News the mainstream media "forgets" to talk about

"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?" Gandhi

Monday, July 27, 2015

Ask Your Senators to Oppose Any Bill Prohibiting GMO Labels!

Food & Water Watch

House Passes Bill to Prohibit States From Labeling GMOs!
Ask Your Senators to Oppose Any Bill That Prohibits Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods!

Should You Decide If You Want to Eat GMOs?

Label GMOs Now

Ask Your Senators to Oppose Any Bill Prohibiting GMO Labels!

The House of Representatives passed a bill last week that will prohibit states from labeling genetically engineered foods! Can you ask your Senators to oppose any bill that tries to take away labeling for genetically engineered foods?

Why is this important? Well, in poll after poll, more than 90% of people want food to be labeled if it contains genetically engineered ingredients. Several states have already passed laws requiring labeling, including Vermont, which will require labels on all foods starting next summer, unless this terrible bill passes through Congress and is signed into law by President Obama.

It's really important that your Senators hear from you, so they're not misled by the Big Food Corporations that want to prohibit GMO labeling.

The lobbyists for Big Food have been busy on Capitol Hill, and it appears that many members of Congress may be confused by the language in the "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act." It sounds good doesn't it? We call it the Denying Americans the Right to Know Act (DARK Act).

We get a lot of questions about why we need labeling for GMOs, even from staff of members of Congress! Our answers are below. We hope you'll contact your Senators today, and give them the information below, so they can vote the right way and protect your right to know what's in your food.

Question: What is a genetically engineered food or GMO?

Answer: A genetically engineered food is a plant or animal that has been changed by taking genes from one species and inserting them into the DNA of another species or altering the DNA in a way that could never happen through traditional cross-breeding or in nature.

Question: Aren't genetically engineered foods safe?

Answer: The approval process for new GMO crops in the U.S. is extremely weak and relies solely on the safety tests done by the corporations that are creating these crops. Right now, most crops are approved by federal regulators under the "generally recognized as safe" provision, which means that if a GMO corn variety looks and "acts" like the non-GMO version of corn, it is approved.

Question: But don't farmers need genetically engineered foods to feed the growing world population?

Answer: Over 99% of the GMO crops that are being planted today are engineered to withstand strong chemical applications, or to produce their own pesticides. Often, the chemical companies like Monsanto, Dow and DuPont that create GMO crops also create the chemicals that have to be used with the crops, so the main benefit of these patented crops is for the companies and their profits. Additionally, most of these GMO crops — like corn, soybeans, canola and cotton — are not grown as food for direct human consumption, but rather for animal feed, or to create ingredients in processed foods.

Question: If over 90% of Americans support the labeling of GMOs, why hasn't Congress or the Food and Drug Administration done anything?

Answer:What we eat and feed our families has a direct impact on our health and well-being, and we have a right to know if the food we're eating has been altered in a way that could never happen in nature. Unfortunately, the big food industries spend millions lobbying Congress and federal agencies to keep labels off of GMO foods. The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents the biggest food and chemical companies, has spent over $50 million to defeat labeling initiatives in multiple states.

Question: Won't labeling GMO ingredients cost companies a lot of money and raise the price of our food?

Answer: This is one of the biggest industry myths. Consumers Union did a study last year that shows the requirement of labeling genetically engineered food ingredients will cost consumers less than a penny per day or $2.30/person annually.

Question: Why should I take action and ask my Senators to oppose this legislation?

Answer: Genetically engineered crops are in most processed foods but are unlabeled, so many people who wish to avoid foods with GMO ingredients don't know where they are lurking. GMOs are untested, and it's unknown how these engineered foods may be impacting our health and the environment. At the very least, shouldn't we have a choice to avoid them if we want to? The legislation that Congress is considering will prohibit any states from labeling GMOs and will make federal labeling voluntary, which is what we have already, and not a single product is labeled as containing genetically engineered ingredients.

Ask your Senators to support labeling of genetically engineered foods and to oppose any attempt to take away states' rights to require labels.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to who gets to decide what you are eating. Shouldn't that person be you?

Thanks for taking action,

Sarah Alexander
Deputy Organizing Director
Food & Water Watch
act(at)fwwatch(dot)org;jsessionid=2440DE2BF06AB27B2618C17755905669.app334a?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=1937&autologin=true Video Playlist

India's farmers are forced into poverty by Monsanto.

