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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Shale Truth Interviews -- From Delaware Riverkeeper

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Shale Truth Interviews beginning June 19th on the Delaware Riverkeeper Network Youtube Channel
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Learn the real truth about shale gas development in only 5 to 8 minutes each week.
Each week, beginning June 19th, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network will upload a new 5 to 8 minute interview segment, each  segment including poignant, hard-hitting discussion and expert opinion on the dangers of shale gas development.
    You can’t avoid the flood of ads on commercial television touting the benefits of natural gas as an energy source.  In an effort to offer other views to the dialogue the Delaware Riverkeeper Network is launching a weekly interview series with experts discussing the true impacts of shale gas development.

    Beginning Wednesday, June 19th the videos can be seen on the Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s YouTube Channel here.
         
    DRN will present a new interview segment every Wednsday.
In the first segment Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, inteviews Arthur Berman, an oil industry analyst with Labyrinth Consulting Services.
Berman discusses the real availability of and supply of shale gas and industry claims that using the fuel will lead to energy independence.


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    Interviews have also been conducted with Leslie Sauer of Andropogon Associates who is an expert on landscape restoration and Cornell University Professor Anthony Ingraffea.  Sauer will discuss habitat destruction caused by shale gas pipeline construction and steps that can be taken to reduce the impact of pipeline installation.  Dr. Ingraffea has debunked industry claims that shale gas is a cleaner alternative fuel source similar to solar and wind power.   
   
    According to van Rossum,”We are presenting these interviews in an effort to better inform the public about how shale gas extraction poisons our water supplies, pollutes the air, destroys forests and wetlands and ruins the quality of life in the communities it hits.”

 


So with just a few minutes each week you'll be up-to-date on new information and well-respected expert opinion to further your understanding of the critical danger of shale gas development.
 

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Organic Bytes 6/13


ESSAY OF THE WEEK

Consumer Alert: Secret Trade Agreements Threaten Food Safety, Subvert Democracy

If you think the U.S. government is doing a sub-par job of keeping your food safe, brace yourself. You could soon be eating imported chicken, beef and seafood products that don’t meet even basic U.S. standards for food safety. The Obama Administration is allowing corporations like Dow AgroSciences, Cargill and DuPont, and industry trade groups like the Pork Producers Council and Tobacco Associates, Inc. – 600 of them in all – to weigh in on negotiations on two of the largest free trade agreements in world history.
Who doesn’t get a seat at the table? Consumers, farmers, even members of Congress. In fact, the President wants to “fast-track” the two agreements. That means Congress will be forced to vote on them, after they’ve already been finalized and signed, without benefit of the normal democratic checks and balances that include debate and the ability to introduce amendments.
The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pose direct threats to consumer safety. They will weaken U.S. and world food safety standards, threaten domestic and international food sovereignty laws, and allow transnational corporations to sue governments for alleged future lost profits unless the corporations are allowed to freely peddle their unproven, unsafe goods with reckless regard for existing food safety laws.
Read the essay
Read the press release
TAKE ACTION: Tell President Obama and Interim U.S. Trade Rep. Miriam Sapiro: Trade Agreements Shouldn't Be Secret!
 

 

GMO LEGISLATION UPDATE

Winning! Connecticut and Maine Make History, Pass GMO Labeling Laws

It’s Monsanto’s worst nightmare come true. One by one, states are passing GMO labeling laws, despite Monsanto’s best efforts – and deep pockets – to prevent them. Will the Biotech Bully follow through on its threats to sue? We say: Bring it on!
Kudos to the hard-working, take-no-prisoners, not-takin’-no-for-an-answer activists in Connecticut for scoring the first GMO labeling law in the country. And a tip of the hat to Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who has promised to sign the Connecticut bill, lawsuit threats and all. The Connecticut bill received bipartisan support, passing the Senate unanimously and winning a 134-3 vote in the House. Maine followed Connecticut’s lead, with the House passing LD 718 yesterday, June 12, also by an overwhelming majority vote 141-4.

