ESSAY OF THE WEEK

Genetically Modified Democracy: Monsanto and Congress Move to Stomp on States' Rights

Could Monsanto slip an amendment or rider into the 2013 Farm Bill that would wipe out any state GMO labeling law? Word on the street is that the world’s biggest Biotech bully is contemplating just such a move. The word from millions of consumers? Any member of Congress who even thinks about supporting Monsanto’s efforts to stomp on states’ rights to label GMOs should start packing their bags today.

The House Ag Committee has already passed an amendment that policy analysts say, if included in the final Farm Bill, would take away states’ rights to enact GMO labeling laws. Will the King Amendment, offered by pro-Big Ag Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), survive the Senate? We don’t know yet. But we do know this: Monsanto is running scared in the face of efforts in more than 30 states to require mandatory GMO labeling. Their next best line of defense is to take that right away from states – and consumers.

Read the essay

Read the press release

 
 

ACTION ALERT

Congress Beware: If You Support a Monsanto Attack on State Labeling Laws, We’ll Throw You Out!

TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Congress Member: Your Job Is on the Line if You Support a Monsanto Attack on States’ Right to Know!

First it was the Monsanto Protection Act, which gave biotech companies immunity from federal courts and paved the way for Monsanto to plant illegally approved, potentially dangerous genetically engineered crops. Now, an increasingly desperate Monsanto is eyeing an attack on states’ rights to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Last year, 73 U.S. Senators voted against a proposed amendment to the agriculture bill, put forth by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The Sanders amendment would have guaranteed states the right to require labels on genetically engineered food products. We know who those senators are. And we know which representatives supported the King Amendment this week, passed out of the House Ag Committee, which if it passes, will take away states’ rights to label GMOs. Today, officially, we’re putting them, and every other member of Congress, on notice: Vote to take away states’ rights to label GMOs, and we’ll vote you out of office. And if you represent one of the 11 states that allow recalls of federal elected officials? Let the recalls begin.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Congress Member: Your Job Is on the Line if You Support a Monsanto Attack on States’ Right to Know!

 
 

ACTION ALERT

Unbelievable: EPA Approves Higher Levels of Roundup’s Glyphosate

TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA to Lower the Allowed Limits for Monsanto’s Roundup!

In study after study, scientists warn of the foolhardiness of unleashing into the environment tons of glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide. Yet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has just raised the allowable limits for glyphosate residue in human food and animal feed.

Glyphosate has been linked to everything from Parkinson’s Disease and Autism, to cancer, infertility and allergies. It begs the question. Whose environment is the EPA trying to protect? Yours? Or Monsanto’s? The EPA’s ruling is “final.” But the agency is still accepting comments. Let’s tell our so-called protectors that we want lower, not higher, limits on glyphosate residue.

TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA to Lower the Allowed Limits for Monsanto’s Roundup!

 
 

SUPPORT THE OCA & OCF

Deadline Extended: Help Us Plant Hope, and We’ll Help You Plant Your Garden

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Co. has sent us a variety of non-GMO, heirloom specialty seeds. We’re passing them along to donors, while supplies last. We have lots of varieties to give away, including Purple of Sicily Cauliflower, Blue Podded Garden Peas, Stuttgarter Onions, Southern Giant Curled Mustard, Amish Deer Tongue Lettuce, Detroit Dark Red Beets, Atomic Red Carrots, Early Purple Vienna Kohlrabi and Persian Carpet Zinnias. To name a few.

Help us plant hope, and we’ll help you plant your garden. Make a donation of $50 or more and we’ll send you four packages of seeds. Be sure to write “seeds” in the comment field with your online donation (or on the memo line of your check). Thank you!

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)

 
 

NEW REPORT

A Side of Leukemia with Your GMO Corn?

The Bt (Bacillus Thuringensis) toxin in Monsanto’s genetically modified corn and soy has been linked to organ failure in humans. It has turned up in the bloodstreams of pregnant women and their fetuses. Now, a study published in the Journal of Hematology & Thromboembolic Diseases suggests that some forms of the Bt toxin may also contribute to certain blood cancers, such as leukemia.

