Safe Food Activists To Hold An "Eat-In" At The FDA April 8
COLLEGE PARK, Md., March 6, 2013
Activists to Prepare & Share "Stone Soup" to Protest FDA's Antiquated Policies
on Genetically Engineered (GMO) Foods
COLLEGE PARK, Md., March 6,2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The following is
being released by Occupy-Monsanto.com:
Alarmed by the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) outdated and
pro-biotechnology industry policies concerning the labeling & safety of
genetically engineered foods sold in America, safe food activists are
organizing the largest protest to date at the FDA to demand immediate policy
changes. On Monday, April 8, concerned citizens traveling as far away as the
Midwest will descend on the FDA for a day-long "Eat-In" outside the FDA's
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition located at 5100 Paint Branch
Parkway, College Park, MD 20740. Organic farmers and backyard gardeners will
bring organically-grown vegetables from their region that will be combined in
a huge cooking pot to make a special, GMO-free "Stone Soup" that will be eaten
by activists as a picnic-style protest outside of the FDA.
"The fable of 'Stone Soup' has been rewritten many times throughout history
and will be rewritten once again on April 8," says Tom Llewellyn, a lead
organizer with the REAL Cooperative in Asheville, NC. "One version of the
'Stone Soup' tale is about a hungry soldier who, when passing through an
impoverished village, announced that he would make 'Stone Soup' for everyone
in town. The promise of this mysterious 'Stone Soup' persuaded people in the
small village to pool their resources and offer up their hidden onions,
carrots, lettuce, and spices to feed everyone. With all food activists and
citizens working together, a greater good can be achieved by forcing changes
in the way huge food corporations source ingredients and the way our
government regulates food safety," says Llewellyn.
"There have been 'Be-Ins' and 'Sit-Ins' but there has never been an 'Eat-In'
in the history of the FDA," says Adam Eidinger, spokesman for
Occupy-Monsanto.com."Safe food activists will be chowing down to demand that
the FDA issue regulations that require mandatory labels for all foods in
America that were produced using biotechnology, to reject the approval of the
genetically engineered AquaBounty™ salmon, for former Monsanto Company
lobbyist Michael Taylor to resign from his Obama-appointed position at the
FDA, and for the White House to answer the multiple "We The People" petitions
on GMO labeling that have gone unanswered for over a year."
WHO: Safe Food Activists, Students, Farmers, and Concerned Citizens
WHAT: "Eat-In" at the FDA for GMO Food Labeling and Food Democracy
WHERE: Sidewalk outside of the Food And Drug Administration's Center for Food
Safety and Applied Nutrition, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway College Park, MD 20740
– Across the street from the College Park Metro Station (Green Line)
WHEN: All day, Monday, April 8 from 8am until Sunset (6pm)
"I can't grow food very well at my house, so I am going to bring bowls and
spoons so others may enjoy the 'Stone Soup,'" says Erica Madrid with GMO Free
DC. In order to prevent waste from landfill-bound single-serving containers,
safe food activists without organic produce to share can still take part in
the "Stone Soup" by providing others with reusable pantry items like bowls,
cups, spoons, and forks to enjoy the picnic protest.
"Last month the Supreme Court listened to arguments about how Monsanto allowed
its patented GMOs to commingle & contaminate grain elevators across America,"
says Gene, an anonymous Occupy Monsanto activist, concerning Bowman v.
Monsanto, a Supreme Court case that pitted the agrochemical giant against a
75-year-old Indiana soybean farmer. "Hugh Bowman was accused of infringing
two soybean patents held by Monsanto, so why aren't those two soybean patents
listed on food labels that contain those patented soybeans?"
Nearly 93% of all soybeans grown in America contain man-made, patented genes
owned by a very small number of agrochemical companies that the FDA passively
oversees. Instead of conducting rigorous independent analyses of patented GMO
crops that make up Americas food supply, the FDA has relied on short-term
industry studies that were written for profit, not food safety. In a January
2013 article in the Wall Street Journal, Monsanto's CEO Hugh Grant stated the
corporation was open to the FDA allowing GMO labeling, but only if it was done
scientifically. "What is more scientific than a patent listing," asks Emma
Hutchens of the REAL Cooperative. "The FDA says that GMOs are not materially
different than their non-GMO counterpart, but if the plants are patented there
must be a material difference, otherwise there would be no need for a patent.
They can't have it both ways."
In 2011 and 2012 over a million Americans signed the "Just Label It" FDA
petition for GMO labeling, but the FDA has responded with silence. "The Food
and Drug Administration is not listening to the overwhelming majority of
Americans who want honest food labels," says Emilianne Slaydon, founder of GMO
Free DC. "We have signed numerous petitions but we've received no response. We
only want the same food labels citizens of over 40 countries enjoy, so we are
going to enjoy some 'Stone Soup' to demand this simple democratic right."
The deafening silence on GMO labeling reaches to President Obama's White House
as well. In 2011, 2012, and 2013 President Obama's White House also failed to
respond to two "We The People" petitions on the White House website that
reached the required signature threshold for a response. On September 23,
2011, on the second day after the "We The People" petitioning microsite was
launched, the first GMO labeling petition was created. It has received over
36,000 signatures and has not received a response, while a petition on raw
milk, which was also created on the very same day, was responded to after only
6,000 signatures. In April of 2012 another GMO labeling petition was created
and 10 months & over 70,000 signatures later, there is still no response from
the White House. In the meantime, the White House has answered three
petitions on cannabis legalization, responded to insignificant petitions on
issues like building the Death Star and the White House beer recipe, and most
recently raised the response threshold to 100,000 signatures.
Last fall over $45 million dollars was spent by the agrichemical businesses
and the processed food industry in a lopsided battle to defeat GMO food labels
in California. While the voter initiative lost by less than 2% points, over a
dozen state legislatures across America have introduced GMO labeling
legislation to bypass the FDA's inaction. In February of this year, U.S.
Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced federal legislation to require
mandatory GMO labels, but its currently within the power of the FDA to issue
regulations that will provide the honest labels consumers throughout America
demand and deserve.
More information at http://Occupy-Monsanto.com
Contact: Adam Eidinger, +1-202-744-2671, email@example.com; or Gene Etic
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