On August 5, seventeen activists will set out on a cross-country 3300-mile journey from the nation’s capital to Seattle, Washington for what is being called the “Are We Eating Fishy Food Tour.” The tour features five mutant GMO art cars fitted with large roof-mounted sculptures and carrying information about the need for labeling genetically engineered (GMO) food. The tour begins at the west side of the US Capitol on August 5 at 6:30pm and arrives in Seattle on August 15, where the fishy food cars will debut at Seattle Hempfest.
Washington State is a national battleground over the GMO food issue. Voters there will decide this November whether foods with GMO ingredients should be labeled as such. The Are We Eating Fishy Food Tour will pass through thirteen states and nine state capitals with events along the way. A complete schedule of the tour can be found at www.AreWeEatingFishyFood.com
“The Fishy Food art car fleet’s cross-country swim from Washington, DC to Washington State will get people talking about the importance of GMO labeling,” says David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, whose company supported the creation of the art cars.
Since 2011 there has been a rebirth in citizen activism around the issue of knowing what’s in our food. That year, the Right2Know March for GMO labeling walked 313 miles from Brooklyn, NY to the gates of the White House in Washington, DC. “The ‘R2K’ march was obscure to most people, but two years later there is widespread awareness of unlabeled GMO foods thanks to voter initiatives, increased legislative efforts, world-wide protests, and creative education efforts like the Fishy Food cars,” says Bronner.
Genetic Engineering means more pesticides. Chemical companies genetically engineer DNA from bacteria into food crops to either produce or tolerate the pesticides they sell. This foreign DNA produces foreign proteins in every cell of the plant that we eat in our food. No long-term independent safety studies have been performed on adverse health effects. Overuse of pesticide is creating resistant superweeds and superbugs, which leads to more pesticides being sprayed.
Now chemical companies like Monsanto and Dow are engineering resistance in food crops to much more toxic weed killers like Dicamba and 2,4 D, the main ingredient in Agent Orange.
While over 60 countries—EU nations, China, Russia, Japan, Brazil, and South Africa included—require labeling of GMOs, US consumers can currently only rely on voluntary labeling to determine whether food products have been genetically altered through gene splicing technology.
Origins of the FishyFood Cars
The first car in the Fishy Food fleet was “Poppy,” aka Fishy Corn Car. Created in September 2011 by César Maxit and DC51 artist collective. Fishy Corn was constructed with a frame made of welded steel and a skin of chicken wire and tape.
The design was implemented for the Right2Know March, where Fishy Corn served as a support vehicle to carry leaflets, organic snacks and water, and to ferry people to the front of the march when they were falling behind. Later that year Maxit, working with welder & fiberglass artist David Jackson, began building a larger and more durable Fishy Corn sculpture from fiberglass with a heavy steel frame.
The new and improved Fishy Corn car went to Monsanto headquarters in Creve Coeur, Missouri for the 2012 annual shareholder meeting with activist Adam Eidinger. He parked the car on the agribusiness giant’s campus and debated Monsanto’s CEO Hugh Grant on GMO labeling during the meeting. A secret video of the encounter went viral online shortly afterwards.
Fishy Corn then stayed in St. Louis with activists and after a few months swam to California to support Proposition 37, a GMO labeling voter initiative that failed by less than 2% in November 2012. In December, Fishy Corn made a southern tour with members of the Real Cooperative who returned it home to Washington, DC.
In January 2013, Maxit began building four more chimera cars using extensive volunteer labor from the Washington, DC community. Since then, Fishy Sugar Beet aka “Rooty,” Fishy Apple aka “Goldie,” Fishy Soy aka “Soja Girl,” and, most recently, Fishy Tomato aka “K-Sup” have been completed.
“People want healthier food than what GMO food has to offer,” says Rica Madrid, coordinator of the Are We Eating Fishy Food Tour. “You can measure the impact these educational vehicles are having by the reaction and excitement on people’s faces and the large number of shares we see in social media,” says Madrid.
Members of the media are encouraged to embed with the Are We Eating Fishy Food fleet for some or all of the tour. More information at www.AreWeEatingFishyFood.com.
Source: Are We Eating Fishy Food?