Millions Against Monsanto: On the Road to Victory
“The harder they come, the harder they fall, one and all.” ~ Jimmy Cliff
After a year of maximum profits, record stock prices, the defeat of a major GMO labeling campaign in California, pro-industry court decisions, and a formidable display of political power in Washington, D.C., the Biotech Bully from St. Louis now finds itself on the defensive.
It is no exaggeration to say that Monsanto has become the most hated corporation in the world.
Here’s just one reason Monsanto is in the hot seat. According to Green Medical News:
“ . . . “within the scientific community and educated public alike, there is a growing awareness that Roundup herbicide, and its primary ingredient glyphosate, is actually a broad spectrum biocide, in the etymological sense of the word: “bio” (life) and “cide” (kill) – that is, it broadly, without discrimination kills living things, not just plants.”
And there are so many more. Thanks to all of you, we’re making headway in the battle to reclaim our food system from the biotech bullies and Big Food. Let’s keep going by showing our support for I-522, Washington State’s GMO labeling initiative.
Safeway Plays Defense. Poorly.
Rebuttal Rule No. 1: Get your facts straight.
Last week we called for a boycott of Safeway’s O Organics™ brand products. Why? Because Safeway is a dues-paying member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), a trade group that donated $2 million to defeat California’s Prop 37 initiative to label GMOs last year, and is now the leading donor to the NO on I-522 campaign to defeat a similar initiative in Washington State.
Safeway fired back. First with a statement on its Facebook page, claiming the store “fully supports voluntary labeling of products that are GMO-free and we have not made any contributions to defeat any GMO labeling initiatives.” Of course Safeway understands that California’s Prop 37 and Washington’s I-522 both call for mandatory labeling of all GMO-tainted foods, not just “voluntary labeling of products that are GMO-free.”
Then there was this statement by Safeway spokesperson Sara Osborne, quoted in an article circulated by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services:
“The OCA’s information is incorrect. Safeway has never contributed to efforts to defeat GMO labeling initiatives,” Sara Osborne, a spokeswoman for Safeway, said in an email to The Chronicle.
We thought we were very clear. By supporting the GMA, Safeway surely is – as we said, indirectly – contributing to efforts to defeat GMO labeling. Maybe you can help us get the message across? That Safeway needs to stop supporting the GMA, which is donating millions to defeat GMO labeling?
Safeway operates 169 stores in 93 cities in Washington State. That’s a lot of sales of O Organics™ products in a state where the GMA has already donated nearly a half a million dollars to defeat a labeling law. We need to let Steve Frisby, President of Safeway’s Northwest Division know, that it’s unacceptable that Safeway continues to support the GMA. Until it stops, and until Safeway steps up to support I-522, we won’t be buying any of Safeway’s O Organics™ brand products.
FARM BILL UPDATE
Back from the Dead. Worse than Ever.
Just when we thought the 2013 Farm Bill was dead. Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives surprised everyone by passing a last-minute House version of the Farm Bill. And it’s a doozy.
The House wants Congress to buy into a bill that has everything that Monsanto and corporate agribusiness wants. And not much of anything that America needs. Glaringly absent from the House version is the section that provides nutrition assistance to families. Because, well, you know, we shouldn’t be subsidizing food for hungry kids.
What did make it into the House version of the bill? Big subsidies for Big Ag, meaning lots of government cash for rich owners of mega-farms growing GMOs or torturing animals so we can have lots of antibiotic- and hormone-laced meat.
Here’s what else made it into the House version of the Farm Bill: The King Amendment. Introduced by the King of Animal Torture himself, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), the King amendment is an attempt to block modest animal welfare reforms. Like California’s voter-passed law that gives confined farm animals just enough space to stretch their limbs and turn around. But the King Amendment is written so broadly that some analysts say it might also block states from passing GMO labeling laws.
We have our own name for the King Amendment: The Monsanto & Animal Torture Protection Act. You might expect a Congressman from Iowa who gets money from Monsanto, the National Pork Producers Council and Coca-Cola to protect factory farms and GMOs. But does he really want to be known as an advocate of farm animal torture?
Where does the Farm Bill go from here? Leaders of the House and Senate are preparing to iron out the differences between their two versions, in the hope of passing a Farm Bill this year. King’s Monsanto & Animal Torture Protection Act isn’t in the Senate version. Let’s act now to keep it from becoming law!