Monsanto and Big Food Will Sue Vermont - news from Organic Consumers Association

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ESSAY OF THE WEEK

Food Fight Is About to Get Uglier

As if it hasn’t been an uphill battle so far, trying to defeat Big Food and the Gene Giants in order to pass GMO labeling laws.

It’s about to get worse.

Defying repeated threats of a lawsuit from Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), on May 8, Peter Shumlin, Governor of Vermont, signed a historic bill requiring food manufacturers to label genetically engineered (GE) foods, and to drop the practice of labeling GE foods as “natural” or “all natural.”

On May 9, true to its word, the GMA confirmed that it will sue Vermont in federal court to overturn H. 112.

Vermont is prepared to fight back. The state has already established a “food fight” legal defense fund. Legal analysts say Vermont will likely win.

But Vermont isn’t the only state up against the multi-billion dollar lobbying group. The GMA, whose300-plus members include Monsanto and Dow, Coca-Cola and General Mills, is pushing a bill in Congress that would preempt all states from passing GMO labeling laws.

It’s time for consumers in every state to band together to defeat the GMA’s full-on assault, not only on Vermont, not only on consumers’ right to know what’s in our food, but on states’ rights and on our basic freedoms to protect our health and our communities.

Read the essay

Donate to fight the GMA

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ACTION ALERT

Bigger Battle, Bigger Boycott

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food.

It’s time we did the same.

The GMA plans to sue in federal court to overturn Vermont’s new GMO labeling law, H.112. And it’s pushing a bill in Congress that would not only overturn every state’s right to enact a GMO labeling law, but also legalize the practice of labeling GMO foods “natural.”

Monsanto, Dow, Dupont, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Coca-Cola. These are just a few of the 300-plus members of the GMA. Combined, they own more than 6,000 brand name products, including foods, beverages, seeds, home and garden supplies, pet food, herbicides and pesticides.

You probably don’t buy most of those products. But you may not be aware that many of your favorite organic and natural brands, like Honest Tea, Muir Glen, Odwalla, Kashi, Earthgrains, Santa Cruz and others, are owned by corporations that do belong to the GMA. Those corporations spent about $68 million just to defeat GMO ballot initiatives in California (Prop 37) and Washington State (I-522). And they continue to fight against your right to know by supporting the GMA’s latest efforts to overturn states’ rights to pass GMO labeling laws.

Who are the Traitor Brands? Take the pledge, and find out!

TAKE ACTION: Pledge to Boycott the 300-Plus Members of the GMA, Including the Traitor Brands!

More about the boycott

GMA members

GMA boycott website

More on the GMA’s bill to kill states’ rights to label GMOs

More on the GMA’s plans to sue Vermont

Download your wallet-sized boycott guide

Download the Buycott app for your smartphone and join OCA's new campaign, "Buy Organic Brands that Support Your Right to Know" so you can scan products before you buy them.

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ACTION ALERT

The Environmental Not-Protecting-the-Bees Agency

For years, the EPA has done nothing to stop Bayer and Monsanto, the leading bee-killers.

Now, the EPA is considering petitions from Dow and Syngenta to expand and increase the use of two insecticides, sulfoxaflor and thiamethoxam. Both belong to the neonicotionid class of pesticides implicated in the mass die-off of bees, known as Colony Collapse Disorder.

Dow wants the EPA to allow sulfoxaflor residues on food.

Syngenta wants the EPA to allow it to use 200 timesmore thiamethoxam on alfalfa than is currently allowed.

Meanwhile, a new study hot off the presses from the Harvard University School of Public Health again confirms the link between low doses of two widely used neonicotinoid pesticides and the mass die-off of bees. Of course, the folks at Bayer, which sells millions of dollars worth of neonics, is spinning its own tale of how the cold winters and pests—not the company’s poisons—are really to blame, according to POLITICO.

TAKE ACTION: Deadline Midnight May 23: Tell EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy: Don’t Let Dow and Syngenta Kill More Bees! 

