Organic Bytes
Health, Justice and Sustainability News 
February 11, 2009 -  Issue #161
In This Issue
NAIS Alert: Protect your right to farm and to eat local food!
OCF Alert of the Week: Good Jobs, Green Jobs
Consumer Victory of the Week: Yoplait Goes rBGH-Free
Valentines Tips of the Week: Turn Your Heart Green
Web Video of the Week:The OCA Presents "Slammed" - A Valentines Video
Headlines and Articles of the Week
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Organic Consumers Association
NAIS Alert:
Protect your right to farm and to eat local food!
The USDA has proposed a rule to require all farms and ranches where animals are raised to be registered in a federal database under the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) for existing disease control programs. The draft rule covers programs for cattle, sheep, goats, and swine. It also sets the stage for the entire NAIS program to be mandated for everyone, including anyone who owns even one livestock animal, for example, a single chicken or a horse.

It is critical that the USDA and Congress hear from the hundreds of thousands of people who will be adversely affected by the NAIS program. This includes not only animal owners, but also consumers who care about local and sustainable foods, taxpayers who object to wasteful government programs, and advocates for a safer food system.

Take action today!

Organic Consumers Fund Alert of the Week:
Good Jobs, Green Jobs
The U.S. system of petroleum-based, biotech, and chemical-intensive agriculture produces an enormous amount of relatively inexpensive food. Of course, that's ignoring the huge hidden costs to taxpayers and damage to public health, the environment, and climate stability (not to mention the routine exploitation of farmers and laborers).  Our leaders in Washington are currently looking at making some major policy changes, so there's no better time to let our elected public officials to create jobs in the food and farming sector that help, rather than undermine public health; that conserve and rejuvenate the environment; and that guarantee workers living wages, safe working conditions, and the right to organize. Energy-efficient, carbon-sequestering organic agriculture is the only system with the potential to turn back global warming, create millions of green jobs, and produce healthy, affordable food.
  Related Alerts:
Consumer Victory of the Week:
Yoplait Goes rBGH-Free
Yoplait, a leading brand of yoghurt, and the 19th largest dairy producer in the U.S., has announced, that as of August 2009, it will no longer purchase milk from dairies injecting their cows with Monsanto's controversial genetically engineered synthetic hormone, recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). Yoplait's rejection of rBGH-tainted milk comes in the wake of a consumer campaign organized by the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, the OCA, and dozens of allied public interest organizations. Yoplait's action is amplified by a growing number of mainstream companies who have recently turned their backs on rBGH, including Starbucks, Caribou, Cabot cheese, and Subway. For over ten years, OCA and our allies have led the charge against rBGH and other genetically engineered foods and food ingredients. Although rBGH is not allowed on organic farms and is banned in most of the industrialized world because of its threats to both animal and human health, this cruel and dangerous drug is still injected into approximately 10% of U.S. dairy cows--to force them to produce more milk. With your help, OCA and its allies will continue our campaign until Monsanto's rBGH is driven completely off the market.
Learn more

Valentines Tips of the Week:
Turn Your Heart Green
1) Instead of buying cut roses, give your loved one a living indoor plant. They clean the air and last a lot longer. Or plant a rose bush in the yard.
2) Nothing strums the strings of your sweetie's heart like a homemade gift. Take the time to put your thoughts into a hand-made card. Offer coupons for free kisses, house chores or back rubs. Make a home-cooked organic meal.
3) If you are planning to purchase your gift, buy organic and Fair Trade chocolate, organic or natural candles and recycled gift cards.
Use OCA's Buying Guide here
Web Video of the Week:
The OCA Presents "Slammed" - A Valentines Video
The Organic Consumers Association put together this fun animated web video a few years ago, but most of the information is still relevant, other than the dude in the White House. Learn how to avoid getting "slammed" this Valentines with Fair Trade and organic chocolate and flowers.

Mark Your Calendars:
Join Wendell Berry & Take a Stand Against Coal at the Nation's Capitol On March 2, 2009
Join Wendell Berry, poet laureate and intellectual leader of the organic movement, and thousands of others in a multi-generational act of civil disobedience at the Capitol Power Plant, the utility that powers Congress with dirty energy and symbolizes a past that threatens our future. Let's use this as a rallying cry for a clean energy economy that will protect the health of our families, our climate, and our future.

Donate Online Now

The work of the Organic Consumer's Association, including the Organic Bytes email you are reading, is all due to the generous contributions of our supporters.  If you enjoy our work, please donate today!

Donate Here

Headlines of the Week:
Headlines 1) Organic Sales Triple
2) At least 14 Studies Have Exposed the High Cost of Ethanol and Biofuels
3) Environmentalists Try Greening Cane Sugar
4) Local Organic Food & Farming Can Help Revitalize the Economy
5) Did Child Labor Make Your Shirt? The Story Behind Most Cotton Clothing

Let OCA sift through the media smog and bring you the top new and analysis of the day. The OCA website has 10 or more news articles posted each day, and a library of over 40,000 articles covering issues including health, justice, food and farming, politics, and the environment. Bookmark

Organic Geek News of the Week:
Do You Twitter?
Organic Twitter

The OCA is now on Twitter! We will be posting from our news feed, as well as new campaigns, alerts, and anything else we think you'll like! Get OCA news anywhere and everywhere you go.
Sign up:
Message From OCA Sponsor:
Freedom Butter
Living Tree CommunityOur almond butter is created in Berkeley, a wellspring of the human spirit. It has a rich tradition of Americans who dared to speak their truth. That's why we call it Freedom Butter.

We invite you to open a jar and spread our almond butter on a slice of apple. Experience its texture and savor its aroma.

Taste the ethos of Berkeley, 20 Nobel Price winners have taught here.
We've been making almond butter from almonds grown by family farmers for over 25 years. Living Tree Community Foods


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ORGANIC BYTES is written and edited by Craig Minowa and Ronnie Cummins
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