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July 29, 2009

Organic Bytes #184: Food Safety, Coming Clean & More

Health, Justice and Sustainability News
from the Organic Consumers Association

In This Issue

  • Quote of the Week: Everything I Really Need to Know, I Learned Growing Up on a Farm
  • Alert of the Week: The Food Safety Enhancement Act Hurts Small Farmers and Organics
  • Campaign Update of the Week: What's Going on With OCA's Coming Clean Campaign?
  • Related News: USDA Seeks Comments on Organic Certification of Soaps
  • Organic Bytes Readers Talk Back: Food Toxins 101 -- An Intro to Hexane
  • Web Video of the Week: How Monsanto & Fox News Prevented Americans from Learning About Bovine Growth Hormone
  • More Headlines of the Week...

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Quote of the Week

Everything I Really Need to Know, I Learned Growing Up on a Farm

Faith. I've watched the planting of tiny seeds and had the assurance that they would sprout and make a good crop. I've watched a newborn calf struggle to its feet and understood this fragile animal would grow into a productive cow.

Compassion. I've seen my Dad get off his tractor to move a bird's nest out of the way so he could cultivate the field.

Patience. I know everything happens according to nature's schedule. We can't speed it up or slow it down; we can only work within its constraints.

Source: Progressive Farmer Magazine -- a column written by Editor Jack Odle

Alert of the Week

The Food Safety Enhancement Act Hurts Small Farmers and Organics

The House of Representatives is discussing H.R. 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009. It's an attempt to address the evermore serious food safety crisis in conventional agriculture, but as it stands, the bill threatens to undermine the most positive development in U.S. agriculture - small organic or transition to organic farmers producing for local markets. H.R. 2749 needs to draw a clear line between small local growers and industrial/factory farms and processing plants where food borne pathogens incubate, flourish, and spread.

Learn more and take action

Campaign Update of the Week

What's Going on With OCA's Coming Clean Campaign?

The Organic Consumers Association is preparing to launch a massive boycott/buycott of personal care products misleadingly labeled as "organic" but lacking the USDA Organic seal. The OCA is assembling a comprehensive web database of products, and will be encouraging its 500,000 strong national network to only buy products from those ethical companies that are upholding the integrity of the USDA organic standards. The "buy" list will include not only products that bear the USDA "Organic" seal, but items that meet the "Made with Organic" standards as well as products compliant with NSF International's standard for products containing organic materials. OCA will also stand behind products from manufacturers that pledge to obtain certification within a given timeframe. Those companies that fail to meet these criteria will be subject to boycott.

Learn more

Related News: USDA Seeks Comments on Organic Certification of Soaps

Learn more

Organic Bytes Readers Talk Back

Food Toxins 101: An Intro to Hexane

Email from Organic Bytes Reader: "I thought the hexane article written by OCA's intern and highlighted in Organic Bytes #183 was funny, and I appreciate the levity you bring to what can otherwise feel like pretty depressing stuff, but I came away from the article feeling like I need to know more about this whole hexane issue as it relates to soy products. Can you send me more info on hexane?"

OCA Response: We're glad our readers have such hungry minds, and we're proud to offer you one of the top online resources for satiating that cranial appetite. What many of our readers don't know is that the OCA website is a library of nearly 70,000 articles related to topics you read about in Organic Bytes. These are not links to articles on other websites, these are articles the OCA staff has personally reviewed over the years and found to be pertinent enough to post to our own website.

Every OCA webpage has a search box where you can input terms ranging from something as general as "organic" to something as specific as "genetically engineered sugar beets in Kellogg's cereal". A search for "hexane" resulted in a list of 66 articles posted on OCA's website relating specifically to this topic. Here are just a few of the results:

1) Boycott Non-Organic, GMO, Hexane-Processed Soy
2) "Natural" Energy Bars, Soy Powders, & Cereals Hexed by Hexane
3) Are the Hexanes in Your Nutritional Supplements Giving You Vertigo?

Search OCA's website next time you have a question about any Organic Bytes related topic.

See a full list of the other 63 hexane articles on OCA's website here

Donate to OCA & Receive Access to Yoga and Meditation Videos Online

The Organic Consumers Association is partnering with to provide OCA donors with a month's worth of instructional web fitness videos at no cost with any size donation. Your donations help us continue to do the important work that you read about each week in Organic Bytes and each day on our website ( Just put "yoga offer" in the comments of your donation here:


Headlines and Articles of the Week

1) Web Video of the Week
How Monsanto & Fox News Prevented Americans from Learning About Bovine Growth Hormone

2) OCA's Response to Whole Foods and UNFI
Why Organic Consumers and Fair Trade Advocates are Pressuring Whole Foods and UNFI
Learn more

3) Grassroots Success Story of the Week
Britain's Biggest-Selling Chocolate Bar, Cadbury, Goes Fair-trade
Learn more

4) Chicago Becomes First City to Pass Green Food Resolution
"This week, Chicago became the first city to pass a green food resolution. Although the resolution is nonbinding, it urges the city to make healthy, locally grown food more available to Chicago residents..."
Learn more

5) OCA on TV
The Art of Living, a leader in the educational television genre, has entered into a strategic partnership with the OCA to provide viewers across the country with expert-driven organic food information. "Together, we will expand education about the organics industry, and give viewers insight into this healthy and sustainable alternative food system," said Jim Nicholas, Vice President of Production for The Art of Living...
Learn more


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