Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall in Monsanto’s boardroom this week?
Two Oregon counties—Jackson and Josephine—soundly defeated the Gene Giants on Tuesday, May 20. Voters there, led in Jackson County by a grassroots group called Our Family Farms Coalition, passed countywide bans on growing GMOs.
The wins send a clear signal to the biotech industry that their GMO crops are not wanted. And an equally clear signal to politicians that communities will take a stand to protect their democratic right to local home rule.
This time, Monsanto’s money and lies didn’t work. (Monsanto and the rest of the Gene Giants spent a cool $1 million—a new record for a county ballot measure in Oregon—in Jackson County alone).
This time, ordinary citizens and community rights prevailed over corporate and political corruption.
This time, we’re celebrating.
This week’s victories are all the more sweet, coming just weeks after Vermont signed into law this country’s first stand-alone bill requiring mandatory labeling of GMOs.
The grassroots anti-GMO movement, always a force to be reckoned with, is now a bigger-than-ever threat to corporations that have poisoned and polluted with impunity, for decades.
Thanks to you.
What’s next? A lot.
Through your donations to our 501(c) 4 allied lobbying arm, the Organic Consumers Fund, we contributed $50,000 to win in Jackson and Josephine Counties. And another $250,000 to win in Vermont.
Now, we have to win Oregon’s Ballot Initiative #44, in November, to require statewide mandatory labeling of GMO foods. We’ve pledged $500,000 to that campaign. We have to help other counties, like Lane and Benton Counties in Oregon, and Humboldt County, in California, pass the GMO bans they’re working on.
We also need to defend Josephine County’s initiative, at risk because of a controversial law passed last year in Oregon preempting county GMO bans. (Jackson County got on the ballot before Oregon SB 863 passed). And we have to defend Vermont’s new labeling law, because the Grocery Manufacturers Association has promised to sue in federal court to overturn it.
It’s a lot. But listen up, Monsanto. We’re just getting started.
These recent victories mark the turning point in a decades-long battle to expose the health and environmental hazards of GMO food and farming. As we pause today to celebrate the energy, creativity and dogged determination of our fellow activists everywhere, we are proud to be a part of this unstoppable movement. And grateful for all of you who really are this movement. Thank you! And onward to the next victory.
Genetically engineered grass could soon be coming to a lawn, or a park or a golf course or an office complex—or an organic pasture—near you.
In July 2011, Scotts Company and Monsanto convinced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to give the companies a free pass to market their genetically engineered Roundup-Ready Kentucky Bluegrass. No testing required.
Now, employees of the Marysville, Ohio-based company are set to begin testing new GMO grass on their lawns. The company says it plans to sell the product commercially in 2015. Sales to consumers will start in 2016.
Where would you rather your kids play? On a lawn with a little crabgrass and some dandelions (which by the way, make great food)? Or a lawn drenched in Monsanto’s toxic Roundup?
As if the world’s most widely used poison, Monsanto’s Roundup, didn’t already pose a huge public health threat. Now, Monsanto and Scotts have teamed up to market Roundup Ready Kentucky Bluegrass, genetically engineered to withstand massive doses of Roundup.
You probably won’t buy it. But what’s to stop commercial landscapers from using it just about anywhere?
Nothing. Because it’s unregulated.
Scotts new GMO grass poses two critical dangers. One, it will lead to even more widespread use of poisons that scientists say are making us, and especially our children, sick. And two, it will spread, contaminating everything in its sight, including the pastures of organic farmers.
Monsanto and Scotts are both members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the group we targeted last week for the Great Boycott. Let’s give Scotts a little extra attention this week. Let Scotts Chairman & CEO Jim Hagedorn, Chief Communications Officer Jim King, and a few other key executives know that we won’t buy their Miracle-Gro products until they drop plans to market their GMO grass.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) signaled it will approve Dow’s new Enlist-brand corn and soy crops, genetically engineered to resist massive doses of 2,4-D.
You remember 2,4-D. It’s similar in composition to Agent Orange, the Vietnam-era herbicide responsible for severe illnesses in people directly exposed to it, and also in their offspring and future generations.
The USDA admits to concerns that if the new crops are approved, the annual use of 2,4-D would jump from 26 million pounds to 176 million pounds. (Independent scientists predict the increase would be even more dramatic.)
But hey, it’s not the USDA's problem. According to the agency, it’s responsible only for approving the genetically engineered seeds, not the new formulation of 2,4-D herbicide that will be used on the crops. So the USDA is passing the buck to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which it says is responsible for approving the new formulation of 2,4-D herbicide that will be used Dow’s Agent Orange crops.
Monsanto has its money. Oregon’s family farmers have . . . their tractors.
On May 2, 2014, family farmers from Jackson County, Oregon, took a brigade of 18 tractors through downtown Medford to show their support for county ballot measure 15-119, to ban growing of GMOs in Jackson County.
The farmers won. Monsanto lost. You don’t want to miss this video proving, once again, the power of the grassroots.
Monsanto’s the one who should be taking a hike. But this weekend, it will be millions of activists, in more than 50 countries, who take to the streets to March Against Monsanto.
It’s not too late to find a group near you, and join the march.
In an effort to support the march, the OCA mailed almost 800 free organizing material packets, including ‘Millions Against Monsanto’ leaflets, posters and bumper stickers, ‘Save the Bees’ leaflets and bumper stickers, and wildflower seed packets for making seed bombs, to marchers in cities across the country.
We’ve run out of print materials, but you can still download free Millions Against Monsanto campaign materials here.
It didn’t happen overnight. But little by little, chemicals—more than 80,000 of them—have crept into millions of everyday products. Few, if any, of those chemcals have been adequately tested for health and safety.
“Unacceptable Levels” is an award-winning film that examines the impact of the chemical revolution of the 1940’s on our lives—and health—today. Filmmaker Ed Brown interviews top minds in the fields of science, advocacy and law on how the chemical revolution has brought us to where we are. And where it may take us.
Buy or rent this award-winning documentary and the OCA will receive 40 percent of the purchase price.