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Monsanto to Stomp Out States’ Rights to Label GMOs? OCA Newsletter Organic Bytes #379

There is a lot of diversity in this newsletter, a lot is going on “behind the scenes” that affects us and we should have a choice rather than having it imposed in the name of the ever holy “profit motive”.

I especially hope you will check out the section about the EPA approving MORE glyphosphate-this is something that should very likely be banned or at least regulated to only licensed applicators.

Organic and permaculture methods control pests and weeds BETTER than ANY chemical and do so while maintaining the health of the soil and of all living beings instead of causing an epidemic of autoimmune disease and cancer like the unholy marriage of the chemical and ag industries we’ve been living with for the last many decades.

In a truly FREE country LIFE would ALWAYS supercede PROFIT as the most important thing. To me, this fascist coupling of the federal government with some of the world’s largest and most polluting corporations, controlling our food supply while poisoning our soil, water and air is the epitome of what needs to change in our world.

Please feel free to pass this info around, and to sign up for the OCA newsletter if these areas also seem important to you.

Monsanto to Stomp Out States’ Rights to Label GMOs?

Organic Bytes #379, May 17, 2013

Health, Justice and Sustainability News from the Organic Consumers Association

Edited by Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins

ESSAY OF THE WEEK

Genetically Modified Democracy: Monsanto and Congress Move to Stomp on Your Rights

Could Monsanto slip an amendment or rider into the 2013 Farm Bill that would wipe out any state GMO labeling law? Word on the street is that the world’s biggest Biotech bully is contemplating just such a move. The word from millions of consumers? Any member of Congress who even thinks about supporting Monsanto’s efforts to stomp on states’ rights to label GMOs should start packing their bags today.

The House Ag Committee has already passed an amendment that policy analysts say, if included in the final Farm Bill, would take away states’ rights to enact GMO labeling laws. Will the King Amendment, offered by pro-Big Ag Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), survive the Senate? We don’t know yet. But we do know this: Monsanto is running scared in the face of efforts in more than 30 states to require mandatory GMO labeling. Their next best line of defense is to take that right away from states – and consumers.

Read the essay http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27540.cfm

Read the press release http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27543.cfm

ACTION ALERT

Congress Beware: If You Support a Monsanto Attack on State Labeling Laws, and We’ll Throw You Out!


TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Congress Member: Your Job Is on the Line if You Support a Monsanto Attack on States’ Right to Know! http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/congress-dont-pass-a?source=c.url&r_by=5382364

First it was the Monsanto Protection Act, which gave biotech companies immunity from federal courts and paved the way for Monsanto to plant illegally approved, potentially dangerous genetically engineered crops. Now, an increasingly desperate Monsanto is eyeing an attack on states’ rights to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Last year, 73 U.S. Senators voted against a proposed amendment to the agriculture bill, put forth by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The Sanders amendment would have guaranteed states the right to require labels on genetically engineered food products. We know who those senators are. [LINK TO COME] Today, officially, we’re putting them, and every other member of Congress, on notice: Vote to take away states’ rights to label GMOs, and we’ll vote you out of office. And if you represent one of the 11 states that allow recalls of federal elected officials? Let the recalls begin.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Congress Member: Your Job Is on the Line if You Support a Monsanto Attack on States’ Right to Know! http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/congress-dont-pass-a?source=c.url&r_by=5382364

ACTION ALERT

Unbelievable: EPA Approves Higher Levels of Roundup’s Glyphosate

TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA to Lower the Allowed Limits for Monsanto’s Roundup! http://www.organicconsumers.org/ocaactions.cfm?actionnum=10886

In study http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/42941-review-highlights-dangerous-health-effects-of-glyphosate.html after study, http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27530.cfm scientists warn of the foolhardiness of unleashing into the environment tons of glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide. Yet the U.S. Environmental Protection Act has just raised http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27491.cfm the allowable limits for glyphosate residue in human food and animal feed.

Glyphosate has been linked to everything from Parkinson’s Disease and Autism, to cancer, infertility and allergies. It begs the question. Whose environment is the EPA trying to protect? Yours? Or Monsanto’s? The EPA’s ruling is “final.” But the agency is still accepting comments. Let’s tell our so-called protectors that we want lower, not higher, limits on glyphosate residue.

TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA to Lower the Allowed Limits for Monsanto’s Roundup! http://www.organicconsumers.org/ocaactions.cfm?actionnum=10886

NEW REPORT

A Side of Leukemia with Your GMO Corn?

The Bt (Bacillus Thuringensis) toxin in Monsanto’s genetically modified corn and soy has been linked to organ failure http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Bt_Toxin_Kills_Human_Kidney_Cells.php in humans. It has turned up in the bloodstreams http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22999.cfm of pregnant women and their fetuses. Now, a study published in the Journal of Hematology & Thromboembolic Diseases suggests that some forms of the Bt toxin may also contribute to certain blood cancers, such as leukemia.

The study’s authors conclude: “Taking into account the increased risk
of human and animal exposures to significant levels of these toxins,
especially through diet, our results suggest that further studies are
required . . . before concluding that these microbiological
control agents are safe for mammals.” Talk about a ship that’s already sailed.

Learn more http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27523.cfm

Read the study http://gmoevidence.com/wp content/uploads/2013/05/JHTD-1-104.pdf

SUPPORT THE OCA & OCF

Deadline Extended: Help us plant hope, and we’ll help you plant your garden.

