OCA staff member attended a town hall meeting, here’s what happened next

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organic consumers association website
organic consumers association website

Read ‘One of the Biggest Fights in Food Is About to Become a Civil War’

TOP NEWS OF THE WEEK

Show Up!

Many people holding their hands together in teamwork

On March 26, an OCA staff member in New Jersey attended his Congressman’s town hall meeting. He handed over a copy of our article on how Monsanto and the EPA may have colluded to bury the truth about Roundup herbicide, and asked his Congressman, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J)., to call for an investigation.

Yesterday, Rep. Pallone’s office called our staffer back with this news: He, and some of his fellow members of the Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to the Committee’s chair, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), asking for an investigation and to hold public hearings on several questions . . . including allegations that some EPA officials knowingly allowed Monsanto employees to ghostwrite scientific papers on glyphosate (the key ingredient in Roundup).

This is big news. And proof that it pays, at least some of the time, to show up.

Last week, we asked you to call and write your Congress members about this issue. We also suggested that with Easter recess coming up (April 10-21), now would be a great time to schedule an in-person meeting with your Congress Members to ask them to push for an investigation.

We still want you to do all of the above. But it’s especially urgent now that we allpressure Rep. Walden—even those of us who don’t live in his district. And for those of you whose Republican Congress Members serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee, it’s urgent that you call them, email them and set up meetings with them. (Here’s the list of 31 Committee members and how to contact them).

It’s worth noting that Rep. Pallone leads off his letter with a call to investigate whether CropLife America or Dow, maker of the herbicide chlorpyrifos, violated EPA policies or regulations to influence the EPA’s latest decision to allow the continued use of the herbicide. Chlorpyrifos, according to the EPA’s own scientists, causes neurological damage, especially to children.

It’s unconscionable that EPA officials would intentionally hide the fact that Roundup, sold widely in retail stores and labeled as “safe,” causes cancer. Or that the EPA would sign off on a chemical known to cause brain damage in children.

Can we stop corporate corruption of the EPA? We won’t know, unless we ask.

(Everyone) Call Rep. Greg Walden: (202) 225-6730 Tweet him @RepGregWalden

Need help organizing a meeting with your Congress Member? email Alexis@organicconsumers.org

Is your Congress Member on the Energy and Commerce Committee? Find out, then call and tweet!

Download the talking points for your calls and visits

TAKE ACTION: Demand Congress investigate the collusion between Monsanto and the EPA to bury the truth about Roundup herbicide!

 

NEW REPORT

‘Bad Outcomes’

A pregnant womans silhouette against a sunset at the beach

Here we go again. Another study linking Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide to health risks—this time, for pregnant moms.

US Right to Know’s Carey Gillam reported this week that researchers have found evidence that higher glyphosate levels in pregnant women correlated with significantly shorter pregnancies and with lower adjusted birth weights.

From Gillam’s article in the Huffington Post:

Researchers looking at exposure to the herbicide known as glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup branded herbicides, said they tested and tracked 69 expectant mothers and found that the presence of glyphosate levels in their bodily fluids correlated with unfavorable birth outcomes. The research is still in preliminary stages and the sample size is small, but the team is scheduled to present their findings on Thursday at a conference put on by the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) in Washington, D.C.

Paul Winchester, medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at the Franciscan St. Francis Health system and professor of clinical pediatrics at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Indiana, told Gillam that the newly reported data is a “huge” issue and that “Everyone should be concerned about this.”

Read ‘Moms Exposed to Monsanto Weed Killer Means Bad Outcomes for Babies’

Support US Right to Know’s work to expose Monsanto and Big Food

 

SUPPORT THE OCA & OCF

Trust

OCA Spring Fundraising 2017 Thanks

As we inched toward our first-quarter fundraising goal, we couldn’t help but notice how many of you pitched in this time around. From all of us, thank you.

Webster’s defines “trust” as the “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.”

In a world where it’s increasing challenging to apply words like “reliability and truth” to our political leaders and government agencies, it’s more heartening than ever to know that we can trust you to help us stand up against Monsanto, corruption in the EPA and D.C. politicians whose only loyalty is to the almighty dollar.

There are so many good causes in need of your support right now. Which makes us all the more grateful for each and every donation you send our way. Thank you.

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 GMO labeling legislative efforts)

Support OCA’s Regeneration International Project (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic, regenerative agriculture and climate change)

 

ACTION ALERT

No Thanks!

