Update from a representative from Farm Aid: “Willie’s blog titled Occupy the Food System calls on farmers and eaters to learn more about corporate concentration in our food system and get involved in the movement to support independent farmers. But that call is not the same as being part of the lawsuit.” Sorry for the initial misinformation—corrections made below.
The News: Monsanto may be a little jealous, as it has fallen from environmentalist enemy #1 to environmentalist enemy #2 as a result of the ongoing Keystone XL pipeline controversy. However, in all seriousness, Monsanto does some f***ed up s*** and is heavily opposed by greenies around the world. It was reported this week that
Willie Nelson and about 300,000 other activists have now sued Monsanto “to protect the harassment and threatening manner agribusiness giant Monsanto has exhibited, with threatening to go after any small farms that contain any trace of what they claim to be their property, genetically modified seeds.” The lawsuit was filed in Federal Court in Manhattan on January 31, 2012.
Willie Nelson, meanwhile, has a new campaign with a similar focus called “Occupy the Food System.” It includes organizations such as Food Democracy Now and Farm Aid and seems to be gaining in popularity fast.
“Willie states that the corporate takeover of small farms by large corporations has ‘led to the loss of millions of family farmers, destruction of our soil, pollution of our water and health epidemics of epic obesity and diabetes,'” Justice Through Music reports. Of course it has!
Of course, Willie Nelson has also teamed up with Chipotle by playing Coldplay’s “The Scientist” in an add opposed to factory farming, and add that aired in the middle of the Grammy’s. Here’s a video of that if you somehow haven’t seen it:
Aside from the above, activists are fighting Monsanto’s “Roundup” herbicides, which are harmful to soil, water, farms, and people.
Why All This is Important: Well, small farmers shouldn’t be run out of business just so that a megacorporation can make more profit; people shouldn’t be poisoned; and factory farms that put animals in inhumane living conditions their whole life should not exist.
Opportunities for Action: Pay attention to what you eat! Join the effort to ban RoundUp by signing this petition. Get involved on the Occupy the Food System facebook page. It would make Willie Nelson smile 😀