April 2022 - 8
Activist group calls
for potato boycott
There doesn't seem to be much political about Idaho potatoes,
but that doesn't stop them from being dragged into political issues.
For at least the second time, pro-choice
activist Annie Laurie Gaylor of Madison,
Wisconsin, is calling for a national boycott of
Idaho spuds over abortion bills in Idaho.
In the mid-1970s, Gaylor founded the
Freedom From Religion Foundation, which
currently boasts of 30,000 members of
" freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and skeptics. "
On March 20, the Idaho Statesman published
a letter to the editor from Gaylor in response to
Senate Bill 1309, which is similar to a recent abortion law passed in
Texas that would essentially make it illegal to perform an abortion
after fetal heartbeat was detected. As of press date, the bill had
passed in the Idaho House and Senate and awaited Gov. Brad Little's
signature or veto.
" We're telling Gov. Brad Little that if he signs into law the Idaho
abortion-ban-and-bounty bill, we will boycott Idaho potatoes,
Idaho's top cash crop, " Gaylor wrote. " And we're asking all who want
to protect abortion rights and American values to do the same. "
In 1990, Gaylor - then head of the Women's Medical Fund -
also called for a potato boycott when a bill passed by the House and
Senate was awaiting approval from then-Gov. Cecil Andrus, who
eventually vetoed the bill.
There have been other instances as well.
In 2009, Connecticut-based, animal activist group Friends of
Animals (FoA) called for a boycott of Idaho potatoes over then-Gov.
Butch Otter's stance on the hunting of grey wolves.
FoA President Pricilla Feral said at the time: " As long as Idaho is in
the business of killing wolves, the nature-respecting public should
stop buying potatoes there. " (Perhaps FoA's stance has softened in
time, as the group has several vegan recipes on its website that feature
potatoes, and nowhere do they stipulate avoiding Idaho ones.)
Obviously, these groups are just seeking attention for their causes
in hopes they'll gain more followers. But is throwing the Idaho
potato industry - including a lot of farmers, a sympathetic group to
many Americans - under the bus really good for your cause?
I tend to think not.
Editor Zeke Jennings, 616-520-2159
Digital Content Ana Olvera, 616-520-2171
Associate Publisher Andrea Schafer, 616-520-2139
Vice President/Group Gerry Bogdon, 616-520-2150
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CEO Matt McCallum
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CFO & Director of Deb Carnes, 616-520-2169
Human Resources email@example.com
Randy Hardy, Oakley Farms, Oakley, Idaho
Andy Jensen, Northwest Potato Research Consortium
Don Sklarczyk, Sklarczyk Seed Farms, Johannesburg, Mich.
Robert Thornton, Washington State University, Pullman, Wash.
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of April 2022
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