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Approaching the Collapse and Millions Against Monsanto
#291, August 25, 2011
In this issue:
Essay of the Week
Approaching the Collapse: Don't Panic, Go Organic by Ronnie Cummins
"So-called 'business as usual' is neither sustainable, nor even possible, for much longer. Out-of-control energy corporations, Wall Street, the Pentagon, agribusiness/biotech corporations, and indentured politicians have driven us to the brink. They tell us: don't worry; trust the experts, things will soon return to 'normal.' But reality and common sense tell a different story.
"Extreme weather, crop failures, commodities speculation, land grabs, escalating prices, soil degradation, depleted aquifers, routine contamination, food-related disease, and mass hunger represent the 'new norm' for food and farming. The global agricultural system, with the exception of the rapidly growing organic sector, rests upon a shaky foundation. Patented seeds, genetically engineered crops, expensive and destructive chemical and energy-intensive inputs, factory farms, monoculture production, eroding soils, unsustainable water use, taxpayer subsidies, and long-distance hauling and distribution, including massive imports that amount to 15% of the U.S. food supply amount to a recipe for disaster..."
Support the OCA
Stop Monsanto and Move the Organic Revolution Forward
For 13 years, OCA has been "growing the revolution" - fighting against genetically engineered foods, preserving strict organic standards, expanding the organic market, and spreading the good news that organic agriculture can sustainably feed the world while reversing global warming. The time is right to step up our efforts and move the Organic Revolution forward, but OCA needs your financial support to do so.
Millions Against Monsanto
10/16/11: One Million Take Action Against Monsanto
Help us meet our World Food Day 2011 goals!
- 1,000,000 Petition Signatures
- 435 Local Chapters
- Hundreds of World Food Day Events
This October there are a number of ways, big to small, to help the OCA celebrate World Food Day and take action against the forces that are disrupting and polluting our food system. From hosting a small potluck at your home to organizing a Right2Know Rally, here are some ideas for possible events in your area.
1,000,000 Petition Signatures
When asked, up to 90% of US consumers say they'd like to see labels on genetically engineered food, but the Millions Against Monsanto campaign hasn't reached 1,000,000 supporters yet.
Why? Because only about a quarter of the population is aware that as much as 80% of food sold in grocery stores contains genetically engineered ingredients. We're not going to have labels on genetically engineered food until more people know about it.
This World Food Day, October 16, 2011, you can help spread the word by gathering signatures on the Millions Against Monsanto petition.
If each of our supporters recruited just one more, we could easily jump from 600,000 to 1,000,000 strong.
Take the petition to your farmers market or grocery store and ask folks, "Do you think genetically engineered foods should be labeled?" Nine out of ten people will sign the petition. All we need to do is ask.
Please help us reach our goal of 1,000,000 petition signatures by World Food Day, October 16, 2011.
Sign and distribute the Truth-In-Labeling Petition online
Download and print the Truth in Labeling Petition (PDF)
435 Local Chapters
There are very few issues that 9 out of 10 voters can agree on. With 90% support, you would think passing a law to label genetically engineered food would be easy, but it's hard to get politicians to act on a problem that most people don't know exists. We have to organize supporters on a local level to make sure our elected representatives know voters care.
The Millions Against Monsanto campaign now has 435 local chapters, one for each Congressional district. Once those chapters each have 2300 supporters, we'll be 1,000,000 strong against Monsanto.
Please help us reach our goal of 435 local Millions Against Monsanto chapters, with 2300 supporters each, by World Food Day 2011.
Click here to choose your state and join your local Millions Against Monsanto chapter - (Chapters are located at the right hand side of the state pages)
A great World Food Day event can be the inaugural in-person gathering of your local Millions Against Monsanto chapter. Make it an organic/non-GMO potluck or show a film like the Future of Food or the World According to Monsanto to raise consciousness and inspire action. If you have a place to hold the meeting, we can take care of the invites and materials and help you prepare to host.
Contact us about hosting a local Millions Against Monsanto chapter meeting on or before October 16, 2011
More Options for World Food Day
The President, Congress, the USDA and State Legislatures are blocking the will of 90% of their constituents by refusing to make food companies disclose their use of genetically engineered ingredients.
Rallies for our right to know what's in our food will be held at the White House, state capitols and federal buildings across the country.
Want to stage a Right2Rally know rally where you live? Click here to learn more.
Farm, Restaurant & Market Events
Organic farms, farmers markets, natural food stores, coops and restaurants that sell organic food are our natural allies. In many parts of the country October 16 will be the peak of the harvest season, a perfect time to celebrate and thank the generous earth - and hardworking farmers and farm workers - for making healthy, non-GMO, organic food available to us.
See if you can set up a table at your favorite organic food venue and collect Truth-in-Labeling petitions signatures. The manager might even be willing to take petitions and make them available to all of their customers.
A place where people enjoy organic food is a great place to have an event on World Food Day. Let us know if you'd like to plan a farm, restaurant, or market event on or before October 16, 2011
The Future of Food
The Future of Food has been a key tool in the American and international anti-GMO grassroots activist movements and played widely in the environmental and activist circuits since its release in 2004. The film is widely acknowledged for its role in educating voters and the subsequent success of passing Measure H in Mendocino County, California, one of the first local initiatives in the country to ban the planting of GMO crops.
