This is good news!
Creating a GE-Free Northern California
It's official: Mendocino County, California has
approved a ballot initiative that will allow voters to choose whether
or not the County should ban genetically modified crops. Mendocino County's
agricultural income is strongly rooted in organics, and local farmers
are concerned about decreased revenues due to contamination from neighboring
GE crops. The vote will be held March 2, 2004 and would make the county
the first in the U.S. to pass an anti-GMO resolution. The Organic Consumer
Association is also working with activists in several other California
counties who are interested in joining Mendocino to create a GE-Free Northern
Alert: Keep Sewage out of Your Water!
A new EPA proposal would allow raw sewage to be discharged during rainstorms
without treatment! By signing the petition at www.care2.com,
official comments will be sent to the EPA on your behalf. The Clean Water
Act requires that raw sewage be treated to remove dangerous viruses and
parasites before it is discharged into streams, lakes and drinking water
sources. But on November 3rd, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed
a new policy that would allow sewage to be discharged during rainstorms
without this treatment. The proposal would increase the amount of bacteria,
viruses and parasites discharged into recreational waters and drinking
water supplies. Contact with sewage in our water makes millions of Americans
sick every year. But more sewage could be on the way unless you act now!
Pathogens in sewage-contaminated waters cause gastrointestinal and respiratory
illnesses, dysentery and hepatitis.
Pesticide that Threatens Children
The EPA says lindane is too toxic for our pets, but when a child is exposed
to lice, parents are often told to apply shampoos containing the pesticide.
Lindane is a toxic chemical; Rachel Carson identified it as a serious
threat to people and the environment in Silent Spring back in 1962. It's
been on Pesticide Action Network's "Dirty Dozen" list of most
toxic pesticides since 1985, and the U.S. has banned many of its uses,
including use on pets, since then. Yet incredibly, lindane shampoos are
still used on children even though safe, healthy alternatives exist. Using
lindane to get rid of lice not only puts our children at risk, it also
leads to serious and long-lasting environmental damage. A single use of
lindane shampoo can contaminate close to six million gallons of water.
This threat to clean drinking water, and the enormous costs of clean-up,
prompted California to ban lindane shampoos in 2002. Lindane stays in
the environment for a long time and travels great distances in air and
water currents. In fact, lindane shows up more often than any other pesticide
in the arctic region, especially in whales and people.
The U.S. EPA classifies lindane as a possible human carcinogen, and it
is particularly dangerous to the nervous and hormone systems. Yet the
United States is one of very few industrialized countries still using
lindane in agriculture and for lice control.
Sign this petition to call for an immediate ban on lindane!
Bans Growth Hormone Beef
The European Union has announced it is permanently banning beef from cattle
given synthetic growth hormones, due to a number of studies showing such
meat to be a human health risk. It is likely the Bush Administration will
be filing a complaint to the World Trade Organization against the EU,
since the vast majority of synthetic hormone-laced beef comes from the
US. Ninety-four percent of US beef cattle have growth promoting hormones
implanted in their ears. Organic standards prohibit the use of growth
The European Union has also officially banned atrazine, a toxic herbicide
that is both a carcinogen and endocrine disruptor. The decision was made
after alarming concentrations of the Syngenta chemical have been turning
up in waterways all over the world. On the other side of the pond, atrazine
recently received re-approval by the Bush-led EPA. Atrazine is currently
the most commonly used herbicide in the US, where 60 million pounds were
applied in 2003 alone. The water supply in much of the US corn belt is
contaminated with atrazine and other toxic chemicals routinely used in
Kraft is Starting to Listen--Take Action Now
Kraft is putting genetically engineered ingredients in our food, experimenting
with our health and the environment, and hurting family farmers. Kraft's
products are found in 99% of U.S. households, and Kraft refuses to label
these untested foods, despite the fact that between 85 and 95% of Americans
want labeling. Many of Kraft's products--including Boca Burgers--contain
untested and unlabeled genetically engineered ingredients that put our
families and the environment at risk. Risks include health hazards such
as new allergies and plant toxins, as well as environmental threats like
harm to wildlife, creation of "superweeds" from cross-pollination,
and increased pesticide use. In addition, experimental "biopharm"
crops, engineered to produce pharmaceutical drugs and industrial chemicals,
threaten to contaminate our food supply.
Kraft is aware of these risks and has moved to avoid genetically engineered
ingredients in their products in Europe. They could be doing the same
around the world. However, Kraft continues to use questionable engineered
ingredients in the U.S.
Tell Kraft that you don't want to be part of the experiment!
GET MORE INFO AND GET INVOLVED: www.organicconsumers.org/kraft
Call or write Kraft today! Betsy Holden, CEO Kraft Foods Three Lakes
Drive Northfield, IL 60093 1-847-646-2000
READ ROBYN LANDIS'S LETTER TO BOCA/KRAFT
Labeling For GE/GM Foods!
