Fair World, Organic Wine, and 10/10/10


#242, September 16, 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

"A Challenge to All Gardeners"

"In times past, a large portion of the population knew how to grow and preserve food and could survive on what they could grow and preserve. In the United States today, only about 2 percent of the population farms, and they farm largely in ways that are totally dependent upon imported oil and gas, electricity, irrigation, roads, national and international markets, and an intact financial and social infrastructure. In many kinds of mega-hard times, those farms would not be functional, and the knowledge of how to farm in those ways would be useless. In some of the mega-hard times of the future, what food we have may be a result of the knowledge and skills of gardeners. I challenge all gardeners to fully accept their role as a source of resilience for their communities in mega-hard times, and to play and adventure in good times so as to develop the kinds of knowledge and skills that would most matter. "

- The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times by Carol Deppe

The discussion that started last week on "The Vegetarian Myth" is still going strong with lots of good points made for sustainable food production from omnivores and vegans, alike. Join in!


Alerts of the Week

National Day of Action Against Frankenfish

Today, Organic Consumers Association is joining Food & Water Watch and Ben & Jerry's at the White House Farmers' Market for a rally and press conference to oppose genetically engineered salmon. We'll be giving away free Phish Food ice cream and asking shoppers at the White House Farmer's Market to call President Obama and ask him to stop the foul FDA process that could lead to the approval of unlabeled genetically engineered salmon without an adequate safety assessment. If you're in the DC area, meet up with us at the White House (Lafayette Park) at 2:45.

On September 19 & 20, the Organic Consumers Association will present testimony at the Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee Meeting in Rockville, MD, the only venue for public comment before the FDA makes its final decision on releasing Frankenfish into the food supply.

So far 9,457 Organic Consumers Association activists have sent letters to the FDA. Today, September 16, 2010, is the last day to submit written comments to the FDA before they decide whether to approve genetically engineered salmon for human consumption.


Alerts of the Week

Organic Wine Standards Under Attack! Sign the Petition

Recently, long-established USDA organic wine standards have come under attack.  A group made up of foreign and domestic wine producers and distributors seeks to change current established US organic wine standards to allow a synthetic preservative called sulfite, a known allergen, to be added to organic wine.

Organic wine in the US has always been defined as "made with organic grapes and no added sulfites."  The proposed amendment would allow the addition of sulfites to organic wine for the first time. The new proposal would allow adding up to 100 times the amount of sulfites that occur naturally in organic wine.  Consumers purchasing organic wines over the years have come to expect that organic wines do not have synthetic sulfites added.


Please Donate

Support the OCA! Safeguard Organic and Fair Trade Standards and Spread the Revolution

We depend on your donations to fight organic fraud and industrial agriculture, and to build a global climate justice movement based upon organic food and farming. Please send us a tax-deductible donation today and we'll send you a free "Millions Against Monsanto" bumper sticker so you can help spread the word in your community. Please be sure to put "sticker" in the comments field of your donation.

Any donation $100 and over will get a free Millions Against Monsanto t-shirt. Please specify your interest and size in the comments field. Help OCA and spread the word about the Millions Against Monsanto Campaign!

Please consider joining OCA staff on one or both of our 5-6-day delegations to the Global Climate Summit in Cancun, Mexico November 29-December 10. Details follow below.


Alerts of the Week

Food Safety Legislation Must Protect Family Farms & Organic!

The Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) could reach the Senate floor as early as today. Changes are needed to avoid serious harm to family farm value-added processing and the emergence of local and regional food systems.

S.510 would considerably ramp up FDA regulation on farms that even minimally process their crops and sell them to restaurants, food coops, groceries, schools and wholesalers. An amendment sponsored by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) would exempt small farm and small food processing facilities as well as small and mid-sized farmers who primarily direct market their products to consumers, stores or restaurants within their region.

Please call your Senators today and ask them to support the Tester Amendment.


The Fair World Project

Announcing OCA's Fair World Project

The Organic Consumers Association has launched the Fair World Project (FWP)(www.fairworldproject.org) to promote fair trade in commerce, especially in organic production systems in developing countries as well as at home, and to protect the integrity term "fair trade" from dilution and misuse. The OCA's new project fills a critical need for a watchdog of misleading fair trade claims, and a cheerleader for dedicated fair trade mission-driven companies. Through FWP, OCA will focus on promoting projects that connect the environmental and health benefits of organic agriculture with the social benefits derived from fair trade.


Victory of the Week

Court Will Hear Consumers' Claims of Organic Milk Fraud

Dairy consumers, including Organic Consumers Association members, who sued several national chains (Wal-Mart, Costco, Target, and Wil Oats Markets) as well as the largest U.S. provider of store-brand organic milk (Aurora Organic Dairy) claiming they falsely labeled and sold milk from industrial feedlots as "organic" can continue with their lawsuit under a federal appeals court ruling issued Wednesday.

