Organic Consumers Association

OCA
Homepage

Previous Page

Click here to print this page

Make a Donation!

JOIN THE OCA NETWORK!

 

ORGANIC BYTES #24
Organic & Food News Tidbits with an Edge
Issue #24 12/9/2003
By Organic Consumers Association

---------------------------------

GENETICALLY ENGINEERED PETS
California recently became the only state in the U.S. to ban the sale of genetically engineered pets. Although new glow-in-the-dark zebrafish (engineered with genes from jellyfish and sea anemones) have been released onto the market throughout the rest of the nation, the CA Game Commission said their decision is based on simple ethics. “I just don't think it's right to produce a new organism just to be a pet. To me, this seems like an abuse of the power we have over life, and I'm not prepared to go there today,” said Sam Schuchat of the CA Game Commission. http://www.organicconsumers.org/ge/ge_fish.cfm

---------------------------------

SEEKING THE BRAIN’S “BUY BUTTON”
Backed by funding from major corporations, Researchers at Emory University are undergoing intensive studies of the human brain looking for what has been coined the “buy button”. This new pursuit of consumer control, known as neuromarketing, involves Magnetic Resonance Imaging
(MRI) on live subjects to find the specific part of the brain that is activated when a consumer is successfully wooed by an advertisement into purchasing a product. Using the data from this research, marketers hope to be able to create ads that follow the exact neurological pathways that ultimately activate the “buy button” in consumers. According to a letter to the Emory University from a coalition of groups opposed to this research, “If Emory University takes its own mission seriously, it should challenge this abuse of medical knowledge and technology to manipulate people for commercial purposes.”
http://www.organicconsumers.org/corp/neuromarketing.cfm
 
---------------------------------
 
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"I do not allow myself to be overcome by hopelessness, no matter how tough the situation. I believe that if you just do your little bit without thinking of the bigness of what you stand against, if you turn to the enlargement of your own capacities, just that in itself creates new potential." --Vandana Shiva, India Activist and Author
 
---------------------------------
 
HARVESTING THE WIND
Farmers across the US are continually discovering innovative methods of keeping their family farms in business. One such means, harvesting wind, is becoming increasingly profitable and popular. While taking up very little space and generating clean and sustainable energy, each wind turbine quietly cranks out between $2,000 and $4,000 in annual profits for the farmer. Leroy Ratzlaff, a South Dakota farmer, has now installed 7 wind turbines, to provide stability to his farm’s finances. "It's almost like renting out my farm and still having it," Ratzlaff said. "And the cows don't seem to mind a bit."
http://www.organicconsumers.org/corp/family_farm_wind_power.cfm
 
---------------------------------
 
POSITIVE ACTION BRINGS POSITIVE CHANGE
Complaining about the oil, coal and nuclear power industries does little good, unless you do something about it. Now just about everyone can support the sourcing of wind power by their local utility company. To find out opportunities for including wind power and other renewable energy sources in your monthly electricity bill in your area, go here: http://www.eere.energy.gov/greenpower/consumers.shtml
 
---------------------------------
 
CREATING A GE-FREE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
It’s official: Mendocino County California has approved a ballot initiative that will allow voters to choose whether or not the County should ban genetically modified crops. Mendocino County's agricultural income is strongly rooted in organics, and local farmers are concerned about decreased revenues, due to possible contamination from neighboring GE crops. The vote will be held March 2, 2004 and would make the county the first in the U.S. to pass an anti-GMO resolution. Stay tuned to the OCA for further updates. The OCA is also working with activists in several other California counties (Humboldt, Marin, Sonoma) who are interested in joining Mendocino and creating, in effect, a GE-Free Northern California. http://www.organicconsumers.org/ge/california_initiative.cfm
  
---------------------------------
 
HOW TO REGISTER TO VOTE ONLINE
Can one vote make a difference? Just ask the folks in Florida, where the margin of victory in the 2000 presidential election was a mere 537 votes. You can register to vote and/or update your registration info, right now, through the OCA/ “Your Vote Matters” website! Not only will you be taking the required step to become an active participant in the coming elections, you will also be helping OCA, as Working Assets Long Distance is currently offering a small donation to the OCA for every voter that registers on our site. If you are already registered, please pass this link on to your family and friends. The time for positive change is NOW. https://www.workingforchange.com/vote/index.cfm?ms=OCA001

