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June 10, 2009

Organic Bytes #177: Doctors Warning on GMOs, Organics Proven More Nutritious, Silk Soymilk Scam & More...

Health, Justice and Sustainability News
from the Organic Consumers Association

In This Issue

  • Quote of the Week: Doctors Call for Ban on Genetically Modified Foods
  • Alert of the Week: The American Dietetic Association Buries Organic Nutrition Facts
  • Organic Nutrition News of the Week: Why Government Nutrition Programs Shouldn't Ban Organic
  • OCA Web Forum Posting of the Week: Silk Soymilk Packaging Scam
  • Plunder of the Week: Judge's Ruling Fuels Meltdown in Organic Dairy Industry
  • Health News of the Week: Study Raises Fresh Questions about the Safety of Water Fluoridation
  • Other Headlines and Articles of the Week

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Quote of the Week

Doctors Call for Ban on Genetically Modified Foods

On May 19, 2009 the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) released a landmark position paper signed by physicians across the U.S. calling for a moratorium on GE foods:

"Avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible... Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food... There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation...The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies."

Learn more

Alert of the Week

The American Dietetic Association Buries Organic Nutrition Facts

The American Dietetic Association (ADA) is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. Its opinions influence health care professionals, the media, and state and federal policies. While ADA claims it is committed to "improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy," its perspective is clearly being influenced by corporate agribusiness. Although the ADA has nothing to say about the abundance of scientific studies exposing the dangers of genetically engineered foods , the organization's own Marianne Smith Edge has been giving anti-organic keynote addresses at meetings of state dietetic associations across the nation. The ADA's own studies in 2007 and 2009 revealed that plants cultivated in organic systems contain higher levels of nutrients, yet the ADA's website claims, "nutritionally there is no evidence that organic produce is better or safer than conventionally grown produce." It's time to expose the ADA's bias. Use OCA's handy online tool to click and send a pre-written "letter to the editor" to your local media outlets.

Learn more and take action

Organic Nutrition News of the Week

Why Government Nutrition Programs Shouldn't Ban Organic

A growing number of states have been preventing WIC (Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) recipients from purchasing organic products based on three major excuses: the 'high' cost of organics, a supposed lack of scientific evidence that organic produce is more nutritious than its conventional counterparts, and recipient preferences (see how your state stands on this issue here). OCA is taking this issue to Congress, to demand that the federal government acknowledge the benefits of an organic diet when the Child Nutrition Act and WIC are reauthorized this year. Chantal Clement, graduate student and OCA intern, debunks the myth that there's no difference in the nutritional value of organic and non-organic food here:

Learn more

Quick Organic Facts of the Week

Health Benefits & Exploding Sales

-A new Organic Trade Association report reveals sales of organic products in 2008 grew 17.1% over the previous year. Organic food sales grew more than three times the rate of nonorganic food sales.

-According to the Journal of Applied Nutrition, organically grown fruits and vegetables have significantly higher nutritional content than conventional produce: "Organically grown apples, wheat, sweet corn, potatoes and pears were examined over a 2 year period and were 63% higher in calcium, 73% higher in iron, 118% higher in magnesium, 178% higher in molybdenum, 91% higher in phosphorus, 125% higher in potassium and 60% higher in zinc than conventionally grown produce." In addition, organic meats were not only found to be leaner, but also have about five times the omega-3s.

-In a conventional diet, we are exposed to over 70 pesticide-related pollutants on a daily basis. A recent 2009 report found that switching to an organic diet reduces pesticide exposure by over 95%.

-The Environmental Working Group published a list of the 12 most pesticide ridden foods based on 87,000 tests. Nectarines, peaches, apples, strawberries and imported grapes topped the list. The most pesticide-free non-organic produce includes onions, avocados, and sweet corn.

Learn More

OCA Web Forum Posting of the Week

Silk Soymilk Packaging Scam

The OCA web forum is an online community of like-minded people sharing thoughts about the wide variety of topics you regularly read about in Organic Bytes or on the OCA website. The web forum now has over 4,500 members and nearly 10,000 posts. One of those recent posts was from a user named Tedalan:

"I was very involved in the creation of Silk Organic Soymilk when it was first designed and manufactured. Steve Demos was very committed to Silk being Non-GMO, Organic and Vegan. Suddenly, when buying Silk at Whole Foods, I discovered that none of the Silk flavors in half gallon containers were certified organic. The cartons look exactly the same as before with the exception/removal of the USDA Organic Seal and the word "organic" before soybeans in the nutritional panel. This is a very sneaky way for a manufacturer to discontinue Non-GMO Organic soybeans in the manufacture of their product. I also wonder why Whole Foods continues to sell this product without a warning sign."

Join the Discussion in OCA's Blog and Web Forum

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Headlines and Articles of the Week

1) Plunder of the Week: Judge's Ruling Fuels Meltdown in Organic Dairy Industry
Last week, a judge in federal district court in St. Louis, rejected 19 class-action lawsuits filed by consumers who are claiming fraud in the sale of "organic" milk coming from one of the giant operations.
Learn more

2) Health News of the Week: Study Raises Fresh Questions about the Safety of Water Fluoridation
"A new cancer study from India suggests that fluoride is a contributing factor to osteosarcoma, or bone cancer - but just how much fluoride intake causes the uncommon disease is not clear..."
Learn more

3) Website of the Week: The Organic Center
Peer-reviewed scientific studies on the benefits of organic farming.

4) Organic Transition News of the Week: Report-- Agriculture Holds a Key to Solving Global Warming
A new Worldwatch Institute study indicates greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 25% by implementing some basic changes to the world's food production practices.
Learn more

5) Web Video of the Week: The Colbert Report Looks at Industrial Agriculture
One of the most important tools in any activist's belt is a little levity. Check out this Comedy Central clip to see Steven Colbert and Eric Schlosser debate factory farms, GMOs, and the monopolization of food.


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