Organic Consumers Association News

Our Co-op has succumbed to market forces in our little town. But I hope to keep the blog alive as there are so many things happening in the country and in the world, that affect our food supply.  Real information is often hard to get, but there are some sources we can trust, and one of them is the Organic Consumers Association.  This week I have chosen to copy their newsletter in its entirety to share with those who don’t receive it.

Just when we think our efforts might be paying off…..after all, look at all those nonGMO labels on more and more foods…the mighty Monsanto fights back harder attempting to pass bills that would put a strangle hold on our rights to limit those things that would harm us.

So I hope you will follow what’s happening.  And instead of losing heart,  just boycott those corporate entities and food producers that refuse to label their products.  Massive boycotts, at this point, could prove to be a change.  ~admin~

 

Posted in GMO FOOD, Health Issues, Monsanto, Movies, Books, related reading, Organic Consumers Association, Organic products, Politics | Leave a comment

As Big Candy Ditches GMOs, Sugar Beet Farmers Hit A Sour Patch

Posted in GMO FOOD, Health Issues, Monsanto, Politics | Leave a comment

News & talk radio advocating integrity in our global food source

From Food Integrity Now...Shamelessly lifted from Carol Grieve’s Food Integrity Now blog, in an effort to spread the word.  All the links below are accessible and will take you to the source. ~admin~

Revolution: Food Movie

loreto 1Are you getting tired of hearing all the bad news about our food supply? What’s next in the food revolution? Isn’t it time to start focusing more on solutions? Revolution: Food Movie is part of the solution? (full interview here).  Filmmaker, Loreto Di Cesare, brings us this beautiful movie which tells the story about the power of choice and why it so important in the shaping of our future food supply.

vandana shiva - revolution foodLoreto Di Cesare worked at the Vatican as a videographer for years and also worked under the famous Italian filmmaker, Alberto Pandolfi , traveling the world learning how to tell a story through film. In his film,Revolution:Food, Loreto travels to India to speak with one of the best known organic farmers in the world, Dr. Vandana Shiva. Dr. Shiva is one of the most inspirational food activists on the planet and encouraged Loreto to do this film.

 

When Loreto moved to Southern California from Rome, Italy, he was concerned about where he would find good food in the United States. Through his travels around the world, he learned that the United States was often used as the bad example of food systems. In his search for good food, he quickly found Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.43.19 AM (1)a local farmer named Paul Greive. Paul and his family own a pasture-raised meat farm calledPrimal Pastures in Southern California. Paul introduced him to some of his mentors, like Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms and Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures. Paul Greive, a former CPA, only started farming about 4 years ago and had already grown Primal Pastures into one of the premiere pasture-raised meat farms in California. Paul’s personal story is very inspirational. (interview here)

joel salatin - revolution foodAfter being inspired by Dr. Vandana Shiva on a previous film and meeting Paul, Loreto knew he had to tell the story, a story that would motivate and inspire people to understand how they could participate and shape the food supply. In his documentary, he speaks with people like Dr. Vandana Shiva, Joel Salatin, Mark McAfee, Paul Greive and others who are reshaping the food supply in this country. During his interview with Joel Salatin, Joel so eloquently summed it up by saying:

“There has never been a better time or a more efficient time to participate in the food system.”

Loretto is a creative genius and the movie not only tells an important story, but also is so beautiful because of the breathtaking cinematography throughout the movie. This film, Revolution Food, is a must see for everyone. The movie is one of hope and inspiration in a time where we are being barraged with so much bad news about our food. You will be inspired!

IMG_4116I had the pleasure of visiting Primal Pastures and chatting with Loreto and Paul. I was inspired by Loreto’s dedication to his work as a filmmaker and telling the story and by Paul’s passion for bringing us clean, pasture-raised meats and more.

Click on the link below to listen in!

