ORGANIC BYTES #101

Health, Justice and Sustainability News Tidbits with an Edge!

1/25/2007 - Written and edited by Craig Minowa and Ronnie Cummins

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IN THIS ISSUE

ALERT OF THE WEEK: PLANTING PEACE
WHY ORGANIC CONSUMERS MUST SPEAK OUT AGAINST WAR & GLOBAL WARMING

A greater market share for local, organic & fair trade products will amount to very little in a world of constant war, vanishing oil supplies and climate chaos. That's why the Organic Consumers Association is launching "Planting Peace", a campaign to stimulate greater cooperation and synergy between the anti-war, climate crisis, and organic movements.

As supporters of peace, justice and sustainability, we have no choice but to force Washington to reallocate massive portions of federal war funding towards peace, sustainability, alternative energy, and reducing dangerous greenhouse gases. As Bush comes to Congress asking for more money for war, let's tell our elected officials: We buy local, organic & fair trade... But we're not buying this war!

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PRODUCT PLUNDER OF THE WEEK:
WAL-MART "ORGANICS"

This week, the OCA announced a boycott against Wal-Mart for refusing to respond to formal complaints that many of its stores are placing "organic" signs next to products that are not organic.

The Cornucopia Institute filed a complaint more than 60 days ago, and neither the USDA nor Wal-Mart have taken any action to fix these problems. Six months ago, the OCA called on Wal-Mart to stop selling cheap factory-farmed organic milk from Horizon and Aurora, and to increase the amount of domestically grown organic products on its shelves.

Currently, Wal-Mart is selling cheap "organic" food by sourcing products from China, Brazil, and other nations, where labor and environmental standards are lax. Over the past year Wal-Mart has lost 2-8% of its USA customers. Please join the OCA boycott.

Learn more: www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_3809.cfm

STUDY OF THE WEEK:
HUMAN GUINEA PIGS EAT APE DIET

In a British experiment filmed for television, nine volunteers agreed to set-up camp in a zoo and eat an ape's diet for 12 days. The goal of the experiment was to create a visual documentary of the types of reactions that would take place from giving up standard processed foods in favor of a diet eaten for hundreds of millions of years by our ancestors. The diet included 2,300 calories of fruits, vegetables, nuts and honey each day. Fish oil was introduced part way through the experiment to reflect a hunter-gatherer's diet. Once getting over withdrawal symptoms from caffeine and excitotoxins in their standard diets, the volunteers reported increased energy levels. Experiment volunteers all lost weight and substantially decreased cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

Learn more: www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_3847.cfm

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RECOMMENDED READING FOR THE WEEK:
VITAMIN MYTH EXPOSED

Last week, the OCA launched it's new "Nutri-Con" campaign, a campaign designed to help consumers better understand the benefits of food-based vitamins and supplements, and the drawbacks of some of the toxic synthetic ingredients in mainstream vitamins and supplements.

To continue to help educate our readers about these problematic products, in each issue of Organic Bytes we will be posting exclusive content from the forthcoming book "Vitamin Myth Exposed," by Dr.Brian Clement of the Hippocrates Health Institute. This week's installment looks at how the milligram measurement is highly inaccurate in measuring the effectiveness of a specific vitamin supplement. High milligram dosages of certain synthetically produced vitamin supplements may actually have a negative impact on the body, in contrast to a lower milligram dosage of a vitamin supplement that is food-based.

This week, readers can also take a beginning look at how high RDA values on a vitamin supplement label may not mean much (example: "1000% daily recommended dose of Vitamin C"). The RDA is of little value if the body is unable to metabolize most of the main "Vitamin C" ingredient, due to the fact that a synthetic version of this "vitamin" is very different from what you would find in a fruit or vegetable.

Learn more: www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_3900.cfm

TIP OF THE WEEK:
THE MEAT YOU EAT IS CRANKING UP THE HEAT

The United Nations has sent tremors through the livestock industry with a new report that states, "The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global."

The report shows that livestock production accounts for more greenhouse gases than automobiles. For every calorie of meat consumed, at least ten calories of fossil fuels were required to produce that meat. Animal agriculture takes up 70% of all agricultural land, and 30% of the total land surface of the planet. Today, 70% of "slash-and-burned" Amazon rainforest is used for pastureland, and feed crops cover much of the remainder.

The ultimate ramifications of the report suggest that the average American can do more to reduce global warming emissions by adjusting their meat eating habits than by switching to driving the most fuel efficient car currently on the market. Negative environmental impacts can be greatly reduced by reducing (or eliminating) meat consumption and buying locally grown and sustainably produced meats, dairy and animal products.

Learn more: www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_3853.cfm

WEIRD SCIENCE:
WHEN SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY FALLS INTO THE WRONG HANDS

Speaking at the World Social Forum in Nairobi this week, the ETC Group says abuses of synthetic biology have the potential to threaten humankind in just 5-10 years. Synthetic biology is the practice of building life from scratch. "Genetic engineering is passé," said Pat Mooney, Executive Director of ETC Group. "Today, scientists aren't just mapping genomes and manipulating genes, they're building life from scratch - and they're doing it in the absence of societal debate and regulatory oversight," said Mooney.

