On Tuesday, January 24, Donald Trump signed presidential memorandums to revive the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines—two major dirty oil and fracking pipelines halted by the Obama administration after massive resistance from indigenous, climate and other public interest groups, including food activists.
As indigenous leader Winona LaDuke pointed out,Trump’s push to revive these climate- and environmentally destructive pipelines amount to nothing less than a “Declaration of War.”
Within 24 hours of Trump’s dirty energy decree, thousands of people across the country took to the streets in protest, while hundreds of thousands more expressed their opposition and anger on social media.
Are the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines a clean water issue? A climate issue? A food issue? A social justice or economic justice issue? We suggest “all of the above”—and what’s more, we believe that stopping them is a matter of life and death. For all of us.
So, what do we do next?
Read ‘Three Life-or-Death Reasons Why Climate, Food, and Native American Activists Need to Keep Working Together’
In what’s shaping up to be the most Monsanto-friendly Congress in history—including a president keen to sign off on the pending Monsanto-Bayer merger—chemical companies are redoubling their efforts to keep consumers in the dark.
According to US Right to Know (USRTK), the American Chemistry Council (Monsanto is a member) just this month formed a new “mind-meld” group called Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research (CAPHR). Just like the “Safe and Affordable Food Labeling Act” had nothing to do with safe and affordable food labeling (and everything to do with keeping consumers in the dark) this newcomer to the “deflect and deceive” industry propaganda movement is hell-bent on keeping accurate scientific research away from the public.
In fact, the group’s primary motive is to discredit the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a unit of the World Health Organization made up of independent scientists. In March 2015, an IARC panel of 17 scientists unanimously concluded that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. Ever since, as US Right to Know’s Carey Gillam reports, Monsanto and friends have been harassing IARC through a series of “demands, threats and legal maneuvers,” including lobbying the U.S. House of Representatives to cut funding for IARC.
The new campaign takes the assault further. On the group’s new twitter account, set up on Jan. 25, CAPHR has posted a string of insults against IARC scientists, accusing the experts from prestigious institutions around the world of “making sensational claims,” drawing conclusions “that can’t be trusted,” and using “questionable methodologies.”
Read ‘Monsanto’s Mind-Meld; Spin Machine in High Gear’
Support US Right to Know’s work to expose Monsanto and Big Food (OCA recently sent USRTK another $30,000 donation. Please help us continue to support this work!)
Our health, our environment, our basic right to know—everything is under attack. We need everyone on deck.
How do we unite the people working in our own communities on food, natural health, social justice and climate issues into a more powerful movement that can put an end to corporate crime and political corruption in the marketplace and in the political realm, while regenerating our health, our economy, our local communities and our democracy?
Sign up now to join Ronnie and the Organic Consumers Association for a national call about how to launch both a #ConsumerRevolution and a #PoliticalRevolution. The call will take place on Thursday, February 16 at 5 p.m. PST/8 p.m. EST.
Everyone is feeling it right now—the compulsion to get involved, to do something positive to protect our health and our environment. Can we regenerate our food and farming system? Can we regenerate our health? Our local economies? Even our democracy?
We think the answer is yes. But only if we give up single-issue organizing and start working together, from the grassroots up.
What do you think? We want to hear from you.
TAKE ACTION: RSVP for the national call with OCA’s Ronnie Cummins!
You can also call in by dialing (855)-756-7520, Ext.34431#. But be sure to put the date on your calendar!
Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue is a Monsanto-funded politician who made millions selling fertilizer and gaming the farm subsidy system. He’s also a climate denier who couldn’t think of anything to help Georgia’s drought-stricken farmers other than to pray for rain.
But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what one Georgia resident wrote to us in an email, in response to the article we published last week about Perdue:
“‘Sonny’ is the first ‘good ole boy’ politician that I came to despise for both non-actions and actions that were detrimental to average Jane and Joe Citizen. He lost all credibility and respect with me in his term as (my) governor with regards to a statewide issue where children’s lives were at stake. Do not let the smiley folksy face and rhetoric fool. [Perdue] would not have the best interests of ‘the people’ in mind, period.”
We’re not naive. If pro-torture (and anti-GMO-labeling) Mike Pompeo can be named head of the CIA, and Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson can seriously be considered for secretary of state, we aren’t optimistic about torpedoing Trump’s nominations for secretary of agriculture.
But we must let our Senators know that we oppose these nominations. And then pay careful attention to how they vote.
TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Senators: Vote NO on Sonny Perdue! #NoPerdue! Block Trump's #SwampCabinet!
You know what they say—the best way to predict the future is to create it.
There is much talk of resistance right now. And rightly so. It’s our job as citizens of this country to resist the corporate takeover—or as Naomi Klein described it, the “corporate coup d'état”—of our democracy and our society. Because that takeover goes hand-in-hand with the exploitation of our natural resources, the selling out of future generations, for the short-term gain of a few billionaire CEOs and their greedy shareholders.
Resist, yes. But we must also offer an alternative vision. This is why we, through OCA and our Regeneration International project, are asking you to join us over the next four years in organizing around the theme of #regeneration.
We believe the alternative to #resist is #regenerate. And we believe regeneration—of our health, our communities, our local and global economies, our food and farming systems, our climate stability, and even our democracy—begins with the basic notion of respect for Nature, and a commitment to working with natural systems, as opposed to exploiting them.
How do we advance the work of regeneration? Especially in this current climate of divisiveness and daily, blatant attacks on our rights and our democracy?
We organize, especially at the local and state levels, around the solution—regeneration. We throw out (#resist!) the local and state elected officials who don’t share our vision for the common good, and we put forth candidates who believe in, and will promote policies aimed at respecting Nature (#regenerate!) and the principles of democracy.
Some will accuse us of being idealistic and unrealistic. What about jobs? What about profits? With your help, we will respond with case studies, with blueprints for change, that will illustrate how everyone, including farmers and consumers, thrives under an economy based on regeneration.
Monsanto has had 20 years to prove that farmers and consumers would thrive under a degenerative system. Monsanto failed. Consumers have suffered relentless attacks on our health. Our environment has been poisoned. Global warming is out of control. And the world hunger crisis is worse than ever.
Who has thrived under our degenerative food and farming system? A handful of big agribusiness corporations, their CEOs and their shareholders. Sadly, the number of economically viable, independent farmers has plummeted.
It’s time for change. Regeneration is the solution. We need your help to make #regeneration the political and social battle cry for an alternative future.
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)
Support OCA's Regeneration International Project (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic, regenerative agriculture and climate change)
Not that you need yet another reason to boycott fast food, but . . . it seems the packaging (not just the food itself) may also be poisoned.
A team looking for fluorine in food packaging found it. The presence of fluorine means that highly flourinated chemicals (PFAS or PFCs) were likely used to produce the packaging—probably because those chemicals help the packaging resist grease and stains.
But as Environmental Health News (EHN) reports, fluorinated chemicals, which have been linked to cancer, development and immune system problems, low birth weights and decreased fertility, can migrate from the packaging into the food. More from the EHN report:
Researchers tested about 400 pieces of food packaging from 27 fast food chains in 2014 and 2015. The samples included popular spots such as McDonald’s, Burger Kind, Taco Bell, Chick-Fil-A. They also tested, and found the compounds at places people might not think of fast food, such as Jimmy John’s, Quiznos, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts.
The restaurants were in or around Boston, Seattle, Washington DC, San Francisco, and Grand Rapids, Mich.In total, 33 percent of the packages contained fluorine. The presence of fluorine doesn’t automatically mean the packaging contains the highly fluorinated chemicals of concern. However, it’s “the most likely reason,” said Laurel Schaider, a research scientist at the Silent Spring Institute, and lead author of the study published today in Environmental Science & Technology Letters.
Read the study
Read ‘Fast Food with a Side of Fluorinated Chemicals’
One by one, people whose lives were destroyed by Monsanto stood up to tell their stories. The wife of a farmer who died of non-hodgkin lymphoma (which scientists say is directly linked to the use of Monsanto’s Roundup) called her husband’s death an “unlawful robbery.”
A farmer who is now battling non-hodgkin lymphoma spoke out about “this torturous journey.”
The speakers, who were joined by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. whose law firm represents Monsanto victims, were assembled for a press conference to pressure the courts to require Monsanto, under California’s Prop 65 law, to label Roundup as a potential carcinogen.
All these people are asking for is a label on Roundup—when we all know what should really happen: an outright ban on Monsanto’s leading cancer-causing product. Predictably, Monsanto is suing to keep the label off. Fortunately, on January 28 (2017), a judge ruled, tentatively at least, against Monsanto. Let’s hope the courts continue to stand up for California’s farmers and their families.
Watch the video
Read ‘California Clears Hurdle for Cancer Warning Label on Roundup’
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