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Organic & Food News Tidbits With an Edge Issue #18
8/6/2003 By Organic Consumers Association

IN THIS ISSUE:
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
OBJECTIVE SCIENCE DOES NOT EXIST HERE
RIPOFF OF THE WEEK
NAKED LUNCH
COMPOST HAPPENS
GOOD NEWS: CONSUMER REVOLUTION
WHACKED GE PLANT OF THE WEEK
FIRST WORLD DIET PILLAGES PLANET WORSE THAN ICE AGE
FORCE FED
PRINCE POO-POOS PUNDITS

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"The buzz word in Britain is that we can have 'co-existence' between the GM (genetically modified) sector and the organic or conventional sector. What Canada shows, who have been trying to do this for the last seven years, is that it is absolutely impossible. You have to make a choice, and the choice frankly is: are we going to go for GM, for which there is no market and no-one wants to buy, at the expense of organic, which people do want to buy and for which there is a tremendous market? You cannot have both."

Source: Michael Meecher, UK Environmental Minister, recently fired by Tony Blair for his views on GM foods and crops.

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OBJECTIVE SCIENCE DOES NOT EXIST HERE
Serving as a testament to Monsanto's long-term deceptive practices, the corporation is being accused of fraudulently ignoring and misinterpreting research data, regarding their new genetically mutated soybeans. For example, Monsanto has conveniently failed to mention that their own studies have shown that GE soybeans have a lesser nutritional value than conventional soybeans and actually inhibited growth in laboratory mice. In addition, pesticide residue levels were so dangerously high in the Monsanto's GE soybeans, the corporation is requesting that food safety regulations be weakened, so the experimental beans can legally enter the market.
http://rose1dev.devcloud.acquia-sites.com/old_articles/ge/72803_ge_soybeans.cfm

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RIPOFF OF THE WEEK
The US Patent and Trade Mark Office has given patent rights to a pharmaceutical company in Virginia (Insmed Corp.) for its "novel invention of pigeon pea extracts" for treatment of clogged arteries, diabetes and hypoglycemia. Pigeon pea extract has been used for these ailments by indigenous tribes in semi-arid regions throughout the world for hundreds, if not thousands of years. US Patents are recognized globally by the WTO, so technically, from henceforth, if any indigenous person uses that particular element of their traditional medicine, they have to pay Insmed Corporation first. http://rose1dev.devcloud.acquia-sites.com/old_articles/Patent/pigeon_pea.cfm

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NAKED LUNCH
Just as Kraft was kicking off its annual conference for the Institute of Food Technologies, their food industry attendees were ambushed by over a dozen naked activists with anti-GE slogans painted on their bodies. THONG (Topless Humans Organized for Natural Genetics) hoped to demonstrate their displeasure with Kraft's continued use of GE ingredients in its products. In late Oct, 2003, the OCA and a coalition of other food safety groups will be holding a National Week of Action pressuring Kraft to go GE-free.
Get involved: http://www.OrganicConsumers.org/campaigns.htm

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COMPOST HAPPENS
Proving that smart environmental policies can actually save corporations money, a large grocery chain in Virginia is now converting food waste to compost. Ukrop's Super Markets Inc is making a double profit, selling the compost to customers, while saving $30 for each ton of food waste that doesn't go to the landfill. http://rose1dev.devcloud.acquia-sites.com/old_articles/supermarket/ukrop_compost.cfm

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GOOD NEWS: CONSUMER REVOLUTION
A late July New York Times article says that concerned consumers are now supporting a specialized $230 billion/year market in the US. This includes 68 million Americans (growing by 30% per year) who regularly buy products based on environmental and social ethics. The market includes everything from solar panels to organic food to Yoga tapes to ecotourism. A survey found that 90% of these consumers say they are willing to pay more for products from companies that share their values of long-term sustainability for society and the environment. http://rose1dev.devcloud.acquia-sites.com/old_articles/organic/cultural_creatives.cfm

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WHACKED GE PLANT OF THE WEEK
There are now dozens of genetically engineered tree test plots in the
U.S. This concerns ecologists, in regards to the possibility of these experimental plants inadvertently spreading into the wild, thereby throwing off the balance of species in forests across the nation. In related news, the US Pentagon has awarded Colorado State researchers a half million bucks to genetically engineer a tree that would change colors when exposed to a germ or chemical attack. Taxpayers and government watchdog groups are befuddled by this expenditure---as if the thousands of people keeling over in the streets from a chemical attack wouldn't be indicative enough that there was something wrong. http://rose1dev.devcloud.acquia-sites.com/old_articles/ge/080103_frankentrees.cfm

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FIRST WORLD DIET PILLAGES PLANET WORSE THAN ICE AGE
The 3 million old Ohrid Lake in the Balkans is home to the last remaining variety of an ancient trout on the planet. The massive fish, weighing up to 40 lbs. is facing extinction from fisherman, who are literally blasting the fish out of the lake with dynamite. Although they were able to survive the extremes of the Ice Age, the fish are now on the verge of disappearing from the planet, thanks to wealthy consumers who pay top dollar to fill their bellies with the mystical Ohrid Trout. http://rose1dev.devcloud.acquia-sites.com/old_articles/Toxic/ohrid_trout.cfm

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FORCE FED
The US continued to crack the whip at WTO talks in Montreal last week. For the sake of maintaining good international relations, the EU gave in to abrasive pressure from the Bush administration to allow GE foods to be sold in European grocery stores---as long as the food comes labeled as such. US representatives at the talks said that just isn't good enough, demanding that the EU buy the genetically engineered food and don't label it. According to EU Agricultural Commissioner, Franz Fischler, more than 70% of EU consumers don't want genetically engineered foods at all. So at the very least, these imported foods need to be labeled. "If we don't make sure of that, then there is simply no social consensus in Europe for accepting GM products," Fischler said. The Montreal talks were a warm up to the main WTO meetings to be held in Cancun in early Sept, 2003. Attend the WTO teach-ins and protests in Cancun on an escorted delegation with Ronnie Cummins and the OCA: http://rose1dev.devcloud.acquia-sites.com/old_articles/wto_cancun.htm


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PRINCE POO-POOS PUNDITS
Prince Charles announced this week that the UK will remain free of GE food crops. "Apart from certain highly beneficial and specific medical applications, do we have the right to experiment with, and commercialize, the building blocks of life?" Prince Charles said. "We simply do not know the long-term consequences for human health and the wider environment, of releasing plants bred in this way." Critics claim a GE-free UK is a pipe dream, now that the EU is giving in to pressures to import U.S. grown GMOs. http://rose1dev.devcloud.acquia-sites.com/old_articles/ge/ge_free_britain.cfm

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FOR MANY MORE FOOD ISSUE DAILY HEADLINES: http://rose1dev.devcloud.acquia-sites.com/old_articles/log.html

ORGANIC BYTES is a publication of:

ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION

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Phone: (218) 226-4164

Fax: (218) 353-7652

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