Monsanto has infiltrated the UK’s supermarkets and shoppers aren’t taking it lying down!
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On Monday morning, I was out shopping in my local Waitrose. I spotted a product that I already knew to be from Monsanto and, for a change I had a mobile phone signal, so I snapped it and posted it to Facebook. I carried on shopping, thinking a few people would comment and that’d be that. But that wasn’t that. This “Monsanto is in UK supermarkets” post went viral within hours, and now thousands of customers, soon to be millions of customers are organising boycotts, protests, occupies and complaints to all the major UK supermarkets. Or stupormarkets, which is my term for them. Here’s today’s Facebook snap of the post:
As you can see, it’s had over 324 comments (there were some that I removed) and almost 500 shares. When a post gets this many shares, it’s viral because every Facebook user who is friends of those who have shared it see it. It’s also been posted in many many other places.
How you can tell this is a Monsanto product
See the word Bellaverde, and the (R) after it? That’s the giveaway that something’s going on. Google Bellaverde and you’ll get this. Monsanto’s seed division is called Seminis, which is a company they bought in 2005.
Bellaverde (R) is not GMO, so what’s wrong with it being in the supermarkets?
I don’t want to confuse of mislead you, so please first be aware that if you’ve eaten this food in the past, Bellaverde (R) is NOT GMO. That isn’t the issue. The issue is that the British public do not want Monsanto products in their lives, in their tummies or in their shops. Most people look to Waitrose as being the most ethical of all supermarkets, and so this is why there are particularly strong feelings towards them right now. That, and I just happened to snap the picture in Waitrose, not any of the other supermarkets.
Other Monsanto products in UK supermarkets
Monsanto is treading very carefully with its introduction of vegetables to the UK market. In the USA, there are many more, such as peppers, onions and tomatoes. Here, we only have Bellaverde, Beneforté and Dulce Verde. They like the word green, but not for eco reasons If you know of any other Monsanto vegetables being sold in the UK, please let me know in the comments box below and I’ll update this.
So, it’s not GMO, then what’s wrong with it?
Bellaverde and Dulce Verde have very very naughty parents. Ms Seminis and Mr Monsanto are the world’s largest GMO creators and are guilty of mass crimes against humanity and the planet. You do not want these guys living on your estate, lest they bully you into buying their stuff. “This is the thin edge of a very long wedge”, as one Facebook protestor wrote.
Some of you believe that GMO is illegal in the UK, it’s not. It’s just had such a huge amount of opposition, it’s had to creep in, rather than shove its way in. This is one of the ways it can creep in. And once it’s here, it’s here to stay.
The USA has lost organic alfalfa because of Monsanto, and they predict all alfalfa will be GMO infected within a few years. This is the way of the GMO seed. I see it like this. Monsanto goes for world domination with seeds, there are no other seeds left to buy, and then whoopee, they can GMO everything in sight because there’s no other option. Don’t believe it won’t happen, or that’s not Monsanto’s intention.
There is some dark stuff around regarding Monsanto and you don’t have to dig too deep to find it. Here are some starters for you
And the worst of all Monsanto’s crimes so far? (GRAPHIC IMAGES WARNING)
Ask yourself. “Do I want to support a company that does this to people and the planet?” Now ask your supermarket the same.
Is GMO in any foods in the UK? Yes! GMO feed for non-organic animals that are eaten or “milked” is prevalent. There are others, but I don’t have a list because I don’t eat these products. If you want to let people know about them in the comments box below, please do, and I’ll add them here.
What you can do to ensure a Monsanto-free life
- Buy organic. As of yet, there are no organically certified products in the UK that come from Monsanto
- Buy local, from your trusted farmers. Ask them where their seed comes from. Don’t be fooled by Monsanto’s vegetable seed disguises.
- Grow your own, using “heirloom” seeds, and save your seeds. Really, it’s the best thing for all concerned.
- Share your seeds with your friends. Check out seed swap and seed bank organisations.
- Be aware. This is not going to go away easily.
- Love. Even though Monsanto happens to be sneaking into our lives, we can still be happy and live through our hearts
Contact your supermarkets
Public pressure does work. Remember the Anti-South African fruit et al campaigns, that caused the downfall of Apartheid? Your actions make a HUGE difference. Don’t stop until we get results.
LET’S GET MONSANTO OUT OF THE UK FOR GOOD!
Here’s a list of supermarkets you may want to contact, and how to get hold of them on Facebook. You can also contact their customer services departments or go in-store to lodge your concern. Below that is a sample letter you could write, though feel free to be creative, while sticking to the facts. Our message is clear, we do not want Monsanto in our supermarkets, regardless of their guise:
A sample letter to ask for Monsanto to be removed from sale in UK supermarkets
This article is copyright free, please feel free to spread it as far and wide as possible.
PS: Do this, but do it with LOVE… Please don’t allow anger to enter this issue, you are worth so much more than that.
Update to Waitrose, M&S, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Monsanto
I posted a link to this on Waitrose’s Facebook page, and they deleted it in minutes. I added another and it was also deleted. I’m not being abusive or aggressive with them, I just want them to read why their customers are so upset about this issue, so they can decide how to handle it better.
After the second removal, I wrote this:
I also put the same blog link on Tesco and Sainsbury’s Facebook pages. Tesco has deleted it already, too. They are hot at not wanting to attract negative attention, but will they take action? Weds 8th Feb, evening: Tesco has written a really nice letter to me on Facebook saying they understand where I’m coming from and are looking into it.
