Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy
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TODAY'S FEATURES:

  • Remember the Monsanto Protection Act? Well, Monsanto’s minions in Congress have a new one for you: The Monsanto Promotion Act.

    Now that the IRS has filled the government’s coffers, Congress gets to decide how to spend your hard-earned money.

    The U.S. House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee has decided that:

    $3,000,000 shall be used by the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, in coordination with the Secretary of Agriculture, for consumer outreach to promote understanding and acceptance of agricultural biotechnology and biotechnology-derived food products and animal feed, including through publication and distribution of science-based educational information on the environmental, nutritional, food safety, economic, and humanitarian benefits of such biotechnology, food products, and feed.

    Wow, with legislation as crazy as this, it’s hard to know where to start.

    TAKE ACTION! Ask your Member of Congress and Senators to remove the Monsanto Promotion Act. Tell them you don’t want your taxes to be spent on corporate welfare or industry propaganda, especially not to promote Monsanto’s GMOs!

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  • April 24, 2016
    Organic Consumers Association
    by Steven Hoffman

    Repeat after me:  Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats.

    That’s CRISPR, a new GE technology that uses an enzyme, Cas9, to cut, edit or remove genes from a targeted region of a plant’s DNA. And because it doesn’t involve transgenics, i.e., inserting genes from foreign species into an animal or plant, foods produced in this manner just received a free pass from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be sold into the marketplace.

    In an April 2016 letter to Penn State researcher Yinong Yang, USDA informed the associate professor of plant pathology that his new patent-pending, non-browning mushroom, created via CRISPR technology, would not require USDA approval.

    “The notification apparently clears the way for the potential commercial development of the mushroom, which is the first CRISPR-Cas9 gene-edited crop deemed to require no regulatory review by USDA,” reported Chuck Gill in Penn State News.

    Why does this anti-browning mushroom not require USDA regulation? ”Our genome-edited mushroom has small deletions in a specific gene but contains no foreign DNA integration in its genome," said Yang. "Therefore, we believed that there was no scientifically valid basis to conclude that the CRISPR-edited mushroom is a regulated article based on the definition described in the regulations."

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  • Everybody loves the Comeback Kid—unless it’s the DARK Act that’s coming back.

    In March, the Senate voted down the DARK Act, the bill that would Deny Americans our Right to Know about GMOs.

    Since then, Monsanto  and its front groups, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) have been using their power, influence and, most of all, money  to ram some version of the DARK Act through Congress before Vermont’s first-in-the-nation GMO labeling law takes effect on July 1.

    Reliable sources say that the DARK Act will soon be up for another vote.

    Last time, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) didn’t have the votes to pass his bill to take away states’ rights to label GMOs. Many of those who voted against the bill were pro-GMO Senators who take campaign contributions (and their talking points) from companies like Monsanto. But realizing they would take a lot of heat from their constituents, they voted no in the hope that a more palatable "compromise" bill might come along. 

    These Senators who voted against the DARK Act last time could easily flip their votes to support a “compromise” (capitulation) to block Vermont’s law and replace it with a weak federal standard, because of—what else?—pressure from the big corporations who profit from toxic pesticides and GMO foods.

    TAKE ACTION: Stop the DARK Act Comeback! Tell your Senators: Protect Vermont’s GMO labeling law.

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  • April 13, 2016
    Organic Consumers Association
    by Elaine Catherine R. Ferrer and Ronnie Cummins

    The Big Food giants, the pesticide and genetic engineering corporations such as Monsanto, the chemical, cosmetics, body care, food packaging, bottled water, and home furnishings industries—they all have a dirty secret.
     
    All these “Better Living Through Chemistry” companies and their PR firms and trade associations, bolstered by their minions in the mass media and academia, like to reassure us that these toxic, carcinogenic, gender-bending compounds in their products have been thoroughly tested and approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory bodies.
     
    But they haven’t. And we’re only beginning to learn that the tiniest amount of these chemicals are dangerous—sometimes more dangerous than higher levels. Because they can disrupt the body’s complex endocrine system which is responsible for growth, stress response, insulin production, sexual development and reproduction, metabolism, immunity—even intelligence and behavior.
     
    Corporations would have us believe that there’s no harm in consuming or inhaling or absorbing small amounts of these chemicals into our bodies. But mounting evidence suggests otherwise. Here’s a scary thought: New research shows that the additives (co-formulants) used in glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, may have damaging endocrine-disrupting effects. Sobering news, given that billions of pounds of Roundup are sprayed on both GMO and non-GMO crops every year, everywhere in the world.

     

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  • On its website, the Tribeca Film Festival celebrates “storytellers,” including the likes of Tom Hanks, John Oliver, Tina Fey and others.
     
    But there’s one storyteller the film festival’s board is determined to silence this year—Dr. William Thompson, a scientist who blew the whistle on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for suppressing data that linked the MMR (mumps, measles, rubella) vaccine to autism.
     
    “VAXXED - From Cover-Up to Catastrophe” is a documentary film based on claims by Thompson that he and colleagues at the CDC lied about the results of their own study, a study that revealed a link between the MMR vaccine and the rise of autism in African American boys. The film, directed by Andrew Wakefield and produced by Del Bigtree, features journalist Ben Swann who examines Thompson’s claims through interviews he conducts with doctors, journalists, authors and former CDC specialists.
    Robert De Niro, co-founder of the Tribeca festival and parent of an autistic child, came under fire for plans to screen the film at this year's prestigious Tribeca Film Festival. When the complaints started rolling in, the actor initially defended the decision. But on March 26, he pulled the plug, telling "The Hollywood Reporter," he didn't believe the film "contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for."
     
    TAKE ACTION: Tell Robert De Niro and the Tribeca Film Festival Board: Support Truth and Free Speech. Don’t Censor “VAXXED.”

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CAMPAIGNS

  • 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.

  • 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.  

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

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