ESSAY OF THE WEEK

Sorry, Big Food. GMO Labeling Laws Are Legal

The food industry is playing every conceivable angle in its quest to keep labels off foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs)—including, according to a leaked document, threatening to sue the first state that passes a GMO labeling law. (Maine and Connecticut passed GMO labeling laws in 2013. But both have “trigger” clauses that prevent the laws from taking effect until at least four neighboring states, with a combined population of 20 million inhabitants, pass similar labeling bills).

The OCA has obtained the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s (GMA) “One-Pager” of talking points about GMOs and labeling. The document is intended for use by food industry lobbyists whose job it is to convince state lawmakers to reject GMO labeling bills in their states.

The talking points include the usual misinformation about GMO safety testing and the so-called benefits of GMOs. But they also include claims that GMO labeling laws are unconstitutional—claims that legal experts say are baseless.

Read the essay

 
 

ACTION ALERT

Who’s Afraid of Big Food?

If your state has introduced a GMO labeling bill, or is even thinking about it, you can bet that food industry lobbyists are out in full force, bending your lawmakers’ ears.

Among the many lies lobbyists are spreading, is the one that state GMO labeling laws are unconstitutional. And that any state that passes one will be sued.

It’s simply not true. According to the Vermont Law School and the Washington D.C.-based law firm of Emord & Associates, both of which have studied H.112, Vermont’s GMO labeling law and independently concluded that it does not violate the First Amendment.

And neither would a similarly written law in your state. But would your state legislators stand up to Big Food if a GMO labeling bill were introduced, and lobbyists threatened to sue? Or would they cave into industry’s baseless threats?

We think every state lawmaker should know that the research shows that state GMO labeling laws are constitutional. And that we, the consumers and voters and citizens, know they are.

 Tell Your State Legislators: Don’t Let Big Food Scare You. GMO Labeling Laws Are Constitutional

 
 

ACTION ALERT

Still Time to Stop the GMO Apple?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended the deadline for comments while it weighs whether or not to approve the first GMO apple.

We’d like the USDA to reject the "Arctic Apple®” which is genetically engineered, using untested and risky dsRNA technology, for the purely cosmetic purpose of preventing browning after it’s been sliced.

So would the nearly 105,000 of you who have already signed our petition to the USDA, stating that the “frankenapple” poses a risk to human health, a risk to the environment and a risk to conventional and non-organic apple growers.

Haven’t signed yet? You now have until midnight January 30.

TAKE ACTION: NEW DEADLINE JANUARY 30: Tell the USDA You Don’t Want a GMO Apple!

 
 

SUPPORT THE OCA & OCF

You Are Our Cape

He’s one of those who knows that life 
Is just a leap of faith
Spread your arms and hold your breath 
Always trust your cape.

- Guy Clark

We put a lot of thought and planning into the work we do at OCA. Yet in the end, sometimes it just comes down to a leap of faith.

Can millions of consumers overcome the wealth and ruthless power of corporations like Monsanto? Can we convince the politicians who have influence over food and agriculture policy to ignore the lobbyists and vote instead for consumers’ best interests?

Will we be able to mobilize enough volunteers? Garner enough votes? Raise enough money?

We believe we will. With your help. Year after year, month after month, week after week, you always come through. You trust us to do this important work, to take this leap of faith, on your behalf. And we trust you to keep us going. Please consider making a gift to the OCA this week. 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)

 
 

FAIR WORLD PROJECT

Whose Side Are They On?

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Starbucks and Honest Tea all market “fair trade” products designed to appeal to the fair-minded consumer.

All three also belong to either the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) or CropLife America—two groups that have spoken out in favor of passing two international trade agreements (Trans-Pacific Partnership and Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement) that will cause loss of jobs, threaten food safety and clean water, and undermine fair trade eco-labels and GMO labeling laws.

Sound incongruous? We thought so. Which is why we think Green Mountain, Starbucks and Honest Tea should stand up and speak out. Against any free trade agreements, including the TPP and TAFTA, that are harmful to farmers and workers.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Starbucks, and Honest Tea: If You’re Serious about Fair Trade, Support Fair Trade Policies!

 
 

ORGANIC TRANSITIONS

Are Your Veggies Living Up to their Full Potential?

Fermentation. Sandor Katz, author of Wild Fermentation calls it “a health regimen, a gourmet art, a multicultural adventure, a form of activism, and a spiritual path, all rolled into one.”

It also boosts your immune system, increases the nutrient content in your food, improves digestion and your mental health, and detoxes your body.

All this from a simple, natural process that occurs when the natural bacteria in a vegetable breaks down the food’s complex elements into more digestible forms. When fermentation occurs, vegetables become easier to digest, allowing your body to work less, while reaping more benefits.

The best thing about fermenting vegetables? It’s a simple process that even the most novice cook can accomplish. 

More on how to ferment vegetables

 
 

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

It All Started with a Goat

The story of a Turkish family on the Black Sea who return to their village to raise goats for yogurt and cheese after years of working in the city. From the perennial plate series, “Adventures in Sustainable Eating.”

Watch the video

 
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Who says January is boring? This month, anti-GMO activists are offering up several ways to get more active in the movement. You can join a Monsanto protest in St. Louis. Or if travel isn’t in your near-future, you can take part in a virtual GMO conference.

GMO Virtual Conference

It’s a rare opportunity to hear it from the experts. On January 27-30, you can join in a virtual conference on GMOs. You’ll hear from scientists, business leaders and consumer advocates on why the battle against GMOs is ground zero in the fight for a sustainable food system.

Sign up for your free ticket for ‘GMOs: What You Need to Know.’

Monsanto Protest

On January 28, when Monsanto shareholders gather in Creve Coeur, Mo., for their annual shareholders meeting, they will vote on a GMO Labeling resolution (which Monsanto has already recommended they not pass). Monsanto declined to provide streaming video of this year’s meeting. But unlike past years, they will stream audio.

Just to make sure folks know about the resolution, activists with the GMO Free Midwest Coalition have called for the protests beginning at 12 noon on January 28 throughout the shareholder meeting. Everyone—activists, shareholders and even activist shareholders—are invited!

RSVP on Facebook

Read the shareholders resolution 

 
 

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week

7 Foods and Beverages Made Using Ingredients from the Human Body

Unwasted: The Future of Business on Earth

Demand Grows for Hogs That Are Raised Humanely Outdoors

Are Agriculture Exports Killing Us?

Supreme Court Sides with 'Notorious Patent Bully Monsanto'

Are Agriculture Exports Killing Us?

 
 

MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSORS

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Please forward this publication to family and friends, place it on web sites,
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Organic Bytes is a publication of Organic Consumers Association

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