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Holy Cow! Another Organic Traitor


Aurora Organic Dairy wants customers to know how their food is made. It says so, right here on its webiste.

But apparently, the company is not keen on consumers knowing if their food contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Otherwise, why would Aurora Organic remain a dues-paying member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)? The multi-billion dollar trade association that has already contributed more than $2.2 million to defeat I-522, the Washington State ballot initiative to label GMOs?

More than 25,000 people signed our petition to Dr. Weil, asking him to withdraw his company’€™s (Weil Lifestyle) membership from the GMA. He did! Can you help us get Aurora Organic to do the same, by signing our letter to CEO Marc Peperzak?

TAKE ACTION: Tell Aurora Organic Dairy to Stop Supporting the GMA’s Campaign to Kill GMO Labeling!

Read the press release

Monsanto Protection Act of ‘No Concern’ to Senate?


Monsanto Protection Act of ‘€˜No Concern’€™ to Senate?

Are our Senators hard of hearing?
Hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions and called their representatives and senators when word first surfaced of a law designed to give biotech firms immunity from federal prosecution for illegally growing GMO crops. The Farmers Assurance Provision, dubbed the ‘€œMonsanto Protection Act,’€ was nonetheless, in March, quietly and without debate slipped into the Continuing Resolution, a bill to fund the government through September 30.
Now, with a new deadline looming for another possible government shutdown, the Monsanto Protection Act is back, thanks to House Republicans who have kept it in their version of the new Continuing Resolution (H.J.RES.59). Once again, the public is up in arms over this blatant gift to the biotech industry, and slap in the face to the public.
But according to a Jennifer Hing, a spokeswoman for the House Appropriations Committee, all of our protests have fallen on deaf ears. Hing told the Huffington Post that she doesn’€™t expect the Senate to reject the Monsanto Protection Act: "We have received no indication that this is a concern," she said.

Wow. Speechless. No indication of concern? Okay, let’€™s keep trying. Please call your senator and ask him or her to vote no on the new Continuing Resolution (H.J.RES.59) unless the Farmers Assurance Provision, aka Monsanto Protection Act, is removed. Then send your Senator a note. And while you’€™re at it, call your representative, too.
TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Vote No on the Continuing Resolution unless the Monsanto Protection Act is removed.

Under Attack


They’€™re coming at us from all directions.

Congress appears poised to extend the Monsanto Protection Act, which allows the biotech industry to illegally grow unapproved, potentially dangerous GMO crops free from the threat of prosecution.

The Farm Bill, still languishing, contains an amendment that could wipe out states’€™ rights to pass GMO labeling laws.

The biotech and junk food industries have amassed $11 million so far to fight I-522, the Washington State GMO labeling initiative on the November 5 ballot.

And just this week, the NO on I-522 campaign launched its first TV ads. Lies heaped upon lies, aimed at scaring Washington State voters into thinking that the sky will fall if food manufacturers are required to tell us if the food they sell contains GMO ingredients.

The wiser consumers grow, the more desperately Monsanto and the Junk Food Giants scramble to try to stop this movement. Your movement. The latest news? The Grocery Manufacturers Association this week accused in a lawsuit of laundering I-522 donations. And a letter from TEDx to its organizers telling them to steer clear of any presenters wishing to talk about GMOs. What next? Jail for anyone who dares to question Monsanto?

In less than four weeks, on October 16, Washington State will mail ballots to voters. By November 5, it will all be over. If we could win this battle on sheer will alone, we’€™d already have it in the bag. But we have to compete on the airwaves. And that takes money.

If you haven’€™t yet pitched in, please donate before October 16, so Yes on I-522 can buy more airtime. If you’€™ve already donated, please ask a friend. Thank you!

Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in Washington, Vermont and other states)
Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)

Monsanto and Seed Patents. As Only Jon Stewart Can Explain It.


The world according to Monsanto: ‘€œSometimes farmers act in a manner that is not in the best interest of the biotechnology seed companies.’€ Golden.
Watch the video

Factory Farms: A Sad, Unhealthy Legacy


The days of the small farmer raising his cattle, hogs and hens on green pastures are long gone. Today America’€™s farming landscape resembles a windowless, animal gulag system filled with metal sheds, wire cages, gestation crates and confinement systems.