Support the campaign to make sure that genetically engineered/genetically
modified foods are labeled. Volunteers are needed. In the Northwest, Puget
Consumers Co-ops (PCC) is leading a campaign. See www.pugetcoop.com/issues
Scientists are trying to raise public attention about the fact
that global overuse of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide is leading to weed
resistance. "Farmers are planting too many Roundup Ready crops,"
said Stephen Powles, an expert on weed resistance at the University of
Western Australia. Mark Vangessel, a weed scientist at the University
of Deleware spoke of the Roundup (glyphosate) pesticides saying, "My
gut reaction is that we do need to limit the use of glyphosate-resistant
In response to the issue that
farmers are purchasing and applying a toxic chemical that is no longer
working, Monsanto spokesperson Greg Elmore said people are overreacting.
In other Roundup news, Denmark officially banned the pesticide this month,
saying the toxic chemical is not breaking down in the soil and, as a result,
is polluting their water at a level that is 5 times what is considered
safe for the environment and human health.
Supply Contamination Inevitable
The USDA has announced an interim rule that will allow for
controversial "biopharm" crops, genetically engineered to create
industrial chemicals and/or pharmaceuticals, to be grown as close as a
mile from food crops such as corn. According to the Campaign to Label
Genetically Engineered Food, since corn pollen is known to be able to
travel well over a mile, "the USDA's rules will be inevitably lead
to industrial chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs contaminating the food
supply." The Organic Consumer's Association is actively involved
in addressing these issues via dialogue with the USDA. Take action by
signing the petition for global moratorium on GE Foods. www.organicconsumers.org/.
The March of Dimes annually funds over one million dollars in animal
experiments. Many charities, such as Easter Seals, help people without
funding the torture of animals. For more info click here.
New Study: Sewer Sludge Stinks
According to the New York Times, the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) has finally decided to research the toxicity issues associated with
the common practice of using sewer sludge as fertilizer on conventional
farms. The decision was sparked by a recent catastrophe on a family farm
in Georgia, where hundreds of cows died from eating hay that was fertilized
by sewer sludge. EPA scientists, including Dr. David Lewis, who won the
agency's top science award in 2000, are gravely concerned about sewer
sludge contaminating the nation's food supply. Although the USDA tried
to degrade organic standards in 1998, by allowing sewage sludge to be
used on organic farms, a mass consumer backlash forced the USDA to back
off on this issue.
Modifying Consumer Rights
Monsanto is suing Portland, Maine-based Oakhurst Dairy for labeling
their milk "Our Farmers' Pledge: No Artificial Growth Hormones."
Monsanto, manufacturer of the genetically engineered recombinant Bovine
Growth Hormone (known as rBGH or rBST), claims Oakhurst Dairy does not
have the right to let customers know whether milk is laced with genetically
engineered hormones. Although rBGH has been banned in every industrialized
nation in the world except for the U.S., Monsanto continues to claim that
rBGH milk is no different, despite documentation that rBGH milk contains
substantially higher levels of a potent cancer tumor promoter called IGF-1.
Monsanto sued two dairies and threatened several thousand retailers in
1994 for labeling or advertising milk and dairy products as "rBGH-free."
Despite Monsanto's intimidation tactics, more than 10% of U.S. milk is
currently labeled as "rBGH-free," while sales of organic milk
and dairy products (which prohibit rBGH) are booming. In recent months
a Monsanto-funded front group, the Center for Consumer Freedom, has launched
a smear campaign against organic dairies, including Organic Valley, claiming
they are defrauding consumers.
Human Children Are Actually Guinea Pigs!
Despite a landslide of public comments opposing the idea, the USDA has
decided to begin bombarding school lunches with massive doses of radiation.
Food safety groups slammed the decision, saying the action turns schools
into the world's foremost purveyors of inadequately tested irradiated
food, forcing millions of children to serve as guinea pigs. Countless
studies have shown that irradiated foods lose nutrients, acquire known
carcinogens, and contain new chemical compounds unique to irradiated foods.
boards will have the choice of refusing this dubious gift-which is actually
more expensive. Spread the word and call your school board members now!
Take Action -- www.organicconsumers.org
Also - www.citizen.org
Will the "Organic" Label Mean Next Year?
It took 12 years for organic standards to be introduced, and one night
to undermine them. As Congress faced the pressure of completing the Omnibus
Spending Bill, one company--without regard for the wishes of the public
or other businesses-- convinced legislators to support a devastating exception
to the new national organic rule. This sneaky one-sentence rider in the
2003 federal spending bill will harm both consumers and farmers.
The good news is this section
can be repealed and the integrity of organic restored. Over 65 Senators
and 75 Representatives have already co-sponsored companion bills to repeal
section 771. This is remarkable, but for this bill to pass, still more
Representatives must support it.
You can sign a simple and easy
petition (this is a legit website, not a spam "petition") at
you want to be more specific and communicative to your legislators, you
can write a letter. Tell them supporting HR 955 is good for business,
the economy, and the environment.
*Here is a sample
letter that I wrote to my reps.
this easy, brilliant gateway to locate and send a message to ALL the congresspeople
who represent you, automatically, all at once!
Creating a GE-Free
Action Alert: Keep Sewage
out of Your Water!
Ban Pesticide the Threatens
EU Bans Growth Hormone Beef
EU Cleans Up
Kraft is Starting to Listen--Take
For GE/GM Foods!
Roundup Is Pollution
Food Supply Contamination
March of Crimes
New Study: Sewer Sludge
Are Actually Guinea Pigs
What Will The "Organic"
Label Mean Next Year?