Red hand being held up with NO across the palm

Advertisements with slogans like “Incredible Edible Egg,” “Pork: The Other White Meat,” “Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner,” and “Got Milk?” promote industries (mostly Big Meat and Big Dairy), without ever mentioning a specific company or brand. Who pays for those ads?

The money comes from Research & Promotion (R&P) programs, commonly referred to as checkoff programs. Set up under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), checkoff programs require producers of agricultural commodities to contribute a percentage of sales to the program, which in turn provides research and promotion, including ads, to help expand the market for products like meat, milk and eggs.

Now the USDA, with support from the Organic Trade Association (OTA), wants to establish a similar mandatory “checkoff” program for organic producers.

Good idea? The Big Food corporations that are buying up organic brands (and calling a lot of the shots at OTA), say yes. But small organic producers and family farmers say that an organic checkoff program will be bad for them, and bad for consumers.

TAKE ACTION BY MIDNIGHT APRIL 19: Tell the USDA: Support organic farmers and consumers, not Big Food. No ‘Organic Checkoff’ Program!

or text ‘NoCheckoff’ to 97779 to sign the petition

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

On the Brink

Line of elephants walking across drought stricken cracked earth

One in five children in the world faces hunger. Yet food has never been cheaper. And the production of all that cheap food, is driving the world’s iconic wildlife to the brink of extinction.

In his latest book, “Dead Zone: Where the Wild Things Were,” Philip Lymbery reports on his two-year investigation into the caging and confinement of farm animals, and the destruction of wildlife habitats. But the book isn’t all gloom and doom—the book also reveals how there is “hope all around us.”

“Dead Zone” makes a powerful call for farming to work with nature, and not against it. It reveals the benefits of farming in a way that is good for animal welfare, the environment and wildlife.

Learn more, order the book

Watch the video

REGENERATION INTERNATIONAL

Dig In!

Shovel and rake gardening tools leaning in dirt

Ever thought about starting a business or building a career in regenerative agriculture? Prepare to get creative—and to get some dirt under your fingernails.

Ethan Soloviev is a founding team member of Terra Genesis, an international regenerative design consultancy. He helps create resilient and profitable businesses by redesigning supply chains to make them regenerative.

How did Soloviev find his way to his current career? Let’s just say that the guy who in his early 20s traveled the world to study apples, didn’t exactly follow a linear career track.

In this interview with Regeneration International, a project of OCA, Soloviev covers several topics related to regenerative agriculture, including what types of experiences you might want to get under your belt if you’re contemplating a career in the fast-growing field of regenerative food, farming, and natural products.

Read the interview with Ethan Soloviev from Terra Genesis

Support OCA ‘s Regeneration International Project (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic, regenerative agriculture and climate change)

FAIR WORLD PROJECT

Dangerous Work

Farmer harvesting a cocoa bean

With Easter just around the corner, children in many parts of the world will celebrate by diving into baskets full of chocolate.

But for the more than 2 million children West Africa, forced into dangerous work on cocoa farms, chocolate is nothing to celebrate.

Mondelez, the world’s second-largest chocolate company (owner of the iconic Cadbury Crème Egg, Marabou, Toblerone, and other brands) could make life better for cocoa farmers and their children. Instead, Mondelez’s Cocoa Life program talks more about improving cocoa production and supply efficiency than it does about livelihoods and fair payments for farmers—most of whom make less than $1 a day.

U.S. chocolate sales could reach $25 billion a year in just the next two years. Over $2 billion of that is spent at Easter alone. But very little of that money gets to the farmers in countries like West Africa.

If you buy chocolate this Easter, buy from one of these Fair Brands. In the meantime, tell Mondelez to pay cocoa farmers a fair price!

TAKE ACTION: Tell the World’s Second-Largest Chocolate Company: It’s Not OK to Keep Farmers in Poverty!

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week

Little Bytes

8 Backyard Weeds You Can Actually Eat

There’s Another Story to Tell About Climate Change. And It Starts with Water

Coca-Cola’s Secret Influence on Medical and Science Journalists

Meet the Woman Rescuing Fruit and Feeding Her Community

Why You Should Always Choose a Wooden Cutting Board

Farmed Salmon Industry Causing Global Sea Lice Crisis

Nestle Pipes Water from National Forest, Sparking Protests

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