OCA’s Ronnie Cummins recently joined our sister organization, Regeneration International, and South American farmers and civil society groups, to participate in COP25 events in Santiago, Chile, even though the official global climate summit was moved to Madrid. (More on that here).
While there, Ronnie witnessed firsthand some of the protests against government and corporate corruption.
"Marching and chanting with our Chilean brothers and sisters along riot-scarred streets in central Santiago, past an astonishing number of smashed-up billboards, burnt-out subway stations, battered storefronts, broken traffic lights, boarded-up banks, hotels and businesses, it’s clear that elite control and ‘business as usual, at least here in Chile, is no longer tolerable. Along the major thoroughfares such as Avenida Providencia, neighborhood or family-owned businesses, ‘somos pyme have generally been spared, while colonial monuments, government buildings, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Oxxo, Domino’s Pizza the Crown Plaza Hotel, and other symbols of multinational control and consumerism have been spray painted, smashed and vandalized."
In his “Letter from Santiago,” Ronnie talks about the confluence of climate change and social unrest, how they are linked, what food and farming has to do with both, and what steps citizens, farmers and governments need to take in the face of today’s global eco-social crisis.
Read: ‘Letter from Santiago’
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In a perfect world, our taxpayer-funded federal government regulatory agencies wouldn’t allow chemical companies like Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) and DowDupont to poison us and our kids.
In the world we live in—where corporations can buy the laws that protect their obscene profits—we, the people, have to fight back against the poison cartel, starting in our own backyards.
The New York Times editorial board this week decried the failure of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxin known to be especially dangerous for children.
The editorial also called out New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for vetoing a bill that would have banned the chemical in his state, despite broad partisan support for the measure.
Noting that chlorpyrifos was originally developed by Nazis in World War II as a nerve gas, the Times editors called the continuing use of chlorpyrifos “surprising:"
"The health risks posed by continued spraying of chlorpyrifos are especially high for farmworkers and rural communities. But the E.P.A. has found that young children everywhere are exposed to the chemical—at levels 140 times higher than the agency’s safety threshold—through the simple act of eating."
A few states have been successful in banning chlorpyrifos. Meanwhile, no states have yet successfully banned glyphosate-based herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup.
But thanks to the work of activists, some towns and schools are listening to the science, and to concerned citizens.
An article this week in Civil Eats highlights the work of some of those activists. It’s an inspiring read. And a roadmap for all of us who, faced with a leadership vacuum at the top, are determined to lead from the grassroots.
Read ‘Community-Led Efforts to Ban Glyphosate in Public Spaces Pick Up Speed’
TAKE ACTON: Join the campaign for glyphosate-free and organic campuses
Print this flyer and share with you school board, PTA and other parents
TAKE ACTION: Ask your Governor and state legislators to ban chlorpyrifos!
TAKE ACTION: Make your state the first to ban Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller
How is it that poisons like glyphosate and chlorpyrifos can be sold—and sprayed on food—almost everywhere in the U.S., but 22 states prohibit sales of raw milk?
In fact, you almost need a law degree to figure out the jumbled mix of state laws governing raw milk sales.
Why do known carcinogens get a pass from U.S. regulatory agencies, but raw milk gets a raw deal?
Congress has never passed a ban on raw milk. Yet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has used its regulatory authority to raid farms and prosecute farmers for distributing raw milk.
Some members of Congress want to stop the raids, and make it easier for consumers to buy—and farmers to sell—raw milk.
This week, Representatives Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) introduced the Interstate Milk Freedom Act (H.R. 5410), a bill that prohibits federal interference with the interstate traffic of unpasteurized milk and milk products that are packaged for direct human consumption.
Isn’t it time we stopped treating raw milk, widely recognized for its health benefits, as if it were more toxic than Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller?
TAKE ACTION: Ask Your Member of Congress to support your right to choose raw milk by supporting H.R. 5410, the Interstate Milk Freedom Act.
