In the aftermath of the 2016 elections, Monsanto and its minions are rushing to tighten their control over our food and farming system. Emboldened by the prospect of another pro-industrial-agriculture administration, they’re plowing ahead—with total disregard for public health, and blanket dismissal of the warnings pouring in from independent scientists.
Politico, which obtained a list of Trump’s talking points on agriculture, reports that the list includes a “sweeping promise” to "defend American agriculture against its critics, particularly those who have never grown or produced anything beyond a backyard tomato plant." From Politico:
The document . . . offers a host of policy pledges—from suggesting a shift back to conventional agriculture, to promises for the Trump White House to be an "active participant" in writing the next Farm Bill, to fighting the so-called good food movement and undoing Obama-era agricultural and environmental policies.
Pair that news with Trump’s EPA transition team pick, climate-denier Myron Ebell who says “pesticides aren’t bad for you,” and the future for organic regenerative agriculture—and your health—looks bleak. We don’t need to guess or wonder. The incoming Trump administration will not be a friend to those of us committed to a healthy, pollution-free, regenerative, climate-friendly future.
Where does that leave us? Working at the state and local level to elect candidates and to pass public health and climate policies in line with the obvious truth, which is that we can’t go on poisoning ourselves and our ecosystem—and still go on.
It also will require that we expand food testing, and expose the long list of the dangerous chemicals in our food so we can put our consumer power to good use. Once a critical mass of consumers knows exactly what kinds of—and how much—poison we’re being fed, we will force Big Food to clean up its act, or go broke. At which point, it won’t much matter what Monsanto’s minions are up to in Congress. Because the market for their products will shrivel up faster than a glyphosate-drenched weed.
Read Ronnie’s blog post
Support OCA’s work to get pesticides out of our food (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)
Little recognized, much less publicized in the 2016 election post-mortem discussion is this piece of good news: Grassroots power, including consumer power, trumped the agendas of corporations and the One Percent in a surprising number of ballot initiatives and election contests.
That’s great news. Because given what happened in the presidential and congressional races, our best hope for protecting our communities clearly lies in our ability to mobilize and organize at the local level.
Here’s a rundown of 2016 election news we can celebrate while we try to regain our focus.
Sonoma County, Calif. passes GMO crop ban, creating the largest GMO-free zone in the U.S.Four cities stick it to the junk beverage industry by voting to tax Big Soda products Four more states vote to legalize marijuana sales and cultivationFour states vote to raise minimum wage Oil-Producing but organic powerhouse Monterey County, Calif. votes to ban fracking
And in other Good News:
The TPP trade deal is deadBernie’s “Our Revolution” is moving forwardMore governments acknowledge that organic agriculture can address climate change and feed the world
Having trouble figuring out which personal care and cleaning products are actually organic? Not sure how to distinguish fake “organic” mattresses from the real things?
Wondering if those “organic dry cleaning” claims are real?
You’re not alone. Unlike food, which has to be certified to USDA organic standards in order to be labeled “organic,” non-food products often come with labels and/or advertising claims that falsely claim, or imply, organic.
The USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) has no power to police the non-food consumer products industries for false organic labeling, unless a product contains an agricultural ingredient (think lavender or rosemary). And the NOP has been slow to respond to consumers’ calls for better standards and better enforcement of existing standards.
Could the Federal Trade Commission, whose job it is to “prevent business practices that are anticompetitive or deceptive or unfair to consumers” protect consumers where the NOP has failed? The FTC has launched an investigation into organic fraud. Let’s pressure the agency to clean up this confusing mess.
TAKE ACTION: Deadline Dec. 1: Tell the FTC to Stop Organic Fraud!
We did it! A project conceived last year in the basement of a youth hostel in Paris, during the COP21 Climate Summit, came to life this week during COP22 in Marrakech.
OCA’s Regeneration International (RI) Project and Paris-based Open Team, in partnership with 17 organizations, have launched The Regeneration Hub (RHub). RHub is an interactive online platform that connects project holders, individuals, funders, and communities focused on regenerative agriculture and land-use projects, and other related concepts that address multiple global challenges, including climate change and food security.
To celebrate the launch, we also announced that RI will award five micro-grants of US$1000 each to five innovative regeneration projects. The RI Steering Committee will evaluate the project entries and announce the winners in January 2017. More info here.
Read the press release
Watch the Regeneration Hub video
Sign up to the Regeneration Hub
Enter your project to win a $1000USD grant
Subscribe to the RI newsletter
Support OCA's Regeneration International Project (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic, regenerative agriculture and climate change)
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Brian Yazzie is the chef de cuisine at Sioux Chef, a catering and education company whose mission is to revitalize Native American food culture. Brian is collecting healthy, organic and indigenous foods to take to Standing Rock over Thanksgiving so demonstrators will have healthy meals.
Your donation today will help purchase organic produce and traditional foods such as beans, hominy, bison, and wild rice to send with Brian to Standing Rock. OCA will be matching donations up to $4000.
Donate to send organic food to Standing Rock here