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.
Yesterday saw a handful of new developments in the push to align voters either in favor of or against Proposition 37, a measure that would require food producers who knowingly use genetically modified crops to label them as such, and prevent such producers from referring to their products as “natural.”
Women Occupy San Diego, one of the lasting and perhaps most prominent local groups to emerge from the Occupy Wall Street movement that began one year ago yesterday, organized a rally at the Hillcrest headquarters of Canvass for a Cause on Monday afternoon.
Several speakers decried the potential health impacts from genetically altered products, noting that the products have been shown to contain increased levels of allergens and that modified crops, marketed by chemical giant Monsanto as “Roundup-ready,” are treated with considerably higher doses of herbicides, as the seeds have been engineered to resist the effects of the company’s signature weed killer, allowing farmers to douse their entire crops at will to control weeds.
The Occupellas, a chorus group featuring members of Women Occupy, sang familiar yet re-branded tunes such as “Old Monsanto Had a Farm,” and a crew of demonstrators arrived with a large “Monster of Monsanto” prop that accompanied the crowd, which had swelled to over 100, as they marched toward the SR-163 overpass at Robinson Avenue.
Original plans had called for a second group of protesters to demonstrate on the bridge crossing University at the 163, but as of shortly after 5 p.m. only one bridge was occupied. Several police cruisers stood by to survey the action, but neither the demonstrators nor members of the public seemed inclined to violence.
Meanwhile, backers and detractors of the Prop 37 campaign sent out dueling press releases.
The Yes contingent seeks to draw attention to new funding received by its opponent, information made public by the state last Friday. Monsanto gave the No campaign another $2.9 million, raising its total stake in defeating the proposition to $7.1 million. Other pesticide companies recently upped their investments, including DuPont ($874,800), Dow AgroSciences ($815,200), Bayer CropScience ($381,600), BASF Plant Science ($357,700), and Syngenta ($178,700).
These groups, which measure proponents are calling the “Big 6 pesticide firms” have contributed $19 million of the $32 million raised so far by those opposing the proposition.
Others investing heavily in defeating Prop 37 include Pepsi ($1,716,300 to date), Nestle USA ($1,169,400), Coca-Cola ($1,164,400), and ConAgra Foods ($1,076,700). At number 7 on the list of highest donors, only Nestle USA (itself a subsidiary of the Swiss parent company) is based in California.
Opponents of 37 didn’t leave long to question where the influx of cash would go, announcing a major buy of radio ads to be aired statewide beginning yesterday.
“Prop. 37 is about the right to sue,” says California Grocers Association president Ronald K. Fong in a statement accompanying the ad copy. “And when it is time to sue, grocery retailers will be at the head of the line to get hit with a lawsuit. Lawyers need no proof, no damages prior to filing the lawsuit.”
The ad makes similar claims, and also says that the new labeling requirements would “increase food costs for a typical California family by hundreds of dollars per year” while “[giving] trial lawyers a special new right to file shakedown lawsuits.”
The ad closes by advertising “FactsOn37.com,” a website that was not active as of Monday evening, though the campaign website makes many similar claims and links to the study that is the basis of the figure given on higher food costs, finding that the costs of food prices could rise $4.5-$5.2 billion if the proposition is passed, mainly because producers would prefer using non-bioengineered crops to having to disclose their continued use.
“It’s an infinitesimal amount cost per product, but they’re going to say it’ll cost you hundreds,” predicted Jeffrey Smith, a consumer activist and author on genetically modified crops, in a statement about a week before the survey was posted to the No on 37 website. Smith was speaking about the cost of continuing to use the same products while producing packaging compliant with the new law, which producers are widely expected to shy away from due to real or perceived concerns from consumers regarding laboratory-altered food.
While no other U.S. state currently has such a law on the books, 50 countries including China, India, Japan, and all of Europe requires such disclosure.
I’m pleased to announce that the Money Bomb Against Monsanto has been officially launched!
Yes, it is official. Volunteers and staff from the California Right to Know Campaign are submitting nearly 1 million signed petitions from registered voters across the state of California to county officials, to place the Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act on the ballot for Nov. 6. Starting May 1, and extending through May 26, a broad coalition of farmers, health groups, and organic food manufacturers will attempt to raise $1 million (i.e., “the money bomb”) to support state GMO-labeling campaigns and their defense from biotech bully lawsuits.
The Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act
This act will require food manufacturers to identify genetically engineered ingredients on the labels of foods sold in California.
When California voters pass this ballot initiative, the Label Genetically Engineered Food Act will also prohibit the common practice of mislabeling genetically engineered foods as “natural” or “all natural.” It’s imperative to understand why this initiative is so important and how it can affect all Americans, regardless of where you live. California has the eighth largest economy in the world, so passing a labeling law for genetically engineered foods in California can have the same impact as passing a federal law.
Large food companies are unlikely to accept having dual labeling, one for California and another for the rest of the country. It would be an expensive logistical nightmare, not to mention a massive PR problem. To avoid the dual labeling, many would likely opt to not include using any genetically engineered (“GE”) ingredients in their product, especially if the new label would be the equivalent of a skull and crossbones. Those who opt not to replace GE ingredients from the get-go will likely find themselves unable to sell their products, as a majority of consumers reportedly will not buy foods once they know they’re genetically engineered. Unable to sell their products, such companies will eventually be forced to stop contaminating our food with genetically engineered ingredients or risk going out of business. This is what happened in Europe and over 40 countries around the world. It can happen in the U.S.
Do you know which foods are genetically engineered when you go grocery shopping for your family? Wouldn’t you want to know? Genetically engineered foods have been on the market since 1996. It’s time they tell us what’s in the food we’re eating on a daily basis.