Neither bill is perfect. Connecticut’s requires four other states, including one that borders the Constitution State, to pass GMO labeling laws before it kicks in. Maine contains a similar trigger, but requires five other states to pass GMO labeling laws, before LD 718 can take effect. But it just could turn out that the trigger clauses prompt other nearby states, including Vermont whose bill H.112 will be taken up in January, to follow suit.

Next it’s on to Washington State, where voters will cast their ballots on Nov. 5, to decide on I-522, a citizens’ ballot initiative to require mandatory GMO labeling there.
More on the Connecticut win
More on the Maine win
 

 

SUPPORT THE OCA & OCF

Usual Suspects Strike Again

We knew they’d show up, sooner or later, with their bulging wallets. Can their fake science, sleazy ads and bogus voter guides be far behind?
This week, the money started flowing in to the campaign to defeat I-522, Washington State’s ballot initiative to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs). If history is our guide, this is just the beginning. A mere trickle compared with the flood that’s sure to follow.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association is leading the way, with its first donation, $472.5k. Monsanto has plunked down $242.2k so far, a mere pittance compared to the nearly $8 million the biotech giant forked out last year to defeat Proposition 37, California’s GMO labeling initiative. The other usual suspects include DuPont Pioneer, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences – you know, the guys who make all those nasty pesticides, and don’t want you to know they’re putting them in your food.
Experts tell us that neither side in the I-522 fight will need to spend as much as they spent in California. We can reach far more voters, with far fewer ads, in Washington. The opposition could spend the same amount it spent in California, nearly $46 million, to try to defeat I-522, but you can only saturate a market so much before you put off voters. That said, we know these early donations will be followed by many more, much larger ones.
The biotech industry will pull out all the stops to defeat I-522, especially in light of the recent GMO labeling law wins in Connecticut and Maine. We don’t have any huge corporations on our side in this fight. But we have you. Hundreds of thousands of individual donors who, together, can make a huge difference. Please make a generous donation today. Thank you!

Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in Washington, Vermont and other states)
If you need your donation to be tax-deductible, you can donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)
 

 

TRAITOR BOYCOTT

Dear Traitor Brands: We’re Waiting

It’s been more than six months since consumers began boycotting the “Traitor” brands: the organic and natural brands of the parent companies that spent millions to defeat Proposition 37, the California Right to Know GMO labeling initiative. When we launched the boycott, we explained that we’d be happy to start buying brands like R.W. Knudsen, Naked Juice, Odwalla and others again - just as soon as the decision-makers at those brands guaranteed us that their parent companies wouldn’t pour money into defeating future state labeling campaigns, but would instead pitch in to support those campaigns.
We’re still waiting. So far, there’s been no sign of donations from companies like Pepsi, Coca-Cola, ConAgra, etc. to the NO campaign for I-522, a citizens’ initiative to label GMOs in Washington State. That’s encouraging. But there haven't been any donations from those companies to the YES campaign, either. Even though we know a lot of these Big Food companies have signaled that they now support GMO labeling laws, at least at the federal level.
If you’re missing your Honest Tea or Boca Burgers or Hunts Organic, now would be a good time to visit the facebook pages of all the Traitor Brands and post a little reminder: You’ll become a loyal fan again, as soon as their parent companies promise to support I-522. Until then, you’ll make do with their competitors’ brands.

Download your wallet-sized boycott guide
Download a poster-sized boycott guide
Sign the boycott pledge
Order printed copies of the boycott guide or poster
 

 

