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Frankenfoods Fight at the Crossroads - newsletter 103114 from Organic Consumers Association

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ESSAY OF THE WEEK

All Out for November 4!

Less than a week.

That’s how long before final votes will be tallied, on November 4, in two hard-fought and highly publicized state mandatory GMO food labeling ballot initiatives: Measure 92 in Oregon and Initiative 105 in Colorado.

It is no exaggeration to say that these two crucial ballot initiatives will determine the future of chemical-intensive, genetically engineered agriculture in North America.

Despite the fact that the Gene Giants (Monsanto Dupont, Dow, Syngenta, BASF, and Bayer), backed by the world’s largest junk food manufactures (Coca Cola, Pepsi, Kraft, General Mills, Kellogg’s), have spent over $30 million to mislead and confuse voters in these two states, latest indications are that voters in at least one state, Oregon, will vote for mandatory labeling, while voters in Colorado (where the Yes on GMO labeling forces have been outspent 25-to-1) may still pull off the most amazing longshot victory of 2014.

What is important to understand is that a victory in either of these two frontline states will be decisive.

Since genetically engineered (GE) crops and foods were forced onto the market in the 1990s by Monsanto and the FDA, with no pre-market safety testing and no labels required, consumers have mobilized to either ban or to require mandatory labeling of these “Frankenfoods.”

Fear and anger against Frankenfoods have spawned an unprecedented national grassroots Movement that has persevered for over two decades, despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent by the GMO and junk food industries to buy off federal and state lawmakers and regulatory agencies.

America’s contemporary food fight is not just a battle for health and sustainability, but a fundamental struggle over whether we and our children will live in a Democracy or a Corporatocracy.

In the last few days of this campaign, we all need to go all out.

Read Ronnie’s essay

Donate to support GMO labeling in Oregon and Colorado

Volunteer to call Colorado voters

Volunteer to call Oregon voters

 
 
 

ACTION ALERT

Clean up the Clean Water Act!

It’s been 42 years since Congress passed the Clean Water Act. But loopholes in the Act, along with attempts by big polluters (including agribusiness) to weaken the law, have left millions of acres of wetlands, and approximately 60 percent of America’s rivers and streams, unprotected.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to restore protection to those wetlands and waters—the source of drinking water for 117 million Americans. Which is why the agency proposed the Waters of the U.S., a rule intended to un-muddy the waters around which types of waters are, and are not, covered under the Clean Water Act.

Who doesn’t want to protect those waters?

Big Ag.

Under pretense of protecting small farmers, groups like the American Farm Bureau and the Cattlemen’s Association are speaking out against the rule. They’ve also used their lobbying power to persuade a group of 30 Republican U.S. Senators to introduce legislation to block it.

As if the opposition from the well-funded factory farm lobbyists and their super-lobbied senators weren't enough, conservative media is also trying to block the EPA’s efforts to protect drinking water, by acting as a megaphone for industry.

Industrial agriculture has made more than 100,000 miles of rivers and streams and 2,500 square miles of inland lakes too polluted to sustain important uses such as swimming, fishing, drinking, or the maintenance of healthy populations of wildlife, according toEnvironment Minnesota. Still, companies like Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland, among others, want weaker, not stronger, rules for protecting your drinking water.

TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA: Please Protect U.S. Waters from Factory Farm Pollution!

 
 
 

ACTION ALERT

Power of Persuasion

Monsanto and Big Food aren’t letting up. And neither can we.

With just days to go before voters in Oregon and Colorado decide if their states will pass mandatory GMO labeling laws, Monsanto and Pepsi are sending even more money to the anti-labeling campaigns.

Our best hope to pass one or both of these laws is to call voters. Lots of them.

And to do that, we need you.

You don’t have to live in Oregon or Colorado to call voters there and tell them how important it is to get out and vote onNovember 4. All you need is a phone and a computer.

And the power of persuasion.

Call Colorado voters to vote YES for GMO labeling

Call Oregon voters and urge them to vote YES on 92!

Watch this video to see how easy it is to become a volunteer phone banker in Oregon

Donate to support Yes on 92 and Prop 105

Photo Credit: plenty.r. via Compfight cc

 
 
 

ACTION ALERT

One Step Closer

While Oregon and Colorado anti-GMO activists work feverishly to pass mandatory GMO labeling laws in their states, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) is pushing ahead with his (and Monsanto’s) bill to wipe out states’ rights to pass GMO labeling laws.

According to Politico, Pompeo’s bill to kill GMO labeling laws—known as the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act—will get a hearing on December 10.

Pompeo, known in some circles as the Congressman from Koch Industries, introducedH.R. 4432 in April. So far he’s managed to drum up support for the anti-labeling, anti-states’ rights bill from 37 of his colleagues.

With the bill to kill GMO labeling one step closer to reality, now would be a good time to tell your member of Congress what you think.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Representative: Don’t Support Big Food’s Bill to Kill GMO Labeling Laws!

