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Essays by Katherine Paul

March 21, 2018
Organic Consumers Association
by Katherine Paul
Essay

Whether it’s the animal waste and antibiotics from livestock operations, or the nitrates and pesticides from GMO corn and soy grown to feed the millions of confined animals, from sea to shining sea, industrial agribusiness, led by multi-billion dollar corporations like Tyson, is destroying our most precious natural resource—water.

State and federal regulators by and large use their power to protect corporate profits, not public health.

That leaves citizens to battle it out in the courts. But now some members of Congress want to eliminate even that last resort.

What can Read more

October 24, 2017
Organic Consumers Association
by Katherine Paul
Essay

Vermonter Jacques Couture wrote in the Burlington Free Press that he was “a little perplexed” by the “current demand by some vocal Vermonters” that all dairy farmers convert to organic. There’s room for both organic and non-organic, he said.

Couture didn’t specifically mention the consumer campaign asking Ben & Jerry’s to source 100% organic dairy. Nor did he name the nonprofits—Regeneration Vermont and the Organic Consumers Association—behind the campaign.

Did Ben & Jerry’s put Couture up to writing the op-ed? Is the Unilever-owned ice cream maker paving the way for Read more

April 18, 2017
Organic Consumers Association
by Katherine Paul
Essay

Most opinion tribunals have had a considerable impact, and it is now accepted that they contribute to the progressive development of international law. – International Monsanto Tribunal Advisory Opinion, The Hague, April 18, 2017

On Tuesday, April 18, representatives of the Organic Consumers Association and our Regeneration International project gathered in The Hague, Netherlands, along with members of other civil society groups, scientists and journalists, to hear the opinions of the five judges who presided over the International Monsanto Tribunal. Read more

March 23, 2017
Organic Consumers Association
by Katherine Paul
Essay

“I have cancer, and I don’t want these serious issues in HED [EPA’s Health Effects Division] to go unaddressed before I go to my grave. I have done my duty.”

It’s been four years since Marion Copley, a 30-year EPA toxicologist, wrote those words to her then-colleague, Jess Rowland, accusing him of conniving with Monsanto to bury the agency’s own hard scientific evidence that it is “essentially certain” that glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, causes cancer.

Copley has since died. But her letter suggesting that EPA Read more

December 9, 2016
Organic Consumers Association
by Katherine Paul
Essay

Reporters and activists are, rightfully so, holding up the Standing Rock victory as a shining example of how, by breaking out of our single-issue and limited-constituency silos, and standing our common ground against corporations and politicians, we create a powerful synergy capable of protecting our common home.

Let’s replicate this model of solidarity and resistance over and over as we face what could well turn out to be the greatest threats in modern history to our health, our environment and our basic rights.

But let’s not stop there.

What if instead of declaring Read more

June 7, 2016
Organic Consumers Association
by Katherine Paul and Ronnie Cummins
Essay

For all their posturing, for all their proclamations that Vermont’s law must be preempted or “chaos will ensue,” key Senate proponents of a federal bill to preempt Vermont’s mandatory GMO labeling bill have yet to produce a viable version of the bill, much less pass such a bill.

Now, they’re down to five days. The anti-labeling brigade has just five working days (including today, June 16, 2016) to preempt Vermont’s law before it takes effect July 1.

Five working days, before the House adjourns for the July 4 holiday recess on June 24. And because any bill passed by the Senate Read more

October 6, 2015
Organic Consumers Association
by Katherine Paul
Essay

The Monsanto public relations machine has done a stellar job in recent years of reducing the GMO debate to one that pits “pro-science advocates” against “anti-science climate-denier types”—with Monsanto portrayed as being squarely planted in the pro-science camp.
 
But that well-oiled machine may be starting to sputter.
 
Turns out that a Monsanto executive solicited pro-GMO articles from university researchers, and passed the “research” off as independent science which the biotech giant then used to prop up its image and further its agenda.
 
We know this, Read more

September 6, 2015
Organic Consumers Association
by Katherine Paul
Essay

On August 27 (2015), we published an action alert asking consumers to ask Burt’s Bees to cut ties with the corporations that make neonicotinoid pesticides. Neonics are a class of pesticides implicated in the mass die-off of honeybees.

We also asked that instead of supporting research (through the Pollinator Partnership) on other causes of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), or research on alternative pesticides, Burt’s Bees use its corporate clout to demand that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ban the use of neonics.

Our action alert prompted an angry phone call Read more

February 6, 2015
Organic Consumers Association
by Katherine Paul
Essay

manure lagoon

manure lagoon

Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS

A “Cow Palace” in Washington State threatens public health with its acres of untreated animal waste.

A city in Iowa spends nearly $1 million a year to keep illness-causing nitrates, generated by farm runoff, out of public drinking water.

And who can forget the plight of Toledo, Ohio, residents whose water last summer was so contaminated by farm runoff that they couldn’t even bathe in it, much less drink it?

For decades, America’s chemical-intensive, industrial farming operations have spewed nitrates and other toxic chemicals, animal waste, ammonia, antibiotics, carbon Read more

December 11, 2014
by Katherine Paul
Essay

From the minute the first bus arrived outside Washington D.C.’s Rayburn Building, and 50 sleep-deprived but enthusiastic activists spilled out onto the sidewalk, it was clear. This would be a day of grassroots greatness.
 
Outdoors, at least.
 
Indoors? It fast became equally clear that this would be another day of business-as-usual on Capitol Hill, of corporations running the show with the help of their hired-gun politicians.
 
By the end of the day we knew this: The road toward ending the corporate corruption of our food system—and of our Democracy—will be a Read more

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