FARM BILL UPDATE

Senator Promises Monsanto Protection Act Won’t Be Renewed without a Vote

It pays to complain. Thanks to your calls and letters to your U.S. Senators, the movement to repeal the Monsanto Protection Act has scored a preliminary victory: The much-maligned rider, slipped into the Farm Bill without debate, will not be renewed without a vote. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich., pictured), chairwoman of the Agriculture Committee, pledged to oppose the extension beyond its September 30 expiration date. Sen. Stabenow made the promise to Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who had pushed unsuccessfully for a vote on his own amendment to repeal the Monsanto rider. Sen. Stabenow’s promise represented a compromise.
Great news, but we have to keep up the pressure to make sure Sen. Stabenow honors her pledge. Please call and email your Senators and ask them to pledge to vote against the Monsanto Protection Act if Sen. Blunt proposes it again.
What’s next for the Farm Bill? The Senate completed its work on June 10, passing the legislation without voting on many of the other amendments we asked consumers to support. The bill now moves to the House, where floor debates and votes on amendments are scheduled for the week of June 17. The House version of Farm Bill contains an amendment proposed by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) that would rob states of the right to regulate factory farms. That's bad enough, but the King Amendment is so broadly written that it could also overturn hundreds of state laws regulating agricultural products, including laws like the one Connecticut just passed, and many other states are considering, that would require mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
There’s still time to make your voice heard on the King Amendment, and other key amendments that will have an impact on food, environment and climate change policies. Let Congress know where you stand!
Learn the fate of the Senate Farm Bill amendments and find out what amendments will come up for a vote in the House
TAKE ACTION: Don’t Let Congress Stomp Out States’ Rights. Stop the King Amendment!
 

 

 

Love a Parade? March with Moms Across America on July 4!

The timing couldn’t be more perfect. Just as we kicked off our plan to “out” the Senators who voted against states’ rights to label GMOs, Moms Across America has organized hundreds of marches in July 4 parades, to draw attention to kids’ health and GMOs. What better way to protest your Senators’ votes, than by marching in a parade with thousands of moms fighting for their kids’ health?
The California State Grange and LabelGMOs.org have teamed up with moms who have seen their kids' health improve by going GMO free. Together they've launched the first Moms Across America campaign. Moms Across America is urging everyone who supports "the freedom to choose our food" to march in the hundreds of July 4 parades scheduled for the summer’s biggest holiday. So far, activists in 147 towns have heeded the call.
Fourth of July parades draw politicians and decision-makers of all stripes, and the 71 U.S. Senators who recently voted against states' rights to label GMOs are certain to be at an Independence Day event somewhere in the their home state. Let's make them and their voting public aware that the nine out of 10 citizens who support GMO labels aren't happy with their votes against our right to know.

Find out if your Senators voted against your right to know
Join Moms Across America on July 4
 

 

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Cookin’ up Opposition to GMOs



“Its’ not about taste. For me, it’s not even about the science. It’s about freedom.” Craft Restaurants founder Tom Colicchio, known also for his work as the head judge on Bravo’s hit competition show Top Chef, discusses what it means to be a food activist.
Watch the video
 

 

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week

McDonald's Cruelty: Creating Mentally Broken & Physically Destroyed Animals

Why Are Children's Foods Packed with Toxic Chemicals?

Modern Fruits and Vegetables Are Less Nutritious

Evidence of GMO Harm in Pig Study

If Dr. Offit Had His Way, Vitamins Would Be Treated as Drugs

Hey, Non-GMO Activist: Monsanto's CEO Thinks You're an Elitist
 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

ESSAY OF THE WEEK

OCA and Our Allies Pressure
10 Senators Who Voted Against States' Rights to Label GMOs

Seventy-one senators voted against the Sanders Amendment to the Farm Bill, an amendment to uphold states’ rights to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food. It’s time to take action.
Phase I: We’ve selected 10 of the 71 senators. With help from several of our ongoing allies in the GMO labeling battle, along with MoveOn.org, and some of the state GMO campaigns, we’re launching a campaign to pressure these 10 senators to support their state’s right to enact a GMO labeling law. How? By organizing meetings at their Washington D.C. and home district offices. By submitting op-eds to their state newspapers.
If your Senator is on the list, we need your help. We’ll be sending you an invitation soon to a meeting with your Senator. Please sign up to attend! In the meantime, you can start calling and emailing your Senator, posting on his or her facebook page, and writing letters to the editors of your local newspapers.

Let’s find out why these Senators voted against states’ rights to label GMOs. More important, let’s get a commitment from each one of them that they will not support any legislation that would stomp out states’ rights to label GMOs.
Read the essay
 

 

ACTION ALERT

Join the Twitter Rally Tonight! Tell Congress to Uphold States’ Rights to Label GMOs!

TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Congress Member: Reject the King Amendment and any other rider or amendment to the Farm Bill that would take away states’ rights to label GMOs!

