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This Is the Eleventh Hour for GMO Labeling!

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You know it’s bad when . . .

Dear Friends,

You know things are bad when even the FDA, which so often fails the public when it comes to food safety, sides with consumers.

Yesterday, the FDA pointed out what DARK Act opponents have been saying all along—the Roberts-Stabenow GMO “non-labeling” bill would exclude a host of products from ever having to be labeled, including some of the most common GMO ingredients, like soybean oil and GMO sugar beets.

According to the FDA, the bill also sets a very high bar for even the bill’s “make believe” labels (QR codes and toll-free phone numbers), because it would apply only to those GMO crops “for which the modification could not otherwise be obtained through conventional breeding or found in nature.”

Yet the FDA’s critique has done nothing to slow down the anti-labeling train.

And we have only a few days left to keep that train from taking us over the cliff.

The U.S. Senate yesterday held a “test vote” on whether or not to push forward by limiting debate on the Stabenow-Roberts DARK Act.

The motion passed—68-29.

Our job is to work relentlessly over the next few days so that when the Senate holds an official vote early next week, this outrageous anti-consumer, pro-Monsanto bill fails. For good.

Despite the lies, this bill gives Monsanto and Big Food everything they want—and gives consumers nothing.

The Roberts-Stabenow DARK Act calls for a convoluted, costly, discriminatory scheme of barcodes and phone numbers—but no labels.

This bill is not a mandatory labeling law—because there’s no enforcement mechanism, and no penalties or consequences of any kind for defying the “law.”

This bill, as even the FDA confirmed yesterday, is so full of loopholes and exemptions that only the barest minimum of products would meet the standard.

With your help, we are working 24/7 to prevent this attack on consumer rights, states’ rights and democracy from passing.

Meanwhile, I urge you to call your Senators and remind them that even the FDA doesn’t believe this bill provides consumers with the right to know if their food is GMO.

And finally, because our opposition is so well-funded and our work is not only urgent, but requires funding, I ask that you please help us raise another $30,000 by midnight tonight, in order to take advantage of a generous matching funds offer by our ally in this fight, Mercola.com. If you can pitch in, please click here for details on how to donate online, or by phone or mail.

Thank you!

In solidarity,

Ronnie Cummins
International Director

P.S. We still need to raise about $30,000 to reach our goal by midnight, June 30. Win or lose the labeling battle, we have our work cut out for us if we want a regenerative, not degenerative food and farming system. Please know that every donation, no matter how small, will be matched by Mercola and will help build a better food movement. Donate online here.

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GMO Political Action: Please Help and Forward to Friends

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ESSAY OF THE WEEK

Dr. Oz Flip Flops as Mass Media Attacks Intensify

                                                              Less than two months after telling millions of TV viewers that organic food is “worth the investment,” America’s most popular TV doctor is singing a different tune. In the December issue of Time, Dr. Oz described organic foodies as “elitist” – part of the 1% – and claimed that conventional foods are nutritionally equivalent to organic foods.
In the cover story, Dr. Oz directly contradicted his October 19 attack on the controversial Stanford study, published in September, which concluded that organic fruits and vegetables are no better than their conventionally grown counterparts. The famous TV doc devoted an entire program to lambasting the Stanford study because it didn’t address the toxic health consequences of foods loaded with pesticides.
Why the flip-flop? And what’s up with all the highly publicized mass media attacks on organics? Are Big Food, Big Ag and Big Biotech getting nervous?
Read the essay here

ACTION ALERT

Stop the ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ and Other Dangerous Riders!

