21 thoughts on “Monsanto threatens food security, Internet petition

  1. Wow — 35,000 pledges already! Let’s reach 45,000 and stop the take over of our food and our politics. Click here to pledge now.

    Dear Avaazers,

    One mega-company is gradually taking over our food supply — putting the planet’s food future in serious danger. But we can turn the tide on Monsanto and other companies that push through policies that prioritise their profits over the public good. Pledge €4 now to help stop this dangerous domination of our politics and our food:

    Pledge now
    One mega-company is gradually taking over our global food supply, poisoning our politics and putting the planet’s food future in serious danger. To stop it we need to expose and break up Monsanto’s worldwide grip.

    Monsanto, the chemical giant that gave us poisons like Agent Orange and DDT, has a super-profitable racket. Step 1: Develop pesticides and genetically modified (GM) seeds designed to resist them, patent the seeds, prohibit farmers from replanting their seeds year to year, then send undercover agents out to investigate and sue farmers who don’t comply. Step 2: Spend millions lobbying government officials and contributing to political campaigns, get former Monsanto bigwigs into top government jobs, and then work with them to weaken regulations and push Monsanto goods into markets across the world.

    As long as US law allows corporations to spend unlimited sums to influence policy, they can often buy the laws they want. Last year, Monsanto and biotech giants spent a whopping $45m to kill a ballot initiative that would have labelled GMO products just in California, despite 82 percent of Americans wanting to know if they are buying GM. And just this month, the company helped ram through the “Monsanto Protection Act,” that blocks courts from stopping the sale of a product even if they’ve been wrongly approved by the government.

    Monsanto’s power in the US gives them a launch pad to dominate across the world. But brave farmers and activists from the EU, to Brazil, to India and Canada are resisting and starting to win.

    We’re at a global tipping point. If enough of us pledge just €4 now, we can join forces to break Monsanto’s grip on our politics and our food and help stop the corporate capture of our governments. Avaaz will only process the pledges if we get enough to make a real difference:

    https://secure.avaaz.org/en/stop_monsanto_rendcl/?bHFhfab&v=24432

    Monsanto is driving an industrial farming takeover — trampling small farmers and small businesses as vast ‘monoculture’ farms of single crops leech the land of nutrients, diminish genetic diversity, and create dependency on fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals. The irony is, it’s not clear that the decimation of natural, sustainable farming has brought any boom in crop yields. Just more profit for the corporations. Our governments should step in, but Monsanto’s lobbying obstructs them.

    Monsanto’s near monopoly is breath-taking, with patent rights over 96% of the GM seeds planted in the US. And despite concerns about health and safety, the same patents allow Monsanto to prevent any farmer or scientist from testing their seeds! Still, a few countries have banned or restricted Monsanto products.

    They claim their products cost less, but often farmers are lured into multi-year contracts, then seed prices rise, and they have buy new seed each season and use more herbicides to keep out ‘superweeds’. In India, the situation is so dire that one cotton area has been called ‘the suicide belt’, as tens of thousands of the poorest farmers have taken their lives to escape crippling debt.

    But farmers and scientists are also fighting back — and winning. One group in India has helped win three patent battles against the corporations, and in Brazil five million farmers sued Monsanto for unfair collection of royalties, and won a $2 billion payout! Scientists are campaigning for sustainable agriculture models, and just last week 1.5 million of us joined the fight against conventional patents in the EU.

    Only a massive, global, united force can stand up to Monsanto and the corporate capture of our governments. Let’s expose this dominance of our democracies, help farmers speak out, challenge unjust laws and patents, and go head to head with the corporate lobbies. Pledge €4 to support action now:

    https://secure.avaaz.org/en/stop_monsanto_rendcl/?bHFhfab&v=24432

    We are running out of time. As we confront massive environmental, climate and food crises, we need sustainable agriculture and innovation, but that is best done by multiple farmers and scientists who know what works best in different ecosystems, rather than one monolith driven by their own profit, taking control our food future.

    This corporate Goliath is increasing in power across our world. But if our 21 million strong community stands together, we have a chance. Avaaz members have repeatedly stood up against the world’s biggest bullies, and won. Now it is time for us to go big to save our policies from special interests, protect our food supply, and get justice for poor farmers.