SHOW NOTES:

Revolution: Food movie – rent or buy movie
Primal Pastures

PODCAST: PLAY IN NEW WINDOW | DOWNLOAD (DURATION: 26:43 — 12.3MB) |EMBED

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Top 12 Fruits And Vegetables Most Sprayed With Bone-Harming Dangerous Pesticides

The following is news letter excerpted from the SaveInstitute, Vivian Goldsmith’s Save Our Bones program:

“Pesticide residue on conventional produce is a very real health hazard, adding to your body’s toxic load and undermining your bone-building efforts. However, some foods are more heavily sprayed with pesticides than others.

The good news is that every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) puts together its Dirty Dozen list, which is a list of the top 12 most heavily-sprayed produce.

They’ve recently come out with an updated list, and today we’re going to take a close look at these “dirty” fruits and veggies, starting with a discussion on why eating them organically grown instead of conventional is important for your bones and your health.

Why Eating Organic Foods Matters

Organic foods are not merely a trend or fad. As knowledge about the realities of pesticide use has grown, consumer demand for toxin-free produce has risen to an unprecedented degree, as has the demand for allergen-free and non-GMO foods.

Consumers are now much more aware of the toll these pesticides take on human health. This fact is well documented, as is the fact that pesticide residue remains on crops that have been sprayed.

In fact, even peeling produce does not help – the USDA tests for pesticide residue in the edible portion of foods, so foods with inedible peel, such as avocados, bananas, and others are tested after the peel has been removed, and in most cases, pesticide residues are still found.

On foods with edible skins, the testing is done after rinsing under running water, which underscores the point that pesticides are impossible to wash away completely. Not only can they penetrate the skins of foods, but the waxes used to prevent moisture loss during transport can trap pesticides in a waxy coating that can’t be washed off. And finally, the plants can take up the pesticides via their roots, thus infiltrating the fruit or vegetable.

Hundreds of pounds of pesticides are used for every acre of conventionally-grown produce. And these substances have been linked to serious health issues such as ADHD in children, breast cancer, depression, prostate and ovarian cancer, birth defects, and Alzheimer’s disease – to name a few.

This is of particular concern for parents of young children, whose smaller body size renders them more vulnerable to harm from pesticide ingestion. Research strongly suggests that pesticide ingestion is linked to ADHD and impaired intelligence,1 with further research pointing out that pesticide levels peak in children’s bodies during the summer months when fruits and vegetables are plentiful.2

To investigate this further, scientists tested pesticide levels in a group of 23 elementary children who had eaten conventional produce. The levels were monitored as the children switched to an all-organic diet, leading researchers to state:

“In conclusion, we were able to demonstrate that an organic diet provides a dramatic and immediate protective effect against exposures to organophosphorus pesticides that are commonly used in agricultural production.”2

Amazingly, the children’s bodies were nearly free of all pesticides after just five days on the all-organic diet.

If this is true for children, then it stands to reason that adults would also detoxify from pesticides upon eating an organic diet, and from choosing organically-grown versions of heavily-sprayed produce.

The Official Dirty Dozen

I understand that it’s not easy to buy every food organically grown, but we must keep in mind that accumulated toxins make it harder to maintain a desirable alkaline pH.

What makes this list so helpful is that if due to availability or other reasons you must choose between organic and conventional produce, you’ll have a handy reference to aid you in deciding which ones to buy organic and a concise resource of their bone health benefits. So let’s begin with…

1. Strawberries*

This delicious berry has now replaced apples’ five-year run as the most heavily sprayed crop. A whopping 300 pounds of pesticides per acre are applied to strawberries in California fields, artificially jump-starting and prolonging the growing season and increasing yield.

This is crucial in light of the fact that strawberries are anti-inflammatory and rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants, earning them a place in the Save Our Bones Program’s Foundation Foods. Research also shows that these remarkable berries have many other health benefits, including pain relief and even reduced risk of esophageal cancer. So to keep from undermining the health benefits of strawberries and to take full advantage of all they have to offer, it’s particularly important to choose organic.

