I-522 UPDATE

Gaining Ground

The votes are still being counted in Washington State. And although our opponents are still ahead, the YES on 522 campaign to label GMOs gained a little ground yesterday.

But the ground we gained in Washington, in the form of votes, is nothing compared with the ground—in the form of soil and farms and fields—we plan to take back from Monsanto in the months and years ahead.

This battle, win or lose in Washington State, has just begun.

Our opponents filled the Washington State airwaves these past few months with the same lies they used last year, to defeat GMO labeling in California. They even broke campaign finance laws in order to shield the big-name junk food corporations who didn’t want us to know they were funding those lies again.

But of all the lies and illegal maneuverings, the worst one, the most dangerous lie, perpetrated by Monsanto and the junk food industry was this: GMOs are safe.

In their haste to claim victory yesterday, the Grocery Manufacturers Association released a statement, which included this egregious lie:

“Genetically modified food ingredients (GMOs) are safe, good for the environment, reduce the cost of food and help feed a growing global population of seven billion.”

As long as the food companies are under Monsanto’s spell, as long as there are uninformed people who buy into the propaganda, we have our work cut out for us.

Labeling GMOs is only the beginning.

Watch out, Monsanto. We have plans. And those plans include taking back our seeds, our food, our farms, our rights. Our health. We will keep gaining ground. Until we reclaim it for the people.

 
 

CAMPAIGN UPDATE

Ten Senators, Zero Promises

It took months of dogging the office gatekeepers and synchronizing schedules.

But as promised, the OCA arranged meetings with 10 (well, eight, technically), of the 71 U.S. Senators who on May 24, 2013, voted against the Sanders Amendment to the Farm Bill. (The Sanders Amendment, introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), was intended to definitively establish that states have the right to label genetically engineered ingredients in food sold in retail stores).

What we learned was this: Not one out of the 10 senators, including staunch Republicans who historically have fought for states’ rights, would commit to rejecting federal legislation intended to preempt or overturn states’ rights to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food products.

Not one.

On the upside, we were able to deliver our message, and let it be known that consumers—and voters—in these 10 states expect lawmakers to take GMO labeling laws seriously.

Read the wrap-up

More background on the 10 Senators Project

 
 

ACTION ALERT

Deadline November 15: Protect Your Local Food Sources!

We’ve been warned. Over and over again. By the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). By the John Hopkins' Center for a Livable Future (CLF). Industrial agriculture is killing the planet and making us sick.

So how has the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) responded to these warnings? By trying to make it tougher, not easier, for small, local, sustainable food growers and producers to survive.

Unless changes are made to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), your local farms, farmers markets and food hubs could be in trouble.

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has published the Top 10 Reasons farmers and consumers need to let the FDA know that these rules need to be rewritten in a way that promotes, not threatens, local, sustainable agriculture.

Food writer Tom Philpott just came out with a list of four foods that could disappear if the FSMA isn’t revised.

The deadline for sending comments to the FDA is November 15. Please take action today!

More here and here

TAKE ACTION BY NOVEMBER 15: Tell the FDA: The FSMA puts small and mid-scale farmers and processors at a competitive disadvantage against corporate farmers and producers who can more easily absorb costs, fees and fines. Please revise the FSMA to level the playing field for small growers.

 
 

SUPPORT THE OCA & OCF

We’re Ready. Are You?

One year ago today, we were consoling each other over the loss of California’s GMO labeling initiative. But we were also marveling at how close we had come to winning. How much larger and stronger the movement had grown.

How much we had accomplished. Together.

Today, while we wait for the final results of Tuesday’s election in Washington State, we’re ready.

We’re ready to build on our success, if it turns out that we won. But if we didn’t, we’re ready to dust ourselves off and move on to the next battle.

And there are many. Once we win the basic right to labels on foods containing GMOs—and we will—we have to get GMOs out of animal feed. We have to ban the use of antibiotics and growth hormones in animals raised for meat.

We have to take on Big Ag and Big Food. In a Big Way. And as we all know by now, that means taking on Big Money and Big Government.

We’re ready. Are 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)

 
 

ACTION ALERT

Defend States' Rights to Regulate Food & Farming!

Are we working to pass state GMO labeling laws, only to have Congress take away that right?

Right now, a House and Senate conference committee is hashing out the details of the 2013 Farm Bill. Within the House version of that bill is an amendment offered by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) that has the potential to wipe out states’ rights to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The King Amendment is designed to take away California's right to regulate food that comes from factory farms. Specifically, Rep. King wants to overturn California's Proposition 2, a law passed by the voters that says farm animals should have enough room to spread their limbs and turn around.

But the amendment includes sweeping language about regulating states’ rights to regulate food and farming. Sweeping enough that we believe it could threaten state GMO labeling laws.

There's still time to keep this dangerous amendment out of the final version of the Farm Bill. Please call your U.S. Representative and two Senators today  at (202) 224-3121. Ask them to oppose the King Amendment and support states' rights to regulate food and farming.

Find your representatives and senators

 
 

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

McDonald’s – On McWelfare

The next time one of your friends suggests that there’s nothing wrong with eating at McDonald’s, you might point out that 52 percent of America’s fast-food workers qualify for federal assistance. Food stamps. Healthcare. Heat. Because companies like McDonald’s don’t want to pay a fair wage. That spells $7 billion in McWelfare for the fast-food industry. Wow.

Watch the video

Learn more

 
 

ORGANIC RETAIL AND CONSUMER ALLIANCE

Nature’s Food Patch. Leading the Way

Laurie Shamone-Powers, the owner of Nature’s Food Patch Market and Café, has been living and breathing organics and non-GMO for 15 years. As one of our readers who nominated the Clearwater, Fla.-based market for our Top Right to Know Grocer’s award said, Nature’s Food Patch is “one of the most ethical stores” around.

One of the earliest crusaders against GMOs, Laurie stepped up her commitment to taking on GMOs in 2012, when she hired a full-time GMO researcher. The new-hire was tasked with sifting through the store’s entire inventory and identifying all products that contained GMOs.

Today that researcher, Patience Melton, works closely with suppliers, screening all products for any ingredients that might contain GMOs. She encourages manufacturers to remove suspect ingredients from all products that aren’t already GMO-free. When all else fails, Patience recruits customers to bombard companies’ social media networks with GMO-free messages.

Nature’s Food Patch is no stranger to awards. The company has received a number of popular local awards, including the local Chamber of Commerce 2012 Business of the year. Hats off to one of OCA’s Top “Diligent Dozen” Right to Know Grocers!

More about Nature’s Food Patch

More on the Top Right to Know Grocers Contest

 
 

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week

Zilmax Causes Serious Side Effects -- Why Still Use It?

How Dr. Bronner's Got All Lathered Up About GMOs

U.S. Military, Monsanto Targeting GMO Activists and Independent Scientists

Ractopamine: The Meat Additive on Your Plate That's Banned Almost Everywhere But America

America, the Most Drugged-Up Nation on the Planet

The Dangerous Durbin Anti-Supplement Bill

 
 

MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSORS

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For more information on Vitamin D and how to order, read and watch here
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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