A ‘Movement of Movements’
Along with campaigns against fracking and climate change, perhaps the largest and most dynamic grassroots movement in North America today is the anti-genetic engineering, Millions Against Monsanto food movement.
International in scope, the food movement has galvanized around the backlash against GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Yet there’s something much larger at work. It’s bigger than GMOs. And it’s bigger than food.
People are connecting the dots. Between industry’s corruption of our food and farming systems, and corporations’ attacks on our state and local rights. Between secretly negotiated international trade agreements, and corrupt federal government officials.
Between Democracy and Corporatocracy.
The growing strength of this “Movement of Movements” provides hope in desperate times that we can rise to the occasion and continue to win over the hearts and minds of the majority. So that we can address not only the crucial issues of food and farming and public health, but also related life-or-death issues such as climate change, economic justice and militarism.
The news was already out there, in the form of small leaks. But yesterday, February 6, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) made it official. The multi-billion lobbying group, representing junk food manufacturers, pesticide companies and Big Pharma, will pursue a “voluntary” federal GMO labeling bill, one that would preempt states’ rights to enact their own GMO labeling laws.
The GMA has formed a coalition – that’s its logo to the right, with a burger front and center – of 28 other industry groups that will push Congress to pass a law requiring the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to “reaffirm” its “role as the nation’s foremost authority on the use and labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients [GMOs].”
What does that mean? Companies that pollute your environment and poison your food want the FDA to come up with a worthless, voluntary labeling standard. And oh by the way, they also want the FDA to rule that it’s perfectly fine to label GMO-contaminated food as “natural.”
Now all this new coalition, deceptively named the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food, needs are a few legislators to sponsor their new bill. We can’t wait to find out who those legislators will be—the ones who are willing to sponsor a bill that more than 90 percent of Americans will oppose.
In the meantime, let’s keep hammering the FDA.