ESSAY OF THE WEEK

OCA and Our Allies Pressure
10 Senators Who Voted Against States' Rights to Label GMOs

Seventy-one senators voted against the Sanders Amendment to the Farm Bill, an amendment to uphold states’ rights to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food. It’s time to take action.

Phase I: We’ve selected 10 of the 71 senators. With help from several of our ongoing allies in the GMO labeling battle, along with MoveOn.org, and some of the state GMO campaigns, we’re launching a campaign to pressure these 10 senators to support their state’s right to enact a GMO labeling law. How? By organizing meetings at their Washington D.C. and home district offices. By submitting op-eds to their state newspapers.

If your Senator is on the list, we need your help. We’ll be sending you an invitation soon to a meeting with your Senator. Please sign up to attend! In the meantime, you can start calling and emailing your Senator, posting on his or her facebook page, and writing letters to the editors of your local newspapers.

Let’s find out why these Senators voted against states’ rights to label GMOs. More important, let’s get a commitment from each one of them that they will not support any legislation that would stomp out states’ rights to label GMOs.

Read the essay

 
 

ACTION ALERT

Join the Twitter Rally Tonight! Tell Congress to Uphold States’ Rights to Label GMOs!

TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Congress Member: Reject the King Amendment and any other rider or amendment to the Farm Bill that would take away states’ rights to label GMOs!

Monsanto hoped that by pouring $46 million into defeating California’s ballot initiative to label GMOs last year, other states would be discouraged from launching similar campaigns. It didn’t turn out that way. GMO labeling laws have advanced in Vermont, Connecticut and Maine. Washington State voters will decide the issue in November, at the ballot box.

Rather than try to defeat one state campaign after another, is the Biotech Bully looking to Congress for another handout? In the form of a sweeping ruling that would preempt states’ rights to label GMOs?  On Wednesday, May 15, the House Ag Committee passed the King Amendment, a measure that some say, if it survives to the final version of the farm bill, could take away states’ rights to label GMOs. The jury’s still out on whether or not the King Amendment could be interpreted that broadly. But when it comes to Monsanto and its willingness to bend the law for its own purposes, the verdict is guilty.

OCA is hosting a Twitter Rally tonight to let Congress know that we expect them to uphold states’ rights to label GMOs! Join us on twitter tonight, June 6 at 5 p.m. PST. It’s easy. Just login to your twitter account and type #LabelGMOs into your twitter search browser. From there you can follow the rally conversation and join in by adding #LabelGMOs to the end of your tweet.

If you’ve signed our petition, thank you! Could you forward it to five friends today?

 
 

ACTION ALERT

Never Say Never: Monsanto’s GMO Wheat Goes Rogue

TAKE ACTION: Tell the USDA: No More Field Trials of Unapproved GMO Crops!

For years, Monsanto has said “Don’t worry” about their open-air field tests of unapproved genetically engineered (GE) crops. PR flacks and Monsanto-funded scientists all but guaranteed us that the biotech giant’s frankenseeds wouldn’t escape. But they did escape. And now the company’s Roundup-resistant wheat – never approved for planting in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world – has turned up on an Oregon farm. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s predictable response? “Don’t worry.” The (illegal, untested) GE wheat is “safe to eat.”

You gotta ask: If GMO wheat is supposedly safe to eat, what are the so-called "safe" residue levels of Monsanto's toxic pesticide, Roundup, that the EPA will allow on this wheat, if it were to be approved to market? And why is it banned in every single country in the world?

Hoping to downplay the discovery that its GE wheat is growing in places it shouldn’t, Monsanto initially told reporters that the company had ended field tests of the unapproved crop in 2005. Not so, said Bloomberg, which reported that Monsanto continues to conduct open-air field tests of GM wheat in North Dakota and Hawaii. That’s on top of the hundreds of tests conducted before 2005, in 16 states, including Oregon. And the hundreds of tests still being conducted on other crops, in other states.

The discovery of Roundup-resistant wheat in Oregon is troubling. But what’s a whole lot more troubling is that it may just be the tip of the iceberg. That’s why we’re calling on consumers to tell the USDA: No more open-air field testing of unapproved GMO crops!

Read the press release

TAKE ACTION: Tell the USDA: No More Field Trials of Unapproved GMO Crops!

 
 

SUPPORT THE OCA & OCF

Too Many Cooks? Not in This Kitchen!

