GMO

Join OCA in grassroots fight to stop GMO takeover

Sunday, February 20, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: GMOs, food labeling, health news

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(NaturalNews) The Obama Administration's landmark decision last month to overrule the ban on genetically-modified (GM) alfalfa will likely go down in the books as one of the administration's biggest betrayals of the natural health community. But a grassroots campaign currently underway by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is seeking to essentially "overrule" the overruling on the local level, or at least put enough pressure on local and state lawmakers, as well as health food retailers like Whole Foods Market, to label GMO products so consumers can make educated decisions about the foods they buy -- and thus eventually rid the market of GMOs completely.

Former Iowa governor and staunch biotechnology industry lapdog Tom Vilsack, who currently happens to be the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary, went against everything Obama and his mouthpieces promised concerning GMOs on the campaign trail, and conceded to Monsanto's demands to fully deregulate GM alfalfa. The decision came after many months of deliberation in court over the matter, as the USDA initially deregulated GM alfalfa without a proper Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) proving its safety.

USDA scientists were unable to ever prove that GM alfalfa was safe, however, and what they did find actually reinforces the concerns brought forth by those opposed to GM alfalfa. The perennial plant is highly contagious, they admit, in that its pollen and other materials easily contaminate nearby crops, including those several miles away. And since alfalfa is a primary feed stuff for the nation's conventional livestock, the spread of GM alfalfa and its contamination of other crops is a very real and highly-disturbing threat.

But none of these facts seemed to phase Vilsack, who decided to fully deregulate the "frankencrop" anyway. A slap in the face to the entire organic and natural products industry that has been working hard to maintain clean, GMO-free foods, the decision was immediately met by proposals for at least a compromise. Whole Foods and several others in the industry began to suggest a "coexistence" plan of deregulation, which they have repeatedly stated is better than nothing. But this plan is impossible, given the nature of GM alfalfa and what it will do to agriculture if it is introduced into the environment (http://www.blenderbottle.com/product/2/Mini).

Vilsack and his co-minions for Monsanto rejected the compromise option altogether, though. They remain insistent on full deregulation with no limitations, no labeling requirements, no anything. These betrayers of the People have literally given free reign to Monsanto to plant a crop that benefits nobody but Monsanto; that will introduce countless tons of new pesticide applications into the environment; that will ruin the integrity of non-GMO and organic agriculture; and that will hand over near-complete control of American agriculture to a single, multinational corporation that cares only about profits and power.

But all is not lost. Rather than concede or try to compromise, Ronnie Cummins, founder and director of OCA, is banding together those in the organic community and urging local volunteers to step up and begin initiating "Truth-in-Labeling" campaigns in their towns, cities, counties, and states. These campaigns will include the following courses of action:

-Urging organic and natural grocery retailers like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's to begin voluntarily labeling products they sell that contain GMOs. Many "natural" products that are not certified organic contain ingredients like soy protein, soy lecithin, and canola oil, all of which are typically of the GM variety when not organic.

-Pushing local and state lawmakers to mandate GMO labeling is the next step. By initiating laws similar to those that have successfully banned smoking in bars and restaurants, restricted the use of BPA in plastics, and even outlawed toys in Happy Meals, legislation can be introduced and passed requiring GMO products to be labeled.

-Initiating lawsuits against GMO farmers whose products are contaminating nearby fields. The legal precedent of "Toxic Trespass" has been firmly established, according to Cummins, meaning that any damage caused by GMOs, the pesticides and herbicides sprayed on them, or any other application involved in their cultivation, is grounds for legal action.

-Continuing to educate friends, family members, and neighbors about the dangers of GMOs. Some local groups have even begun "sticker" campaigns by which they affix small stickers on GM products in stores, warning customers that such products contain GM ingredients, and directing them to a website for more information.

Simply talking about the issue and signing petitions is no longer enough to stop the food tyranny that is taking place. Concrete action is needed if agriculture is to be saved from the total takeover that Monsanto and others are working towards.

To sign up to become an OCA Millions Against Monsanto and Factory Farms Truth-in-Labeling Campaign coordinator, visit:
http://www.viaorganica.org/oca-volunteer/

Also, be sure to catch the grassroots action event webinar with Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, and Ronnie Cummins, on February 24. The two will discuss the matter in more detail and provide information about what you can do to help. To register for the webinar, click here.

Sources for this story include:

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/art...

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