The evening began with a dinner and roundtable discussion with 14 students and community members. Katie explained how she started FFAC by giving presentations in her spare time at the UC Berkeley student co-ops, and how the organization organically grew to include over 50 active members, and 20 trained presenters. Discussion topics included the challenges we’ve faced as a growing organization, the increase in factory farming in developing countries, and the effectiveness of different advocacy methods.
Afterwards, 25 people watched the full FFAC presentation. In addition to our usual topics: animal treatment, worker and social justice, public health, and the environment, we also addressed several important current issues. While discussing the role of genetically modified monocultures in factory farming, we addressed the midwest drought, the current Farm Bill (which is up for renewal - click here for an awesome interactive infographic), and California proposition 37.
Prop 37 would require foods that contain directly genetically modified organisms to have a small label. It’s endorsed by a wide variety of consumer, food, and public health groups, like the Center for Food Safety and the American Public Health Association. It’s opposed by all of the major pesticide and processed food companies, like Monsanto, Dow, and Pepsi. While public opinion had been strongly in favor of Prop 37, a recent barrage of negative ads has left many voters confused. This article from the Earth Island Journal debunks the claims about loopholes in the proposition.
All in all, it was a fantastic evening of food, learning, and discussion. Many thanks to Maria Deloso, Rohisha Adke, and Katherine Connors for organizing the event.