The beauty of being part of an organization like the Organic Consumers Association is that the more of us there are, the more we can accomplish.

We are up against powerful corporations like Monsanto, with nefarious motives and deep pockets. We’re staring down enormous and complex threats like climate change, threats that are almost too big to wrap our heads around.

It’s a big, bubbling, boiling stew out there. And we need all the cooks we can get, with all of their creative energy and resources, to make it not only palatable, but to turn it into something that nourishes our minds, bodies and souls.

More than 80 percent of our funding comes from individuals like you, who understand that if everyone contributes a little, we all can benefit a lot. Thanks to all you cooks out there, we are having a real impact on issues like GMO labeling and preserving organic standards. Please help us keep the pot boiling with a donation today. 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

Frankenfish Can Breed with Wild Trout to Produce Super-Frankenfish

It lends a whole new dimension to the concept of “Supersize Me.” Scientists have determined that AquaBounty Inc.’s “frankenfish,” which is awaiting approval by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), are capable of breeding with wild trout. And when they do, they produce a fish that grows even faster and bigger than the GE version, according to the study. The supersized hybrid could potentially wipe out wild fish varieties because the smaller, wild fish will have trouble competing for food.  AquaBounty says that won’t happen, because all their GE salmon will be sterile, and neatly contained in escape-proof farms. History suggests otherwise.

Learn more

Read the study

 
 

 

Industrial Hemp: Time to 'Bring It Home'

In the 1940s, hemp farmers were considered “patriotic” supporters of the war effort. But in 1970, President Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act, making it illegal to grow industrial hemp. For consumers, the law means we can buy hemp seeds at our health food stores, or hemp building materials from building suppliers, as long as the hemp for those products is grown in other countries. For U.S. farmers, it means a possible jail sentence for growing a versatile, sustainable crop on U.S. soil.

If you think that makes no sense at all, you’re not alone. State and national farm organizations want everyone to know that it’s time to stop penalizing U.S. farmers and start promoting the benefits of industrial hemp. They’re joining with hemp manufacturers, activists, volunteers and retailers this week, June 3-9 – Hemp History Week – in a public education campaign. Hemp History Week was initiated by the Hemp Industries Association and Vote Hemp.

Looking for more information on the history of hemp in the U.S., and its potential role in our future? Bringing it Home is a documentary that highlights the many benefits of industrial hemp and asks, "Why aren't we growing it here?" That’s a question some U.S. lawmakers are asking, too. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced an amendment to this year’s farm bill that would allow farmers to grow industrial hemp. The amendment has yet to come up for a vote. You can call (202) 224-3121 and ask your Senator to vote for the Wyden Amendment #952 to allow U.S. farmers to grow industrial hemp.

Watch the trailer for Bringing it Home

Find or organize a screening

More about Hemp History Week

 
 

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week

50 Industry Groups Form a New Alliance to Manipulate Public Opinion About Junk Food, GMOs, and Harmful Additives

Fermented Vegetables Are the Ultimate Superfood

A New Deal for Appalachia’s Forests: Growing Biofuels and Producing Biochar

Ask Umbra: Can I Pee in My Compost Pile?

Breaking the Grass Ceiling: On U.S. Farms, Women are Taking the Reins

Monsanto and GMOs Continue to Make Us Sterile While Infertility Business Boom
 
 

Discover the Fastest, Funnest, and Easiest Ways to Grow Your Own Groceries

Hi, I am Marjory Wildcraft.  About a decade ago I volunteered to help get fresh, local, organic  produce into the kids school system.  That project failed miserably, and changed my life forever.  Why?  Because there wasn't enough locally grown food in the entire county for even one small elementary school.  I am willing to bet there isn't much food growing in your county either. 

Once I stopped shaking, I devoted my life to finding the fastest, easiest, and funnest ways for an individual or family to grow thier own food.  I discovered that growing your own is incredibly rewarding.

I've developed a video set that is used by permacuulture teachers, universities, missionary organizations, and regular folks.  It gets you started producing very quickly.  You know from reading these OCA newsletters that the era of quality food is way back in your rearview mirror.  And the era of cheap food is the dead end right in front of you.  Fortunately, if you've got a hose and a backyard, or even a sunny window sill, there is a tremenous amount you can do - and it is really fun!

Click here to learn more!
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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