Thursday, October 2, 2014

YES ON 92: Monsanto, Superweeds & Your Right to Know

Some people make fun of Novick as a wonky Hobbit from Portlandshire, and sometimes he lives up to the Poindexter reputation of not being able to explain things in terms that work with normal folks.

But when he really gets something, that tends to fall away and the excellent communicator with the sharp left hook is seen again, making memorable and powerful points. Like in the ads that really captured a lot of attention.

His YES ON 92 message below is outstanding and dead-on accurate.  He is absolutely right about genetic tampering and super weeds being locked in an arms race that threatens us all.

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

From: "Steve Novick" <>
Date: October 2, 2014 at 15:58:11 PDT
Subject: Monsanto, Superweeds & Your Right to Know

Steve Novick for Portland City Council

Dear John,

I wasn't very familiar with the genetically modified food fights until recently. But as a child of the Cold War era, I can relate to arms races. So when the supporters of Measure 92, the measure to label GMO products, told me it was really about stopping a dangerous arms race that threatens our environment, I paid attention. I'm voting for and donated to Yes on 92, and hope you will too.

Here's what's going on. Since the advent of genetically engineered crops, herbicide and pesticide use has increased dramatically. The most common type of genetic engineering — which is completely different from traditional crossbreeding techniques — alters a plant's genes in a lab to make them resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, the chief ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup. This design allows the spraying of large amounts of Roundup on fields planted with these engineered seeds to kill weeds. Which is bad enough — considering that you and I and pretty much all fish live downstream from a farm. But then come the Superweeds.

Superweeds arise over time as weeds naturally evolve a resistance to the poison they are doused in. To combat superweeds, plants are being engineered to be resistant to ever more toxic herbicides. This creates a vicious cycle of ever higher usage of ever more toxic herbicides, leading to health and environmental problems, and in time to the evolution of more resistant superweeds.

So we now have an escalating battle between toxic chemicals and superweeds. Bees and butterflies are collateral damage, along with the Oregon farmers who face ruined crops if their fields are contaminated from genetically engineered plants nearby.

The best way, as consumers, that we can change this vicious cycle is by making informed choices about what products we buy. Putting a label on our food that simply says whether or not it contains genetically engineered ingredients gives us that information.

There's no question that Monsanto, DuPont and Dow will spend millions to tell voters this is a bad idea. These are the same companies that told us DDT and Agent Orange were safe, and they have pockets deeper than Crater Lake. But if Yes on 92 can turn out supporters, we'll win. With donations from thousands of Oregonians like you and me — the average donation is $67 — we can help Yes on 92 beat the odds and engage voters.

Please make a donation of $67 today.

Don't let big chemical corporations buy their way to victory: Contribute $67 right now to beat back Big Ag's attacks and stop the arms race!

All my best,
Paid for by Novick for Portland • PO Box 42307, Portland, Oregon, 97242, United States

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