The Proverbial David vs. Goliath
Naturally, the biotech industry is not about to let this pass without a fight. Monsanto, the Farm Bureau, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and corporate agribusiness are all raising millions of dollars to spread their propaganda in an effort to defeat the California ballot initiative, just like they did a decade ago in Oregon. At that time a cabal of corporate giants, including Monsanto and DuPont, calling themselves the Coalition Against the Costly Labeling Law, outspent the pro-labeling group 30 to 1 and successfully defeated the labeling initiative by scaring voters into believing that labeling genetically engineered foods was unnecessary and would raise food prices.
They did it again in the state of Washington last month, where campaign contributions to three of the eight politicians on the Senate Agriculture Committee (Democrat Brian Hatfield and Republicans Jim Honeyford and Mark Schoesler) guaranteed the bill’s demise in committee. Right now the biotech industry is also working to defeat similar GE-labeling bills in Vermont, Hawaii, Connecticut, and other states. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, Monsanto spent $8 million on their lobbying efforts in 2010 alone and gave more than $400,000 in political contributions. Monsanto also spent $120 million on advertising, to convince consumers that genetically engineered foods are safe — despite scientific evidence suggesting otherwise.
Let’s send them a message loud and clear: We have the right to know what they put into our food!
We’re Dropping the Money Bomb!
About 20 years ago, the FDA decided to deny consumers the right to know whether their food was genetically altered or not. This shameful regulation was spearheaded by Michael Taylor, a former Monsanto lawyer who transferred into the offices of the FDA. Taylor is not the only ex-Monsanto employee who ended up in a position of power within the U.S. federal government and its regulatory agencies, and this is precisely why previous efforts to get genetically engineered foods labeled have been blocked.
Not so this time!
Ballot initiatives like the one in California are one way for citizens to take back control from compromised politicians and government officials and bypass them entirely. To sweeten the deal further, a group of “Right to Know” public interest organizations and organic companies has pledged to match the first $1 million raised in this nationwide “Drop the Money Bomb on Monsanto Campaign.” These “Right to Know” groups include:
Yes, I believe we can! But we need to get the word out, which requires a strong campaign to educate the citizens of California to vote for the initiative on Nov. 6. According to Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association, we stand a good chance of winning in California because:
This time, we have far more scientific information and greater public awareness on our side. GE foods are now a mainstream media issue. Monsanto has become the most hated corporation in the world.
This time, we have overwhelming public support. Polls show that more than 8 out of 10 voters in California want mandatory GE labeling.
This time, we have built the strongest coalition of concerned food consumers in history, for the exclusive purpose of passing this law.
The Time for Action Is Now!
Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association states:
Monsanto is one of the most powerful, arrogant and destructive companies in the world. For decades, they have controlled the world’s food supply by buying off politicians and regulatory agencies, intimidating small farmers, manipulating the outcome of scientific studies, lying to consumers — and threatening to sue states like Vermont if they dare to pass a GMO labeling law.
We have the right to know if the food we buy has been genetically engineered. … It’s time to take back our food. Our farms. Our power. It’s time to show Monsanto what ordinary people like us can do when we come together. It’s time to drop the money bomb on Monsanto.”
Hundreds of thousands of people can help the coalition behind this initiative run a dynamic, effective campaign to bring down Monsanto and the rest of the Biotech Bullies.
Genetic Crimes Unit to Investigate Expo West Trade Show
GCU to Wear Bio-Hazmat Suits to ID Victims of Monsanto’s Genetic Crimes
ANAHEIM, CA – On Friday, March 9, 2012, more than 30,000 people will attend North America’s largest trade show for the natural products industry, Expo West at the Anaheim Convention center located at 800 West Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92802. At the event members of the Occupy movement within the organic sector have formed a Genetic Crimes Unit (GCU) to investigate increased spraying of food with toxic weed killers like 2,4 D (the main ingredient in Agent Orange), contamination of the organic food supply, and other risks associated with genetically modified food.
“Many of the world’s socially conscious organic and non-GMO brands will exhibit nutritious food at the three-day Expo. But in the background is a vast sea of unlabeled products sold in America containing GMOs that unsuspecting consumers eat without their knowledge,” says GCU Spokesman. “In the name of Wall Street profits, chemical corporations such as Monsanto genetically engineer crops to withstand high doses of their toxic weed killers that contaminate our food and water, and have not been proven safe. The California Medical Association has called for labeling GMOs because of concerns over adverse allergic reactions. Virtually every major country requires labeling of GMOs in foods so their citizens can make informed choices, including all in Europe, Japan and even China. But the US chemical lobby has so far made sure Americans are kept in the dark.”
“Our professional bio-hazmat suits are not meant to alarm the public, but we have an emergency here and wearing one of these suits is the only viable barrier to avoid GMOs,” says GCU Spokesman. “We are approaching this as a necessary civil defense against the unknown long-term effects of eating GMO foods currently under investigation by the GCU. We will ID people and animals by asking them what they ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner and then tag individual GMO victims with bracelets. We will follow-up before September 17, 2012 when world-wide GCUs will investigate and Occupy Monsanto.”
Attn: TV Assignment and Photographers
WHO: Genetic Crimes Unit
WHAT: ID’ing Victims of Monsanto’s Genetic Crimes by GCU Agents in Bio-Hazmat Suits
WHEN: Friday, March 9, 10:00 am
WHERE: Anaheim Convention Center 800 West Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA 92802
Currently, Monsanto faces a ballot proposition in California on GMO labeling. More than 750,000 people have signed onto the JustLabelit.org citizens’ petition to the Food and Drug Administration for GMO labeling and last fall about 100 people marched in the Right2Know March from New York to the White House to demand President Obama keep his campaign promise to label GMO foods. (Video of the promise can be seen here.)