THE BIOTEACH GOLIATH ROARS
Ronnie Cummins Organic Consumers Association
The Biotech Goliath Roars: Monsanto’s Gang Dumps $25 Million into NO on 37 Campaign to Label GMOs
Yesterday it was revealed that the biotech industry and Big Ag have already dumped $25 million - $4.2 million from chemical and seed giant Monsanto alone - into the campaign to defeat Proposition 37 in California, the November 6 citizens ballot initiative that will require genetically engineered foods to be labeled and put an end to the deceptive industry practice of marketing GMO-tainted foods as “natural” or “all natural.”
The California Secretary of State just released the latest Who’s Who of donors to the NO on 37 and YES on 37 campaigns. Topping the list of donors to the NO on 37 anti-labeling campaign is Monsanto and the rest of the Biotech agri-toxics gang, aided and abetted by processed food manufacturers and supermarket chains. As of Aug. 15, they’ve raised more than $25 million to keep you from knowing what’s in your food. And of course the November 6 election is still more than two months away. On our side, YES on 37, we’ve raised $2.7 million with several million more in pledges.
Who are the top donors on our side, calling for truthful labels on GMOs? The top two donors are Mercola.com, the nation’s largest network of natural health consumers, and the Organic Consumers Fund (OCF), the allied grassroots lobbying arm of the Organic Consumers Association. Mercola.com has already donated $800,000 to the cause, while the OCF has donated approximately $700,000 so far, almost all of which has come in the form of small donations from organic food consumers. Other large donors to the YES on 37 campaign so far include Nature’s Path, Dr. Bronner’s, Lundberg Family Farms, Eden Foods, and Organic Valley, leading brands in the organic industry.
It’s clear that the NO on 37 folks have a lot at stake – namely, grotesque profits. After Monsanto, the top donor is DuPont Pioneer, at more than $2.4 million. Pepsi/Frito Lay has moved into the no. 3 spot, at more than $1.7 million. In all, nine companies have pitched in more than $1 million each – most of them biotech and pesticide companies, along with Pepsi, Nestle and Coca-Cola.
Total number of major donors so far to the NO on Prop 37 campaign? 45 – all with ties to the biotech, pesticide and Big Food industries. Total number of major donors to the YES campaign? 18 – none with ties to biotech, pesticides or Big Food.
Goliath has indeed roared, but the food fight of our lives has just begun. Goliath has more money, but David, our champion on the battlefield, has truth and grassroots power backing him up. How much more will the Biotech Bullies and Big Ag spend to keep voters in the dark about chemical and energy intensive GMO food? Please stay tuned from now until Nov. 6. We’ll keep you informed and motivated to join OCA, OCF, and our allies in this historic battle that will determine the future of food and farming, not only in North America, but across the world.
What Does $25 Million Buy? Support for the OCA and the OCF!
Twenty-five million dollars. That’s how much opponents of California’s Prop 37, have raised so far. Monsanto alone has kicked in $4.2 million. It’s a sign of just how desperate these companies are to defeat mandatory GMO labeling laws – and how grotesquely profitable it is for them to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food.
What will they buy with that money? Big, fancy TV ads to try to scare voters into thinking that a little label on their food is a dangerous thing?
We don’t need to beat Big Biotech and Big Food in the race to raise money. But we do need to beat them in the court of public opinion and in the voting booths on Nov. 6. And we know how to do that. We and our allies are mobilizing armies of volunteers to leaflet in front of grocery stores all over California, to explain to consumers why they should have the right to know what’s in their food. We’re also recruiting armies of volunteers to phone voters, to tell them why it’s important to vote YES on 37.
We don’t need $25 million dollars this week. But we do need to raise $100,000 as quickly as possible. We have printing costs for leaflets and yard signs and bumper stickers. We have staff costs to coordinate thousands of volunteers and to educate the public via articles, press releases, newsletters, social media, websites, etc.
With your help, we’re going to win this David versus Goliath battle. With the power of grassroots – not corporate – fundraising. If you haven’t pitched in yet for this campaign, we need your help today. If you donated already, please consider donating again. Thank you!
Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our public education work against GMOs and chemical food, and our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and sustainable farming)
Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in California and other states)
USDA Fast-Tracks GMO Crop Approval Process
Despite massive public opposition, last year the USDA announced plans to streamline its genetically engineered petition process under the Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Earlier this year, these controversial changes were implemented, speeding up the approval process for new genetically engineered seeds and crops. The new process will cut in half the time it takes for new GE seeds and crops to enter the market.
USDA claims that the new fast-track process allows for earlier input from the public to improve the quality of its environmental analyses. But according to a USDA press release, the new process is a part of efforts by the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, to “transform USDA into a high-performing organization that focuses on its customers.” The customers that USDA is so keen on assisting are none other than Monsanto, Dow, Dupont, BASF, Syngenta, and the rest of the Biotech bullies!
Earlier this summer, the USDA posted twelve new GE crops for public comment with a September 11 deadline, and nine are under the new fast-tracked process. That's twelve to review and issue comments on in two months! The worst of these new GMOs are Dow’s 2-4,D soybeans (2), Monsanto’s new dicamba tolerant soybean and a new GMO apple.
Tell USDA and Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack we don’t want these new GMOs!
Video of the Week
Millions and Millions... But Room for You!
Let’s show Monsanto what a grassroots movement to label GMOs can do. Millions and millions of us, banding together, standing up for the right to know what’s in our food. Please join our growing army of activists today!
Hazards of GMOs: The Scientific Evidence Mounts
The biotech industry likes to claim that genetically engineered foods and crops are perfectly safe, that they are identical (“substantially equivalent”) to the non-GMO foods and crops that humans have always consumed; therefore they don’t need to be labeled. This is a dangerous lie. A lie that is profitable for the large biotech, processed food, chemical, and retail corporations that are forced-feeding us GMOs and deceptively labeling or marketing GMO-tainted foods as “natural,” when actually they are hazardous for human health, the environment, and climate stability.
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