ESSAY OF THE WEEK

Frankenapple: Bad News
No Matter How You Slice It

Thanks to the biotech industry’s relentless quest to control our food, McDonald’s, Burger King and even school cafeterias will soon be able to serve up apples that won’t turn brown when they’re sliced or bitten into. A new, almost entirely untested genetic modification technology, called RNA interference, or double strand RNA (dsRNA), is responsible for this new food miracle. Scientists warn that this genetic manipulation poses health risks, as the manipulated RNA gets into our digestive systems and bloodstreams. The biotech industry claims otherwise.

Like any non-organic apple, the new GMO Arctic® Apple will be drenched in toxic pesticide residues, untested by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and likely unlabeled. And of course these shiny new high-tech apples will cost less than a pesticide-free, nutrient-dense, old-fashioned organic apple that turns a little brown after you slice it up.
 
Unless we stop them, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will approve “Frankenapple” this year.

Read the essay

 

Help Us Upset the Biotech Apple Cart!

RSVP: Join the GMO Apple Protest in Chicago!

The biotech industry is so proud of its latest frankenfood, it’s giving Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Inc. (OSF), creator of the genetically modified Arctic® Apple, an award. We thought it would be fun to let them know what we think about that. So we’ve planned an event of our own, and we hope you’ll join in. The OCA, along with other consumer activists, will protest the GMO apple award ceremony on April 23, at noon, outside the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago. Join us for a press conference, rally and picket line, complete with free T-shirts, organic apples and posters. Warning: Things might get a little theatrical when we start piling poisonous GMO apples into the biotech apple cart!

Read the press release

More details and RSVP

 
 

Action Alert

Bluntly Speaking: You Should Resign, Sen. Blunt!

TAKE ACTION: Kill the Monsanto Protection Act: Force Senator Roy Blunt to Resign!

He’s been labeled "prodigious pork-meister" (Providence Journal), "Senator Earmark" (Wall Street Journal) and "Most Corrupt" (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington). Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican from Monsanto’s home state of Missouri, has also been called a magnet for PAC money from the agribusiness industry, raking in over $243,000 in 2010 alone.

Biotech’s investment in Sen. Blunt has paid off handsomely. Teaming up with Monsanto lobbyists, Sen. Blunt helped craft the language for the Farmer Assurance Provision. Aptly renamed the Monsanto Protection Act, it’s a sneaky rider that strips federal courts of their power to stop Monsanto from planting unproven, potentially dangerous crops.

Without any hearings, the provision was slipped into the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act 2013, and recently signed into law by President Obama.

The good news: Like the spending bill it’s attached to, the Monsanto Protection Act expires on Sept. 30, 2013. The best way to make sure it doesn’t survive is to force Sen. Blunt to resign.

TAKE ACTION: Kill the Monsanto Protection Act: Force Senator Roy Blunt to Resign!

Had Enough? Join the March
Against Monsanto

“We will not stand for cronyism. We will not stand for poison.” That’s why on May 25, activists around the world will unite to March against Monsanto.

Join the march

Find participating cities


Start your own march

Learn more

Watch the video

 
 

ACTION ALERT

46,498 and Counting. Will You Sign On?

TAKE ACTION: Tell the Bureau of Land Management: Don’t Frack Our Food and Farms!

You may not live in California, but chances are a lot of the food you buy, including organic produce, is grown there. California is the largest producer of food in the U.S. The state’s Mediterranean climate allows its 81,500 farms to grow over 450 different crops, some of which are exclusive to California. But what happens to our food if we frack and poison the groundwater that irrigates California’s farms?

In a move that a federal judge says violated environmental law, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has already auctioned off 1,750 square miles of California’s public lands to oil companies intent on fracking California’s Monterey Shale, a geological formation that extends from northern California to Los Angeles. In May, the BLM plans to auction off even more of California’s farmland. We need California's farms. And California farms need our support. If you’ve already signed on, please forward to friends and family!

TAKE ACTION: Tell the Bureau of Land Management: Don’t Frack Our Food and Farms!

Join OCA’s Fracking Facebook Rally!

Want to support California farmers and gardeners in their fight against fracking? The OCA is hosting a virtual rally on Facebook, on April 25, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. You don’t even have to leave home. Just pop on to the OCA Facebook page on next Thursday evening, and join in the discussion. Learn more about how fracking has already ruined the lives of farmers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Dakota, West Virginia and Colorado. And find out what you can do to stop fracking on California farmlands.

 
 

 SUPPORT THE OCA & OCF

Your Voice. Your Work. Your Victory.

We love amplifying your voice. We love it even more when your voices and ours are heard. And good things follow.

Last week, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) decided that it will not allow the antibiotic, tetracycline, to be used in the production of organic apples and pears beyond the original 2014 deadline.

