The first car my parents carted me and my brothers and sister around in, in the 1950s, didn’t even have seatbelts. Not one of us was ever strapped into a car seat. No kid I knew donned a helmet before hopping on her bike.
When I was a kid, there were no government-regulated safety standards for cribs or playpens or strollers. There were no “choking hazard” warnings on the packages containing the toys we played with, regardless of how many small, potentially detachable parts came with those toys.
Over decades marred by child deaths in car accidents, and what were determined to be preventable deaths if only baby equipment manufacturers had thought to make this crib safer, or that stroller less dangerous, the federal government stepped in.
Yet of the more than 80,000 chemicals used in the U.S. today, most haven’t been adequately tested for their impact on human health, much less on the health of children.
That’s bad enough. But this is worse: Despite being “regulated” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and despite being linked to a host of human health issues, agricultural chemicals like glyphosate and chlorpyrifos that pollute our air and water and whose residues contaminate our food, continue to be widely used. Even though cancer kills more children in the U.S. than accidents do.
My three siblings and I were lucky. We survived, minus the seatbelts and carseats and helmets that provide protection for today’s kids. But I worry for my 2-year-old grandson and 6-year-old granddaughter. Though they travel surrounded by high-tech protective gear and play with safety-tested toys, when it comes to cancer-causing chemicals, they're at the mercy of our government “protection” agencies that place a far higher value on corporate profits than they do on small lives.
Read 'When Will We Start Applying the Precautionary Principle to the Chemicals that Are Killing Our Kids?'
TAKE ACTION: Tell your state lawmakers: Ban chlorpyrifos!
TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA in your own words why glyphosate should be banned
We have just a few more days—until the end of the day Monday, August 5—to let the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) know that the people who pay their salaries (that would be us) are mighty unhappy with their plans to put chemical-pushers like Monsanto in charge of deciding what’s “safe.”
Under a proposal the USDA ridiculously calls “Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, Efficient,” or “SECURE” for short, the job of “regulating” genetically modified organisms (GMOs) would be handed over to the companies that create them.
Why did this obviously flawed proposal come about? Because the USDA “wants agribusiness to sell more genetically engineered (GE) seeds and food products all over the world, as soon as possible,” says Dr. Steve Suppan, senior policy analyst for the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP).
How did it come about? Secretly and suspiciously, according to IATP:
Input to develop the proposed rule occurred at private meetings with 80 organizations, with no public record of how these organizations influenced the content of the proposed rule. The private meetings with no public announcement are likely illegal under the Administrative Procedures Act and other laws governing federal rulemaking.
If approved, this proposal will be a disaster for consumers, and a disaster for the environment.
It's not a done deal yet. Please let the USDA know what you think. And don’t hold back.
Read ‘USDA Opens Door to New Untested, Unlabeled GMOs’
Read ‘Genetically Engineered Farm Animals: Regulators Rush to Keep Consumers in the Dark’
DEADLINE AUGUST 5: Tell the USDA to do its job: protect consumers, not the biotech industry!
OCA got its start defending Organic Standards. In 1998, when those standards were first being drafted, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) wanted to allow genetic engineering, irradiation and toxic sewage sludge in organic production and products.
We said no way. With allied organizations, and help from hundreds of thousands of consumers like you, we mobilized a massive consumer campaign to stop all three. And we won.
Now we may have to do it all over again.
In addition to the USDA’s recent proposal to pretty much let chemical and biotech companies regulate their own GMOs, there’s talk at the agency about allowing gene-editing techniques in organic.
Yes, you heard that right. Under Secretary of Agriculture Greg Ibach floated the idea at a July 17 House Agriculture Subcommittee hearing.
We’ve fought too hard and come too far to give up this fight. With your support, we’ll stop this craziness in its tracks.
Please make a generous donation today to help our campaign to Save Organic Standards. Thank you!
Make a tax-deductible donation to Organic Consumers Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
Support Citizens Regeneration Lobby, OCA’s 501(c)(4) lobbying arm (not tax-deductible)
Click here for more ways to support our work
On July 31, CBS Marketwatch wrote about our recent lawsuit against Twinings Tea for falsely for claiming its glyphosate-contaminated tea is made with “100% natural ingredients.”
Coincidentally, that same day, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) recommended a global phase-out of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller. In a statement, FIGO wrote:
"When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically."
Unfortunately, the Precautionary Principle has yet to trump corporate profitmaking.
Meanwhile, Bayer (which bought Monsanto last year) this week said that the number of Roundup-related lawsuits—filed against the company by people who allege that exposure to the weedkiller caused their cancer—is now approximately 18,400.
All the more reason to call out companies like Twinings for misleading consumers about the “naturalness” of products that contain a chemical that the World Health Organization has classified as a “probable human carcinogen.”
People should know what’s in their food—especially when what’s in their food has been linked to a host of human health issues. It's only natural.
Read ‘Beech-Nut Baby Food and Twinings Tea Contain Traces of a Chemical Linked to Cancer—Should You Be Concerned?’
Read the Statement by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics on the Removal of Glyphosate from Global Usage
TAKE ACTION: By Midnight September 3: Tell the EPA: Ban Glyphosate!
The Hollywood Reporter called it a “blood-boiling eco-doc.” Movie City News called it “one of the most genuinely scary films at Sundance this year.”
“The Devil We Know” is a documentary about a common chemical and its potential to cause birth defects in the unborn, and at least six diseases in humans. And, in an all-too-familiar story, the film documents how two corporations—DuPont and 3M—hid the truth about its dangerous chemical, from employees and from the public.
You may have long ago thrown out all your Teflon™-coated pans. But C8, the chemical used to make Teflon, is (or in some cases was) used in a wide variety of other consumer products.
Today, C8 contamination is so widespread that, according to this article in the Intercept, 99 percent of Americans have the chemical in their blood.
Read ‘The Devil We Know:’ How DuPont Poisoned the World with Teflon’
Ecorestoration is “the great work of our time,” according to one of last year’s land-restoration campers at the Vía Orgánica Ranch, a regenerative teaching farm and ranch near San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
What’s an “ecorestoration camp?” The best explanation is here, in this video produced by Wil Crombie of Organic Compound Farm for OCA’s Vía Orgánica project in collaboration with Ecosystem Restoration Camps and Regeneration International.
Want to participate?
Join Vía Orgánica and the Ecosystem Restoration Camp Movement in Mexico for the week of Nov. 9th to 17th at the land-restoration camp at Vía Orgánica Ranch.
Volunteer to camp, work, study, connect with the earth and meet new friends in this beautiful ranch near San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Camp activities will include restoration work such as tree planting, composting, seed collecting, earthworks, cooking, listening to music, campfires, making new friends and much more.
Ecosystem restoration is a growing global strategy to naturally draw down and sequester carbon from the atmosphere and store it in our soils, forests and vegetation to reverse global warming.
Learn more and sign up
Watch this beautiful video filmed on site at the last Vía Orgánica Ecosystem Restoration Camp in March
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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