Thursday, August 2, 2012

An Open Letter to the Organic Community


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An Open Letter to the Organic Community from Ronnie Cummins

After 45 years of hard work and grassroots struggle, the organic community has built up a $30 billion organic food and farming industry and community. But 10% annual growth isn't enough to avert the public health, environmental and climate crisis ahead - a crisis caused in large part by industrial agriculture. The first step toward an Organic Alternative is to pass truth-in-labeling laws. It's time to support the Nov. 6th California Ballot Initiative (Proposition 37) to require labels on genetically engineered foods and to ban the routine industry practice of marketing GMO-tainted foods as "natural" or "all natural." The outcome of this ballot initiative will determine whether GMO foods are labeled - not only in California, but across the entire United States and Canada as well.

Today I'm asking the organic community - in California and nationwide - to approach the managers of the retail stores, CSAs, restaurants, or farmers markets where you regularly buy your organic food and ask them to endorse Prop 37, educate their consumers and financially support Prop 37. We have thousands of volunteers, but we need more. Please be a part of this historic initiative!

Sign up to volunteer here

Read Ronnie's open letter here


Essay of the Week

Why a Major Food Organization Is Teaming Up With Monsanto and Friends to Block Your Right to Know What's in Your Food

The powerful Washington D.C.-based Grocery Manufacturer's Association (GMA), a multi-billion dollar trade association representing America's $1.2 trillion "Big Food" industry, has contributed $375,000 so far to defeat Prop 37, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act. Its members are pitching in, too, led by food conglomerates like ConAgra Foods, J.M. Smucker, Hormel Foods, Kellogg Co., Coca-Cola North America, PepsiCo. and others.

How many more thousands – or millions - of dollars will the GMA spend in its desperate attempt to keep Californians from knowing what's in their food? And the bigger question: Why?

Read the article here


Farm Bill 2012 Update

Late Tuesday, House Republicans pulled the one-year extension of the 2008 Farm Bill they had proposed after refusing to take up a five-year bill like the Senate passed. The House Agriculture Appropriations Bill has passed out of committee, but neither it nor the House Farm Bill has reached the House floor for a vote by all members. The dangerous Monsanto Riders in both bills are still intact, but there is still time to take action!

Take Action: Stop Monsanto's Sneak Attack!

Read More


Support the OCA and OCF

It's Time to Bring Down Old Man Santo!

This video says it all! Please watch it and share with everyone you know. Every donation, large or small, will go directly toward winning the right to know what's in our food.

Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)

Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in California and other states)


Host a Bitter Seeds Film Screening During the Occupy Monsanto Sept. 17 Week of Action!

As part of Occupy Monsanto's Sept. 17th week of action, the Organic Consumers Association has teamed up with Working Films to bring you the film Bitter Seeds. As part of the Occupy action, you can host a screening of Bitter Seeds in your community to learn more about the impact of GMOs.

Director Micha X. Peled introduces us to citizens of a small Indian town who are dealing with the impacts of GMO seeds in their community. Bitter Seeds is a dire warning about the potentially devastating impacts of GMO seeds on agriculture. His film offers an intimate portrayal of the financial, family and social tolls these seeds have had on the farmers. We meet farmers, family members and a young girl aspiring to be a journalist who seeks to unearth the cause of so many farmer suicides in her town. Her determination to expose the connection between farmer suicides and Monsanto's seeds is inspiring, heart-wrenching and a David vs. Goliath story of the 21st century.

As part of your commitment to fighting Monsanto and GMOs in the US, you are invited to host a screening of Bitter Seeds in your community. In addition to the film, you will be given a free discussion guide and access to a range of digital resources to connect you to anti-GMO actions in the US. Seeing the film is a critical first step towards educating people about the need to stop GMOs in our country and an important way to connect people to important anti-GMO actions happening in the US right now. Get involved today to see Bitter Seeds and spread the film's important message!

Watch the trailer and learn more about the film

Click here to request a DVD and host a screening

For more information about Occupy Monsanto's Sept. 17th Week of Action click here – and stay tuned to Organic Bytes in the coming weeks


Fair World Project Update

The Global Economic System is rife with abuse and injustice. Most of the people that grow, process and produce our food and apparel suffer poverty wages, unsafe working conditions and other human rights violations. The Fair World Project supports diverse mechanisms and pathways to justice in the marketplace. While not a panacea, these mechanisms provide concrete opportunities for consumers to support products that reflect their values, educate others, and provide a lifeline to farmers, workers and artisans, while we simultaneously work in conjunction to improve the global system that impacts us all.

Four movements - Fair Trade, SweatFree, Family Farm, and Labor Justice - support broader movements for systemic change in our food and apparel systems, which aim to transform an unjust economic system. Together, they drive a larger movement for justice and sustainability.

Learn more and explore the interactive map


Yes On 37 Twitter Party!

Join us on August 10th at 7pm PST as we educate the public on genetically engineered foods and ingredients. The discussion will include issues surrounding GMOs, Prop 37 awareness and how you can take action online. Expert panelists including Dave Murphy from Food Democracy Now, Unhealthy Truth author Robyn O'Brien, plus prizes from Natures Path, Hawaiian Ola, Beanitos, Unreal and many more.

Be there to take part and share this invite with your friends.

Go here for more information on this event


Little Bytes

Top Stories of the Week

Monsanto's Quiet Coup: Will Congress Limit Scope and Time for GMO Reviews?

Monsanto's Deep Roots in Washington

Global Warming's Terrifying New Math

General Mills Sued Over 'Natural' Labeling

Drought, Blistering Temperatures and Raging Fires: Are We Screwed? 5 Facts You Should Know


Message From Our Sponsors

Free Trial of OCA Sponsored National Buying Club for Organic and Non-GMO Foods: The Green Polka Dot Box

The OCA-endorsed Green Polka Dot Box (GPDB) home delivery service for organic and non-GMO foods is up and running. Since October, OCA is happy to report that our staff, as well as hundreds of our members and subscribers, have been ordering and receiving regular home deliveries of organic and non-GMO foods, at 30-50% below the cost of retail, with free shipping on orders of $99 or more. As a result organic consumers who live in "organic food deserts," far from the nearest organic food store, have been able to start buying more organic food, while those of us on a limited budget have been able to buy organic products at a reduced price.

If you haven't tried this wonderful service, yet, please do so today, there is a free 30 day trial membership being offered for a limited time to Organic Bytes subscribers.

Click here to place your order today!


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