This was a hard fought victory, one that you made possible. Nearly 32,000 of you signed our petition asking the NOSB to get antibiotics out of organic fruit production. The OCA’s Alexis Baden-Mayer delivered the petitions in person at the NOSB meeting in Portland, Ore. She testified along with activists from other groups about the threat these antibiotics pose to public health, and to the organic industry.

As one of you wrote in the petition’s comment section:

"Tetracycline, when eaten by pregnant women like my wife, can affect bone growth of a fetus. Potentially causing birth defects in our unborn child. Streptomycin affects development of the cranial nerve as well as the kidneys. Please, for the sake of my children, and all of the other children in the world, stop this madness." – Kevin in California

We’re savoring the victory, but there’s still work to do. If we want truly antibiotic-free apples and pears, we still have to convince the NOSB to phase out streptomycin on schedule, too. With your help, we’ll take this on at the next NOSB meeting in October. With your support, your voice, your donations, we hope to bring back another victory in October. Please consider a donation today so we can continue amplifying your voice and keeping organics clean!

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

If you need your donation to be tax-deductible, you can donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)

 
 

ORGANIC RETAILERS AND CONSUMERS ALLIANCE

And the Nominees Are . . . Still Rolling In!

"This store has a no-GMO policy. All products they sell are organic. They have organic produce, meat and dairy including from local farms. Has many many great books on sale about the danger of GMOs, about healthy diets, and how to cure diseases with proper diet. The store showed the biggest support for Prop 37 in California than any other store in the area: they had a big display panel explaining the need to support this ballot and had a one-day event where they gave all the profit of the day sale to support Prop. 37."
– Gianluigi Ciovati in her nomination of Health Trail Natural Foods, Newport News, Va.

Clearly there are a lot of food co-ops, farmers markets and grocery stores out there that are doing the right thing. So far more than 180 of you have nominated about 105 stores for the OCA’s Top Ten ‘Right to Know’ Grocers Contest. And that list grows every day.

We’ve had a lot of fun reading your nominations, and getting to know more about the stores you love to shop in. We’re going to have a tough time choosing the winners! If you haven’t yet nominated your favorite store, there’s still time. Deadline for nominations is midnight, May 1.

Learn more and nominate your grocer

 
 

 

Get Active on Earth Day!

Nuthin’ to do on Earth Day? Here a couple of activities to make your Earth Day a little more meaningful.

Swarm the EPA on Earth Day!
The bees are dying. And the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) isn’t doing much to protect them. Or the humans, for that matter, who depend on bees to pollinate the plants that feed us. The OCA is joining other consumer groups and activists on Earth Day, April 22, to swarm the EPA. It’s our way of reminding folks there that if they don’t ban bee-killing pesticides, time will run out for the bees. If you’re in the D.C. area, please join us!

RSVP: Swarm the EPA on Earth Day

Join a GMO Free USA Rally against Kellogg’s on Earth Day
After nine months of targeting Kellogg’s, GMO Free USA, a national consumer advocacy group, has organized rallies in cities across the country to let the GMO Corn Flake King know that consumers are fed up with Kellogg’s excuses. On April 22, GMO Free activists will rally on Kellogg’s doorstep in Battle Creek, Mich., where they’ll deliver thousands of petition signatures to Kellogg’s headquarters asking executives to remove GMOs from their products. Join a rally in your city, or lead one of your own!

Attend a Honk-n-Wave rally near you

Host an event

More about GMO Free USA

 
 

 

I-522 Campaign Has Eye
on November Victory!

It’s been almost six months since Proposition 37, the California Right to Know GMO Labeling initiative went down in defeat, under the crushing $46 million anti-labeling ad blitz sponsored by Monsanto and Big Food.

That was then, and this is now. The Yes on 522 campaign, also a citizens’ initiative, is gearing up to take on the Biotech Bullies again, this time in Washington State. Just as the entire nation rallied around Prop 37, we now need to show the Yes on 522 campaign that we’re behind them, too.

So, read up. Visit the campaign’s website. Like them on Facebook. And Donate if you can. Thank you!

It’s Time for Whole Foods to Step up and Support I-522

Why I-522 Won’t Cost Consumers a Dime

Donate to I-522 GMO Labeling Campaign

Visit the Yes on 522 website

Like Yes on 522 on Facebook

 
 

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week

How Government Cover-Up on Fish Farming Affects Your Health

Gardening Tomatoes Organically – A Brief Guide

Climate Change: How a Warming World is a Threat to Our Food Supplies

FDA Let Drugs Approved on Fraudulent Research Stay on the Market

Pennsylvania Court Deals Blow to Secrecy-Obsessed Fracking Industry: Corporations Not The Same As Persons With Privacy Rights

Wild Alaskan Salmon Is a Powerhouse of Nutrition
 
 

MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSORS

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Please forward this publication to family and friends, place it on web sites,
print it, duplicate it and post it freely. Knowledge is power!

Organic Bytes is a publication of Organic Consumers Association

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