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Organic Bytes #26 - Organic and Foods News Tidbits with an Edge

ORGANIC BYTES #26
Organic and Food News Tidbits with an Edge
1/16/2003 by Organic Consumers Association

Feel free to forward this informative publication to family and friends,
place it on websites, print it, and post it. Knowledge is power.

In This Issue:

QUOTE OF THE WEEK
IS MAD COW DISEASE CAUSING THOUSANDS OF HUMAN
DEATHS IN THE U.S.?

WHO DO YOU TRUST?
BREAKING NEWS: HUMAN LIFE MAY BE WORTH AS MUCH AS A NICKEL!
MILLIONS OF CONSUMERS UNITE

FAMILY FARMERS VS. TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATIONS
ORGANIC TOXIC SLUDGE
NOTE TO CO-OP AND NATURAL FOOD STORE SUBSCRIBERS:

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"Universal testing of every cow slaughtered for human consumption in the
U.S. is the only way to ensure the safety of the American beef supply."

Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. 12/31/03
http://www.organicconsumers.org/madcow/greger123103a.cfm

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IS MAD COW DISEASE CAUSING THOUSANDS OF HUMAN
DEATHS IN THE U.S.?

Thanks to a massive marketing blitz (funded by scarce taxpayer money)
the U.S. Government has been working overtime to alleviate the public's
concerns about Mad Cow Disease and its human counterpart Creutzfeldt
Jacob Disease (CJD). Consumers no longer know who to trust. Regardless,
experts on all sides of the political spectrum agree with one basic
fact: the two diseases are undeniably connected. In both cases, aberrant
proteins, known as prions, begin to multiply and literally cause holes
in the brain, ultimately leading to death. According to the U.S. Center
for Disease Control, hundreds of CJD human fatalities have been
occurring in the U.S. every year, but until now, they have simply been
written off as unexplainable and spontaneous cases. At the same time, it
is well known that ingesting meat contaminated with these prions causes
the same fatal reaction to occur in the human body. Based on that basic
understanding, coupled with the fact that the vast majority of U.S.
cattle are never tested for Mad Cow Disease, scientists like Dr. Michael
Gregor, a world renowned expert on the issue, and dozens of research
institutions around the world are now linking these deaths to the food
supply. http://www.organicconsumers.org/madcow/GregerCJD.cfm

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WHO DO YOU TRUST?
The Bush Administration gave the USDA Secretary of Agriculture position
to Anne Venemon (who once served on Monsanto's Calgene Board of
Directors). She appointed Dale Moore as her Chief of Staff. Prior to
playing his new role of "protecting" consumers from food safety threats
like Mad Cow Disease, Dale Moore was the chief lobbyist for the National
Cattlemen's Beef Association.
Source: http://www.usda.gov/agencies/gallery/moore.htm

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BREAKING NEWS: HUMAN LIFE MAY BE WORTH AS MUCH AS A NICKEL! Although the U.S. banned beef imports and frowned upon the UK when Mad Cow Disease related CJD began to take the lives of British citizens, recently
revealed documents show little has been done to protect U.S. consumers
from similar outbreaks within our own borders. In fact, internal USDA
papers dating back to 1991 show that the U.S. government (and related
lobbyists) have been basing food safety related decisions on corporate
profit margins over human health. Specifically, the USDA refused
precautionary measures that would mitigate the possible outbreak of Mad
Cow Disease, stating that "the cost to the livestock and rendering
industries would be substantial." This assessment may be true, depending
on what the price of human life is. Indeed, the cost of testing all
cattle for this fatal disease would add 3 to 5 pennies per pound to the
price of beef.
Reference: Rampton, S and J. Stauber. Mad Cow USA Common Courage
Press; http://prwatch.org/books/madcow.html

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MILLIONS OF CONSUMERS UNITE
Last year, while the E.U. tested 10 million cattle for Mad Cow, the
U.S. only tested 20,526 cows out of 35 million slaughtered. In response
to this threat to food safety and consumer rights, the OCA has launched
a massive campaign to pressure the USDA into creating standards that
emulate those of Japan and the EU. Every day, thousands of citizens are
signing on to this important petition. Help the OCA in achieving its
goal of gathering over a million petition signatures, demanding that the
U.S. Government adopt and enforce:
~ Mandatory testing for all cattle brought to slaughter, before they
enter the food chain.
~ Ban the feeding of blood, manure, and slaughterhouse waste to animals.

Please forward this email to family and friends! Sign the petition here:
http://organicconsumers.org/madcow.htm

 

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FAMILY FARMERS VS. TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATIONS
In Mendocino County CA, voters will be deciding whether or not to ban
genetically modified crops, to protect the county's organic farmers from
possible contamination from neighboring GE crops. The vote will be held
March 2, 2004 and would make the county the first in the U.S. to pass an
anti-GMO resolution. The biotech industry has responded with a goliath
investment into persuading the voters of the county against the measure.
Indeed, the biotech battleplan is to call every household in the county
with a paid 20-30 minute conversation, in order to assuage voter
concerns about GE issues. Can Mendocino organic family farmers compete
with transnational corporations? Your help is needed:
http://www.gmofreemendo.com/

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ORGANIC TOXIC SLUDGE
Much of what you flush down your toilet likely ends up being spread on
local farm fields as fertilizer for the food you eat. At face value, it
seems like a perfectly natural process. Historically, manure has been a
preferred fertilizer for farmers worldwide. In the U.S. 60% of sewage
sludge is treated, dried and shipped out to the farm. Proponents claim
the sludge has only low levels of bacteria, but what about the chemicals
homeowners and industry dump into the wastewater system? Those toxins
don't just disappear. When applied to the soil, they work their way into
the ground water, the air, and the plants we eat. Award winning
scientist, David Lewis, a microbiologist, was recently fired from the
Environmental Protection Agency for his criticism of the U.S.
Government's sewage sludge policies. Lewis and likeminded opponents
question how the EPA, in 1992, determined that sewage sludge was too
toxic to continue dumping in the oceans, yet it's perfectly legal to
apply the same stuff to food crops intended for human ingestion. The
EPA is now considering selling this same sludge under the label "organic
compost". Write a letter to the EPA, expressing your concerns:
http://www.organicconsumers.org/foodsafety/sludge011504.cfm

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NOTE TO CO-OP AND NATURAL FOOD STORE SUBSCRIBERS:
Organic Bytes is a great tool for keeping your staff and customers up to
date on the latest issues. Feel free to forward this email to your staff
and print for posting on bulletin boards and staff break tables. You are
also welcome to use this material for your newsletters. There's a
super-pretty print-friendly PDF version of this available for free
download at http://www.organicconsumers.org/organicbytes.htm

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ORGANIC BYTES is a publication of:

ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION 6101 Cliff Estate Road Little Marais, MN 55614 Phone: (218) 226-4164 Fax: (218) 353-7652
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For additional daily environmental and political news, visit:
http://www.ens-newswire.com http://www.planetsave.com
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