Important Information from The Organic Consumer

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ESSAY OF THE WEEK

No Rights

Our right to know if it’s GMO is officially under attack—again.

On June 6, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed a new rule that would revise the agency’s current method for regulating genetically modified plants, and would exclude newer so-called “gene-edited” GMOs.

In a statement, the USDA justified the new rule by claiming that it came “in response to advances in genetic engineering.”

A week later, Trump bolstered the USDA’s proposal by signing an executive order directing the USDA, as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to “streamline” GMO regulations in the U.S. for agricultural biotechnology, including for genetically modified livestock and seeds.

The full import of these two moves, and specifically the threat that they represent to consumer freedom, is only just starting to sink in—and the need for consumer action is urgent.

Read ‘USDA Opens the Door to New Untested, Unlabeled GMOs’

ACTION ALERT

GMO Free-For-All

Two years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), with help from then-President Obama, effectively stripped consumers of their right to know if their food contains GMO ingredients.

Now, under the Trump administration’s “free-for-all” approach to regulation, the USDA wants to let companies like Monsanto-Bayer, DowDupont and Syngenta (now owned by ChemChina) “regulate” their own genetically engineered products.

From the department of “you can’t make this stuff up,” the USDA calls its new proposed rule for reviewing and approving GMOs “Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, Efficient,” or “SECURE” for short.

If this rule is allowed to take effect, biotech companies will for sure be more secure—secure in the fact that they will be allowed to unleash any genetically engineered organism they want into the environment or into the food system—with no oversight, no independent testing and no accountability.

TAKE ACTION: Tell the USDA to do its job: protect consumers, not the biotech industry!

ACTION ALERT

Not Giving Up

When it comes to glyphosate and Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, we’re not giving up. And we hope you won’t either.

We’re lobbying Congress to ban glyphosate. You can help by asking your members of Congress to introduce a federal bill to ban glyphosate.

We’re planning a “Storm the EPA” and lobby day to coincide with the introduction of a federal “ban glyphosate” bill.

We’ll gather Roundup-exposed cancer victims, top-level scientists with the latest research on the health and environmental hazards of glyphosate, successful farmers and ranchers who are living proof that we don’t need Roundup weedkiller to grow food and local leaders who have banned Roundup from their cities.

Our first events will be in Washington, D.C.. Then we’ll take the campaign to ban Roundup to St. Louis, Missouri, in October for teach-ins and rallies in conjunctions with the next Monsanto trials and World Food Day, the tenth anniversary of the first Global Day of Action against Monsanto.

But right now, our No. 1 priority is to get as many unique comments as we can into the EPA before September 3. 

TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA in your own words why glyphosate should be banned

TAKE ACTION: By Midnight September 3: Tell the EPA: Ban Glyphosate!

SUPPORT OCA & CRL

Obviously

 

As the USDA moves dangerously close to deregulating GMOs, the companies behind GMO soy and corn—80 percent of which is used for ethanol fuel or to feed animals on factory farms—continue to feed the media their favorite line: The global population is soaring! We need GMOs to feed the world!

“Feeding the world” was never Monsanto’s motivation for developing Roundup-Ready crops. Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) was always motivated by money, which the company makes hand-over-fist by selling billions of dollars’ worth of chemicals.

An article by Timothy Wise published this week in Medium takes aim at the feeding the world myth:

U.N. agencies have documented rising levels of severe hunger in the world, affecting 820 million people. More than 2 billion suffer “moderate or severe” food insecurity. During the same period, the world is experiencing what Reuters called a “global grains glut,” with surplus agricultural commodities piled up outside grain silos rotting for want of buyers.

Obviously, growing more grain is not reducing global hunger.

Obviously.

As Wise points out, the world already grows more than enough food to feed 10 billion people, which is nearly 3 billion more than currently live on Earth.

People are hungry because they don’t have money to buy food. Or because war, or climate change, have ravaged their land and in many cases, forced them to migrate.

People are hungry because they have no power—over land, water and other food-producing resources.

Paving the way for corporations to rush more GMOs to market isn’t about feeding the world. It’s about feeding the bank accounts of those corporations—and making sure they can never be held accountable for any of the “unintended consequences” of the industrial commodity crops and junk food they unleash on the world.

Our job is to spread the word far and wide—that the path to food security runs not through genetic engineering labs, but through better land stewardship, better food policies and better support for the small-scale farmers who are really feeding the world. You can help.

Make a tax-deductible donation to Organic Consumers Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit

Support Citizens Regeneration Lobby, OCA’s 501(c)(4) lobbying arm (not tax-deductible)

Click here for more ways to support our work

PESTICIDE PATROL

Who Cares?

 

Who cares about your child’s health? Not the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA this week confirmed what many Americans already know: When the Trump administration weighs the competing interests of corporate profits versus public health, the corporations win, hands down.

Wheeler announced Thursday that despite what independent scientists say is a wealth of evidence tying the popular insecticide known as chlorpyrifos to neurodevelopmental damage in children, the pesticide should continue to be applied by farmers to foods that children regularly consume, including apples, grapes, broccoli and cherries.

That decision comes even though residues of chlorpyrifos in food and water are known by scientists to contribute to a range of cognitive problems in kids, such as a reduced IQ. Studies have shown that even pregnant women’s exposure can have an impact on their children.

What to do? Chlorpyrifos is prohibited in organic production—so choose certified organic fruits and vegetables, especially when you’re shopping for children.

And just because the EPA won’t protect kids, doesn’t mean states can’t. Hawaii, California and New York already have. Your state can, too—please ask.

Read ‘Neurotoxins on Your Kid’s Broccoli: That’s Life Under Trump’

TAKE ACTION: Tell your state lawmakers: Ban chlorpyrifos!

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Underground Chickens

 

In many cities across the U.S., it’s against the law to keep chickens in your backyard.

But that doesn’t stop the chicken-keepers in this video.

“I wouldn’t say we’re hiding them,” said one Nashville, Tennessee, resident. “We’re just not publicizing them.”

Another Nashville keeper of backyard chickens said the city issued her a citation for having three chickens in her yard. The city gave her several days to remove them. So she did. She sent them to a nearby neighbor’s house. Meanwhile, she built a privacy fence—so she could bring the chickens back home.

Watch ‘Underground Chickens’

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading

 

Why Most Health Commissioners End up in Bed With Big Pharma

Impossible Foods, Impossible Claims

With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal ‘That Fixes Our Food System’

New USDA Report on Climate and Ag Misses Key Fact: Industrial Ag Contributes 44-57 Percent of GHG Emissions

Want to Become an Eco-Restorer? Register Today!

True Cost of Cheap Food Is Health and Climate Crises, Says Commission

How to Properly Cook Rice

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