Saturday, April 30, 2011

Organic Bytes: Help Stop the Monsanto/USDA Madness!


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Stop the Monsanto/USDA Madness

#274, April 28, 2011

In this issue:


Quote of the Week

Vandana Shiva: Monsanto's Great Seed Robbery

"The seed, the source of life, the embodiment of our biological and cultural diversity, the link between the past and the future of evolution, the common property of past, present and future generations of farming communities who have been seed breeders, is today being stolen from the farmers and being sold back to us as 'propriety seed' owned by corporations like the US-headquartered Monsanto."

- Vandana Shiva, "Great Seed Robbery," Deccan Chronicle, April 27, 2011

Read More



Millions Against Monsanto Fundraising Appeal

Three hundred thousand have already signed up as participants and supporters in our Millions Against Monsanto Truth-in-Labeling Campaign. But we need money to print leaflets, to buy educational videos, to print up T-shirts and bumper stickers, and to pay our campaign staff. As you know, GMOs, Factory Farms, and deceptively labeled consumer products pose a mortal threat to public health, climate stability, and all living things. As we speak, organic crops are being contaminated with Monsanto's GMOs. We need your financial contributions to educate and mobilize consumers, to protect and maintain strict organic standards, and to pressure the entire food industry, including natural food stores and co-ops, to adopt Truth-in-Labeling practices.

Please Donate



Stop USDA's Plan for Monsanto and the Biotech Industry to Police Itself!

Genetically modified organisms, planted on 165 millions acres of US farmland, are damaging public health and the environment and undermining climate stability. GM crops have increased the use of toxic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, destroyed soil fertility and carbon-sequestering capacity, spawned super-weeds, contaminated organic & non-GMO crops, and are less nutritious and more likely to trigger allergies, in general making plants, animals and human beings weaker and disease-prone. Genetically engineered corn for ethanol has decreased grain supplies, raised food prices, and increased world hunger; meanwhile generating the same carbon footprint (greenhouse gas pollution) as conventional gasoline. Genetically engineered trees, fish, and farm animals pose similar hazards to human and environmental health.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has aided and abetted Monsanto and the biotech lobby by failing to accurately assess the environmental and climate impacts of GMOs, just as they have failed to properly assess the monumental damage of chemical agriculture. Now, APHIS, using the excuse of efficiency and cutting costs, wants to turn over the job of conducting environmental assessments to biotech companies like Monsanto that have a vested interested in getting their new GMOs deregulated.

This is a very dangerous game to play with the future of food, agriculture, and our common environment and climate. Tell APHIS to halt their pilot program and instead put their resources towards a more vigorous review of the potential harms of new GMO crops and animals.

Take Action


Millions Against Monsanto

See You in Chicago, Seattle & New York!

To gear up for the Millions Against Monsanto actions on World Food Day, October 16, 2011, we're hosting regional anti-GMO summits at each of the Green Festivals around the country:

Chicago May 14-15, 2011
Seattle May 21-22, 2011
New York October 1-2, 2011

We need volunteers in each city to host gatherings at their homes or community centers, to put up OCA staff and volunteers in their homes and to work in the Millions Against Monsanto booths.

To volunteer, please click here.

If you've already volunteered, thank you! Campaign Director Alexis Baden-Mayer will be contacting you shortly.


Millions Against Monsanto

Get Monsanto Out of Whole Foods & Trader Joe's!

Whole Foods Market claims to support mandatory GMO labels, but admits selling unlabeled foods made with genetically modified organisms.

Whole Foods & Trader Joe's both have non-GMO policies for their store-brand products, but the policy doesn't apply to the rest of the food they sell.

The Millions Against Monsanto campaign is stepping up our efforts to get Monsanto out of Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's.

Click here for action ideas!


Millions Against Monsanto

Get Ready for World Food Day Actions 10/16/11

On Sunday, October 16, 2011, the Organic Consumers Association's Millions Against Monsanto campaign is calling for World Food Day actions to get genetically engineered organisms out of our food.

Get involved by joining your local Millions Against Monsanto chapter!

The goal is to have 435 actions, one in each U.S. Congressional District, and for each action to represent 2300 Millions Against Monsanto supporters.

435 x 2300 = 1,000,000 Against Monsanto

It would be great to have 2300 people participating in each event, but we can also demonstrate our numbers by delivering petitions signed by 2300 people in each Congressional District.

Anyone who can't attend an action on 10/16/11, can join the virtual rally by signing the Millions Against Monsanto petition.

Time to start planning! Here's how to get started.


Via Organica

Join Us In Mexico for a Spring Sustainability Conference

Engineers without Borders, The Center for Appropriate Technology and Indigenous Sustainability- Mexico (CATIS-Mexico) and the Earth and Lime Institute are hosting a month-long spring workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  The OCA's sister organization Via Orgánica has been invited to teach during the Small Scale Sustainable Farming week, June 20-24th, 2011. A solution-based course, this program teaches skills in small-scale organic food production for both urban and rural dwellers. Participants will have the opportunity to link practical skills in variety of locales, as well as analyze how overarching global issues like climate change and food scarcity can be confronted.
We are inviting our members to participate in this exciting course.  Register by May 7th for the early bird special.  Combine your spring vacation with an enlightening and authentic educational experience in the outskirts of beautiful San Miguel.  Meet OCA Director Ronnie Cummins and the Vía Orgánica staff. 

To register click here, and you can take a look at the poster for the event here.


Videos of the Week

Save The Farm

"Save The Farm" tells the story of the largest urban farm in the United States, a 14-acre organic farm in South Central Los Angeles. For 14 years, the farmers fed their families and community, and created an urban oasis. But when the city sells this public land to a developer in a closed door session, activists and celebrities stage an 11th hour tree sit to try to save the farmers from eviction. This film shows that urban farming is a successful and sustainable solution for local and organic food in cities everywhere.


Watch more of OCA's favorite videos on our YouTube Channel!


Little Bytes

San Francisco Votes to Allow Small-Scale Commercial Farming in Residential Areas, No Conditional Use Permit Needed

The Growing Food Crisis, and What World Leaders Aren't Doing About It

Food Rights Network to Hollywood: Stop Greenwashing Toxic Sludge

Protect Health Food and Dietary Supplements from Attack by Opposing New Congressional Bill

Monsanto Wants to Start Testing GM Wheat


Message From Our Sponsors

Help Us Build a Sustainable Future!

 Our friends at Chelsea Green offer the latest books on sustainability, democracy, new science, and pathways to peace. Thanks to our new Affiliate Program, your online purchase supports the OCA!

This weeks featured book is: Chasing Chiles

Chasing Chiles looks at both the future of place-based foods and the effects of climate change on agriculture through the lens of the chile pepper—from the farmers who cultivate this iconic crop to the cuisines and cultural traditions in which peppers play a huge role.

Why chile peppers? Both a spice and a vegetable, chile peppers have captivated imaginations and taste buds for thousands of years. Native to Mesoamerica and the New World, chiles are currently grown on every continent, since their relatively recent introduction to Europe (in the early 1500s via Christopher Columbus). Chiles are delicious, dynamic, and very diverse—they have been rapidly adopted, adapted, and assimilated into numerous world cuisines, and while malleable to a degree, certain heirloom varieties are deeply tied to place and culture—but now accelerating climate change may be scrambling their terroir. 

Learn More


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