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Biotech giant Monsanto has once again been selected as the worst company on Earth, earning the 2011 title from the Natural Society.
Monsanto's 2011 crimes include:
- Poisoning people with an herbicide more dangerous than DDT
- Spawning super-weeds and killer-bugs that reduce yields and destroy crops, and
- Introducing a deadly new micro-monster into the environment that plagues plants with new diseases and renders animals (including humans) infertile.
The EPA is currently conducting a "Registration Review" of glyphosate, Monsanto's herbicide "RoundUp", which its "RoundUp Ready" crops are genetically engineered to tolerate. The EPA will be gathering data through the summer of 2012 and making a final decision no earlier than 2015.
Don't Let Monsanto Win Re-Approval of RoundUp!
Congressman Investigates GMOs in Organic Baby Food
After more than 10,000 OCA members complained to Congress, Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA), chair of the Organic Caucus, began investigating claims that the Martek Biosciences Life'sDHA and Life'sARA found in many certified organic infant formulas, baby foods and dairy products are GMOs. So far, he has learned:
- The National Organic Standards Board has approved a strain of non-GMO DHA-producing algae
- The DHA approved by the NOSB is NOT the kind used in infant formula and baby cereals
- Other strains of DHA-producing algae are genetically modified
This seems to indicate that:
The DHA that is currently used in certified organic infant formula and baby cereals is from the strain of DHA-producing algae that has been genetically engineered.
OCA Political Director Alexis Baden-Mayer has made a request to Rep. Farr and the USDA for more information (there's nothing yet on ARA) and hopes to have replies to share with you shortly!
And if you haven't already, please...
Take Action to Get GMOs Out of Organic Baby Food!
Read Rep. Farr & the USDA's response letters
Frankenfish Could Trigger Aquacalypse
The Canadian non-profit Living Oceans has learned that AquaBounty's genetically-engineered salmon, the first genetically engineered fish under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for potential sale to U.S. consumers, tested positive for a new strain of Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) in November 2009. ISA is a virus that has triggered devastating disease outbreaks (90% death rate) in stocks of farmed Atlantic salmon around the world.
The news that Frankenfish could spread a new salmon disease broke just after the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard held a hearing to weigh the risks and benefits of introducing the product into the U.S. marketplace.
Alaska Democratic Senator Mark Begich called for the hearing. In October, Begich introduced legislation to ban GE fish from interstate commerce. The act was entitled "Prevention of Escapement of Genetically Altered Salmon in the United States" (PEGASUS).
Watch the Senate Hearing and Take Action to Stop Frankenfish
Mutant Mosquitoes to Be Released in Florida Without USDA Review
Since 2009, Florida's Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties have reported several cases of Dengue fever - a virus that has not been seen in the United States since 1945. Although the re-emergence of Dengue is worrisome, what is even more alarming is how Florida is considering combating the problem.
UK-based Oxitec Insect Technologies wants to sell the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District mosquitoes that are genetically engineered to pass a lethal gene to their offspring, killing them before they reach adulthood.
Todd Shelly, an entomologist with the USDA in Hawaii, one of the scientist tasked with the review of an Oxitec report on the mosquitoes before it was published last month in Nature Biotechnology, says he supports moving forward with research but called the current approach a "black box" of uncertainties. The primary concern, as with GE food, is the possibility that engineered genes could transfer to or harm other organisms.
"If anyone tells you they know what is going to happen, they're wrong," he said. And, of course, once these Frankenbugs are released into the wild, they're impossible to recall.
Stop Mutant Mosquitoes Before They Get to Your Neighborhood!
Support the OCA and the OCF
Thank you to everyone who has supported our work in 2011! Everyone who has donated, volunteered, and everyone who has signed our Action Alerts!
You've made it possible to continue the transition to an organic future by safeguarding organic standards and fighting back against the biotech bullies and their indentured politicians, supporting state and federal legislative reforms, educating the public, and organizing nationwide protests.
In 2012, we plan to fight even harder. With the 2012 California ballot initiative, we have a real chance to hit Monsanto with the skull and crossbones they fear so much - mandatory labels on genetically engineered food.
Please be as generous as you can this holiday season.
Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible)
Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our efforts in California)
Voting with Our Farms and Forks Against Climate Catastrophe
Industrial agriculture, factory farms, genetically engineered crops and biofuels are now the leading cause of global warming and climate chaos.
To fully understand how corporate agribusiness is destroying climate stability, what this means for continued life on the planet, and why organic food and farming is the solution, read Will Allen and Ronnie Cummins' new essay, "Voting with Our Farms and Forks Against Climate Catastrophe."
Little Bytes: Top Stories of the Week
'Brutal logic' and Climate Communications: Time to Get Serious about Stopping Climate Catastrophe
Video: Farmers March with Occupy Wall Street, Sowing the Seeds of Hope and Democracy
The Bugs That Ate Monsanto
The Dirty Little Secret Hidden in Some Health Foods - Soy Products
Warming Arctic Permafrost Fuels Climate Change Worries
Message From Our Sponsors
Eden Foods Offers OCA Customers 15% Discount
Eden Foods is one of the few national organic food producers who goes beyond the USDA Organic Standards. Although Eden Foods is USDA certified, their products do not bear the USDA seal, because they say the USDA standard really represents a "minimum standard" that Eden Foods goes far beyond.
As a subscriber to Organic Bytes, you can enjoy a 15% discount rate on any Eden Foods products by going here.
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