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Natural Awakenings Boston

Support Your Right to Know

Jun 30, 2015 05:37PM

While at times it can be infuriating to think of the mass injustices occurring around us, I diligently try to maintain a focused attention on what’s good in the world. As the well-known adage advises, “What you resist persists.”

I was reminded of this again during May’s Boston March Against Monsanto, held at Copley Square. It occurred to me that the language used may be doing citizens a disservice. I fully support the effort for transparency within our food system, but just hearing the word “against” in any campaign or movement makes my brain rattle.

What if rather than terming everything a fight, battle or war, we instead focused solely on education? Imagine what would be possible if all of the anger toward and action taken against Monsanto and other self-interested corporate conglomerates shifted to educating citizens on the dire need for us to take back our country. The focus would be on our most fundamental rights as Americans and how we are able to protect ourselves and advance good by choosing legislators based on how they vote. We could work to eradicate corporate lobbyists from having unequal influence in our state and federal congressional and judicial systems.

According to The Washington Post, voter turnout in 2014 numbered the lowest in a midterm election since World War II. A paltry 36.4 percent of eligible voters took part. It appears that President Kennedy was ahead of his time in 1960 when he first expressed the Consumer Bill of Rights (Tinyurl.com/ConsumerBillOfRights):

The right to safety: to be protected against the marketing of products and services that are hazardous to health or to life.

The right to be informed: to be protected against fraudulent, deceitful or grossly misleading information, advertising, labeling or other practices, and to be given the facts needed to make informed choices.

The right to choose: to have available a variety of products and services at competitive prices.

The right to be heard: to be assured that consumer interests will receive full and sympathetic consideration in making government policy, both through the laws passed by legislatures and through regulations passed by administrative bodies.

The right to education: to have access to programs and information that help consumers make better marketplace decisions.

The right to redress: to work with established mechanisms to have problems corrected and to receive compensation for poor service or for products which do not function properly.

Support your right to know, starting with our food supply! Visit MARightToKnow.org/contactlegislators.

To a healthy peace for all citizens,

Maisie Raftery, Publisher

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