After a decade of exposing and demonizing Monsanto and genetically engineered foods, including an intense four-year battle to force mandatory labeling of GMOs (a battle rudely terminated in July when Congress rammed through the outrageous DARK Act), the U.S. food movement stands at the crossroads.
Should we keep badgering Monsanto’s minions in Washington for the right to know what’s in our food, a sentiment shared by the overwhelming majority of consumers? Or should we focus more on single-issue reforms, such as banning neonicotinoid bee-killing pesticides, better nutrition in schools, taxes on soda, and an end to the reckless use of antibiotics in animal feed?
A growing number of food activists believe it’s time to move beyond limited or single-issue campaigning and lobbying and take on the entire degenerative food and farming system, starting with the malevolent profit-driver and lynchpin of industrial agriculture, GMOs and fast food: factory farming.
We obviously can’t count on a corrupt Congress or a Clinton/Trump White House to enact significant policy change, no matter how popular or just our demands. So we need to shift our strategy and tactics. We need to aggressively mobilize a full-blown online and on-the-ground food fight, complete with marketplace pressure, popular education, boycotts, litigation, brand de-legitimization, and direct action.
To bolster these strategies and tactics, we need to increase independent lab testing of brand-name foods so we can expose the human health and environmental poisons and toxins lurking in chemical-GMO-factory-farmed foods. At the same time, we will reveal the nutritional and environmental superiority of organic, grass-fed and regenerative foods and crops.
Millions of Americans are rejecting Big Food’s tainted fare, voting with their consumer dollars for healthier, humane, environmental- and climate-friendly foods and products. Our job as consumer advocates is to move organic and regenerative food and farming, including meat, dairy and eggs, from being a niche market to being the dominant force in U.S. and world agriculture.