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In a precedent-setting final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the planting of Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) acknowledges for the first time that GE contamination of organic and conventionally grown crops presents a huge problem in the U.S.  Yet, the document falls woefully short of proving that GE alfalfa is safe for the environment or that it will afford all farmers their fair share of the US agricultural economy.  In fact, the EIS sorely lacks the type of rigorous scientific data and analysis that the public expects from the Agency to justify going forward with any type of deregulation of GE alfalfa.

Read more and take action.


 

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In a precedent-setting final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the planting of Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) acknowledges for the first time that GE contamination of organic and conventionally grown crops presents a huge problem in the U.S.  Yet, the document falls woefully short of proving that GE alfalfa is safe for the environment or that it will afford all farmers their fair share of the US agricultural economy.  In fact, the EIS sorely lacks the type of rigorous scientific data and analysis that the public expects from the Agency to justify going forward with any type of deregulation of GE alfalfa.

That is why we are calling on our supporters to urge USDA to adopt a moratorium on the planting of GE alfalfa.

Read more and sign petition.

 

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In the 1990s, Monsanto found an ingenious way to sell large quantities of its broad-spectrum toxic herbicide RoundUp to farmers. The company’s scientists gene-spliced corn, soy, cotton, and canola with foreign DNA, enabling these “Frankencrops” to survive massive doses of RoundUp. Farmers could now repeatedly spray their fields with RoundUp, killing weeds but not the crop. Unfortunately, the collateral damage of heavy RoundUp spraying includes groundwater pollution, toxic residues in crops, and destruction of essential soil microorganisms. The Genetically Modified (GM) crops themselves create herbicide-resistant Superweeds and spread genetic pollution to organic and non-GMO crops as well as plant relatives. Last but certainly not least, Monsanto’s GM foods have been linked to serious health damage – not only for animals, but humans as well.

Today, a major portion of cropland in the US is sown with Monsanto’s “RoundUp Ready” corn, soy, cotton, canola, and sugar beets. Eighty percent of these GM crops are then sold as animal feed to the nation’s 125,000 factory farms or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) that produce most of the non-organic meat, dairy, or eggs sold in grocery stores or served in restaurants, schools, and hospitals. The other 20% of Monsanto’s Genetically Modified Organisms are laced into non-organic processed foods (soy lecithin, corn or sugar beet sweeteners, cooking oils, etc.) that are found in every grocery store aisle.

There is a direct correlation between our genetically engineered food supply and the $2 trillion the US spends annually on medical care, namely an epidemic of diet-related chronic diseases. Instead of healthy fruits, vegetables, grains, and grass-fed animal products, US factory farms and food processors produce a glut of genetically engineered junk foods that generate heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. Low fruit and vegetable consumption is directly costing the United States $56 billion a year in diet-related chronic diseases.

Monsanto’s GM crops are highly profitable for the food industry, turning cheap, federally subsidized, genetically engineered crops and GE-fed animals into cheap, ubiquitous, junky foods. But from the standpoint of public health and environmental sustainability, Monsanto and their factory farm collaborators are nothing less than merchants of disease and death.

A critical mass of consumers would turn away from GMOs and Factory Farmed meat, dairy, and eggs – if they knew what they were eating. Please join and support OCA in our new Truth-in-Labeling campaign.

 

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Herbicide-loving alfalfa and sugar beets, Monsanto’s new GMOs (genetically modified organisms), have been blocked by the courts because Bush’s USDA failed to consider their environmental impacts, including whether they would contaminate organic crops. Obama’s USDA has a plan to get Monsanto’s new GMOs out of the courts and into the fields. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, former biotech governor of the year, calls the plan “coexistence.” The Organic Consumers Association calls it “contamination” and we say, “Hell no! No new GMOs!”

 

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Sign the petition today.

Join us in telling the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that it is misleading for companies to classify genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as “Natural” or “Green.” We have untilDecember 10th to let the FTC know, as they are revising their Green Guides.

Genetic engineering doesn’t happen in nature. Scientists force genes from bacteria and viruses into plant DNA, which result in dangerous side effects. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine urges all doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets to everyone.

