By Nancy Churchill
A Progressive Visionary
“They’re laughing at you,” says my competitor (let’s call him LB, after Jim Croce’s “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown”). He’s “spun me out” while “lapping” me in the last race (I was a lap down from front-runners like him). Though I was well out of his way, LB, a bully, was trying to make an example of me, a female supposedly out of my league.
My (late) husband, John — my enabler, who always backs me up but lets me fight my own battles — and I know we cannot ignore this challenge. I’d learned early never to retaliate for dirty tricks on the track, or my car would be destroyed. Shaming antagonists in the pits, instead, was my only shot.
So, we’ve confronted LB after the race, away from view of the grandstands. His groupies see us coming and scatter as he stands his ground.
And now he’s tried to humiliate me, but I know better. I’d raced more than 10 years by then, eight in a class where I’d won season championships. Though this Late Model class is far more challenging, I know how to hold my own. And everywhere we’ve raced, no matter the class, the number of competitors and spectators escalate the longer we stay.
“No, they’re not,” I reply, leaning into his face. This sets him back. Bullies are not accostomed to someone standing up to them. “Well,” he stammers, “stay out of my way,” as he pushes past us.
Monsanto is a bully (hey, with only 500 words, segues are for sissies). “Monsanto is the developer of both Roundup herbicide [glyphosate] and a suite of crops [corn, soybeans, canola and sugarbeets] that are genetically altered to withstand being sprayed with the … weed killer” (Huffington Post, April 26, 2013). “Farmers like them because they can spray Roundup … directly on the crops to kill weeds in the fields without harming the crops.” (So they’re told.)
Meanwhile, “a German study … shows that even people who have no direct contact with agriculture have significant concentrations of glyphosate in their urine,” belying Monsanto’s confidence in its own “very, very” extensive studies.
USDA Administrator and FDA Deputy Commissioner Michael Taylor is a former Monsanto lobbyist; Margaret Miller oversaw a report on glyphosates’ safety as a Monsanto employee, then transferred to the FDA, where she approved her own report. Surprise! “The USDA has never denied a single application from Monsanto for new genetically engineered crops” (http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=7803).
And the Monsanto-enabling FDA won’t even require labeling of genetically modified foods so we can know what we’re eating.
Now, Monsanto is “using a European legal loophole to patent away varieties of cucumber, broccoli, melons and conventional ways of breeding fruits and veggies abroad [to force] growers to pay them for the very seeds they’re planting!” (Watchdog.net and http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/19/opinion/la-oe-kimbrell-monsanto-supreme-court-seed-20130219)
Monsanto is killing us softly with its lies. Our government is enabling it. We must stop them somehow.
Nancy Churchill was raised in the D.R.C. (Congo), raced stock cars on short dirt tracks for 25 years, and is a proud, lifelong member of “We, the People.” She lives in Oregon, Ill.
From the Aug. 7-13, 2013, issue