2. Apples*

Once at the top of the list, apples have dropped to the second position in 2016 (but of course, they are still heavily sprayed with pesticides). Apples contain a flavonoid called phloridzin, which has been shown to increase bone density and decrease inflammation. They’re rich in Vitamin C, fiber, and boron, and a lot of their goodness is found in the peel. So organic is essential!

3. Nectarines

These peach-like fruits are indeed related to peaches and apricots, and have many of the same health benefits. They are alkalizing and full of Vitamin C and fiber. They are also high in potassium, making them an important buffer to the high-sodium diet so prevalent in the U.S.

4. Peaches*

Peaches are also alkalizing, and are a good source of bone-building boron. Also, their juiciness helps boost hydration.

5. Celery*

This crunchy vegetable is extremely alkalizing, and it contains bone-healthy Vitamin K, folate, Vitamins B2 and B5, manganese, boron, and magnesium.

6. Grapes*

This richly-pigmented fruit is full of bone-smart polyphenols and anti-inflammatory substances like quercetin and courmarin. Grapes even have pain-relieving properties. But they have moved up from #7 to #6 on the Dirty Dozen list this year.

7. Cherries*

Sadly, cherries were not on the Dirty Dozen list in years past, but they made it this year. Cherries are a good source of bone-building silicon in addition to other vitamins and minerals that build bones, like manganese and copper. They are rich in antioxidant polyphenols, particularly anthocyanins and superoxide dismutase. Cherries even contain melatonin, helping regulate the body’s circadian rhythm.

8. Spinach*

With manganese, calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin K, spinach has much to offer your bones. Being a dark green, leafy vegetable, spinach is full of antioxidants, especially lutein and zeaxanthin. These are especially helpful for eye health.

9. Tomatoes*

Botanically a fruit, tomatoes are good sources of bone-rejuvenating nutrients like copper, Vitamin C, and silicon. They are full of lycopene, an antioxidant that’s also found in watermelon and pink grapefruit. Interestingly, research shows that cooking tomatoes makes lycopene more bioavailable by converting it to trans-lycopene.

10. Sweet Bell Peppers*

Offering Vitamin C, silicon, and Vitamin K, bell peppers are a sweet and crispy vegetable that is a member of the nightshade family, like tomatoes, eggplants, and potatoes.

11. Cherry Tomatoes* (see #9 above)

12. Cucumbers*

Cucumbers are rich in silicon, and are very hydrating as well as alkalizing. Silicon facilitates calcium uptake and plays a role in collagen formation.

*Foundation Food

Given how many of these foods are Foundation Foods, you can understand why the Save Our Bones Program advocates eating organic! In addition, almost all of the EWG’s “Clean Fifteen” (foods with little pesticide residue even when conventionally grown) are Foundation Foods: avocados, corn, pineapples, cabbage, sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, honeydew, grapefruit, cantaloupe, and cauliflower.”

Posted in GMO FOOD, Health Issues, Monsanto, Organic products | Leave a comment

Organic Consumers/Glyphosate in Our Food

TOP NEWS OF THE WEEK

Got Tested? You (Probably) Failed.

If you participated in the glyphosate test project launched last year by The Detox Project (formerly Feed The World) and OCA, you probably failed.

A staggering 93 percent of Americans tested positive for glyphosate, according to the test results, announced yesterday (May 25, 2016).

What makes that figure even more alarming is that many of you who sent in urine samples for testing probably eat more organic than non-organic food. Which suggests that either your organic food has been contaminated and/or you’re being exposed to glyphosate via unknown sources.

Worse yet? Children had the highest levels.

The testing, carried out by a laboratory at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), was the first-ever comprehensive and validated LC/MS/MS testing project to be carried out across America. According to the results, people who live in the west and mid-west tested higher than those living in other regions of the country.

It’s way past time for the world to wake up and smell the poison.

