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USDA Wants Genetic Engineering Allowed in Organic

Bad News of the Week

“In reality, the divide between organics and biotechnology is an artificial construction maintained by ideology rather than science. A governmental decision to change organic regulations to permit the use of biotechnology could have far-reaching policy implications for global agriculture. Allowing producers to gain organic certification for biotech crops could encourage the development of a new type of environmentally sustainable agricultural production with greater benefits for the consumer.” – USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, “The Unexplored Potential of Organic-Biotech Production,” May 26, 2009

Read More and Learn Why GE Can’t Be Organic

Good News of the Week OCA’€™s Via Organica EcoTours to Mexico

August 2-9, 2009, Via Organica (the ‘€œOrganic Way’€), OCA’€™s sister organization in Mexico, organized our first Agro-EcoTour to Mexico, bringing US organic consumers down to the beautiful San Miguel de Allende region of Guanajuato, for a first-hand look at the budding organic Movement south of the border. Tour leaders included Ronnie Cummins, OCA Director, Alexis Baden-Mayer, head of OCA’€™s Washington, DC office, Luc Monzies, organic farming expert, and Ana Maria Quispe, Via Organica’€™s staff dietician and translator.

Trip highlights included an all-day Organic Agriculture workshop at the Via Organica farm and conference center, attended by 250 small farmers from the area who are working with our staff to make the transition to organic agriculture; visits to regional organic farms and permaculture sites; a rural community organizing center; as well as organic retail stores, restaurants, and farmers markets.

Learn and read more about OCA’€™s EcoTours

Sign up for the next OCA/ViaOrganic tour to Mexico October 4-11

Alert of the Week Factory Pig Farms & Big Pharma Vaccines – Protect Your Family & Know Your Rights

The propaganda machine of the U.S. government and Big Pharma are busy
force-feeding Americans a dubious, in fact dangerous message: don’t worry
about filthy, disease-ridden factory farms and drugged-out farm animals
incubating infectious diseases like the Swine Flu, because Big Pharma will
protect us, starting with quasi-mandatory mass vaccinations of
schoolchildren this fall. Not only is the Obama Administration ignoring
warnings by the world’s scientists that factory farms are the source and
direct cause of the Swine Flu and Bird Flu epidemics, but they are preparing
to allow greedy drug companies to inject you and your children with
basically ineffective Swine Flu vaccines that contain hazardous viruses and
chemicals. As organic consumers know, there are practical alternatives to
factory farms (organic farms and ranches). And as millions of alternative
medical consumers and practitioners understand, there are clear alternatives
to hazardous Swine Flu vaccines: strengthening our body and immune systems
with healthy organic diets, medicinal herbs, and homeopathy.

Learn more and take action!

OCA Needs Your Help!

OCA needs your help and support. If we are to stop Monsanto’s GMOs and shut
down factory farms; if we are to head off dangerous vaccines and promote
holistic health; if we are to make organic food and farming and green living
the norm–rather than just the alternative–we need your donations today.
Any size donation is welcome, but for those who can afford it, give OCA a
donation of $1000 or more and we’ll treat you to a royal organic vacation
and tour at the Mexican organic farm and EcoTourism center of our sister
organization Via Organica.

Please donate now

Vaccine Nation

Video of the Week

Trailer for

Investigative film director Dr. Gary Null challenges the basic health claims by government health agencies and pharmaceutical firms that vaccines are perfectly safe.

Learn more

Alert Update of the Week Whole Foods Market Faces Boycott Over Opposition to Public Option and Single Payer

Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey set off a firestorm of controversy in a recent Wall Street Journal article, arguing against health care reform and the so-called ‘€œpublic option.’€ Mackey contends that the United States can fix our healthcare crisis not by reining in insurance companies and improving access to comprehensive healthcare and affordable organic food, but by patronizing his overpriced WFM and further deregulating the insurance industry. In fact, Mackey believes that healthcare is not a human right, but a commodity that only the wealthy should have. Tens of thousands of organic consumers and health care advocates have responded by calling for a boycott of Whole Foods Markets.

Over fifteen thousand OCA members have contacted WFM in recent months, urging the nation’€™s largest retailer of organic products to increase organic food access, implement comprehensive testing for GMOs in their private label products and eliminate dangerous chemicals from their body care products. WFM responded by bowing to OCA pressure and has promised to sell significantly more organics in 2010. We’re having an impact!

Tell Whole Foods to support their stated mission of promoting organics,
health, justice, and sustainability

Web Forum Posting of the Week Bytes Readers Stand Up for Meat-Eating and Against Soy

Last week, we reported on a Washington Post article summarizing a number of recent reports indicating that one of the best things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and greenhouse gas pollution is to reduce your meat consumption.

We also included a line in a sample letter to Whole Foods, asking them to stock organic soy…

Several Bytes readers wrote us to stand up for meat-eating and against soy. We’ve included their comments and our response in our Web forum where OCA members are engaged in a vibrant debate on the pros and cons of vegetarian and vegan diets.

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.

Message from our Sponsors Eden Foods Offers OCA Customers 15% Discount

Eden Foods is one of the few national organic food producers who goes beyond the USDA Organic Standards. Although Eden Foods is USDA certified, their products do not bear the USDA seal, because they say the USDA standard really represents a "minimum standard" that Eden Foods goes far beyond.

As a subscriber to Organic Bytes, you can enjoy a 15% discount rate on any Eden Foods products by going here.

Learn More

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