It’s not easy to make headlines in these days of COVID-19 and intensifying racial and civil unrest.
But leave it to Monsanto-Bayer to edge itself into the news, for better or worse.
Bayer will pay $10-billion to settle lawsuits filed by Roundup cancer victims—a settlement that one victim called a “slap in the face.”
Farmers won’t legally be allowed to use Monsanto-Bayer’s dicamba herbicides.
California can't require cancer warning labels on Roundup, even though the World Health Organization says Roundup is a "probable" carcinogen.
And the announcement that Mexico will phase out glyphosate-based herbicides by 2024.
It’s a mixed news bag, for sure. Fortunately, public opinion is still running high against the use of Roundup and other pesticides. But the need for more peer-reviewed studies, uninfluenced by Monsanto-Bayer, is more urgent than ever. We explain why in this week's blog post.
Read ‘Monsanto-Bayer Gets Bitten. But the Fight Is Far from Over.'
TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Ban Monsanto/Bayer’s Cancer-Causing Roundup Weedkiller!
Is a popular media and public relations strategy, successfully employed by big corporations like Monsanto, now being used by a publicly funded nonprofit to hide the truth about COVID-19?
Monsanto trotted out its own “experts,” like Kevin Folta, to cover up the truth about GMOs and Roundup weedkiller, and to discredit honest scientists.
Now EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S. nonprofit that helped fund gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology, is pushing its own “expert” on the media—but in this case, it’s the nonprofit’s own founder and president.
Peter Daszak is on a mission to deflect attention away from any role EcoHealth Alliance may have had in creating the coronavirus pandemic. But he’s not stopping there. He also wants to paint anyone who questions the mainstream narrative as a “conspiracy theorist.”
According to this article in GM Watch, Daszak was project leader on a $3.7-million grant supporting bat coronavirus surveillance, and bat coronavirus gain-of-function research at Wuhan Institute of Virology. (Gain-of-function research is a method of studying viruses to make them more virulent and/or more transmissible).
Daszak, who's been all over the media, is being painted by some as a hero. But many credible scientists aren’t buying it. In fact, he's even been labeled by one scientist as "Patient Zero for misinformation.”
The last thing the world needs right now—if we hope to prevent future pandemics—is more misinformation.
Read ‘Why are the lab escape denialists telling such brazen lies?’
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There are two schools of thought about what our post-pandemic world will look like.
The defenders of the status quo can’t wait to get back to a “business-as-usual” normal.
Then there are the optimists. Those who believe that if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that normal wasn’t working—and that we have an unprecedented opportunity to create something better.
We believe in, we hope for—we’re planning for—something better. We have to.
We have to believe that the pandemic has revealed, once and for all, that corrupt capitalism and a government beholden to corporate interests and the demands of the uber-wealthy is a recipe for a failed society.
But we also know that we are up against powerful forces—in the food industry, the chemical industry, the fossil fuel industry, the insurance industry, the war industry—that don’t want us to succeed.
This is no time for complacency. This is no time to coast, to take a wait-and-see approach to the future.
Now is the time to work harder than ever for the change we want. Because there are no guarantees.
As activist and author Noam Chomsky said in a recent interview:
“There is no way to predict. Those who have primary responsibility for the multiple crises that imperil us today are hard at work, relentlessly, to ensure that the system they created, and from which they have greatly benefited, will endure — and in an even harsher form, with more intense surveillance and other means of coercion and control.”
We are doing everything in our power to be as fiscally responsible as ever during these uncertain times. Still, our fundraising numbers are down, leading us to extend our 2nd-quarter deadline.
If you’re in a position to help out, your donation today will be greatly appreciated—and put to good use. Thank you!
Please help us raise $100,000 by midnight July 5 to avoid a second-quarter shortfall
Make a tax-deductible donation to OCA
Support Citizens Regeneration Lobby, OCA’s 501(c)(4) lobbying arm (not tax-deductible)
Donate $100 or more and we’ll send you a copy of Ronnie’s new book
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Though many consumers are used to buying fresh produce from local farmers’ markets, fewer are accustomed to buying pasture-raised and grass-fed meat outside grocery stores.
But horror stories about COVID-19 outbreaks in U.S. slaughterhouses is changing that.
Whether it’s fear of buying contaminated meat, (manufactured) fear of meat shortages or a major shift in consumer consciousness, COVID-19 has sent sales of locally produced food soaring.
This shifting trend has been good for local farmers, good for local economies, good for the environment and good for consumer health.
It’s even been good for consumers’ palates. As one Maine farmer told a reporter:
“If you ask any of our customers who go from an industrially raised chicken to a pasture-raised chicken, every single one of them is blown away by the amazing taste.”
If we keep this trend going, consumers can play a huge role in bringing down the industrial “Big Meat” factory farm industry. To help, especially those consumers unsure of where to find organic regenerative locally produced food, we’ve created this regenerative farm map.
The map is easy to use. Just plug in your zipcode, and find a farm near you.
Find a farm near you
We wouldn’t normally run a zoom panel discussion as a video of the week.
But if you’re at all interested in the intersection between food, health and policy, you’ll want to take the time to watch this in-depth conversation about allowing doctors to write prescriptions for nutritious food—not just drugs.
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) recently introduced the Medically Tailored Home-Delivered Meals Demonstration Pilot Act of 2020, a bi-partisan bill, with the support of Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.).
According to McGovern, the bill aims to show how we can transform “America’s sick-care system into a healthcare” system by providing medically tailored meals to vulnerable populations.
As McGovern says in his introduction to the panel:
“Many of the chronic diseases that lead to the worst coronavirus outcomes are either caused by or exacerbated by poor nutrition . . . This is a nutrition issue, it’s a healthcare issue and it’s also a racial justice issue.”
Please watch the video. And please call your member of Congress and urge him/her to support the Medically Tailored Home-Delivered Meals Demonstration Pilot Act of 2020 (H.R. 6774).
Watch the panel discussion on food as medicine policies
TAKE ACTION: Ask your member of Congress to support the Medically Tailored Home-Delivered Meals Demonstration Pilot Act of 2020 (Find your Representative’s phone number here).
“Regenerative agriculture is going to be a key phrase in the decades ahead—and this book will get you in on the ground floor, so to speak. Not much could be more important!”— Bill McKibben, author of “Falter”
When Ronnie started this book, COVID-19 wasn’t on his mind.
But during this unprecedented global crisis, “Grassroots Rising” is the playbook we all need.
We’re guessing most of you—except those of you who are the pandemic frontline heroes providing essential services—probably have more time to read, or listen, to books right now.
And you’re probably in dire need of any message that offers hope—and concrete action steps for creating a better world.
Ronnie’s new book, your “good news” instruction manual for fixing our broken food and farming system and our broken climate, is now available on audible.com. You can also order the paperback online.
Regrettably, Ronnie had to cancel his book tour, even as he was driving throughout the southwest for scheduled speaking events. The cancelations were necessary, in the interest of public health.
Fortunately, we’re planning an online book tour. Stay tuned for details!
In the meantime, stay healthy, stay sane and above all, stay engaged.
Listen up! ‘Grassroots Rising’ now available on audible.com
Listen (free) to the first 17 minutes of Ronnie's book
Buy your copy of ‘Grassroots Rising’
TAKE ACTION: Donate $100 or more and get a copy of Ronnie’s book
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SIGN THE PETITION: Consumers Want a Regenerative Green New Deal!
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