Millions Against Monsanto: The Food Fight of Our Lives
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Dennis Kucinich of Ohio has introduced his perennial GMO labeling bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, though everyone knows it will never make it out of committee and come to a full House vote on the floor. Similar symbolic bills have been introduced in 18 state legislatures.
The battle has been raging for decades. But this time, it’s different.
Behind this historic California initiative is a broad, growing and powerful health, environmental, and consumer coalition, which includes the Organic Consumers Association, Organic Consumers Fund, Food Democracy Now!, Mercola.com, Nature’s Path, Lundberg Family Farms, LabelGMOs.org, Eden Foods, Alliance for Natural Health, Dr. Bronner’s, United Farm Workers Union, American Public Health Association, Cornucopia Institute, Institute for Responsible Technology, Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network, California Certified Organic Farmers, and scores of others.
This time, the industry faces informed – and alarmed - consumers who understand the danger of allowing out-of-control chemical and biotech companies like Monsanto, Dow, or Dupont - the very same corporations that have assaulted us with toxic pesticides and industrial chemicals, Agent Orange, carcinogenic food additives, PCBs, and now global warming – to dictate their food choices.
Keeping Consumers in the Dark, Keeping Farmers and Scientists Intimidated
Why has it taken so long to get this far? How have Monsanto and its cohorts been able to grow and maintain market supremacy while force-feeding unlabeled “Frankenfoods” to the public for decades?
By buying off politicians, bullying farmers and scientists, and keeping consumers in the dark.
Monsanto has sued more than 150 farmers across the US and Canada, and threatened thousands of others, for refusing to pay for “intellectual property theft” after their fields were contaminated by Monsanto’s patented genetically engineered crops.
The company has harassed and used the media to bully scientists who have exposed the public health and environmental hazards of genetically engineered foods and crops in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Europe. The renowned scientist Dr. Arpad Pusztai from the UK, was pressured and discredited for reporting on the dangers of genetic engineering until he was eventually fired from his job. The same thing happened to the UK’s Environmental Minister, Michael Meacher.
In a number of other cases, scientists such as Ignacio Chapela, have received death threats. Chapela also said he received death threats to his children from “a high government official” in Mexico after he showed contamination of native corn with Monsanto’s GMOs. Other scientists, most notably Andres Carrasco from Argentina, have been assaulted by thugs. Monsanto has even hired the notorious mercenary gang, Blackwater, to spy on its opponents worldwide.
Why has Monsanto gone to such great lengths to thwart GMO labeling laws and initiatives? Because it understands the threat that truth-in-labeling poses for GMOs – and biotech industry profits. As soon as genetically engineered foods are labeled in the U.S., millions of consumers will read these labels and react. They’ll complain to grocery store managers and companies, they’ll talk to their family and friends. They’ll switch to foods that are organic or at least GMO-free. Once enough consumers complain about GE foods and food ingredients, stores will eventually stop selling them. Farmers will stop planting them.
Europe Shows Labels Can Drive GMOs off the Market
In Europe, there almost no genetically engineered crops, while here in the US, nearly 75% of all supermarket foods - including many so-called “natural” foods - are GE-tainted. Why? Because Europe requires labeling of genetically engineered foods – and the US does not.
This is exactly why activists have launched the California Ballot Initiative. Passing mandatory GMO food labeling in just one large state, California, the eighth largest economy in the world, where there is tremendous opposition to GE foods as well as a multi-billion dollar organic food industry, will ultimately have the same impact as a national labeling law.