ESSAY OF THE WEEK

Dis-Honest Tea in Hot Water?

It isn't the first time we've urged consumers to boycott Honest Tea. And it won't be the last.

Honest Tea is owned by Coca-Cola. And Coca-Cola spent $3.2 million to defeat GMO labeling laws in California and Washington State, some of that money illegally laundered through the Grocery Manufacturers Association (that anti-consumer group that has spent millions defeating GMO labeling laws, that has a bill in Congress to preempt state labeling laws, and has filed suit against Vermont to overturn the state's recently passed labeling law).

Consumers just aren't buying the Honest Tea company slogan: "Refreshingly HONEST®".

Now it looks as if Honest Tea could have the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) questioning its honesty, too. Did President & CEO Seth Goldman intentionally mislead a Washington Post reporter when he said that Coca-Cola would not directly contribute to the NO on I-522 campaign to label GMOs in Washington State?

If so, he's in violation of SEC rules prohibiting executives of public companies from making false public statements. If not, he was duped by his bosses at parent company Coca-Cola.

Here's the thing. Consumers are tired of being lied to. Tired of dishonest, deceptive ad slogans and campaigns. Tired of companies that say their products' ingredients are "perfectly safe"—but then turn around and demand Congress pass laws that allow them to keep those ingredients secret.

And we're tired of paying a premium for organic products, only to have our money turned over to the likes of the GMA—a trade group whose number one priority is fighting truth and transparency in labeling.

So we're doing something about it.

Read the article

TAKE ACTION: Tell CEO Seth Goldman why you're boycotting Honest Tea

TAKE ACTION: Pledge to Boycott the 300-Plus Members of the GMA, Including the Traitor Brands!

More on the boycott

 
 

ACTION ALERT

Weed Wars

No, not that weed.

We're talking about the war between farmers and superweeds. A war that the superweeds are clearly winning.

So what do the Gene Giants propose for beating back the weeds?

Bigger, better herbicides. A strategy that scientists say will only create bigger and better superweeds.

Still, our U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), instead of calling a halt to a dangerous and vicious cycle, is on the verge of approving yet another deadly herbicide. Unless we stop them.

The pesticide-peddlers at Dow AgroSciences want the EPA to approve something they call Enlist Duo. We call it the Deadly Duo, because it uses a combination of 2,4-D, one of the toxic ingredients in Agent Orange, and Roundup, whose key active ingredient, glyphosate, is linked to a host of ills, including birth defects, infertility, allergies and cancer.

Why are the biotech companies now turning to Agent Orange chemicals to fight weeds? Because Monsanto's Roundup, the most widely used herbicide in the world, is no longer working.

That's not mere speculation. Just this month, Texas cotton growers sent an "emergency" request to the EPA for permission to use propazine (a known carcinogen that the EPA refers to as "slightly poisonous) on their crops. Why the big emergency? Because Monsanto's Roundup doesn't work anymore and, surprise, their crops are being overrun by superweeds.

And round and round we go.

TAKE ACTION: DEADLINE JUNE 30: Tell the EPA, Don't let Dow poison our food with its "Deadly Duo" of Agent Orange and Roundup herbicides.

 
 

SAVE ORGANIC STANDARDS

No More NOSB?

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is at it again, chipping away at the integrity of organic standards. This time, it looks as if he may be setting the stage to get rid of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).

Twenty organizations, including Beyond Pesticides, the OCA and Cornucopia Institute, are trying to stop him. They've filed a legal petition asking that Vilsack reverse changes made May 8, 2014, by the USDA, to the NOSB charter—changes that undermine the authority of the NOSB and suggest that the USDA may dismantle it altogether.

The NOSB was created by Congress, under the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA), and enacted under Title 21 of the 1990 Farm Bill. The 15-member advisory panel is made up of independent farmers, environmentalists, consumer/public interest advocates, food handlers, one retailer and one scientist. The board meets twice a year to vote on recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture (that would be Vilsack) regarding the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP), also authorized under the OFPA.

But apparently, Vilsack thinks he doesn't need any advice. So little by little, he's undermining the NOSB's authority.

Last month, the OCA disrupted the bi-annual NOSB meeting to protest another recent change made by the USDA, a change that makes it more difficult to get synthetics off the list of materials allowed in organic.

It's all part of a power grab that threatens organics. And it's just plain illegal.