---------------------------------
 
FAITH AND FAIR TRADE
Responding to the plight of millions of struggling coffee farmers worldwide, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is working to get U.S. churches and parishioners into the practice of buying “fair trade” coffee (a certified product that guarantees farmers a fair price for their crops). "There's a lot of coffee being moved through faith communities," says Karen Smith, director of CRS' coffee program. "It's tying into people's values, and they're making conscious decisions based on their values." Americans spend $19 billion on coffee each year. With 65 million Catholics in the U.S., CRS is hopeful this new initiative can have a positive impact on coffee farmers everywhere. http://www.organicconsumers.org/Starbucks/faith_fair_trade.cfm
 
---------------------------------
 
LIKELY ALLERGENIC GENETICALLY ENGINEERED CORN STILL SPREADING
StarLink Corn, an experimental genetically engineered crop that the USDA found to be unsuitable for human consumption, hasn’t been grown by farmers for several years. Yet recent analysis of this year’s harvest has found that it is still contaminating 1% of the nation’s corn. The discovery fuels the arguments of GE opponents, who claim that these experimental crops should not be released on the market until they have been adequately tested for effects on human health and the environment. "The StarLink lesson is that contamination is to some extent irreversible," said Doreen Stabinsky, a Greenpeace scientist. Once a new genetically engineered plant is released on the market, it is impossible to keep its pollen from spreading, thereby leading to its existence in the food supply indefinitely.  According to the European Union, this is one of the reasons for its decision to resist growing and importing GE foods. http://www.organicconsumers.org/ge/ge_corn_starlink.cfm
 
---------------------------------
 
BRONNER'S DONATING 10% OF WEB SALES TO OCA
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps has committed to donating 10% of all web sales in November and December to the Organic Consumers Association. Bronner's recently won Co-op America's prestigious 2003 Green Business Award for leadership in advancing the Green business movement. The 50 year old natural soap and body care product company was selected from 2,200 Green businesses for its dedication to the environment, social rights, and the community.
Click here to shop: http://www.drbronner.com/main.html
 
---------------------------------
 
GREEN GUIDE ANNOUNCES BEST ORGANIC COTTON PRODUCTS
As one of the most chemically intensive crops, conventional cotton is responsible for $2.6 billion worth of toxic pesticide use every year. You can help change this unsustainable practice by exercising the power of your consumer dollar. Here’s a list of what the Green Guide recently announced are the best organic cotton products on the market: http://www.organicconsumers.org/clothes/organic_cotton_products.cfm
 
---------------------------------
 
TAKE ACTION
If any of the issues above spark your desire to take action, please visit OCA's Action Center for instant faxes, petitions, volunteering and donation opportunities. http://www.organicconsumers.org/action.htm

---------------------------------
 
FOR MANY MORE FOOD ISSUE DAILY HEADLINES:
http://www.organicconsumers.org/log.html
 
---------------------------------
 
NOTE TO CO-OP AND NATURAL FOOD STORE SUBSCRIBERS: Organic Bytes is a great tool for keeping your staff and customers up to date on the latest issues. Feel free to forward this email to your staff and print for posting on bulletin boards and staff break tables. You are also welcome to use this material for your newsletters. There's a super-pretty print-friendly PDF version of this available for free download at http://www.organicconsumers.org/organicbytes.htm
 
---------------------------------
 
To subscribe to Organic Bytes, send an email to:
biodemocracy-request@lists.organicconsumers.org
with the word "subscribe" in subject.

To unsubscribe to Organic Bytes, send an email to:
biodemocracy-request@lists.organicconsumers.org
with the word "unsubscribe" in subject.

---------------------------------
 
ORGANIC BYTES is a publication of:
 
ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION
6101 Cliff Estate Road
Little Marais, MN  55614
Phone: (218) 226-4164 Fax: (218) 353-7652
 
 
http://lists.organicconsumers.org/listinfo/biodemocracy
 
---------------------------------