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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Worst Farm Bill Ever -- Organic Bytes 7/19/2012

Monsanto Nation: The Worst Farm Bill in History

Tell Congress to fix this horrible Farm Bill! Take Action!
Last week, the House Agriculture Committee rolled out its version of the Farm Bill (H.R.6083). We told you about Monsanto's latest line of attack on the few laws that actually protect "a farmer's choice to grow non-genetically engineered crops, or a consumer's choice to eat non-genetically engineered food."

If you haven't already taken action to stop Monsanto's sneak attack, both in the House Farm Bill and the Monsanto Rider in the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, click here.
Monsanto's attacks on the law's ability to protect farmers and consumers from unwanted, dangerous GMO contamination may be the boldest example of its power over Congress. But there's a lot more in the House Farm Bill that benefits biotechnology and Big Ag at the expense of family farmers and organic and sustainable food and agriculture. The House Farm Bill includes:
  • $16.1 billion in cuts to food assistance
  • Eliminates the Organic Certification Cost Share Program
  • Tens of billions in corporate welfare for the largest commodity crop growers, insurance companies, and agribusinesses
  • $6 billion in cuts to programs to protect natural resources, invest in beginning and disadvantaged farmers, revitalize local food economies, and promote health and food security
  • Unlimited subsidies to mega-farms that continue to drive small family farmers out of business
  • Incentives for growers to drop conservation practices, plow up marginal areas and intensify fencerow-to-fencerow cultivation of environmentally sensitive land
  • Nearly eight times more support for corn, soy, cotton, rice and wheat than for healthy fruits, nuts and vegetables
  • Guts the common-sense rules that protect water quality and wildlife from agricultural pesticides
  • Undermines progress made at the state level for animal rights
  • Ends fair competition and contract protections for livestock producers
Tell Congress to fix this horrible Farm Bill!
Take Action

RT America Features the Monsanto Rider

The United States is experiencing its worst drought since the 1950's, but that's not the only thing affecting your food supply these days - a new bill aimed at helping one company in particular is changing the American food chain for the worse. Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association joins RT's Liz Wahl for more.



Why Americans Want Labels on Genetically Engineered Foods
by Ronnie Cummins

“Why do the overwhelming majority of Americans want labeling on foods gene-spliced with bacteria, viruses, antibiotic-resistant marker genes and foreign DNA? Because millions of us don’t believe they’re safe. Americans want labels because the FDA acknowledges that they conduct no safety studies of GMOs before allowing them on the market, but rather rely on the word of biotech companies that these foods are safe. Americans want labels because GMO health disasters, emergencies or near disasters have already occurred. Americans want labels on foods with GMOs so we can avoid buying them. More than 100 peer-reviewed studies have shown that GMOs damage the vital organs, immune systems and reproductive functions of animals. Polls indicate that 40 percent of U.S. consumers believe that GMO foods are dangerous. Another 40 percent are unsure. No wonder millions of consumers have switched to organic foods, the only foods in the marketplace guaranteed to be GMO-free...”

Read More

Support the OCA and OCF

Don’t Just Imagine It… Invest in It!

"Imagine a world where organic farming is the leading form of agriculture. A world where everyone-from all income levels and geographic locations-has access to food grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers that have been linked to myriad diseases and disorders. A world where instead of just a few agribusinesses getting rich off selling chemicals and chemically grown food, farmers thrive economically while they also help improve the health of our fragile ecosystem. Where the need for millions of pounds of toxins is eliminated keeping them from entering our water, air and soil. A world where agriculture and nature exist in harmony providing healthier food for everyone.”Organic Processing Magazine

We posted a great article from Organic Processing Magazine on the OCA site this week: "The Many Benefits of Organic Farming for Health and Prosperity." The article outlined the many ways in which organic farming is good for the earth, our health, and our future prosperity.

We believe organic agriculture is the future. With your help, we work for a healthier, more prosperous future every day.

Our work depends on people like you, who share our vision. Please invest with us in a healthier, sustainable future by making a donation today. Thank you!
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)

Vote for Monsanto!

If there were a Corporate Hall of Shame, would Monsanto belong in it? Of course they would.
Thankfully, there IS a Hall of Shame for abusive corporations, and now we can help make sure Monsanto is inducted.
Corporate Accountability International, a membership organization that protects people through campaigns that challenge abusive corporations, is opening up voting to the public for their popular Corporate Hall of Shame.
The Hall of Shame exposes some of the most abusive, manipulative and harmful corporations — and this year Monsanto is one of eight possible inductees.
Voting is open now, so click here to vote to make sure Monsanto gets inducted.
Corporate Accountability International will announce the three new inductees this fall, and having Monsanto included will add pressure to our own campaign work.
Thanks for voting.

Kickstarter Film Project of the Week: Toxic Profits

Imagine discovering a product that you've been using is causing serious damage to your health and the environment. But instead of safely disposing of that toxic product, you decide to go next door and sell it to your neighbor. Hard to imagine, right?
Unfortunately this scenario is not fictional. In the United States, once a pesticide is pulled off the market because it is shown have dangerous effects on peoples' health and the environment, we allow corporations to continue manufacturing and exporting that pesticide to other countries - even just a few feet across our borders.
If successfully funded, Toxic Profits will be a feature-length film documenting the lives of those most affected by this policy - those living in the Global South who are applying these banned and unregistered pesticides and suffering serious health effects as a result.
Watch the Trailer

Stop the Michigan Threat Against Heritage Breeds

On April 1, 2012, an Invasive Species Order (ISO) issued by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) went into effect; the ISO prohibits the possession of certain swine. Violating the ISO is a felony punishable by up to two years in jail and a $20,000 fine per violation for harboring an invasive species. The ISO infringes upon private property rights, deprives small farmers of their livelihood in breeding heritage swine, and denies consumers the freedom of food choice while increasing marketshare for CAFO hog operations.
This is a national concern.
DNR has defined “invasive species swine” as any pig exhibiting certain characteristics, many of which describe just about any heritage breed of swine. Even more troubling, the DNR characteristics are often displayed in swine that are raised outside, not in confinement. DNR is not only seeking court orders to depopulate two heritage breed operations but is even going after pet pig owners. The ISO not only threatens heritage breed hog farmers in Michigan but sets a very dangerous precedent across the U.S. for those choosing not to raise animals in confinement. Other states are looking at implementing similar orders if the Michigan DNR succeeds.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has the power to tell DNR to rescind the ISO. The strategy of the governor and DNR looks to be waiting out the opposition to the ISO, hoping the issue will quietly go away. To help ensure that does not happen, use the online fax petition to ask Governor Snyder to “Rescind DNR’s Swine ISO."

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