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November 5, 2009

Organic Bytes #198: Health, Climate, and Coping with the Crisis

Health, Justice and Sustainability News
from the Organic Consumers Association

Edited by: Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins

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Quote of the Week

Go Organic to Avoid rBGH, Monsanto and Eli Lilly's Genetically Modified Bovine Growth Hormone

Dr. Sam Epstein, Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, warns:

  • rBGH makes cows sick.
  • rBGH-derived milk is contaminated by pus.
  • rBGH-derived milk is chemically and nutritionally different than natural milk.
  • Milk from cows injected with rBGH is contaminated with Bovine Growth Hormone, traces of which are absorbed through the gut into the blood of people who consume this milk or products made from it.
  • rBGH milk is supercharged with high levels of a potent cancer tumor promoter called insulin-like growth factor number one (IGF-1), which is readily absorbed through the gut.
  • Excess levels of IGF-1 in the human body have been linked in numerous scientific studies as a cause of breast, colon, and prostate cancer.

Dr. Epstein and other scientists recommend boycotting rBGH-tainted milk and dairy products and purchasing organic products instead. According to The Hartman Group, a well-respected firm analyzing consumer, organic milk is now a leading priority for health-minded consumers. Demand for organic milk has grown at an annual rate of 20% until recently, while overall milk consumption has dropped by 10%.

"Nevertheless," Dr. Epstein emphasizes, "only a few schools make organic milk available, nor do most state governments, under low- income food programs, particularly by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children."

-Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., "Cancer Expert Counters Reckless Claims That Hormonal Milk Is Safe," October 14, 2009


Alert of the Week

Boycott Genetically Engineered Bovine Growth Hormone

Following up on our successful campaign against Yoplait and Dannon, the Organic Consumers Association is now asking our members to boycott ice cream companies that still allow the use of genetically modified bovine growth hormone (Dreyer's, Edy's, Nestle, Haagen-Dazs, Klondike, Good Humor, Breyer's).

The Organic Consumers Association is also joining Breast Cancer Action's Milking Cancer campaign to get Eli Lilly to drop rBGH, which they recently bought from Monsanto and now market through Elanco. As Breast Cancer Action points out, the irony is that Eli Lilly sells both cancer treatment drugs and rBGH, which causes cancer.

We're also targeting the National Federation of Milk Producers which allows rBGH in its new Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) program.


OCA Needs Your Help to Spread the Organic Revolution


OCA and our national, now international, network of organic consumers understand that we have a positive healthy solution for the nation and the globe's food, health, economic, and climate crisis: organic food, farming, and ranching. But to get out our all-important message we need your support and your donations. For the next two weeks, our strongest ally in the organic industry, the Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap Company, will be matching your donations dollar for dollar. So please send us a tax-deductible donation today.


Series of the Week

The Danger of Livestock Waste

The New York Times is doing a series of articles, and accompanying videos, about the massive pollution of American waters by corporate agri-business.

Click the link below to watch the New York Times video on the water pollution caused by factory farms, "Health Ills Abound as Farm Runoff Fouls Wells." The video includes an interview with a woman who describes the effects of drinking hormone-contaminated water from a nearby dairy farm on her reproductive health and that of her teenage daughters.


Upcoming Campaign of the Week

Organic Fertilizer or Toxic Sludge?

With toxic municipal sewage sludge being spread over tens of thousands of non-organic farms and ranches across the U.S., and sold in garden supply stores, often falsely labeled as "organic" fertilizer - polluting the land, food crops, pasture, and gardeners - OCA is about to launch a major campaign against the sewage sludge industry.



Help the OCA Win $50,000!

OCA’s Facebook cause, Protect and Expand Organic Agriculture, was recently entered in America's Giving Challenge, which gives us a chance to win $50,000!

If you are on Facebook, please join our cause and donate today!

To win, between now and November 7th we have to get the most donations to our cause (every person can donate once per day and have it count as a unique donation). We can also win daily awards of $1,000 and $500 if we can get the most people to donate in any 24-hour period. The great thing about this Challenge is that it doesn't matter how much you give, but instead how much you do to encourage friends and family to get involved in our cause. We all need to come together and start promoting the cause if we want to win.

Each of us has tons of friends on Facebook who we can ask to donate to our cause. But let's think big too—can you put our cause in your email signature, can you throw a party and get people to donate through the cause when they enter, can you organize other people to go out and fundraise from all of their friends? As you reach out to your friends be sure to tell them why this cause matters to you. The possibilities are endless so let's talk about what we can do to win on the Wall of the cause or by replying to this bulletin.

We can do it! But it's going to take all of us. Check out the Giving Challenge then visit our cause to see how we're doing so far and get involved.

Let's win $50,000 for our cause and for the OCA!



1) Food Industry Dictates Nutrition Policy
CNN covers the benefits of a low-meat diet, while at the same time outlining the ties between the food industry, the USDA, and bad nutrition.

2) FDA Urged to Ban Feeding of Chicken Feces to Cattle
A coalition that includes Consumers Union and the Center for Science in the Public Interest, along with McDonald's Corp. is asking the FDA to prohibit the feeding of poultry litter to cattle

3) The Dark Side of Dairies: A Broken System Leaves Immigrant Workers Invisible - and in Danger
Milk may have a wholesome commercial image, but the dairies that produce most of the nation's supply aren't always healthy places to work. Dairy workers are injured at a much higher rate than other workers in the U.S. To make matters worse, federal labor laws that protect workers in other industries and give them a voice don't cover dairy workers.

4) Can Biotech Food Cure World Hunger?
The New York Times hosts a debate between experts for and against GM agriculture.

5) 80+ Groups and 38,000+ Reach Out to Senate Finance Committee Against Siddiqui Nomination
Over 80 groups sent a letter urging the rejection of Islam Siddiqui as Chief Agriculture Negotiator at the office of the United States Trade Representative.

Planting Peace and Grassroots Netroots News

The Afghanistan Occupation: Opium, Rape and the American Way

Ohio Market Farmer Cited for Washing Raw Produce

An Interview with Robert Jensen on War, Ecological Crises, and the Quest for Justice

Autism Spikes, Toxins Suspected

The Power of the People

Travel to Mexico on OCA's "Via Organica" Tour November 15-22

OCA invites you to join us on an enjoyable and inspirational organic food and farming eco-tour November 15-22, hosted by our Mexican sister organization Via Organica, based in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.

We have several spaces left and are offering a discounted price of $850 for a week of bi-lingual workshops, tours to area organic farms, restaurants, stores, and green-building projects. At the Via Organica farm school and resort meet Mexican activists and savor gourmet organic meals and beverages, swim in our thermal pool, hike and bike and enjoy the cultural attractions of the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site of San Miguel de Allende. OCA Director Ronnie Cummins and other OCA staff will lead the tour. The theme of this tour will be "How Organic Food and Farming Can Stop Global Warming."

Check out our tours website and sign up now!


[[State]]--Get Involved Locally

  • Learn more about OCA related action alerts and other news in [[State]] here.
  • Join [[State]] discussion groups in our forum.
  • Post events in [[State]] on our community calendar.

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