TAKE ACTION!
Monsanto could get everything it wants for Christmas, unless we convince legislators this week to strip both the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill (H.R. 5973) and the Farm Bill of dangerous riders that would give the biotech industry unprecedented power and immunity from not only an already-weakened review process, but also from federal law.
Here’s what’s at stake. Attached to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill is the “Farmers Assurance Provision” (Section 733) which is nothing more than a sneak attack on American farmers, consumers and the environment. If passed, this rider, aptly renamed the “Monsanto Protection Act,”  would give Monsanto immunity from federal law by allowing the biotech industry to plant genetically modified crops, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed.
On the Farm Bill side, Monsanto lobbyists have bought themselves several anti-regulatory riders that would effectively gut the USDA’s ability to regulate the use of genetically engineered organisms (GMOs). The riders would speed up the review and approval process for new GE crops, and authorize the USDA to consider exempting certain GE crops from any review at all.
Now that Congress has returned, both bills are on the agenda. The Agriculture Appropriations could become part of an Omnibus Appropriations Bill and the Farm Bill could be included in a deficit-reduction agreement to avoid the “fiscal cliff.
Thankfully, we have at least one friend in Congress. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) is circulating a letter to all of his colleagues in Congress opposing the “Monsanto Protection Act.” By signing our action alert below, you can ask your legislators to sign on to Rep. DeFazio’s “Dear Colleague” letter. You’ll also be asking your legislators to oppose the Farm Bill riders.
Don’t let Monsanto get away with this latest attack on farmers, consumers and the environment!
TAKE ACTION!

SUPPORT THE OCA AND OCF

Help Stop the Attacks on Organics

                                                              Organics are under attack. From every which way.
The USDA, headed by Tom Vilsack, Monsanto’s Man in Washington, is greasing the tracks for approvals of new GMO crops and Biotech-friendly laws that will devastate farmers, consumers and the health of our planet.
The FDA, an organization that’s supposed to protect the people but whose real loyalty lies with corporate lobbyists, is being guarded by Michael Taylor, another former Monsanto gun.
And lately, Big Media is looking more and more as if it’s on the payroll of Big Ag and Big Pharma, too. In September, the New York Times, Associated Press and CBS News all picked up and ran with a dubiously funded study from Stanford University. The study told consumers that there’s no nutritional difference between organic fruits and vegetables and their conventional counterparts. The study failed to mention that conventional food is loaded with pesticides and pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. But that didn’t stop mainstream media from giving it plenty of play.
Even Dr. Oz, once a big promoter of organics, has gone over to the dark side. His latest cover story in Time shockingly contradicts what he’s been telling loyal viewers for years: Eat organic, stay healthy.
As more people wake up to the reality of our broken, unhealthy food system, we can expect the attacks on organics to grow louder. And more frequent. We can’t let Big Money destroy the progress we’ve made in the past few years. We have to work harder than ever, in Washington, in the media and on the ground. We’re committed to doing all this and more, but we need your help. Please contribute today.
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 legislative efforts in California and other states)

Action Alert

Stop Agent Orange Corn! USDA  Planning Pre-Christmas Approval for Spring 2013 Planting

TAKE ACTION
Remember Agent Orange? The 2,4-D chemical concoction commissioned by the U.S. Army to defoliate jungles and destroy food crops during the Vietnam War? It could soon be coming to a grocery store near you. Within a week, the USDA could approve Dow’s new “Enlist” brand corn, genetically engineered to resist massive doses of the herbicide 2,4-D. Unless we stop it.
The list of reasons to tell USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to reject Dow’s Agent Orange Corn is long. A large body of evidence indicates major health problems result from exposure to 2,4-D, including cancer, reproductive problems, neurotoxicity, and auto-immune disorders. And 2,4-D is devastating to the environment. It’s currently the seventh largest source of dioxin pollution in the US. The use of this toxic herbicide is projected to increase 50-fold if the USDA approves this crop.
The USDA has already received more than 450,000 comments opposing Dow’s new GE corn. But it has a long history of avoiding protests and bad press by issuing unpopular decisions right before the holidays.
We have one more week to show Sec. Vilsack that the American people are united in opposing dangerous new GMOs that put farmers’ crops and livelihoods, local economies, and the health of farmers, farm workers and rural communities at risk.
Sign this petition to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack urging him to reject Agent Orange corn!

