Back in the early ’70s, a friend of mine had decided to grow a patch of organic food on his otherwise leased out farm. His farm was an “inside 40,” off road; when he bought it he was hoping for privacy. A scene plays through my mind, over and over again ever since. Of him FURIOUS (and this gentle person did not get furious, this was very out of character!), telling me that pesticides meant for nearby farms, sprayed by small planes (called “crop dusters”), were drifting onto his property, and his organic patch, via the wind. There was nothing he could do about it. His patch was ruined.
I didn’t quite understand, not then. Perhaps this is why that tiny scene between us still silently reverberates.
Jon Rappoport argues that we should all get furious, right now. He’s right. Monsanto, as a soulless corporation, is not a person, no matter what its “legal” status. Indeed, as its long history proves, Monsatan is evil. We must change both our strategy and our tactics to confront this fact.
That’s what I’ve been doing for quite some time (archive here). And that’s what I get. Silence. Apparently they don’t want to argue for their position.
What is their position? Run ballot initiatives saying: “You have a right to know what’s in your food.” Period. End of story.
But don’t attack Monsanto in ads. Don’t say Roundup is poison and causes serious illness. Don’t say Monsanto genes inserted in food crops are unhealthy. Don’t say US growing fields are being overrun and destroyed by superweeds as a result of their immunity to Roundup.
Don’t say Monsanto is treating farmers like slaves. Don’t say Monsanto has been buying up food-seed companies to form a stranglehold on the food supply.
Don’t attack Monsanto in ads.
Don’t show a farmer in an ad who is outraged at Monsanto.
Don’t inflame the voting public.
Do these money men want to win? Do they? Do they have the stomach for a fight?
Because of their money, they set the agenda. They tell their field workers what to tell the public and what not to tell the public, during the ballot campaigns.
Who are these money men? Gary Hirshberg (Stonyfield Organic), Grant Lundberg (Lundberg Family Farms), David Bronner (Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps). Joe Mercola (mercola.com). There may be others.
Why won’t they debate their campaign strategy in public? Why won’t they name the advisers they’ve been consulting? Why won’t they engage with their own workers and seriously discuss, on a level field, their approach to campaigning for GMO labeling?
Are they so sure “you have a right to know what’s in your food” is the single winning message? Why is it a winner? It’s now lost twice, in CA and WA.
Privately, do they realize they’ve been on the wrong track? Do they think they’d suffer embarrassment if they came out and admitted it?
Are they afraid to go after Monsanto directly because they believe their own businesses would suffer the consequences? If so, tell us. Open up. We can help. A large group of vocal and outraged supporters could help forestall those consequences. That would be a hell of a fight…and the public would see, up close and personal, corporate and government criminals trying to silence good men.
Are the leaders of these Yes on 522 and 37 campaigns simply men with grossly limited imaginations? Men who can’t see how waging a different kind of ballot campaign is better?
Do they think they’ve really figured out the only winning strategy?
Are they that blind?
It appears that, among the pro-labeling community, there is a kind of cooperative ruling junta. They bankroll the show. They have support from certain activist leaders. There is no internal conflict. They control the terms of the game. They don’t engage in serious conversations with people who have views different from their own.
They keep saying, “We’re making progress, we’re making headway, we’re waking people up, victories lie ahead of us, hang in there.”
What if they’re wrong? What if their strategy is fatally flawed? It would hardly be the first time a movement with high ideals went off the rails.
Why should we think their one-trick “right to know” campaigns are the best we can do?
Are they, when push comes to shove, just saying, “We have the gold so we make the rules”?
Are they elitists who’ve decided they know what’s best and everybody else has to go along?
Are they saying, “You wouldn’t understand. We’ve consulted with the best minds. We know things you wouldn’t know. So leave us alone. We’ll tell you what to do.”
Are these men so flush with their own financial success they think the market is going to put Monsanto out of business? Do they think the rising tide of people who buy non-GMO and organic will overcome the millions and millions of consumers who eat whatever is put in front of them? Is that their best shot?
Or is that just a self-serving delusion?
Maybe they should spend a few days in McDonald’s and Burger King and Safeway and Vons and Ralphs.
I’ve been around the block a few times. I was there in meetings, during the Health Freedom movement of the early 1990s, when the FDA was making one of its moves against nutritional supplements.
Millions of enraged citizens wrote letters to the government. The supplement companies who were bankrolling the movement wanted to get a better law protecting their businesses passed by Congress.
I said in those meetings, “There are those of us who have the goods on the FDA. We can rip them from stem to stern. They’re a criminal agency. We can put them back on their heels playing defense for the next decade. Let’s go after them now.”
No, no, I was told, that’s not the strategy. The strategy is to get a good law passed. So a law was passed in 1994. The FDA hasn’t stopped attacking supplements. It’s found back-door ways to harass the industry.
I see that pattern repeating now. Get pro-labeling initiatives passed. Then all will be well. Then people will wake up and shun GMO food and Monsanto will lose.
We’ve had two initiatives, and Monsanto, by hook or by crook, has won. (And consider that “crook,” otherwise known as vote fraud, is possible.)
Are the pro-labeling money men reconsidering their strategy? If so, it’s out of view. High-level meetings and all that. Not open to the public. Not open to the voters. Not open to those of us who see a different way.
Monsanto is evil. That’s a given. That’s a fact that can be argued with tremendous impact. That can carry a whole lot of freight.
But these money men don’t want to carry it.
There are some in the pro-labeling movement who are so relentlessly New Age and childishly “positive,” they’re terrified of “going negative.” They think The Universe will punish them for it. They’ll tell you that “negative” ads would turn off voters.
But the history of politics doesn’t say that. Negative ads work if they’re done right.
The truth is, there’s a sound barrier out there, and it has to be broken if Monsanto is going to be stopped from taking over 95% of US farm land with its heinous GMOs forever.
To break the barrier, attack the criminal. There is nothing negative about that, unless you believe “everybody being nice” will stop a psychopath from continuing his path of destruction.
As I’ve written in past articles, Monsanto can deal with GMO labeling if they have to. They don’t want food in the US to be labeled “GMO,” but if it happens, they can handle it. They can spend millions convincing consumers that GMO and non-GMO are equivalent.
Here’s what Monsanto really doesn’t want: a) individual counties enacting an outright ban against growing GMO crops and b) ads that directly and effectively attack them, Monsanto, as criminals and liars and destroyers.
The vote count on Prop 522 is tightening in the last stretch (see also@secstatewa). It would take an overwhelming Yes on the remaining votes to win. So assuming 522 goes down by one or two percentage points, the leaders of the Yes movement are going to say, “We lost by a whisker, going up against the food companies with their millions of dollars. Take heart, our message is getting through, we’re not quitting, we’re going to mount new campaigns.”
And in those new campaigns, the message will be the same: “You have a right to know what’s in your food,” and that’s all. That’s it.
No direct and sustained attacks against Monsanto.
Imagine TV ads like this:
“Do you have any idea how many tons of toxic pesticide Monsanto ships out of the US every day to farmers in developing nations?…”
“Remember Agent Orange, the terrible chemical used in Vietnam, that caused huger numbers of birth defects? Guess who manufactured it…”
“Do you know who told Monsanto to stop being a toxic chemical company because it was destroying its reputation and public image? Mitt Romney, that’s who…”
“Look at these hands. I’m a farmer. I grow food on my land. My family has been on that land for 150 years. Monsanto has ruined all that…”
“There’s a company called Monsanto. Do you know how many food-seed companies they’ve bought up in the last 20 years? Do you know why?…”
“Here’s a new child who’s come into this world with new life. Look at her. Do you want her eating Monsanto’s poisonous chemicals? Do you want her eating dangerous genes Monsanto puts in her corn?…”
And on and on. And then say: “Monsanto puts genes in your food. They say it isn’t a problem. Don’t believe them…Here’s why…”
“Monsanto makes a chemical called Roundup. It’s on your food. You eat it. Here’s what Roundup does…”
Is this so hard to figure out? Is this so hard to see? What’s the problem?
Monsanto and other big-time food/biotech companies pour millions of dollars into defeating these ballot initiatives—and the leaders of the Yes movements are just going to whine about it and do nothing to go after them directly? Wow.
Here’s the bottom line. Even if some GMO-labeling initiatives win in several states, the real battle is about which foods consumers are going to buy over the long term. GMO or non-GMO. The result is going to be a mixed bag. It’s going be a mixed economy.
And in that environment, Monsanto is going to win.
Do you understand?
We’re going to end up coexisting with Monsanto, and the genes they put in food crops are going to keep drifting into non-GMO and organic food crops. Their chemicals are going to keep poisoning people.
Monsanto is exposed on the level of all their crimes, all the harm they do, all the lies they tell. Their flank is wide open. That’s where the opportunity exists. That’s where justice is. That’s where the public can be aroused to see the truth.
In a sane society with a sane government and a sane court system, Monsanto would have been put out of business a long time ago. But that’s not the world we’re living in.
So the public attack has to be against Monsanto as a criminal corporation.
Then let the chips fall where they may. Monsanto wants to sue? Beautiful. Perfect. Bring on the depositions. Bring on the evidence.
The government wants to protect Monsanto? Beautiful. Expose the government as a shill and a police force for a huge corporation.
End the pussyfooting.
Break the trance.
The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com