TED Conversations

geoffrey saign

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Why isn't there more coverage of the Right2Know March, 300,000 from NY to DC happening right now, Oct 2-16th, to get GMOs labeled???

GMOs are threatening food stability worldwide, threaten health worldwide in our food supply, and there is so much money spent on news orgs, even PBS, that no one is talking about this march to get all GMOs labeled. WE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT'S IN OUR FOOD!

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    Oct 12 2011: When people do not feel they have representation, and the power controlling their lives feels like tyranny, then countries are reshaped...as ours was 200 years ago...it feels like it's time to reshape things again...
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      Oct 13 2011: Geoff --

      I'm with you re: "It's time to reshape things."

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      Oct 13 2011: Geoffrey, answering your question: because we didn't know!

      This is a cause very dear to my heart, I am passing the word as we speak...
      I'll try to send links of the event to newspaper and local TV, had publications in the past and maybe there is still an open door for me ;-)
      Also, if they are not receptive, universities will be. Doing that too, internet is great! Grass roots as well as up above, anything but crossed arms...
      Any leaflets online that I can print? Going to a think tank of sorts at a local college tomorrow... perfect for this!
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        Oct 13 2011: Thanks, Karina! All of that sounds good, and if you need anything let me know...right now 70-80% of all processed foods have GMOs, even in coops, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes; they are all nervous about this, because they don't know what to do about it. Trader Joes, when I called corporate, said they would just go with the flow--when I said what happens if organics go away, they said, they would just go with the marketplace. Whole Foods and The NCGA (National cooperative grocers association) were more supportive. Everything is at stake now, and the numbers of people on both sides of the political aisle that are supportive of ending GMOs is growing. Food touches everyone, and everything...land, animals, people, society...
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        Oct 13 2011: Karina --

        Exciting to hear of your energy and engagement efforts around this!

        I'm eager to hear where and what feedback you get from publications and people you connect this movement to.

        This relates to my interests in social contagion effects I consider critical as a participatory researcher. To capture and communicate the scaffolding you, Geoff and others are building "on the fly" for this movement and echo/amplify the reverberations, could -- as you know -- elicit a potentially transformative impact.

        Part of the secret sauce of large culture change efforts is showing the polycentric effect that economist Elinor Ostrom speaks of as critical for creating the multi-sector depth that makes civic movements successful.

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          Oct 14 2011: Andrea,
          (Curious, what does a participatory researcher do?)

          Not much to report as far as responses yet, but at least the info is out there.
          More or less everyone I know is making a huge transition already towards organic, even though, judging for what Geoffrey says, we may be in delusion here, as what we think is organic actually is in part GMO.
          My friends are excited that maybe a law will be passed, but I do not expect much action... this side of the country is traditionally very quiet... Not sure Texas is a good candidate to be one of those big centers you mention... still, we take it one day at a time.
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    Oct 12 2011: My guess is that Monsanto has a huge PR budget for making sure that this stays out of the papers.
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    Oct 12 2011: Love Bittman's article, Andrea. If it takes more people standing up to the money poured into our politicians, who now mainly serve corporations, not citizens, then there will be a change.
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    Oct 11 2011: I'm sorry, Geoffrey, you're an American consumer. Shut up and swallow. You have no right to protest. And if you do, we'll just ignore it. That's the way corporate America operates. You're not allowed to change this modus operandi either, or you'll be an enemy of the state.

    American freedom is basically the freedom to consume. Nothing more, nothing less. Sad, but true.
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      Oct 11 2011: Laurens --

      What if consumer America stopped swallowing so much and started walking off the corporate calories to free their body of GMO toxins, catalyze depression-fighting endorphins and capture the imaginations and attentions of a few high-level public health pundits and policymakers minds via media coverage?

      Might be a happy solution on a few fronts, if not all. And beats the alternative of couch-potatism induced pathologies produced and abetted by "consume or die" histrionics.

      And, I bet you good chocolate on this one:

      If enough people participate, there WILL be execs who see the PR possibilities and policymaking prudence of joining this and other movements.

