Sometimes the stars align. This is one of those times.
Not long after the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) announced that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream tested positive for glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, another story broke—one that validates the importance of finding glyphosate, even at low doses, in any food.
According to internal Monsanto documents, Monsanto forced the retraction of a critical long-term study, first published in 2012, showing that very low doses of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide—lower than those detected in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream—caused serious liver and kidney damage in rats. Shortly before the study was retracted, the editor of the journal began working for Monsanto, under a consulting contract. (The study, led by G.E. Séralini, was republished in 2014, by the Environmental Sciences Europe).
Monsanto company officials weren’t too pleased when their internal emails went public. The New York Times reported that one Monsanto scientists wrote this in an internal email in 2001:
“If somebody came to me and said they wanted to test Roundup I know how I would react — with serious concern.”
The email was uncovered in what the Huffington Post reported are more than 75 documents, including intriguing text messages and discussions about payments to scientists, which were posted for public viewing early Tuesday morning by attorneys who are suing Monsanto on behalf of people alleging Roundup caused them or their family members to become ill with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of blood cancer.
Monsanto told the New York Times “it was outraged by the documents’ release.
But we are the ones who should be outraged. By Monsanto knowingly selling a toxic product, and covering it up by attacking credible independent scientists. By government agencies that allowed, and possibly even colluded in the cover-ups and attacks. And by companies like Ben & Jerry’s that profess great concern for naatural ingredients, health, the environment, the climate and “social responsibility,” while excusing themselves from having to live up to those promises.
Read 'What Do the Monsanto Papers and Weedkiller in Ben & Jerry's Have to Do with Each Other?'
Read the statement on methodology used to test Ben & Jerry’s ice cream
Why glyphosate levels in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream aren’t ‘safe’
It’s time for Ben & Jerry’s to live up to its promises of "natural," "Non-GMO" and "social responsibility."
On Thursday, August 10, OCA will sponsor #DumpBenandJerrys press events and protests in seven U.S. cities: New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Austin, Washington, D.C. and Burlington, Vt.
Our OCA Mexico team will hold a press event and protest in Mexico City.
Can you help organize or participate in a #DumpBenandJerrys protest in one of these seven cities?
Sign up to protest in New YorkSign up to protest in ChicagoSign up to protest in MinneapolisSign up to protest in Los AngelesSign up to protest in AustinSign up to protest in Washington D.C.Sign up to protest in Burlington, Vt.
Don’t live in one of these cities? Stay tuned for information on how to organize a protest in your own community—we’ll be rolling out details soon!
Putting human health at risk by selling glyphosate-contaminated ice cream is bad enough. But that’s only part of B&J’s toxic #DirtyDairy story. By refusing to switch to organic milk and ingredients, B&J’s:
TAKE ACTION: Tell Ben & Jerry’s CEO Jostein Solheim (aka Scooper Man): Roundup-Ready Ice Cream is not ‘socially responsible.’ Go Organic! Text 'dirtydairy' to 97779 to sign the petitionSign up to organize a Ben & Jerry’s protest and media event in your community
Call Ben & Jerry’s (802-846-1500) and ask the company to go organic.
Post on Ben & Jerry’s Facebook page
Click to tweet this message to Ben & Jerry's
"Humankind, despite its artistic abilities, sophistication and accomplishments, owes its existence to a six-inch layer of farmable soil—and the fact that it rains!" – Anonymous
What will food and agriculture look like in 2030? The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine (NASEM) wants to know.
What do we think? We think that while scientists might be able to create synthetic “foods” in a lab—like Soylent, a liquid “food replacement substance,” syn-bio burgers and lab-grown meat, that’s not the direction we should be headed.
We think the most important scientific breakthrough to achieve in agriculture by 2030 is to figure out how to reverse soil loss and rapidly regenerate our farming and grazing lands. Especially because the United Nations says that at current rates of erosion, we’ll run out of farmable soil in 60 years. And it’s doubtful we can live on planet without soil.
Please help us share this message with the NASEM: The future of food lies in regenerating our soil, through organic and regenerative farming and land-use practices.
Also . . . we’ve asked three preeminent regenerative agriculture scientists to submit white papers to NASEM on regenerative agriculture and land use. Please support their work by voting for them.
Vote for 'Soil Carbon Restoration – Regenerative Agriculture – Our Only Path Forward,' Dr. Tim LaSalle
Vote for 'Regenerating Ecosystem Services in Grazing Ecosystems,' by Dr. Richard Teague
Vote for 'Rebuilding Soil Microbial Communities in Agroecosystems,' by Dr. David C. Johnson
Vote on your favorite ideas for the future of food
Support OCA's Regeneration International Project (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic, regenerative agriculture and climate change)
We’ll have more on this next week, but we couldn’t resist sharing this juicy tidbit from Sanderson “Fake Natural Chicken” Farms.
