CAGJ Monthly E-Newsletter | January 14, 2016
January E-News:Sign CREDO GM Banana Petition
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Happy New Year! Thanks to everyone who made a year-end donation and supported Fair Trade for the Holidays!
Sign CREDO's Petition today!
On December 16th, students at Iowa State University delivered our petition, with nearly 1,000 signatures, to Dean Dr. Wendy Wintersteen at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences calling for an open dialogue about the human trial research on transgenic bananas taking place at the university. The research is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and will purportedly show how this GMO banana could be used in Uganda. Thus far, Dean Wintersteen has not met with the students organizing at ISU to discuss the trials. On the same day as the ISU petition delivery, CREDO launched its own petition to pressure ISU and the Gates foundation to halt the GM banana feeding trials. The petition currently has over 57,000 signatures, with a goal of 75,000. Sign the CREDO petition here. Last week, an article was published in the Ames Tribune, a local newspaper in Iowa, documenting the controversy over the banana feeding trials. Unfortunately, the article fails to mention the fact that the bananas are genetically modified; the major concern raised by AGRA Watch’s petition and the CREDO petition. We are currently planning an event to deliver the CREDO petition to both the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Iowa State University - stay tuned for updates and contact Emma to get involved in AGRA Watch!
New volunteer orientation at 6pm! Please RSVP.
Location: Central Co-op's Rochdale Room, 1900 E Madison St, Seattle.
Join us to organize for food justice and sovereignty in 2016!
Join us for CAGJ's first Food Justice Project meeting of 2016! We are looking forward to a great year of organizing, starting with building the local food movement against the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. This new "NAFTA for the Pacific Rim" would undermine local food systems, food safety and labeling, among threats to environmental, worker, and other protections that have become trademarks of corporate-led trade agreements. We are reaching out to local food & farm organizations to educate through workshops and build a network for future actions. Contact us to find out more and how you can get involved, or attend the FJP meeting on January 19!
Some of you may have seen the troubling news about modern day slavery taking place in the shrimp industry. Sara Lavenhar from the Mangrove Action Project will join us at the FJP meeting to talk about these injustices and what actions we can take.
After Costco's verbal commitment to not to sell GE salmon after its approval by the FDA - a big victory for our campaign with Friends of the Earth - we'll be continuing to hold them accountable! We'll start strategizing around how to hold them to their commitment this year, and support the campaign to get other retailers to join them.
Many people have inquired about CAGJ’s staffing situation, since our Organizing Director Danielle Friedman stepped down last August to accept a new position with Thrive. Since then, our Director has increased her hours from part-time to three-quarter time. We are now focused on fundraising, and expect to hire to replace Danielle this winter. We are also seeking new funding to increase the capacity of our AGRA Watch campaign, whose lead organizer Matt Canfield just stepped down in order to focus on completing his PhD. We thank Emma Shorr for stepping in as our 5 hour/week organizer for the next several weeks, and hope to hire for a position with increased hours later this year. We will also hire for our SLEE Dinner Organizer position soon. Please stay tuned and send inquiries to Heather.
CAGJ is proud to have been voted in as a new member of the DFTA this week! Over the week-end two of our members participated in their annual meeting hosted by Community to Community in Bellingham. The meeting was a great opportunity to connect with and learn from farmworkers, farmers (including Ben Burkett of Federation of Southern Cooperatives and NFFC), Co-op workers from around the country, progressive Fair Trade businesses such as Dr. Bronners, and other non-profit allies. We also had the privilieg eof hearing an incredible keynote by Valerie Segrest, of Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project. As a member of the DFTA we are excited to support growing advocacy efforts, and continue to promote DFTA’s Fair Facts program, which provides consumers with a thorough evaluation of Fair Trade and other social justice certification programs.
TPP Vote Might Come Soon!
It is predicted that on February 4, Obama and leaders of the 11 other member countries will sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). A vote on the TPP could come as soon as early March, although some believe a vote will be delayed until after the election due to the controversy over so-called trade agreements.
TAKE ACTION Call 202-224-3121 to be connected to your Rep and Senators. Ask to speak to a trade staffer, or just ask to leave a message stating that you urge them to vote NO on the TPP. To get more involved, contact Gillian!
Why is CAGJ opposed to the TPP?
In order to build a global just and sustainable food system, one where workers' and consumers' well-being is paramount and which helps to stop and not exacerbate climate change, we must develop policies that promote local and regional agro-ecological production and distribution. The TPP, in contrast, strengthens failing industrial agriculture, through the promotion of exports, property rights in seeds, and cheaper and cheaper fertilizers and pesticides that further degrade soil. There is nothing in the TPP that recognizes the true cost of the present industrial agriculture system, or points to a fair or sustainable future.
To read more about the TPP and how it impacts our food system, read IATP’s updates here. To read more about how the TPP won't stop climate change, read Yes! Magazine’s article here.
We are resisting the TPP!
CAGJ’s focus this month and next is meeting with our food justice allies, to educate them about how the TPP could negatively impact our food system, and urge them to get involved in voicing opposition; in addition to meetings, a public event is in the works – stay tuned! Last week, a letter was delivered to Congress-members signed by CAGJ and 1500 other organizations, voicing our collective concerns and urging Congress to vote in opposition. The WA Fair Trade Coalition and many members are busy organizing meetings with elected representatives, as well as actions at their offices, and meetings with as many groups as possible to bring them up to date on why we must stop the TPP.
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