A Letter to the Activists Who Have Given Up on Labeling and/or Turned On Our Labeling Cause
Dear Fellow GMO Food Fighters,
You know who you are... the impact was crushing and you lost hope recently....then got angry. Maybe it was when Oregon lost GMO labeling, the third state in a row, or when the DARK Act Hearing in Washington DC revealed the depths of corruption on so many levels. Maybe you felt betrayed by the head of the FDA and our “representative” from the Labeling movement when he said that GMOs are as safe as conventional food. Maybe you got fed up when another friend lost her precious baby one night, sleeping or had another miscarriage and the pain was so deep you felt like you lost your ability to be happy forever. Maybe like me, you are sometimes not sure how you can ever be proud to live in this country again. Maybe it was the fact that the final word of Oregon's loss and the Dark ACT Hearing seemingly “winning” their objective to scold and crush our movement publicly,on the same day…had you ask yourself like I did…at what point do I chain myself to the Whitehouse fence? At what point do I lay my body down in front of these chemical companies like Sofia, the mother who stopped Monsanto from building another factory in her country in Argentina, and was brutally beaten for it? Watch video here. At what point do we lay our bodies down?
Or… maybe the “laying of our bodies down” is not in the same way she did. We face a different challenge in our daily lives, and just as threatening to our families. Maybe the ultimate show of resistance is to not give up the stand we have taken as a country and to keep going.
Many of us have wanted to give up recently. I will admit the words “forget labeling” have come out of my mouth and I have been determined to focus on education and solutions. I even went into the lion’s den and stood front of 800 of Monsanto’s stockholders to plea to them to challenge their company to go in a new direction. Many of us are looking for any new thing we can do to make a difference, anything besides talking about labeling what we know to be DNA mutagen and poison. We are fed up with not winning.
So what to do?
What some have chosen to do is to look for corruption in the labeling movement and blame the leaders. To “expose” the truth how moms like me or leaders who have given their heart and soul for many years to this cause, are somehow working for the opposition. We are “controlled opposition” and “everyone should know the truth” according to these activists, some who were once our most vocal pioneers. They write angry words, declaring leaders are purposefully trying to “waste your time” by asking you to speak to legislators and petition the Whitehouse, manipulating you and giving “you a false sense of security that you are getting something done.” They research our leader's lives and take facts and twist them to make it look like our leaders are corrupt. They claim they are simply speaking the truth, but the fact is that they are stating their opinion about other people’s intentions. It is their perspective, and the misinterpretations are completely unfounded. They could in fact be paid opposition. Their methods are divisive, hurtful, some are harassing with violent and gory images online.
It is disheartening to say the least. It can feel exhausting and has provoked some sweet and caring people to quit our movement. It is very sad for me…because even worse than our people and environment being poisoned is when our people lose faith in themselves that they can do something about it. When we give up… all truly is lost. Love, laughter, living life powerfully…could be lost.
So again, what to do?
First of all, what if the activists that have turned against GMO labeling are right? What if they have unearthed the truth about our leaders and the whole labeling movement is a farce?
I would like to address this.
Simply, they are incorrect. There is no "conspiracy" going on when a mom grabs her three kids and a stroller, signs, and water bottles and goes to march in a 4th of July parade in 90 degree heat to raise awareness about GMOs. There is no "deep underlying corruption" happening when a Grandma has her neighborhood friends over for a movie night and breaks the news to them that the food they are eating is totally different from the food they ate when they were kids and now they need to change their ways, at 70 years old, to avoid Alzheimer’s. No one is being "Monsanto’s puppet" when they ask their grocery store managers to label their GMO products and sell more organic food.
The labeling movement is not a farce; it is a beautiful coming-together of caring and generous people who ARE what makes America great. They are what give most of us the inspiration to carry on.
The labeling movement is about more than just labels. It is an opportunity to raise awareness and to change consumer purchasing. When we don’t buy it, they can’t sell it. When they can’t sell it, they have to change their products or close factories. That’s business.
Moms buy 85% of the food, so in fact we drive business. We shape the future of food and the health of our country with our purchases. We must have a population of informed moms if we want a healthy future for America. If Moms keep buying GMOs even when we have labels, we still lose. They must be educated no matter what.
So why not ban it?
Let’s ban it! Yes. Great. So let’s look at this. Who is going to ban it?
Legislators, our representatives and Congressmen…they decide what is banned and what is not…the very people that the anti GMO Labelers are saying are a waste of time.
Have you talked with your representatives? Met with them? How do you think a conversation about banning ingredients in 85% of our food is going to go? Do you think they are inclined to stand up and speak out to ban something which would then drive our food system into economic collapse? But instead of meeting with legislators, these activists, maybe you.. are turning on the very movement which empowered us all to change our lives, even save lives.
Meeting with Senator's staff makes a difference!
I ask you to stop diminishing the movement. Let’s label AND ban.