Monsanto hoped that by pouring $46 million into defeating California’s ballot initiative to label GMOs last year, other states would be discouraged from launching similar campaigns. It didn’t turn out that way. GMO labeling laws have advanced in Vermont, Connecticut and Maine. Washington State voters will decide the issue in November, at the ballot box.
Rather than try to defeat one state campaign after another, is the Biotech Bully looking to Congress for another handout? In the form of a sweeping ruling that would preempt states’ rights to label GMOs?  On Wednesday, May 15, the House Ag Committee passed the King Amendment, a measure that some say, if it survives to the final version of the farm bill, could take away states’ rights to label GMOs. The jury’s still out on whether or not the King Amendment could be interpreted that broadly. But when it comes to Monsanto and its willingness to bend the law for its own purposes, the verdict is guilty.
OCA is hosting a Twitter Rally tonight to let Congress know that we expect them to uphold states’ rights to label GMOs! Join us on twitter tonight, June 6 at 5 p.m. PST. It’s easy. Just login to your twitter account and type #LabelGMOs into your twitter search browser. From there you can follow the rally conversation and join in by adding #LabelGMOs to the end of your tweet.
If you’ve signed our petition, thank you! Could you forward it to five friends today?
 

 

ACTION ALERT

Never Say Never: Monsanto’s GMO Wheat Goes Rogue

TAKE ACTION: Tell the USDA: No More Field Trials of Unapproved GMO Crops!
For years, Monsanto has said “Don’t worry” about their open-air field tests of unapproved genetically engineered (GE) crops. PR flacks and Monsanto-funded scientists all but guaranteed us that the biotech giant’s frankenseeds wouldn’t escape. But they did escape. And now the company’s Roundup-resistant wheat – never approved for planting in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world – has turned up on an Oregon farm. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s predictable response? “Don’t worry.” The (illegal, untested) GE wheat is “safe to eat.”
You gotta ask: If GMO wheat is supposedly safe to eat, what are the so-called "safe" residue levels of Monsanto's toxic pesticide, Roundup, that the EPA will allow on this wheat, if it were to be approved to market? And why is it banned in every single country in the world?
Hoping to downplay the discovery that its GE wheat is growing in places it shouldn’t, Monsanto initially told reporters that the company had ended field tests of the unapproved crop in 2005. Not so, said Bloomberg, which reported that Monsanto continues to conduct open-air field tests of GM wheat in North Dakota and Hawaii. That’s on top of the hundreds of tests conducted before 2005, in 16 states, including Oregon. And the hundreds of tests still being conducted on other crops, in other states.
The discovery of Roundup-resistant wheat in Oregon is troubling. But what’s a whole lot more troubling is that it may just be the tip of the iceberg. That’s why we’re calling on consumers to tell the USDA: No more open-air field testing of unapproved GMO crops!
Read the press release
TAKE ACTION: Tell the USDA: No More Field Trials of Unapproved GMO Crops!

 

 

SUPPORT THE OCA & OCF

Too Many Cooks? Not in This Kitchen!

The beauty of being part of an organization like the Organic Consumers Association is that the more of us there are, the more we can accomplish.
We are up against powerful corporations like Monsanto, with nefarious motives and deep pockets. We’re staring down enormous and complex threats like climate change, threats that are almost too big to wrap our heads around.
It’s a big, bubbling, boiling stew out there. And we need all the cooks we can get, with all of their creative energy and resources, to make it not only palatable, but to turn it into something that nourishes our minds, bodies and souls.

More than 80 percent of our funding comes from individuals like you, who understand that if everyone contributes a little, we all can benefit a lot. Thanks to all you cooks out there, we are having a real impact on issues like GMO labeling and preserving organic standards. Please help us keep the pot boiling with a donation today. Thank you!

Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in Washington, Vermont and other states)
If you need your donation to be tax-deductible, you can donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)
 

 

NEW REPORT

Frankenfish Can Breed with Wild Trout to Produce Super-Frankenfish

It lends a whole new dimension to the concept of “Supersize Me.” Scientists have determined that AquaBounty Inc.’s “frankenfish,” which is awaiting approval by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), are capable of breeding with wild trout. And when they do, they produce a fish that grows even faster and bigger than the GE version, according to the study. The supersized hybrid could potentially wipe out wild fish varieties because the smaller, wild fish will have trouble competing for food.  AquaBounty says that won’t happen, because all their GE salmon will be sterile, and neatly contained in escape-proof farms. History suggests otherwise.
Learn more
Read the study
 

 

 

Industrial Hemp: Time to 'Bring It Home'

In the 1940s, hemp farmers were considered “patriotic” supporters of the war effort. But in 1970, President Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act, making it illegal to grow industrial hemp. For consumers, the law means we can buy hemp seeds at our health food stores, or hemp building materials from building suppliers, as long as the hemp for those products is grown in other countries. For U.S. farmers, it means a possible jail sentence for growing a versatile, sustainable crop on U.S. soil.
If you think that makes no sense at all, you’re not alone. State and national farm organizations want everyone to know that it’s time to stop penalizing U.S. farmers and start promoting the benefits of industrial hemp. They’re joining with hemp manufacturers, activists, volunteers and retailers this week, June 3-9 – Hemp History Week – in a public education campaign. Hemp History Week was initiated by the Hemp Industries Association and Vote Hemp.
Looking for more information on the history of hemp in the U.S., and its potential role in our future? Bringing it Home is a documentary that highlights the many benefits of industrial hemp and asks, "Why aren't we growing it here?" That’s a question some U.S. lawmakers are asking, too. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced an amendment to this year’s farm bill that would allow farmers to grow industrial hemp. The amendment has yet to come up for a vote. You can call (202) 224-3121 and ask your Senator to vote for the Wyden Amendment #952 to allow U.S. farmers to grow industrial hemp.
Watch the trailer for Bringing it Home
Find or organize a screening
More about Hemp History Week
 

 

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week

50 Industry Groups Form a New Alliance to Manipulate Public Opinion About Junk Food, GMOs, and Harmful Additives

Fermented Vegetables Are the Ultimate Superfood

A New Deal for Appalachia’s Forests: Growing Biofuels and Producing Biochar

Ask Umbra: Can I Pee in My Compost Pile?

Breaking the Grass Ceiling: On U.S. Farms, Women are Taking the Reins

Monsanto and GMOs Continue to Make Us Sterile While Infertility Business Boom
 

 

Discover the Fastest, Funnest, and Easiest Ways to Grow Your Own Groceries

Hi, I am Marjory Wildcraft.  About a decade ago I volunteered to help get fresh, local, organic  produce into the kids school system.  That project failed miserably, and changed my life forever.  Why?  Because there wasn't enough locally grown food in the entire county for even one small elementary school.  I am willing to bet there isn't much food growing in your county either. 

Once I stopped shaking, I devoted my life to finding the fastest, easiest, and funnest ways for an individual or family to grow thier own food.  I discovered that growing your own is incredibly rewarding.

I've developed a video set that is used by permacuulture teachers, universities, missionary organizations, and regular folks.  It gets you started producing very quickly.  You know from reading these OCA newsletters that the era of quality food is way back in your rearview mirror.  And the era of cheap food is the dead end right in front of you.  Fortunately, if you've got a hose and a backyard, or even a sunny window sill, there is a tremenous amount you can do - and it is really fun!

Click here to learn more!
Please forward this publication to family and friends, place it on web sites,
print it, duplicate it and post it freely. Knowledge is power!

Organic Bytes is a publication of Organic Consumers Association

Monday, June 3, 2013

From the Delaware Riverkeeper Network -- Stop Fracking Month



June 2013 - A Whole Month of National Action against Fracking! 

Across the nation, communities are taking action to Stop the Frack Attack!  Major rallies in several states, over 15 screenings of Gasland Part II, call-in days to elected officials, actions in support of moratoria, government accountability, and industry reform, petition drives, and social media events are all happening starting now.
We need you to take part! Join in with your local regional or statewide action by connecting with the Stop the Frack Attack calendar here: http://www.stopthefrackattack.org/resources/calendar/page_offset:-1/action:agenda/time_limit:1370820599/

See Gasland Part II screenings here:  http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/screenings

For more info on gas drilling and fracking and Delaware River Watershed actions: http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/act-now/urgent-details.aspx?Id=144

See you in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware to Stop the Frack Attack!