If at first you don’t succeed, ask, ask again.
Ever since we announced in July that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream contains glyphosate, hundreds of thousands of consumers—through petitions, protests, phone calls, social media messages—have joined in asking Unilever-owned Ben & Jerry’s to live up to its claims of “social responsibility” and “natural, healthy products” by going 100% organic.
You helped us get Ben & Jerry’s attention in the U.S.
Ben & Jerry's feigned "concern" about the problem, but didn't respond with a concrete plan to resolve it.
On Tuesday (October 10), we took the Ben & Jerry’s campaign to Unilever's doorstep, by announcing, with help from the EU Parliament, Beyond GM, HRI Labs, and others, that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in four European countries (The Netherlands, Germany, France and the UK) also contained glyphosate.
When word leaked in advance about the press conference, Unilever officials scrambled to preempt our news with news of their own—a plan to source ingredients not sprayed with glyphosate, and plans to go 6% organic.
This latest announcement from Ben & Jerry’s doesn’t go far enough, so the campaign will continue.
But make no mistake—this is big news. It proves that consumers have the power to help rid our food system of poisons like glyphosate by pressuring corporations like Unilever—the second largest in the world—to live up to their claims about caring about your health and the environment.
This campaign isn’t over, not by a long shot. The “glyphosate-free” ice cream Ben & Jerry’s promises is a step in the right direction. But as long as Ben & Jerry’s sources 94 percent of its dairy products from industrial “dirty dairy” factory farms, the company is supporting Monsanto (whose GMO crops are used to feed dairy cows on conventional farms). And it will continue to be a major polluter of waterways, and degrader of healthy soils.
For now, all of you who helped pressure Unilever should take a moment to congratulate yourselves on pushing the Ben & Jerry’s brand one step further down the road to organic and regenerative.
Read our press release for the EU Parliament press conference
Listen to part 1 and part 2 of the EU press conference
Read the Guardian’s coverage of the EU findings and press conference
Read 'Peace, Love (and Glyphosate in Your) Ice Cream'
Read Regeneration Vermont’s response to Ben & Jerry’s latest announcement
Support our ‘Ben & Jerry’s: Go Organic!’ campaign (Donations to OCA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, are tax deductible).
On Tuesday, October 10, Ben and Jerry’s announced that by 2020, the company will stop sourcing ingredients from crops that are chemically dried using glyphosate. (Many crops, even non-GMO, are sprayed pre-harvest with glyphosate to facilitate a uniform harvest time).
Unilever-owned Ben & Jerry’s also promised to introduce an organic line of ice cream that that will account for 6 percent of its U.S. sales. (Interesting commitment to make at a European press conference where we announced that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Germany, France, the UK and The Netherlands were contaminated. No organic for the EU?) Unilever's announcement, triggered by our press conference at the EU Parliament, is a good start.
But as we all know, Ben and Jerry’s can do better.
Our campaign to move Ben & Jerry’s to 100% organic, worldwide, will continue until Ben and Jerry’s signs a legally binding agreement to make the global transition to 100% organic over the next 3-5 years. That’s why we still need your help. Can you find a local scoop shop or natural grocer that sells Ben and Jerry’s and let us know when you plan to hand out leaflets and collect petition signatures? We’ll send you leaflets, petitions, a poster and instructions. Please email us at email@example.com with the location of your local scoop shop or natural grocer that sells Ben and Jerry’s, and your mailing address, so we can get your leaflets in the mail. Can you also grab a friend so you’ve got someone to take a video or snap a picture, spend an hour or so handing out leaflets and collecting petition signatures and send us the picture or video documenting your action? (Want to partner up with someone? Let us know and we’ll email our most active volunteers in your area). Everyone who sends in a photo or video will get a coupon for free organic ice cream and will be entered into a drawing for a free OCA organic t-shirt. Email photos and videos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is your campaign. And you're rockin' it. Let's keep the pressure on!
More on why Ben & Jerry’s needs to go organic
Sign up here for more information on how to leaflet Ben & Jerry's so you can become part of the Consumer Revolution!
Read our organization/business sign-on letter (To sign your organization or business on to this letter, email email@example.com).
TAKE ACTION: Tell Ben & Jerry's CEO: Get pesticides out of your ice cream. Go Organic!
Support our ‘Ben & Jerry’s: Go Organic!’ campaign (Donations to OCA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, are tax deductible).
October 16 is World Food Day. It’s also the day that Monsanto and its agrochemical cronies will be in Iowa, celebrating the bounties of industrial agriculture (in other words, their massive profits) at the corporation-run “World Food Prize” events.
We think there are better ways to celebrate World Food Day. Here they are:
TAKE ACTION! Sign our World Food Day letter.
Join the “4 per 1000: Soils for Food Security and Climate Initiative,” the global initiative to increase carbon sequestration in soils as a means of increasing global food security and reversing global warming.
