Thursday, January 20, 2011

Organic Bytes: A Million Against Monsanto



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A Million Against Monsanto

#260, January 20, 2011

In this issue:


Quote of the Week

Monsanto Voted Worst Corporation of 2010 - Again!

"Beating out a host of corporate criminals, including BP and Chevron, Monsanto garnered 38% of the vote to win the 2010 spot in the Corporate Hall of Shame. From the using aggressive legal tactics to intimidate and bankrupt local farmers to its reckless promotion of genetically modified organisms, the list of Monsanto's abuses is long, and the negative impacts to human rights and the environment are staggering."

"Add on a 40 year track-record of defiant production of dangerous and cancer causing chemicals - from Agent Orange and PCBs to RoundUp and rBGH - and we have ourselves a 'winner'. Electing a winner isn't enough. Thousands upon thousands agree - Monsanto must change its practices."

- Corporate Accountability International, January 20, 2011

Read More


Alerts of the Week

435 Groups With 2300 Supporters = 1,000,000 Against Monsanto!

Calling all organic activists! The Organic Consumers Association needs 435 volunteers (one for each U.S. Congressional District) to coordinate a drive to gather 2300 petition signatures on our Truth-in-Labeling petition to strengthen our national network and to mobilize 1,000,000 people against Monsanto.

This is how we're going to build the grassroots power we need to recapture our right to know what's in our food.

As each of the 435 Millions Against Monsanto District groups gain their petition target of 2300 supporters, they'll join OCA's Million Member Club and get support from OCA's national office to launch grassroots campaigns for grocery stores to label foods that contain GMOs (including food from GMO-fueled factory farms), and for local, state and federal laws that would make GMO-labels mandatory.

So far, two Congressional Districts are leading the way in our Millions Against Monsanto and Factory Farms Truth-in-Labeling campaign:

* Colorado's 2nd district (Denver suburbs, Boulder, Vail, Grand Lake & Idaho Springs) has 3,047 Millions Against Monsanto supporters.

* North Carolina's 11th district (Western North Carolina and Asheville) has 2,469.

Please volunteer today to become a Truth-in-Labeling coordinator in your local area by e-mailing us at When you do, let us know which congressional district you're in or give us your full address so we can look it up. Thanks!


January Fundraising Appeal

Donate and Help OCA Mobilize Millions Against Monsanto and Factory Farms

The powerful antidote to corporate crime and villainy is mass grassroots awareness and grassroots action. GMOs, Factory Farms, and deceptively labeled consumer products pose a mortal threat to public health, the environment, climate stability, farm animals, and all living things. GMOs and organic crops, GMOs and biodiversity, cannot "coexist." As we speak, organic crops are being contaminated with Monsanto's GMOs. We need your financial support to educate and mobilize consumers, to protect and maintain strict organic and Fair Trade standards, and to pressure the entire food industry to adopt Truth-in-Labeling practices.

Please Donate


Alerts of the Week

Fair World Project Alert of the Week: Have a Heart Hershey! Go Fair Trade!

Valentine's Day is a major chocolate buying holiday, but your gifts for your sweetheart should not come at the expense of workers rights! Forced labor, child labor and trafficking continues in the cocoa industry in West Africa. Almost all major chocolate companies have begun to commit to using independent, third-party programs to certify that their cocoa suppliers comply with international labor standards, but Hershey continues to lag behind the industry.

As America's largest and oldest chocolate manufacturer, Hershey has the responsibility to lead the industry in ensuring workers' rights, from bean to bar. It's time for Hershey to "Raise the Bar" by tracing the sources of its cocoa, working to eliminate child and forced labor, and shifting to Fair Trade cocoa.

Send a letter to Hershey and tell them it is time to "Raise the Bar" and go Fair Trade

Go further: Host a The Dark Side of Chocolate screening! The Dark Side of Chocolate exposes the ongoing use of child, forced and trafficked labor in the West African cocoa industry.


Alerts of the Week

Hemp History Week Is Coming Soon!

