The Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. NOFA/Mass welcomes everyone who cares about food, where it comes from and how it’s grown

Growing Organically Since 1982

Policy Update: Monsanto/Bayer get hit again, let’s keep hitting them

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This article comes from the NOFA/Massachusetts 2019 May Issue Newsletter

By Marty Dagoberto, NOFA/Mass Policy Director

It was another bad month for Monsanto/Bayer, as yet another high profile study dropped about the carcinogenicity of glyphosate, the active ingredient in their flagship product, Roundup. The new research, published in the major peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports, is the first of its kind, looking at the transgenerational effects of the world’s most commonly used herbicide. Increased prostate, kidney and ovarian diseases, as well as heightened obesity and birth abnormalities were found in second and third generation offspring of lab rats exposed to glyphosate.

For more frequent news updates related to pesticides and GMOs, the Regeneration Massachusetts facebook page is a fantastic resource. NOFA/Mass is also curating a glyphosate stories news stream, here.  

As public awareness of the damning evidence against glyphosate broadens, local communities are not waiting for the federal government to protect their citizens and ecosystems. The latest major US City to move in this direction is The Big Apple! On April 19th, two New York City council members introduced legislation that would ban city agencies from spraying glyphosate-based herbicides and other toxic pesticides in parks and other public spaces. Last month we reported about similar activity here in Mass., in the city of Newburyport. By using tools like local municipal ordinances and resolutions, cities and towns can create policies to promote organic land care practices, limit pesticide use, and protect pollinators.

Increased prostate, kidney and ovarian diseases, as well as heightened obesity and birth abnormalities were found in second and third generation offspring of lab rats exposed to glyphosate.Want to activate your community? We want to help. NOFA/Mass and Toxics Action Center are hosting ongoing monthly “local leaders teleconferences.” This initiative is all about equipping local activists with the tools they need to pass town resolutions to reduce pesticides and protect pollinators in their communities. As a network, we can leverage our collective genius and coordinate our efforts. For more info or to get involved, please visit our website, http://www.nofamass.org/allcides

Upcoming hearings for NOFA/Mass priority bills at the State House

We expect public hearings on our priority bills to begin this month or next, and we might only have a few days’ notice. This is an important opportunity to demonstrate to legislators the public support there is for the NOFA/Mass priority bills. However, coordinating a group to show up can be a challenge! If you are interested in potentially joining the NOFA/Mass contingent, please email our policy director so that he can keep you posted on opportunities. Marty can be reached at marty@nofamass.org. Attendees do not necessarily need to go up and speak at the hearing. We will be soliciting written testimony from all of our supporters as well.  

We still need all organic supporters to be contacting their state senator and state representative about our priority bills. The more they hear from their constituents, the more important these issues will be to them and the more likely they will be to push for passage. There are several proposed pieces of state legislation which tie directly to efforts to phase out the use of glyphosate. This might be a good opportunity to educate your elected officials about the latest science!

To see the full slate of NOFA/Mass Priority Bills in the Mass. State House and tips on taking action, please visit https://www.nofamass.org/policy

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