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SUPPORT THE OCA & OCF

Backed into a Corner

For years, pesticide and junk food companies have conspired to poison everything in their path—including your food.

For years, they’ve bought off the politicians and courts, so they could poison with impunity.

Together, we have fought long and hard, persistently and passionately, to require Monsanto and Big Food to, if not clean up their acts, at least be honest about their products.

As in, label them. Truthfully.

Now that the law is beginning to turn in our favor, we have Monsanto and Big Food backed into a corner. But instead of backing down, they’re coming out swinging.

The GMO labeling law signed last week in Vermont was scrutinized every which way to Sunday, by some of the best legal experts in the country. It’s solid. Yet Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association have vowed to sue in federal court to overturn it. And just in case that doesn’t work, they’re working behind the scenes (as in paying off the politicians) in Washington D.C., to pass a federal law to preempt every single state from passing a GMO labeling law.

We will not let corporate bullies undo the progress you, and millions of others like you, have made toward an honest labeling system. Thank you for helping us get this far. Let’s show Monsanto and the GMA that no amount of desperate maneuvering is going to stop this movement.

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, Vermont and other states)

 
 
 

NEW STUDY

Losing the War on Super-Bugs

“A post-antibiotic era—in which common infections and minor injuries can kill—far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st Century.” – World Health Organization

The super-bugs are gaining on us. And if we don’t stop our reckless use of antibiotics, they’re going to win.

The World Health Organization (WHO) for the first time issued a report on the global state ofantimicrobial resistance (AMR)— which is a fancy name for what happens when microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites evolve in ways that make them able to survive the medications we used to use to kill them.

What are some of the infections that we may soon be unable to treat, according to the report? Pneumonia, bloodstream infections, urinary infections, gonorrhea, and infections in newborns and intensive-care unit patients.

Maybe it’s time to stop dousing millions of animals in factory farms with antibiotics. The report says that when it comes to animal agriculture, “major gaps” exist in the surveillance and data sharing related to the emergence of antibiotic-resistance in food-borne bacteria and its potential impact on both animal and human health. Could it be the factory farms have something to hide?

Read the study

Photo Credit: NIAID via Compfight cc

 
 
 

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

The Big Monsanto Stock Dump

Are you invested in Monsanto? Before you say “of course not!,” take note: Fidelity ($3.2 billion), Vanguard ($3.5 billion) and State Street ($2.9 billion) are the three largest public owners of Monsanto stock. If you own mutual funds or retirement funds managed by either of these financial institutions, you may be a Monsanto investor.

Last week, activists in seven cities participated in a national action asking Fidelity, Vanguard and State Street to dump Monsanto—or be dumped themselves. Here’s the video from Chicago.

Watch the video

 
 
 

ORGANIC TRANSITIONS

Dumping the Dumps

In 2012, the U.S. generated 250.9 million tons of trash, nearly three times as much waste as in 1960,says the EPA.

All that waste has to go somewhere. For years, it’s gone into dumps, or in today’s more politically correct lingo, landfills. But as landfills fill up, communities looking for new ways to tackle municipal solid waste are turning to “zero-waste.”

Two of those communities, St. Louis Park, Minn., and Minneapolis, are on track to clean up their acts sooner, rather than later.

Learn more

More on U.S. cities reducing waste

Tips to Reduce Waste at Home

Photo Credit: United Nations Photo via Compfight cc

 
 
 

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week

A Lack of Fluoride Is Not a Cause of Cavities

7 Ways Organic Farms Outperform Conventional Farms

New Study Calls out 17 Common Chemicals Linked to Breast Cancer

First-Ever Study Reveals Food Dyes in Brand-Name Foods

The Toxic Brew in Our Yards

Fifteen Easy and Affordable All Natural Weed Killer Recipes

Climate Change Is Turning Your Produce into Junk Food

 

(Send your news to foodconsumer.org@gmail.com)

(Send your news to foodconsumer.org@gmail.com, Foodconsumer.org is part of the Infoplus.com ™ news and information network)