Monsanto, the world's most hated corporation, will stop at nothing to increase its profits, even if it means swindling struggling Indian farmers.

For generations, farmers have saved seeds from year to year -- but the company has now made that illegal.

Monsanto is sowing the seeds of debt bondage by charging outrageous annual royalties to keep using their seeds. Farmers are hopelessly saddled with crippling debt. Since Monsanto's crops were introduced, over 200,000 farmers in India have committed suicide.

Stand with India's farmers & tell Monsanto to stop charging crippling royalties on its seeds.

New numbers show farmer suicide rates have reached record highs in rural states as Monsanto's infamous seeds have propagated throughout the country, and it's about to get worse. Now, the new Indian government has opened GMO testing on eggplant, corn, rice and chickpeas, which could mean even more royalties across the agricultural industry.

For centuries, farmers made a living by saving seeds from one year's crop to the next. But today, Monsanto has put an end to that by claiming patent rights over seeds -- the fundamental source of all plant life -- and forcing farmers to pay for new seeds year after year after year.
The result is a crippling cycle of poverty, from which farmers see no way out.

Stand with India's farmers & tell Monsanto to stop charging crippling royalties on its seeds.

Bt cotton is currently India's only GMO crop, but it makes up 95 percent of all cotton farming in the country, giving Monsanto a massive monopoly on the market. These seeds cost about three to eight times the cost of conventional seeds.

As Vandana Shiva has said, when corporations control seeds, they control life. Monsanto is taking a renewable common resource and turning it into a nonrenewable,  commodity.

The battle between Indian farmers and Monsanto is heating up. Now more than ever, we need to raise our voices to show Monsanto the whole world is watching -- and we won't stand by while it makes billions in profits at the expense of the world's poor farmers.

Stand with India's farmers & tell Monsanto to stop charging crippling royalties on its seeds.


For more information:
Monsanto and the Seeds of Suicide, Common Dreams, March 27, 2013
Monsanto's Shares Surge as its Drive to Force GM Crops into India Gathers Pace, RINF, February 4, 2015
Farmer suicides went up to 12,360 in 2014: Report, Business Standard, July 18th 2015

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Petition: Raise the Minimum Wage to $15 per hour

Millions of Americans are working for totally inadequate wages. We must ensure that no full-time worker lives in poverty. The current federal minimum wage is starvation pay and must become a living wage. We must increase it to $15 an hour over the next several years.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

URGENT: Vote Thursday: Monsanto's DARK Act would make GMO labeling illegal in all 50 states.

We just got horrifying news -- Monsanto's most dangerous legislation ever is being rammed through to a vote this Thursday in the US House and we need all hands on deck to stop it.

The DARK Act is every bit as bad as it sounds. This set of laws will prevent all 50 U.S. states from even labeling GMOs, giving Monsanto free rein to sell foods containing GMOs without our knowledge. Forever.

The precedent set here could determine the future of GMO labeling. In other words, this is a do or die moment for our right to know what's in our food.

Tell the U.S. government to stop Monsanto and protect our right to know what's in our food.

Yesterday, the U.S. House Agriculture Committee approved the "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015" with no debate. Hours later it was announced that the bill would be rushed straight to the House floor this Thursday.

This legislation is commonly being called the Denying American's the Right to Know (DARK) Act because it makes it illegal for states to pass GMO labeling laws, or to regulate GMOs in any way.

Monsanto thinks it can ram this legislation through Congress before anyone notices, but we're not going to let that happen.
Let's sound the alarm and halt the DARK Act act in its tracks.

Last year Monsanto sued the tiny, rural U.S. state of Vermont to block a law requiring the labeling of GMO foods. SumOfUs members stood with the people of Vermont to stop them from being bullied by this biotech behemoth, and Vermont's law was upheld in the courts.

But Vermont's victory--as well as efforts to require GMO labeling in dozens of other states--will be undone if the DARK Act passes. We've come too far to be caught sleeping in this winner take all fight for the future of our food.

There's lots of discussion about what the long-term effects of GMOs might be, but one thing should be above debate: consumers should have the right to know what they're eating and what they're feeding their kids.

If we don't stop it in the House this week, a vote is expected to place in the U.S. Senate, by early fall. But if we can win here, it will be a huge step towards the goal of GMO labeling worldwide, and making sure consumers know what they are eating.

Make sure you tell Congress to stop Monsanto and protect our right to know what's in our food.