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Organic Bytes #142: 8/21/2008

Health, Justice and Sustainability News Tidbits with an Edge!
Written and edited by Craig Minowa and Ronnie Cummins
The Miracles of MonsantoAlert of the Week

Millions Against Monsanto: Time to Step It Up

In the last edition of Organic Bytes we celebrated our common victory over Monsanto: the Biotech Behemoth's announcement that it was "divesting" or selling off its controversial genetically engineered animal drug, recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). With Monsanto's stock price and reputation wobbling, now is the time to advance, to move forward and aggressively block Monsanto's assault on consumers, the environment and democracy.

Learn more and take action
Organic Bytes Readers Talk Back:
What Happens to rBGH Now?

Mega Pharmaceutical Eli Lilly Buys Monsanto’s rBGH

Question from Reader Regarding Organic Bytes #141: "I think it's a great victory that Monsanto is finally giving up on rBGH, but does that mean the rBGH battle is over, or will someone else buy it and keep selling it?"

OCA Response: In a surprise move on August 20, Eli Lilly's Elanco agriculture division announced it is buying Monsanto¹s beleaguered genetically engineered animal drug, recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). Eli Lilly will be inheriting a product with major health, environmental, and public relations problems. Infamous for marketing drugs with serious and often deadly side-effects like Prozac and Cialis, Eli Lilly is the world's 10th largest pharmaceutical corporation with over $18 billion dollars in annual sales.

Quick Facts of the Week

How Climate Change is Destroying the American West

It's coming faster than you think: Learn more...

dancerPlease Donate!

Our hard-fought victories are common victories, made possible by readers, like you, who make tax deductible donations to further our work.  Without your donations, OCA's work would not possible. In today's economic and political climate, nonprofit organizations, like the OCA, need your support, more than ever. With your support we'll continue, not only to write about problems and their solutions, but move pro-actively to make positive change a reality.

Donate Now: www.organicconsumers.org/donations.htm

Sustainability News of the Week

How Organic Farming Can Save Our Oceans

OceanThe alarming increase of "Dead Zones" in the world's oceans over the past few years is now as much of a threat to ocean life as over-fishing and habitat loss, say researchers in the recent issue of the journal Science.

Dead Zones are typically created when massive amounts of synthetic fertilizer from conventional farms are carried via rivers to the ocean. The fertilizers cause algae blooms which suffocate fish.

The number of Dead Zones has risen from 162 to 405 in the last twenty years. Scientists say this year's Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico, created by chemical farm fertilizer runoff, factory farm pollution, and municipal sewage contamination in the Mississippi Basin, is a record 8,000 square miles. Researchers now agree that chemical agriculture "Dead Zones" are one of the world's biggest environmental threats.

And of course the only real solution to the world's Dead Zones is to make the transition to chemical fertilizer and pesticide-free organic farming.

Learn more

Web Video of the Week

Cow eatingJunk Food Potato Chips and
Chocolate Now Being Fed to Cattle

As corn prices are going up, large scale factory farm operations are looking for cheaper foods to feed cattle. Cost-cutting measures like mixing reject M&Ms and potato chips with corn feed are no longer uncommon. Of course, compared to the dangerous but routine practice of feeding slaughterhouse waste, blood, and manure to feedlot animals, M&Ms and potato chips don't sound that bad. In the meantime, cattle ranchers raising grass-fed beef are struggling to stay in business, as more people are buying the cheap stuff. The Wall Street Journal recently released a news video on the issue:

Watch Video Here

Join OCA for a Concert and Progressive Networking at RNC

singerOn September 2, during the week  of protests at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in St. Paul, MN, the Organic Consumers Association and the Organic Consumers Fund's Grassroots Netroots Alliance are taking part in a concert and public education event on the State Capitol lawn.

The event is called the "Ripple Effect", and it will bring together progressive music lovers and organizations from across the U.S. to strategize and get charged up for the coming election season. Thousands of people will gather together for this free event, which will serve as a peaceful place to meet during the RNC protests and will include speakers, like Native American spokeswoman Winona LaDuke, anti-war leader Medea Benjamin from Code Pink, music from Michael Franti, Anti-Flag and others, and locally grown organic food.

We welcome all of our readers to join us on September 2. Organizers of the event have also asked us to call on our readers for donations for the Ripple Effect. Even if you can't be in St.Paul for the RNC you can help these youth organizers make this event happen by sending a contribution: www.rippleeffect08.com

dog with newspaperTop Headlines of the Week Posted from Newsletters and Websites We Like

  1. Honeybee Deaths Reaching Crisis Point
  2. Slow Food Nation:
    A Modest Proposal for Sustainable Eating
  3. Skin Creams Seen to Cause Tumors on Mice
  4. The Food System as 'Largest Quasi-Public Utility in the World'
  5. Hospital Food Goes Green:
    Pleasing Patients and Helping Them Heal

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Tell Congress That Drilling Everywhere is Not a Solution

No Drilling!As you’ve probably heard in the news, the Bush Administration wants to hand over yet more land to the oil and gas companies for drilling. But what the Administration won’t tell you is that with this plan Americans won’t see even minor relief at the pump for decades. Should we really sacrifice public lands for nothing but a false promise? Can we afford the air and water pollution, and the risk to communities, wildlife and wilderness that a rush to drill would cause?

Take action today to tell Congress to protect our wild places - because no one can guarantee clean oil and gas development or lower gas prices. Learn More and Take Action

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Knowledge is power!

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