Read our blog post on the test results

Read the Detox Project glyphosate testing press release

TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA: Don’t Re-Up Roundup!

Text “Roundup” to 97779 to sign the petition

Support the Monsanto Tribunal

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Our Day in Court!

This Tuesday, May 24th,  Community Rights Lane County was challenged in court by big corporate interests. CRLC has bern working for years to get an initiative on the ballot that would protect Lane County farmers, by giving residents the right to say whether or not they want GMO crops side by side with traditional and organic crops, or  regulate them in some way so that organic crops are not crossbred with GMO crops. This represents the future of our pure seed crops, our organic farms, and small traditional farms.

Every county in Oregon has the right to self- governance through the initiative process, but these corporate interests are trying to put up un-constitutional road blocks against this process.

Please read the following up-date, and write your letters to the editors, call your congress people….spread the word….do whatever you can to bring this to the attention of your friends and neighbors. ~admin~

 

Post-Hearing update on Tuesday’s Court Proceedings

Community Rights Lane County educates citizens about our rights to local community governance. We believe decisions affecting communities must be made by community residents.

Democracy on Trial

On May 24th, a public hearing was held to decide the fate of local voters’ ability to pass a Lane County Charter Amendment via the ballot initiative process. Supporters of the Right of Local Self-Government Charter Amendment filled the Lane County courtroom to hear Ann Kneeland, lead attorney for the Chief Petitioners, defend the people’s Right to write and pass local laws.

This hearing demonstrates how corporate interests use “our” courts & government to limit the power of the people of Lane County. 

The courts may be used to challenge an initiative before an election for failing to meet basic rules of procedure, or challenge a law after the majority of voters have decided to pass it. However, bringing this ballot initiative into a hearing, based on non-procedural grounds, before any signatures have even been gathered, is an obstacle to the democratic process. It is an attempt to change the ballot initiative process to make it more difficult for the people to create and pass our own laws. It is an infringement on our constitutional rights.

The corporate interests that initiated the challenge are not just trying to influence what voters decide. They are trying to take away our ability to make a decision. 

If the Right of Local Community Self-Government Ballot Initiative is denied by the Lane County court system, it will set a precedent locally and throughout Oregon. Corporate interests will have even more power over local communities.

The ballot initiative process is a way for the people to pass laws that “our representatives” are not willing/able to. Corporate Interests (and their political puppets) are trying to take that away.

Ann’s powerfully thoughtful and well researched arguments to protect Lane County voter’s rights to the ballot box were never more evident than in court on Tuesday.

Stay tuned as the judge’s decision will be announced next month. And thanks to all who attended and to all who work to protect and defend our constitutional rights!

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We need you on Tuesday!

Community Rights Lane County is fighting to maintain the local right to regulate the growing of GMO crops relative to their proximity to traditional crops. They have been working for years to maintain our local initiative rights.  Please come to the  court room to support them if you are able.

Earlier this month, the hearing to decide the fate of the ‘Right of Local Community Self-Government’ Charter Amendment was postponed and rescheduled for May 24. Please help us pack the courtroom as Ann Kneeland, lead attorney for the initiative’s Chief Petitioners, argues the case to protect our right to the initiative process. She will stress that the Courts do not possess the power to interfere with the people’s right to pass local laws until after the laws have passed. Judge Charles Carlson will make a decision that will affect our constitutional right to write and pass laws that seek to protect residents from corporate harms. Join us, as a crucial component of our democratic process goes on trial.
mic.jpg
WHEN: Tuesday, May 24th, 9am
WHERE: Lane County Circuit Court, 125 E. 8th ave. RM 303***Immediately after the hearing, lead attorney Ann Kneeland will be on the front steps of the courthouse for a press conference! Please bring your microphones, cameras, and questions, as we film this spectacle!***Then join us at Cozmic (199 W.8th ave) for a hearing debrief with lead attorney, Chief Petitioners, and members of CRLC! Learn:

  • What happens now that the hearing is over?
  • What just happened in there anyway?
  • Find out how this case affects all of us in Lane County!!


