Saturday, May 24, 2014

Listen Up, Monsanto!

Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall in Monsanto’s boardroom this week?
Two Oregon counties—Jackson and Josephine—soundly defeated the Gene Giants on Tuesday, May 20. Voters there, led in Jackson County by a grassroots group called Our Family Farms Coalition, passed countywide bans on growing GMOs.

The wins send a clear signal to the biotech industry that their GMO crops are not wanted. And an equally clear signal to politicians that communities will take a stand to protect their democratic right to local home rule.
This time, Monsanto’s money and lies didn’t work. (Monsanto and the rest of the Gene Giants spent a cool $1 million—a new record for a county ballot measure in Oregon—in Jackson County alone).
This time, ordinary citizens and community rights prevailed over corporate and political corruption.
This time, we’re celebrating.
This week’s victories are all the more sweet, coming just weeks after Vermont signed into law this country’s first stand-alone bill requiring mandatory labeling of GMOs.
The grassroots anti-GMO movement, always a force to be reckoned with, is now a bigger-than-ever threat to corporations that have poisoned and polluted with impunity, for decades.
Thanks to you.

What’s next? A lot.

Through your donations to our 501(c) 4 allied lobbying arm, the Organic Consumers Fund, we contributed $50,000 to win in Jackson and Josephine Counties. And another $250,000 to win in Vermont.
Now, we have to win Oregon’s Ballot Initiative #44, in November, to require statewide mandatory labeling of GMO foods. We’ve pledged $500,000 to that campaign. We have to help other counties, like Lane and Benton Counties in Oregon, and Humboldt County, in California, pass the GMO bans they’re working on.
We also need to defend Josephine County’s initiative, at risk because of a controversial law passed last year in Oregon preempting county GMO bans. (Jackson County got on the ballot before Oregon SB 863 passed). And we have to defend Vermont’s new labeling law, because the Grocery Manufacturers Association has promised to sue in federal court to overturn it.
It’s a lot. But listen up, Monsanto. We’re just getting started.
These recent victories mark the turning point in a decades-long battle to expose the health and environmental hazards of GMO food and farming. As we pause today to celebrate the energy, creativity and dogged determination of our fellow activists everywhere, we are proud to be a part of this unstoppable movement. And grateful for all of you who really are this movement. Thank you! And onward to the next victory.
Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (501(c) 4) or the Organic Consumers Association (501(c) 3) to support ongoing GMO education campaigns, GMO bans in Lane and Benton Counties (Oregon), and Humboldt County (California), and Oregon’s state Ballot Initiative #44 for mandatory labeling of GMOs.

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