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August 21, 2009

Organic Bytes #187 Dangerous Flu Vaccines, USDA Stupidity and More....

Health, Justice and Sustainability News
from the Organic Consumers Association

In This Issue

  • Quote of the Week: Jim Hightower: "USDA: Irresponsible, Dangerous, and Stupid"
  • Bad News of the Week: USDA Wants Genetic Engineering Allowed in Organic
  • Good News of the Week: Vacation with the OCA and Savor Mexico's Growing Organic Movement
  • Alert of the Week: Factory Pig Farms & Big Pharma Vaccines - Protect Your Family & Know Your Rights
  • Video of the Week: Vaccine Nation
  • Alert Update of the Week: Whole Foods CEO Ignites Boycott
  • Web Forum Hot Topic: Meat-Eating and Soy Products
  • Headlines and Articles of the Week

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Quote of the Week

"Irresponsible, Dangerous, and Stupid" Is the Unofficial Slogan of the USDA

"Let's bring into our country a genetically-engineered, non-native tree that is known to be wildly invasive, explosively flammable, and insatiably thirsty for ground water. ... Yes, this would be irresponsible, dangerous, and stupid – but apparently 'Irresponsible, Dangerous, and Stupid' is the unofficial slogan of the U.S. Department Agriculture."

Read More and Take Action Against GE Trees

Bad News of the Week

USDA Wants Genetic Engineering Allowed in Organic

"In reality, the divide between organics and biotechnology is an artificial construction maintained by ideology rather than science. A governmental decision to change organic regulations to permit the use of biotechnology could have far-reaching policy implications for global agriculture. Allowing producers to gain organic certification for biotech crops could encourage the development of a new type of environmentally sustainable agricultural production with greater benefits for the consumer." - USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, "The Unexplored Potential of Organic-Biotech Production," May 26, 2009

Read More and Learn Why GE Can't Be Organic

Good News of the Week

OCA’s Via Organica EcoTours to Mexico

August 2-9, 2009, Via Organica (the “Organic Way”), OCA’s sister organization in Mexico, organized our first Agro-EcoTour to Mexico, bringing US organic consumers down to the beautiful San Miguel de Allende region of Guanajuato, for a first-hand look at the budding organic Movement south of the border. Tour leaders included Ronnie Cummins, OCA Director, Alexis Baden-Mayer, head of OCA’s Washington, DC office, Luc Monzies, organic farming expert, and Ana Maria Quispe, Via Organica’s staff dietician and translator.

Trip highlights included an all-day Organic Agriculture workshop at the Via Organica farm and conference center, attended by 250 small farmers from the area who are working with our staff to make the transition to organic agriculture; visits to regional organic farms and permaculture sites; a rural community organizing center; as well as organic retail stores, restaurants, and farmers markets.

Learn and read more about OCA’s EcoTours

Sign up for the next OCA/ViaOrganic tour to Mexico October 4-11

Alert of the Week

Factory Pig Farms & Big Pharma Vaccines - Protect Your Family & Know Your Rights

The propaganda machine of the U.S. government and Big Pharma are busy force-feeding Americans a dubious, in fact dangerous message: don't worry about filthy, disease-ridden factory farms and drugged-out farm animals incubating infectious diseases like the Swine Flu, because Big Pharma will protect us, starting with quasi-mandatory mass vaccinations of schoolchildren this fall. Not only is the Obama Administration ignoring warnings by the world's scientists that factory farms are the source and direct cause of the Swine Flu and Bird Flu epidemics, but they are preparing to allow greedy drug companies to inject you and your children with basically ineffective Swine Flu vaccines that contain hazardous viruses and chemicals. As organic consumers know, there are practical alternatives to factory farms (organic farms and ranches). And as millions of alternative medical consumers and practitioners understand, there are clear alternatives to hazardous Swine Flu vaccines: strengthening our body and immune systems with healthy organic diets, medicinal herbs, and homeopathy.

Learn more and take action!

OCA Needs Your Help!

