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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Organic Bytes -- Sept 21


ESSAY OF THE WEEK

Six Ways You Can Help Bust Biotech



After decades of misleading consumers; bullying farmers; buying off politicians, regulatory officials and scientists; and spreading its toxic chemicals and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) on 420 million acres across the globe, once-mighty Monsanto and the biotech industry find themselves on the defensive.

Battered by mounting scientific evidence that Roundup-Ready (glyphosate), Bt-spliced and neonicotinoid-coated crops are damaging public health, animals, bees and the environment, and unnerved by a rapidly growing U.S. and global anti-GMO movement, Monsanto and its minions recently have been forced to dump another $10 million into a campaign in Washington State, in a frantic attempt to stop voters from passing I-522.

The jig’s up. The global anti-GMO, pro-organic grassroots are nearing critical mass.
But there’s still work to do. Now is the time to step up the pressure, not sit back and relax. Here are six ways you can help bust biotech.

Read the essay

Donate to Washington's GMO Labeling Initiative

ACTION ALERT

Holy Cow! Another Organic Traitor



Aurora Organic Dairy wants customers to know how their food is made. It says so, right here on its webiste.
But apparently, the company is not keen on consumers knowing if their food contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Otherwise, why would Aurora Organic remain a dues-paying member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)? The multi-billion dollar trade association that has already contributed more than $2.2 million to defeat I-522, the Washington State ballot initiative to label GMOs?
More than 25,000 people signed our petition to Dr. Weil, asking him to withdraw his company’s (Weil Lifestyle) membership from the GMA. He did! Can you help us get Aurora Organic to do the same, by signing our letter to CEO Marc Peperzak?
TAKE ACTION: Tell Aurora Organic Dairy to Stop Supporting the GMA's Campaign to Kill GMO Labeling!

Read the press release

ACTION ALERT

House Votes to Keep Monsanto Protection Act. What Will Senate Do?

The House has voted 'Yes' again on the Monsanto Protection Act. Can we Stop the Senate from extending what amounts to a huge gift to the biotech industry?
On Friday, the House passed its version of the Continuing Resolution (H.J.RES.59), a bill to keep the government running through December 15. In it was the Farmers Assurance Provision, better known as the Monsanto Protection Act, a law that gives biotech firms immunity from federal prosecution for illegally growing GMO crops. The law was first passed in March, when it was quietly and without debate slipped into the earlier version of the Continuing Resolution, which is set to expire September 30.

Next week, the Senate will begin debate on the new Continuing Resolution. While the focus will be on the House's provision to defund the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, we need every senator to know that it is not acceptable to include the Monsanto Protection Act in the new bill.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) the Agriculture Committee Chair with the final say on agriculture issues in the Democrat-controlled Senate, promised that she would work to ensure that the Monsanto protection act wouldn't be renewed without a vote. Let's hope she keeps her promise.

Please call your senator and ask him or her to vote no on the new Continuing Resolution unless the Farmers Assurance Provision, aka Monsanto Protection Act, is removed. Then send your Senator a note.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Vote No on the Continuing Resolution unless the Monsanto Protection Act is removed.

SUPPPORT THE OCA & OCF

Under Attack

They’re coming at us from all directions.
Congress appears poised to extend the Monsanto Protection Act, which allows the biotech industry to illegally grow unapproved, potentially dangerous GMO crops free from the threat of prosecution.
The Farm Bill, still languishing, contains an amendment that could wipe out states’ rights to pass GMO labeling laws.
The biotech and junk food industries have amassed $11 million so far to fight I-522, the Washington State GMO labeling initiative on the November 5 ballot.
And just this week, the NO on I-522 campaign launched its first TV ads. Lies heaped upon lies, aimed at scaring Washington State voters into thinking that the sky will fall if food manufacturers are required to tell us if the food they sell contains GMO ingredients.
The wiser consumers grow, the more desperately Monsanto and the Junk Food Giants scramble to try to stop this movement. Your movement. The latest news? The Grocery Manufacturers Association this week accused in a lawsuit of laundering I-522 donations. And a letter from TEDx to its organizers telling them to steer clear of any presenters wishing to talk about GMOs. What next? Jail for anyone who dares to question Monsanto?
In less than four weeks, on October 16, Washington State will mail ballots to voters. By November 5, it will all be over. If we could win this battle on sheer will alone, we’d already have it in the bag. But we have to compete on the airwaves. And that takes money.
If you haven’t yet pitched in, please donate before October 16, so Yes on I-522 can buy more airtime. If you’ve already donated, please ask a friend. Thank you!

Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in Washington, Vermont 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)

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Monsanto and Seed Patents. As Only Jon Stewart Can Explain It.

The world according to Monsanto: “Sometimes farmers act in a manner that is not in the best interest of the biotechnology seed companies.” Golden.

Watch the video

ORGANIC INDEX 9.20.13

Factory Farms: A Sad, Unhealthy Legacy

The days of the small farmer raising his cattle, hogs and hens on green pastures are long gone. Today America’s farming landscape resembles a windowless, animal gulag system filled with metal sheds, wire cages, gestation crates and confinement systems.
Factory farms aren’t about feeding the hungry or harvesting healthy food. They’re about maximizing profits for a handful of the world’s largest agribusiness corporations, and the biotech and pesticide companies that fuel their factories and feed their animals.
Factory farms produce unhealthy animals. And unhealthy people. About 80 percent of all antibiotics used in the U.S. are used on factory farms, either to prevent disease of stimulate growth. Meanwhile, about 70,000 Americans die each year from “superbugs” that have developed a resistance to antibiotics.

FAIR WORLD PROJECT

Hot off the Presses. For a Better World

“I believe once people know, once the darkness has been chased away by flickers turning into bonfires of light, people will act. Indeed that is what’s happening right now, in big and small ways, and it’s just a matter of time before the almost imperceptible swell deep in the ocean moves closer to shore, picks up speed, rises into a great wave and pounds us. Watch out Monsanto and Dow and Dupont and CEO Hugh Grant, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and President Obama and the FDA, and all you colluders in industry lies, big money and injustice. Watch out, because the crashing wave is coming soon – and we won’t stop until our basic freedoms to choose and know what we are eating are fully restored.” – Jeremy Siefert

For a Better World, published by the Fair World Project, a project of the OCA, is hot off the press and ready to download. The latest issue includes an article by Jeremy Siefert, director of GMO OMG.

There’s also a nice piece by Dave Murphy, founder of Food Democracy Now! in which Murphy urges us all to Stop Monsanto, Take Back Our Food, Our Farms, Our Democracy and Our Planet. Plus you'll find articles on empowering women farmers, the future of fair and sustainable coffee, and transforming the tea industry.

Download For a Better World

 

Deadline Oct. 8. Experience Organic Cuba

Want to wander the streets of Havana? Visit Cuba’s urban organic gardens and rural organic farms? Experience Cuba’s colorful culture and vibrant people?
The OCA is once again collaborating with our Via Organica Project in Mexico, and the Center for Global Justice, on a 10-day trip to Cuba from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2, 2013. Deadline to apply is October 8.

The trip is open to all who have a professional interest.  The estimated cost of $1500 includes dormitory-style or simple hotel accommodations, meals, translation, guide, transportation and a full program of activities for 10 days. Fee doesn’t include flights, visa, tips, airport exit tax ($30 USD), or souvenirs and other personal items. A limited number of scholarships are available.
Two decades ago Cuba was the first country to make a concerted effort to move from industrial to organic agriculture. This is your chance to see first-hand the results of Cuba’s organic transition and to examine the social and economic policies behind the transition. Don’t miss out!
For applications and further information, contact cuba@globaljusticecenter.org


LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week


FDA Deliberately Deceiving Americans over Arsenic in Rice, Chicken and Other Foods; Contamination Now Widespread
Wasted Food Is a Huge Climate Problem
CDC Reveals Scary Truth About Factory Farms and Superbugs
The Fight for Mercury-Free Dentistry Is Now International

USDA Seeks to Expand Pilot Program Which Leaves Meat Contaminated with Fecal Matter

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