Save the Wild Oceans, Stop the Frankenfish

 

#243, September 23, 2010

Health, Justice and Sustainability News
from the Organic Consumers Association

Edited by Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins

 

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Quote of the Week

Government's Menu: More Transgenic Fish, Less Wild Fish

"While the government seeks to boost farmed salmon supplies through transgenics, it is simultaneously letting wild salmon go to pot. At the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska, the spawning grounds of the most productive wild salmon runs left on earth, the international mining giant, Anglo-American, plans to construct 'Pebble Mine,' the largest open-pit copper and gold mine in the U.S. Mines of this nature are notoriously bad for fish. Just two months ago a copper mine failure in China's Ting River killed millions of fish. A similar disaster in the Bristol Bay fishery could mean the destruction of around a quarter of a billion pounds of salmon, curiously, about the same amount of salmon that Aqua Bounty hopes to produce with its transgenic fish. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has the power to stop Pebble Mine through the Clean Water Act but has so far failed to act. More transgenic fish, less wild fish. You have to scratch your head at a government that's planning that kind of seafood menu for its citizens. Instead of endorsing a risky experiment in genetic salmon modification wouldn't it be better if our leaders protected wild salmon habitat? In the end we'd have just as much fish on our plates and a safer environment to boot."

- Paul Greenberg, author of the new book "Four Fish," on the radio show Living on Earth, September 17, 2010

 

Action of the Week

Stop Genetically Engineered Salmon from Coming to Market!

We stand at a pivotal moment on Earth. The ocean's are heating up and becoming more acidic because of human-induced global warming. Phytoplankton, the irreplaceable foundation of the ocean's food chain are dying off. Wild fish populations are crashing, not only because of global warming, but because we are allowing out-of-control, "profit at any cost" industrial fishing corporations to wreck havoc. And now the coup de grace. The Obama Administration is poised to approve the first genetically engineered fish for human consumption, GE salmon, while the FDA is still aiding and abetting the force-feeding of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to the public, wielding the fouled Bush-Quayle Era doctrine of "substantial equivalence" of GMO and natural foods like a club, legally blocking adequate safety testing and labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

We need to take action now, before the so-called FDA "review" of genetically engineered salmon is finished. It's unlikely the Obama Administration will ban GMO foods or fish, even though they are inherently hazardous. But if massive public pressure can force the FDA to require mandatory labels on Genetically Engineered fish, polls indicate that most consumers will boycott these GE fish and force them off the market. We have until November 22, 2010, to submit public comments calling for labeling genetically engineered salmon. In addition the FDA still needs to do an Environmental Assessment before approving the GE salmon. The FDA Environmental Assessment will include a 30 day public comment period. How many letters can Organic Consumers Association members generate in the next two months?

You sent 100,000 letters in opposition to Tom Vilsack for USDA Secretary because of his pro-biotech, pro-Monsanto politics. We need to send that many or more to stop genetically engineered salmon. Direct action is going to be necessary, too. If the Obama Administration stubbornly continues to hide behind the scientifically discredited Bush-Quayle doctrine of "substantial equivalence" claiming there isn't a "material" difference between genetically engineered and normal salmon, then we'll have no choice but to use every tactic we can muster to throw a wrench into the gears of the Frankenfoods Express. Please help us save the wild fish and the oceans instead of allowing the biotech industry to brainwash us into believing that industrial fish farms and genetic engineering represent the future of food. Write to the FDA to demand labels and adequate pre-market safety-testing of GMOs. And please forward this Action Alert to everyone you know.

 

Please Donate

Support the OCA! Save the Oceans and Our Fragile Climate!

We depend on your donations to fight against Monsanto and GMOs, to pressure the FDA and elected public officials, and to build a global climate justice movement based upon organic food and farming. Please send us a tax-deductible donation today and we'll send you a free "Millions Against Monsanto" bumper sticker so you can help spread the word in your community. Please be sure to put "sticker" in the comments field of your donation.

Any donation $100 and over will get a free Millions Against Monsanto t-shirt. Please specify your interest and size in the comments field. Help OCA and spread the word about the Millions Against Monsanto Campaign!

Please consider joining OCA staff on one or both of our 5-6-day delegations to the Global Climate Summit in Cancun, Mexico November 29-December 10. Details follow below.

 

 

Climate Change From Copenhagen to Cancun: Join the OCA & Via Organica at the Historic Global Climate
Crisis Summit

 

 Please join OCA Director Ronnie Cummins and other OCA staff on an escorted delegation to the historic teach-ins and rallies for climate justice and organic agriculture at Global Climate Crisis Summit in Cancun, Mexico.

 The OCA delegation, limited to 100 people, will include international experts on organic agriculture and climate justice, including OCA Directors Ronnie Cummins and Alexis Baden-Mayer, organic farm leader and author, Will Allen, and noted blogger and food activist Jill Richardson.

 OCA will be hosting two tours:

  • 6-Day Tour:  November 29th- December 5th, 2010 : Hostel $750, Ramada $950
  • 5-Day Tour: December 5th-11th, 2010: Hostel $700, Ramada $900 It is also possible to stay for the entire 11 day even from November 29th through December 11th, 2010

 Global scientists and activists including Vandana Shiva, James Hansen, Bill McKibben, Pat Mooney, and Maude Barlow are expected to make presentations at the Grassroots Summit, which will take place simultaneously with the global negotiations of leaders from every nation in the world.

 

 

Take Action on Climate Change

Please Join OCA and 350.org in
our Upcoming Actions

 On 10/10/10, OCA's climate justice ally, 350.org is organizing a Global Work Party to involve people in positive actions in their local communities to demonstrate how we can sharply reduce and sequester climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases and move back below the dangerous tipping point of 350 parts per million of CO2 in our atmosphere.

 A worldwide shift of agriculture from chemical-intensive factory farms and industrial monocultures to organic practices could drastically reduce CO2, nitrous oxide, and methane emissions, and sequester a critical mass of carbon back in the soil, where it belongs. That's why OCA and 350.org are encouraging people to spend 10/10/10 working on a community garden or an organic farm in your local area.

Please click on 350.org to find out what other organic consumers and climate justice activists in your community have planned for 10/10/10. If there's not something already planned, then please organize your own 10/10/10 Work Party.

 

Video of the Week

Stop Frankenfish! By Food & Water Watch

"From the agency that brought you the largest egg recall in history, tainted peanut butter, and E. coli infested spinach, it's the Frankenfish!"

 

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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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