Organic Consumers Association

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

TODAY'S FEATURES:

  • September 20, 2016
    Organic Consumers Association
    by Katherine Paul

    It’s been about a week since Monsanto and Bayer confirmed their intention to say “I do”—ample time for media, lawmakers, consumer and farmer advocacy groups, and of course the happy couple themselves, to weigh in on the pros and cons.

    Reactions poured in from all the usual suspects.

    Groups like the Farmers Union, Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth and others didn’t mince words when it came to condemning the deal. (Organic Consumers Association tagged it a “Marriage Made in Hell” back in May, pre-announcement, when the two mega-corporations were still doing their mating dance).

    Predictably, the corporate heads of state last week promoted the proposed $66-billion deal as an altruistic plan to improve “the lives of growers and people around the world.” This week, they told Senate Judiciary Committee members that the merger “is needed to meet a rising food demand.”

    Is anyone out there still buying the line that Monsanto and Bayer are in the business of feeding the world? When the evidence says otherwise?

    Even if that claim weren’t ludicrous, who thinks it’s a good idea to entrust the job of “feeding the world” to the likes of Bayer, a company that as part of the I.G. Farben cartel in the 1940s produced the poison gas for the Nazi concentration camps, and more recently sold HIV-infected drugs to parents of haemophiliacs in foreign countries, causing thousands of children to die of AIDS?

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  • Last year, The American Egg Board (AEB) was caught in the act trying to sabotage Hampton Creek, a company that markets a plant-based egg-free alternative and a product called “Just Mayo,” an egg-free mayonnaise. Board members view Hampton Creek as a threat to the $5.5-billion-a-year egg industry.

    A series of emails, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) revealed the details of AEB’s vendetta against Hampton Creek and its CEO, Josh Tetrick. (Michele Simon, Eat Drink Politics, reported on the emails, including one in which Mike Sencer, executive vice president of AEB member Hidden Villa Ranch, wrote: "Can we pool our money and put a hit on him [Tetrick]?").

    Now, some of the largest U.S. food producers and their lobbyists, want Congress to shield groups like AEB from FOIA requests. With help from their friends in the U.S. House of Representatives, they’ve attached a rider to the House agricultural appropriations bill that would exempt groups like AEB from FOIA requests.

    TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Representative to Stop Big Food’s "Secrecy" Rider!

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  • September 13, 2016
    Organic Consumers Association
    by Katherine Paul

    “This is one celebration you don’t want to miss!”

    That’s the message leaders of the Organic Trade Association (aka the Organic “Traitors” Association) sent their members recently, in an email inviting them to the OTA’s 2016 Leadership Awards Celebration at Expo East in Baltimore. 

    Here’s one thing that OCA and organic consumers will not be celebrating—the fact that the OTA’s “Organic Elite” conspired with Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) to overturn Vermont’s mandatory GMO labeling law, and ensure that food companies will never be required to reveal GMO reveal GMO ingredients in their products, using clear, on-package labels.

    As consumers, we think a lot about food brands and food companies, and pay little if any attention to the associations and lobbying groups that represent those brands and companies. If we think about them at all, we aren’t surprised when groups like the infamous Grocery Manufacturers Association spend millions, illegally, to block GMO labeling laws so they can protect the profits of junk food manufacturers.

    We expect better of the OTA. But at the end of the day, when Monsanto’s minions in Congress were on the verge of losing, and consumers were on the verge of winning, it was the bureaucrats at the OTA who stabbed us in the back on GMO labeling.

    TAKE ACTION: Contact your favorite organic brands and ask them to stand with you—not Monsanto and Big Food, and not the back-stabbing bureaucrats of the Organic “Traitors” Association!

    Read More
  • September 7, 2016
    Organic Consumers Association
    by Martha Rosenberg and Ronnie Cummins

    After a decade of exposing and demonizing Monsanto and genetically engineered foods, including an intense four-year battle to force mandatory labeling of GMOs (a battle rudely terminated in July when Congress rammed through the outrageous DARK Act), the U.S. food movement stands at the crossroads. 

    Should we keep badgering Monsanto’s minions in Washington for the right to know what’s in our food, a sentiment shared by the overwhelming majority of consumers? Or should we focus more on single-issue reforms, such as banning neonicotinoid bee-killing pesticides, better nutrition in schools, taxes on soda, and an end to the reckless use of antibiotics in animal feed? 

    A growing number of food activists believe it’s time to move beyond limited or single-issue campaigning and lobbying and take on the entire degenerative food and farming system, starting with the malevolent profit-driver and lynchpin of industrial agriculture, GMOs and fast food: factory farming.

    We obviously can’t count on a corrupt Congress or a Clinton/Trump White House to enact significant policy change, no matter how popular or just our demands. So we need to shift our strategy and tactics. We need to aggressively mobilize a full-blown online and on-the-ground food fight, complete with marketplace pressure, popular education, boycotts, litigation, brand de-legitimization, and direct action. 

    Read More
  • You buy organic eggs for any number of reasons, probably related to not wanting to support factory farms that mistreat chickens, pollute the environment and produce eggs that are nutritionally inferior.

    Unfortunately, not all organic eggs are created equal. You may be surprised to learn that most of the retail grocery chain store-brand “organic” eggs actually come from huge factory farm-type operations that routinely violate USDA National Organic Program (NOP) rules.

    How do these companies get away with running fake “organic” egg operations? 

    In theory, USDA standards for organic eggs dictate that hens should have access to the outdoors. But as a 2015 report by the Cornucopia Institute explains, those standards are unclear and thus open to interpretation. 

    We would ask you to hound the Big Three fake organic egg producers—but we know they won’t care what you think, as long as stores like Kroger and Target and Safeway and others keep buying up the eggs and slapping their own labels on them.

    The only way to make the organic egg industry honest is to get retailers, including the big retail grocery chains like Publix and Giant Eagle and Costco, to stop sourcing their eggs from industrial-scale producers like Cal-Maine Foods, Rose Acre Farms and Herbruck’s. And the only way to do that, is to stop buying the store brands until they switch. 

    TAKE ACTION: Tell These Retailers: Stop Selling 'Organic' Eggs that Actually Come from Factory Farms!

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CAMPAIGNS

  • 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.  

  • 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 our food and environment.

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