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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Organic Bytes -- July 12, 2012

New Monsanto Rider in the House Farm Bill

Monsanto has launched a series of sneak attacks on organic and non-GMO farmers and consumers. They began by attaching a rider to the U.S. House of Representatives' 2013 Agriculture Appropriations bill that would allow new genetically engineered crops to be planted even when courts rule that the US Department of Agriculture has approved them illegally. This would result in, as one federal judge described it, "the potential elimination of a farmer's choice to grow non-genetically engineered crops, or a consumer's choice to eat non-genetically engineered food."
Rep. Peter DeFazio is going to try to remove the appropriations rider through an amendment, with a vote expected the week of July 23rd.
Now, Monsanto has slipped a similar provision into the House version of the Farm Bill.
In addition to eliminating judicial review, this even more dangerous provision would also stop the EPA from regulating new and expanded uses of pesticides (often caused by the introduction of new herbicide-resistant GMO crops) and require the USDA to make the approval of new genetically engineered crops easier and faster.
Please contact your Member of Congress today to get this free pass for Monsanto out of the House Farm Bill.
Take Action

Support the OCA & OCF

A Bright Future in Fundraising and Education?

"Many people say that it's impossible to eliminate GMOs, because of the powerful companies behind them. But I say, that even though it will not be easy to eliminate GMOs, it can be done - if enough effort and courage is put into this issue.” – AJ Adkins, Bar Mitzvah speech, June 16, 2012
When AJ Adkins stood up to give his Bar Mitzvah speech last month, he did a brilliant job of weaving today’s critical issue of the dangers of GMO food into his speech, tying the issue to a passage from the Torah.
But AJ didn’t stop at using the opportunity to educate his audience – he went on to show, by example, how everyone can help. He donated a portion of the money he received to the Organic Consumers Association – money we will put toward our continued GMO education efforts.
According to AJ’s mother, most of the 200 people who heard AJ’s speech knew little or nothing about GMOs – and they thanked AJ for explaining the issue. AJ also distributed GMO shopping guides and pamphlets on the health hazards of GMOs.
From all of us at the OCA, a big ‘thank you’ to AJ for his creativity and generosity! You can make his donation go further, by following his example. Please consider a contribution today!
Read the Speech Here
Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)
Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in California and other states)

Boycott Scotts and Monsanto: Get GMOs & Pesticides Off Your Lawn!

Please boycott the following lawn and garden brands: Scotts Miracle-Gro®, Scotts Osmocote®, Scotts Ortho®, Scotts Weed-B-Gon® as well as Monsanto's herbicide RoundUp®
Do you want children and pets to roll around in pesticides while enjoying the outdoors this summer? Each year, American homeowners use approximately 70 million pounds of pesticides to maintain their lawns and gardens. Yet as the use of these chemicals continues to increase, researchers keep uncovering links between pesticide exposure and serious human health problems, including several types of cancer, neurological and reproductive disorders, and birth defects.
Among the products to watch out for is Scotts new GMO lawn grass. This leading home and garden product is genetically engineered to withstand Monsanto's herbicide RoundUp - intended to kill garden weeds. The growing popularity of Scotts grass means more pesticide use in neighborhoods, parks, schoolyards and golf courses - ultimately increasing your exposure to harmful toxins.
Join the Boycott

SOS: The New York Times on Organic Standards

Although organic foods, body care products, and clothing are obviously far superior to chemical and GMO brands and varieties, it takes constant vigilance on the part of organic consumers and farmers to maintain strict organic standards and to punish companies in the marketplace who violate organic integrity. The National Organic Standards Board, the civilian review board over organic standards, meets every six months, and every time they meet, it seems they approve another petition from industry (often over the objections of the OCA, the Consumers Union and the Cornucopia Institute) to add a new synthetic to the national list of non-organic ingredients allowed in USDA certified products.
This in-depth New York Times article examines the NOSB process and how the largest food companies have gained an upper hand.
When it comes to food or other products purchased at the grocery store, there's no better alternative to USDA Organic, but we must step up the pressure to prevent “corporate organics” from degrading organic standards.
Read More & Take Action

Right to Know Bloggers Needed!

Are you passionate about labeling genetically engineered foods? Join the official California Right To Know blogger team. Start sharing your voice on labeling GMOs with a team of bloggers lead by California Right To Know with great activities planned to get your message out, such as Twitter parties, blogging carnivals, prizes and much more!
Sign Up Here

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