First, the background. In June, OCA and other groups sued Sanderson, a mulit-billion-dollar company and the fourth largest poultry producer in the U.S., over its blatantly false advertising, after we learned what’s actually in Sanderson’s “100% Natural” chicken. You can find the full list of contaminants here.
Tests conducted by the USDA revealed that Sanderson chicken contains antibiotics like amoxicillin, penicillin, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, sulfadiazine, and sulfamethizole. Sanderson chicken also tested positive for a number of pesticides, and also for drugs, including ketamine, ketoprofren and prednisone, a common steroid.
Our lawsuit points to outrageous advertising claims, on the Sanderson website, on TV and radio, about how “natural” Sanderson products are. (We couldn’t sue the company for the false "100% Natural" labels on its packages, because unlike for other food products, the USDA has an official definition for "natural" as it applies to labels on meat. According to the USDA, any meat that contains no artificial flavors or flavorings, coloring ingredients, chemical preservatives, or other artificial or synthetic ingredients can be labeled “natural.” Apparently, the USDA thinks it’s OK to call chicken that contains all manner of drugs and pesticides as “natural.” Go figure).
Back to this week's news. Sanderson just announced a new adverstising campaign called "Old MacGimmick." Sanderson says the new campaign evolved from its efforts to continue its "truth-telling mission."
Here’s the truth. Sanderson chicken contains everything listed above, and more. The tests don’t lie. The "100% Natural" labels do.
You may not fall for false “natural” labels and advertising claims. But Sanderson’s contaminated chicken is problem for everyone, whether or not you eat Sanderson chicken. Those contaminants end up in the environment. And the chicken ends up in hospitals and schools and restaurants, unlabeled. And the organic poultry producers who raise chicken right? They lose business when companies like Sanderson are allowed to make false claims, either on their product packaging or in their advertising. That makes it tougher for those producers to survive. And when they go out of business, consumers have fewer choices.
According to the Sanderson press release, consumers just love the Sanderson brand. If you don’t, please let the company know!
Read Sanderson’s hilarious press release
Read our lawsuit against Sanderson Farms
Read Bloomberg’s report on our lawsuit against Sanderson Farms
Tell Sanderson Farms CEO Joe Sanderson: Stop advertising your contaminated chicken as ‘100% Natural!’
Click to tweet at Sanderson Farms
Post a comment on Sanderson Farms’ facebook page
If you care about GMOs in your food, you probably also care about toxic chemicals like Monsantos’ Roundup weedkiller in your food. If you care about weedkiller residues in your food, you probably aren’t too keen about Roundup, and its key active ingredient, glyphosate, in your rivers and lakes, much less your drinking water.
If glyphosate in your drinking water bugs you, then you can’t be too happy about the millions of acres of GMO corn and soy grown in the U.S., a huge percentage of which is fed to animals on factory farms.
The problems with the U.S. food system are bigger than just Roundup or glyphosate. But Roundup plays a key role in GMO agriculture. And GMO agriculture plays a key role in factory farms.
Why are we suing General Mills over its glyphosate-contaminated granola bars? Why are we hammering on Ben & Jerry’s about the glyphosate in its ice cream?
Not because Roundup- or glyphosate-free products are the endgame. Targeting glyphosate contamination is critical. But it's also a means to an end—the end of factory farms.
When companies make false claims about their glyphosate-contaminated products, they help prop up the GMO monoculture agriculture that is the lynchpin of factory farms.
And factory farms, with their pollution, labor abuses, horrific animal abuse, and filthy, drug- and pesticide-contaminated food, are the biggest scourge on our industrial, degenerative food system. (A new report out just this week blames the factory farm meat industry for the largest-ever dead zone, in the Gulf of Mexico).
Ben & Jerry’s needs to go organic. Because the Roundup weedkiller in Ben & Jerry's ice cream is dangerous, based on the latest independent, peer-reviewed science.
But Ben & Jerry’s needs to go organic also because, with international sales of $1.3 billion, the company is a major supporter of an industrial dairy system, fed by millions of acres of GMO crops, that pollutes, mistreats animals and workers, is bankrupting farmers, and produces contaminated food.
This is how we end factory farming. Please support this important work.
Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)
Donate to Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our GMO labeling legislative efforts)
Support our ‘Ben & Jerry’s: Go Organic!’ campaign (donations to OCA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, are tax deductible)
Watch Ronnie Cummins, accompanied by OCA staff members, don hazmat suits to raid their local food store and scoop up all the Ben and Jerry’s Roundup Ready ice cream.
Ten of 11 samples of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream sent by OCA to an independent lab tested positive for glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. A peer-reviewed long-term feeding study published in 2012, and again in 2014, found that doses of 0.1 parts-per-billion (ppb) of glyphosate—below the levels of glyphosate found in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream—caused liver and kidney toxicity as well as hormonal disturbances in rats.
It’s time for consumers, and retail stores, to #DumpBenandJerrys!
Watch the video
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