It was laughable when
Coca-Cola launched a campaign to fight obesity. And even more laughable
when the king of soda’s anti-obesity campaign shifted all the blame for
those extra pounds to lack of exercise and chairs (yes, chairs).
But now, the company that donated $1.7 million to defeat last year’s GMO labeling initiative in California has gone from laughable to dangerous. In the wake of declining sales
of its Diet Coke brand, Coke has rolled out an ad campaign carefully
and deceptively crafted to convince consumers that aspartame, the
artificial sweetener (whose patent was at one time owned by Monsanto) in
Diet Coke, is a “healthy alternative” to sugar.
Aspartame, a synthetic compound (as in, not a food) has a long history of controversy. It’s been linked to a host of health conditions. Some studies
have concluded that it actually causes, not prevents, weight gain. The
FDA once put its approval on hold. But thanks to Donald Rumsfeld, the
artificial sweetener gained approval in 1981. That’s right, the guy who
led us into war in Iraq hand-picked the FDA commissioner who rammed
through approval of aspartame. Rumsfeld was previously the CEO of G. D
Searle, the company that discovered aspartame. He pocketed a nice little
$12-million bonus after the FDA approved aspartame and Monsanto bought
of Americans drink diet soda, and they consume about 4 billion gallons
of it every year. Diet soda is a $10-billion industry. It’s making
sick. Which makes it all the more appalling that Coca-Cola is running
public service-style ads aimed at promoting aspartame as a “healthy
alternative” to sugar, and Diet Coke as a weight-loss strategy.
testing its deceptive ads in Chicago and Atlanta. Want to help us
convince the company to end the campaign, before it expands to other
markets? Sign our letter below to CEO Muhtar Kent, and other
top executives. Then call the company. Then share your thoughts on their
Calling All Volunteers . . . Let’s Win GMO Labeling in Washington!
of the most critical food policy fights of our lifetimes will be
decided in less than 10 weeks. I-522, the initiative to require
mandatory labeling of GMOs in food products in Washington State, is our
next best shot at forcing food manufacturers to label GMOs in all of their products in all 50 states.
All of us, no matter
what our zipcode, will either win or lose on Nov. 5. That’s why we need
everyone’s help to pass this initiative.
Do you have time to help persuade Washington State voters to cast their ballots on Nov. 5 in favor of I-522? One
of the easiest, and most effective ways you can help is to become a
phone banker. All you need is a phone and an internet connection. It
won’t cost you a dime. We’ll supply training, scripts – everything you
need. You can make the calls anytime that’s convenient for you, from
your own home. The first training session is tonight at 7 p.m.
PST. Can’t make it? No worries. Training sessions will happen every
Thursday at 7 p.m. PST from now until voting day. There will also be two
4 p.m PST trainings, one on Sept. 5 and one on Sept. 19.
lost in California last year by a razor-thin 1 percent. Your phone
calls to Washington state voters could make all the difference this
you don’t. Just four days ago, you could go to the Grocery
Manufacturers Association (GMA) website, and click on a link that listed
their 300-plus members.
poof, the link is gone. Just days after the GMA dumped an additional
$1.75 million into the campaign to defeat I-522, Washington State’s GMO
labeling initiative. The trade group’s total donation so far? Just north
of $2.2 million.
Did the GMA hide its
member list because its members don’t want you to know that they’re
funneling donations through the GMA to keep you from knowing what’s in
your food? And they don’t want you to know that they don’t want you to
But we do know.
Companies like Safeway, which wants you to buy its O Organics brand
products. And companies like Target, which wants you to patronize its
organic section. Companies like Starbucks, and Coca-Cola (owner of
Honest Tea) and General Mills (owner of Muir Glen). The list is long.
We will no
doubt be outspent in Washington. That’s okay. We can be outspent and
still win. But we can’t be outspent six-to-one as we were in California
and still win this fight. The next few weeks are critical. The clock is
ticking. Can you help by making a donation today? Thank you!
probably don’t think “GMO” when you buy a cotton t-shirt. But it’s
Monsanto that now grows about half of the world’s cotton. On more than
40 million acres. The top three countries producing GE cotton? India,
China and the U.S.
Monsanto’s control over the cotton seed market in India has been agriculturally and economically devastating.
Millions of small cotton farmers have been duped into buying Monsanto’s
high-priced GE seeds, only to go bankrupt. In despair, more than
200,000 cotton farmers have committed suicide. Cotton is the most
pesticide-intensive crop in the world. Cotton farmers and farmworkers,
and the people living in cotton-growing communities, are exposed to
deadly doses of toxic chemicals. Most of the world's cotton clothes are
produced in sweatshops, where people are paid low wages to work long
hours in unsafe working conditions. In a tragic example of how dangerous
conditions are, a building collapse
in April 2013 left more than a thousand people dead or missing. Inside
that building workers produced many of the leading brands for the U.S.’s
$340-billion dollar garment industry.
It’s taken decades,
but finally the issue of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our
food has gone mainstream. We’re poised to win what everyone agrees will
be the deciding GMO labeling battle – I-522, the Washington State
initiative that will require mandatory labeling of GMO ingredients in
food sold in Washington. Combined with recent wins in Maine and
Connecticut, a win in Washington will force food manufacturers to label
next? More education and more consciousness-raising. Because truth is,
most GMO crops don’t go into the food we eat. They go into animal feed,
biofuels and clothing. Without proper safety testing. Without adequate
environmental impact analysis. We can do better. Let's win the GMO food
labeling battle. Then let's take on GMO animal feed, biofuels, cotton
can buy hemp seeds at your health food store, or hemp building
materials from your building supplier. As long as the hemp was grown
outside the U.S. But if you’re a farmer, you could go to jail for
growing industrial hemp on U.S. soil.
of industrial hemp farming are working on state and federal legislation
that would change that. They want to make it legal to grow industrial
hemp, a sustainable, profitable crop, here at home. You can help their cause by hosting a screening of the documentary film, Bringing It Home.
The film chronicles a father’s discovery of hempcrete, one of the most
environmentally sustainable building materials available, and his “hemp
trail” to the U.K. to interview farmers, researchers and business owners
so he could eventually build the first hemp house in the U.S., in
Are you in? Sign up
so you can download a screening guide, film event flier and press
release template. And to make things fun, break out the hemp-seed
appetizers and finger foods while you and your guests enjoy the show.
exposed to higher levels of Bisephenol A (BPA) while they’re still in
the womb are more likely to suffer from hyperactivity, aggression,
depression and anxiety at the age of seven, according to a study released this month by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.
a man-made, carbon-based product commonly thought to be an
endocrine-disrupter, is found in many plastic products, including the
liners in canned food. It’s long been the subject of studies pointing to
the harmful effects of its hormone-altering chemicals. A 2008 study showed that 95 percent of Americans had BPA in their urine, and that BPA was linked to increased body weight.