The World According to Monsanto
The World According to Monsanto documents the company's controversial past. Monsanto has utilized misleading reports, pressure tactics, collusion and corruption to peddle some of the most toxic products ever sold. Now, they are racing to further genetically engineer (and patent) the world's food supply, which profoundly threatens our health, environment, and economy. Combining secret documents with first-hand accounts by victims, scientists, and politicians, this widely praised film exposes why Monsanto has become the world's poster child for malignant corporate influence in government and technology.
Click here for materials that will help you increase the impact of screening these important films.
GMO Food Dumps
Want to show grocery store chains what you really think about unlabeled genetically engineered foods? Organize a "GMO Food Dump."
Almost all non-organic, multi-ingredient, packaged food sold by major retailers contains unlabeled genetically engineered ingredients. Anything that is derived from non-organic corn, soy, cotton, canola, sugar beets or alfalfa is likely genetically modified.
The worst genetically engineered ingredients are high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oils and milk, eggs and meat from animals raised in factory farms on a diet of GMO grains.
Go into a grocery store, buy a bag full of non-perishable, packaged junk-foods that contain probable GMO ingredients. Then, symbolically "dump" them outside the store. First, display them to the public - this is a great opportunity to show people how to identify genetically engineered foods, read the ingredients that are likely culprits - then, place them in a container marked "biohazard." When the show's over, return them to the store unharmed, letting the manager know that you're returning the items because you believe they contain unlabeled genetically engineered ingredients.
Watch this video for help planning and publicizing a GMO food dump.
Protest at Monsanto Headquarters in St. Louis!
Need inspiration for World Food Day? Check out the action organized by a delegation of the Midwest Rising Convergence at the Monsanto headquarters in St. Louis.
The protestors coordinated a food dump to demonstrate the harmful effects Monsanto's products have on the health and well being of farmers, indigenous peoples in the US and abroad, and on agriculture in general, especially in more impoverished countries. Activists demanded that the corporation label its genetically modified food and stop disrupting indigenous ways of agriculture.
Monsanto released the following statement in response to the protest:
"We respect each individual's right to express his or her point of view. We understand that topics such as agriculture and its uses - food, feed, clothing and bioenergy - are important to all of us. Our world faces a number of challenges including items directly related to agriculture, such as how do we feed a growing population. We understand that no single company or form of agriculture can address these challenges individually. We embrace all forms of agriculture and the choices of farmers to grow what makes sense to them and the needs of their customers."
Fair World Project Tours: A New Taste of Palestine
February 3th-13th 2012
Please join the Organic Consumers Association's Fair World Project (FWP), Canaan Fair Trade and Run Across Palestine (RAP) to explore the emerging world of Fair Trade in Palestine. FWP's Palestine tour will provide a unique opportunity to learn from Palestinian farmers, workers, and their families. In addition to experiencing the reality of Palestinian farmers and producers, tour participants will share in the richness of Palestine's cultural and religious heritage, visit historic and off-the-beaten-track places, and experience the hospitality of the Palestinian people. The tour will also meet and accompany runners that are participating in the "Run Across Palestine" ultra-marathon event.
Tour Highlights Include Visiting and Experiencing:
Palestinian Fair Trade Association farmers and producers, including olive, tomato and wheat farmers who supply Canaan Fair Trade Canaan Fair Trade's olive oil bottling facility in Jenin East Bani Zayd Organic Olive oil Co-operative Qasaba Market Cultural activities in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jenin, Ramallah and Hebron
For more information, please visit FWP's tour page
Expanding Deserts, Falling Water Tables and Toxins Driving People from Homes
10 Faux Progressive Companies... with Some Dirty Secrets
Debt Tantrum on a Sinking Ship by Richard Heinberg
Sorry, NY Times: GMOs Still Won't Save the World
Turning Point in DC: Climate Justice Movement Keys off Civil Rights Crusade
Book of the Week
Growing Roots: The New Generation of Sustainable Farmers, Cooks, and Food Activists
The book introduces us to farmers and beekeepers, fishermen and chefs, food activists and cheesemongers, and many, many more. We meet these fascinating young people from all across the nation through first-person profiles, along with brilliant photographs and delicious, simple recipes. They talk about raising grass-fed beef, lamb, and pork; growing vegetables and grains; keeping bees and making cheese; and their restaurants and their markets. Included are filmmakers, writers, and artists who change the way we look at what we eat and where our food comes from. In their profiles we learn how these young people got to where they are today, their backgrounds, their education, and their passionate relationship to food.
Join the OCA-Endorsed National Buying Club for Organic and Non-GMO Foods: The Green Polka Dot Box
OCA is happy to announce the formation of a new national distribution service for home delivery of organic and non-GMO foods, at 30-50% below the cost of retail, with free shipping on orders of $150 or more. The new national distribution club is called the Green Polka Dot Box (GPDB).
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