OCA needs your help and support. If we are to stop Monsanto's GMOs and shut down factory farms; if we are to head off dangerous vaccines and promote holistic health; if we are to make organic food and farming and green living the norm--rather than just the alternative--we need your donations today. Any size donation is welcome, but for those who can afford it, give OCA a donation of $1000 or more and we'll treat you to a royal organic vacation and tour at the Mexican organic farm and EcoTourism center of our sister organization Via Organica.

Please donate now

Video of the Week

Trailer for Vaccine Nation

Investigative film director Dr. Gary Null challenges the basic health claims by government health agencies and pharmaceutical firms that vaccines are perfectly safe.

Learn more

Alert Update of the Week

Whole Foods Market Faces Boycott Over Opposition to Public Option and Single Payer

Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey set off a firestorm of controversy in a recent Wall Street Journal article, arguing against health care reform and the so-called “public option.” Mackey contends that the United States can fix our healthcare crisis not by reining in insurance companies and improving access to comprehensive healthcare and affordable organic food, but by patronizing his overpriced WFM and further deregulating the insurance industry. In fact, Mackey believes that healthcare is not a human right, but a commodity that only the wealthy should have. Tens of thousands of organic consumers and health care advocates have responded by calling for a boycott of Whole Foods Markets.

Over fifteen thousand OCA members have contacted WFM in recent months, urging the nation’s largest retailer of organic products to increase organic food access, implement comprehensive testing for GMOs in their private label products and eliminate dangerous chemicals from their body care products. WFM responded by bowing to OCA pressure and has promised to sell significantly more organics in 2010. We're having an impact!

Tell Whole Foods to support their stated mission of promoting organics, health, justice, and sustainability


Web Forum Posting of the Week

Bytes Readers Stand Up for Meat-Eating and Against Soy

Last week, we reported on a Washington Post article summarizing a number of recent reports indicating that one of the best things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and greenhouse gas pollution is to reduce your meat consumption.

We also included a line in a sample letter to Whole Foods, asking them to stock organic soy...

Several Bytes readers wrote us to stand up for meat-eating and against soy. We've included their comments and our response in our Web forum where OCA members are engaged in a vibrant debate on the pros and cons of vegetarian and vegan diets.

Headlines and Articles of the Week

1) Organic Transitions News of the Week:
The Common Security Club Network

These are uncertain times. The economic crisis has reminded us of our vulnerabilities. Debt. Foreclosure. Evaporating Savings. Rising Costs. Job Insecurity. We can face these changes alone – or come together. Common Security Clubs bring people together to explore ways to increase our economic security through mutual aid and shared action.
Learn more

2) Via Organica News of the Week:
Ancient Farming Techniques to Save the Campo

Poor farmers in Mexico are experimenting with a sustainable way of growing food crops that their ancestors used. It could provide them with better protection against the extremes of climate change, reduce deforestation, improve food security and even promise a better diet.
Learn more

3) Agri-Intellectual News of the Week:
Why Organic Must Replace Chemical and Energy-Intensive Agriculture

The sustainable-food movement needs to step up and start grappling with big questions: 1) Soil Fertility—How are we to build soil fertility on a larger scale? 2) Labor—Who’s going to work our farm fields, and at what wages? and 3) Access—How can we make sustainably grown food accessible to everyone?
Learn more

4) Millions Against Monsanto News of the Week:
Michael Taylor: Monsanto's Man in the Obama Administration

In collusion with the Rockefeller and Bill and Melinda Gates foundations, Taylor is once again the go-between man for Monsanto and the U.S. government, this time with the goal to open up African markets for genetically-modified (GM) seed and agrochemicals.
Learn more

5) World Hunger News of the Week:
Vandana Shiva: Climate Change, Drought and India's Looming Food and Water Crisis

Water wasteful chemical agriculture has depleted ground water, mined soil fertility and contributed to climate change. The solutions for the climate crisis, the food crisis, and the water crisis, under which India is reeling, are biodiversity based organic farming systems.
Learn more


LOCAL [[State]] NEWS OF THE WEEK

[[State]]--Get Involved Locally

  • Learn more about OCA related action alerts and other news in [[State]] here.
  • Join [[State]] discussion groups in our forum.
  • Post events in [[State]] on our community calendar.

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