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August 4, 2009

Organic Bytes #185: Food Safety, Coming Clean & More

Health, Justice and Sustainability News
from the Organic Consumers Association

In This Issue

  • Quote of the Week
  • Alert of the Week: Send a Letter to the Editor - Organic Food IS More Nutritious
  • Alert Update of the Week: Food Safety Act Passes House
  • Related Web Forum Topic of the Week: Food Safety Enhancement Act Debate Heats Up
  • Health News of the Week: New FDA Report Says Mercury Fillings Are Safe -- But Are They?
  • Web Video of the Week: Why Organic is More Important Now Than Ever
  • Sustainability News of the Week: Navajo Nation Approves Green Jobs, Rejects Fossil Fuel Economy
  • More Headlines and Articles of the Week

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Quote of the Week


"The food industry, in alliance with pharmaceutical and big biotechnology companies, has waged a long, often cynical campaign to convince the public that mass-produced, chemically-assisted and intensively-farmed products are just as good as organic foods, despite mounting evidence to the contrary."


Source: "A Cancerous Conspiracy to Poison Your Faith in Organic Food" Joanna Blythman The Daily Mail, 31 July 2009

Learn more

Alert of the Week

Send a Letter to the Editor: Organic Food IS More Nutritious

Wouldn't it be nice if there was nothing wrong with our industrial agriculture and chemical food system? Wouldn't it be a relief to learn that it doesn't matter whether we buy organic or conventional food, because there isn't really any difference in their nutritional value? Last week, the corporate media, responding to a biased article in the British press, slandered the now mass-based organic food and farming movement with headlines reading: "Organic Food No Better Than Conventional".

Unfortunately, the articles are in reference to a new study which actually did show some nutritional benefits to organics. In addition, chemical and energy intensive industrial farming degrades the soil, pollutes the environment, and destabilizes the climate with CO2, methane and nitrous oxide greenhouse gas pollution. Food produced with agri-toxic chemicals loses its nutritional value, while organic farming replenishes the soil, sequesters climate destructive greenhouse gases, and produces food which is safer and far more nutritious. Forty years of field trials and research have clearly demonstrated the superiority of organics, but no doubt your local media outlets probably missed this point when reporting on the bogus "organics are no better" story which was planted in the UK media.

Learn more and take action

Alert Update of the Week

Food Safety Act Passes House

The US House of Representatives passed the Food Safety Enhancement Act, H.R. 2749, late last week. This was the second attempt to pass the bill. Representative Dingell's willingness to address the concerns of organic and small producers was one of the factors that eased passage the second time around. It's now up to the Senate to move similar legislation. The Organic Consumers Association will be organizing its members to contact the Senate to ensure that their version has stronger language to protect small producers from a regressive fee structure and burdensome tracking requirements, and organic producers from conflict with National Organic Program regulations designed conserve wildlife habitat.

Learn more

Related Web Forum Topic of the Week

OCA Web Forum Food Safety Debate

This is one of those situations where OCA supporters, like you, make us proud. There's been a lot of debate online about the good and bad aspects of the Food Safety Enhancement Act, and it appears members of OCA's web forum have made up their minds to sort out the issue themselves. One of the more recent hot topics in the forum is in regards to that very issue, and here is what one web forum participant had to say about it.

The following is posted by OCA web forum member, Kevin, a Horticultural Scientist from the University of Georgia:

"Who is the government trying to protect? Not us! This is all just another way to assure the big trade corporations can continue to import poisoned produce. Think about it, this is just going to make it tougher for American farmers to make a living. The majority of our produce is imported as it is, about 60%, why should we have to put out more money to make even less profit?... Go out and tell everyone you know to buy local or at least American grown crops. Eventually, these trade companies will go out of business and we will regain a foothold on our food market..."

Read more and join the discussion

Health News of the Week

New FDA Report Says Mercury Fillings Are Safe -- But Are They?

Last week, the FDA issued a controversial final regulation stating dental amalgam is safe, including the elemental mercury component. Elemental mercury has been linked to adverse health effects, and one of the leading forms of exposure is through dental fillings. The new regulation classifies the dental amalgam into a moderate risk category. Despite the news, OCA's analysis suggests if you have the option to choose an alternative filling, a plethora of scientific research suggests it would be in your best interest.

Learn more

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Headlines and Articles of the Week

1) Web Video of the Week:
Why Organic is More Important Now Than Ever

OCA's National Director, Ronnie Cummins, speaking at the Kickapoo Country Fair last week on the past, present and future of role of organic and sustainable agriculture.

2) Sustainability News of the Week:
Navajo Nation Approves Green Jobs, Rejects Fossil Fuel Economy

"The Navajo Nation Council is the first tribal government to approve green jobs legislation. It will support renewable energy and energy efficiency and sustainable manufacturing and agriculture based on the tribe's traditional methods..."
Learn more

3) Study of the Week:
Study Finds Pesticide Link to Childhood Leukemia

"Patients with childhood leukemia have elevated levels of household pesticides in their urine, according to a new study by the Georgetown University Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center..."
Learn more

4) Genetically Engineered News of the Week:
To Test or Not to Test Organics for GMOs

"Should organic products be tested for genetically modified organisms (GMOs)? An educational session at All Things Organic conference in June sparked a lively debate over the need to test organics for GMOs with experts arguing for and against testing..."
Learn more

5) More Organic News of the Week:
New reasons for Eating Organic? Study Finds Pesticide-free Diet May be Beneficial for Children

"Parents who feed their children organically grown food can substantially lower the levels of pesticide residues to which their kids are exposed, according to a new study..."
Learn more


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