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Time for Some Good Old-Fashioned Boycotting

Punish the ‘Natural’ and Organic Traitor Brands: Download Your Boycott Guide

The parent companies of some of our favorite organic and natural brands contributed nearly half of the $46 million spent on the deceitful advertising that sunk Prop 37, the California Right to Know GMO labeling initiative. How do we prevent Pepsi, Kellogg’s and other multinational Junk Food Kings from pouring money into anti-GMO campaigns in Washington, Vermont, and other states?
Millions of consumers need to send these Traitor Brands a clear message: If they continue to side with Monsanto and the rest of the chemical companies, instead of with the consumers who have made them wildly profitable, we won’t buy their organic brands.

Why not just boycott the parent company brands? Those of us who support organics rarely buy products like Diet Pepsi or Kellogg’s Genetically-Modified-Sugar-Coated Frosted Flakes. The only way to pressure Big Food is to boycott the brands we actually buy. Brands like Kashi, Naked Juice, Horizon, Silk, Honest Tea and yes, even Ben & Jerry’s.
Let’s be clear. These Big Food companies are gobbling up organic brands to make money and to greenwash the fact that industrial agriculture, factory farms, and their so-called “conventional” brands are undermining public health and destroying the environment and climate stability. They recognize the huge profit potential in the fast-growing organic and natural markets. They want our business. If we stop buying their organic and so-called “natural” brands, they know there’s a good chance we’ll find alternative brands. We might never look back.
America’s Traitor Brands can redeem themselves. All they have to do is publicly – and financially – support the consumer’s right to know about GMOs, beginning with I-522 Label It WA, a Washington State labeling initiative planned for November 2013. And while they’re at it, they should tell their parent companies to stop opposing our right to know.
Download your wallet-sized boycott guide
Download a poster-sized boycott guide
Join the nearly 15,000 people who have already signed the boycott pledge
Learn more about the boycott
To order printed copies of the boycott guide or poster call 218-226-4164 or email campaigns@organicconsumers.org

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The Good News About GMO’s

Dear Reader,
Perspectives on Prop 37 (Plus a New GMO-Free Zone in US)

First of all, let’s celebrate with San Juan County, Washington, for passing its GMO-Free County initiative. Growing GMOs in the San Juan Islands will shortly be illegal. Thanks to all the great volunteers (and the 60% of the voters) who made that possible. I had the great pleasure of doing a speaking tour on three of the islands in September; their campaign was truly an inspiration. Well done San Juan County!

Prop 37 California’s Prop 37 campaign was the latest (and greatest) expression of the rising anti-GMO tide in the US that has swelled over the last 2-3 years. Other expressions have included the popularity of the Non-GMO label in grocery stores, the huge number of activists working on GMO issues, the unprecedented GMO coverage in the media, and the 19 state legislatures that considered GMO labeling bills. These are all early signs of a coming tipping point of consumer rejection. What sets Prop 37 apart, however, was how profoundly it has accelerated anti-GMO sentiment in both quantity and quality.

Huge numbers of people became aware for the first time that they were eating GMOs—we have changed the whole conversation. And numerous actors, chefs, musicians, artists, filmmakers, politicians, comedians, and others chimed in support of our side for the very first time. Being against GMOs or pro-labeling has clearly become cool.

From the quality perspective, I was blown away by the enthusiasm, competence, and utter devotion of the California volunteers. What I witnessed in the more than 50 events I attended throughout the state over the last 90 days was totally unique in my experience. The depth and solidarity of commitment to this issue is profoundly established.Although we narrowly lost on the vote, the campaign has propelled our movement forward onto a whole new platform. I am more confident and optimistic than ever that we will soon achieve the tipping point that we all desire.Please forward this email to other Prop 37 supporters. Please subscribe to our newsletter, Spilling the Beans, as we can’t wait to share some of the plans that are taking shape.Congratulations to all those involved. And remember, this was part of a rising tide that is still rising!

Safe Eating,

Jeffrey M. Smith

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The Institute for Responsible Technology Food Policy Fund is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization engaging in advocacy and legislative lobbying activities.

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How You Can Help Stop the GMO Juggarnaut

It’s been a month since I posted a blog, and that’s mostly because I had several interns here. We had quite the time gardening, fermenting, playing with various herbs, etc. One of our movie nights was spent watching GENETIC ROULETTE.  Good grief! Although there was little I didn’t already know, seeing the whole deal spelled out in horrifying detail made a huge impact (on all of us).