GMOs are not “Green.” GMOs use far more herbicides, damage soil and marine ecology, harm beneficial insects, and cross pollinate. Their self-propagating genetic pollution will outlast the effects of climate change and nuclear waste!

Tell Quaker, Kellogg’s and others: “Stop misleading us”

Read the rest of this entry.

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A major reason why consumers shop for products that are certified organic is to avoid the hazardous and unlabeled Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), toxic chemicals, and now the most recent, and likely most dangerous hi-tech poison of them all: nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is now a multi-billion dollar Frankenstein monster industry churning out a vast menu of untested and unlabeled products containing tiny nanoparticles including non-organic vitamin supplements, food packaging, processed foodcosmetics and sunscreens.
Over the objections of the OCA and thousands of our members, in November 2009, the National Organic Standards Board decided to table therecommendation to prohibit nanotechnology in organic. The NOSB member who fills the scientist slot, Katrina Heinze of General Mills, delayed the process by insisting that the Board consider a compromise position that wouldn’t exclude nanotechnology from organic altogether, but would classify it as a “synthetic” that could be petitioned for use in specific instances.
In advance of the October 2010 NOSB meeting, over 13,000 Organic Consumers Association activists sent letters demanding stronger language and OCA Political Director Alexis Baden-Mayer presented comments at the October meeting warning that anything less than a full ban would be percieved as the door being left open to nanotechonology in organic. In large part because of our comments, the NOSB ended up passing a recommendation that asked the USDA National Organic Program to explicitly prohibit nanotechnology in organic “as expiditiously as possible.”

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Over the last twelve years the OCA has been forced to organize a series of national campaigns to safeguard organic standards. While the OCA and our allies have basically been able to prevent the standards from being significantly watered down, constant vigilance and mobilization have been necessary.

 

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Siriaco Mejia is an optimist. His friends say he’s always smiling. But after a drought last year, even Siriaco couldn’t put a good spin on things – his corn crop had completely failed, and the father of five could do little more than pray for rain.

We can’t make it rain, but this week we have a chance to make a major difference for Siriaco and others like him. At this moment, the United States is in Rome with governments from 191 other countries to set in place a global food security plan that addresses some of the most pressing problems facing the world’s poor.

We need world leaders to commit to aglobal plan of action to ensure farmers like Siriaco don’t go hungry. But we need to act now – the meeting ends this week!

 

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Organic is under threat yet again.  This time it’s by the use of nanomaterials and nanotechnologies in organic production systems.  The National Organic Standards Board has as of yet failed to recommend a ban on nanotechnologies and nanomaterials in organic, despite strong evidence of health and environmental risks from some nanomaterials and overwhelming public sentiment that use of the technology, like genetic engineering, goes against the core principles of organic.

Nanotechnology is the deliberate engineering of materials, structures, and systems at the atomic and molecular level.  It is a platform technology that will work hand-in-hand with genetic engineering and pesticides to further entrench our current industrial agricultural systems.  Examples already in progress include nano-engineering of food and food packaging to allow further transport, nano-encapsulating of substances in food and nano-size pesticides, increasing their toxicity. There are also huge health and environmental risks (Click here for more information on nanotechnology and food).

Many of the world’s leading food companies are investing heavily in nanotechnology applications for food and food packaging.  The European Parliament has called for nanotechnology to be prohibited for all food.  U.S. regulators have so far ignored nano-food regulations. This is despite a growing presence of nano-enabled food packaging, the beginnings of a nano-food market, and calls for reform by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Read the rest of this entry which includes an opportunity to tell the NOSB to do the right thing and prohibit nanotechnology in the Organic Standards now.

 

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Genetically engineered salmon are on a fast track to being the first GE Animal approved for human consumption. The FDA is trying to approve GE salmon as a new animal drug, but the truth is U.S. Food agencies don’t have a way to fully evaluate the impacts of GE salmon on human health or the environment. Worst of all, if these GE salmon are introduced into our food system, they won’t be labeled, so consumers won’t know what they’re buying.

Can you take action to keep genetically engineered salmon out of the U.S.?

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