In his article, "‘Dark Forces’ Are Coming for Your Organic Food,” published in Mother Jones this week, Tom Philpott exposed a proposal by the House Freedom Caucus to abolish a long list of government programs, including the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP).
But on closer look, the notoriously conservative Freedom Caucus isn’t the only “dark force” plotting to weaken the organic food sector. And it’s not just organic food, but a whole host of food safety and environmental regulations, that Trump Administration “dark forces” are coming after.
From Ronnie’s latest blog post:
Now organic consumers and farmers find ourselves facing Donald Trump and his Agribusiness/Fossil Fuel “Swamp Cabinet,” aided and abetted by a Republican (and status quo Democrat)-controlled Congress and an army of corporate lobbyists, fracking and pipeline extremists, militarists, racists, and misogynists. If we thought the “O’Bummer” administration and the Hillary campaign were disappointing, get ready for what food writer Tom Philpott calls the “Dark Forces” of the Trump Administration.
Read Ronnie's latest blog post ‘Philpott Is Right: Trump’s Dark Forces Are Coming for Your Organic Food’
The GMO Arctic Apple may be headed to a grocery store near you this week. The apples will supposedly bear a label identifying the brand (Arctic). But they won't have a label that says "GMO." You can thank Congress and its DARK Act, for that. Our allies at Friends of the Earth (FOE) have done some sleuthing. They don’t know exactly which stores are guilty of using consumers as GMO apple guinea pigs, but they do know that 10 grocery stores in the Midwest are quietly testing packages of sliced GMO apples to see if consumers “bite.”
The GMO apple uses an experimental, unregulated technique called RNA interference that keeps the apple from turning brown after it’s been sliced. Scientists say this process may have negative unintended impacts on human health and the environment.
Who stands to benefit from the GMO apple? Not consumers like you. Definitely not apple growers, who have opposed this apple all along. The Arctic Apple benefits no one except Intrexon, the synthetic biology company that now owns the GMO salmon, the GMO mosquito and the GMO apple.
You can help disrupt the market for these apples. But we need you to act now during this trial run in grocery stores.
Please sign our petition to grocery store CEOs asking them to reject Intrexon’s GMO apple. We'll deliver the petition to the CEOs of big grocery chains, such as Costco, Albertsons, Safeway, Target, Walmart, and Trader Joe's. If you live in the Midwest, please help us identify stores that are already selling GMO apples.
TAKE ACTION: Tell grocery stores to commit to keeping GMO apples off their shelves!
Live in the Midwest? Help us find the stores selling GMO apples.
In the 1940s, hemp farmers were considered “patriotic supporters” of the war effort. But in 1970, President Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act, making it illegal to grow industrial hemp.
Thanks to that law—which mistakenly lumps industrial hemp in with marijuana—U.S. consumers can buy hemp seeds at our health food stores, or hemp building materials from building suppliers, or clothes made from hemp. But U.S. farmers face a jail sentence for growing the type of hemp used to make those products.
Americans bought more than $600 million worth of hemp products in 2016. Almost all those products were imported from Europe, China or Canada. Because what was once a dominant, lucrative and largely sustainably grown crop here in the U.S., is now outlawed.
Congress has two bipartisan bills which would bring back hemp farming and create rural jobs. A White House petition asking the Trump Administration to pass these laws is nearing the critical 100,000 signatures mark. We need just north of 12,000 more signatures by February 19 to force the White House to respond. Can you help?
TAKE ACTION: Sign the White House petition to let American farmers grow hemp
The “what did they know, and when did they know it” question is making the rounds these days. Nowhere is that question more relevant than in relation to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Monsanto.
According to an article by US Right to Know’s Carey Gillam, and published this week in Huffington Post:
A new court filing made on behalf of dozens of people claiming Monsanto Co.’s Roundup herbicide gave them cancer includes information about alleged efforts within the Environmental Protection Agency to protect Monsanto’s interests and unfairly aid the agrichemical industry.
