Thursday, October 6, 2011

Organic Bytes: Good News! The California Ballot Initiatives


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Good News! The California Ballot Initiative

#297, October 6, 2011

In this issue:


Quote of the Week

Ronnie Cummins: Standing Up to Monsanto

"A growing corps of organic food and health activists in California - supported by consumers and farmers across the nation - are boldly standing up to Monsanto and its minions, taking the first steps to expose the widespread contamination of non-organic grocery store food with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), and moving to implement mandatory GMO labeling through a grassroots-powered Citizens' Ballot Initiative process.

"This month, lawyers representing a broad and unprecedented health, environmental, and consumer coalition, including the Organic Consumers Association, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap, Center for Food Safety,, Nature's Path, Natural,, Food Democracy Now, and the Institute for Responsible Technology, are filing papers with the California Attorney General's office to place a Citizens Initiative on the Ballot in November 2012 that would require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food and food ingredients.

"If California voters pass this ballot initiative in 2012, it will likely be the beginning of the end for Monsanto and genetically engineered food in the U.S."

-"The California Ballot Initiative: Standing Up to Monsanto," by Ronnie Cummins, October 6, 2011

See also:

- "The Label Even Monsanto Considers a 'Skull and Crossbones," Dr. Mercola interviews Ronnie Cummins on the California Ballot Initiative,, October 3, 2011



The Fair World Project's Statement on Fair Trade USA's Resignation from Fairtrade International (FLO)

Fair trade is a social movement and market model that aims to empower small-scale farmers and consumers in underdeveloped countries to create an alternative trading system that supports equitable trading, sustainable development and long-term trading relationships. Fair trade supports fair prices and wages for producers, safe working conditions, investment in community development projects, and the elimination of child labor, workplace discrimination and exploitation. 
On September 15th, Fairtrade International (FLO) and Fair Trade USA (FTUSA) jointly announced that FTUSA is resigning its membership in FLO, effective December 31, 2011.

Fair Trade USA's move raises many questions for fair trade producers in the Global South. Many producers rely heavily on the US market for sales and distribution. FTUSA's rash exit from the FLO system will most certainly cause chaos in the near-term as FTUSA has failed to publish its own standards or details regarding its new labeling scheme. In the long run, everything from consumer apathy to competing labels that make similar claims will undermine the fair trade market and the overall positive impact for producers.
Read more



Let California Voters Decide: Label GMOs in 2012!

In order to get the California "Right2Know" GMO Labeling Act of 2012 on the ballot, we need volunteers to join our signature drive and we need money to combat Monsanto's biotech billions. We need to run our own truth-in-labeling campaign on TV, in print, and on the radio to combat what is sure to be a DIS-information onslaught from our opponents.

Have you heard the saying, "As California goes, so goes the nation?" California has the biggest economy in the country and a win in CA would be a huge blow to biotech and a huge victory for food activists everywhere.

If you live in California, help us gather signatures! We need to collect a minimum of 505,000 in 150 days. Will you help? We'll get you the petitions, hook you up with a leader in your area and teach you how to do it. You won't be alone.



If You Can't Join Us In the Streets...

Support the California Ballot Initiative

The first genetically modified foods were forced on the U.S. Market in 1994.Since 1998 OCA has been fighting against genetically engineered foods, preserving strict organic standards, and spreading the good news that organic agriculture can sustainably feed the world. Now we're preparing to launch the largest and most important campaign against genetically engineered foods ever undertaken, the California Ballot Initiative of 2012. The time is right to stand up to Monsanto. We need mandatory labeling of GMOs so we can start to drive them off the market, as our counterparts in Europe have done. But OCA, and our lobbying arm, the Organic Consumers Fund, need your financial support, as well as your volunteer energy, to move forward.

Please donate



Tell the FDA - Just Label It!


In a country that labels everything from cosmetics to cleaning agents, it's surprising that there are no laws in the U.S. requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods.

The FDA undertakes no GMO safety testing on its own. Instead, they allow companies like Monsanto, who told us that their DDT, PCBs, and Agent Orange was safe, to determine if their GMOs are safe. Internal FDA documents revealed that the agency's own scientists warned of serious health risks, and urged long-term testing -- but were denied. Now many doctors prescribe non-GMO diets, citing serious health disorders in lab animals fed GMOs. Don't be a lab animal!

Breaking: Obama promised to label GMOs! Watch the video from Food Democracy Now! and sign the petition:


Tell the FDA to Just Label It!



Right2Know March, World Food Day Rallies

Non-GMO Month is in full swing!

Non-GMO Month kicked off October 1st with the start of the 313 mile Right2Know March from New York City to the White House.

They've been through New Jersey...

Today, they're in Philly and they'll be heading through Delaware and Maryland to the White House for World Food Day, October 16. Don't miss the GMO Frankefishcorn car!

Learn more!

Get inspired for World Food Day by checking out what they did in Austin this weekend at the Rally for Real Food!

Farmer and author Eric Herm explained the rally's message saying, "You know, we're not functioning on all cylinders, because we're putting really low grade fuel in the tank. We need the highest grade fuel possible, and that means real food, not genetically modified food. We want real food."'s Mike Adams outlined the rally's goals. "We must make our voices louder than those of the lobbyists and the greed-driven corporations that exert heavy influence over government regulators and lawmakers," Adams explained. "Through public protests, and the public shaming of those companies which continue to secretly use genetically engineered ingredients without labeling it on their products, we will overpower the lies and deceptions that characterize the GMO industry, and we will restore sanity and integrity to our seeds and crops."

Non-GMO Month continues with a panel discussion, "Are Health Food Stores Protecting Us From GMOs?" in Seattle, WA, today, October 6, the NO2GMO Organic Revival in Houston, TX, this Saturday, October 8, and local events nationwide on World Food Day, October 16.

Check the map to find out what's happening where you live.



Occupy Wall St. Against Monsanto

The need for the Millions Against Monsanto campaign to stand up for the right to know and demand labels on genetically engineered food is symptomatic of the power imbalance between companies like Monsanto who want to profit from their control of the food supply and the rest of us who need affordable healthy food to survive.

And, the fact that companies profit from people going hungry, or getting sick because of what they eat, is symptomatic of the larger problem of unregulated corporate power, in general. In this country and around the world, the corporations have the economic power and they have the political power. As workers, consumers and voters, we have very little influence.

It's time to turn this around. As the Occupy Wall St. call to action put it, "[The task is] ending the influence money has over our representatives in Washington. It's time for DEMOCRACY NOT CORPORATOCRACY, we're doomed without it."

If we had a real democracy, where the will of the voters - say the 93% of Americans who think genetically engineered foods should be labeled - trumped corporate money, we wouldn't need to fight Monsanto. We could get on with the urgent task of going organic to save our health and our planet.

Millions Against Monsanto endorses and wishes to act in solidarity with Occupy Wall St. and Occupy Together movement.

Your town will likely soon have its own "Occupy Wall Street" style protest if it hasn't already! Join in and take this letter of solidarity from the Millions Against Monsanto campaign with you to share with the friends you meet there. The flyer contains a list of demands for "real food" that can be shared for consideration with the general assembly.

Go here to download the flyer (PDF)

Don't forget to visit our Millions Against Monsanto materials page for more posters, leaflets, and flyers!


Little Bytes

The Protest Wave: Why the Political Class Can't Understand Our Demands

Food and Climate Change: The Forgotten Link

Beware of Genetically-Modified "Healthy" Foods

Are Monsanto's Days Numbered? 50 Organizations Urging GMO Ban

U.S. Battle Escalates Against Genetically Modified Crops


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