Organic Bytes
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What We’ve Learned

What We’€™ve Learned

With only five days to go before voters decide on Washington State’€™s I-522 GMO labeling initiative, there’€™s no better time to reflect on how the GMO labeling movement got here. And what we’€™ve learned along the way.

The anti-GMO, anti-Monsanto Movement reached critical mass during last year’€™s hard-fought campaign for GMO labeling in California. The narrow loss in November 2012, of California’€™s Proposition 37, galvanized the movement and set the stage for this year’€™s battle in Washington State.

But like most ‘€œovernight successes,’€ the movement didn’€™t happen overnight. It was 20 years in the making.

Today, an army of organic food and natural health activists have put Corporate America and the political elite on the defensive. We’€™ve provided evidence that the combination of aggressive populist issue-framing, unconventional ‘€œinside-outside’€ coalition-building, marketplace pressure and online list-building, mobilization and fundraising – strategically channeled into local and state-based political action – can begin to even up the odds between David and Goliath.

Win or lose in Washington State on November 5, the anti-GMO Movement has evolved into a savvy army of grassroots activists who are committed to the ongoing battle to reclaim our food and farming systems, part of a larger battle to transform the entire political and economic system.

Read the essay

Crooks and Liars


It’€™s official. The opponents of I-522 have spent more money ‘€“ nearly $22 million – to defeat your right to know than opponents or supporters have ever spent on any ballot initiative ever in Washington State.

And, according to the state attorney general, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the largest donor to the NO on I-522 campaign, has illegally concealed more money than any other group ever accused of violating Washington’€™s campaign finance laws.

As we write this today, the opposition continues to pound the airwaves with lies as they try to scare voters into voting against I-522.

The polls show this race is neck-and-neck. It couldn’€™t get any closer.

The OCA, through our Organic Consumers Fund, just wired the campaign another $50,000 to run new ads, bringing our cash donations since the start of the campaign to $800,000.

Dr. Bronner’€™s Magic Soaps dug deep to contribute an additional $500,000, bringing the company’€™s total contribution to a mind-boggling $2.3 million.

We have just five more days to reach voters. And we need your help. Please consider donating or making phone calls between now and November 5.

The crooks and liars who are spending record amounts of money to keep you in the dark are desperate. Because they know that this battle, I-522, will be a deciding one.

Thank you for all you’€™ve done so far. And thank you for doing just a little more between today and next Tuesday.

Volunteer to make phone calls to Washington voters

Share this video far and wide!

Donate here to the OCF or the OCA here to support GMO labeling in Washington and other states

No Thanks, Nestlé


The brand geniuses at Nestlé USA want your money. That’€™s why they sell organic Gerber-brand baby food and Sweet Leaf Tea, brands designed to appeal to health-conscious consumers like you. To capture a share of the growing market for organics.

Trouble is, the corporate leaders at Nestlé also don’€™t want to have to label the genetically engineered ingredients in any of their non-organic brands. But they don’€™t want you to know that. So they contributed more than $1 million to the NO on I-522 campaign by funneling it through the Grocery Manufacturers Association’€™s ‘€œDefense of Brand Strategic Account,’€ a secret and, as it turns out, illegal slush fund.

Time to tell Nestlé Chairman and CEO, Paul Grimwood (pictured), and Corporate & Brand Affairs, Hannah Coan, it’€™s not nice to lie to consumers. So you’€™ll be buying your organic baby food and organic teas somewhere else, thank you very much.

TAKE ACTION: Tell executives at Nestlé USA that you’€™re boycotting their Gerber organic baby foods and Sweet Leaf Tea brands, along with all their other products

Post on Gerber’s Facebook page

Post on Sweet Leaf Tea’€™s Facebook page

Read the press release

From the Soapbox . . . One Last Impassioned Plea


When the Bronner family, founders of Dr. Bronner’€™s Magic Soaps, decided to commit to passing I-522, the Washington State GMO labeling initiative, they did it in a big way. This one small family-owned business has spent an astonishing $2.3 million to pass a GMO labeling law in Washington State.

Why take such a big risk? Because the Bronners know that if we win this battle, we will win the war.

While so many companies ‘€“ multi-million dollar national brands ‘€“ have sat on the sidelines, making excuses for not contributing much-needed money to the YES on I-522 campaign, Dr. Bronner’€™s has gone out on a limb. For your right to know.

Please take a minute to listen to David Bronner’€™s impassioned plea for GMO labeling. And then say ‘€œthanks’€!

Watch the video and read the article

TAKE ACTION: Tell the Bronner Family ‘€˜Thank you!’€™ for supporting I-522 and our Right to Know!

Say ‘€˜Thanks’€™ on Dr. Bronner’€™s Facebook page

‘Groundbreaking’ Work? Or Monsanto Madness?


‘€˜Groundbreaking’€™ Work? Or Monsanto Madness?

Scientists at the University of Florida’€™s Institute for Plant Innovation and its Center for Smell and Taste (yes, an actual research facility funded by real dollars) want your tomatoes to taste better. So they’€™re spending god-knows-how-many dollars to tinker with the DNA of tomatoes in the quest for ‘€˜better flavor.’€

America’€™s favorite populist, Jim Hightower, finds it all a bit much to stomach. Especially given that the research, and lead researcher, Professor Harry Klee, are being funded by none other than Monsanto.

Where did this guy come from? Monsanto, where he was employed for 11 years to help bring dangerously-untested-and-unlabeled bioengineered food to market. Now at the U of Florida’s Institute for Plant Innovation, backed by Monsanto, Klee leads the effort to innovate what’s called "a chemical recipe for the ideal tomato."

Legitimate research? Or just more Monsanto madness?

Read the NYT article
Read Jim Hightower’€™s Commentary

Factory Farms: Taxpayers Pay. Politicians Take. Agribusiness Profits.


The agribusiness giants would have us believe that our inherently unsustainable and morally reprehensible factory farming system is the only way to feed the world’€™s burgeoning population. But the facts prove otherwise. Factory farming is all about maximizing profits for a handful of the world’€™s largest corporations.

Agribusiness spent $751 million over the past 5 years on lobbying congress and another $480.5 million  in direct campaign contributions over the past two decades. Since 1995, taxpayers have provided $292.5 billion in direct agricultural subsidies, another $96 billion in crop insurance subsidies, and over $100 billion in subsidies to promote the growth of genetically engineered corn and soy. 

How did we end up with this cruel, unsustainable, unhealthy, environmentally destructive factory farm model? The numbers say it all.

More Facts on Factory Farms

Biochar: Putting the Carbon Genie Back in the Bottle


Biologist, environmentalist and entrepreneur, Rob Lerner, explains the difference between fertilizer and fertility. And how biochar can save our soil. And bring us back from the brink of a climate disaster.

Watch the video