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Organic Bytes #95: Alerts, Product Plunders & Tips of the Week

  • By Craig Minowa and Ronnie Cummins
    Organic Consumers Association, 11/15/2006
ORGANIC BYTES #95

Health, Justice and Sustainability News Tidbits with an Edge!

11/15/2006

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

  • ELECTIONS COULD MOVE CONGRESS TOWARD ORGANIC AND SUSTAINABLE POLICIES
  • TIP OF THE WEEK: FOR THANKSGIVING BUY LOCAL AND ORGANIC
  • THIS WEEK'S LESSON: WHY BUY LOCAL?
  • MARK YOUR CALENDARS: BUY LOCAL DAY IS NOVEMBER 18th
  • STUDY OF THE WEEK: CHILDHOOD OBESITY HAS EXPLODED IN LAST SIX YEARS
  • HEALTH NEWS OF THE WEEK: DANGERS OF FLOURIDATED WATER CONFIRMED
  • PRODUCT PLUNDER OF THE WEEK: Wal-Mart
  • ALERT OF THE WEEK: CORPORATIONS SEEK TO PATENT WILDLIFE IN NATIONAL PARKS
  • VIDEOS AND DVDS OF THE WEEK: "The Meatrix 2.5" & "America: Freedom to Fascism"

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ELECTIONS COULD MOVE CONGRESS TOWARD
ORGANIC AND SUSTAINABLE POLICIES

In the wake of the November elections, there are hopeful signs that a new Congress will finally be willing to put organics, and related life or death issues like climate change and world peace, on the table. Hopefully these new leaders will redirect a fair share of the USDA's annual $100 billion budget to help U.S. family farmers make the transition to organic, develop local markets, and incorporate renewable energy practices on their farms. Thirty-seven of the 48 Congressional Organic Caucus members retained their seats, while a significant number of new U.S. Senators and Representatives have a strong pro-organic record. Among the new faces in Congress who will likely strengthen the Organic Caucus are the following:

  • Democrat Jon Tester won the Senate seat in Montana. Tester is an organic farmer and has been a leader in the organic movement since 1987.
  • Democrats John Hall (NY) and Peter Welch (VT) both won seats in the House and will join the Organic Caucus. Both scored a perfect 100% on the Organic Consumers Fund (OCF) Candidate Survey.
  • Democrat Paul Hodes (NH) joins the caucus after running on a platform supporting sustainable sources of energy, clean air and water, and addressing global warming.
  • Democrat Chris Carney (PA)will bring a much needed voice to the caucus after winning his campaign that supports the "adoption of renewable sources of energy like hybrid technologies, geothermal energy, bio-diesel, solar energy, and wind power.
  • Pro-family farm and organic agriculture Independent Bernie Sanders (VT) was elected to the U.S. Senate after serving in he House.

We'd like to thank everyone who encouraged their candidates to take part in the OCF Candidate Survey, and congratulate the new members of the Organic Caucus. It's not too late to get your elected officials to state their position on organic agriculture and related issues.
Please send them the survey today: http://www.organicconsumersfund.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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TIP OF THE WEEK:
FOR THANKSGIVING BUY LOCAL AND ORGANIC
The average American consumes more calories on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year. With the average supermarket food traveling 2500 miles from farm to fork, the Thanksgiving dinner cornucopia can add up to a substantial amount of petroleum-based energy consumption and greenhouse pollution. This Thanksgiving, consider taking up the "buy local and organic" challenge. You can do a world of good by voting with your consumer dollars for organic and locally or regionally produced food. And don't forget that where you buy your food and other products is just as important as what you buy. Break the Chains of mindless consumerism by patronizing local, independently owned co-ops and businesses whenever possible.
Learn more:
http://www.organicconsumers.org/btc.cfm

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THIS WEEK'S LESSON:
WHY BUY LOCAL?

