Organic Consumers Association

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

  • August 28, 2016
    Organic Consumers Association

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), and The Richman Law Group announced the filing of a lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court against egg retailer Handsome Brook Farm, on behalf of OCA. The lawsuit alleges Handsome Brook Farm has been selling eggs labeled as “pasture raised” that fall far short of consumer expectations for this term—thus violating the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act. The misleading labels also undercut the market for truly pasture-raised eggs.

    Handsome Brook Farm has claimed all its eggs come from family farms in its distribution network, but with the rapid growth of the privately owned company, the suit alleges the company has failed to maintain the standards reflected in its packaging and is sourcing eggs from supplier farms that provide limited indoor space or outdoor access for birds. The suit alleges Handsome Brook Farm has even bought eggs on the open market, without regard for whether they came from pasture-raised hens. 

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  • August 24, 2016
    Organic Consumers Association

    General Mills claims that its Nature Valley granola bars are “Made with 100% Natural Whole Grain Oats.” Given that claim, and given that there are no commercially grown genetically engineered oats (at least, not yet), you’d naturally expect Nature Valley granola bars to be free of glyphosate, right?

    You would be wrong. Testing by an independent laboratory reveals that Nature Valley granola bars do indeed contain glyphosate, the key (and cancer-causing) ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup.  

    We thought you’d like to know. We also thought you’d agree that General Mills should be forced to stop deceiving you and millions of other consumers.

    So today, OCA and our allies, Beyond Pesticides and Moms Across America, sued the junk food giant and its Nature Valley subsidiary for violating the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act (“DC CPPA”), D.C. Code §§ 28-3901, et seq. by making “false and misleading representations and omissions” about its Nature Valley products.

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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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CAMPAIGNS

  • 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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