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Safeguarding Organic Standards (SOS)

A Report from the May 2012 National Organic Standards Board Meeting

Every six months, the National Organic Standards Board meets to review the standards that govern the USDA National Organic Program. In the spirit of the organic community's credo of "continuous improvement," at each meeting, we should be seeing standards and enforcement tightening, and the small number of synthetics allowed in organic shrinking.
Unfortunately, the opposite is happening. The trend over the last several meetings has been the addition of new ingredients to the National List of synthetics allowed in organic.
For example, at the May 2012 meeting in Albuquerque, the National Organic Standards Board carried out their legally mandated "sunset" review of the synthetic carrageenan. Despite disturbing evidence that this ingredient can cause digestive problems and cancer, the NOSB decided to allow its use in organic foods for another 5 years.

Learn More & Take Action

In addition, after its controversial move to add DHA and ARA to National List at the November 2011 meeting, the NOSB has also added two new synthetic "nutraceuticals" for use in infant formula and pediatric medical foods, choline and inositol, despite evidence that the manufacture of these synthetics leaves residues of 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen.

Learn More & Take Action

Last week we asked OCA members to "Tell Baby Food Brands to Stop Using GMOs!" Once again, the HAPPYBELLIES company has responded with a letter that our claims are inaccurate and that OCA members are removing themselves from our email list as a result.

Read Alexis Baden-Mayer's Detailed Response Here


OCA and the California Ballot Initiative Featured in Front Page New York Times Article

In a remarkably balanced news article on the growing movement to label genetically engineered foods, the OCA and our allies in the California Ballot Initiative were highlighted in a New York Times front page article on May 24. Among the more interesting revelations in the article was the statement that leading food companies plan to remove all GMO ingredients from their products (rather than label them with the skull and crossbones of “produced with GMOs”) if the California Ballot Initiative passes on November 6. Polls show that, despite fierce resistance from Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, 90% of American consumers support mandatory labeling of GMOs.

Read More


You Did It! Money Bomb Campaign Raises First $2 Million for the California Right to Know GMO Labeling Campaign!

They said we couldn’t do it. But thanks to you, we did! Our ‘Drop the Money Bomb on Monsanto’ campaign proved the power of grassroots fundraising and sent a strong message to Monsanto and the rest of the anti-labeling brigade: Consumers have united with a broad coalition of food, farm, health, public interest, leading organic food companies, and environmental groups all over the country and we will do whatever it takes to pass the California Right to Know GMO Labeling law.

After decades of demanding the right to know if our food contains GMOs, we are closer than ever to passing a mandatory GMO labeling law. Passing this law in California represents our best chance ever to guarantee consumers’ right to know on a national scale.

It’s shameless. More than 40 countries require genetically modified ingredients to be labeled. But thanks to the FDA and its cozy relationship with Monsanto, we have been denied this right.

This $2 million is the first step in building an effective campaign to pass this law. Big Biotech and Food Inc. will outspend us by millions, but with public opinion, truth, and you on our side, we can win.The Money Bomb campaign’s official deadline has come and gone. But we will continue raising money for this fight.

Donate to the OCF and the Drop the Money Bomb on Monsanto Campaign (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in California and other states)

Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)


Senate Says 'Frankenfish' Don't Need More Testing

Thank or "Spank" Your Senator

Despite strong lobbying from Senators in states with a wild salmon fishing industry, the Senate voted down a measure that would have required more testing of genetically engineered salmon before it hits our dinner tables. The "frankenfish" measure, introduced by Alaskan Republican Lisa Murkowski, failed by a 46-50 vote.

Find out how your senators voted and let them know what you think.

Learn More

Take Action


Most Creative Anti-Labeling Message Ever: Buying Organic Leads to Unethical Behavior

From the world of "now we've heard everything," a recent article on cites studies claiming that buying organic food leads to anti-social behaviors, harsh judgment and unethical tendencies. One of the studies cited was authored by Kendall J. Eskine, a psychology professor at Loyola University New Orleans, who wrote the article "Wholesome Foods and Wholesome Morals? Organic Foods Reduce Prosocial Behavior and Harshen Moral Judgments." Favorite quote?

"What the data suggest is that mere exposure to organic labeling can be enough to lead people to affirm their moral identities, which in much past research can lead people to act unethically later."

The study was mentioned - and pilloried - by Michael Feldman on the May 26 NPR program, "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me." is published by the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank which, according to, is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Listed among its funders are the Koch Brothers and Philip Morris.

Read the Entire Article Here

Listen to the 'Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me' podcast here.


Last Call at the Oasis

Developed, financed and executive produced by Participant Media, the company responsible for An Inconvenient Truth, Food, Inc., and Waiting for "Superman," Last Call at the Oasis presents a powerful argument for why the global water crisis will be the central issue facing our world this century.

Illuminating the vital role water plays in our lives, exposing the defects in the current system and depicting communities already struggling with its ill-effects, the film features activist Erin Brockovich and such distinguished experts as Peter Gleick, Alex Prud’homme, Jay Famiglietti and Robert Glennon.

Watch the Trailer


Little Bytes: Top Stories of the Week

20 Years of GMO Policy That Keeps Americans in the Dark About Their Food

The Biggest Lies Toxic Chemical Companies Tell Us

There Is a Way! Beyond the Big, Bad Corporation

Game Over for the Climate

'Magic Soap' Maker David Bronner on Organic Labeling, Fair Trade, Hemp and Not Selling Out


Message From Our Sponsors

Free Trial of OCA Sponsored National Buying Club for Organic and Non-GMO Foods: The Green Polka Dot Box

The OCA-endorsed Green Polka Dot Box (GPDB) home delivery service for organic and non-GMO foods is up and running. Since October, OCA is happy to report that our staff, as well as hundreds of our members and subscribers, have been ordering and receiving regular home deliveries of organic and non-GMO foods, at 30-50% below the cost of retail, with free shipping on orders of $99 or more. As a result organic consumers who live in "organic food deserts," far from the nearest organic food store, have been able to start buying more organic food, while those of us on a limited budget have been able to buy organic products at a reduced price.

If you haven't tried this wonderful service, yet, please do so today, there is a free 30 day trial membership being offered for a limited time to Organic Bytes subscribers.

Click here to place your order today!


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