes we live in.
It’s time for reform. But unfortunately, the bill before the U.S. Senate right now—S.697—falls far short of accomplishing real reform.
That could have something to do with the fact that the chemical industry has spent $190 million lobbying for this bill. Democratic Sponsor Tom Udall’s (D-N.M.) campaign received $49,050 from the Chemical industry in the 2014 cycle, plus $23,500 from lobbyists employed by the American Chemistry Council. Republican sponsor David Vitter’s (R-La.) campaign received $20,600 in the 2014 cycle, and $14,300 from American Chemistry Council lobbyists.
We need your voice to stop this bill.
Tell Congress: We Need Real Chemical Safety Standards. Oppose S.697!
“The court’s opinion in denying our request to block the Vermont law opens the door to states creating mandatory labeling requirements based on pseudo-science and web-fed hysteria. If this law is allowed to go into effect, it will disrupt food supply chains, confuse consumers, and lead to higher food costs.” – Pamela Bailey, president, Grocery Manufacturers Association
Well, there you go. You—all of us—are just a bunch of hysterical know-nothings who need the courts to keep labels off our GMO foods, for our own good. Because we might not buy foods made with ingredients created in a lab, drenched in carcinogenic chemicals, and allowed into the market without adequate, long-term safety testing—if we knew what we were buying.
We’re just a bunch of luddites, foolish enough to believe the best cancer researchers at the World Health Organization when they say that Monsanto’s Roundup probably causes cancer. We react irrationally when we learn that a type of toxin contained in a variety of GMO corn, engineered to produce its own pesticide, is showing up in pregnant women and their fetuses.
It’s just a lot of silly pseudo-science, after all. And it’s making us hysterical.
Blame it on the Internet.
Statements like the one (above) by the president of the multi-billion dollar lobbying group which represents the likes of Monsanto and Dow, Coca-Cola and General Mills, may sound ridiculous to you.
But the media gobbles them up.
It’s our job to raise the volume of voices like yours—until the media listens, and the truth comes out. Your donation today will help. 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 GMO labeling legislative efforts)
Photo Credit: notarim via Compfight cc
It’s almost time to march. In case you’ve forgotten why the world marches against Monsanto every year, here are a few reminders.
Monsanto’s Agent Orange was responsible for 400,000 deaths and disfigurements and birth defects in 500,000 babies. The company paid out $180 million in a lawsuit, but never took responsibility.
Monsanto has spent (and is still spending) millions of dollars to defeat GMO labeling laws. When the state of Vermont finally passed one, Monsanto sued. The company is determined to drag out that court case, despite a recent ruling suggesting Monsanto doesn’t have much of a case.
Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, the most widely used herbicide in the world, was recently declared a probable carcinogen. The company’s response? Demand a retraction (a move that so far has been unsuccessful).There are so many more reasons we need to keep the pressure on this corporation. So while it might be tempting to think, “Another March against Monsanto? Been there, done that,” think again! This year’s march will be every bit, if not more important than last year’s.Join the Social Media March! Can’t take to the streets on May 23? A group of creative and passionate activists in Georgia have organized a month-long Social Media March against Monsanto. Find out how here. Organize a Day of Action against the DARK Act OCA is asking everyone, but especially everyone whose representatives serve on either the House Agriculture or Energy and Commerce Committees, to organize a Day of Action against HR 1599 (The DARK Act) during the week immediately following the May 23 March against Monsanto. March Against Monsanto events list here Organize a Day of Action against the DARK Act Create a media advisory for your local pressSubmit a letter to the editor about stopping the DARK Act here
Last week we told you about Ridge Shinn, a farmer who raises 100-percent grass-fed beef using regenerative grazing practices. Shinn wrote a letter, signed by 100 fellow farmers and ranchers, to the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) asking them to acknowledge 100-percent grass-fed beef as a healthy, sustainable, and readily available alternative to beef produced by conventional factory farms.
The letter was in response to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s (DGAC) recent, and controversial, recommendation that Americans eat less red meat. Controversial because, as you can imagine, groups like the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the North American Meat Institute aren’t keen on consumers eating less of their highly profitable, highly polluting, unhealthy factory-farm meat.
We wondered if the argument about grass-fed beef would be heard over the roar of Big Meat’s objections to the new recommendations, objections that predictably reignited the same old conversation about meat vs. no meat.
It was. According to an article on the password-protected site PoliticoPro, titled, “Grass-fed beef ranchers say dietary panel got it right,” Wayne Campbell, a member of the advisory panel and a nutrition science professor at Purdue University, admitted that the committee hadn’t reviewed evidence about the quality of grass-fed beef over conventionally raised beef, but didn’t dismiss the argument made by the grass-fed producers.
Good to know. And good to know that efforts by OCA, farmers who raise grass-fed beef, and other groups, to draw attention to the difference between 100-percent grass-fed beef and red meat from factory farms, have at least begun to change the conversation.Read the letter
There’s a video making the rounds on social media right now that’s attracting a lot of attention. It seems the Swedish Environmental Research Institute conducted a study that shows what happens when a typical family stops eating conventional, non-organic food and switches to eating only organic.
What happens is this. The parents’ and kids’ bodies, before the switch to organic, test high for pesticides. After the switch to organic? Pesticide levels drop to, well, almost nothing.
If you have friends and family who wonder why you insist on organic (or organically grown, as in pesticide-free), share this video. And remember, children pay the highest price for pesticide exposure.
Watch the video
Read the report
US Government Admits Americans Have Been Overdosed on FluorideHealth Disaster in the Making: Hundreds of Schools Are Next to Fields Doused by Monsanto's Toxic Weed KillersPork Chops, Pig Smarts & Muckraking: An Interview with Barry EstabrookSoil Is the Stomach of the PlantGerman States Call for Ban on Monsanto's GlyphosateLocal Food Is Not Enough. We Need Resilient Agriculture.