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What if instead of thinking about climate change as a crisis, we thought about it as an opportunity—to unite the world around new ideas?
Khory Hancock, better known as the “Environmental Cowboy,” is an Australian environmental scientist, climate change solutions strategist and documentarian. He’s working on a film that has taken him on a journey through New South Wales to learn firsthand, especially from farmers, about the impact of what some say is the region’s worst drought in more than 400 years.
Hancock’s documentary, “A Dry Hope,” shines a spotlight on the historic drought, but also on the promise regenerative agriculture holds as a solution to increasingly frequent and more intense weather patterns—especially if at the same time we change the way we farm, we also transition to renewable energy.
In an interview with OCA, Hancock said:
“We have the solutions in front of us, everything we need to reverse climate change. The only question left is when will we implement these solutions? I have a belief that climate change will unite the world, regardless of our differences in race, religion and culture. It will awaken the creativity we need to solve a challenge we all face.”
Whoever said, “Hope is not a strategy,” was right.
Hope alone won’t get Monsanto’s, or anyone else’s, toxic chemicals out of our food and environment. We have to work at it. We have to have a plan.
Recent developments give us great hope.
The verdict in California, ordering Monsanto to pay $289.2 million for knowingly, with “malice and oppression,” causing Dewayne Lee Johnson’s cancer—and the massive mainstream news coverage generated by that verdict—gives us hope that the world is waking up to the dangers associated with poisons like Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller.
Moves to ban Roundup, like those announced in Austin, Texas, and Santa Rosa, California, give us hope that local politicians will step up to protect their communities.
Shareholders dumping Bayer stock (Bayer recently bought Monsanto) give us hope that people will stop investing in companies that sell poison.
Countries, like Brazil, weighing the possibility of banning glyphosate-based herbicides, give us hope that the whole world will work together on alternatives to industrial agribusiness.
The prospect of thousands more lawsuits, including our own, against Monsanto, gives us hope that the courts will aid in our struggle for a poison-free food system.
But all the hope in the world won’t rid the world of Roundup unless we all keep working together, strategically.
We’ve got a plan to keep up the pressure on Monsanto. It involves using the courts. It involves consumer education. It involves campaigns targeting companies like Ben & Jerry’s that sell products contaminated with Roundup. It involves campaigns targeting school boards and city councils.
But our plan goes nowhere unless it involves you. We need your support now, more than ever. Please help us turn hope into success by making a generous donation today. Thank you.
We’ve chosen to honor Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, the man who took on Monsanto and won, by organizing a massive campaign to get Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller out of U.S. schools.
Johnson, a former school groundskeeper who was required to spray Roundup on school properties, is terminally ill with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. A jury in San Francisco recently decided that Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weedkillers caused Johnson’s cancer. The jury also agreed that Monsanto knew Roundup was carcinogenic and that Monsanto acted with “malice and oppression” when it concealed that information from Johnson.
We can’t give Johnson his health back. But we can engage parents across the country in a campaign to get Roundup out of schools.
We’re already hard at work, behind the scenes, investigating the use of Roundup in U.S. school districts. As we obtain specific information, we’ll use it to reach PTA and other parent groups. We’ll help parents pressure school boards to get not just Roundup, but all pesticides and other toxic chemicals out of schools.
But we need your help. First, please sign our petition to the National School Boards Association. Then please share the petition with friends and family members, and with any parent groups you know who might be able to send the petition via their online newsletters.
Second, please contact your school board. Find the phone number for your school board president. Then go to this online form. Use the form as a guide while you speak with someone on your school board. You can check off the answers to the questions provided, while you’re on the phone.
Remember, we all support our local schools with our tax dollars—so you have the right to ask these questions even if you don’t have a child in school right now.
Scientists confirm that children are more vulnerable to harm from pesticide exposure. Their bodies are less able to detoxify and expel harmful chemicals. They also interact differently with their environment, including learning by touch and hand-to-mouth behaviors.
Dewayne Johnson took on Monsanto and won. Let’s make that win mean something big.
But, no. This week, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. reports that, true to form, Monsanto withheld internal papers relevant to the lawsuit against the company by former school groundskeeper, Dewayne “Lee” Johnson. Monsanto was ordered to pay $289.2 million to Johnson after the jury decided that exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller caused his non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Bayer CEO Werner Bauman is doing his best to paint a sunny future for the company, despite Monsanto’s mounting legal woes.
Good luck with that.
Meanwhile we look forward to our own day in court with Monsanto. In May, a federal judge ruled that our lawsuit against Monsanto for the deceptive labeling, marketing and selling of Roundup retail products can proceed.
Want to know what might be in your meat? Look no further than an article published this week by Consumer Reports.
After conducting an in-depth review and analysis of government drug residue testing, Consumer Reports concluded that not only could your meat contain drug residues, but that some of those residues may be from drugs that are strictly prohibited in food production.
Andrew Gunther, executive director of A Greener World, told Consumer Reports:
“I’m floored by these results. These are potentially very dangerous drugs, appearing in more samples and at higher levels than I would have ever expected.”
Consumer Reports specifically called out these three drugs: ketamine, a hallucinogenic party drug and experimental antidepressant; phenylbutazone, an anti-inflammatory deemed too risky for human use; and chloramphenicol, a powerful antibiotic linked to potentially deadly anemia. All these drugs are prohibited in beef, poultry and pork consumed in the U.S.
How do these and other drugs end up in meat sold to consumers? The article raises that question, along with questions about whether the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service is doing an adequate job of policing the meat industry and protecting consumers.
How do we think consumers can best protect themselves from unwanted exposure to drug residues in their meat?
Meanwhile, you’ll want to read this in-depth article from Consumer Reports.
Vermont’s GMO labeling law, which took effect July 1, 2016, only to be preempted a few weeks later, set the standard for what real GMO labels look like.
Under Vermont’s law, foods that were “produced with genetic engineering” were labeled as such. The only foods that were exempt were foods prepared for immediate consumption (for example, food in restaurants or salad bars), alcohol and foods from animals fed genetically engineered feed. These exemptions were necessary to comply with preexisting federal labeling laws.
Congress and the USDA have the power to require even stricter labels than Vermont. But instead, Congress passed the DARK Act, a law clearly intended to severely limit the number of GMO foods that would be labeled.
Instead of actual words on the package, the DARK Act lets food companies hide information about GMOs on websites. Under this scheme, consumers would have to download a so-called “SmartLabel” app to their smart phones, then—while they’re shopping—scan QR barcodes which send them to the brand’s website where they have to search for information on GMO ingredients.
The DARK Act directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to come up with a federal “bioengineered food disclosure” scheme. Trump Administration is beginning to write the regulations which will define that scheme, and is seeking public comments on those regulations until July 17.
Tell the USDA we need GMO labels—not QR codes or other technology schemes that make it difficult for many, and impossible for some consumers to know whether they’re buying GMO foods, or foods that contain GMO ingredients.