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ESSAY OF THE WEEK

Ag-Gag Bills: Another Assault by Corporations on Consumers’ Right to Know

TAKE ACTION: Tell lawmakers in Wyoming, Nebraska and New Hampshire you want the Right to Know what goes on in factory farms!

How does corporate agribusiness keep consumers in the dark about the horrors of factory farms? By making it an “act of terrorism” for anyone to investigate animal cruelty, food safety or environmental violations on the corporate-controlled farms that produce the bulk of our meat, eggs and dairy products. And who better to write the “Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act,” designed to protect Big Ag and Big Energy, than the lawyers at the infamous corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council.

New Hampshire, Wyoming and Nebraska are the latest states to introduce Ag-Gag laws aimed at preventing employees, journalists or activists from exposing illegal or unethical practices on factory farms. But you can stop them. Just like consumers and animal activists did in seven other states last year.

Read the essay

TAKE ACTION: Tell state lawmakers you want the right to know what goes on in factory farms!

Stop Wyoming’s Ag-Gag Bill

Stop Nebraska’s Ag-Gag Bill

Stop New Hampshire’s Ag-Gag Bill

 
 

 

Ask These Food Retailers to Reject Frankenfish!

TAKE ACTION! Tell your food retailer you won’t shop in their stores if they sell AquaBounty Technologies Inc.’s genetically engineered Salmon!

The FDA has been getting an earful lately from consumers demanding it reject AquaBounty Technologies Inc.’s AquAdvantage salmon - the first food from a genetically engineered animal. Among those who have spoken out are the nearly 70,000 people who have already signed the OCA’s “Stop Frankenfish” petition. Thank you! We need to keep pressuring the FDA. But we need to pressure food retailers, too, in case the FDA approves frankenfish over our protests.

We contacted 17 national and regional food retail chains to find out if they would stock genetically engineered (GE) salmon if the FDA approves it. We heard back from only seven of them. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P) gave us a non-response. Safeway told us they don’t carry any products containing GMOs, though we know they do. Aldi answered a question – but it wasn’t the question we asked. Publix gave us a wishy-washy “we have no plans at this time to carry GE salmon.” IGA equivocated, saying that all its stores are locally owned and operated, and make their own buying decisions. Only two retailers - Whole Foods Market and Target - said definitively that they would NOT carry GE salmon.

The FDA has not adequately tested GE salmon to determine whether or not it is safe for human consumption. Scientists warn that it appears to be likely allergenic. And that’s just one of the reasons we don’t want it in our grocery stores.

Find out which stores we contacted, read their responses and call them

TAKE ACTION! Tell your food retailer you won’t shop in their stores if they sell AquaBounty Technologies Inc.’s genetically engineered Salmon!

Join the Frankenfish Global Day of Action – Feb 9!

Activists are gearing up for a Feb. 9 Global Day of Action to stop FDA approval of AquaBounty Technologies Inc.’s genetically engineered salmon. A coalition of anti-GMO organizations, including LabelGMOs and GMOFreeUSA, is urging people to organize rallies and honk-and-waves, go door-to-door with flyers, and leaflet in front of grocery stores. Of course, a Global Day of Action is only as powerful as the people who get out there in the streets to make it happen. You can help by joining thousands who plan to call the FDA on Friday, Feb. 1, and by planning your own Stop Frankenfish rally or other action.

Call the FDA on Feb. 1

Organize your own rally

Learn more

 
 

SUPPORT OCA & OCF

October Will Be Too Late

The World’s Most Hated Corporation is already at work to defeat I-522, a citizens’ ballot initiative to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Washington State.

Last week, social media sites were buzzing with an infographic titled, “Actions Speak Louder than Words: The Truth about Biotechnology.” The truth about the infographic? It comes from the Find Our Common Ground website, which claims to be the work of a group of volunteer farm women. Except that that’s a lie. The website’s domain name is owned by Osborn Barr, a public relations firm that works for Monsanto. In fact, Monsanto was its founding client. Most people wouldn’t know that. And many people, who may be hearing about GMOs for the first time, also wouldn’t know that the infographic promotes blatant lies about the safety of, and science behind, genetically engineered foods.

We will see more and more of this phony propaganda circulating in the media and on social media sites, as Monsanto tries to scare voters in Washington State out of voting for a simple label on their food. The same label consumers in 61 other countries already have. Monsanto will stop at nothing, including hiding behind a phony group of “volunteer farm women,” to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food.

That’s why we have to act now. We have to get the truth out to Washington voters today. Next October will be too late. Please help us educate Washington voters with your donation today. Thank you!

Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)

Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in Washington, Vermont and other states)

 
 

TRAITOR BOYCOTT

Talking Back: Is the Traitor Boycott Working?

The Traitor Brands are starting to talk back. Could it mean their parent companies will keep their millions of dollars out of upcoming GMO labeling battles in Vermont and Washington State?

Shortly after a $46-million campaign of lies and dirty tricks defeated Prop 37, the California Right to Know GMO labeling ballot initiative, the OCA launched its Traitor Boycott. The Boycott targets the natural and organic brands whose parent companies contributed nearly half of the $46 million that defeated Prop 37.

