This is a Call to Action for a Non-Hierarchical Occupation of Monsanto Everywhere
Whether you like it or not, chances are Monsanto contaminated the food you ate today with chemicals and unlabeled GMOs. Monsanto controls much of the world's food supply at the expense of food democracy worldwide. This site is dedicated to empowering citizens of the world to take action against Monsanto & it's enablers like the FDA, USDA, EPA, GMA, BIO, and the processed food companies that use Monsanto's products.
As the world comes to Washington, DC to celebrate the inauguration of President Barack Obama, safe food activists will be gathering to demand the President follow up with his campaign promise to label genetically engineered foods.
Over 90% of Americans want food labels to indicate if the ingredients came from a genetically engineered plant or animal. Polls show that across all political party affiliations Americans believe that they should have the fundamental right to know the source of their food.
Since President Obama has been in office, he’s placed former Monsanto employees in positions of enormous power at the FDA, EPA, and the USDA. This regulatory capture of America’s food system has made our food supply less safe. During Obama’s tenure as President there has been a large increase in the number of food recalls due to bacteria and other adulterants.
There have been two different petitions on the White House’s website that have met the signature threshold for a response from the President. Over 6 months later, the White House has failed to respond to people’s concerns.
On Monday, January 21, come join us on the National Mall in Washington, DC to raise awareness about GMO and to demand that President Obama follow-up with his promise to label GMO foods. We will be gathering in Dupont Circle at 9:00 AM and we’ll depart for the National Mall at 9:30 AM. Please dress warm!
Safe Food Activists Sponsor a GMO-Free Inauguration
President Obama’s Supporters ask him to Fulfill Promise to Label Genetically Engineered Foods (GMO)s
Joining the estimated 1 million visitors in Washington, DC for 2nd Inauguration of President Barack Obama, hundreds of safe food activists will hold a “GMO Free Inauguration” by sharing organic & non-GMO food and hot drinks via a roving musical assembly. The group will call upon President Obama to follow through with his 2007 campaign promise to label foods with genetically engineered (GMO) ingredients. The group will gather at 9:00 a.m. on the South side of Dupont Circle and walk to the National Mall for the inauguration ceremonies.
WHEN:Monday, January 21, at 9 a.m. in Dupont Circle & March to the National Mall at 9:30 a.m.
WHY: To urge President Obama to mandate labeling of GMO foods
“President Obama has had over 4 years to give Americans the same simple food labels citizens of over 40 countries enjoy,” says, Emilianne Slaydon, founder of GMO Free DC. “With over 90% of Americans in support of labels for GE foods, if Obama acts there’s no demographic he would upset except Wall Street agribusiness interests and processed food companies.” Last fall over $45 million dollars was spent by the biotech food industry in a lopsided battle to defeat GMO food labels in California. While the voter initiative lost by less than 2% points, numerous states across America have begun a process of getting GMO food labeling legislation passed.
“We’re tired of waiting for the Obama Administration to respond to our ‘We The People’ petitions on the White House website,” says Gene, an anonymous Occupy Monsanto activist, “So we are going to inform President Obama’s supporters that he’s failed to answer our concerns.” On September 23, 2011, on the second day after the “We The People” petitioning microsite was launched, the first GMO Labeling petition was created. It has received over 30,000 signatures and has not received a response, while a petition on raw milk, which was also created on the same day, was responded to after only 6,000 signatures. In April of 2011 another GMO Labeling petition was created and 8 months & over 60,000 signatures later, there is still no response from the White House. In the meantime, the White House has answered three petitions on cannabis legalization, as well as responded to petitions on ephemeral issues like building the Death Star and the White House beer recipe.
Citizens will be accompanied by a mobile sound system that will be playing audio of President Obama’s GMO labeling campaign promise that was made on November 10, 2007 in Des Moines, Iowa. President Obama said “Here’s what I’ll do as president… we’ll let folks know whether their food has been genetically modified because Americans should know what they’re buying.” (Watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqaaB6NE1TI )
Activists will also be handing out information concerning GMO foods and how customers can avoid them in lieu of Federal GMO labeling guidelines.
Today farmers, seed breeders, & concerned citizens from across America came to Washington, DC to support Organic farmers in the appeal of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Asscociation (OSGATA) vs Monsanto et al, a court case filed to protect farmers from genetic trespass by Monsanto’s GMO seed, which can contaminate organic and non-GMO farmers’ crops and opens them up to abusive lawsuits.
