Winning Our Hearts and Minds? Monsanto and Big Food Pull Out the Big Guns
Monsanto and Big Food
are taking the battle for consumers’ hearts and minds to the next
level. And it’s no coincidence that they’re pulling out the big guns
just as the Washington State I-522 campaign to label genetically modified organisms in food products is gaining steam.
Can industry front
groups and slick public relations firms convince us that the products
they’re peddling are not only safe, but good for us? Will the millions
they spend on websites and advertorials pay off?
You be the judge.
The freshly launched GMOAnswers.com is funded by the biotech industry, which claims it just "wants to talk." And the recently formed Alliance to Feed the Future,
representing more than 50 multinational food, agribusiness and biotech
companies, wants to give us the “real” scoop on our food system.
Organic Eggs? Not If the USDA and FDA Can Help It!
Are the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) determined to keep chickens penned up, and rob consumers of the
right to real free-range organic eggs?
It would seem so.
First, the USDA’s National Organics Program refuses to enforce standards
set by the National Organic Standards Board requiring organic farmers
to allow their hens outdoors. Responding to complaints that organic
farmers were violating the standards, the NOP said they have more “urgent” matters to deal with.
Now, the FDA wants to make it nearly impossible for organic farmers to raise free-range hens. Despite weak scientific evidence, the FDA says it’s risky for organic farmers to let their hens come in contact with wild birds. So the FDA is proposing costly, redundant and onerous so-called "food safety" measures on organic farmers who let their hens outdoors. The USDA and the FDA need to hear from us. Eggs from organic free-range hens raised outdoors are more nutritious than eggs from hens kept indoors and raised on exclusively on grain. Not to mention how much more the animals suffer from being penned up.
Leader of the Pack: GMA Tops List of NO on I-522 Donors
wants you to have the right to know whether or not your food has been
genetically engineered or not? Leading organic and natural health
companies. Consumer groups such as the OCA and the Alliance for Natural
Health. Nonprofit watchdog groups. Thousands and thousands of organic
and natural health consumers.
Who doesn’t? The
Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and its dues-paying members.
Monsanto. DuPont. Bayer Cropsciences. Dow Agrisciences.
So far the GMA is the
largest donor to the NO on I-522 campaign, which wants desperately to
defeat I-522, Washington’s citizens’ initiative to label GMOs. The GMA
represents more than 300 corporations including Kraft, Kellogg’s,
PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Hershey’s, ConAgra, General Mills and a
long list of other companies that want your money – but don’t want you
to know what they’re selling you. The GMA
member roster also includes Starbucks, Target and Safeway, owner of the O
Organics™ brand. Which is why we hope you’ll sign our petition asking
the leaders of those companies to support I-522 and ditch the GMA.
You did it again. Thank you!
Thanks to almost
4,000 of you who contributed to our recent appeal for support for I-522,
we raised the $150,000 we needed in order to receive a generous
matching grant from Mercola.com.
We were all
disappointed when we lost Prop 37, the GMO labeling initiative in
California last year. But together, we rallied. Now we’re more
determined than ever to win this year in Washington State. And beyond. I-522 is a
must-win campaign. As the donations to the NO on I-522 campaign pour in
from Big Food and the Biotech Bullies, we will keep pressuring the
natural and organic companies who sat on the sidelines last year while
you emptied your pockets to fight this battle.
In the meantime,
we’re grateful for your generous support and your unstoppable
determination to win this battle. Thank you. From all of us.
wonder PepsiCo, owner of the Naked Juice brand, spent $2.5 million to
defeat California’s GMO labeling law last year. Turns out the Junk Food
Giant isn’t too fond of honest labeling, even when it comes to its
so-called “all-natural” Naked Juice.
In a big win for
consumers, PepsiCo has been ordered to pay $9 million to settle a
class-action lawsuit. Why? Because the courts agreed that adding
synthetic fiber material made by Agri-Giant Archer Daniels Midland to
Naked Juice products equates to deliberately deceiving consumers.
And that’s not all.
The lawsuit accused Pepsi of adding a host of other questionable
ingredients, including zinc oxide, ascorbic acid and calcium
pantothenate, made from formaldehyde, a carcinogenic compound.
Pepsi denied the claim that Naked Juice contains GMOs. But
the undeniable truth? Pepsi doesn’t want you to know what’s in Naked
Juice, or any of its other products. And as a member of the Grocery
Manufacturers Association (GMA), which is so far the top donor to
campaign to defeat I-522, a GMO labeling initiative in Washington State,
Pepsi is still working to keep you in the dark.
Gaining Ground: Organic and ‘Natural’ Grab 13% of All U.S. Grocery Sales
it’s the high cost of healthcare. Or the fact that organic food just
tastes better. But American consumers are increasingly willing to pay a
premium price for foods and products that they believe are healthier,
environmentally sustainable, and humanely produced.
Organic and "natural"
products now constitute over 13% of U.S. grocery purchases. Sales of
certified organic products are projected to reach approximately $35
billion in 2013, or 4.5% of total grocery sales. That number amounts to
only half the sales of so-called “natural” products - uncertified, and
routinely produced with pesticides, chemical fertilizers, animal drugs,
GMOs, and sewage sludge – which are expected to exceed $70 billion in
if not most consumers are unclear about the qualitative difference
between certified organic and most so-called "natural" products. Given
this rampant mislabeling in the marketplace, if so-called "natural"
products containing GMOs and synthetic chemicals and residues had to be
truthfully labeled, organic sales would likely double within a short
period of time. Get the facts on organics and “natural” here
No Small Thing: Reversing Climate Change through Sustainable Agriculture and Biochar
For the past five years, OCA has been passionately talking and writing
about how organic farming, ranching, and forestry practices can
potentially reverse global warming and save us from climate catastrophe.
There were times when we thought we were preaching only to the choir. But
now a growing number of leading food and environmental writers,
including Michael Pollan and Mark Hertsgaard, are joining the chorus and
educating the public on how we can use sustainable farming, ranching
and biochar practices to exponentially increase plant photosynthesis and
soil carbon sequestration on hundreds of millions of acres of farmland,
pasture, and rangeland.
Great Transition has the potential to bring our current greenhouse gas
pollution down from our 400 ppm of CO2 to 350 ppm – the number
scientists say we need to achieve if we’re going to survive. If we can
achieve this, we can stabilize our dangerously out-of-control global
climate. And in the process, we’ll dramatically increase soil fertility,
biodiversity, and moisture retention.