Target: Gregg L. Engles, Chief Executive Officer at The WhiteWave Foods Company
Goal: Protect our right to know if the foods we eat contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
The genetically modified food industry is trying to strip states of the right to determine their own GMO-labeling laws. The consumer’s right to know is at stake here, as dairy producers chase bottom lines through inorganic shortcuts and invest in legislation that obfuscates the purpose of labeling food. As states act to require GMO labeling, industry associations acquire largely organic companies, like WhiteWave Foods, to inflate their ability to pass federal legislation protecting their GMO-based profits.
As one of the largest dairy producers in the world, Dean Foods has an interest in protecting the practice of deceitful labeling because it utilizes many techniques that violate a number of organic principles and some moral ones too. Dean Foods Co recently spun off WhiteWave Foods, under which is the largest organic milk brand, Horizon Organics, and the recently-bought largest organic produce company, Earthbound Farms. Dean Foods’ reliance on factory farming, growth hormones, and dubiously-sourced Horizon Organic milk leads one to be wary of what might become of Earthbound Farms.
A bill introduced in Congress to restrict states’ labeling rights is sardonically referred to as the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act (or D.A.R.K. Act). Two of its top sponsors are the International Dairy Food Association (IDFA) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). These groups have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat state labeling initiatives. Two dues-paying members of these organizations are Dean Foods and WhiteWave Foods.
Instead of politely requesting the intended purpose of their dues, we demand that they immediately rescind their membership with the GMA and/or the IDFA to send a message to the powerful food lobby currently getting their way in our government.
Dear Mr. Engles,
The recent bill H.R. 4432, intended to restrict states’ rights to pass labeling laws, is robustly sponsored by the IDFA and the GMA– two associations that exhibit unwavering support for the proliferation of GMOs and which currently receive membership dues from your company WhiteWave Foods.
Many conscious consumers want to avoid GMO products for personal health reasons or to be activist consumers and boycott the input-intensive farming methods usually inseparable from GE species. Some just want companies to honestly label the ingredients intended for consumption. Consumers of organic products tend to scrutinize company practices and are quick to boycott and spread knowledge. Many consumers are deeply concerned about your company’s continued involvement with the GMA and the IDFA.
Recently, New Hampshire-based Stonyfield Farm became the second organic dairy to resign from the IDFA. I urge you to be a leading American Organic producer and to be resolute in opposition to non-organic processes. I urge you not to silently permit legislation that stops states from labeling GMO foods, but to blow the whistle on such covert attempts to bury labeling deep within D.C. gridlock.
I urge you to cut WhiteWave’s ties with the GMA and the IDFA, as they are dominating agricultural associations aimed at a further consolidation of agricultural decisions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: PD-USGOV.