Donate to Regeneration International, an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit partially funded by OCA. This international the coalition shares best practices in regenerative agriculture and land restoration, several of which are being piloted at OCA’s Mexico-based Vía Orgánica Ranch, which recently hosted the 2017 RI General Assembly.
Attend the 2017 Food Sovereignty Prize Live Ceremony (online) honoring the Zimbabwe Small Holder Organic Farmers’ Forum and the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance.
Join the World Food Day Thunderclap for a global ban on Monsanto’s Roundup.
Finally, if you’re not doing this already, grow organic food in your own community, or buy it from local farmers!
TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to fix the U.S. obesity and diet-related disease problem by shifting federal farm subsidies from junk food crops to organic produce.
A radical and transformative thought goes nowhere without the willingness to challenge convention. – from “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants,” by Malcom Gladwell
Somewhere along the way, Monsanto’s spin wizards succeeded in turning the notion that we can’t feed the world without poisoning our soil, air, water and food into “conventional” thinking.
Unfortunately, a majority of politicians and global regulatory agencies—under the influence of Monsanto money—like to accuse those of us who think poison has no place in our food of belonging to a “fringe group of radicals.”
We disagree. But that doesn’t change the fact that we now have to fight back as if we were fighting for “radical and transformative” thinking.
This week we took our David vs. Goliath fight to the EU Parliament. And we got results.
Those results (an organic line of ice cream, introduced in 2018, to make up 6 percent of Ben & Jerry’s U.S. sales by) still fall far short of what, with your help, we’ve been demanding: that Unilever transition its Ben & Jerry’s brand to 100 percent organic.
But it’s a start. And it’s a sign that you’ve rattled Goliath’s cage.
We could not have pulled off this international conference at the prestigious EU Parliament in Brussels without your help. Thank you!
Now, it’s on to the next stages of this campaign. With your help, we won’t stop until Ben & Jerry’s agrees to a legally binding contract that includes a plan to transition to 100% organic within 3 – 5 years.
Radical? We don’t think so.
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)
“As many of you know, for the last two decades, I have researched and written about Monsanto’s efforts to dominate global agriculture as a purveyor of GMO seeds and the weed killer chemical Roundup. The research has led me to a dark place—evidence of decades of deception surrounding Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate, and the impacts on people and the environment.” – Carey Gilliam, journalist, author of “Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science”
“Whitewash” is more than an exposé about the hazards of one chemical or the actions of one company, says author Carey Gillam. It's also a call to remember the lessons of Rachel Carson and “Silent Spring,” as evidence mounts that the push for pesticide dependence and the drive for corporate profits is taking precedence over people’s lives and our environment.
As governments—the U.S. EPA and European Commission—debate whether or not to ban glyphosate, it’s critical to get the word out about Gillam’s critical research. You can share the discount code (WHITEWASH) to help encourage sales. (Gillam is an investigative journalist who works for U.S. Right to Know, an independent nonprofit funded in part by OCA).
It’s also critical that we keep Monsanto and the rest of the chemical industry, who are already trying to undermine “Whitewash,” from quashing it. You can help—by spreading the word about the book to your networks, and writing online reviews on websites that are selling the book.
Purchase “Whitewash” from Island Press or at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or your local independent bookseller—and please write reviews on these websites!
Watch/listen to Carey Gillam's testimony at the EU Parliament hearings on the 'Monsanto Papers'
Support investigative journalism (OCA is a major funder of US Right to Know. Please help us support this project).
“Dirt is not exciting to most people. But it is a no-risk climate solution with big co-benefits. Fostering soil health protects food security and builds resilience to droughts, floods and urbanization.” – Rob Jackson, Stanford researcher
More scientific evidence that healthy soil is the solution to global warming—this time, from researchers at Stanford University. The research, published in two overlapping papers, “Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics” and “Global Change Biology,” says that soil rich in organic matter (decomposing plant and animal residue) can capture more carbon than plants and the atmosphere combined.
From the report:
The land under our feet and the plant matter it contains could offset a significant amount of carbon emissions if managed properly. More research is needed to unlock soil’s potential to mitigate global warming, improve crop yields and increase resilience to extreme weather.”
According to the researchers, 70 percent of all sequestered carbon in the top meter of soil is in lands impacted by agriculture, grazing or forest management—reinforcing already existing evidence that organic and regenerative agriculture, land management and livestock grazing are key to restoring Earth’s natural systems.
Read ‘Soil Holds Potential to Slow Global Warming, Stanford Researchers Find’
Learn more about soil’s ability to address climate change, food security, water scarcity and public health Living Soils Symposium, October 13-15 in Montreal. Purchase tickets here.
Follow Regeneration International’s live coverage of the Living Soils Symposium on social media. @Regeneration_in and @RegenerationInternational
Support Regeneration International, an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit partially funded by OCA.
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