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When cities or counties spray Roundup—on roadways, parks and playgrounds or other public spaces—they put you, your kids and your pets at risk. And, according to a new study from Michigan State University, they’re also contributing to the demise of the monarch butterfly.
Studies have also linked neonicotinoid pesticides to the decline in monarch populations, so we need to keep the pressure on communities to stop using them, and on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban them.
The Michigan State study isn’t the first to link Roundup to monarch deaths, and the study also cites climate change as a contributing factor. But, the authors said that their study “provides the first empirical evidence of a negative association between glyphosate application and local abundance of adult monarch butterflies during 1994-2003, the initial phase of large-scale herbicide adoption in the Midwest.”
According to the study:
An analysis of data in Illinois has found a link between higher county-level use of an herbicide called glyphosate and reduced abundance of adult monarch butterflies, especially in areas with concentrated agriculture. This association was only evident during the initial years of the adoption of herbicide-resistant crops (1994-2003), however, when glyphosate use was increasing most quickly.
Yet, another reason to ban Roundup.
If you wonder why your drinking water is unsafe, your food is covered in higher and higher levels of increasingly dangerous pesticides . . . if you wonder why independent farmers who cared about soil health and animal welfare have been replaced by Monsanto’s GMO monoculture “farmers,” you have only to look to how corporations have infiltrated our government—at every level—for the answers.
In Washington, D.C., EPA scientists are being replaced with “industry consultants” who care little about science, and even less about your health and safety. At the state level, we have government’s like Maine’s, trying to strip local communities of their right to ban pesticides.
And then there are city governments, like Fremont, Neb., making back-room deals to allow behemoth corporations like Costco to build factory farms that will pollute local waterways.
We’ve sold our political soul, our democracy, to the devil. And the devil is corporate greed.
According to an article published in 2015 in The Atlantic, corporations spend about $2.6 billion a year on reported lobbying expenditures—more than the $2 billion we spend to fund the House ($1.18 billion) and Senate ($860 million). The corporate takeover of our government didn’t happen overnight, the article says, but it happened. And it changed everything:
Things are quite different today . . . business lobbying has built itself up over time, and the self-reinforcing quality of corporate lobbying has increasingly come to overwhelm every other potentially countervailing force. It has also fundamentally changed how corporations interact with government—rather than trying to keep government out of its business (as they did for a long time), companies are now increasingly bringing government in as a partner, looking to see what the country can do for them.
In recent months, the hashtag #resist has dominated the twitter feeds of activists of all stripes. It’s mostly used in the context of Trump and his new administration. But what exactly is it about Trump that people are resisting? In large part, it’s his loyalty-at-all-costs to corporations.
We’ve been #resisting corporations, or rather corporate influence on policy (food, farming and otherwise), for decades. No matter if it was a Clinton or Bush or Obama Administration. And if we were living in a Hillary Administration today, we’d be waving the #resist banner just as high, just as often.
It’s the unholy alliance between corporations and politicians that have given us a corrupt and unhealthy food and farming system. As the Trump Administration brazenly reinforces and strengthens that alliance, we are more determined than ever to #resist. But we’re equally determined to #regenerate, to put forth solutions.
How? By mobilizing consumers in their own communities, against corporate agribusiness and the Big Food lobby—from Main Street to Washington, D.C.—who are degrading and degenerating our health, environment and climate, undermining organic standards by selling factory-farmed ‘imposter’ organic brands like Aurora, and/or using misleading labels like “100% natural” or “all natural” for products including milk, meat and eggs produced on inhumane, unhealthy, environmentally destructive factory farms. And by mobilizing consumers to “get political”, and to throw out the bums—those Republicans and Establishment Democrats who serve Monsanto, Walmart Exxon and McDonald’s, instead of us, the people who elected them.
Since launching the #Resist and #Regenerate Movement a few weeks ago on Meetup.com, 216 chapters have been formed, with over 3300 members. (We still need some volunteers to lead some of these groups. Interested? Email firstname.lastname@example.org)
We think Meetup.com, an online tool, can play a key role in helping us all bridge the gap between online and on-the-ground activism. The concept is simple: Start a #Resist and #Regenerate group on Meetup, reach out and invite local activists and concerned citizens to a meeting, identify a local issue or local candidate, and start working together—in your own backyard.
It’s probably not in your garage, or on your shopping list.
But how many of your neighbors will spray their lawns and gardens this summer with Roundup herbicide, thus exposing you (and your family and pets)—possibly without your knowledge and definitely against your wishes—to Monsanto’s cancer-causing chemicals?
If the answer is one, it’s one too many.
With everything we’ve learned about the health risks of exposure to Roundup (and its key active ingredient, glyphosate), and the lengths to which Monsanto has gone to hide those risks, no ethical retailer should still be selling Roundup to consumers.