Industrial hemp has played a significant role in American history. In fact, in the early 1700's American farmers in Virginia were required by law to grow it. Today, healthy and sustainable hemp products are sold across the country, but American farmers are prohibited from growing this crop.

Hemp History Week seeks to celebrate America's rich history with industrial hemp and generate strong support for the re-legalization of hemp farming.

Get involved with Hemp History Week today!

Tell President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to Let U.S. Farmers Grow Hemp! Please sign the petition now!


Alerts of the Week

Don't Forget to Take Action...

Don't Let Monsanto's Alfalfa Contaminate Organic Dairy! Take action by Jan 24, 2011

Ban Triclosan! Take action by Feb.7, 2011

New York: Label Milk From Cows Given rBGH (Genetically Engineered Bovine Growth Hormone)!

California: Label GMO Salmon!

Nationwide: Get a GMO Labeling Bill Introduced in Your State



Internship Opportunities with the OCA!

Office Internship

We are offering an internship working in our national office in Finland MN, beginning in Late February, 2011 for 4 months, with the option to stay on longer. This is an unpaid internship but you will be provided with a place to stay and a small stipend for food and living expenses. The internship will consist of basic office tasks such as answering phones, interacting with members, data entry, work on our website, as well as specific projects that we will work with you to develop. Opportunities will also be provided for local community involvement, including visits to a local CSA, dairy farm, and other sustainable agriculture and community venues in the region.

Online Research Internships to help OCA's Fair World Project

FWP seeks online interns to conduct internet research to support our Fair Trade Procurement Campaign and our Database Research Project. Interns will locate and post news stories, campaigns, and events, and reach out to like-minded organizations and green businesses or collect contact information on natural food stores, CSAs, etc. Although these are unpaid internships, FWP is willing to work with students to arrange college credit for your work.

These are excellent opportunities to help the OCA while gaining experience in the workings of a international nonprofit campaigning for health, justice and sustainability.

For more information, to apply, and to see OCA's other internship offerings, please visit our internship page.


Book & Video of the Week

CAFO: Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

In the United States and other parts of the world, livestock production is becoming increasingly dominated by concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). In a CAFO, animals are crammed together by the thousands or tens of thousands in animal prisons or torture centers, force-fed Monsanto's GMO grains, often unable to breathe fresh air, see the light of day, walk outside, peck at a plants or insects, scratch the earth, or eat a blade of grass.

Over 50 billion food animals are raised and slaughtered every year (not including massive quantities of farmed fish). Grazing and growing feed for livestock now occupy 70 percent of all agricultural land and 30 percent of the ice-free terrestrial surface of the planet. If present trends continue, meat production is predicted to double between the turn of the 21st century and 2050. Yet already, the Earth is being overwhelmed by food animals that consume massive quantities of energy and resources, whose wastes foul waterways and farmlands, and when eaten excessively, degrade our health.

CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories is a powerful indictment of modern food production. But as the book shows, it doesn't have to be this way. Ultimately, CAFO offers a compelling vision for a healthier food system: one that is humane, sound for farmers and communities, and safer for consumers and the environment.



Song of the Week

"The Monsanto Rag" by Synister Dane

Well, come on all of you farmin' folks / Ole Monsanto's a blowin' smoke / They got genetic freaks and corporate greed / You can spray anything but you can't save seed / They're changin' Mother Nature's rules / There's new genes in the pool



Little Bytes

The 'Food Bubble' is Bursting and Biotech Won't Save Us

Africa, Food, and Biotechnology

Fresh Produce Buying Clubs Gaining Popularity

Joan Gussow, Mother of the Sustainable Food Movement

Mad Cow Disease 'Can Be Spread Through Air'



HI - Get Involved Locally

  • Learn more about OCA related action alerts and other news in HI here.

Dr. Bronner's is Celebrating Our 60th Anniversary!

Marking the 60th Anniversary of the company, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps is pleased to announce that all classic liquid & bar soaps are now not only certified under the USDA National Organic Program, but also certified Fair Trade! In addition, we are pleased to introduce a revolutionary new range of high-quality organic products, from hair rinses to shaving gels – all certified under the same USDA program that certifies organic foods.

Please visit us on the web at


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