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Organic Bytes #92- Scary Chocolate, Climate Crisis, Bird Flu and more...

  • Organic Consumers Association, 10/5/2006



10/5/2006
ORGANIC BYTES #92

Subscribe to this twice-per-month newsletter : http://www.organicconsumers.org/organicbytes.htm

Written and edited by Craig Minowa and Ronnie Cummins

IN THIS ISSUE

  • PRODUCT PLUNDER OF THE WEEK: IT'S SCARY -- HALLOWEEN CHOCOLATE MADE WITH FORCED CHILD LABOR
  • DVD OF THE WEEK: CLIMATE CRISIS AND THE 2006 ELECTIONS
  • TIP OF THE WEEK: AVOID FACTORY FARMED SALMON
  • THIS WEEK'S ALERT: GOVERNMENT'S BIRD FLU PLAN IS DANGEROULY FLAWED
  • SCAM OF THE WEEK: INDENTURED SCIENTISTS CLAIM EXCESSIVE SALT IS OK
  • QUICK TIDBITS: INDIA BANS GE FIELD TESTS, NEW YORK CITY BANS TRANS-FATS, SENATOR REQUESTS ASPARTAME BAN

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What's scarier: the costume or the chocolate?

PRODUCT PLUNDER OF THE WEEK:
IT'S SCARY -- HALLOWEEN CHOCOLATE MADE WITH FORCED CHILD LABOR

The scariest thing about Halloween this year won't be the costumes... it's the chocolate. Almost half of the world's cocoa is being produced on West African plantations where, according to the UN's International Labor Organization, 284,000 child laborers "are either involved in hazardous work, unprotected, or have been trafficked." Say no to the chocolate industry's ghoulish links to child slavery by buying Fair Trade and organic chocolate.

We rely on your donations to continue our work on these important issues!
Donate Now!
http://www.organicconsumers.org/donations.htm

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DVD OF THE WEEK:
CLIMATE CRISIS AND THE 2006 ELECTIONS

Global warming might be a grim subject, but we think that you will find this 28-minute DVD uplifting. The theme that resonates throughout the DVD is that climate change must be a prominent part of the 2006 election agenda. The film features authors Bill McKibben, Elizabeth Kolbert and Ross Gelbspan; students; and a broad spectrum of people determined to fight for a clean energy future. "There is absolutely no time to waste. The midterm elections in 2006 are not a moment too soon to begin," says Kolbert. The film offers ideas for concerned voters to help their candidates get active on this important issue. It's great for House Parties and Community Screenings. For a $10 donation, the OCA will send you this important film today. As an extra bonus we'll send you the DVD video on buying local and organic called "The True Cost of Food."
Learn more: http://www.organicconsumers.org/climateaction.cfm

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TIP OF THE WEEK:
AVOID FACTORY FARMED SALMON

A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences makes a convincing case that salmon farms are killing off wild salmon."Before we knew there were potential problems," said Martin Krkosek, a doctoral student at the University of Alberta who was lead author of the study. "Now it is very clear we have severe problems here." The study found that salmon farms are massive breeding grounds for parasites known as sea lice. The parasites then concentrate in rivers and streams and kill the young salmon who do not have scales to protect themselves. Most salmon farms are located in Canada, where 280 salmon farms produce about 96,000 tons of salmon each year. About 70 percent goes U.S. consumers. The study, which confirms previous findings, is the most comprehensive to date. Responding to this study and similar past study results, Andrew Thomson, Canada's government head of Pacific fisheries, said, "We need to do more research on it." Farmed salmon is also known to have higher levels of PCBs than wild salmon.
Learn more: http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_3015.cfm