 
 
 

SUPPORT THE OCA & OCF

Chemicals of War

“We must align ourselves with the earth and its laws.” – Vandana Shiva, October 26, 2014, New York

This past weekend, Vandana Shiva spoke at a teach-in in New York. Eloquent as always, she spoke about biodiversity, and the need for humans to nurture intimate relationships with real ecosystems, and real people.

She spoke about the plight of small farmers who produce 70 percent of the world’s food while stewarding the land—versus the biotech industry which produces only 30 percent of the world’s food, while destroying 70 percent of the world’s biodiversity.

She spoke about how technology, including genetic engineering of crops, has been sold to the world as a religion. How the propaganda machinery—journalism, government, corporate public relations—has pushed patented seeds on the world under the pretense of “higher yields.” And how such messages fail to take into account how empty those “yields” numbers are in terms of actual nutrition, or what price they exact in terms of real wealth and biodiversity.

She reminded us that fertilizers and pesticides are the chemicals of war, perpetrating violence against the earth.

She urged us to align with the earth, and its laws.

On Tuesday, November 4, citizens in Oregon and Colorado will have the opportunity to vote against the propaganda machine, against the chemicals of war.

On Tuesday, November 4, citizens in Oregon and Colorado will have the opportunity to vote for health, for biodiversity, for real wealth—not the false wealth of corporate profits.

Your generosity has made these campaigns in Oregon and Colorado possible. Your passion and commitment have kept this movement alive. Win or lose, we will still have a long way to go before we stop the violence against the earth.

But with your help, we will get there.

Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)

Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in Oregon, Colorado and other states)

Photo Credit: seyed mostafa zamani via Compfight cc

 
 
 

SAVE THE BEES

It’s Not Too Late!

Friends of the Earth has put together everything you need to “treat” Lowe’s to a message this Halloween: Stop selling bee-killing pesticides and garden plants!

A recent meta-analysis of 800 peer-reviewed studies released by the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides—a global group of independent scientists—confirms that a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids (neonics) is a key factor in the decline of bees.

According to a report by FOE, 36 out of 71 “bee friendly” garden plants—51 percent—purchased at top garden retailers (Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart) in 18 cities in the U.S. and Canada contained neonic pesticides that are harmful to bees. With no warning to gardeners.

Home Depot has taken steps to prevent the sale of bee-killing plants and pesticides. BJ’s Wholesale Club, a store with over 200 stores in 15 states, has eliminated neonics from its stores. More than a dozen retailers across the country have acknowledged that neonics are a problem, and they’re doing their part to address it.

But Lowe’s? Nothing.

Want to help change the minds that make the decisions at Lowe’s? There’s still time.

Download the step-by-step toolkit to take action

Download the Lowe's letter and Halloween card

Download the poster

More information from Friends of the Earth here

Photo Credit: ViaMoi via Compfight cc

 
 
 

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Soda Wars

One out of three kids in this country is obese. And Big Soda has a lot to do with that. Robert Reich shares what it’s like to live in Berkeley, Calif. right now, where Coca-Cola and Pepsi are pulling out all the stops to block a soda tax.

Watch the video

 
 
 

NEW STUDY

Bad Investment

Over the course of the 20 years since they were introduced, GMO crops have been planted on a cumulative 4 billion
acres of land, an area roughly the size of Russia.

That’s just one of the juicy facts in a report titled “The Case Against GMOs: An Environmental Investor’s View of the Threat to our Global Food Systems.”

The report, published last month by Portfolio 21, a Portland-Ore.-based investment management firm, concludes that not only are GMOs a bad idea, they’re a bad investment.

Read the report

Photo Credit: Tim Good: Photography by Tiwagovia Compfight cc 

 
 
 

FAIR WORLD PROJECT

Scary Treats

What are some of the scariest treats you could hand out to kids this Halloween?

Chocolate products made by some of the biggest names in chocolate, including Mars, Nestlé and Hershey. (The 10 most popular Halloween candies are all brands owned by either Hershey or Mars).

Hershey is trying to kill GMO labeling bills by donating $380,000 to the NO on Prop 105 initiative in Colorado, and $320,000 to the NO on 92 campaign in Oregon.

Meanwhile, the not-so-fair-minded folks at Nestlé are being sued (and not for the first time) for aiding and abetting child slavery on cacao fields.

Chocolate is a multi-billion dollar industry—noted for corporate consolidation, child labor and worker abuse. And GMOs. When it comes time to hand out treats this Halloween, shop carefully.

Take the FWP chocolate quiz

Find a fair chocolate brand

More from FWP on chocolate

Photo Credit: Mark J P via Compfight cc

 
 
 

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week

US Meat Production Uses More Antibiotics than Ever

Americans Are Huge: 5 Surprising Reasons Why We May Be Getting Fatter

What to Do about Pig Poop? North Carolina Fights a Rising Tide

GMO Approval Process FINALLY Being Scrutinized

Superfoods List: 15 Best Fall Superfoods

The Coming Revolution: Evolutionary Leap or Descent into Chaos and Violence?

 

 

 

(Send your news to [email protected], Foodconsumer.org is part of the Infoplus.com ™ news and information network)

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