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Organic Bytes #113: 7/12/2007

Health, Justice and Sustainability News Tidbits with an Edge!
Written and edited by Craig Minowa and Ronnie Cummins
CapitolGrassroots Victory of the Week:

Congress Backs Off on Suppressing Local Rights
to Regulate Food Safety

Thanks to everyone who has joined in on OCA's recent Farm Bill action alerts. Deluged with thousands of letters from consumers and organic advocates, Congress is removing language, so-called Section 123, from the Farm Bill that would have eliminated local and state governments' power to regulate genetically engineered crops and police food safety at the local and state level (learn more about this past alert here).

This is a significant achievement. The 2007-2012 Farm Bill is a massive, multi-faceted piece of legislation, so there is a lot of work to be done to move this multi-billion dollar colossus in a sustainable and equitable direction. If you haven't already done so, please take action on the following OCA Farm Bill alerts:

None of This Work Would Be Possible Without Your Donations

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

Please donate now:
Study of the Week:

Organic Farming Can Feed The World

EarthA new University of Michigan study indicates that organic farming is more productive than chemical and energy intensive industrial agriculture. Researchers noted 293 examples in previous studies that corroborate the fact that organic farming is better than conventional, but pointed out that biased studies funded by chemical producers have clouded the public's understanding of the issue.

Corporate agribusiness has spent decades repeating the mantra that chemical intensive agriculture is necessary to feed the world. But according to the new report, "Model estimates indicate that organic methods could produce enough food on a global per capita basis to sustain the current human population, and potentially an even larger population, without increasing the agricultural land base."

Ivette Perfecto, a professor at the University of Michigan, said of the study, "My hope is that we can finally put a nail in the coffin of the idea that you can't produce enough food through organic agriculture."

Learn more:
Pouring PesticidesAnother Study of the Week:

Scientists Reveal that Pesticides are
Reducing Crop Yields by One-Third

The National Academy of Sciences dropped a bombshell on the agri-toxics lobby in June when it published a study indicating that pesticides are actually decreasing crop yields by one-third. Specifically, pesticides are killing important bacteria in the soil that naturally produce a usable form of nitrogen for plants, a necessary fertilizer. As the use of chemical pesticides has increased in the U.S., soil bacteria have been dramatically reduced, thereby creating an insatiable demand for petroleum-based fertilizers. In contrast, organic farming promotes a healthy living soil with increased crop yields.

Learn more:
Disaster of the Week:

America's Chemically Dependent & Toxic Lawns

Solution of the Week:

The Best Looking Organic Lawn on the Block

Read the Citizen's Guide to Organic Lawn Care for more info:
Laying onn the LawnWeb Videos of the Week:

Organic Lawns

The Wall Street Journal takes an entertaining look at organic lawns. Watch one of the Journal editors convert her yard to organic. Learn about some of the new lawn weeding tools on the market as well as organic grass fertilizers. Also see a photo slideshow detailing how one homeowner achieved a lush green lawn with various organic techniques. Scroll to the bottom of the Wall Street Journal article to see a step-by-step guide for going pesticide free in your own yard.

Harry Potter Takes On Waldemart

Harry Potter ParodyOCA's "Breaking the Chains" campaign has dedicated itself to reminding consumers of how Wal-Mart destroys local independent businesses, exploits workers, and undermines organic food and farming.

This week, we are happy to share with you a humorous video that will appeal to all ages.. In a few weeks, the seventh and final installment of the Harry Potter book series will be released, and Wal-Mart stands to sell millions of copies. But in order to drive customers into their stores, Wal-Mart is selling the books dirt cheap -- 50% below the suggested retail price.This typical Wal-Mart move to destroy its competition will likely have a devastating effect on already struggling independent book stores across the country.

Watch this humorous web video and don't forget to boycott Wal-Mart and the chains.

Your Online Organic Community is Waiting for You

TypingIn a matter of just two minutes from now, you could be posting your thoughts on OCA's website for thousands of people to read. OCA's new interactive web Forum is now buzzing with green-minded folk, like you, from all over the world. Even if you are unfamiliar with web forums, this easy-to-use tool provides you with a place to post questions and comments about any OCA related issue... all the while building community and solidarity.

Whether your passion is organics, food safety, sustainability, social justice issues, politics, or any other related topic, we welcome you to login today and start posting your ideas and questions for discussion.

Dialing For Organic Dollars

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

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:

Support Our Supporters

Eden Foods Goes Beyond 'USDA Organic'

Eden ProductsEden Foods is one of the few national organic food producers who goes beyond the USDA Organic Standards.
Although Eden Foods is USDA certified, their products do not bear the USDA seal, because they say the USDA standard really represents a "minimum standard" that Eden Foods goes far beyond.
Learn more about how Eden Foods has a long tradition of fighting for strong organic standards here.

Frey Organic WinesGreat 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!

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place it on websites, print it, duplicate it and post it freely.
Knowledge is power!

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