With synthetic biology, just about anyone can have the ability to build dangerous viruses and pathogens from scratch. It's as simple as obtaining published gene sequence information on the internet and purchasing mail-order synthetic DNA. Scientists predict that within 2-5 years it will be possible to synthesize any virus.

Learn more: www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_3825.cfm

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BOOK OF THE WEEK:
WHAT'S IN YOUR MILK?

A new book by Dr. Samuel Epstein, one of the world's leading scientific authorities on genetically engineered rBGH milk, offers readers an air-tight case against the use of Monsanto's synthetic hormone. Epstein's previous works have played a major role in influencing other nations to ban rBGH milk, including all of Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Is it time for the U.S. to finally acknowledge the dangers of this product? In this book, Epstein offers significant evidence of interlocking conflicts of interest between Monsanto and the White House, regulatory agencies, and the American Medical Association and American Cancer Society. He also details evidence of Monsanto's white collar crime; the suppression and manipulation of information on the veterinary and public health dangers of rBGH milk.

Learn more: www.preventcancer.com/publications/WhatsInYourMilkRelease.htm

WEB VIDEOS OF THE WEEK (FOR MOUTHS ONLY):

MOUTHS OF THE WORLD DEMAND REAL ORGANIC FOOD

The makers of the web sensation video "The Meatrix" have released a new online short entertaining video addressing the problems of an increasingly synthetic food supply. What would happen if all of the mouths of the world were to revolt and demand they be fed only real organic foods?

Find out here: www.MouthRevolution.com

MERCURY VAPORS FROM YOUR DENTAL FILLINGS

After watching this video, you'll never let your dentist put a mercury filling in your mouth or your child's mouth again. In this video, the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology shows how hot liquids and chewing cause different amounts of mercury vapors to be released from amalgam fillings. These mercury vapors are well above what the EPA deems safe. To watch this short video click on the "Smoking Teeth" link here: www.iaomt.org/

PLANTING PEACE ALERT

The OCA has been a long-time friend of PR Watch, a nonprofit organization focused on lime-lighting manipulative practices of the mainstream media, while, at the same time, fighting to protect journalists who stick their necks out to spread the truth.

This week, PR Watch launched an alert to protect a journalist, Sarah Olson, who could be sent to prison for refusing to testify about an interview she had with a military officer who has refused to be deployed to Iraq, due to his feeling that the Iraq war is a violation of international and domestic law. That soldier is also facing an increased prison sentence for speaking out against the war. At the same time, Sarah is facing jail time based on her belief that journalists shouldn’t be asked to participate in government prosecutions, especially of political speech.

Send a letter to Congress: www.prwatch.org/defendthepress/congress.html

LOVELY THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: GIVE FAIR TRADE AND ORGANIC CHOCOLATES AND FLOWERS THIS VALENTINES

Valentines Day marks the biggest shopping day of the year, when it comes to chocolate and flowers. But did you know that by purchasing organic and Fair Trade chocolate and flowers (see our buying guide), your consumer dollars will no longer be going towards toxic pesticides, child slavery, and farm worker exploitation? Over 40 percent of the world's conventional chocolate (i.e. non-organic and non-Fair Trade) comes from the Ivory Coast, where the US State Department has reported widespread instances of child slavery. Meanwhile organizations such as the Pesticide Action Network point out that commercial flowers, produced in countries such as Colombia, are the most toxic and heavily sprayed agricultural crops on Earth.

Take action:

Check out OCA's Organic Valentines Day Action Page to watch OCA's entertaining Valentines flash video "Slammed", to send a letter to CEO's of five major chocolate and flower companies, and to find out where you can order Fair Trade and organic chocolate and flowers for your sweetie this Valentines Day.

www.organicconsumers.org/valentines/

Donate Now!We rely on your donations to continue our work on these important issues!

www.organicconsumers.org/donations.htm

messages from our supporters

2If you're eating pure foods, shouldn't your vitamins and supplements be completely plant or food-based, and free of synthetic chemicals?

Botani Vitamins & Supplements invites you to experience the difference between a synthetic based vitamin and a vitamin made of ingredients you can only find in nature. Botani supplement category represents a truly pure, food inherent, supplement with assayed vitamin, mineral and nutrient potencies derived only and directly from food and botanical extract sources. No synthetic vitamins (USP), minerals or nutrients have been added to these supplements (either directly or indirectly). BOTANI Multi Vitamins is a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement that is derived directly from NATURALLY OCCURRING, full-spectrum fruit, botanical, and grain sources. Try Botani Vitamins & Supplements!

Bring the warmth of natural wax candles into your home...

1Aloha Bay is the largest U.S. manufacturer of vegetable wax candles, providing the broadest selection of vegetable wax products in the gift industry: tapers, tea lights, votives, and a half dozen jar candles (Chakra Jars, Highly Fragranced Deco Jars and Trip Lights, etc.). We also have the widest selection of colors, fragrances and unscented products.

Palm Wax Candles are really a different looking line from anything out there. With its crystallized finish, it adds a new dimension to the home.

Aloha Bay is consistently rated in the top ten candle products in Giftbeat, the gift retailer survey, and is one of the top-selling candles in natural food stores.

Order Aloha Bay candles!

Please forward this publication to family and friends, place it on websites, print it, duplicate it and post it freely. Knowledge is power!

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ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION
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