Organic Bytes #142: 8/21/2008
IN THIS ISSUE
- Alert: Millions
- What Happens to rBGH Now?
- How Climate Change is Destroying the American West
- How Organic Farming Can Save Our Oceans
- Video: Junk Food Now Being Fed to Cattle
- Join OCA for a Concert and Progressive Networking at RNC
- Tell Congress That Drilling Everywhere is Not a Solution
Health, Justice and Sustainability News Tidbits with an Edge!
Written and edited by Craig Minowa and Ronnie Cummins
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.
- Did you know that Monsanto contributes hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to elected officials and spends millions in lobbying? Contact your legislators and tell them to say NO to Monsanto's Dirty Money
- Did you know that almost 100 million pounds of Monsanto's best selling herbicide, RoundUp, are applied to gardens and lawns each year, accounting for $1 billion dollars in sales? Home Depot is the United States and Canada's largest home improvement chain and a major vendor of RoundUp.
- Sign OCA's petition to Home Depot. Tell Home Depot's CEO Frank Blake: Do the Right Thing, Dump Monsanto!
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.
- The Organic Consumers Association will now be joining our allies to pressure ELI Lilly to take this dangerous and inhumane drug off the market. Stay tuned! Learn more...
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How Climate Change is Destroying the American West
- In 1910 there were 150 glaciers at Glacier National Park; now there are 25.
- Glacier National Park will have no more glaciers within ten years.
- Southern California is home to 23 million people, all of whom are dependent on the Colorado River for the majority of their water needs.
- Due to decreasing mountain snow melt in areas like Glacier National Park, the Colorado River, the primary water supply for seven states, will be unable to meet demands within FOUR YEARS.
- An April Gallup Poll found that only one in three Americans are worried about Climate Change.
It's coming faster than you think: Learn more...
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
How Organic Farming Can Save Our Oceans
The 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.
Junk 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:
On 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
Top Headlines of the Week Posted from Newsletters and Websites We Like
- Honeybee Deaths Reaching Crisis Point
Slow Food Nation:
A Modest Proposal for Sustainable Eating
- Skin Creams Seen to Cause Tumors on Mice
- The Food System as 'Largest Quasi-Public Utility in the World'
Hospital Food Goes Green:
Pleasing Patients and Helping Them Heal
- The OCA website is a searchable library of over 40,000 articles covering issues including health, justice, food and farming, politics, and the environment. Twenty or more new articles are posted each day, Please Bookmark OrganicConsumers.org as your daily source of news, analysis and inspiration. ORGANIC
- Through the Organic Consumers Fund's Grassroots Netroots Alliance project, voters are pressing the politicians to support strict organic standards, mandatory labels for genetically engineered food, and the conversion of U.S. farmland to organic. Find out who's answering the call in your state by clicking here:organicconsumers.org/articles/article_13672.cfm
- On the same page, you'll find a listing of state campaigns for health, justice and sustainability in all 50 states.
- Join state discussion groups in our forum: organicconsumers.org/forum/index.php?showforum=52
- Post events in your state on our community calendar: organicconsumers.org/forum/index.php?act=calendar
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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?