The plot summary goes like this. Jess Rowland, a onetime top EPA official who had a cozy relationship with Monsanto, authored a report finding that Monsanto’s glyphosate was not carcinogenic. In 2013, Marion Copley, a then -30-year career EPA toxicologist accused Rowland of colluding with Monsanto, and in official correspondence to Rowland wrote: “It is essentially certain that glyphosate causes cancer.”
Few of us would be shocked to learn of collusion between Monsanto and the EPA to cover up the truth about glyphosate. In fact, little about Monsanto’s absolute disregard for truth, much less health or safety, even so much as surprises us anymore.
Why bother to persist in exposing Monsanto’s lies? When we're up against such powerful adversaries? Because as one wise person put it:
Remember this: heroism is not just the single dramatic moment. Heroism can also be the long, vulnerable tedium of a reporter insisting on truth and accountability.
OCA is a major contributor to US Right to Know. Please help us continue to support their good work.
Support US Right to Know’s work to expose Monsanto and Big Food
Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)
Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our GMO labeling legislative efforts)
Tonight (Thursday, February 16), OCA’s Ronnie Cummins will hold a national town hall-style call to lay out a comprehensive strategy for taking back our food, farming and political systems—and taking down the system of corporate cronyism that has corrupted our economy and our society.
You won’t want to miss this inspiring call-to-action that puts you, the citizen consumer, in charge of bringing the solution—regeneration—into today’ urgent discussions about political and economic reforms.
Everyone is feeling it right now—the compulsion to get involved, to do something positive to protect our health and our environment. Can we regenerate our food and farming system? Can we regenerate our health? Our local economies? Even our democracy?
We think the answer is yes. But only if we give up single-issue organizing and start working together, from the grassroots up.
To join the call, dial (855)-756-7520, Ext.34431# at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific on Thursday, Feb. 16.
Pesticides are bad for kids’ brains.
That’s not news to most of us. But a new report prepared for the European Parliament, co-authored by Harvard Chan School’s Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health, confirms it, once again: If health is a priority for you, and especially for your children, make your way to the organic section in your supermarket.
From an article published on the Harvard School of Public Health website:
Authorities in both the European Union and the United States insist that current limits on the amount of pesticides in conventional produce are adequate to ensure that it’s perfectly safe. But those limits are based on animal studies, looking at the effect of one pesticide at a time. The human brain is so much more complex than the rat brain, and our brain development is much more vulnerable because there are so many processes that have to happen at the right time and in the right sequence—you can’t go back and do them over.
Three long-term birth cohort studies in the U.S. suggest that pesticides are harming children’s brains. In these studies, researchers found that women’s exposure to pesticides during pregnancy, measured through urine samples, was associated with negative impacts on their children’s IQ and neurobehavioral development, as well as with ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] diagnoses. Also, one of the studies looked at structural brain growth using magnetic resonance imaging and found that the gray matter was thinner in children the higher their mothers’ exposure to organophosphates, which are used widely in pesticides. I think that’s quite scary.
Scary, indeed. Especially in the U.S., where the government agencies charged with keeping our food safe could soon be gutted.
Read the full report
Are you working on an innovative regeneration project? Let us know before March 31, 2017, and you may win a US$1000 mini-grant. OCA’s Regeneration International (RI) project will award a US$1000 (each) grant to five innovative, scalable and replicable regeneration projects that register on RHub before March 31, 2017. Grantees will connect with experts to help support their projects and they'll be featured on RI's website. To qualify, register your project on the RHub and complete your project profile (which you can access on the top right of the platform). And remember, we're looking for projects that have the potential to be replicated elsewhere and/or by others. Be sure to indicate this in your project profile.
RI is also seeking regeneration leaders, or what we call “RHub Community Pollinators” to help lead the way in increasing the spread and adoption of regenerative solutions in their regions, anywhere in the world. Community Pollinators will work closely with RHub coordination team to lead and inspire engagement in their region and to coach people and projects on how to effectively engage on RHub.
Learn more about the micro-grants
Register your project
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more or to become a pioneer RHub Community Pollinator
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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