Thanks to all of you have sent letters, made phone calls, tweeted and posted on the brands’ facebook pages, we’re starting to hear back. Yesterday, Ben & Jerry’s came out with a public statement supporting Vermont’s proposed law to require mandatory labeling. Will they donate money to Vermont’s campaign? We talked to Chris Miller, Ben & Jerry’s Social Mission Activism Manager, who’s been hired to help with a national campaign to educate consumers about GMOs and promote transparency in labeling. He isn’t promising money yet, but he did say that the new campaign has the blessing of Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Unilver, which contributed $467,000 to the No on 37 campaign. Miller said he thought it would be “uncomfortable” for Unilever to oppose Vermont’s legislation, given Ben & Jerry’s public support. We hope he’s right.

Seth Goldman, CEO of Honest Tea, also responded to the boycott. Goldman wrote a letter outlining the many good things Honest Tea does. He said Honest Tea can’t control parent company Coca-Cola’s decisions around whether or not to continue pouring money into anti-labeling campaigns. Coke donated $1.7 million to defeat Prop 37. We’re still in talks with Mr. Goldman about Honest Tea sitting down with pro-labeling groups to discuss how we can work together. Is it just a coincidence that Coca-Cola was represented at a secret meeting with WalMart, Pepsi and others this month in Washington D.C., to tell the FDA it’s time for mandatory GMO labeling?

OK, so maybe let Honest Tea and Ben & Jerry’s off the hook this week. But let’s keep the pressure on the other Traitor Brands!

Learn more about the OCA’s boycott of all the Traitor Brands

Download your wallet-sized boycott guide

Download a poster-sized boycott guide

Sign the boycott pledge

Order printed copies of the boycott guide or poster

 
 

 NEW REPORT

Look Who’s in Bed with Big Food!

Does it really make sense, when America’s kids are growing increasingly unhealthy, that registered dietitians can earn continuing education units from Coca-Cola for attending classes on how sugar is not a problem for children? Or that Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, can pay $50,000 to host a two-hour “nutrition symposium” at the Academy’s annual meeting? Yes, if you’re running a pay-to-play organization.

It’s bad enough that Big Food is calling the shots, not just in Washington D.C., but in state and local governments, too. But a close look at who’s in bed with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) reveals the disturbing truth about how much influence companies like ConAgra, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and others have over the folks charged with educating us about healthy eating. And who’s the most loyal sponsor of AND, the nation’s top nutrition organization? The National Cattleman’s Beef Association, according to the report issued this month by industry watchdog Eat Drink Politics.

Read the report

 
 

 

Agent Orange Corn Deregulation Delayed. For Now.

Agent Orange corn won’t be coming to a field near you. This year. But its maker, Dow AgriSciences, has its sights set on the 2014 planting season.

Dow’s Enlist corn, soy and cotton, all awaiting deregulation by the USDA, are genetically engineered to be immune to the biotech giant’s Enlist herbicide. Enlist herbicide combines the weed-killers 2,4-D, a key ingredient in Agent Orange, and glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer. Studies link 2,4-D exposure to cancer, lowered sperm counts, liver toxicity and Parkinson's disease. Lab studies show that 2,4-D causes endocrine disruption, reproductive problems, neurotoxicity and immunosuppression.

Last year, advocacy groups and medical and health professionals lobbed more than 400,000 complaints about Agent Orange corn at U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The National Resources Defense Council has sued the EPA in federal court over the use of 2,4 D in weed killers and other lawn products.

Who will win in the end? Clearly, Dow believes it will. The biotech bully is already gearing up for the 2014 planting season by opening five new “technology centers” in the Midwest and South to train farmers on how to plant Agent Orange corn, and to help to set up over 100 field plots at seed company and retail locations.

Learn more about the dangers of 2,4-D

TAKE ACTION: Tell the USDA: No Agent Orange Corn!

 
 

 IDIOTIC QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Whole Foods CEO: 'Climate Change Is Not Necessarily Bad'

We were happy to hear that Whole Foods Market won’t sell frankenfish - genetically engineered salmon – in its stores. But disappointed to learn that Whole Foods CEO John Mackey thinks it’s fine and dandy that the planet is heating up. God forbid we should slow economic “progress” in order to save our planet.

From an interview with Mother Jones:

JM: We've been in a gradual warming trend since the ending of the "Little Ice Age" in about 1870, and climate change is perfectly natural and not necessarily bad. In general, most of humanity tends to flourish more when global temperatures are in a warming trend and I believe we will be able to successfully adapt to gradually rising temperatures. What I am opposed to is trying to stop virtually all economic progress because of the fear of climate change. I would hate to see billions of people condemned to remain in poverty because of climate-change fears.

MJ: So do you think the climate change law that passed the House in 2009 and stalled in the Senate went too far?

JM: Yes, I believe that it did.

Read the interview

 
 

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week

Rebel Towns, Can Local Communities Regulate Themselves?

What's Hiding Behind Our Food Labels? Deceit.

Chemicals Most Countries Ban Still Permitted in US Foods

The Health Ranger's Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy Chickens Without Antibiotics

Climate Crisis Pushes Sierra Club to End Civil Disobedience Ban

Today’s Seafood Special: Pig Manure, Antibiotics, and Diarrhea Bugs
 
 

MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSORS

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