  • Local businesses and farms produce more income, jobs, and tax receipts for local communities than big box stores do.
  • Local businesses and farms are more likely to utilize local ads, banks and other services.
  • Local businesses donate more money to nonprofits and are more accountable to their local communities.
  • Supporting local businesses preserves the economic diversity of our communities and the unique character of our neighborhoods.
  • Supporting local businesses and farmers is good for the environment, because it cuts down on fuel consumption. Buying locally produced goods reduces the need to ship goods from thousands of miles away and also cuts down on the distances shoppers travel.

Learn more: http://www.organicconsumers.org/btc.cfm

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MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
BUY LOCAL DAY IS NOVEMBER 18th

Let's send a message on November 18, the Saturday before Thanksgiving, that we support our hometown businesses and oppose the negative impacts of chain stores and big box stores on our communities. Many communities have already organized citywide "buy local days," but this year, we and our allies are calling on people across the country to make this a national effort. We hope you'll join us!
For "Buy Local Day" resources visit: http://www.buylocalday.org

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STUDY OF THE WEEK:
CHILDHOOD OBESITY HAS EXPLODED IN LAST SIX YEARS

A new analysis of government statistics reveals the U.S. childhood obesity rate is increasing much faster than previously thought. According to data collected from 22,000 children (age 2-19), obesity rates have increased by more than 65 per cent in just the past six years. Abdominal fat in children has nearly doubled since 1999. The largest relative increase in the prevalence of abdominal obesity occurred among 2-5 year old boys (84%) and 18-19 year-old girls (126%). Researchers say excessive plaque build-up in the arteries of children can be reversed through a healthier diet and regular exercise.
Learn more: http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_3314.cfm

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HEALTH NEWS OF THE WEEK:
DANGERS OF FLOURIDATED WATER CONFIRMED

On November 9, the American Dental Association (ADA) finally admitted that fluoride levels in common tap water could be dangerous for infants. The ADA recommended that fluoridated water should not be mixed into concentrated formula or foods intended for babies. The ADA's announcement comes on the heels of a National Research Council report that revealed fluoridation's adverse effects to the thyroid gland, diabetics, kidney patients, high water drinkers and others. The Centers for Disease Control has added to the debate with a new report showing that fluoride absorbs into enamel topically. However, adverse effects occur upon ingestion.
Learn more: http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_3351.cfm

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QUICK TIDBITS:

PRODUCT PLUNDER OF THE WEEK: Wal-Mart is being investigated for falsely advertising conventional products as "organic." The Cornucopia Institute has discovered that a number of Wal-Mart stores are defrauding consumers by labeling products as organic that were grown with pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. A formal legal complaint has been filed with the USDA asking the agency to investigate allegations of illegal "organic" food distribution by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Learn more: http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_3364.cfm
ALERT OF THE WEEK: CORPORATIONS SEEK TO PATENT WILDLIFE IN NATIONAL PARKS
The National Park Service took a giant step in September towards further commercialization of the natural resources in our National Parks. Specifically, the Park Service released an environmental impact statement that could clear the way for corporations to "bioprospect" for microorganisms and other wildlife in national parks like Yellowstone. If the Park Service gets its way, corporations will be allowed to mine, exploit, patent, and profit from the lands and wildlife that we are all supposed to be stewarding.
Learn more and take action: http://www.ParksNotForSale.org
VIDEOS AND DVDS OF THE WEEK: "The Meatrix 2.5" One of the most popular and entertaining flash video series on the internet has just released its third chapter. Watch these colorful cartoon characters uncover some of the major problems inherent with factory farmed meats. http://www.moremeatrix.com/

"America: Freedom to Fascism" This highly-acclaimed film by Hollywood producer Aaron Russo documents how a powerful cabal of bankers and government officials have seized control of our national economy and are literally destroying the middle and lower classes through an illegal and unsustainable system of taxation and financial manipulation. To view the film online or to purchase a copy of the DVD go to: http://freedomtofascism.com/downloads/dvd.html

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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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HEART OF FARMING

"The Heart of Farming" is a multi-media storytelling feature created to connect you with a new generation of organic farmers. It was created by Carrie Branovan, award-winning photojournalist. Click to view.

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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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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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