In accordance with your statement on your website called: «Avaaz and our Commitment to Accuracy» I feel I have to ask you to rewrite some of the text on the «Stop the Monsanto frankenseed factory» campaign.
There are several statements there which are factually incorrect and I feel that we as a movement are doing ourselves a disservice when we misrepresent the truth.
Here is a list of erroneous statements:
1. «Monsanto’s extending its power over the globe, with a massive new frankenseed factory in Argentina.»
The word «frankeseed» is clearly a weasel-word used to imply that the seeds are unsafe. When in fact no studies have shown this to be the case.
2. «…when combined with toxic pesticides, create the devastating ‘monocultures’ — where nothing grows but a single plant — that increasingly cover our planet.
This statement implies that Monsanto is the evil force behind this kind of farming. When in fact it is the way almost all farming is done, both conventional and organic. Whether you farm in a devastating manner depends totally on the farmer, not Monsanto.
3. «Sofía, worried about health risks from the plant, has joined the protests, backed by nearly 70% of the area’s residents. «
That Sofia is groundlessly worried about GM seeds is not something we should use as a reason to get people to sign this campaign.
4. «…and push the unpopular Argentine President to shut down the plant and roll back the spread of Monsanto’s toxic agriculture.»
Monsantos agriculture is per definition less toxic than non-GM seeds. With the modifications done to the seeds, a farmer can use less fertilizer and far less pesticides. While at the same time producing higher yields. And yes GM foods are safe to eat.
What the campaign could focus on instead:
1. «Sofía Gatica and local neighbors have spoken out, and she has received death threats and a brutal beating. «
It could be just as powerful to focus more on this point and show how Monsanto deliberately handle their neighbors this way.
I do not doubt Monsanto has done evil things. But making GM seeds that the world needs is not necessarily one of them.
I hope you will contiune with your efforts of campaigning and that my letter in a smal way can help make avaaz.org more effective while still upholding the highest of standards.
Please read this article if you want a detailed picture of why the anti-GMO crowd are plain wrong.