Thursday, November 8, 2012

10 easy ways to topple the Biotech Bullies after Prop 37

In the wake of the defeat of Proposition 37, I have compiled a list of 10 things we must continue to do to ensure that our movement succeeds. I have not presented them in any order of importance. I consider them all crucial.

Ask Organic Consumers Association and the California Right to Know Campaign to help organize and network these next steps. They have the resources and we need their help!

1. Continue the push for labeling

While Proposition 37 may have been defeated, Californians will have more opportunities to bring labeling to their state. Meanwhile, other states in America and other countries can learn from the successes and failures of Proposition 37 to develop more effective strategies to fight for labeling in their regions. This is already happening: labeling initiatives are popping up in dozens of American states, in Canada, and beyond. Send letters to the companies fighting against labeling and let them know how disappointed you are!

2. Boycott GMO products

GMO products are unethical, unhealthy, and environmentally destructive. They are produced by biotech companies that are increasingly monopolizing the food chain and using their profits to suppress dissent. Boycotting GMO products should be an obvious priority for anyone in the movement. Consume verified Non-GMO! Use this non-GMO shopping guide! But remember: GMOs are not just in our food! Make a statement: say no to GMO cotton, to GMO trees, to GMO vaccines, to GMO fuel, to a GMO world!

3. Boycott companies producing GMOs

Many companies produce GMO and non-GMO products. If we purchase their non-GMO products, they can still use that money to fund GMO research and to purchase advertising space on public airways to try and convince us to consume their products. Until they come clean and shift out of biotechnology, there are enough ethical non-GMO companies around that we can support instead. Sign Natural Health Alliance's pledge to boycott these products today, and they will email our pledge to all those companies. You can also email each of the companies individually at this easy to access page.

4. Boycott biotech investments

Make an appointment with your financial advisor. You need to get your money out of the biotech industry immediately! Far too few people make use of this incredibly important and effective way of promoting change. Say no to GMO mutual funds, stocks, futures, options, and RRSPs. Ask your financial advisor about "ethical investing" and have him make sure that no biotech companies and junk food companies are in them. Do not fear: ethical investments do not show less productivity or increased risk than regular investments.

5. Keep educating yourself

The biotech industry points the finger at anti-GMO activists and calls us "extremists", "Luddhites", "anti-science", and "anti-progress". We have to actively and continuously work on ourselves to dispel these labels. We need to seek out the rigorous and scientific articles. We need to understand the details. We need to identify reliable sources of knowledge. We need to scrutinize our information sources and not blindly trust any claim made against GMOs. We will become better activists by doing so.

6. Educate others

And as we educate ourselves, we must also educate others. We need to figure out how to present ourselves as calm, rational and knowledgeable about the subject. We need to uncover what tactics the biotech bullies use to pull people to their side and identify these tactics to people so they develop immunity against them. We need to figure out how to talk about the complexity of the issue to people who may have little understanding of it. This will all take time and we will surely all make mistakes. But we will get better at it if we remain open to change and self-improvement.

7. Continue developing networks

The internet is obviously an amazing opportunity for different people concerned about health, environment and social issues to connect and share what they are doing. We can actively work at strengthening our networks by seeking other groups and inviting them into our circles. If all of our friends on Facebook are narrowly defined "anti-GMO" groups, then there will be a lot more inbreeding going on than if we stretch our network outwards to include other concerns that overlap with ours. What about animal rights groups? Anti-poverty activists? Futurists? Schoolteachers? Philosophers? Christians? And as we share articles and links with these groups, we must be careful to choose articles that we think they will most appreciate. We must try to adapt to our audiences.

8. Email and Phone

We should be calling and emailing the companies that we will no longer support and explaining clearly and carefully why we have chosen to boycott them. We must not use anger because anger is not convincing. We do not want to shut them off. We should also be calling and emailing the companies that have been heroes through the struggle for a non-GMO world. We must congratulate them and praise them and let them know that the bold steps they have taken have paid off. They must know that their pro-activity fosters loyal customers so that they can continue improving the quality and ethics of their products.

9. Label it yourself

If they won't label it, we're gonna label it! This is a great way of educating consumers, of putting pressure on our grocery stores, and on letting the biotech bullies know that we are serious. Remember: stock brokers pull money out of companies when they see volatility. We can easily create the kind of fear and apprehension in the security of GMO companies through engaging in our own labeling campaigns. Visit Stickering for our Future and Label it Yourself for free downloadable stickers.

10. Support each other

Activism can be exhausting and demotivating. We are fighting against huge, seemingly relentless forces. We have to learn to take care of ourselves so that we have energy and drive for the long run. If we crumble at a loss, we lose our power to continue fighting. I was really impressed by many of the comments I saw from anti-GMO activists after Prop 37 was defeated. People took time and effort to support each other. We cannot let activists fall down. We need everyone to keep strong in this battle for the health of the Earth.

Good Luck Everyone and thanks for all your hard work!

Related posts: Biotech and Food Company Contact/Email List, The Next Step after Prop 37.


  1. Your support for Label it Yourself is incredibly irresponsible.

    Are you aware that it is against federal law for people to affix labels on products in stores?

    Are you encouraging people in breaking federal law?

    1. So let's see. If the vast majority or, ok, say a very large number of American Citizens break this "federal law". Ahh, like putting accurate labels on food we eat and we all get arrested and put in a federal prison. Will they build a special big prison for us? Ahh, will there be color TV's?

  2. Dear Shelley,
    Thank you for your email. I agree that labeling is not in everyone's comfort zone.

    I would never think to pressure someone to do it if they didn't want to do it or to judge them for not doing so.

    We each need to work toward a GMO-free world in ways that make sense to us.

    Having said that, Gandhi engaged in activities that were considered illegal. Civil disobedience has a long and effective history in many countries around the world.

    In my opinion, it is the lack of labeling that is the injustice. It is the corruption of a system that allows money to thwart public opinion which is evil. If I let this happen, I am an accomplice to it.

    And so the act of labeling something the way it should be labeled is a courageous, moral act. I support those willing to take the risk with open arms.

    And thank you for voicing a different opinion! I really appreciate it. You have helped me think about my own position. If you have any other concerns about this or some other item on my blog, don't hesitate to let me know!


  3. Top on my list is gathering farmer signatures on the petition to the USDA to not approve the 2,4-D corn application from Dow sitting on Secretary Vilsack's desk.