Draft Petition to Obama- feedback anyone?
Corporate Control over Food is making the World Sick
As the world faces a mounting food crisis, we insist on food sovereignty for and from the United States of America. The corporate control over the food supply infringes upon humanity’s intrinsic right to healthy and wholesome diets. The industrial system of processing, packaging, and distributing food is unhealthy, unsustainable, and unviable. With the lack of labeling for genetically modified organisms, the right to know and choose what we consume is nonexistent. Throughout the planet, the malnourished and starving face decreasing opportunities for nutritious, natural, and safe diets. The corporations which have taken control of the food system—from seeds to production to trade—are the source of this catastrophe and are extrapolating the problem by adding increasingly destructive and inefficient methods to industrial farming. Current chemical-input intensive methods pursued by industrial agriculture deplete soils, poison waters, reduce biodiversity, impoverish farmers, and contribute to climate chaos (IAASTD, Navdanya).
The U.S. food system is diseased, with the gains of corporate profits are taking priority over the health and intrinsic rights of American citizens. Through corporate influence over international political and economic decisions, this disease is spreading, infecting the rest of the world. Political pressures on foreign countries are entrenched in corporate dictations, aiming to increase the range of people dependent on their detrimental synthetic products: aberrant seeds, artificial fertilizers, and toxic pesticides. Current U.S. policy strips U.S. citizens of our basic right to choose healthy food since it heavily subsidizes polluting industrial agriculture, denies labeling regulations for genetically modified organisms, and permits patents on life and seeds. Contamination and environmental degradation extend further than our borders and must be recognized. U.S. corporations vie for control over food security and are acting through the White House Administration, applying political pressure throughout the globe and pushing the distribution and production of processed unhealthy food, as well as detrimental industrial agriculture practices such as genetically engineered seeds, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. We demand that health care reform penetrate to the root of the crisis—unhealthy produce and processed food grown with the use of unsafe emergent technologies is the cause of ailments to Americans, and now the rest of the world is being manipulated by the dominant corporate interests to follow suit. The United Nations declared this to be the Year of Biodiversity. Currently the greatest threat to biodiversity is encroaching on the ability for farmers and citizens to save locally adapted seeds and preserve landraces. The use of herbicides, monocultures, and patented seeds has wiped out copious varieties of edible and medicinal species.
In India, Monsanto is pushing to commercialize Bt Bringal—a version of eggplant genetically engineered to emit a pesticide continually from every cell of the plant. Farmers, scientists, students, and activists met last month with Navdanya in order to address the concerns this genetically modified food would have—from contaminating and eradicating the 350 native eggplant species to long term effects on human health, soil quality, and biodiversity. India is home to a lasting tradition in fresh, local, nourishing, culturally diverse foods that continue to grow in biodiverse, organic, and sustainable ways. This tradition is currently under the threat of following the U.S. American path of termination to landraces, biodiversity, seed varieties, and resulting scarcity of fresh, local, and organic choices. Rather than destroying the sustainable small scale production of food products in India with the U.S. American method of globally distributed, mass-produced, packaged food products, the U.S. should reclaim the seed sovereignty of U.S. farmers following the Indian model of production and distribution.
We ask you to stay true to your promise of bringing new politics and change. Bowing to corporate interests and industry money is not acceptable. Stand with us for holistically nourishing food security that ensures the well-being of all people and the land on which it grows. Both you and First Lady Obama are aware that the organic alternative is healthier for the people who eat it, the people who grow it, and for the environment. Rather than spreading the poison that has taken root in U.S. soil, share the benefits of your organic garden. Please stand up against the encroaching corporate control on our basic human right to genuine food.