Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy
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  • The factory farm industry is so full of bad actors it’s tough to say who’s the worst.

    But Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) surely belongs at or near the top of the list.

    Besides Tyson’s well-documented animal abuse record, its callous disregard for the safety of its employees, and its role as one of this country’s worst polluters, Tyson is also actively lobbying to prevent Congress from passing legislation that would provide basic protections for the farmers who raise the animals, under contract, destined for Tyson’s processing plants.

    Why? So Tyson Foods Chairman John Tyson can protect his billions in profits.

    Over the years, Tyson’s farmers’ incomes have dropped, while Tyson has been feathering his nest thanks to higher and higher profit margins.  Tyson doesn’t even pay farmers enough to meet their operating costs. Of growers whose sole source of income is chicken farming, 71 percent of are living below the poverty line.

    New but yet-to-be-enacted rules under the Packers and Stockyards Act would help protect farmers who supply chicken to Tyson. But if Tyson has its way, those rules will never see the light of day.

    Take Action: Tell Congress to stop the Tyson Foods Anti-Farmer Act!

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  • August 15, 2016
    Organic Consumers Association
    by Katherine Paul

    Stephen Colbert made it popular, but the word “truthiness” has been around for a long time.

    Webster’s provides a list of definitions for "truthiness," including this one: (noun) : truth level of a statement; and this one: (noun) : The quality of stating what one wishes or feels to be true instead of what is actually true.

    Tom’s of Maine, or more accurately, the brand’s majority owner, Colgate-Palmolive, was clearly guilty of “truthiness” when it created a webpage titled “How to Identify Organic Toothpaste.”

    On that page, intended primarily to promote the Tom’s of Maine toothpaste brand, the company stopped just short of overtly claiming the brand is organic. But it clearly implied that it is.

    We complained, and we asked you to do the same.

    You did. And within hours, we were contacted by a manager at Tom’s, and a Colgate lawyer. They apologized, and removed the webpage.

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  • August 9, 2016
    Organic Consumers
    by Martha Rosenberg

    Americans love shrimp. On average, we consume about 4.10 pounds of it a year, compared with only 2.8 pounds of canned tuna and 1.84 pounds of salmon. Most of that shrimp is imported from countries in Southeast Asia, where it’s produced using chemicals and drugs not approved in the U.S.

    Shrimp may be the most popular seafood in the U.S. But would we eat as much of it if we fully understood the food safety, environmental and ethical issues associated with its production?

    Like contemporary factory farm meat production, shrimp farming has become intensive. Shrimp are crowded into small ponds. Because the water in those ponds typically is not re-circulated, harmful waste builds up, oxygen is depleted and disease breaks out. To combat disease, fish farmers often turn to the excessive use of antibiotics. 

    It isn’t just the shrimp itself that’s questionable. Shrimp production in Southeast Asia is rife with worker abuse and of local farmland—which means destruction of local livelihoods. 

    What should consumers look for? There are some third-party certifications consumers can turn to for guidance. But when it comes to shrimp—whether from a store or a restaurant—it’s buyer beware.

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  • August 1, 2016

    The deed is done. On Friday, July 29, 2016, President Obama signed a bill that was written by corporations, paid for by corporations and that serves no one in this country—except corporations.

    S.764, known by its opponents as the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, preempts Vermont’s mandatory GMO labeling law and substitutes in its place a federal bill that, no matter how Obama and his Congress try to spin it, is not mandatory and does not require labels—at least not labels that anyone can read.

    I could, once again, list all the reasons this bill fails consumers. But I and others have already done that countless times, to no avail. The bill is a sham, a slap in the face to the 90 percent of Americans who support labeling. It’s an attack on states’ rights. It’s another “gift” to Monsanto and Big Food.

    And, for anyone who still harbored any doubt, S.764 is proof that our Democracy is broken, that our lawmakers answer to Corporate America, not to us, the people who elect them.

    It would be easy, after four-and-a-half years of non-stop fighting for labels, to cave in to despair. But let’s not give Monsanto the satisfaction. Instead, let’s take a page out of Gandhi’s playbook. Let’s launch a boycott that will go down in history.

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  • June 21, 2016
    Organic Consumers Association

    FINLAND, Minn. –  The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) today filed suit against Post, for falsely claiming one of its brands, Shredded Wheat, is “natural” even though it tests positive for the herbicide glyphosate.

    “On the back of its cereal box, Post says Shredded Wheat is made of ‘100% Whole Grain Wheat’ and that the product is ‘made with nothing but goodness,’” said OCA’s international director, Ronnie Cummins.

    “But tests prove Shredded Wheat contains glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. Glyphosate is not only very unnatural, it is a known toxin, linked to a long list of potential and serious health problems.”

    Kim Richman of The Richman Law Group, which represents OCA in the suit, noted that “Consumers don’t expect a product labeled ‘natural’ to contain a chemical that has been classified by the World Health Organization as a ‘probable’ human carcinogen."

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  • 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.

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

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