Five years ago, under mounting pressure from consumers, Whole Foods Market (WFM) announced that by the end of 2018, the then-largest retailer of organic foods would require all of its suppliers to clearly label GMO ingredients and foods.
Last week, Whole Foods reneged on that commitment, or at least the timeline part of it.
This time, there was no flashy press release, no media fanfare. Instead, the news was circulated quietly in an email to the company’s suppliers.
If there were ever any doubt about WFM’s original intentions, those intentions are clear now: The company’s GMO labeling promise, too little too late from the get-go, was always more about saving face and scamming consumers than it was about real transparency and forcing Big Food to change its ways.
Read ‘Whole Foods Fails Consumers Again, ‘Delays’ GMO Labeling’
TAKE ACTION! Tell Whole Foods: The Time for Labels on GMOs is NOW!
OCA lost one of our own this week. Mike Durschmid was a great friend, a courageous and compassionate activist with a great sense of humor.
In a recent, but what turned out to be his last conversation with OCA’s Ronnie Cummins, Mike talked about getting better. He was anxious to jump back into his activist work, to help fight the good fight.
It wasn’t meant to be. Mike passed away on June 2.
Mike’s journey with OCA began in 1992, when he volunteered as the Chicago coordinator of the Beyond Beef/McDonald’s Campaign. The national campaign pressured McDonalds to add more vegetarian options to its menu, and to source healthier, more humanely and sustainably raised and produced products and ingredients. McDonald’s eventually made some of those changes.
Mike was Illinois state spokesperson for the Pure Food Campaign from 1993-97, leading the campaign against Monsanto’s controversial Bovine Growth Hormone and the genetically engineered Flavr Savr tomato. Mike traveled across the country, leading milk dump protests and participating in press conferences with Ronnie, Howard Lyman and others, to keep BGH from ever gaining major acceptance in the U.S. or abroad. After protests and public resistance, the Flavr Savr was taken off the market.
Mike coordinated the successful (SOS) Save Organic Standards campaign in Chicago in 1998, a national campaign to keep the USDA from allowing GMOs, irradiated food and sewage sludge to be included under the organic label.
Mike served as a special events coordinator and staff assistant for the Organic Consumers Association between 1998 and 2017, working on campaigns against genetically engineered foods, pesticides and factory farms, and promoting organic, local and regenerative alternatives.
He worked just as hard for other causes he cared about, too, especially animal rights groups.
Mike’s last campaign with OCA was the Dirty Dairy Campaign, an ongoing pressure campaign to get Unilever’s Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream brand to go organic.
Mike was the real deal. He lived his values, every single day. And he lived up to the standards he demanded of corporations.
No matter the campaign, no matter the injustice he was fighting, Mike brought to the battle his own brand of fierce conviction, relentless determination and refreshing humor.
According to Ronnie, "I can't even remember the number of times Mike was arrested for acting on his convictions. When I asked him once, at a meeting in Chicago, how many times he'd been thrown in jail for protesting, he hesitated for a moment. Then, with his characteristic smile he said. 'about 50 times I think."
Whether it was fighting leukemia, or trying to change the world, Mike never gave up.
We are heartbroken. And grateful to have known and worked with him.
Watch Mike lead a bee “die-in” at Home Depot
Read Mike’s obituary and leave a note for his family
“The basic function of the Freedom of Information Act is to ensure informed citizens, vital to the functioning of a democratic society.”
Those words appear prominently on the U.S. government’s Freedom of Information (FOIA) website.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website says:
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives the public the right to make a request for federal agency records. EPA and all other federal agencies are required to disclose records unless the records are protected from disclosure by:
• any of the nine exemptions in the Act, or
• one of three special law enforcement record exclusions.
Yet increasingly, at least when it comes to Trump’s EPA, those words ring hollow.
U.S. Right to Know (USRTK), a consumer advocacy group funded in part by OCA, has filed a series of FOIA requests with the EPA and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to obtain documents related to the FDA’s testing of food for glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup brand weedkiller.
The FDA has produced some of the requested documents.
But two years out, the EPA is still stalling. So on May 22, USRTK sued the EPA for documents it rightly owes the U.S. public. USRTK’s Carey Gillam explains why.
Read ‘Consumer Group Sues EPA for Documents Related to FDA’s Testing of Food for Herbicide Residues’ [LINK TO COME]
Make a tax-deductible donation to help us support U.S. Right to Know’ investigate journalism
So many studies. And still, Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller is on the market—and on your food.
What will it take to get Roundup banned?
A comprehensive, definitive study, unlike any that has yet been conducted.
Fortunately, that study is underway. And the citizens of the world are being asked to fund it. Can you pitch in today?
As we recently reported, a new pilot study, published in the prestigious scientific journal Environmental Health, suggests that the maximum residue limits (MRLs) set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as “safe” aren’t safe at all—especially for kids.
Now, the Ramazzini Institute, which collaborated with the University of Bologna, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the George Washington University and the Cancer Institute of Genoa on the pilot study, is gearing up for the next phase—a full-blown study that, depending on results, could be used to convince regulators to ban Roundup.
There’s a reason this type of study hasn’t yet been done—it’s costly. That’s why the Ramazzini Institute has turned to the citizens of the world for help.
OCA has set a goal of raising $25,000 from U.S. consumers to help fund the most important study ever on Monsanto’s Roundup. Please make a generous donation today to this campaign. Thank you!
Please support the citizen-funded study that could get Roundup banned
Learn more about the Global Glyphosate Study
When you've got a huge problem, you send your biggest army. You’re probably thinking that army belongs to China, India or the U.S., right? Wrong. The Chinese army is around 1.3 million people—a fraction of the size of the 2.3-billion global “army of agriculturalists,” says agronomist Guy Webb, in the new 20-minute documentary “Grassroots.” According to Webb, more than any other group of people, farmers have the ability to solve one of the most challenging issues facing mankind—climate change. “Barring the ocean, soil is the biggest carbon sink we have on planet Earth,” Webb says. He believes the people growing our food are the ones we need on the front lines of the battle to reduce carbon in our atmosphere. How do Webb and others think farmers can achieve this Big Hairy Audacious Goal? Fungi. That's right. Farmers, and the "fungus amongus," could be our best hope for averting a climate disaster.
Read 'How the Largest Army in the World Can Solve Climate Change'
Every time you wear a non-organic cotton t-shirt, you expose yourself to pesticides, toxic dyes and other harmful chemical residues—even if you washed the shirt before you put it on.
But did you also know that every time you expose yourself to non-organic cotton—by sleeping on cotton sheets, or drying off with cotton towels—you’re supporting Monsanto?
More than 90 percent of cotton is genetically engineered. And it’s sprayed with some of the worst chemicals, including paraquat, considered “extremely toxic” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Organic clothing can be pricey. We get that. Thankfully, Mercola.com has introduced a “wallet-friendly” line of organic clothing.
And here’s the best news: From now until midnight June 30, you can get 20 percent off your purchase of organic cotton clothing with this promo code: ORGANIC618 and Mercola will donate 20 percent of your purchase to OCA.
Read ‘Six Things You Might Not Know About Your Clothes’
Shop now and get 20 percent of your purchase of organic clothing
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