The ruling from the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals means a lower court must hear claims that Aurora Organic Dairy's milk was deceptively marketed as coming from small farms with open pastures.

"Each defendant is alleged to have misrepresented the manner in which the dairy cows were raised and fed in violation of various state deceptive trade practices laws," the ruling said.


Climate Change

From Copenhagen to Cancun: Join the OCA & Via Organica at the Historic Global Climate Crisis Summit

Global Days of Action on Climate Change 10-10-10 (October 10, 2010)

Please join OCA Director Ronnie Cummins and other OCA staff on an escorted delegation to the historic teach-ins and rallies for climate justice and organic agriculture at Global Climate Crisis Summit in Cancun, Mexico.

The OCA delegation, limited to 100 people, will include international experts on organic agriculture and climate justice, including OCA Directors Ronnie Cummins and Alexis Baden-Mayer, organic farm leader and author, Will Allen, and noted blogger and food activist Jill Richardson.

 OCA will be hosting two tours:

*  6-Day Tour:  November 29th- December 5th, 2010 : Hostel $750, Ramada $950 * 5-Day Tour: December 5th-11th, 2010: Hostel $700, Ramada $900 It is also possible to stay for the entire 11 day even from November 29th through December 11th, 2010

 Global scientists and activists including Vandana Shiva, James Hansen, Bill McKibben, Pat Mooney, and Maude Barlow are expected to make presentations at the Grassroots Summit, which will take place simultaneously with the global negotiations of leaders from every nation in the world.

Take Action on Climate Change

Please Join OCA and 350.org in our Upcoming Actions

Global Days of Action on Climate Change 10-10-10 (October 10, 2010)

On 10/10/10, OCA's climate justice ally, 350.org is organizing a Global Work Party to involve people in positive actions in their local communities to demonstrate how we can sharply reduce and sequester climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases and move back below the dangerous tipping point of 350 parts per million of CO2 in our atmosphere.

A worldwide shift of agriculture from chemical-intensive factory farms and industrial monocultures to organic practices could drastically reduce CO2, nitrous oxide, and methane emissions, and sequester a critical mass of carbon back in the soil, where it belongs. That's why OCA and 350.org are encouraging people to spend 10/10/10 working on a community garden or an organic farm in your local area.

As an example, in Finland, MN - the home of OCA’s National Office - will be having an event on 10/10/10. The Round River CSA will be hosting an afternoon of educational activities aimed at raising awareness about how the CSA operates, including a tour of the property, energy-awareness scavenger hunts for children and the construction of a hoop house on site, followed by a potluck dinner at 5pm. OCA is excited to attend and help out at a positive event that will serve to educate the community on the importance of farming and its role in climate change.

Please click on 350.org to find out what other organic consumers and climate justice activists in your community have planned for 10/10/10. If there's not something already planned, then please organize your own 10/10/10 Work Party.


Video of the Week

Can Organics Stop Climate Change?

While at the Organic Valley farmers coop headquarters in Wisconsin, the OrganicNation.tv crew got a chance to speak with Tim LaSalle, CEO of the Rodale Institute, about how organic farming can help slow down and reverse the accelerating crisis of global warming.

Rodale Institute research shows that organically managed soils and pasture can store (sequester) more than 7,000 pounds of CO2 per acre, while, on the other hand, non-organic GMO and chemical systems use tremendous amounts of fossil fuels and literally kill the soil's ability to sequester greenhouse gases. For consumers, this means that the simple act of buying organic products can help to reduce global climate change.


WebSite of the Week


Palm oil is a globally traded agricultural commodity that is used in 50 percent of all consumer goods, from lipstick and packaged food to body lotion and biofuels. Demand for palm oil in the U.S. has tripled in the last five years, pushing palm oil cultivation into the rainforests and making monoculture palm oil plantations one of the key causes of global rainforest destruction. The unfortunate bottom line is that if we destroy the world's remaining rainforests, aptly described as the "lungs of the planet," in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, we will detonate runaway global warming, with catastrophic consequences

Approximately 85 percent of palm oil is grown in the tropical countries of Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) on industrial plantations that have severe impacts on the environment, forest peoples and the climate.

North American food and agribusiness companies like Cargill and General Mills purchase from, operate, and own many palm oil plantations in Southeast Asia, making these corporations a powerful force in the palm oil market and rainforest destruction.


Little Bytes

Massive Egg Industry Consolidation at the Heart of the Salmonella Outbreak

Waiter, There's BPA in My Soup

Combat Climate Change with Less Gassy Diet for Cows, Study Says

Farmers Denounce Gates Foundation Purchase of 500,000 Monsanto Shares

Cornwashing: Corn Refiners Association Wants to Rename HFCS



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