With the elections over, Congress has returned for a lame duck session to clear its plate of post-Thanksgiving legislative leftovers. Not surprisingly, Monsanto is back, too, pushing a rider to the FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations Bill that if passed, would grant the biotech engineering giant immunity from Federal law.
The so-called “Monsanto Rider” would require the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for planting or cultivating a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed.
Why does Monsanto want to cut off our access to the courts? Because the courts have ruled that farmers have a right to grow non-GMO crops and consumers have a right to eat non-GMO food. Judges recognize that GMO contamination takes away those rights. So Monsanto is trying to bypass the courts.
Right now, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are drafting an omnibus appropriations bill behind closed doors, in the hope of passing it before January. The public won’t know what’s in the bill until it’s ready for a vote. And when the bill does hit the floor, amendments won’t be allowed.
Power-hungry Monsanto is counting on a sleepy public, distracted by the holidays, to let them slip this latest outrageous power grab through Congress.
Don’t let them do it! Contact your member of Congress and urge them to stop Monsanto's rider.
Punish the 'Natural' and Organic Traitor Brands: Download Your Boycott Guide
The parent companies of some of our favorite organic and natural brands contributed nearly half of the $46 million spent on the deceitful advertising that sunk Prop 37, the California Right to Know GMO labeling initiative. How do we prevent Pepsi, Kellogg’s and other multinational Junk Food Kings from pouring money into anti-GMO campaigns in Washington, Vermont, and other states?
Millions of consumers need to send these Traitor Brands a clear message: If they continue to side with Monsanto and the rest of the chemical companies, instead of with the consumers who have made them wildly profitable, we won’t buy their organic brands.
Why not just boycott the parent company brands? Those of us who support organics rarely buy products like Diet Pepsi or Kellogg’s Genetically-Modified-Sugar-Coated Frosted Flakes. The only way to pressure Big Food is to boycott the brands we actually buy. Brands like Kashi, Naked Juice, Horizon, Silk, Honest Tea and yes, even Ben & Jerry’s.
Let’s be clear. These Big Food companies are gobbling up organic brands to make money and to greenwash the fact that industrial agriculture, factory farms, and their so-called "conventional" brands are undermining public health and destroying the environment and climate stability. They recognize the huge profit potential in the fast-growing organic and natural markets. They want our business. If we stop buying their organic and so-called "natural" brands, they know there’s a good chance we’ll find alternative brands. We might never look back.
America's Traitor Brands can redeem themselves. All they have to do is publicly – and financially – support the consumer’s right to know about GMOs, beginning with I-522 Label It WA, a Washington State labeling initiative planned for November 2013. And while they’re at it, they should tell their parent companies to stop opposing our right to know.
To order printed copies of the boycott guide or poster call 218-226-4164 or email email@example.com
SUPPORT THE OCA AND OCF
The Spark and the Prairie Fire
Discussing the civil rights movement and how long it took for activists to see results, historian Howard Zinn told an interviewer: “You have to do things, do things, do things; you have to light that match, light that match, light that match, not knowing how many times it’s going to sputter and go out before it’s going to take hold.”
For fifteen years, the OCA has fought for strict organic standards and for truth and transparency in labeling, especially GMO labeling – back in the day when only a tiny minority of people even knew what a genetically modified organism was.
With a small but growing consumer following, we did things, did things, did things. On election day this year, with the help of millions of consumers, allies, donors and friends, we did something big. We got more than 5.8 million people in one state to vote for GMO labeling. And we got millions more, from all over the country, to notice.
It wasn’t enough to win this time, but as Zinn told his interviewer, you’ve got to have patience. And you’ve got to keep doing things, you’ve got to keep lighting that match.
Help us keep doing things – organizing, mobilizing, educating, writing initiatives and pressuring legislators – until we prevail, once and for all, over corporate power and profit.
Every donation gets us that much closer to this country’s first, and long overdue, GMO labeling law. Thank you!
As of November 28, the official vote count for Prop 37, the California Right to Know GMO labeling initiative looked like this: YES VOTES: 5,796,486 (48.2%); NO VOTES: 6,228,343 9 (51.8%)
The latest tally is an improvement over the official election-night results which showed Prop 37 defeated 53% to 47%.
Here are a couple of things we’re still learning about the vote from our pre-election polling and ongoing analysis. First, nearly half of California voters voted early. Among those early voters, Prop 37 lost. On election day, Prop 37 won - though not by enough to overcome the early losses. The well-funded NO campaign’s ability to launch their TV ads on October 1 gave them the clear advantage with early voters. Outspent nearly 5 to 1, the YES campaign couldn’t get on the air until the end of October. Once we did, we were able to bring voters back over to our side.
Second, we now know that more than 5.8 million people in California want a GMO labeling law. That’s a lot of consumers, many of whom had never heard of GMOs before Prop 37 came along. And it’s a number that state and national politicians can’t dismiss as a fringe minority.
Newly armed with the truth about GMOs and the passion to win the right to know, Prop 37 supporters inside and outside California are paying more attention than ever to food labels. They’re making different food choices. They’re making noise. It’s the next best thing to a win.
California election officials have until December 7 to report their final results to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State has until December 14 to certify the results of all California elections. We probably won’t catch up enough to win this battle, but the war has just begun.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Where Will the Food Come From?
Wisconsin Dairy Farmer, Jim Goodman, talks about the dangers of a corporate-controlled food system. Can a new generation of farmers bring us back to a more local, sustainable solution to feeding the world? Watch the video
There’s Still Time! Join the Organic Agriculture Tour to Cuba Feb. 13-23, 2013
If you’ve ever wanted to visit Cuba, this is your chance.
Join Ronnie Cummins for a first-hand look at Cuba's organic agriculture and its cooperatives, both rural and urban. Examine some of the economic and social policies that aim toward greater food sovereignty as the country adjusts to an ongoing energy and climate crisis. Investigate the rapidly expanding cooperative sector and other facets of Cuban society.
The tour cost is estimated to be $1400 plus airfare. The per-person price includes hotel, meals and a full program of activities, translation, guide and transportation.
This is a legal people-to-people educational exchange under the license of the Center for Global Justice, organized in collaboration with Via Organica (OCA's Mexico network), and the Organic Consumers Association. This people-to-people exchange comes under a specific license issued to the Center for Global Justice by the US Treasury Department.
For more information and application, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for application is January 1, 2013.