Campaign to Stop the Monsanto Doctrine


Stop the Monsanto Doctrine from Poisoning Democracy June 5 2016 FInal

In the spring of 2016, Progressive Source was hired to build a public awareness campaign to support a grassroots coalition of Native Hawaiians, environmentalists, parents and farmers in their historic struggle to overturn three Hawaii federal district court rulings on appeal. The ruling invalidated common sense public safety laws in Maui, Hawaii and Kauai counties that were passed to regulate experimental test farms that spray massive amount of pesticides on GMO crops.

To bring world attention to the importance of these cases, Progressive Source worked closely with our client to create strategy, branding, messaging, and a full “Be the Media” campaign that we named “Stop Poisoning Democracy.”

In the two-minute video below, we named the unprecedented legal power that the federal court had granted to the world’s largest agrochemical companies “The Monsanto Doctrine.”

We collaborated with our client to describe, in under 240 words, the complex legal messaging and the historic importance of overturning the lower court decisions. The simple, animated two-minute video that we produced can be viewed below.

The video, and subsequent campaign-related media including this public interest advocacy column that Jonathan Greenberg wrote in this Progressive Source political blog in the Huffington Post, characterized these cases, which are still being considered by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, as having the potential to become the environmental equivalent of the notorious Citizens United ruling.

We describe the ominous Monsanto Doctrine as the right of polluting corporations to do as they choose, in violation of any and all local or state public safety laws created to protect humans and the environment.

As an integral part of this campaign, Progressive Source created and marketed this ‘Stop Poisoning Democracy” petition for More than 42,000 people from around the world have signed this petition, many of them leaving eloquent, supportive comments.

The petition signers have been updated about the legal cases, and related issues, such as the follow up column in the Huffington Post entitled, “Obama Expands Monsanto Doctrine by Signing DARK Act and Invalidating Vermont GMO Labeling Law.”  This column was shared by nearly 3,000 people, and seen by hundreds of thousands of others.

Progressive Source’s “Be the Media” strategy for the Campaign to stop the Monsanto Doctrine also included the creation of curated video, like this one, which took three hours of complex oral arguments and boiled down to a few comprehensible minutes,the ominous Monsanto Doctrine legal claims.

Other videos, including coverage of Native Hawaiians marching to support our ecology that went unreported elsewhere, can be viewed on Progressive Source’s Vimeo page here.

The Campaign to Stop the Monsanto Doctrine is an ongoing project, joining the many important efforts by other food safety organizations to protect public health and our soil, water and air.