    With hope and determination,

    Alice, Oli, Joseph, Ricken, Pascal, Chris, Michelle, Emily, and the whole Avaaz team

    MORE INFORMATION

    Seeds of discontent (Texas Observer):
    http://www.texasobserver.org/seeds-of-discontent/

    Monsanto sued small farmers to protect seed patents, report says (The Guardian):
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/12/monsanto-sues-farmers-seed-patents

    Political contribution discloslures (Monsanto):
    http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/Pages/political-disclosures.aspx

    The Real Monsanto Protection Act: How The GMO Giant Corrupts Regulators And Consolidates Its Power (ThinkProgress):
    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/04/10/1832621/monsanto-protection-act-power/

    Monsanto Protection Act put GM companies above the federal courts (The Guardian):
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2013/apr/04/monsanto-protection-act-gm

    Biodiversity for food and agriculture (UN Food and Agriculture Organization):
    http://www.fao.org/sd/EPdirect/EPre0040.htm

    Monsanto’s harvest of fear (Vanity Fair):
    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/05/monsanto200805

    Wikileaks shows US pushes GM on EU (The Guardian):
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/03/wikileaks-us-eu-gm-crops

    USDA Greenlights Monsanto’s Utterly Useless New GMO Corn (Mother Jones):
    http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/01/monsanto-gmo-drought-tolerant-corn

    Crop Scientists Say Biotechnology Seed Companies Are Thwarting Research (New York Times):
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/business/20crop.html?_r=0

    Additional sources (Avaaz):
    http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_monsanto_sources/

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  8. Monsanto, Nestlé, Dow and Pepsi don’t want genetically engineered foods to be labeled, but more than 90% of Americans do.

    The Food and Drug Administration could require mandatory GMO labeling as part of their new nutrition label, and give people the right to know what’s in their food.

    Please join Food & Water Watch in telling FDA to require labeling of all genetically engineered ingredients on the new nutrition label.

    Thanks for all you do!

    Bob Fertik

    —-

    Food & Water Watch

    You Have Right to Know if You’re Eating Genetically Engineered Foods
    Tell the FDA to Require GMO Labeling on Nutrition Labels!

    You Deserve the Right to Know What’s In Your Food

    Right to Know Kids

    Tell the FDA to include GMO Labeling on the New Nutrition Labels!

    Dear Miranda,

    Recently Vermont became the first state to require genetically engineered (GMO) foods to be labeled!

    This is a huge victory: it makes Vermont the first state to require labels on GMOs and thus gives consumers the right to know what they’re eating. It also puts their neighbors in Connecticut and Maine that much closer to meeting their own requirements for labeling. Meanwhile, ballot initiatives to label GMOs are heating up for the fall in Oregon and Colorado, and the movement to label genetically engineered foods at the state level has never been stronger!

    It’s great that people in these states will soon know what’s in their food, but what about the rest of us? Tell the FDA to include genetically engineered ingredient labeling on the new nutrition labels!

    So why should we even care if we’re eating GMOs? Well, genetically engineered crops have been altered in a way that could never happen in nature. Companies like Monsanto and Dow (chemical companies) take genes from one plant, animal or virus, and shoot it into the DNA of another organism, like taking genes from a fish, and inserting them into a tomato. This is drastically different than how crops have been adapted since the beginning of human civilization, and these genetically engineered crops have been largely untested, and are unregulated by the U.S. government. They could have higher rates of allergenicity, and have unintended consequences for people and the environment.

    Many other countries around the world ban or limit GMO foods entirely, and 64 countries including Russia, China, Japan, Australia, and the countries of the European Union all require labeling. So why doesn’t the U.S. have a federal labeling law?

    The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), with about 300 member companies like Monsanto, Coca-Cola, Nestlé and Smithfield, represents the largest food, beverage and biotech companies, and has spent $54.7 million (on behalf of its Big Ag members) to defeat ballot initiatives on labeling genetically engineered foods in California and Washington. Instead of taking this fight state by state, the GMA would like to pass a bill through Congress that will stop all genetically engineered food labels nationally, and they’ve got a lot of money from their corporate members to spend to try to pass their bill.

    The good news is, the Food & Drug Administration has the authority to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered ingredients, and they could do it now. They’re already considering new content and designs on the nutrition labels that are required on every food package, and they could just include a requirement to label genetically engineered ingredients. We know that more than 90% of people want labeling on foods that contain GMO ingredients, and recently more than 20 states have considered their own labeling laws, so it’s time for the FDA to require GMO labels on all foods in the U.S.!

    The FDA is accepting comments until June 3. Please take action now to let the FDA know that you want labels on all genetically engineered foods.

    Thanks for taking action,

    Sarah Alexander
    Deputy Organizing Director
    Food & Water Watch
    act(at)fwwatch(dot)org

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