In the past two decades, Monsanto’s seed monopoly has grown so powerful that they control the genetics of nearly 90% of five major commodity crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and sugar beets. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit agreed to hear oral arguments in the appeal of this landmark case to decide whether or not this case will move forward. Below are some of the photos taken at today’s Citizens’ Assembly.
By Bill Lambrecht firstname.lastname@example.org 202-298-6880
January 10, 2013 12:30 pm
WASHINGTON • An appeal by organic farmers to a court ruling last year turned into a wide-ranging protest this morning with speakers skewering Monsanto Co. for its policies and demanding labeling of genetically modified food.
About 200 people, many from organic seed companies, rallied in a park directly across from the White House on a crisp, cloudless day amid construction for festivities surrounding the second inauguration of President Barack Obama on Jan. 21.
The protest suggested an uptick in efforts to demand labeling, which was defeated in a California ballot initiative in November. Creve Coeur-based Monsanto spent at least $8 million in an industry-wide effort to sink the California proposition.
Vermont state Sen. David Zuckerman said at the rally that he is leading an effort in his state seeking legislation requiring labeling of genetically modified food.
Organic farmers, who are pressing a lawsuit against Monsanto, often complain that their products are threatened by wind-blown pollen from genetically altered crops.
“We want and demand the right of clean seed not contaminated by a massive biotech company that’s in it for the profit,” Carol Koury, who operates Sow True Seeds in Asheville, N.C., said at the rally.
The gathering was held in conjunction with an appeal heard today before a three-judge U.S. Court of Appeals panel in Washington. The suit questions the legality of Monsanto’s seed patents and seeks protection from patent-infringement suits against farmers in the event their fields are found to contain genetically modified seed.
The lawsuit was filed by the Public Patent Foundation on behalf of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association.
Last February, U.S. District Judge Naomi Buchwald in the Southern District of New York dismissed the suit, asserting that “there is no evidence to suggest that plaintiffs are infringing defendants’ patents, nor have plaintiffs suggested when, if ever, such infringement will occur.”
Buchwald said in her ruling that it was “hardly significant” that Monsanto had filed 144 patent-infringement cases over a 13-year period given the number of farms in the United States.
After the dismissal, a Monsanto lawyer called the ruling a victory for all farmers.
This morning, Public Patent Foundation’s Daniel Ravicher, a lawyer who presented the appeal, asked: “If our clients don’t have standing today to seek protection, when will they have standing? Do they have to wait to be contaminated?”
On January 10, family farmers will travel to Washington DC to participate in the appeal of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Asscociation (OSGATA) vs Monsanto et al, a court case filed to protect farmers from genetic trespass by Monsanto’s GMO seed, which can contaminate organic and non-GMO farmers’ crops and opens them up to abusive lawsuits. In the past two decades, Monsanto’s seed monopoly has grown so powerful that they control the genetics of nearly 90% of five major commodity crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and sugar beets.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has agreed to hear oral arguments in the appeal of this landmark case to decide whether or not this case will move forward. If you’d like to show your support for family farmers and their right to grow food without the threat of fear and intimidation, please RSVP to attend the Citizen’s Assembly.
I pledge to attend and affirm the following principles of Citizen’s Assembly.
If you plan to attend A Citizen’s Assembly of Support for Family Farmers vs. Monsanto, please read and affirm the following principles of assembly.
RSVP – A Citizen’s Assembly of Support for Family Farmers vs. Monsanto – Jan. 10, 2013
We wish to assemble free and peaceful citizens in Lafayette Square in Washington DC in an effort to present the important message to family farmers that millions of Americans stand behind them as they seek their day in court. In the past two decades, Monsanto’s seed monopoly has grown so powerful that they control the genetics of nearly 90% of five major commodity crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and sugar beets. This has resulted in onerous costs to farmers through high technology patent fees for seeds as well as burdensome litigation costs in defending themselves against lawsuits asserted by Monsanto.
In many cases organic and conventional farmers are forced to stop growing certain crops in order to avoid genetic contamination and potential lawsuits. Between 1997 and April 2010, Monsanto filed 144 lawsuits against American farmers in at least 27 different states, for alleged infringement of its transgenic seed patents and/or breach of its license to those patents, while settling another 700 out of court for undisclosed amounts. As a result of these aggressive lawsuits, Monsanto has created an atmosphere of fear in rural America and driven dozens of farmers into bankruptcy.
