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Urgent OCA Fundraising Appeal: Label GMOs Now
#284, July 8, 2011
In this issue:
Urgent Fundraising Appeal from OCA Director Ronnie Cummins
I am writing today with an urgent request for help in our Millions Against Monsanto campaign. Every donation counts, no matter how large or small. Please be as generous as you can. Every dollar you give is a vote of confidence that will inspire larger donors to invest the enormous amount of money we need to restore consumers' right to know, expand the organic sector, and drive GMO crops and foods off the market.
For those of us who have been fighting Monsanto since the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam, the time for decisive action is now. For those of us who have fought to stop recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), Monsanto's first genetically modified organism used in food production, and have since campaigned against the approval of Monsanto's "RoundUp Ready" and "Bt" GMO corn, soy, cotton, potatoes, wheat, canola, sugar beets, and alfalfa, time is getting short! We need to stop the Biotech Behemoth before it's too late!
For those of us who were born into the Monsanto crime scene, who have never known a world uncontaminated with its chemicals, who have constantly been served unlabeled Frankenfoods, time is shorter still. Our health, our lives, and our future depend upon putting an end to Monsanto's poisons, its seeds of destruction, its killing fields, its climate-destabilizing crops, and its factory farms.
Monsanto has used its vast resources to buy off state legislators, congresspersons and presidents with campaign contributions. Monsanto's lobbying dollars have been used to send its lawyers and scientists through the revolving door into jobs as government regulators. Monsanto's financial power has infiltrated state and federal governments, along with trade associations, universities, research institutions, philanthropic organizations and media outlets.
But there are two things Monsanto's money can't buy: Our trust and our votes.
The Millions Against Monsanto campaign is launching a multi-state, multi-year effort to let the voters decide whether we need labels on foods produced with genetically modified organisms. We want to get GMO labels on the ballot in all of the 24 states that use the ballot initiative process.
Please read on to learn why ballot initiatives are an effective strategy for GMO labeling and what resources we'll need to be successful.
And, most importantly, please donate what you can today.
Ronnie Cummins, OCA Director & Co-Founder
Quote of the Week
"Where are they the next day?"
"Seven hundred thousand people demonstrated in London. But where are they the next day? And where are their adversaries? The next day their adversaries are on the job. Where are the 700,000 people? They are out of there. How many organizers are on the ground in the 435 districts? Could labor unions have been organized without organizers? Could the suffragist movement have been organized without organizers? Could the anti-slavery movement or the civil rights movement been organized without organizers? If you don't have organizers on the ground you know ipso facto that your demonstration is going nowhere."
- Ralph Nader
Join the chapter in your congressional district and help with OCA's Truth-in-Labeling Campaign
Why We Need to Get GMO Labels on the Ballot
Reason #1 - The Voters Agree: If Genetically Modified Organisms Are Used to Produce Food, the Food Should Be Labeled "GMO"!
Reason #2 - We Need to Bypass the Federal Government Given that Monsanto Has Bribed Politicians & Infiltrated Regulatory Agencies
Reason #3 - We Need High-Profile Statewide Campaigns to Wake Up Consumers Who Don't Even Know What GMOs Are
Reason #4 - Winning GMO Labels in Even One Big State Could Change Food Labeling Practices Nationally and Drastically Reduce GMO Crop Acreage
What It Takes to Win an Election Against Monsanto
Just like everything in U.S. politics, ballot initiatives have a price tag.
We need you to donate!
According to the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center:
* "The chances of victory are directly correlated with the amount of money raised and are almost always proportional to the amount of money the opposition spends."
* "Successful initiatives tend to outraise and outspend their opposition. There are exceptions to this rule, but, by and large, if the opposition spends significantly more than the proponents, they are almost guaranteed to win."
* "Initiatives are costly, both in terms of human resources and real dollars. Campaigns can cost anywhere from $100,000 to $160 million depending on the state, the issue and opposition."
* "People power is equally important to factor in. Particularly for Citizen-based ballot initiative efforts, it is imperative to have people on the ground across the state that are connected and invested in the initiative."
What you can do:
Donate and/or Volunteer
The Fight for GMO Labels State by State
According to Ballotpedia.org, a ballot initiative is a means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can bring about a public vote on a proposed statute or constitutional amendment. Ballot initiatives are also called, depending on the state, "popular initiative," "voter initiative," "citizen initiative" or just "initiative."
Twenty-four states allow ballot initiatives, which are a form of direct democracy.
Each state has its own requirements for how many signatures are required, how many days can be spent collecting the signatures and when petitions must be turned in. States also vary on the average amount of money spent by initiative committees to support or oppose ballot measures.
Learn more about ballot initiatives and GMO labeling legislation in your state.
Video of the Week
The Ultimate Weapon Against Monsanto: Start Growing Food In Your Backyard
We've come across an excellent video tutorial that introduces you to the full spectrum of requirements for a self-sustaining lifestyle. It was created by Marjory Wildcraft, and she walks her talk, growing about half of her own diet. Marjory says, "I felt so frustrated with everything that is going on. Growing food in my backyard was something tangible that I could do - and the results have been amazing. It is really empowering to step out my back door and pick vegetables I know are safe". Marjory spent years researching and implementing systems to find those that require the least amount of time, money and energy to start growing organic, nutritious food in your backyard or on a small farm. The schedule for her workshops got to be so overwhelming that she created a video to handle the demand.
Marjory's video is endorsed and carried by such notables as The Permaculture Activist, Acres USA, SurvivalBlog.com, The Survival Podcast (with Jack Spirko), The Power Hour (with Joyce Riley), and Ecology Action's premier seed and tool company Bountiful Gardens.
Note: The BackYard Food Production DVD also contains full demonstrations of how to raise and process small animals including chickens and rabbits, and is particularly suited to those living in drier, hotter bioregions.
Order the video by clicking this link, and help the OCA at the same time!
Book of the Week
Help Us Build a Sustainable Future!
Our friends at Chelsea Green offer the latest books on sustainability, democracy, new science, and pathways to peace. Thanks to our new Affiliate Program, your online purchase supports the OCA!
This weeks featured book is... Slow Gardening: A No-Stress Philosophy for All Senses and Seasons
Thanks to the resurgence of home and community gardening, more and more people are discovering the pleasure of biting into a sun-ripened tomato picked right off the vine, the earthy smell of freshly turned soil, and the cheerful harbingers of spring such as daffodils, irises, and pansies. But they are also discovering that gardening can be a heck of a lot of work. So what happens when keeping up with the weeds turns into a full-time job? What do you do when gardening becomes stressful?
Slow Gardening to the rescue! Inspired by Slow Food, an international movement that promotes local food systems and biological and cultural diversity, the slow-gardening approach can help us all appreciate and enjoy our gardens more, year in and year out.
Dr. Bronner's is Celebrating Our 60th Anniversary!
Marking the 60th Anniversary of the company, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps is pleased to announce that all classic liquid & bar soaps are now not only certified under the USDA National Organic Program, but also certified Fair Trade! In addition, we are pleased to introduce a revolutionary new range of high-quality organic products, from hair rinses to shaving gels – all certified under the same USDA program that certifies organic foods.
Please visit us on the web at DrBronner.com
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