How many lies will $17.1 million buy? Enough to sink another GMO labeling initiative?
Opponents of I-522, Washington State’s initiative to require mandatory labeling of GMOs, hope so. They’re banking on their ability to broadcast enough lies, often enough, to enough voters, to defeat I-522.
And if they do, the GMO labeling movement might not recover.
In 15 short days, Washington State voters will begin mailing in their ballots. In 33 days – on November 5 - it will all be over.
That’s all the time we have left to raise enough money to reach every voter in Washington State.
Our opponents are desperate. And filthy rich. A dangerous combination.
Their lies are familiar to us. But maybe not so to millions of voters who are hearing about GMOs for the first time.
Who are “they”? The NO on I-522 campaign is funded by Monsanto. Dow. Dupont. Bayer. BASF. And the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). The GMA has kicked in $7.2 million on behalf of food companies like Pepsi, General Mills, Coca-Cola, Kraft and others – cowardly companies that are funneling their donations through the GMA to avoid the kind of bad publicity that came raining down on them last year, when they publicly donated to defeat a GMO labeling initiative in California.
Who are “we”? We are moms who want better food choices for our families. We are students. And grandparents. We are republicans, democrats, independents. We are blue-collar and white-collar workers. We are old. We are young.
We are fed up with letting Monsanto, the giant GMA lobbying group, the FDA and the USDA poison our food. And trample our rights.
We are the GMO labeling movement. And it’s up to us to win this key battle.
We can’t say it enough. The battle to win mandatory labeling of GMOs in Washington State is everyone’s battle. Yours. Ours. Our future generations’.
Without question, the YES on 522 campaign needs money. Our opposition now has $17.1 million to spend on drowning out the voice of reason. And winning voters over to its side.
But money isn’t everything. You can also help counter the NO on 522-funded deluge of misinformation by making one-on-one phone calls to voters. We need to reach thousands of voters before November 5. You can help. The YES campaign makes it easy, by providing free training. It won’t cost you a dime. All you need is a phone and an Internet connection.
You can also help by reaching out to everyone you know who might be able to donate, or make phone calls, or help spread the word far and wide.
And don’t forget to boycott the companies and brands that are spending millions to defeat your right to know. Some of them may be hiding behind the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). But they’re not fooling anyone.
This is your movement. You’ve invested in it. Built it. Now’s the time to bring it home with a win that will ultimately force mandatory labeling nationwide.
The White Wave Food Company, owner of the Horizon Organic and Silk brands, calls itself a “champion” in the fight against GMOs. Its Silk brand products are even enrolled in the Non-GMO Project.
Yet White Wave uses some of the profits it earns by selling you its organic and non-GMO products, to support one of the GMO labeling movement’s fiercest enemies: The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). The GMA is spending (so far) $7.2 million in Washington State to defeat I-522, a citizens’ initiative that would mandate labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in foods sold in grocery stores.
It’s time for companies that profit from selling to organic consumers to stop supporting the GMA. Or lose our business. Tell White Wave CEO Gregg Engles you’re waving goodbye to the Horizon and Silk brands until White Wave quits the GMA, and supports I-522. Please sign our letter. Then raise a ruckus on the company’s facebook pages.
It’s dead. Thanks to you. And hundreds of thousands of people like you who signed petitions, and called their representatives and senators, the Monsanto Protection Act has, officially, expired.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) pushed hard to kill the Monsanto Protection act, a biotech industry-friendly rider attached to the government funding bill that expired on September 30. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) made sure the rider was stripped from the Senate version of the new bill to fund the government. Of course, as we all know by now, there currently is no new bill to fund the government, thanks in large part to the antics of Republican Tea Partiers. But at least we know the Monsanto Protection Act won't be in the next funding bill. Assuming Congress ever gets around to passing one.
So score one for the anti-Monsanto, anti-GMO movement. With the Monsanto Protection Act dead, Monsanto no longer gets immunity from prosecution for illegally growing GMO crops.
Sometimes we wonder if those petitions and phone calls really matter. But remember. No matter which senator pounded the final nail into the Monsanto Protection Act’s coffin, you provided the hammer. This is your victory!
You voted for (some of) them. You pay their salaries. But it’s Monsanto, not you, who spends millions to put them in office. And it’s Monsanto – not you - that they work for.
We’ve narrowed the field of Monsanto’s best friends in Congress to seven. On October 10, we’ll head to the halls of Congress to present OCA’s first Monsanto’s Minion Awards. But before we do, we’d like to hear from you. Who’s your favorite Monsanto Minion? See the list and vote here.
There are no cheap dates on Capitol Hill. Monsanto spent nearly $3 million wooing Congress in the first half of 2013, putting the Biotech Bully on track to match the more than $6 million it spent on lobbying in 2012. Monsanto's PAC has doled out $237,000 in federal campaign contributions in the first half of 2013, a sign it plans to exceed the $469,000 the company spent stacking the deck with its favorite biotech-friendly candidates in 2011-2012.
From collaborating with Monsanto to write the Monsanto Protection Act, to crafting legislation that might take away states’ rights to label GMOs. Monsanto’s Minions have been hard at work. Who’s your favorite?
Before there was a “GMO Right to Know Movement,” there was a “We Want to Know” campaign. It was the first “retailer rebellion” against GMOs. And it was launched by Bob Gerner, General Manager and founder of Natural Grocery Company, along with his inquisitive, rebellious staff.
Gerner, who started out managing a coffee house at UC Davis in the 1960s, now runs two Natural Grocery stores, one in Berkeley, and one in El Cerrito. He has built the company, over decades, into a thriving enterprise focused on providing locally sourced, organic, non-GMO products. Or as he likes to say, “wholesome food that tastes good.”
Along the way, Gerner blazed the trail on providing products that are free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). He eventually co-founded the Non-GMO Project. Which is just one of the reasons customers nominated Natural Grocery Company for OCA’s Top Right to Know Grocer’s contest. For the company’s leadership on GMOs, its focus on educating consumers and its commitment to getting GMOs out of the supply chain, OCA tapped Natural Grocery for one of its “Diligent Dozen” Top Right to Know Grocer spots. Congrats!
There’s still time, but hurry! Only a few spots remain open for the November 22 – December 2 trip to Cuba.
The OCA is collaborating with our Via Organica Project in Mexico, and the Center for Global Justice, on a 10-day trip to Cuba from November 22 to December 2, 2013. Deadline to apply is October 8.
The trip is open to all who have a professional interest. The estimated cost of $1500 includes dormitory-style or simple hotel accommodations, meals, translation, guide, transportation and a full program of activities for 10 days. Fee doesn’t include flights, visa, health and travel insurance, tips, airport exit tax ($30 USD), or souvenirs and other personal items. A limited number of scholarships are available.
For applications and further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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