It seems forever that we’ve been trying to get Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller off the market, and out of our food.
It’s a battle that’s had more than its share of highs and lows.
Where are we today? Fighting a new company—Bayer now owns Monsanto. And watching the courts go ‘round and ‘round, as they start then stop trials, order, then reduce (and now, potentially, reverse) judgments against a company facing nearly 43,000 lawsuits.
As Bayer digs in its heels, insisting that Roundup is “safe,” and as our regulatory agencies echo those false claims, the company finds itself fighting back in the courts, yet simultaneously hinting at a settlement that could include taking Roundup off retail store shelves (but not off U.S. farms).
It’s enough to make your head spin. Read this week’s blog post for the latest.
Read: 'Battling Roundup Weedkiller: ‘Round and ‘Round We Go'
TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Ban Monsanto/Bayer’s Cancer-Causing Roundup Weedkiller!
When it comes to choosing chicken or turkey, the first thing to look for is the USDA Organic seal. But as we’ve learned from investigations into the organic dairy and organic egg industries, not all organic products are created equal.
Why? Corporate consolidation has a lot to do with it. Once large corporations stake their claim in organic markets—typically by buying up smaller players—they “scale up” operations to achieve economies of scale. That allows them to lower their prices, and drive the other smaller players out of business.
It’s happened in many industries, including organic chicken and turkey. Hoping to cash in on the growing consumer demand for organic, companies like Tyson, Perdue and Pilgrim’s Pride offer their own “organic imposter” brands.
With robust marketing budgets, Big Chicken is able to heavily promote their Big Organic brands. They also sell them to retailers like Costco, which in turn sell them under their own store labels.
How do conscious consumers avoid organic poultry products that may not meet their expectations for high standards? And where can they find the high-quality products they want?
The Cornucopia Institute issued a new report, “For the Birds: How to Recognize Authentic Chicken and Turkey.”
The report helps consumers differentiate between organic poultry producers who strictly adhere to (or go above and beyond) USDA organic standards, and those that don’t. According to the report:
“The majority of organic chicken and turkey produced in the U.S. comes from industrial-organic operations. While these birds receive organic feed and are not given antibiotics or other pharmaceuticals, they typically live in crowded conditions devoid of legitimate outdoor access. In addition, strains of chickens and turkeys popularized in the conventional marketplace are also commonly used by organic producers. These strains are often fast growing and have health and behavioral issues associated with that abnormal growth.”
The Cornucopia report also includes an organic chicken and turkey scorecard, and a DIY guide to choosing the best organic chicken and turkey.
READ THE REPORT
CHECK THIS OUT: Organic Poultry Scorecard
DOWNLOAD: Do-It-Yourself Guide to Choosing the Best Chicken and Turkey
TAKE ACTION: Tell Costco: Consumers Don’t Want Your Giant Factory Farm!
A growing number of communities are fighting back against factory farms.
One way they’re doing that, is by asking lawmakers to ban factory farms, or at least put a moratorium on new industrial mega-farms.
As this recent article explains:
“In places as far afield as Faulk County, South Dakota, and Mount Judea, Arkansas, rural residents are petitioning their local officials to issue temporary or permanent bans on new concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). They say these moratoriums are a longer-term and more holistic solution to the environmental concerns posed by CAFOs than a more incremental approach.”
Fortunately, federal lawmakers are starting to pay attention. But if we want enough lawmakers on our side to actually succeed, we’ll need tens of thousands of people to contact their members of Congress.
Where to start? By asking Congress to support a bill, introduced by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) that could, among other things, lead to the end of industrial factory farms.
According to this recent study, factory farming isn’t just bad for your health and the environment—it’s bad for the economy, too.
We don’t need factory farms to “feed the world.” Really, we don’t.
What we need is a Green New Deal that helps farmers transition to organic regenerative agriculture.
TAKE ACTION to ban factory farms! Tell Congress to pass the Farm System Reform Act of 2019.
The late activist and writer, Howard Zinn, once wisely said:
“We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”
Zinn was right.
Every petition you sign, every phone call you place, every donation you make . . . when multiplied by millions of people . . . moves us closer to a pesticide-free food and farming system.
We know there are days when the steady stream of bad news is so discouraging, you’re tempted to give up.
And then there are days when we hear that a major manufacturer of a widely used pesticide that damages children’s brains decides to do the right thing—and stop making that pesticide.
That actually happened recently. And you should know that you helped make it happen.
Let’s not stop there. Let’s keep committing small acts. If millions of us each do one little thing, we’ll accomplish big things. Together.
Make a tax-deductible donation to Organic Consumers Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
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
Click here for more ways to support our work
Maybe you’ve heard of “Right to Farm” laws? They’re designed to protect large-scale industrial farming operations by stripping neighboring citizens’ right to sue factory farms that pollute their air and water.
“Right to Harm” is a film from executive producer Mark Bittman that illustrates the sickening (literally—read this story about “fecal dust” causing a multitude of health problems for people living near Texas cattle feedlots) impact of factory farms on rural communities—and shares inspiring stories of people who are fighting back against a system rigged against them.
In the end, the film suggests, it comes down to this: whether the economic rights of the agribusiness corporation are more important and will take priority over the basic human rights of people.
It also comes down to how many citizens are willing to organize, and how many consumers are willing to boycott meat, dairy and eggs that come from these horrendous factories, masquerading as “farms.”
WATCH: ‘Right to Harm’ trailer
FIND A SCREENING NEAR YOU
TAKE ACTION: Make a tax-deductible contribution to our End Factory Farms campaign
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