      Remember -- if I win: GOOD, non-GMO chocolate ;-).

      (Did you know moderate "doses" of such seratonin-stimulating chocolate can be good for both physical and psychological health?)

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        Oct 12 2011: Andrea,
        believe it or not, as it happens, I work in the cocoa sector. I produce organic cocoa beans in Cameroon. So the bet's not a challenge for me :-)
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          Oct 12 2011: Laurens --

          Hmmmm, this IS interesting.

          And -- a very good sign, I say! That the universe, mother earth, the organic cocoa bean sector, et al, are with me on this one!

          I look forward to my "winnings." ;-).

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    Oct 11 2011: Geoff --

    Part of the reason is consumer media is funded by consumer products, including genetically modified meat, produce and pharmaceuticals. Most produced with the help of Monsanto (best known advertising-wise as producer of herbicides like RoundUp), but more ominously (but of course not advertised) Monsanto is the company behind Agent Orange, PCBs, bovine growth hormone. The company is involved in 90% of GMOs.

    Which are far less visible to most journalists who are scrambling to get easily begotten articles out. "The World According to Monsanto" (here: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-world-according-to-monsanto/) is an award-winning documentary that compellingly lays out all the layers behind GMOs.

    The Occupy Wallstreet group should be quite interested in the Right2Know March. Their efforts are directly related. While they sit tight (which they should continue doing) they can elevate Monsanto's complicity with Wallstreet. While Right2Knowers walk, they can elevate Occupy Wallstreets concerns, too. Here is a related TEDConversation: http://www.ted.com/conversations/5900/why_is_there_is_little_or_no_m.html

    Both movements can and will get more press if they keep up and sustain their focuses, while also co-evelating their parallel interests in clear ways.

    It would be a good idea for Right2Knowers to flood editors with reminders of how this is a story at the forefront of an evolving wave of citizen movements that are and will even more so change the landscape of US politics.

    If media want to break the stories, they'll scramble now to cover groups like this. I expect they will. Any media who are in bed with consumers will have to cover movements like this once the story is "broken" by one of them. So, the smart media will cover it. No matter how they are funded, unless they are owned by Murdoch & Company, journalists want to bring real news to the fore.

    Even Fox, et al will follow when it is.

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      Oct 12 2011: Good you found the documentary, Andrea.
      I saw it years ago and several others afterwards.
      Little effect it has though, maybe that's to change.
      Love your writings.
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        Oct 12 2011: Frans,

        There is growing energy around movements like these that gives more hope than when the documentary first came out.

        It echoes earlier periods of populist engagement, which did succeed in sustained cultural evolutions. The key is to keep and build the energy of many.

        Protest is one way, there are others, too. The biggest key of all is ongoing visibility via compelling numbers of diverse people and groups willing to connect concrete efforts.

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          Oct 13 2011: Andrea, thanks for posting the links (pasting on facebook right away)
          I have been aware of Monsanto for over 20 years, and yes, they are extremely resourceful.
          Consumers have power, but ignorant consumers don't...
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    Oct 11 2011: Well, it's obvious why Fox&Friends won't show this news, but I have no clue why other networks don't do it?!
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    Oct 12 2011: Yes, and I hope there are ways to counter that influence, so that people can get news instead of spin...thanks for stopping by!
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    Oct 12 2011: Geoff --

    Here is food guru Mark Bittman on the impact of social protest movements like OccupyWallstreet and Right2Know:


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    Oct 11 2011: Thanks, Andrea, I couldn't have said it better! Most people are also unaware that the bee Colony Collapse Disorder is directly related to GMO pesticides. France had the same problem 10 years ago, and they banned the pesticides and the bees came back. Organic farmers don't have the same problems here with bees. They know this, but it's still put out as a 'mystery'...the news is very controlled by the money behind GMOs...
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    Oct 11 2011: Even PBS gets funding from Monsanto, which owns most GMOs. There is so much money involved, it's easier to be quiet...people need to speak up. The California 2012 ballot initiative, that demands labeling of GMO foods, which 90% of Americans wants, could turn the tide of unsafe/unlabeled food in America.