When Chipotle announced plans to eliminate GMOs, corporate media lined up to attack. “Terrible news,” said Time magazine. A “gimmick” that was “hard to swallow” said the Washington Post. “Junk science,” said the Los Angeles Times.
We’ve come to expect nothing less from our Monsanto-funded media.
One newspaper, USA Today, had the decency to run an opposing view. When a USA Today editor called and asked us to submit a counterpoint editorial, we jumped at the chance.
USA Today’s editorial put consumers like you in the same category as conspiracy theorists, while trotting out Monsanto’s favorite talking points about “overwhelming scientific consensus,” and “fear-mongering” kooks:
Americans love conspiracy theories: The 1969 moon landing actually occurred on a Hollywood set. Fluoride in drinking water was a communist plot. Paul McCartney is dead. Elvis is alive.
Most of these kooky notions are harmless, but some are not, especially when people ignore overwhelming scientific consensus in favor of discredited theories or simple fear-mongering. For example, increasing numbers of parents refuse to vaccinate their kids, which opens the door for renewed outbreaks of dangerous diseases. Some politicians insist that human-caused climate change is a hoax, which impedes efforts to deal with the threat. – USA Today editorial
We, of course, disagreed—as does the majority of the sane, informed, pro-science American populace.
Read Ronnie’s essay
Monsanto hates democracy. That’s why it loves the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), trade deals that have been negotiated mostly in secret, by corporations like Monsanto.
Trade deals that are in danger of being passed without due democratic process.
What’s in the trade deals for Monsanto? Plenty—including a provision in the legislation that would override GMO labeling laws here in the U.S., and in countries that have had these laws in place for years.
It’s no wonder Monsanto has joined with hundreds of other corporations, and sadly, President Obama, to push Congress to “fast-track” these corporation-friendly trade deals using something called “Trade Promotion Authority.”
The U.S. Senate has already voted to give President Obama the authority to ram these dangerous deals through Congress. Our best hope for stopping “fast track” in its tracks is to ring the phones off the hook at the U.S. House of Representatives.
TAKE ACTION! Call your Congress members today and ask them to reject the “Fast Track” Trade Promotion Authority Bill and its Monsanto Protection Provision!
We need you. Now.
We’ve been talking about it since September of last year—Rep. Mike Pompeo’s (R-Kan.) bill that would strip states of the right to pass GMO labeling laws.
It didn’t get very far last year. But H.R. 1599 is fast gaining traction, especially now that a district court judge has signaled that Vermont’s GMO labeling law is likely constitutional. Desperate to stop other states from passing GMO labeling laws, Pompeo is rounding up new co-sponsors for his bill every day.
And even more ominous, a Senate version of H.R. 1599 is in the works.
The first lawmakers to vote on H.R. 1599, which we call the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, are those members of the House who serve on the Agriculture and Energy and Commerce Committees. Our best hope to stop the bill, is to persuade members of the Energy and Commerce Committee to reject it.
That’s where you come in. We could ask you to sign another petition. But if we really want to stop this bill, we need people to organize meetings with key members of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
A couple of meetings have already taken place, including one in Chicago, yesterday. OCA and Illinois Right to Know scheduled a meeting with Rep. Jan Schakowsky. Hours before the meeting, Schakowsky announced that she will oppose H.R. 1599!
Some of you living in Tampa, Fla., have also completed a meeting. And folks are meeting with Rep. Joseph Kennedy in Newton, Mass., on June 9. (Info here if you want to participate).
OCA is organizing the following meetings. If you want to participate, contact us here:
New York, June 16: Rep. Eliot Engle (D-N.Y.), the Bronx; Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), BrooklynNew Jersey, June 17: Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.); Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.)Maryland, June 18: Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), AnnapolisVirginia, June 19: Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), ChristiansburgWest Virginia, June 23: Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), MorgantownPennsylvania, June 29: Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.), Pittsburgh; and Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Penn.), PittsburghPennsylvania, June 30: Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Penn.), Lancaster
We still need organizers in: California, Oregon, New Mexico, Texas, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Carolina.TAKE ACTION: Organize a Day of Action against the DARK ActSubmit a letter to the editor about stopping the DARK Act
It’s easy to focus on the battles we’ve lost, and the battles yet to come.
But let’s not forget the victories. One of the most important accomplishments of the food movement is this: You are driving a wedge between Monsanto and the food industry.
The largest national retailer of organic foods, Whole Foods, is forcing food manufacturers to label GMOs if they want their products to stay on the shelves in Whole Foods stores.
One of the fastest-growing chain restaurants, Chipotle, will eliminate GMOs from its menu items.
Abbott Laboratories just announced the launch of a new GMO-free version of its Similac infant formula.
Food manufacturers are tired of carrying the water for Monsanto. They’re tired of consumer boycotts, bad press, slumping profits.
We’re still a long way from the food system we want. But when big-name brands make big changes, rival brands take notice.
We still face GMO labeling battles in many states. And a potentially uphill battle in Washington D.C. against Rep. Mike Pompeo and his band of states’-rights obliterators. We will have to dig in, hunker down, marshal our resources to preserve states’ rights to label GMOs.
But with your help, we’ll win.
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)
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) sued Vermont to try to overturn the state's GMO labeling law. Starbucks is a member of the GMA.
That didn't sit well with Neil Young. So he did what any rock star would do. He wrote a song about it.
"A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop" is one of the songs Young will feature in his “Monsanto Years” summer tour. The tour launches in July—and OCA will be there. Details to come!
Watch the video
They marched in Australia. They marched in Africa. They marched in Canada. They marched in Dublin and London and all across Europe.
Here in the U.S., we marched in Portland, Maine and Seattle, Wash., and in between, in cities large and small, coast to coast.
On May 23, 2015, the world marched against Monsanto.
Monsanto isn’t alone in its greed-driven quest to sell toxic chemicals, to monopolize the world’s seed supply, to put small farmers out of business, to keep consumers in the dark about the pesticide-laden GMOs in our food. Dow, Dupont, Syngenta, Bayer. They are all destroying our soil and our food—which will ultimately lead to the destruction of the very ecosystem that sustains us.
But Monsanto has become the face of everything that’s wrong with our food and farming system today. And for that matter, everything that’s wrong with our Democracy.
So we marched. In great numbers. All over the globe.
And we’ll do it again next year. And every year after, as long as it takes. Until we rebuild our soil, our farms, our forests, our food system, and our health.
A sampling of photos and articles from the 2015 global March against Monsanto
Monsanto Bids to Take Over Syngenta—A Move to Assure a Pesticide-Saturated Future? Similac Advance Infant Formula to Be Offered G.M.O.-Free U.S. EPA Proposing Temporary Pesticide-Free Zones for Honeybees Avian Flu Outbreak Among Chickens—What This Disaster Can Tell Us About Our Food Production Your Toothpaste May Be Loaded With Tiny Plastic Beads That Never Go AwayDevastating Floods in Texas Just Latest Example of Global Weather ExtremesDemonstrators Urge Shumlin to Veto Vaccine Bill