Factory farms aren’€™t about feeding the hungry or harvesting healthy food. They’€™re about maximizing profits for a handful of the world’€™s largest agribusiness corporations, and the biotech and pesticide companies that fuel their factories and feed their animals.

Factory farms produce unhealthy animals. And unhealthy people. About 80 percent of all antibiotics used in the U.S. are used on factory farms, either to prevent disease of stimulate growth. Meanwhile, about 70,000 Americans die each year from ‘€œsuperbugs’€ that have developed a resistance to antibiotics.

More facts

Hot off the Presses. For a Better World


‘€œI believe once people know, once the darkness has been chased away by flickers turning into bonfires of light, people will act. Indeed that is what’€™s happening right now, in big and small ways, and it’€™s just a matter of time before the almost imperceptible swell deep in the ocean moves closer to shore, picks up speed, rises into a great wave and pounds us. Watch out Monsanto and Dow and Dupont and CEO Hugh Grant, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and President Obama and the FDA, and all you colluders in industry lies, big money and injustice. Watch out, because the crashing wave is coming soon ‘€“ and we won’€™t stop until our basic freedoms to choose and know what we are eating are fully restored.’€ ‘€“ Jeremy Siefert
For a Better World, published by the Fair World Project, a project of the OCA, is hot off the press and ready to download. The latest issue includes an article by Jeremy Siefert, director of GMO OMG.
There’€™s also a nice piece by Dave Murphy, founder of Food Democracy Now! in which Murphy urges us all to Stop Monsanto, Take Back Our Food, Our Farms, Our Democracy and Our Planet. Plus you’ll find articles on empowering women farmers, the future of fair and sustainable coffee, and transforming the tea industry.
Download For a Better World

Deadline Oct. 8. Experience Organic Cuba


Want to wander the streets of Havana? Visit Cuba’€™s urban organic gardens and rural organic farms? Experience Cuba’€™s colorful culture and vibrant people?

The OCA is once again collaborating with our Via Organica Project in Mexico, and the Center for Global Justice, on a 10-day trip to Cuba from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2, 2013. Deadline to apply is October 8.

The trip is open to all who have a professional interest.  The estimated cost of $1500 includes dormitory-style or simple hotel accommodations, meals, translation, guide, transportation and a full program of activities for 10 days. Fee doesn’€™t include flights, visa, tips, airport exit tax ($30 USD), or souvenirs and other personal items. A limited number of scholarships are available.

Two decades ago Cuba was the first country to make a concerted effort to move from industrial to organic agriculture. This is your chance to see first-hand the results of Cuba’€™s organic transition and to examine the social and economic policies behind the transition. Don’€™t miss out!

For applications and further information, contact

Six Ways You Can Help Bust Biotech

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA’s Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

After decades of misleading consumers; bullying farmers; buying off politicians, regulatory officials and scientists; and spreading its toxic chemicals and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) on 420 million acres across the globe, once-mighty Monsanto and the biotech industry find themselves on the defensive.

Battered by mounting scientific evidence that Roundup-Ready (glyphosate), Bt-spliced, and neonicotinoid-coated crops are damaging public health, animals, bees and the environment, and unnerved by a rapidly growing U.S. and global anti-GMO movement, Monsanto and its minions recently have been forced to dump another $10 million into a campaign in Washington State, in a frantic attempt to stop voters from passing I-522. I-522 is a GMO labeling initiative that if passed on November 5, will likely mark the beginning of the end of GMO foods in North America.

The global anti-GMO, pro-organic grassroots are finally reaching critical mass. Maybe it’s thanks to the education and media campaigns launched by so many organizations, including the Organic Consumers Association (OCA).  Or perhaps it’s the fact that so many moms are tired of the health threats to their kids. Or all of the above.

Either way, consumers are taking the Biotech Bully by the horns and demanding that manufacturers, retailers and politicians heed consumers’ demands for truth and transparency in labeling. We are definitely making progress. But now is the time to step up the pressure, not back off and relax.

Here are six steps every consumer can take to help bust the Biotech Behemoth.