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THIS WEEK'S ALERT:
GOVERNMENT'S BIRD FLU PLAN IS DANGEROULY FLAWED

The USDA's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service has posted a draft response plan to deal with an outbreak of avian influenza in the U.S. The draft response plan does not acknowledge the risk posed by factory-farm poultry industry practices in the emergence and spread of highly-pathogenic avian influenza. Also, the plan does not address what will be done to protect free-range, organic and family farmers. Finally, the plan lacks adequate protective measures for farm workers and contract growers. To view our statement outlining the inadequacies of the draft response plan, go here: http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_2806.cfm

Help protect free-range, organic and family farms today and send your comment in to APHIS! Email comments to: NAHEMS.Guidelines.Comments@aphis.usda.gov

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Photo parody

SCAM OF THE WEEK:
INDENTURED SCIENTISTS CLAIM EXCESSIVE SALT IS OK

The prestigious Journal of the American College of Nutrition (JACN) has published several studies claiming that excessive salt consumption is not as bad for your health as was previously determined. The published studies have since received press attention all over the U.S. It has now been revealed that the guest editor of that particular issue of the journal Dr. Alexander G. Logan, was a paid consultant to the salt industry. The regular editors of JACN also allowed the piece to be edited by a sodium committee stacked with representatives from Frito-Lay, Heinz, Kraft, and Proctor & Gamble. Several of the studies were written by past and current consultants to the Salt Institute, which is the industry's lobbying arm. JACN has since apologized for not disclosing this information and for publishing studies that it now confesses were not even peer-reviewed, which is supposed to be standard protocol for publishing any study.

Learn more:http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_2993.cfm

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QUICK TIDBITS

 

Indian protestors
burn GE cotton

INDIA BANS GE FIELD TESTS: India's supreme court has ordered a ban on all field trials of genetically engineered plants until further notice. The decision comes in response to widespread complaints by farmers and consumer groups, who pointed out that the safety claims made by the biotech companies were based on skewed studies the companies paid for themselves. Indian farmers are adamantly opposed to introducing any more biotech crops, in the wake of the widespread cultivation of a genetically engineered cotton variety patented by Monsanto that has caused widespread crop failures, driving thousands of Indian cotton farmers into desperate poverty. Since Monsanto's GE cotton was introduced, 20,000 bankrupt farmers have committed suicide.
Learn more: http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_2943.cfm


Photo Parody
NEW YORK CITY BANS TRANS-FATS: New York is set to become the first city to pass a strict ban on trans-fats in restaurant food. Hydrogenated oils are known to increase the risk of heart disease and have no nutritional value. The law will affect more than 24,000 food establishments and restrict trans-fats to no more than half a gram per serving. New Yorkers eat out more frequently than the average American, and over half of the city's restaurants currently use trans-fats. Policymakers say the rule will go into affect July of next year and should not cause economic problems, given that alternatives to the trans-fats, like other oils or margarine, are comparably priced.
Learn more: http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_2890.cfm

SENATOR REQUESTS ASPARTAME BAN: A New Mexico State Senator is calling on the Bush Administration to ban the artificial sweetener aspartame. Now present in more than 6,000 consumer products, aspartame has been repeatedly found to have ill health effects ranging from neurodegenerative diseases to brain tumors to birth defects. Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino and members of the New Mexico Legislative Health and Human Services Committee filed a letter with the President's office, requesting he call on the FDA commissioner's office to rescind the approval of aspartame, which has been the source of more health effect complaints to the FDA than any other chemical on the market.
Learn more: http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_2880.cfm
BE AN OCA STATE NEWS SCOUT: We need your help. Become a News Scout! The OCA, with your help, will be unveiling News and Action Centers for all 50 states in the next few weeks. We want to keep your state's news items up to date. Send us news, events, organizations, and campaigns for your state
Learn more: http://www.organicconsumers.org/state/statecontribute.cfm

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We rely on your donations to continue our work on these important issues!
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http://www.organicconsumers.org/donations.htm

 

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ORGANIC BYTES is a publication of:
ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION
6771 South Silver Hill Drive
Finland, MN 55603
Phone: (218)- 226-4164 Fax: (218) 353-7652
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