On one of its Roundup product labels, Monsanto boasts: “Kills Weeds not the Lawn.” What the label doesn’t tell you is that Roundup can also kill people—just ask the hundreds of people suing Monsanto for failing to warn them that Roundup is linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
It’s time for big retail chains to stop peddling poison. Period.
Download this leaflet and deliver it to the manager of your local Home Depot and/or Walmart stores. (You can also ask managers at any of your local hardware stores to stop selling Roundup).
The second half of 2016 wasn’t a great year for the food movement. Congress stripped states of the right to pass mandatory GMO labeling laws, and handed consumers a “fake” federal GMO labeling law, giving corporations a free pass on labeling.
Then came the November election of Trump, who has aligned himself with the corporate interests of companies like Monsanto and Exxon, and shows no interest in protecting consumers, public health or the environment.
What do we do next? Now that GMO labeling is, at least for now, off the table? We #resist. And #regenerate.
Let’s face it, the food movement on its own just wasn’t powerful enough to overcome Monsanto’s resolve to keep labels off GMO foods. We need a bigger, better, more inclusive movement, united in its vision to protect consumers and the environment, to build stronger communities, stronger economies and a stronger democracy that works for all of us, not just corporations and the 1%.
Response to our recent call to organize at the local and state levels, around strong #ConsumerRevolution and #PoliticalRevolution platforms, was overwhelming. So far, nearly 400 people have volunteered to hold regeneration meetups and house parties, bringing together fellow activists working on issues related to natural health, climate, clean water, food and farming.
Because of the strong response, and the need to provide the resources to help make these meetups and house parties successful, we’re pushing out the date from March 20 to mid-April. If your plans for a March 20 (give or take) meeting are in place, go for it! But if you’d like more time, let’s shoot for the third week in April—you may want your meeting to coincide with Earth Day (April 22).
Planet Earth is in crisis. We can continue to fight our single-issue battles in our own bubbles—and fail. Or we can connect the dots, unite around the common theme of regeneration—and create a movement too big to fail.
First, they injure us with their GMOs and toxic pesticides. Then they insult our intelligence.
Unable to reach a compromise and/or get the votes they needed this week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry postponed action on a federal bill to preempt Vermont’s GMO labeling law until Tuesday, March 1.
But it’s only a matter of time. Sen. Pat Roberts’ (R-Kan.) bill to kill GMO labeling will likely be the subject of a heatedAg Committee debate next week, when Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and others will push for a compromise aimed at keeping Vermont’s law from taking effect July 1.
Perpetrators of the bill, which is full of holes according to this latest legal analysis, are having trouble gaining bipartisan support.
Meanwhile USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Rep. Robert Alderholt (R-Ala.) and Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) were making the media rounds, spreading lies and fear, extolling the virtues of GMOs, and insulting the intelligence of consumers by claiming that we “just need more education.”
Vilsack told PoliticoPro this week that if Vermont’s law isn’t stopped it will “create chaotic circumstances” for the food industry—curious, given that none of the other 100-plus state food labeling laws have ever caused chaos. Later the same day, Vilsack insulted consumers when he told Agri-Pulse:
“This very system-which produces the most abundant, the highest quality, and the most affordable food supply in the world-will be threatened with large economic costs without a national uniform solution to the biotech labeling issue.”
Vilsack also raised the bogus cost issue again, even though it’s been debunked time and again, and finally put to rest by Campbell’s Soup Co.’s announcement that it will label GMO foods at no cost to consumers.
Alderholt also chimed in on the “education of consumers.” He was quoted in PoliticoPro telling the FDA and other federal agencies that they “need to do a better job educating consumers on the safety of GMO foods.”
Ag Committee member Donnelly also spoke to PolitcoPro this week, and like Stabenow, pushed for a compromise that would include a combination of delaying Vermont and/or allowing food corporations to opt for QR codes instead of on-package labels.
Dial 888-897-0174 to call the Senate Agriculture Committee!
Ranchers often get a bad rap. Every week there’s another story about how ranchers are climate villains. The recent headline-making standoff in Oregon hasn’t done anything to improve their image, either.
First of all, we reject the notion that all ranchers (and meat consumers) are part of the global warming problem. Many ranchers are dedicated climate-fixers, intentionally or otherwise, because they employ holistic management practices that actually repair soil and grasslands, turning them into natural carbon sinks. (Visit the Savory Institute website for more on how ranchers can be key players in cooling the planet. In fact, we desperately need their help).
As our national director, Ronnie Cummins, wrote recently:
North American cattle ranchers, for the most part, have no love for Cargill, Tyson, Monsanto, JBS, Smithfield, Elanco (animal drugs) or McDonald’s. Most of these ranchers practice traditional animal husbandry, conscientiously taking care of their animals from birth. They graze their cattle free-range on grass, as nature intended, before they’re forced to sell these heretofore-healthy animals at rock-bottom prices to the monopolistic meat cartel.
The conscientious rancher in our video this week shares the history of his family’s ranch, and the lengths he’s gone to repair his land and turn it into a healthy, biodiverse landscape—all while raising animals.