The Oregon Community Rights Movement
 needs your help! The network of local Community Rights groups, The Oregon Community Rights Network (ORCRN) and the State Constitutional Amendment campaign, Oregonians for Community Rights (OR4CR), need volunteers to deepen and grow the movement around Oregon.

We have teams in many different areas: fundraising, media relations, graphic design, coalition building, event planning, and communications. If you have any experience or are at all interested in volunteering please contact Zach <volunteer@oregoncommunityrights.org> or fill out this volunteer form: http://www.oregoncommunityrights.org/volunteer

Click here to sign up for news and updates about the campaign: http://www.oregoncommunityrights.org/join

Thanks for your continued work and support!


Interested in helping Community Rights Lane County? Click Here! 
We couldn’t do this work without you. Thank you for your support! Donate Now!

Community Rights Lane County
CommunityRightsLaneCounty.org

Support Local Food Rights · POB 186, Eugene, OR 97440, United States
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You can also keep up with Community Rights Lane County on Facebook.
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Make Your Voice Count

EPA Says Atrazine Likely Harming Most Animals, Plants in the U.S.

FrogHere’s an ugly revelation: The amount of the herbicide atrazine that’s released into the environment in the United States is likely harming most species of plants and animals, including mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. That’s according to a preliminary risk assessment by the Environmental Protection Agency that was posted briefly on its website and subsequently removed.

.

For Immediate Release, May 3, 2016

Contact: Nathan Donley, (971) 717-6406, ndonley@biologicaldiversity.org

EPA Finds Atrazine Likely Harming Most Species of Plants, Animals in U.S.

PORTLAND, Ore.— The amount of the herbicide atrazine that’s released into the environment in the United States is likely harming most species of plants and animals, including mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles, according to a preliminary risk assessment by the Environmental Protection Agency. Atrazine is well known as a hormone disruptor that has been linked to birth defects and cancer in humans and contamination of ground-, surface- and drinking-water supplies.

The second-most widely used pesticide in the United States, already banned in Europe, was found to cause reproductive harm to mammals and birds in real-world scenarios, with EPA “levels of concern” surpassed nearly 200-fold, according to the new EPA assessment. Also, water monitoring has shown atrazine to be present at levels much higher than are needed to kill an amphibian.

The assessment was posted on the EPA’s website on Friday but has since been removed. A copy is available here.

“The EPA has determined that the amount of atrazine that’s in streams and rivers right now is enough to kill frogs and other imperiled wildlife,” said Nathan Donley, a scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “How many animals have to die before we do what Europe did 12 years ago and ban atrazine?”

Amphibians are particularly vulnerable to pesticide impacts because they live in waterways where their permeable skins absorb contaminants from agricultural runoff. Dr. Tyrone Hayes, at the University of California, has shown that atrazine chemically castrates and feminizes male frogs at concentrations lower than the level allowed in drinking water by the EPA. Late last year a group of prominent scientists criticized California’s proposed “safe harbor level” for atrazine because it didn’t protect public health and the environment.

“When the amount of atrazine allowed in our drinking water is high enough to turn a male tadpole into a female frog, then our regulatory system has failed us,” said Donley. “We’ve reached a point with atrazine where more scientific analysis is just unnecessary — atrazine needs to be banned now.”

Currently 70 million pounds of atrazine are used in the United States each year, contaminating ground, surface and drinking water.

These findings come as the EPA is in the process of “registration review” of atrazine, a process designed to determine whether the chemical can safely be used in light of new scientific study. The assessment will inform EPA’s decision on whether to allow atrazine to be used for the next 15 years. The last time the agency fully analyzed the threats posed by atrazine was in 2003; no new registration decision has been made so far.