The lawsuit OSGATA (Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association) et al vs. Monsanto was filed on behalf of 300,000 organic and non-GMO farmers and citizens to seek judicial relief in “protect[ing] themselves from ever being accused of infringing patents on transgenic (GMO) seed”. The judge has requested and agreed to hear oral argument in orders to make a decision of whether or not to allow the farmers’ case to move forward in the courts after Monsanto filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. We are encouraging supporters of farmers’ rights to grow food without fear and intimidation to assemble outside the courtroom in a peaceful manner to support the farmers in their claims, recognizing that these injustices affect us all and that this case is deserving of the court’s time and attention.
Due to limited space, only a small number of individuals will be able to enter the courtroom and listen to the proceedings. We respectfully ask that farmers and plaintiffs in the case be given priority to hear this case in person as each plaintiff has travelled many miles and put a great deal on the line to be a part of this case.
In the spirit of peaceful assembly and respect for the courts, we request that you adhere to the following principles:
Principles for Citizen’s Assembly
1. Assemble in Lafayette Square in a show of support for family farmers and their right to grow food without the threat of intimidation, harassment or loss of income.
2. Assemble peacefully to present a positive message that America’s citizens stand behind family farmers and support their rights of legal protection under the Constitution.
3. Bring signs that portray messages of:
b. The positive impacts of sustainable and organic agriculture
c. Solutions to our current crisis in food, agriculture and society
d. Support for farmers who seek justice in the courts
4. Be respectful of the court, our government institutions and maintain a respectful distance from the court entry and federal buildings, making sure not to block access for foot traffic or vehicles.
As advocates for farmers and supporters of a citizen-based democracy we greatly appreciate your support for family farmers and your agreement to act in accordance with these principles in order to guarantee farmers’ rights to grow food without fear and intimidation.
Location to Hear Plaintiffs and Attorney Comment After Hearing
Once oral arguments are heard in the court, farmers, plaintiffs and lead attorney Dan Ravicher of the Public Patent Foundation will be available for comments to supporters and the media at Lafayette Square afterwards.
You wonder why we think petitions are a waste of time? Watch what happened on October 11, 2012, when OCA Political Director Alexis Baden-Mayer attempted to deliver petitions for GMO labeling:
We are told the arrest was for trespassing (When? Where? How are we supposed to deliver petitions in person?). We’ll update this entry with any further details…
Text from YouTube:
There’s no more basic right than petitioning the government – but not if there’s no one to receive the petitions. And so it was with the petition that called for the labeling of food containing genetically modified organisms (GMO). Plenty of people want to know what they are eating and want food labeling to indicate if the food has been genetically modified.
But in this Instant Film, the story gets [interesting] when a couple of Jewish “missionaries” coincidentally roll up at the White House and ask to see the President, then perform the Jewish Tefillin ritual which consists of strapping a small box containing Torah verses to the head and arm of Adam, one of demonstrators, whispers to them about how GMO foods are not Kosher and how the insecticides now genetically engineered into corn, are killing the bees. But all this does not go unnoticed by the uniformed Secret Service, who become increasingly impatient, with a demonstration, now blocking an entrance, that seems to be spiraling out of control. But instead of arresting those blocking the entrance, they arrest the person trying to deliver the petitions, Alexis Baden-Mayer from the Organic Consumers Association.
A spokesman for the East Wing declined to comment on the record about the petition delivery or Mrs. Obama’s position on Prop. 37. And when she delivers the petition to the White House at 3:00 PM, Baden-Meyer will not be meeting with anyone from Mrs. Obama’s East Wing staff or the Let’s Move! campaign, she said, but rather with Stephanie Valencia, the Deputy Director of the White House’s Office of Public Engagement.
On September 22, 2011, the White House unveiled their on-line petition microsite to provide citizens the opportunity to directly petition president Barack Obama’s administration. In the year since the petition platform went online, there have been over 50,000 petitions submitted, and of those petitions, 116 were able to reach the signature threshold and 103 of those petitions received a response from the White House. Except the petitions related to GMO….
On September 23, 2011, the second day after the “We The People” petition platform went live, there was this petition submitted:
Without a response from the White House, nearly 7 months later a second petition on GMO was submitted:
There is currently a third petition on GMO which is in the process of collecting signatures on We The People. But why should people sign this petition when the White House has failed to answer the previous two?
Yesterday an official from the White House said that they were going to respond to Secession Petitions that were recently submitted. So why is the White House ignoring petitions on GMO that have been languishing for over a year?
We believe its due to Monsanto’s pervasive influence on the White House & the FDA. With over 90% of Americans in support of labeling GMO foods, its not like President Obama will lose any support from the American public for taking a stand on GMO like he did in 2007. Therefore, we demand that the White House immediately answer the petitions on GMO and have the FDA promulgate regulations for mandatory GMO labeling.