Organic Bytes
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Quote of the Week

"Scientists at Duke University in North Carolina have created pollen models that show tree pollen traveling from a forest in North Carolina for over 1,000 kilometers northward into eastern Canada. Scientists researching sterility in trees have admitted that 100 percent guaranteed sterility in GE trees is impossible. This evidence implies that if GE trees are released into the environment, widespread and irreversible contamination of native forests cannot be prevented."

Source: Anne Petermann of the Global Justice Ecology Project

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Alert of the Week A Quarter Million Experimental "Frankentrees" to Be Grown in U.S

The USDA is currently taking public comments on whether or not the company ArborGen should be allowed to conduct 29 field trials of genetically engineered "cold tolerant" eucalyptus trees in the U.S. This massive experiment, which is on the verge of being green-lighted, will literally be using nature as the laboratory to test more than 260,000 frankentrees. Scientists across the U.S. are voicing concerns over this proposal including:

-The USDA failed to do an Environmental Impact Statement to assess potential negative issues related to the proposed field trials.

-The spread of the these plants into the wild through seeds and plant matter is highly likely, and the impacts on native ecosystems from this invader are unknown

.-One of the experimental GE tree varieties is a known host for cryptococcus gatti, a fatal fungal pathogen whose spores cause meningitis in people and animals.

Comments are being accepted by the USDA until July 6, 2009.

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Web Program of the Week NPR Reports on Controversy Surrounding Genetically Engineered Trees

Scientists are developing genetically modified trees for the forests of the future. Ann Peterman of the Global Justice Ecology Program tells "Living on the Earth’s" host Bruce Gellerman that these designer trees don’t measure up to what a real forest provides.


Please also watch this web video: A Silent Forest – The Threat of Genetically Engineered Trees

Another Alert of the Week Tell Obama & Vilsack to Drop Bush’s Pro-GMO Rules

Just before leaving office, the Bush Administration released a new federal law that would significantly weaken the regulation of genetically engineered crops. Please join the Organic Consumers Association in pressing President Obama and USDA Secretary Vilsack to drop Bush’s pro-GMO rule. The rule would increase contamination of organic and conventional crops and release the USDA from the responsibility to remedy GMO contamination. It would let the GE pharmacrop industry gene-splice dangerous drugs and industrial chemicals into plants and food crops in the open environment. In addition, the rule would give the biotech industry the power to decide whether their new genetically engineered crops should be subject to regulation at all. In the 2008 presidential race, Obama promised "change we can believe in." We need a change from the Bush Administration’s pro-GMO policies.

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Sustainability News of the Week…

  • Organic Farming and Green Building Workshops with Via Organica Staff and Mexican Organic Activists.
  • Fresh Organic Meals, Beautiful Accommodations, Thermal Swimming Pool.
  • Visits to Organic Farms, Stores, Restaurants, Green Buildings, and Community Organizing Projects.
  • Visits to World Heritage sites and other attractions in nearby San Miguel de Allende and Atotonilco

Learn more and Register

OCA Web Forum Posting of the Week Who Should Sit on the National Organic Standards Board?

The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 established the National Organic Standards Board as a 15-member board responsible for advising the USDA Secretary on all aspects of the National Organic Program. During the Bush Administration, the board was stacked with a number of advocates for industrial-style corporate agribusiness, who apparently see organic food as not much more than a fashionable niche market. This is President Obama’s first opportunity to appoint members of the organic community with a proven commitment to organic integrity. There are five volunteer positions available for 2 organic producers, 1 retailer, 1 organic handler, and 1 environmentalist. Who do you think should sit on the National Organic Standards Board?

Join the Discussion in OCA’s Web Forum

Message from our Sponsors

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Our Living Olive Oil is organic,extra virgin, raw, unfiltered, unheated and UNPRESSED.

Created at room temperature . Instead of pressing the olives under tons of pressure, they are sliced, and the slurry is put in a centrifuge decanter which gently separates solids from liquids. The old procedure of pressing under tons of pressure can easily cause temperatures to exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Because our oil is unheated, so much of its subtle essence and flavor is preserved. That is why we call it Living Olive Oil. It’s created from Ascalone olives, an old time, heirloom variety. They are grown by family farmers in the rich,alluvial soil of California’s Sacramento River Valley. Only mature fruit is used. Most growers harvest in December, whereas they harvest in January and February when the fruit is ready to come off the trees. The fruit is is processed within 36 hours of harvest.

Your olive oil is so great! It has made my skin softer and my hair shinier. It’s taste is like nectar and there is no substitute for the smooth, raw goodness that cleanses your insides and outsides. This is pure love in a bottle. It makes a fine gift and I can’t wait for my mom to try it! Thank you all at the Living Tree Community for olive oil that tastes so good and is really healthy too!
Maria Shaheen
Atlanta, Georgia

Living Tree Community Foods

LOCAL [[State]] NEWS OF THE WEEK [[State]]–Get Involved Locally

  • Learn more about OCA related action alerts and other news in [[State]] here.
  • Join [[State]] discussion groups in our forum.
  • Post events in [[State]] on our community calendar.

Headlines and Articles of the Week


Headlines 1) Buying Organic is Well Worth the Cost Even When Times are Tough:
“Organic food is now the fastest growing segment of U.S. agriculture. In 2007, the value of retail sales from organic food was estimated at more than $20 billion.  The industry is expected to grow at a rate of 18 percent per year until 2010, making organic food sales one of the fastest growing sectors in the generally sagging U.S. economy…”
2) Farming Chemicals Cause Kidney Failure for Thousands of Farmworkers:
“More than 3,000 workers at a sugar plant owned by Nicaragua’s most powerful company have died from chronic renal failure since 1990 and a victims’ group says another 5,000 workers have since developed the condition for the company’s use of agrochemicals…”
3) Eleven North Sea Islands Become Living Laboratories for a Waste-free Environment:
“The islands from six countries will follow a “cradle-to-cradle” philosophy, which calls for using renewable energy and products made from materials that can be endlessly reused or organically decomposed…”
4) Aspartame/NutraSweet: The History of the Aspartame Controversy
5) James Hansen: Coal-Fired Power Plants Are Death Factories–Close Them!
Let OCA sift through the media smog and bring you the top new and analysis of the day. The OCA website has 10 or more news articles posted each day, and a library of over 40,000 articles covering issues including health, justice, food and farming, politics, and the environment. Bookmark