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Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy

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  • June 5, 2018
    Organic Consumers Association
    by Katherine Paul and Ronnie Cummins

    Thanks to internal emails uncovered by Carey Gillam, writing for The Guardian, the public knows that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found glyphosate residues in a variety of foods. In fact, the agency had trouble finding any foods that didn’t test positive for traces of the chemical, best-known as the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.

    It’s the FDA’s job to conduct residue testing on food. It’s the responsibility of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate pesticide residues on food. It stands to reason then that the two taxpayer-funded agencies would communicate closely with each other on any food testing involving glyphosate or any other pesticide.

    That’s why U.S. Right to Know (USRTK) has filed a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with both agencies, and shared the findings in a series of stories by Gillam, a former Reuters reporter who now directs research for the consumer advocacy group.

    The FDA has produced at least some of the documents requested by USRTK. But the EPA has dodged group’s effort to learn more about this matter of public policy and public health.

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  • June 4, 2018
    Organic Consumers Association
    by Katherine Paul

    Five years ago, under mounting pressure from consumers, Whole Foods Market (WFM) announced that by the end of 2018, the then-largest retailer of organic foods would require all of its suppliers to clearly label GMO ingredients and foods.

    Last week, the company reneged on that commitment, or at least the timeline part of it.

    This time, there was no flashy press release, no media fanfare. Instead, the news was circulated quietly in an email to the company’s suppliers.

    In the email,  WFM Chief Operations Officer A.C. Gallo claimed the company, now owned by Amazon, is merely “pausing” the plan, until the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) finalizes labeling requirements under the federal mandatory labeling law passed in July 2016—a law that (intentionally) has no teeth.


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  • May 30, 2018
    Organic Consumers Association
    by Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins

    It remains to be seen if Congress will get its act together to pass a Farm Bill before year’s end. But here’s what we do know. If Congress succeeds in passing a 2018 Farm Bill, it will almost certainly be bad news for the organic industry.

    We already know that the House version, H.R.2, includes potentially devastating attacks on organic and regenerative food and farming. Fortunately, the U.S. House of Representatives voted down H.R. 2 last week. But we’re not out of the danger zone yet—the House is scheduled to vote on its bill again on June 22.

    The Senate is about to drop its Farm Bill as early as June 6, according to Politico. We haven't seen that bill yet. But we do know that the leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee—Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)—aren’t great friends of organic. We also know that the Senate Farm Bill will be bipartisan—which means it’s sure to pass.

    The Organic Trade Association, which should be committed to protecting organic standards from any sneak attacks in the Farm Bill, has indicated that it will stand with consumers. But we're skeptical, given the group’s track record. 

    In the meantime, we’re urging supporters of organic to ask their Senators to protect organic and regenerative food and farming.

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  • May 24, 2018
    Organic Consumers Association
    by Ronnie Cummins

    Consumers know if the tomatoes they buy in the supermarket were imported from Mexico. They know if the sweater they purchased was made in Vietnam.

    They also know if the chicken they toss in their grocery cart was imported from another country. Under Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) laws, these products are required to carry labels that tell you if the product was imported from another country.

    But beef and pork? Those products are exempt from COOL laws. That means consumers have no idea where their steak and bacon came from, unless the producer chooses to label it.

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  • May 16, 2018
    Organic Consumers Association
    by Katherine Paul

    Last summer, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) announced that our testing of Ben & Jerry’s popular ice cream flavors for glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller) turned up positive results in 10 of 11 samples we tested.

    Our critics fired back that the glyphosate levels we found were “well below” the levels that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tells us are “safe.”

    In other words, relax! A little bit of Monsanto Roundup weedkiller in your ice cream is nothing to fret over.

    Now a new pilot study, soon to be published in the prestigious scientific journal Environmental Health, suggests that EPA “safe” levels aren’t safe at all—especially for kids.

    Will this new evidence lead to a ban on glyphosate? Hard to tell, given what we know about possible collusion in the past between Monsanto and the EPA to keep consumers in the dark about how toxic Roundup and glyphosate are to human health. Plus we’re now dealing with an EPA that favors hiding the truth about toxic chemicals from the public, over protecting the chemical industry’s image.

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  • The Millions Against Monsanto Campaign was started by OCA in the mid 1990s to fight back against Monsanto and the other biotech bullies responsible for poisoning the world's food and environment.

  • Protect bees and other pollinators by choosing organic food, grown without toxic insecticides, and by planting bee-friendly gardens.

  • Industrial agriculture, with its factory farms, GMO monculture crops and toxic chemicals, is one of the leading causes of global warming. You can help cool the planet by choosing organic foods, grown using sustainable, regenerative farming practices.  

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