Occupy Monsanto is very pleased to have the support of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. Below is the statement of support posted on their website.
Boston, MA – On Monday, June 18th from 8:00-10:00 AM, NOFA/Mass (the Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association) will join Occupy Monsanto and Millions Against Monsanto in front of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center to demonstrate opposition to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
NOFA/Mass maintains that Genetically Modified Organisms are a major threat to the organic farming community, pose a serious health danger to consumers and animals, can have an enormous detrimental impact on plant biodiversity, promote a monopoly in the seed industry, and can increase pesticide use nationwide. “GMOs do not diminish when released into the environment as they are an alteration made to a living organism that can reproduce. Even small amounts of GMO contamination will increase over time after they are released into our agriculture and environment,” explained Jack Kittredge, NOFA/Mass Policy Director, Organic Farmer and Editor of The Natural Farmer, NOFA’s quarterly news magazine.
Unfortunately, the biotech industry has prevented any serious regulation by the federal government of releasing their products onto the market. With the USDA’s most recent deregulation of genetically modified alfalfa, sugar beets, and varieties of sweet corn in 2011, anti-GMO sentiment has been growing. Consumers, healthcare providers, community leaders, farmers, parents with children, and activists alike have joined in calling upon the FDA to label genetically modified foods in the US. “The biotech industry is well-heeled and has done a good job of slipping GMOs into foods eaten by most Americans without their knowledge,” said Mindy Harris, NOFA/Mass Public Relations Coordinator. The organic certification process or Non-GMO Verification are the only assurances consumers currently have to guarantee that they are purchasing products which do not contain GMOs. Every other processed product on supermarket shelves is likely to be contaminated with genetically modified ingredients.
In June of 2011, NOFA/Mass brought their opposition to GMOs directly to the federal court. Joining over 80 plaintiffs nationwide, NOFA/Mass filed a federal lawsuit against biotech giant the Monsanto Corporation (OSGATA v. Monsanto), seeking a Declaratory Judgment that would prevent Monsanto from filing future unfair patent lawsuits against small farmers. The biotech giant has a litigious history; pursuing aggressive investigative techniques, including trespassing on private farm property and asking for large settlements which devastate small farmers.
Jeffrey Smith, of the Institute for Responsible Technology, has been the leading consumer advocate promoting healthy, non-GMO choices. Smith will be a keynote speaker at the NOFA Summer Conference at UMass Amherst, August 10-12, 2012. He will provide anti-GMO organizing tools, and explain the problems with GMOs. His second book, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, is the authoritative work on GMO health dangers. Smith explains in plain language the dilemma facing consumers: “It looks the same-the bread, pies, sodas, even corn on the cob. So much of what we eat every day looks just like it did 20 years ago. But something profoundly different has happened without our knowledge or consent. According to leading doctors, what we don’t know may already be hurting us big time.”(Urban Garden Magazine, Nov 2009
For more information on NOFA/Mass’ Anti-GMO policy initiatives, please contact Jack Kittredge – firstname.lastname@example.org; 978-355-2853.