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To Oprah, from the many who have learned from you, been inspired by you to aim higher, try harder and to strive to be the best version of ourselves. You have repeatedly been recognized as one of the most powerful and influential women of our times. Your influence on the American family through your vast work as the host of the The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Oprah Book Club, and O Magazine has impacted millions. Countless women in this country look to you and rely on you as a powerful thought leader and your influence spans to all genders and diverse groups around the planet–in essence, you are a role-model to many.
Therefore, we are confused and deeply saddened to see that your highly-regarded magazine, O Magazine, is running an advertisement for Monsanto, a company that according to a 2014 Harris Poll from Neilson, was ranked 3rd worst among 60 high-profile companies. Oprah, we can only assume that you may be unaware of the misalignment of this advertisement by Monsanto, which is a company that is in total contradiction with your core values that support integrity, authenticity, truth, responsibility and self-care.
Oprah, you and your readers may not realize that this shrewdly-crafted advertisement talks about “growing enough food for a growing world”: This statement insinuates that genetically engineered crops will yield more food to feed the world. This statement is not true and is clearly a marketing ploy to convince and dupe the public about GMOs (“genetically modified organisms”). See study here.
Monsanto states it wants to grow food “in a sustainable way”: Since the use of genetically engineered crops, there has been a 527 Million pound increase in the use of pesticides in U.S. from 1996 to 2011. See study here.
Monsanto states that “we partner with farmers”: Monsanto requires farmers who use their seeds to sign an agreement that they will not save seeds so that farmers have to buy more seeds every year–from them. In a report created by The Center for Food Safety, it tracked numerous lawsuits that Monsanto had brought against farmers and found some 142 patent infringement suits against 410 farmers and 56 small businesses in more than 27 states. In total the firm has won more than $23 million from its targets. See report here. In essence, Monsanto is patenting life itself.
Oprah, most importantly, Monsanto’s ad does not mention the mounting evidence and peer-reviewed studies on the health impact of GMOs and Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup®. Genetically engineered crops are engineered to be resistant to this herbicide. Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world and also sold by Monsanto. Glyphosate is also a patented antibiotic and mineral chelator. Even though Monsanto claims Glyphosate is minimally harmful to humans, we are greatly concerned because studies have shown that Glyphosate has been found in our soil, water, blood, urine, gut, and most recently in human breast milk. See further information and studies here.
Oprah, given this information, does this sound like a company that is in alignment with everything you claim to stand for? We feel that Monsanto’s advertisement misrepresents to the American family the underlying agenda of Monsanto. Monsanto spent over $10 million dollars in 2014 alone on anti-labeling campaigns–preventing Americans the right to know what is in their food.They are using humans as their guinea pigs for their science experiment of genetically engineered crops–which have never been proven safe for humans.
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