In a historic settlement reached with the Center, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and EPA will analyze the impacts of atrazine on more than 1,500 endangered U.S. plants and animals. The agreement ensures that conservation measures will be put in place for atrazine in the future.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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Call To Action…Keep Our Air, Water, Soil and Humans Safe From Toxic Sprays

One down, one to go!

Lincoln County Community Rights (LCCR) recieved the judge’s ruling on the first of two lawsuits by Peter Begren, a local forest owner, filed against Citizens for a Healthy County’s ordinance. The judge ruled that the ordinance is in compliance with Oregon Statutes both in terms of single subject and full text. This is fantastic news, and we are elated.  The second lawsuit challenges the ballot title to the ordinance.  After that is resolved, Citizens for a Healthy County would be authorized to gather signatures to put the ordinance banning aerial spraying of pesticides on the ballot, hopefully for November.
Last week, members of LCCR were the guest speakers at the screening of the first of 3 environmental films shown by Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District, an organization which has now affirmed its support of our work.  They have said they will help LCCR make contact with people in Lincoln City who they have worked with. LCCR is currently working to find places and participants to hold house parties in a continuing effort to expand their support.
Collecting Signatures Now!

In Oregon, timber corporations routinely spray forest lands with hazardous chemicals such as Glyphosate, Atrazine and 2,4-D. Due to drift, these chemicals “trespass,” contaminating surface and groundwater, livestock, crops, and people. We’re pushing back!
Join Freedom from Aerial Herbicides Alliance for their Double Feature Roadshow, featuring Behind the Emerald Curtain, and Drift: A Community Seeking Justice. These films are headed to a community near you, where you’ll be able to sign the petition to help us get the Freedom from Aerial Spraying of Herbicides Charter Amendment on the ballot in Lane County in May 2017. Check their website for showings. www.freedomfromaerialherbicides.org

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Please Support the Local Community Food Rights Charter

A note from Michelle Holman about Lane County Local Food Rights:

“Let’s protect our County’s local food system from GMO contamination.

Lane County has a vibrant local food system that we need to protect.The Willamette Valley is one of the last five specialty seed-growing regions in the world for varieties such as brassicas (e.g. cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, mustard, rutabaga, etc.) that are the most susceptible to contamination by GMOs. Once contaminated, it would be virtually impossible to re-establish this industry.

You can help!
The Right to a Local Food System Charter Amendment is now in the signature gathering 
phase. We need folks to step up and gather signatures in West Lane County.
If you can help by either becoming the organizer of this effort in Florence or just want to gather signatures, please contact Michelle Holman at mholman@peak.org or Dan Wilson at 
daniel.gregory.wilson@gmail.com

Together, we will protect our precious local food system.

 
What this charter amendment will do:
 
The Right to a Local Food System of Lane County Charter Amendment will recognize county residents’ rights to a local food system, seed heritage (seed saving), and bans GMO agriculture countywide.”
 
Michelle Holman
Jamaica Breakfast Program 
 
Campaign Update and Volunteer Kick-off Call!

Oregon Secretary of State has put a halt to the broader circulation of Oregon’s Right of Local Community Self-Government Constitutional Amendment petition.  To resolve this impasse we are headed to court to prove that the state has erred and that the people of Oregon will have their day in the sun, both in being able to work towards ballot qualification for November 2016 and ultimately being able to cast a YES vote for greater democracy for people, communities and nature over that of corporate control.

There are many ways to get involved, that range from when you have time, to being more deeply involved in the day to day. To help get you up to speed on what has been happening and what is planned along with learning more about the volunteer needs for each of the three areas of focus there will be an open Campaign Updates and Volunteer Kick-Off Call on May 10th.

In fact, we will be hosting the same call twice – morning and evening. Here are the details:

Campaign Updates and Volunteer Kick-Off Call

Tuesday, May 10th
Noon to 1pm OR
7pm to 8pm

Dial-in number: (712) 770-4010
Access Code: 726153#

Posted in GMO FOOD, Health Issues, Politics | Leave a comment