Monsanto's Superweeds, GMO Labeling, & Raw Milk Battle


#223, May 6, 2010

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

"It is the single largest threat to production agriculture that we have ever seen."

- Andrew Wargo III, the president of the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts, quoted in a must-read New York Times article by William Neuman and Andrew Pollack, May 4, 2010, "Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds." The article describes how overuse of Monsanto's Roundup on Monsanto's Roundup Ready GMO crops has resulted in a new generation of superweeds that must be sprayed with highly toxic pesticides.



Action Alert: Healthy Raw Milk! OCA Takes a Stand in Massachusetts

OCA and irate organic consumers will dump conventional pasteurized milk in Boston on the steps of the Massachusetts State House and hold a raw milk "Drink In" at 24 Beacon Street, May 10th at 8:30 am (across from Boston Common).

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) under prodding from large dairy corporations and the FDA are attempting to restrict the delivery of raw milk to thousands of consumers throughout Massachusetts. Earlier this year, the MDAR issued a cease and desist order to raw milk buying clubs who were delivering the milk to customers across the state. If passed, the Massachusetts law could set a dangerous national precedent.

The Massachusetts law is just the latest in a calculated assault against small farmers and unprocessed raw foods in America. Over three million Americans now prefer organic raw milk and dairy products over conventional pasteurized milk because of its superior nutrition and disease fighting capabilities, and because it comes from small, local producers who pasture their dairy cows, rather than feeding them GMO grains on huge, disease-ridden intensive-confinement factory farms.

Following the OCA sponsored protest on May 10, the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture is holding a public hearing on raw milk at 10 AM, Conference Room A, 100 Cambridge Street, Boston (by Government Center, near the intersection with Bowdoin Street).

Bring a sign! Bring raw milk! Bring a cow! Have a cow! We're having a Raw Milk Drink-In!

If you can't attend the hearing, please submit written comments.



Please Donate, And We'll Send You a "Millions Against Monsanto" Bumpersticker


OCA Needs Your Help to Fight Monsanto and Spread the Organic Revolution

OCA and our international network of organic consumers and farmers understand that we have a positive life-affirming solution for the global food, health, and climate crisis: organic food, farming, and ranching. But to get out our all-important message we need your support. Please send us a tax-deductible donation today. All donations this week will receive a Millions Against Monsanto bumpersticker! Please donate and write "Monsanto Sticker" in the comments field to receive your sticker.



Action Alert: Protect Your Right to Know Which Foods Contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

U.S. negotiators are at an international (Codex) conference this week pushing a Monsanto-friendly agenda that could make it difficult for any government, anywhere in the world, to require labels on foods containing genetically engineered ingredients - or even a company to make non-GMO claims on their product's label.

The U.S. is taking the anti-consumer and unscientific position that GMOs are "substantially equivalent" and just as safe as conventional foods, despite mounting scientific evidence that GMO foods are hazardous to human health and the environment. U.S. Trade representatives claim that non-GMO or organic and non-GMO labels are inherently misleading.

If they succeed at the meeting, the U.S. may then file lawsuits through the World Trade Organization against any country that implements mandatory labeling of GMOs, or even allows non-GMO claims on packages.

This is a grave threat to our organic future – we must push back now against Monsanto and Obama’s pro-GMO trade officials.



Help OCA Get 35,000 Facebook Fans!

Thanks for increasing the traffic to OCA's Facebook Fan Page! Last week, we almost hit 29,000 "people who like this," as Facebook is calling our fans now. As one person who wrote on our wall put it, "Lots of interesting info here!"

Please help us reach our goal of 35,000 Facebook fans. If you're on Facebook, become a fan, recommend us to your friends on Facebook, and join the discussion! Our favorite post this week was from Christina who's looking for others interested in starting an organic farm where the weeding will be done by geese and ducks will provide the pest control.



Video of the Week: The Difference Between Cage-Free Organic and Pasture-Raised Organic Eggs


The USDA's National Organic Program has animal welfare standards that require egg-laying hens to have access to the outdoors and be able to exhibit their natural behaviors. Unfortunately, because the law isn't being evenly enforced, there are a wide range of conditions for egg-laying hens among certified organic operations. Some certified organic eggs come from farms that provide plenty of rich green pasture for the hens to forage in for greens, insects and worms. But the biggest industrial egg producers, who dominate grocery store sales of organic eggs, keep their hens in giant sheds, feeding them a simple corn-soy ration spiked with a synthetic supplement called methionine that keeps the hens appearing healthy even though they aren't getting the sunlight and forage they need. These two videos, each from the perspective of certified organic egg producers, show the difference between these two production models.



World Fair Trade Day, May 8, 2010

Fair Trade Day is an international celebration and promotion of Fair Trade. Events will be held in over 80 countries. Businesses, nonprofit organizations, churches, student groups, civic associations, stores and activists host events - including Fair Trade food tastings, talks, music concerts, fashion shows and much more - to promote Fair Trade and campaign for trade justice together with farmers & artisans.



Little Bytes


Song of the Week: Legalize It (Raw Milk, That Is)!

High on Progress: What Will be Left When We Finally Come Down? By Derrick Jensen

New Report: Cargill's Problems With Palm Oil

Soda Lobbyists Say the Funniest Things, by Tom Laskawy

Gulf of Mexico: From Magnificent Resource to Industrial Sacrifice Zone

Women are Quietly Leading the Food and Farming Revolution in America




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