I cannot stress this enough: GMO/GE foods are poison. Period. As of today, Monsanto,  other bio-tech companies, and a consortium of mainstream food conglomerates have spent an estimated $40 MILLION to defeat California’s Prop 37, which is just to LABEL GMO food. Many other countries require this, and Monsanto, etc. sells to them, but they are doing their best to defeat the labeling initiative in CA, and mostly through lies, distortions, exaggerations and outright threats.

PLEASE help. Go HERE to donate $$.

Go HERE to volunteer (you don’t have to live in CA).

Go HERE to sign up to do phone calls.

This is about OUR food supply, and OUR health. Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, Green, or other party, this vote is about whether regular folks, citizens of California (and eventually all of us) can require large powerful for-profit companies to actually tell us if the food they are selling us is genetically engineered. We can’t exercise choice if we are denied the information with which to make that choice….

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Organic Brands That Are Donating $$ To DEFEAT GMO Labeling !

COMPANY DONATION ORGANIC/NATURAL BRANDS
Pepsi-Co $90,220.06
  • Tostito’s Organic
  • Tropicana Organic
  • Naked Juice
Coca-Cola $61,208.60
  • Odwalla
  • Honest Tea
ConAgra $56,598.50
  • Orville Redenbacher’s Organic
  • Hunt’s Organic
  • Alexia Foods
  • Lightlife
Kellogg’s $33,248.40
  • Keebler Organic
  • Kellogg’s Organic
  • Bear Naked
  • Kashi
  • Morningstar Farms
  • Wholesome & Hearty
J.M Smucker $20, 395.80
  • Santa Cruz Organics
  • Smucker’s Organic Peanut Butter
  • R.W. Knudsen
  • Natural Brew
  • Tenderleaf Tea
Hormel Foods $19,657.70
  • Natural Choice
General Mills $19,400.28
  • Cascadian Farm
  • Muir Glen
  • Gold Medal Organic
Bimbo Bakeries* $17,783.30
  • Earth Grains
DelMonte $14,400.28
  • DelMonte brand organic pickles
  • DelMonte brand organic canned tomato products
  • Fruit Naturals
Hershey $8,440.28
  • Dagoba
Cargill $5424.94
  • White Wave/Silk
  • Horizon
  • Organic Cow of Vermont
Campbell Soup Co. $5,340.56
  • V8 Organic
  • Prego Organic
  • Swanson’s Organic
  • Pace Organic
  • Campbell’s Organic
  • Bolthouse Farms
McCormick $5,302.10
  • McCormick Organic Spices

To read the article that accompanies this depressing list, you can GO HERE.

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October is Non-GMO Month

We’re taking a brief hiatus from fermentation to report on the latest political action and scientific studies regarding GMO food, and the fight to at least label the stuff.

For studies on animals that show GMO food is detrimental to their health (and oh by the way, we are animals also!) please go HERE for an excellent article by Jeffery Smith, author of Seeds of Deception.

For info on what natural foods may be contaminated with GMO, please read  HERE 

More  HERE  from Jeffery Smith about the current political fight to control/label GMO’s, and how we really need grassroots action.

The Institute for Responsible Technology has filed a legal petition asking the FDA to demand labeling of GMO foods. If you go HERE  you can sign the petition as well as see a video. Then you can pass this along to your network of friends.

The Global Justice Ecology Project has a petition to try to stop a huge planting of GE trees in the southeast. You can go  HERE to read more about this spectacularly bad idea and sign a petition.

Citizen’s For Health, a consumer watchdog organization, has info  HERE about the Right2Know March on Washington to demand the labeling of GMO foods.

And last but never least, you can go to the Organic Consumer’s Association homepage  HERE for lots of current info on everything happening to slow/stop/label GMO foods internationally.

I am reminded  of various campaigns I have participated in over the years: our actions really do matter. The more we are told they do not, the more we realize we are making an impact.