This list of reasons to end factory farming is almost as long as the Pinnochio noses on the faces of corporate CEOs who claim we can’t feed the world without this ugly, unhealthful, environmentally catastrophic system.
This week, journalist Martha Rosenberg writes about one more ugly truth about factory farms, one that probably isn’t even on your radar: African Swine Fever (ASF).
ASF has already killed about one-fourth of the world’s pigs—the ones living in factory farms.
But you’ve probably not even heard about this latest pandemic. That’s because it’s just another inconvenient fact that Big Meat doesn’t want you to know about.
Fortunately, under growing pressure from consumers, organic and regenerative farmers, and animal activists, Congress is waking up to the fact that factory farms, or CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations) need to go.
Just this week, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced a bill calling for an immediate and permanent moratorium on building or expanding large CAFOs and the closing of all existing large CAFOs by 2040.
Booker joins presidential candidates Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in calling for major farm policy reforms that could lead to the end of factory farming. Yay!
Read ‘The Latest Livestock Pandemic Big Meat Doesn't Want You to Know About’
SIGN THE PETITION: Tell Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Cory Booker: Thank you for standing up to Big Ag and looking out for small farmers!
If you follow our work, or the work of other good nonprofits, you know the drill: You’re going to get a lot of fundraising emails between now and midnight December 31.
Many nonprofits, including ours, raise a significant portion of their annual budget during the last week of the year.
If we don’t run a successful year-end fundraising campaign, we run into trouble.
And when we run into trouble, we have to skimp on something, whether it’s our educational efforts, our advocacy, our lobbying or our legal and corporate campaign work.
Still, we get that all those year-end fundraising emails cluttering up your inbox might not be welcome. So we’ve come up with a plan.
If you’d like to be removed from our year-end fundraising campaign, make a monthly donation—of any amount—and we’ll take you off the fundraising email list (but keep you on the newsletter list).
As always, thank you. We are so grateful for your support.
Make a monthly donation to OCA to opt out of our year-end fundraising
Click here for more ways to support our work
What if they held a forum on climate change and agriculture for presidential candidates, and the candidates didn’t show up?
That’s not quite what happened earlier this month—but it’s close.
On December 5, the Organic Farmers Association (OFA) and the Iowa Organic Association held a Presidential Forum: “Combating Climate Change with Organic and Regenerative Agriculture.”
Max Goldberg of Living Maxwell reported that according to OFA Executive Director, Kate Mendenhall:
“We had been talking with the candidates since the spring, trying to get them on an organic farm and have them learn more about the impact that organic farming has had on the local communities. We came up with an idea for a forum, but it was just not a priority for most of them. However, we were thrilled that Senator Sanders came.”
That’s right. One candidate—Sen. Bernie Sanders—showed up to answer questions from Iowa’s organic farmers.
Francis Thicke, whose resumé includes dairy farmer and co-chair of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers for a Green New Deal, introduced Sanders, who then fielded questions from Thicke and others.
Sanders’ responses may not all have been perfect, or perfectly complete. But he showed up. And he showed interest.
Watch Bernie Sanders on organic food and farming
More about the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers for a Green New Deal
FARMERS & RANCHERS ONLY: Sign this letter to Congress
CONSUMERS: Sign this petition
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) latest attack on consumer rights is designed to make it more difficult to legally obtain homeopathic remedies.
Our friends at the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) report that the FDA recently issued a revised draft guidance declaring that all homeopathic drugs are being marketed illegally.
Why go after homeopathic treatments? According to ANH, the FDA’s motivation appears to be driven more by the agency’s desire to protect Big Pharma’s profits, than out of concern for the public.
TAKE ACTION: Tell the FDA to protect consumers’ right to homeopathic remedies
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Two New Bills Would Blunt Impact of Factory Farms on Public Health and the Environment
Greta Tells COP25: ‘This Has Got to Stop’
Pesticides in the Real World: The Consequences of GMO-Based Agriculture on Native Amphibians
Are ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Our Milk? Nobody Has Really Been Testing
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