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Organic Bytes #94: Perchlorate, Food Safety, Humane Labels & More...

  • By Craig Minowa and Ronnie Cummins
    Organic Consumers Association

ORGANIC BYTES #94
Health, Justice and Sustainability News Tidbits with an Edge!


11/2/2006


Written and edited by Craig Minowa and Ronnie Cummins
Subscribe to this twice-per-month newsletter
: http://www.organicconsumers.org/organicbytes.htm

IN THIS ISSUE

  • ALERT OF THE WEEK: STUDY SHOWS MILITARY POLLUTION POISONING U.S. FOOD SUPPLY
  • PRODUCT PLUNDER OF THE WEEK: WAL-MART, HANES, J.C. PENNEY AND PUMA SWEATSHOP SCANDAL
  • TIP OF THE WEEK: DECODING MEAT LABELS FOR THE SENSITIVE CARNIVORE
  • U.S. BIOTECH INDUSTRY STILL TRYING TO FORCE GMOs ON EUROPEANS
  • HEALTH NEWS OF THE WEEK: FRESH ORGANIC FOODS THAT FIGHT CANCER
  • ANTI-CANCER AGENCY HAS TUMORS OF ITS OWN
  • VOTE ORGANIC
  • LINK OF THE WEEK: ONLINE BIRD FLU BOOK

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ALERT OF THE WEEK:
STUDY SHOWS MILITARY POLLUTION POISONING U.S. FOOD SUPPLY

A new analysis of data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control indicates that a toxic chemical in rocket fuel has severely contaminated the nation's food and water supply. Scientists warn that the chemical, known as perchlorate, could cause thyroid deficiency in more than 2.2 million women of childbearing age. This thyroid deficiency could damage the fetus of pregnant women, if left untreated. Perchlorate, the explosive ingredient in solid rocket fuel, has leaked from military bases and defense and aerospace contractors' plants in at least 22 states, contaminating drinking water for millions of Americans. Despite massive complaints, defense contractors such as Kerr-McGee have done little or nothing to clean up the pollution. Perchlorate has also been widely detected in milk, lettuce, produce and other foods. In an alarming study, the CDC found perchlorate in the urine of every person tested. The OCA has mobilized thousands of organic consumers to pressure the EPA and government officials to begin a massive clean up of perchlorate for over a year.
Learn more and take action:
http://www.organicconsumers.org/perchlorate.htm

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PRODUCT PLUNDER OF THE WEEK:
WAL-MART, HANES, J.C. PENNEY AND PUMA SWEATSHOP SCANDAL

Major U.S. clothing companies continue to exploit children in overseas sweatshops. In the latest in a series of reports from the National Labor Committee (NLC), brand name Wal-Mart, Hanes, J.C. Penney, and Puma clothes have been traced to a Bangladesh sweatshop. An estimated 200 children, some under eleven years of age, are being forced to work over 100 hours per week and are being paid six and a half cents per hour to make these clothes. "It is time for these U.S. companies to act immediately, today, to guarantee that this does not happen and that the children are returned to school," said Charles Kernaghan, director of the NLC. Check out OCA's Clothes for a Change campaign to learn more about organic and fair trade clothes and textiles. http://www.organicconsumers.org/clothes/

 

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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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TIP OF THE WEEK:
DECODING MEAT LABELS FOR THE SENSITIVE CARNIVORE

As animal welfare labeling claims on meat, dairy and eggs continue to proliferate, humane-minded carnivores everywhere are starting to get confused. When a label says "free-range", "grass-fed" or "cage-free", is this really true? Whole Foods Market has recently added a new "animal compassionate" label to meat products in their stores (indicating the animal was treated humanely up until slaughter). The federal government generally does not regulate how farm animals are treated, nor do they verify animal-welfare labels. The government does attempt to require that labels be truthful and has established definitions for common designations like "free range". Yet some third party labeling standards, like Whole Foods new label, are actually more rigorous than the industry norms. Two other highly credible labels to look for include the "free-farmed" label (overseen by the American Humane Association) and the "certified humane" label (administered by Humane Farm Animal Care). Learn more about animal welfare labels here: http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_3207.cfm

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U.S. BIOTECH INDUSTRY STILL TRYING TO FORCE GMOs ON EUROPEANS
The pro-biotech American Soybean Association (ASA) is planning to file an international lawsuit against the European Union (EU) to force them to stop requiring labeling and pre-market safety and environmental testing of genetically modified foods and crops. The EU's precautionary approach to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), implemented in the face of mass consumer pressure, has basically closed the door on U.S. soy exports. Ninety-percent of the U.S. soybean crops are now genetically modified. The ASA claims it will enlist members of Congress to support bringing the industry's case to the World Trade Organization.
Learn more: http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_3265.cfm

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HEALTH NEWS OF THE WEEK:
FRESH ORGANIC FOODS THAT FIGHT CANCER

Naturopaths around the world are recommending organic food for detoxification of cancer cells. Although many of the dietary remedies for human ailments have been known for centuries, an increasing number of nutritional scientists have been conducting studies that validate many of these traditional remedies.

Here's a quick rundown of some cancer-fighting foods:

  • Eat fresh foods. The live enzymes act as a catalyst for detoxification.
  • Cabbage speeds up metabolism of estrogen and is useful in colon cancer.
  • Beet juice has cancer-fighting properties, as it is rich in sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulphur, chlorine, iodine, iron, copper, Vitamin B1, B2, B6 niacin.
  • Citrus fruit juices, like lemon, orange and grapefruit, are used by naturopaths as anti-cancer compounds.
  • Studies also show spinach, lettuce and broccoli juice act as antioxidants.
  • While, wheat bran decreases estrogens in blood, wheat grass juice repairs damaged cells in leukemia patients.

    Learn more:
    http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_3100.cfm

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QUICK TIDBITS:

ANTI-CANCER AGENCY HAS TUMORS OF ITS OWN: The OCA's International Oversight Board has issued a letter to the newly appointed Chair of the National Cancer Institute requesting a change of policy in matters of advisory committee appointments. Although the highly respected NCI was originally established to serve as a nonbiased organization for battling environmental sources of cancer, the agency's advisory committees are routinely stacked with industry representatives. The OCA calls on NCI to address all flagrant conflicts of interest and reestablish a decision-making process based on sound science and involving all stakeholders. Read the letter here: http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_3199.cfm
VOTE ORGANIC: The Nov. 7 elections are just around the corner. How well do you know the candidates running for office from your area? OCA's allied lobbying organization, the Organic Consumers Fund (OCF), has put together a detailed nonpartisan Organic Consumers Political Candidate Survey to identify candidates who support organic agriculture, and are willing to get behind legislation that promotes health, justice, peace, and sustainability. Learn more about your local and Congressional candidates and spread the word about the Organic Consumers Political Candidate Survey by visiting the OCF website: http://organicconsumersfund.org
LINK OF THE WEEK: Dr. Michael Gregor's compelling analysis of the Bird Flu pandemic is now available in its full text online. Gregor, the director of the Public Health and Animal Agriculture sector of the Humane Society of the United States, analyzes how factory farming plays a significant role in the spread of the disease and how the expensive U.S. government policies regarding the potential pandemic are flawed : http://www.BirdFluBook.org

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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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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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