“The key to the future of the world is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known.” – Pete Seeger
A number of online fundraising appeals popped up in my inbox this week, most of them alluding to our “troubled times” and “dark days ahead.”
I understand why people feel this way. But I’m an optimist. And I believe most of you are, too. As optimists, it’s our job to do more than just rail against the bad. We must also find—better yet, create—the “optimistic stories” and “let them be known.”
With your help, that’s what we’ll do in 2016. We’ve already started.
Mercola.com and Dr. Bronner’s have once again stepped up to match your donation to OCA. Please help us raise $250,000 by You can donate online, by U.S. mail or by calling our office—details here., so we can take advantage of this generous offer.
As I write this today, it’s clear your voices have been heard in Congress, at least on the matter of allowing states to enact GMO labeling laws. Thanks to your support this past year, Monsanto couldn’t get a bipartisan version of the DARK Act (H.R. 1599, a bill to preempt GMO labeling laws) introduced, much less passed, in the Senate.
And thanks to a massive mobilization effort, including hundreds of meetings, protests, petition drives and phone banks directed toward Congressional home district and DC offices, we’ve blocked Monsanto and Big Food from attaching a GMO labeling-preemption rider to the year-end federal budget deal. Even better?We forced the FDA to require mandatory labeling of GMO salmon! Until the labeling guidelines are finalized, there will be no frankenfish in our grocery stores.
This is your victory. It may be temporary, but it’s huge. Monsanto will come roaring back in January to try to preempt state laws again. But for now, Vermont’s GMO labeling law, set to take effect, is safe.
Safeguarding Vermont’s GMO labeling law, and passing similar laws in other states, are worthy goals. We will not lose sight of these goals in 2016.
But let’s face it. The GMO ingredients in our food represent only 20 percent of the total market for GMO crops. The other 80 percent of GMO crops go into making ethanol and feeding the billions of animals incarcerated, in unconscionably inhumane and unhealthy conditions, in factory farms.
The hundreds of thousands of acres of monoculture crops, sprayed with toxic pesticides like glyphosate, and grown in soil that is degraded by synthetic chemicals, are wreaking havoc with our soils, our waterways, our health, our climate.
We absolutely must win the right to know if our food contains GMOs. But our movement must be bigger than that. We must set our sights on building a new global food and farming system. We must bring down the degenerative, Monsanto-style agriculture system and replace it with one that regenerates—soil, health, economies, climate stability.
Regeneration is the new frontier of the organic food and farming movement. It is our next “optimistic story.” It is a story of healing. Of renewal. Of hope.
And the best part of this story is that we have the power to write it. Our choices as consumers, our choices as activists, our choices as voters will drive the plot.
If we don’t step up to regenerate our food system and our ecosystem, corporations like Monsanto will define the future. Corporations won’t change unless we force them to change. Elected officials won’t listen to us unless we force them to listen.
My optimism has been fueled by this latest victory to preserve states’ rights to label GMOs. With your help, I believe we can move on to bigger and better victories. Our future depends on it.
Please help us raise $250,000 by You can donate online, by snail mail or by calling our office—details here., so we can take advantage of a matching funds challenge from Mercola.com and Dr. Bronner’s.
Thank you! And happy, healthy holidays from all of us at OCA.
National Director, Organic Consumers Association and Organic Consumers Fund