“You have my word on this one . . . we will not be appointing a Secretary of Agriculture who comes from agribusiness or corporate interests . . . You will have an aggressive Secretary of Agriculture who is going to fight for family farmers and strong organic standards.” – Bernie Sanders, Iowa Organic Association, December 5, 2019
The majority of people still equate the words “Green New Deal” with a plan to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy technologies. Very few people who hear or read those words think “food and farming.”
But the Green New Deal plan laid out by Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is much more than a renewable energy transition plan—it’s also a plan to end industrial chemical farming.
Whether you’re a consumer fed up with pesticide-laden foods and GMOs, an environmentalist outraged by industrial farming’s widespread pollution of U.S. waterways, an animal rights activist waging war against factory farms or a climate activist, Sanders’ Green New Deal addresses your concerns—boldly, and in concrete terms.
Read: ‘Bernie’s Green New Deal Has a Bold Plan to Revolutionize Our Food & Farming System
SIGN THE PETITION: Green Consumers for a Regenerative Green New Deal
Want to know where all the 2020 presidential candidates stand on GMOs? You’re in luck.
We investigated the candidates’ positions based on who’s funding their campaigns, how they voted as elected officials and what they’ve said in their platforms and public statements. And we're ready to share.
Using data compiled by FEC.gov and OpenSecrets.org we dug up the dirt on who’s taken campaign contributions from the biggest companies in the food system, including the four multinational corporations, Bayer-Monsanto, Syngenta, BASF, and DowDuPont (now Corteva).
Of course we know where several of the candidates stand on GMOs because they were in the House or Senate in 2016. That was the year Congress ended our fight for GMO labels on genetically engineered foods by passing a federal bill that took away states’ rights to label GMOs and instituted a federal “bioengineered disclosure” standard that has yet to result in any GMOs being labeled.
Truth be told, only Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) came out “GMO-Free” based on our research.
Note: This information was compiled by Citizens Regeneration Lobby (CRL), the 501(c)(4) sister organization of Organic Consumers Association. CRL can endorse candidates and engage in political advocacy that is out-of-bounds for 501(c)(3) organizations. We can’t share CRL’s endorsements with you here. If you’d like to receive that information from CRL via email, please join CRL here.
Read: ‘Where do the 2020 Presidential Candidates Stand on GMOs?’
As we (and a lot of other media outlets, including the NBC Today Show, People Magazine and the Miami Herald, to name a few) reported last week, Ben & Jerry’s will no longer claim that the milk in their ice cream comes from “happy cows.”
The “happy cows” narrative has made for fun—and prolific—headlines. But it’s also detracted from the seriousness of the allegations (deceptive labeling, marketing, and sale of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Products) contained in lawsuits, including ours, against the company.
This week Regeneration Vermont published a story that serves as a reminder that Vermont’s industrial dairy industry is no laughing matter.
It seems that a Vermont dairy farm, which according to a sign posted on the property was a Ben & Jerry’s “Caring Dairy” from 2012 - 2016, has been lowballing the number of cows in its dairy herd in order to avoid regulations and oversight.
Caught in the act, the farm has been forced to apply for the proper permit. According to Regeneration Vermont, the permit application reveals that this industrial factory farm will produce “approximately 10 million gallons of liquid cow manure annually, all of which will be spread within a watershed already considered to be in crisis, largely the result of phosphorus-rich manure run-off from farm fields.”
We'll hazard a guess that 10 million gallons of liquid cow manure spilling out of a factory farm dairy makes for plenty of unhappy Vermont neighbors.
Read Regeneration Vermont's report the dairy farm caught cheating to avoid regulations and oversight
SIGN THE PETITION: Tell Ben & Jerry’s: Roundup Ready Ice Cream Isn’t Socially Responsible. Go Organic!
Earlier this month, we honored Martin Luther King, Jr. on the anniversary of what would have been his 91st birthday.
King was a tireless activist. It ultimately cost him his life.
We’re reminded this month of many of King’s actions and words. But these words in particularly resonate today:
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Here at OCA, a lot of things matter to us. One of those is water. Specifically, the quality of the water that everyone—not just those privileged enough to live far, far away from the impact of industrial agriculture and the chemical industry on water quality (if indeed any such place still exists).
That’s why we were so discouraged—not surprised, but discouraged—to learn of Trump’s latest assault on our environment—his plan to roll back decades’ worth of regulations aimed at protecting your right to clean water.
If you hadn’t heard about Trump's plan to gut clean water regulations, you'll want to read up.
If you did hear about this corporate-friendly, human-health-be-damned plan, and it made you feel powerless, we want you to feel empowered. Because while it’s true that individually, the situation seems hopeless, together, we can fight back.
Access to clean water—for every single person—matters. Together, we must raise our voices.
Together, we shall overcome.
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Support Citizens Regeneration Lobby, OCA’s 501(c)(4) lobbying arm (not tax-deductible)
Donate $100 or more and we’ll send you a copy of Ronnie’s new book
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In March 2019, Iowa State Senator Ken Rozenboom helped pass the state’s “ag-gag” law making it a crime to conduct undercover investigations in factory farms.
In April 2019, Matt Johnson and others from Direct Action Everywhere, a Berkeley, Calif.-based animal welfare group, entered a barn near Oskaloosa, Iowa, owned by none other than the Senator and his brother.
What they saw—and recorded—inside that barn was enough to gag anyone, as Johnson explains in this video interview where he talks about animal welfare issues, and everything else that’s wrong with factory farms.
Rozenboom admitted the pigs in his barn were treated inhumanely (video footage doesn’t lie), but deflected blame.
Then, the Senator turned around and told the Des Moines Register that the undercover investigation was a “professional hit job,” and that he and his brother will press charges—under that new ag-gag law, no doubt.
Undeterred, Johnson is speaking out. So much for being gagged.
Watch the interview with Direct Action Everywhere’s Matt Johnson
Read ‘Animal Rights Group Claims It Found Animal Neglect at Facility Owned by State Senator’
Make a tax-deductible contribution to our End Factory Farms campaign
Sherri Dugger knows how hard it is to grow food, to market food . . . to be a farmer.
The former journalist—now an Indiana farmer, the executive director of both the Women, Food & Ag Network and Indiana Farmers Union and also co-chair of the national coalition of U.S. Farmers & Ranchers for a Green New Deal—also knows about the catastrophic impact of industrial factory farming on the environment on human health.
Dugger was asked to speak last week at the Farmers, Soil and Climate 2020 Presidential Forum in Iowa. In remarks she prepared (but couldn’t deliver in person, due to illness), Dugger asked the presidential candidates: Where are the women? At your discussion tables? On your leadership teams? Who are the women helping you make decisions today?
Valid questions, considering that women cultivate more than 300 million acres and contribute $13 billion to the national economy. Dugger wrote:
“Women farmers and farmworkers produce and process more than half the world’s food. Women own or co-own one-third of the agricultural land in the U.S. Fifty-two percent of restaurant workers are women. Thirty-six percent of farmers are women. Women are leading efforts to transform our food system into one that is healthy, regenerative and just.”
“We are leaders,” Dugger writes. “And we are ready to be heard.”
Read: ‘Where Are the Women? A Word for the Presidential Forum’
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