ESSAY OF THE WEEK

Dusting for Fingerprints

Last week, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) disrupted the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting to protest a move by the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) that makes it more difficult for the NOSB to phase out synthetic and non-organic materials from organic food.

Who was behind the NOP’s latest move to weaken organic standards? Is this another sneak attack, similar to the one that occurred in 2005? Engineered by the likes of Kraft, Dean Foods and Smucker’s?

Looks like it. Kraft’s, Dean Foods’ and Smucker’s fingerprints are all over this.

We weren’t able (yet) to overturn the NOP’s decision to change its “sunset” policy. But thanks to the help of our million-plus network, and some of our pro-organic allies, we did persuade the NOSB to enforce its Oct. 21, 2014, deadline for ending the use of streptomycin on organic apples and pears.

Read the essay

TAKE ACTION: Save Organic Standards! Tell USDA Secretary Vilsack to Reverse Rule that Weakens Organics

 
 

ACTION ALERT

More Poison in the Land o' Cotton

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), about 94 percent of all cotton grown in the U.S. is genetically engineered. Not all of that cotton ends up in clothes. Cottonseed oil is used in a long list of foods, including mayonnaise, salad dressings, cereals, breads and snack foods.

Cotton is already the world’s “dirtiest” crop, due to its heavy use of pesticides. Now Dow wants to make cotton even more toxic, by unleashing a new genetically engineered cotton that resists the deadly 2, 4-D herbicide.

Dow’s 2,4-D is one of the two toxins used to make Agent Orange, the deadly chemical sprayed in Vietnam during the 1960s and known to be responsible for a host of severe illnesses and birth defects.

If the USDA approves Dow’s new 2,4-D-resistant cotton, farmers will start spraying massive amounts of 2,4-D herbicide on a crop that already accounts for more than its fair share of the global use of pesticides and herbicides.

TAKE ACTION: Deadline: Midnight May 19: Stop Dow’s New ‘Agent Orange’ Cotton!

Photo Credit: Fujoshi via Compfight cc

 
 

MILLIONS AGAINST MONSANTO

March against Monsanto. May 24. Everywhere.

It was fun last year. It’s going to be even more fun this year.

On Saturday, May 24, millions of people around the world will March against Monsanto. And this year, we’ll have plenty to celebrate. The GMO labeling law in Vermont. The Monsanto Protection Act victory.

But we’ve still got a long way to go before we bring down Monsanto.

This year, the OCA is asking activists who march on May 24 to spread the word about the damage Monsanto and the rest of the pesticide-makers are doing to the honeybee and monarch populations, not to mention our food, our health and our planet. To help you out, we’ve created a free organizing packet for your March Against Monsanto event

Sign up below for your Millions Against Monsanto leaflets and stickers, Save the Bees leaflets and stickers, our truth-in-labeling petition and some wildflower seed packets with instructions for how to make seed bombs for some fun Guerilla Gardening action!

Sign up for your organizing packet

More on the March

Photo Credit: March Against Monsanto

 
 

SUPPORT THE OCA & OCF

Un-Rigging the Game

When pesticide and junk food manufacturers spend $70 million to keep you from knowing the truth about what’s in their products, the game is rigged.

When companies like Monsanto try to pass a law that makes them immune from prosecution, and get away with it (if only temporarily) by paying off the politicians, the game is rigged.

When the Grocery Manufacturers Association spends millions lobbying Congress so Congress members like Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) will introduce a bill to preempt state food labeling laws, the game is rigged.

The game may be rigged. But thanks to you, we’re un-rigging the game. One vote, one purchase, one protest, one signature at a time.

One of these days, it’s gonna be game over for companies like Monsanto and Coca-Cola.

Until then, we need your support.

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 Oregon, Vermont and other states)

 
 

GMO LABELING LAWS UPDATE

It’s Law!

He did it. Yesterday afternoon (May 8, 2014), Gov. Pete Shumlin signed into law the nation’s first stand-alone GMO labeling law.

Earlier in the day, the whiners were out in full force, complaining that Vermont’s H.112 is “irresponsible,” and will misinform consumers and “raise food prices.”

The Grocery Manufacturers Association is pushing a bill in Congress to preempt H.112.

And Monsanto has threatened to sue, though it remains to be seen if they actually will—seeing as they haven’t got a genetically modified leg to stand on, as OCA’s Ronnie Cummins recently explained to the Washington Post.

Meanwhile, yesterday was a big day for the right-to-know movement in Oregon, too. The Oregon Supreme Court cleared the way for activists to begin gathering signatures for a November 2014 ballot initiative for mandatory labeling of GMOs.

Today, we savor the victories. Tomorrow, we get back to work. To make sure we win in Oregon. And Arizona. And Colorado. And California. And Massachusetts. And New York. And . . . .

Watch out Monsanto, here we come.

More on Vermont signing

More on Oregon

 
 

NEW STUDY

GMO Crops—the (Grim) Reality

If you want to know the truth about GMO crops (as opposed to Monsanto’s propaganda), just ask the small farmers and communities who live with them.

That’s what Friends of the Earth International did. Now, the group is reporting back.

Among their findings? No big surprises. Just more evidence and confirmation that genetically engineered crops are meeting resistance in all corners of the world. For all the reasons we would assume, including increased levels of pesticide use, health problems and damage to the environment.

Read the study

 
 

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Sweat, Tears and Green Thumbs

“The Organic Life” follows a year in the life of Austin and Casey, the hopeful organic farmer and his skeptical girlfriend. It’s a story of sun, rain, sweat, blisters, and how a sustainable farm sustains its keepers.

Watch the trailer

Download the film

Buy the DVD

Find free workbooks

 
 

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week

More Spin Than Science: The Latest Efforts to Take Down Organics

Shopping Guide: Organic vs. All-Natural: What's the Difference?

Are There Safer and Healthier Alternatives to Root Canals?

Who Is Behind the Pain Killer Epidemic? Big Pharma, of Course

Factory Farms Get Even Grosser

'Beyond Organic: Growing for Maximum Nutrition' a Must-Read

The 12 Fruits and Vegetables Most Likely to Be Contaminated with Dangerous Pesticides

 
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print it, duplicate it and post it freely. Knowledge is power!

Organic Bytes is a publication of Organic Consumers Association

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