The study's authors conclude: "Taking into account the increased risk of human and animal exposures to significant levels of these toxins, especially through diet, our results suggest that further studies are required . . . before concluding that these microbiological control agents are safe for mammals." Talk about a ship that's already sailed.

Learn more

Read the study (PDF)

 
 

 

Take That, Monsanto and Mark Lynas

Remember Mark Lynas, the repentant journalist-masquerading-as-scientist who made headlines earlier this year? For telling the world that, gosh, he’d been wrong all those years about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) being bad for our health and environment? That we should pay no attention to all the new studies highlighting the dangers of GMOs, and instead embrace biotechnology as the solution to world hunger?

Well, Lynas has met his match. Thierry Vrain (pictured), retired former pro-GMO scientist (as in, actual scientist) for Agriculture Canada, now says that a growing body of scientific research showing that diets containing engineered corn or soy cause serious health problems in laboratory mice and rats should give us pause. Says Vrain: “I refute the claims of the biotechnology companies that their engineered crops yield more, that they require less pesticide applications, that they have no impact on the environment and of course that they are safe to eat.” Seems the science – and now the scientists – are on our side.

Read the article

 
 

ACTION ALERT UPDATE

Win Some, Lose Some

First, the good news. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has come to its senses. Temporarily at least. The BLM postponed auctions in California that would have opened up more public lands for fracking. The auctions, involving nearly 3,300 acres of prime public lands, were planned for later this month. But thanks in part to the nearly 60,000 of you who signed our petition to the BLM, the auctions are on hold. It also didn’t hurt that a federal judge ruled last month that the BLM had violated a key environmental law by previously auctioning the drilling rights for lands near the Salinas River Valley before reviewing the potential impacts on water, wildlife and air quality.

There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that where oil and gas companies are already fracking, farms are being destroyed. Do we really want to destroy prime farmland in California? Let’s keep the pressure on the BLM to stop fracking on California’s public lands. If you haven’t yet signed our petition, please sign today. If you have signed, please forward to five friends who haven’t. Thank you!

Now for the bad news. Our petition to save the honeybees from yet another bee-killing pesticide didn’t fare so well. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved sulfoxaflor, a pesticide the agency admits is toxic to bees. The bee population has already been decimated by a host of neonicotinoid pesticides, which work in much the same way as sulfoxaflor. That’s bad news for food crops. According to a United Nations report, of the 100 crop species that supply 90 percent of the world's food, bees pollinate more than 70 percent.

But don’t worry. The EPA is requiring anyone using sulfoxaflor to notify “known” beekeepers within one mile of the treatment area 48 hours before they spray the pesticide. So the beekeepers can move their hives. The “known” beekeepers, that is. Can anyone say “loophole?”

 
 

 

Enough Is Enough: No More Forced Vaccines in Minnesota!

TAKE ACTION: Tell the Minnesota Dept. of Health: No Additional Forced Vaccines for Kids!

Kids in Minnesota are already given up to 69 vaccines – despite inadequate testing of the combined potential ill effects over time of so many vaccines.

Now, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) wants to add even more vaccines to the already overcrowded shot schedules for infants and children. The MDH recently proposed new vaccines for:

- Hepatitis B and Hepatitis A for infants in child care
- Meningococcal and Pertussis vaccines for 7th graders
- Chickenpox vaccine at an earlier age

If you agree that the MDH shouldn’t require more vaccines for infants and children, especially without further testing, please speak up by May 31.

TAKE ACTION: Tell the Minnesota Dept. of Health: No Additional Forced Vaccines for Kids!

 
 

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week

Join the March Against Monsanto May 25, 2013!

Revealed: How US State Department 'Twists Arms' on Monsanto's Behalf

Eating As Though the Environment Mattered

400 Parts Per Million: Climate Milestone is a Moment of Symbolic Significance on Road of Idiocy

Tenn. Governor Haslam Vetoes ‘Ag Gag’ Anti-Whistleblower Bill

How a Legal Loophole Allows Untested Pesticides in Everything From Cosmetics to Clothing
 
 

MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSORS

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Learn more about Vitamin D

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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!

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