For Immediate Release
November 5, 2014
Contact: Paul Towers, 916-216-1082, firstname.lastname@example.org
Industrial agriculture groups, especially the world’s six largest pesticide corporations — or “Big 6” — attempted to sink initiative efforts across the country that required disclosure or challenged the use of genetically engineered (GE) seeds and crops.
Local measures in Humboldt County, California and Maui County, Hawaii (which includes four islands) to ban GE production were successful, while ballot initiatives to label GE food in Colorado and Oregon failed.
In Maui County alone, Monsanto and Dow spent approximately $8 million—or $75 per voter. Between Hawai’i, Colorado and Oregon combined, these two companies spent $21 million.
Paul Towers, spokesperson for PAN, released the following statement:
“In a show of support for democracy, community-led efforts to ensure better food systems in Hawai’i and in California prevailed. Unfortunately, that isn’t true for state efforts in Colorado and Oregon, where ballot initiatives to label genetically engineered food were defeated. In both states, the world’s largest pesticide corporations dumped millions into funding a PR blitz of misinformation to confuse voters.
Despite the failure to pass labeling laws, Americans remain committed to knowing what’s in their food and how it’s grown. As the wins in Hawai’i and California highlight, farmers and families don’t show any signs of giving up as they work to build a better food and farming system—one that remains prosperous and healthy for many generations.
No doubt the Big 6 pesticide manufacturers will sue each time they don't get their way, but more communities are standing up and rejecting pesticide-dependent GE agriculture. Change is on its way.”
Pesticide Action Network North America (PAN North America, or PANNA) works to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. As one of five PAN Regional Centers worldwide, we link local and international consumer, labor, health, environment and agriculture groups into an international citizens’ action network. This network challenges the global proliferation of pesticides, defends basic rights to health and environmental quality, and works to ensure the transition to a just and viable society.