More here

Read the legal petition

 
 

SUPPORT THE OCA & OCF

Over the Top

“Senseless mandate.”

That’s what the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) called the Vermont GMO labeling law, in a statement issued right after the billion-dollar lobbying group sued to overturn the will of Vermont citizens and their lawmakers.

That sounds a little over the top.

Just like everything else the GMA has done to preempt and overturn state GMO labeling laws. Like spending millions to defeat citizen ballot initiatives in California and Vermont. And millions more lobbying federal lawmakers until they sponsor a bill to prevent states from ever passing GMO labeling laws.

And breaking the law in Washington State, to launder donations from Big Food.

The GMA’s president, Pamela Bailey, is paid more than $2 million a year to make statements like that. All in an attempt to prevent you, the consumer, from knowing what unhealthful, barely food-like ingredients Big Food is hiding in the products they push via their multi-million dollar advertising campaigns.

Speaking of over the top . . . we’re still about $22,000 from our fundraising goal. Money we need to defend Vermont’s GMO labeling law, and pass a citizens’ initiative in Oregon in November. Can you help?

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)

 
 

SAVE THE BEES CAMPAIGN

What Will It Take?

The evidence against neonicotinoid pesticides keeps piling up. But will it be enough to get the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to act in time?

Friends of the Earth (FOE) yesterday (June 25, 2014) released results of a second study on so-called “bee-friendly” garden plants sold at Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart stores. According to the report, more than half of the plant samples tested in 18 U.S. cities contained neonic pesticides at levels that could harm or kill bees.

How would gardeners know that? They wouldn’t. Because there’s no mention of the pesticide on the plant’s label.

The FOE report followed on the heels of a new (June 24, 2014) meta-analysis of 800 peer-reviewed studies released this week by the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, a global group of independent scientists. The report confirms that neonics are a key factor in bee declines.

The Task Force called for immediate regulatory action to restrict neonics.

Meanwhile, here in the U.S., in response to National Pollinator Week, (which was hijacked by the chemical companies that sell the poisons that kill the bees), the Obama Administration has come up with a weak, at best, plan that caters to the pesticide industry by spreading around the blame for Colony Collapse Disorder, instead of taking immediate action to ban neonics.

Consumers, however, aren’t waiting around. Tens of thousands of people have signed petitions, sent letters and taken to the streets asking retailers, including Home Depot and Lowe’s, to stop selling neonic pesticides. So far, nearly a dozen landscaping companies and retailers are taking steps to eliminate neonic pesticides from their garden plants and stores, including BJ’s Wholesale Club, with more than 200 stores in 15 states.

We’re still waiting for Home Depot and Lowe’s to follow suit.

The OCA organized a media event in Portland, Maine, one of the 18 cities where bee-friendly plants were tested. Events also took place in Detroit, St. Augustine, Fla., Boulder, Colo., New York, Raleigh, N.C., Austin, Texas and Eugene, Ore.

Read the OCA press release

Read the FOE report

Press coverage here and here

Learn more

TAKE ACTION: Tell Home Depot and Lowe's to Stop Selling Bee-Killing Plants!

Find Bee-Friendly Resources

 
 

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Gardeners Beware

A master beekeeper in Florida used to produce 100 gal. of honey a year. Last year? Fifteen. Companies like Monsanto, Bayer and Syngenta are the biggest offenders when it comes to the honeybee die-off. But consumers can still do something to help.

Watch the video

TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Representative: Please Support the Saving America’s Pollinators Act (H.R. 2692)!

 
 

MILLIONS AGAINST MONSANTO

Patriotic Protestors

What’s more patriotic than defending the integrity of your food and the health of the environment?

Thanks to the successful Moms across America marches last year, the moms are at it again this year. And they’re looking for as many moms as possible to join in.

It may be too late to plan your own parade, but it’s never too late to carry a “Label GMOs” sign in your town’s 4th of July parade.

Find a parade near you

Moms across America on Facebook

 
 

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week

Butter Is Back: Processed Foods Are Culprits in Heart Disease

Hidden GMOs Identified in Popular Beers

Republication of the Séralini Study: Science Speaks for Itself

How the American Diet Has Failed

Lemon Rx: 12 Evidence-Based Reasons Why It is A Powerful Medicine

Can Drones Expose Factory Farms? This Journalist Hopes So

The Top Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables

 
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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