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on the front lines in maine

Posted: February 19 2013

Help Food for Maine's Future continue the fight for GMO labeling
Protect Maine FarmersIn late 2011, an Aroostook County farmer tipped off Food for Maine's Future (FMF) about a meeting in Caribou on canola seed trials conducted by the Cooperative Extension. The evening would be hosted by an area seed company who was a licensed dealer for Monsanto. Curious, an FMF member was dispatched to The County with a box of “World According to Monsanto” DVDs. From the start it was clear this would be unlike any other meeting he had been to before. And what transpired that cold, snowy evening shook him to the core.
The “meeting” opened with a pitch by the dealer to the farmers to buy his discounted 2011 Monsanto seed. The dealer told the group that all seed not sold by the end of the year would have to be returned to Monsanto, so get it now while it's cheap. Next came the presentation by the Cooperative Extension about their canola trials which included several GMO varieties. Then a Monsanto sales representative gave a detailed Power Point presentation showcasing the latest in herbicide-tolerant corn, soy, and canola. Lastly, as an added enticement, two representatives of a Quebec-based oilseed processor were on hand to tell the farmers how much money they would make for all the canola and soybeans they would sell to the new pressing plant that was soon to come on-line just over the border. The picture this troupe painted was all roses.
After the presentation, our stunned volunteer waited in the lobby and discreetly handed-out copies of the film, asking farmers as they left to please watch and pass along. We may never know how far those DVDs went or the impact they had. But a valuable lesson was learned that night about how Monsanto, industry, and public institutions collude to present costly false solutions to Maine farmers.
Since 2006, Food for Maine's Future has been working to pull the curtain back from Monsanto and expose the lies of the GMO industry. Here are a few of our contributions to the fight for corporate accountability and civil rights:

  • In 2008, our Protect Maine Farmers campaign led Maine to becoming the fifth state in the U.S. to prevent lawsuits against farmers contaminated from GMO drift or seed. Monsanto has filed 144 lawsuits involving 410 farmers 56 small farm businesses in at least 27 different states.
  • As a result of the Protect Maine Farmers campaign, the Maine Department of Agriculture was required to draft Best Management Practices for preventing contamination from GMOs, an attempt to help all farmers to avoid unwanted contamination and potential liability.
  • On October 16, 2010 (International Day of Opposition to Monsanto) FMF helped 13 Maine communities organize showings of “World According to Monsanto”. FMF presented “The Myths of GMOs” on two college campuses.
  • In 2011, FMF along with our ally Food AND Medicine went to MPBN to express our concern about Monsanto's misleading advertising on NPR. MPBN later showed Food, Inc., a documentary exposing the corporate food industry and in particular Monsanto.
  • In 2010 & 2011, an FMF representative traveled to Mexico to speak with rural communities about the harsh environmental and economic impact Monsanto and GMOs have had in the U.S..
  • We have published 12 issues of Saving Seeds, every single one a direct challenge to Monsanto's attempt to keep the truth about GMOs from the people of Maine.

In Augusta this session a bill to label GMOs is before the Maine Legislature, and finally with support from both sides of the aisle. An Act to Protect Maine Food Consumer's Right to Know will require labeling of all genetically modified organisms sold in Maine. As of today there are already 128 co-sponsors. For almost two decades Mainers have been demanding the choice to decide for themselves whether or not to buy GMOs and now is the time to make all our voices loud and clear:
Let ME Decide!
Food for Maine's Futures wants you to join us in the Citizen Campaign to Label GMOs and tell your friends, neighbors, and especially your legislators that we want to know if the food we eat, feed our children, or feed our animals is genetically-engineered. Sign up today and we'll help you make your voice heard in Augusta.
Together, we have made it no longer possible for government and industry to hide. Help us continue the momentum by joining and supporting Maine's Citizen Campaign to Label GMOs.
Here's how you can help:

Food for Maine's Future is a member organization of advocates and activists for small farmers, farmworkers, and their patrons standing against corporate food monopolies.

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