Please, talk to your legislators about both. Go to your city council and get GMOs and or Roundup (Glyphosate) and pesticides banned from your city parks, schools, and even backyards. Make your city a GMO Free Zone and Pesticide Free Zone.
Talking about a ban on Facebook amongst ourselves does nothing. It does not make you smarter than people who are taking actions every day for labeling. If you feel passionately that a federal ban or local ban is the most effective use of your time, go for it. Take action. But please do not insult, criticize and try to destroy the integrity of the people who have and continue to championed labeling. You may not like some of the things they are doing…selling books, looking pretty, earning money for the full time job they have decided that this cause is for them…and how is that wrong? Are they producing results which are in alignment with our commitment to raise awareness about GMOs and related pesticides and eliminate them?
The fact is that we need to reach billions of people around the world to turn this around. This is a national and global health and pollution crisis. We have 7 billion people on the planet, 320 million in the USA. Between GMO Free USA, Label GMOs and all the NGOs like OCA and Food Democracy Now and MAA, we may reach a couple million a day, mostly of the same people... that's not enough. How many do you reach a day posting on Facebook or Twitter? Too many still don't know what a GMO is. We need media...and we need to raise millions of dollars to reach hundreds of million in the US and billions around the world. It costs 1.5 million alone for a TV spot. Until we raise that money, we need celebrities to support our cause and/or people in our cause to reach celebrity status, to be household names, to reach millions of Moms who make the purchases, in order for us to win. The people who are willing to speak up and lead in this cause are taking risks for you. Their peace of mind is harassed every day. We risk loosing them by not being supportive. It does not work for our cause to fault people who are accomplishing notoriety. It is crucial for us to survive.
To be truly effective we need to all work together in many areas. As Pamm Larry, instigator of Prop 37 GMO labeling ballot initiative said, (paraphrasing) when referring to the opposition working in shady ways…"the way to eliminate their influence is to eliminate the shady areas where they hide…by exposing light on all the areas, working on all areas." So if you want to hold the light on banning, while someone else holds the light on labeling, or the impact of GMOs on the climate, or factory farms or soil, butterflies, bees or babies…we all hold those lights from different angles and we expose the real truth together.
We all care about health and freedom. Let’s all work together on our different areas, support one another, and if that means for you to take a deep breath and NOT insult someone, our cause needs that form of support. If your form of “lay your body down” means to keep going and you say Okay….one more time I will talk to my friends, make that call, and meet with my representative…our cause needs that support. When the laws are changed, the media will have to cover it, and again, awareness about GMOs will be raised and purchases will shift.
If you are exhausted by meeting people who still don't know about GMOs in your town, or feel alone, it's time to march in a 4th of July parade this year. 3 people deep on the sidelines of a parade for 3 miles equals 49,000 people that you reach in a few hours, in person, in your town, in a fun way. That's a lot of potential volunteers! Pass out our free flyers with info for a volunteer meeting! If we had thousands of small groups in hometown parades, the tipping point would be accomplished this year. Done. With not much effort, our Moms MeetUps on May 2, international video conference call and our purchasing power will cause a 1.8 billion dollar shift to organic in a day. Our cause needs these kind of actions urgently...whether you are MAA or not, get in a parade, and host a MeetUp on May 2!
If you are tired of appealing to the people in power (and criticizing them) and instead want to BE a person in power, you can chose to run for office…Be a LEADER not a HATER...our cause needs that support now. If you are concerned about the contamination and standards of organic food, instead of attacking the Non GMO Project Verified, go to the National Organic Standards Board meetings and get on the board of NOSB. If you don't have the money for a flight, ask for it, have a fundraiser. Do what it takes. Whatever you do, be constructive, work for the end goal of widespread distribution of organic food and a toxin free planet together!
This past week a federal labeling bill was presented by Boxer, Blumenthal and DeFazio. It has a chance. What will make it a reality is YOU. If YOU inundate those offices with calls, if you make one call a day this week and take action for as long as it takes, we will win. There is a “critical mass concept of 10%", meaning that if just 10% of the population adopts behavior, there is no stopping the movement. It will spread. I believe we are almost there; we just need to not give up, to not turn on each other, and to keep going. http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
And when we get GMO labeling, not only will people have a choice, but food manufacturers will be compelled to switch their ingredients over to non GMO to protect their sales. We will wean the food industry from GMOs without economic collapse. The farmers will regain faith in their ingenuity to farm without toxic chemicals, stop using GMOs, and we will transform the food industry. Rather than only focusing on a federal ban and waiting for the legislators to "see the light" through the piles of money donated to them by chemical companies and approve a ban, we can take action NOW. We can ban GMOs from our tables by raising awareness with labeling initiatives.
Thank you for your devotion to this cause. I hope we can stand side by side at the National Organic Standards Board, in the Senate halls, in 4th of July parades, and in the grocery stores, for the future of America.