Monsanto continues its attempts to hide the basic facts of food production from consumers, this time in Kansas. The Kansas Dairy Association, along with a suspicious “grassroots” dairy group that has the same public relations firm as Monsanto, has helped introduce a bill to the state Senate that would ban “growth hormone-free” milk labels. The bill’s supporters argue that growth hormone can’t be found in lab tests, and if a lab can’t verify it, consumers don’t need to be told about it.
“I was a volunteer at the Green Festival in Washington DC, over the weekend and the last speaker on Sunday was Ralph Nader. He was signing books at the tent right behind my assignment (collecting donations, cleaning up, etc.) I’m not a huge fan of his, but I do admire his work. So right after my shift ends I stood in line at his signing/meeting tent. His book was on sale at a separate tent, but so were some 50 other peoples, so it wasn’t exclusive for him. It was my turn so I walk up to him and ask if he can sign my Green Fest tote bag (gift for mom) and he says “I don’t sign bags” right after he said that I was a little disenchanted but quickly snapped back and asked him if he had ever heard of the Consumerist…”
Sure, being a more conscientious shopper is gratifying; we’ve gotten in the habit of refusing bags at the store whenever we can manage to carry the goods some other way, and although it’s a small step, it feels good. But Monbiot, a British journalist and political activist who was interviewed this week on the website of newconsumer magazine, would laugh in our stupid faces at how ineffectual we’re being as consumers: “In the absence of political action it is a form of passivity.”
I am very sceptical of consumer power. I believe better consumption by itself is an entirely useless means of achieving political change. Those who have the most votes – the vote being the money you have to spend as consumers – are generally inclined to use them the least.
Redheads [Improv Everwhere]
Consumers wanting to effect change should think twice before publicly calling for a boycott. Sales of 5 Boroughs ice cream quadrupled after Staten Island Borough President Jim Molinaro called for boycott of the flavor “Staten Island Landfill.”
e Chris Garnett explains his name change: