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Organic Bytes: Elections, Food Contamination, and Your Health


ORGANIC  BYTES: Elections, Food Contamination, and Your Health


8/27/2006

Written  and edited by Craig Minowa and Ronnie Cummins

DOWNLOAD Printable version of this issue here (PDF format)

 

IN THIS ISSUE

"ORGANIC CONSUMERS POLITICAL CANDIDATE SURVEY" SPREADING ACROSS U.S

MAKE A DONATION TO PUT ORGANIC ISSUES ON THE TABLE IN 2006 ELECTIONS

USDA ANNOUNCES U.S. RICE SUPPLY HAS BEEN CONTAMINATED

GENETICALLY ENGINEERED "FRANKENGRASS" SPREADS INTO THE WILD

AFTER 70-YEAR BAN: HEMP MAY SOON BE LEGALLY GROWN ON U.S. SOIL

TIP OF THE WEEK: THE MOST DANGEROUS INGREDIENTS IN CONVENTIONAL FOODS

STUDY SAYS FAMILY MEAL IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

QUICK WATER FACTS

QUICK TIDBIT: BACTERIA GUM

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: NATURAL HEALTH TELESEMINARS


HEALTH,  JUSTICE AND ENVIRONMENT CANDIDATE SURVEY ROCKS U.S.
HELP INVITE YOUR LOCAL CANDIDATES TO TAKE PART IN SURVEY

Last week, the Organic Consumers Fund kicked off a massive nationwide  candidate survey, in order to help you, the voter, find out  what local, state, and Congressional politicians seeking office  in 2006 support policies that move us toward a more democratic,  healthy, sustainable and re-localized society--with organic  agriculture and Fair Trade leading the way. If you haven't already  done so, we need your help to make this survey a success. It's  easy, quick, and your two minutes of donated time right now  will have a powerful impact on the elections. Please go now  to the OCF voter action page and follow the step-by-step instructions  to encourage candidates in your area to take part in the "Organic  Consumers 2006 Political Candidate Survey." Once your local,  state, and Congressional candidates respond, the OCF website  will automatically rank them in terms of their response on key  issues of health, justice, and sustainability, thereby helping  you know who to vote for in November.
Please locate candidates in your area and send them the survey  here: http://www.organicconsumersfund.org/voterguide.cfm

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DONATION  DRIVE HEATS UP
Every year, agribusiness, biotech, and other powerful special  interest groups spend hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying  public officials to pass and change legislation in their favor.  The new Organic Consumers Fund (OCF) is the only citizen driven  lobbying group of its kind focused on moving the country in an  organic and sustainable direction. The OCF is here to represent  your needs in Washington D.C. In order to do this, we need your  help. Unlike corporate lobbyists, our only source of funding is  you. The OCF's goal is to raise $50,000 in grassroots donations  in 30 days, so that we can spread the Candidate Survey to thousands  of candidates. Later in the fall we'll publish our Voter Guide,  to help people decide who deserves their vote. We are fortunate  to currently have a funder that will match every dollar you donate.  Please donate now, as we only have a few days left in this donation  drive. Help us begin to move in New Directions by putting organic  issues on the table in the 2006 elections.
Donate now:http://organicconsumersfund.org/donations.cfm


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USDA  ANNOUNCES NATIONWIDE RICE SUPPLY IS CONTAMINATED
USDA Secretary Mike Johanns has announced that the U.S. supply  of long grain rice has been contaminated by a genetically engineered  variety of rice that is not approved for human consumption.  Johanns said that the contamination was admitted to be the fault  of Bayer corporation, but the USDA doesn't know how widespread  the contamination is. According to Johanns the biotech rice  poses no health risks, but could damage the U.S. $1 billion  rice export market, since many nations refuse to import genetically  engineered rice. Japan has already announced a ban on long grain  rice imports from the US. Last year, Japan and the EU banned  US maize imports as a result of yet another GE contamination  scandal.
Learn more:http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_1584.cfm

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EXPERIMENTAL  PLANT ESCAPES FROM TEST PLOT INTO THE WILD
An experimental variety of genetically engineered bentgrass  has spread out of its test plot in Oregon and has been found  growing in the wild as far as 3 miles away, say scientists from  the U.S. EPA. The biotech plant, designed for golf courses,  has not been approved by the USDA, but has already been found  dispersing among native grasses in 6 different locations. Scientists  say they don't know how will behave in the wild but admit it  may have a strong advantage over native grasses, and could therefore  irreversibly damage the ecosystem as it spreads. According to  Tom Stohlgren, an ecologist at the US Geological Survey's National  Institute of Invasive Species Science, the experimental bentgrass  "can tend to outcompete other species...It doesn't need  to sexually reproduce - it's like The Blob. It could potentially  hit rare species or national parks."
Learn more:http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_1575.cfm

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AFTER  70-YEAR BAN: HEMP MAY SOON BE LEGALLY GROWN ON U.S. SOIL
The California Senate has approved a bill (26-13) that would  allow farmers to grow industrial hemp. Senate Republican Tom  McClintock spearheaded the bill on the Senate floor and noted  strongly that hemp "bears no more resemblance to marijuana  than a poodle bears to a wolf... you would die from smoke inhalation  before you would get high." Industrial hemp was inaccurately  equated with marijuana in a 1937 ban on the crop, despite the  fact that it was a staple crop for U.S. farmers for decades,  including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The $270 million  U.S. hemp market is currently supplied by Canadian farmers.  With the current bill, California lawmakers believe they can  get around the federal ban by restricting the sale of California-grown  hemp to the state itself, thereby not infringing on any interstate  commerce laws. The bill now goes back to the California Assembly.
Learn more:http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_1568.cfm

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TIP  OF THE WEEK: THE MOST DANGEROUS INGREDIENTS IN CONVENTIONAL  FOODS

1)  Sodium nitrite -- causes cancer, found in most processed meats  like hot dogs, bacon, sausage. Used to make meats appear red  (a color fixer chemical).

2)  Hydrogenated oils -- causes heart disease, nutritional deficiencies,  general deterioration of cellular health, and much more. Found  in cookies, crackers, margarine and many "manufactured"  foods. Used to make oils stay in the food, extending shelf life.  Sometimes also called "plastic fat."

3)  Excitotoxins -- aspartame, monosodium glutamate and others (see  below). These neurotoxic chemical additives directly harm nerve  cells, over-exciting them to the point of cell death, according  to Dr. Russell Blaylock. They're found in diet soda, canned  soup, salad dressing, breakfast sausage and even many manufactured  vegetarian foods. They're used to add flavor to over-processed,  boring foods that have had the life cooked out of them.

Source:  A new book by Mike Adams, entitled "Grocery Warning"  takes a scientific look at a plethora of problematic ingredients  in the everyday foods we eat.

Learn  more:http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_705.cfm

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STUDY  SAYS FAMILY MEAL IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH
According to a decade long study from the National Center on  Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), teens who regularly have  meals with their family are less likely to get into fights,  think about suicide, smoke, drink, use drugs, and are more likely  to have later initiation of sexual activity, and better academic  performance than teens who do not. Rutgers University anthropologist  Robin Fox emphasizes the importance of positive intention in  family meals. "It's like the American Indians. When they  killed a deer, they said a prayer over it/" says Fox. "That  is civilization. It is an act of politeness over food. Fast  food has killed this. We have reduced eating to sitting alone  and shoveling it in. There is no ceremony in it." The CASA  study also showed that eating with parents is also an important  factor for the nutrition and eating habits of adolescents, with  research showing that family meals and parental presence at  meals is associated with higher intake of fruits, vegetables,  and dairy products.
Learn more:http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_752.cfm

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QUICK  WATER FACTS
According to United Nations figures, 2.6 billion people consume  unsafe and polluted water every day. As the population blooms,  the issue of access to fresh water is literally one of life  or death. Last weekend's Financial Times pointed out some interesting  facts about everyday water consumption:

It  takes 53 liters of water to produce one orange.
1 pint of milk: 250 liters
1 egg: 450 liters
1kg of potatoes: 500 liters
1 loaf of bread: 550 liters
1 kg of butter: 18,000 liters
1kg of wool: 200,000 liters
1 car: 150,000 liters

Source:  Financial Times http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_1593.cfm

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  QUICK  TIDBIT: BACTERIA GUM
Scientists have developed a new gum that contains the bacteria  Lactobacillus, which they say can help prevent tooth decay.  The "good" bacteria causes tooth damaging "bad"  bacteria (Streptococcus mutans)to clump together, preventing  them from adhering to the teeth. Scientists are also working  on a deodorant wherein the same Lactobacillus bacteria would  stop the odor-producing bacteria in the armpit.
Learn more:http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_1588.cfm

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We  rely on your donations to continue our work on these important issues!
Donate  now:http://organicconsumersfund.org/donations.cfm
 

      

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Please  forward this publication to  family and friends, place it  on websites, print it, duplicate  it and post it freely. Knowledge  is power!
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