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ORGANIC BYTES #112: 6/27/2007

Health, Justice and Sustainability News Tidbits with an Edge!
Written and edited by Craig Minowa and Ronnie Cummins

CongressmanAlert: USDA Ignores Public Rejection of Proposal to Allow 38 Non-Organic Ingredients & Toxic Fish Oil in Foods Labeled as "USDA Organic"

Basically ignoring more than ten thousand emails and letters from consumers and farmers opposing the latest industry-sponsored attack on organic standards, the USDA has approved a proposal allowing 38 new non-organic ingredients to be allowed in products bearing the "USDA Organic" seal. But the agency says this may just be interim approval, and has offered to extend the public comment period another 60 days (the original public comment period was only 7 days). The USDA's controversial proposal will result in the following:

Learn more and take action:

phoningDialing for Organic Dollars

Each year, Working Assets Long Distance (WALD) Company donates a portion of its revenue to national non-profitsdoing front line work on progressive issues, such as the Organic Consumers Association (OCA).

If you are a current Working Assets customer, you can help the OCA receive a portion of these funds by sending a quick online letter, nominating the OCA for donations. Thanks!

WALD customers vote for OCA here:

Quick Facts of the Week: Corn-Based Ethanol Adds to Global Food Crisis

microphoneQuote of the Week

"The stage is now set for direct competition for grain between the 800 million people who own automobiles, and the world's 2 billion poorest people."

-Lester Brown from the Earth Policy Institute,
speaking at a briefing to the US Senate two weeks ago.

gas pump guy
image parody

Solution of the Week:
Feed the Hungry at the Gas Pump

Grant Wood Parody
image parody

Alert: The 2007 Farm Bill

Sustainable Agriculture or Corporate Welfare

Congress is currently drafting a new Farm Bill, legislation that will determine agriculture policy for the next five years. Will it be more corporate welfare for polluting agribusiness or new incentives for farmers to provide healthy and affordable food while protecting farmworkers and the environment? Unfortunately, the bill that the House Agriculture Committee is working on is looking a lot more like the former.

Please write Congress in support of sustainable agriculture:
big brother is watching
image parody

NAIS Alert: Keep 'Big Brother' Out of Farm Bill

Industrial agriculture lobbyists have been pushing for a National Animal Identification System (NAIS) for several years. The proposed NAIS program would require every person who owns a farm animal, even if it's just one chicken or a pet horse, to register their "property" with the federal government, identify each animal (in most cases with implanted microchips or other electronic identification), and report their movements on a national database.

This program would impose particularly heavy burdens on family farmers who raise animals on pasture, while giving further competitive advantage to factory farms. The House Committee on Agriculture is considering a provision in the massive 2007 Farm Bill that would implement NAIS. The House Committee on Agriculture will vote on the bill July 12, so time is of the essence.

Learn more and take action:

None of This Work Would Be Possible Without Your Donations

Donate Now!We need your support today to help us continue our work to safeguard organic standards and to promote fair trade and sustainability. Please donate now.

Web Video of the Week: Soil is One Secret Solution to Global Warming

soilCan organic farming fight climate change? Yes. And we're not just talking about food miles. Research from the Rodale Institute shows that sustainably-farmed soil absorbs 30% more carbon than conventional agriculture, and switching our farmland to organic would cut greenhouse emissions by 10% in the US (20% in Canada and most of the rest of the world).

For a concise explanation of how organic farming could be a major tool in the fight against climate change check out the 10 minute online video SOIL: The Secret Solution to Global Warming, featuring Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser. The website includes an online petition calling on world leaders to switch subsidies from conventional to sustainable farming practices.

Learn more and watch:

Web Forum: Your Online Organic Community Has Arrived

OCA Web ForumThanks to hundreds of you who responded to our invitation to join OCA's new web forum. We have just added a new blog feature to the forum, so feel free to go in and set up your own dedicated blogs. The OCA website receives over six million hits each month, so we're excited about the potential for discussion and networking this forum can provide.

Of course, a forum isn't any good without its users, so even if you're a newbie and have never used a forum, please follow this link and get involved:

Support Our Supporters

Organic ValleyCitizens of the Nation:

We are cows from Organic Valley, a farmer-owned cooperative of independent family farms. We live on the land, grazing abundant pastures, free from the influence of synthetic hormones, pesticides and corporate overlords. Our movement is strong. Our cause is just. And our milk is undeniably delicious.
Visit to learn about our farmers in your region. Join Farm Friends to support our movement and receive an inspirational kit with coupons.

Frey VineyardsGreat Organic Wines

Savor delicious, award-winning wine varieties from Frey Vineyards - California’s oldest organic winery.  Appreciate layers of vibrant flavors not masked by the added sulfites found in most other wines.
Learn more about Frey’s special offer here

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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