Support Washington State’s I-522 Initiative to Label GMOs

Monsanto, Dupont, Dow, Syngenta, Bayer, BASF and Big Food understand that the most critical GMO labeling law battle will be lost or won on November 5. That’s when Washington State voters will decide on I-522, a ballot initiative that if passed will require mandatory labeling of GMOs in food products sold in retail stores. If Washington voters pass I-522, GMO-tainted foods, in most cases, will be forced off the market in North America. Our GMO Right to Know forces are way ahead in the polls and have already raised $5 million. If we can raise another $1 million – $2 million (20,000 – 40,000 donations of approximately $50 each), we will have enough money for heavy TV and radio advertising.

I-522 is a key battle, one that will affect consumers in all 50 states. If we all pitch in, we can raise enough money to win this one. Please make a donation today.

In addition to donating to the campaign, you can also help by volunteering for the national phone bank. If we have 10,000 – 20,000 volunteers each calling 50-100 “swing” voters, on top of the major advertising and direct mail push for Yes on I-522, we can almost guarantee our victory.

Get involved in your state campaign to label GMOs

GMO Right to Know and GMO-Free movements are working to craft and pass mandatory GMO labeling legislation in more than 35 states. Find a movement in your state and get involved.

Boycott GMO and factory-farmed foods

One of the best ways to bring down Monsanto is to stop buying GMO products. Without labels on GMO foods, the only way to avoid them is to buy USDA-certified organic foods, or avoid any foods containing canola, soy, corn or sugar beets, as they are most likely GMO. It also helps to grow as many of your own vegetables as possible, using organic, non-GMO seeds. And because nearly 80 percent of GMO crops are fed to animals in factory farms, by boycotting meat, eggs and dairy products from animals raised in Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), you can help dry up the market for Monsanto’s seeds.

Boycott the ‘Traitor Brands’

As a consumer, you have more power than you realize. One way to exercise that power is to send a strong message to the brands that have supported campaigns to kill GMO labeling laws – even if that support was provided indirectly. Last year, the OCA launched a boycott of organic and so-called “natural” products owned by parent companies who are members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association and who also donated directly to defeat California’s GMO labeling initiative, Proposition 37. Download this wallet-size boycott guide and use it when you shop. You may be surprised to learn that some of your favorite brands are owned by junk food corporations who are spending millions to defeat your right to know!

Pressure your favorite retailers to label and/or go GMO-Free

Thanks in large part to consumer pressure, Whole Foods Market announced earlier this year that it will begin labeling foods containing GMOs. Are they doing that just to be nice guys? Definitely not. It’s a business decision, based on the fact that Whole Foods sees GMO labeling as a marketing advantage – because consumers want labels and non-GMO alternatives. It’s great to see the big stores adopt this policy, but what about your favorite neighborhood co-op or natural foods store?

According to our research, more and more of these stores are listening to consumers. They’re adopting GMO labeling and non-GMO policies. Even better, they’re taking the pressure they’ve felt from consumers and throwing it right back on manufacturers by issuing ultimatums: either substitute the GMO ingredients in your products, or we’ll stop carrying them. The bottom line? If enough consumers ask for non-GMO products, retailers will find them. So ask!

Ask your member of Congress to vote ‘No’ on the continuing resolution if the Monsanto Protection Act is still in it

The Farmers Assurance Provision, better known as the Monsanto Protection Act, hands the biotech industry a free pass to grow crops that have not been adequately safety-tested, by giving the industry immunity from federal prosecution for growing crops that have been deemed unsafe. Earlier this year, the Monsanto Protection Act was slipped into the Continuing Resolution, a bill to fund the U.S. government through September 30.

Now, Congress is about to vote on a new Continuing Resolution (H.J.RES.59) in order to fund the government for another three months. And despite public outrage and hundreds of thousands of signatures on petitions, House Appropriations Committee Chair Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) has slipped the Monsanto Protection Act into the new bill. By calling and writing your Congressperson, you can pressure Congress to reject this biotech-friendly measure by refusing to pass the Continuing Resolution unless the Monsanto Protection Act is removed.

Ronnie Cummins is National Director of the Organic Consumers Association.