Thurs 9th Feb, nice email from Waitrose on Facebook. They are taking it more seriously now: “Thank you once again for all your comments overnight on Bellaverde broccoli. We take all your comments very seriously and as we said yesterday we are collating all posts and feeding these back to the buyers, please bear with us as this takes time. We have created a Bellaverde broccoli thread in our notes tab. If you want to continue to let us know what you think on this issue, could you please post all your comments here. This will alert you to any updates we post on this issue and help us keep all your comments collated in one place so they won’t get lost on the wall. We will update you on the notes page of all updates on Bellaverde broccoli. Thank you and have a good day. http://on.fb.me/xtC65p“
I wrote back: “Dear Waitrose. I’m so glad you’re taking these comments seriously. I just want you to know that there is now an official petition to get Monsanto out of our supermarkets. We are not just asking you, we are asking all of them. We are grateful that you always seem to lead the way in your ethical stance, and we appreciate it’s a huge job. I just really want to thank you for listening, and for taking the time to make a decision based on the facts, not just the marketing strategies of Monsanto-Seminis. I won’t link to the petition as I know you may remove it, but I wanted to let you know it exists. Thank you once again, and I hope you have a lovely day. Love xx”
Friday 10th Feb M&S has removed all references to Beneforte broccoli and Monsanto from its customer services Facebook page. Bad move in the age of transparency and love, M&S. I only found this out as I was about to post a thank you to them, and it wouldn’t post. Here’s the snapshot of it:
If you are an M&S customer, I urge you to write further and ask them to cease all connections with Monsanto due to their criminal activities. We are worth more than this. The original post has now been shared over 500 times. Below is the landmark figure. Thanks to all who are sharing it. Please continue to do so, and please sign the petition, we need a thousand for it to be useful. As thousands of people have complained directly to the supermarket and are getting standard responses (this isn’t GMO so it’s not a problem) we MUST become more organised
about this for it to have an effect. Please sign this now. Thank you.
Dated 9th Feb, we’ve made it to the news! The Grocer, the food industry’s magazine has reported on it already, and this is just the start. Read it here, or below. And I’ve also snapped it for my site. THANKS to all for getting this far, now PLEASE SIGN!
Waitrose hit by Facebook fury over broccoli link to biotech giant
09 Feb 2012, by Julia Glotz, (C) The Grocer.
Waitrose has found itself in the middle of a social media storm for selling a variety of broccoli linked to biotech company Monsanto.
Bellaverde sweet stem broccoli is grown from seed sold by Monsanto subsidiary Seminis and is on sale in Waitrose for £1.99 for a 200g pack.
While the broccoli is grown using conventional breeding methods – it is not genetically modified – there have been cries of outrage from Waitrose customers about the supermarket’s decision to sell a product linked to Monsanto, which is involved in developing GM crops.
The supermarket’s Facebook page has been inundated with messages and comments from consumers, expressing their concern about Bellaverde broccoli and urging Waitrose to stop selling it. Waitrose has set up a dedicated Bellaverde broccoli thread on its site in order to deal with the sheer volume of customers’ comments.
One consumer from East Grinstead posted a letter, addressed to Waitrose MD Mark Price, warning of a “gargantuan consumer boycott” if Waitrose continued to sell the broccoli or any other product linked to Monsanto.
“Your company’s retailing of trademarked, ultimately sterile, F1 hybrid vegetables – specifically Bellaverde sweet stem broccoli – produced either by Monsanto UK Limited, Monsanto PLC, Monsanto UK Services Company, Monsanto UK Holding Company or subsidiaries thereof, is disingenuous in the extreme when presenting an ethical corporate face that professes to be anti-GM,” she wrote.
Another poster said consumers understood Bellaverde broccoli itself was not a GM food, but shoppers were “extraordinarily concerned about the obvious relationship between Waitrose and Monsanto”.
Responding to the comments, Waitrose wrote: “This broccoli is grown from conventionally bred seed sold by Seminis, who supply numerous growers, both large and small, in this country and around the world.
“While Seminis is a subsidiary of Monsanto, it uses traditional plant-breeding techniques. This is entirely in keeping with our policy of not allowing any GM ingredients in our own-label food. Conventionally-bred Bellaverde sweet stem broccoli offers excellent growing qualities to our farmers and superb flavour and value for our customers.”
The retailer told The Grocer it had no plans to stop selling Bellaverde broccoli, which has been on Waitrose shelves since 2009 [BrandView.co.uk]. The broccoli is also sold by Sainsbury’s and Ocado.
Sainsbury’s said its stance on GM foods was “unequivocal” and it did not permit the use of GM crops, ingredients, additives or derivatives in any of its own-label products. It also stressed that Bellaverde was bred using conventional methods.
Ocado said it had received no complaints from customers about Bellaverde and added it had a policy not to stock GM foods. “We always continue to reappraise customer feedback on any of the products we stock, but this is a product that is produced using conventional methods and we are happy to sell it,” a spokesman said.
Monsanto said vegetable seeds supplied to its European customers were all developed using cross pollination and selection, and not with GM techniques. This included the Bellaverde variety, the company added.
“Monsanto works closely with farmers and their retailer customers, including those with policies on plant breeding, to ensure consumers get the fresh, nutritious and tasty vegetables they demand,” Monsanto said. Purim1pc
I've been blogging since 2000, one of the world’s first bloggers. I am a raw food TV presenter and author of five books. I am also the creator of several life changing online courses and hostess of Shazzie’s VIP Room.
I've been a vegan since 1986, and a raw foodist since 2000. I live in Sussex, UK with my free range daughter Evie.
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