Published on September 26th, 2011 | by Lynn Fang0
Justice Begins With Seeds
In the first part of this series, The Problem With GMO’s, I briefly introduced the issue itself. In this second and final installment, we’ll see what you can do to stop the madness that is GMO food.
A few weeks ago in San Francisco, non-GMO activist groups from all over the country flew in to talk about building the movement against corporate control of seeds.
We talked about political campaign strategy, alternative market forces, building local community resilience, and restructuring our current legal framework. The conference was 100% activist run and activist sponsored.
The two-day summit was a showcase of possibility. Our friends in the Global South have fought long and hard for their rights to food sovereignty. There is much we can learn from their struggles. Via Campesina is the largest international peasant rights movement in current operation, which supports and defends small scale sustainable agriculture and fights corporate-driven agriculture. It was peasant movements that fought and won the battle against water privatization in Bolivia, peasant movements that spread the use of agroecology to grow food, rather than relying on corporate seeds, pesticides, and fertilizer. When it is our time to fight corporate control, we can look to our international brothers and sisters for help and inspiration.
The following organizations were present at the conference, leading panels and workshops to discuss the political side of the movement:
Consider following these trustworthy organizations to gain further insight on how you can help with everything from local labeling initiatives to the 2012 Farm Bill.
There’s a 2012 ballot initiative in California, Label GMOs, that will require labeling of GMOs. Check out their work to see if you can help gather signatures, provide financial support, or simply help spread the word.
The biggest thing we need right now is public education and political pressure. Talk to your friends and family about the dangers of GMOs. Blog about it, tweet about it, start a discussion on social media. The greater public awareness we can bring, the more effective we can be fighting for our right to know.
There’s another really important, systemic change that needs to happen. Our laws don’t support activism or sustainability. The entire structure itself needs to be revised. Corporate personhood needs to be revoked. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) is an activist-run organization that helps communities prevent corporations from having their way in the first place. They passed a landmark local ordinance in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a Community Bill of Rights that prevents natural gas extraction in the city, giving rights to the local community to decide whether or not they want a natural gas extraction plant. CELDF helps local communities take back their right to self-government, away from the right of corporations to enter at will. They have drafted a Food Bill of Rights to support the establishment of GMO-free zones in communities and regions.
Without the law on our side, activists do not have the authority to build sustainable self-governing communities. Their intentions will always be eroded by corporate authority to establish operations wherever they so choose, regardless of public and environmental health hazards. It is only the local communities that would care about their public and environmental health standards, so it is only right that local communities hold the authority to decide what operations go on in their lands.
What other ideas do you have to support the anti-GMO movement?
[Image used with permission by CA Biosafety Alliance]