It’s not too late for spring planting . . . or to take advantage of our spring seed giveaway.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Co. http://www.rareseeds.com/ has sent us a variety of non-GMO, heirloom specialty seeds. We’re passing them along to donors, while supplies last. We have lots of varieties to give away, including Purple of Sicily Cauliflower, Blue Podded Garden Peas, Stuttgarter Onions, Southern Giant Curled Mustard, Amish Deer Tongue Lettuce, Detroit Dark Red Beets, Atomic Red Carrots, Early Purple Vienna Kohlrabi and Persian Carpet Zinnias. To name a few.

Help us plant hope, and we’ll help you plant your garden. Make a donation of $50 or more and we’ll send you four packages of seeds. Be sure to write “seeds” in the comment field with your online donation (or on the memo line of your check). Thank you!

Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education) http://www.organicconsumers.org/donations.cfm

Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in Washington, Vermont and other states) http://organicconsumersfund.org/donate/

Take That, Monsanto and Mark Lynas

Remember Mark Lynas, the repentant journalist-masquerading-as-scientist who made headlines http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_26888.cfm earlier this year? For telling the world that, gosh, he’d been wrong all those years about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) being bad for our health and environment? That we should pay no attention to all the new studies highlighting the dangers of GMOs, and instead embrace biotechnology as the solution to world hunger?

Well, Lynas has met his match. Thierry Vrain, retired former pro-GMO scientist (as in, actual scientist) for Agriculture Canada, now says that a growing body of scientific research showing that diets containing engineered corn or soy cause serious health problems in laboratory mice and rats should give us pause. Says Vrain: “I refute the claims of the biotechnology companies that their engineered crops yield more, that they require less pesticide applications, that they have no impact on the environment and of course that they are safe to eat.” Seems the science – and now the scientists – are on our side.

Read the article http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27517.cfm

ACTION ALERT UPDATE

Win Some, Lose Some

First, the good news. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has come to its senses. Temporarily at least. The BLM postponed auctions http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27522.cfm in California that would have opened up more public lands for fracking. The auctions, involving nearly 3,300 acres of prime public lands, were planned for later this month. But thanks in part to the nearly 60,000 of you who signed our petition to the BLM, the auctions are on hold. It also didn’t hurt that a federal judge ruled last month that the BLM had violated a key environmental law by previously auctioning the drilling rights for lands near the Salinas River Valley before reviewing the potential impacts on water, wildlife and air quality.

There’s plenty of evidence http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_26688.cfm to suggest that where oil and gas companies are already fracking, farms are being destroyed. Do we really want to destroy prime farmland in California? Let’s keep the pressure on the BLM to stop fracking on California’s public lands. If you haven’t yet signed our petition, please sign today. http://signon.org/sign/dont-frack-our-food-and?source=c.url&r_by=5382364 If you have signed, please forward to five friends who haven’t. Thank you!


Now for the bad news. Our petition to save the honeybees from yet another bee-killing pesticide didn’t fare so well.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27521.cfm sulfoxaflor, a pesticide the agency admits is toxic to bees. The bee population has already been decimated by a host of neonicotinoid pesticides, which work in much the same way as sulfoxaflor. That’s bad news for food crops. According to a United Nations report, of the 100 crop species that supply 90 percent of the world’s food, bees pollinate more than 70 percent.

But don’t worry. The EPA is requiring anyone using sulfoxaflor to notify “known” beekeepers within one mile of the treatment area 48 hours before they spray the pesticide. So the beekeepers can move their hives. The “known” beekeepers, that is. Can anyone say “loophole?”

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week

Join the March Against Monsanto May 25, 2013!
http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/

Revealed: How US State Department ‘Twists Arms’ on Monsanto’s Behalf
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27525.cfm

Eating As Though the Environment Mattered
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27529.cfm

400 Parts Per Million: Climate Milestone is a Moment of Symbolic Significance on Road of Idiocy
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27509.cfm

Tenn. Governor Haslam Vetoes ‘Ag Gag’ Anti-Whistleblower Bill
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27519.cfm

How a Legal Loophole Allows Untested Pesticides in Everything From Cosmetics to Clothing
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27516.cfm

A MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSORS

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Learn more about Vitamin D http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/02/07/vitamin-d-testing.aspx

Learn more about the study http://www.grassrootshealth.net/index.php/daction

View this newsletter on OCA’s site here http://www.organicconsumers.org/bytes/ob379.html


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Court Hears Arguments on Whether EPA Must Protect Endangered Species From Pesticides

Center for Biological Diversity

Court Hears Arguments on Whether EPA Must Protect Endangered Species From Pesticides

Black-footed ferretA federal district court in San Francisco heard arguments Friday in the most comprehensive legal action ever brought under the Endangered Species Act to protect endangered species from the harmful chemicals in pesticides. The Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network are challenging the EPA’s failure to assess the impacts of hundreds of pesticides on more than 200 endangered and threatened species, including Florida panthers, California condors, piping plovers and black-footed ferrets.

“We’re trying to make sure the EPA does its legal and moral duty to make sure harmful chemicals aren’t sprayed in the same places where these vulnerable wild animals are trying to survive,” said Jeff Miller, a conservation advocate with the Center.

A series of lawsuits by the Center and allies has forced the agency to consult on the impacts of scores of pesticides on endangered species, mostly in California; the current suit is the first with a nationwide scope. The presiding judge told attorneys he was initially inclined to grant the EPA’s motion to dismiss the suit, but after hearing arguments from both sides Friday, including from the Center’s Collette Adkins Giese, the judge said his ruling wouldn’t be issued anytime soon.

Read more in The Washington Post.