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Label Mine Organic – and Local

Label Mine Organic’€”and Local

Local. Natural. Non-GMO. Organic. What’€™s a consumer to choose?

In 2011, we wrote an article exposing the then-popular trend in food marketing’€”promoting ‘€œlocal’€ foods as ‘€œsustainable,’€ ‘€œhealthy’€ or ‘€œnatural.’€

As we said then, ‘€œlocal’€ often means nothing more than food that has been sourced from within a prescribed geographic area. But because a growing number of conscientious consumers actively seek out the ‘€œlocal’€ label’€”and are willing to pay a premium for it’€”corporations routinely co-opt the term so they can sell more product, at higher prices, in order to increase profit margins by promising (but not actually delivering) added value.
Fast-forward a couple of years, and we see that sales of ‘€œlocal’€ food are still on the rise, as are sales of ‘€œnatural’€ and more recently, ‘€œNon-GMO’€ foods. And today, just as they were a few years ago, consumers are still being duped by corporations that use these labels to pass off products as something they aren’€™t.

Read the essay



Yesterday we sent out an email that wasn’€™t quite right. Turns out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not yet approved Dow’€™s ‘€œDeadly Duo’€ herbicide, made with a combination of Monsanto’€™s glyphosate and Dow’€™s ‘€œAgent Orange’€ 2,4-D.

But here’€™s what we did get right. Approval of this dangerous new toxic combo would be disastrous on every level, from its impact on the soil, our waterways, our health, and the health of every living plant and animal on earth. And unless we shut down the industrial factory farm system, one of the largest consumers of GMO corn and soy, we can expect more GMO crops, and more, increasingly toxic poisons, approved every year, in order to combat the brave new world of superweeds.

There’€™s still time to rattle the White House doors. And in the meantime, please join our boycott of all meat, eggs and dairy produced by factory farms.

TAKE ACTION: Tell President Obama: Stop the Toxic Madness!

TAKE ACTION: Take the Factory Farm Free Friday Pledge!

You Wouldn’t Think


You Wouldn’€™t Think

Nanotechnology. Synthetic biology. Mutant Microorganisms . . . in organic?
You wouldn’€™t think. But it could happen’€”unless the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) tightens up its definition of ‘€œexcluded methods.’€

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines excluded methods as: "Methods used to genetically modify organisms or influence their growth and development by means that are not possible under natural conditions or processes."

That definition, written in 1995, doesn’€™t clearly address some of the food technologies that have been developed over the past nearly 20 years. Thankfully, when the NOSB convenes at the end of this month, the board will look at how the definition of ‘€œexcluded methods’€ needs to be updated in order to keep organic, well, organic.

According to Beyond Pesticides:

‘€œHaving a clear definition of ‘€œexcluded methods’€ and the limits of its application is critical to ensuring that organic food meets consumer expectations. Other urgent projects of the NOSB’€”including identifying vaccines made with excluded methods, protecting seed purity, and preventing the contamination of organic fields and food with genetically engineered organisms’€”all depend on having a regulatory definition of ‘€œexcluded methods’€ that stands up to scrutiny.’€

Want to keep organics strong? Sign our petition, and add your own comments.

TAKE ACTION: Tell the National Organic Standards Board to Keep Organics Strong!

Ready, Set, Dial!


Colorado’€™s YES on Prop 105 team may just be the scrappiest GMO labeling initiative campaign yet. And Monsanto and the rest of the Gene and Junk Food Giants are desperate to shut them down.

So desperate, that the opposition has dumped $9.7 million into their campaign coffers to run a down-and-dirty TV ad blitz aimed at duping Colorado voters into voting against their right to know.

Last week we asked you to step up and help out in Oregon, by volunteering to call Oregon voters and urge them to pass Measure 92, a statewide initiative to label GMOs in Oregon.

This week, the hard-at-work campaign in Colorado needs your help.

The YES on Prop 105 campaign is looking for volunteers (like you!) to call Colorado voters. All you need is an internet connection and a telephone’€”and a passion for standing up to Monsanto’€™s attack on your right to know.

Can you help? Sign up here. The YES on Prop 105 campaign will send you a confirmation email with all the information you need.

Sign up to urge Colorado voters to vote YES for GMO labeling
Donate to support Yes on Prop 105

GMOs, Naturally


It’€™s one of the biggest’€”and most successful’€”marketing scams of all time: Using the words ‘€œnatural’€ and ‘€œall natural’€ on a product to attract health-conscious consumers.

About 64 percent of consumers recently surveyed by Consumer Reports, believed a product labeled ‘€œnatural’€ is GMO-free.

But when Consumer Reports conducted a survey of more than 80 different processed foods containing corn or soy, the two most widely grown genetically engineered crops in the United States, here’€™s what they found:

‘€œWhile foods labeled as "non-GMO," or "organic" were found to be free of genetically modified corn and soy, virtually all of the foods labeled as "natural" or not labeled with any claim related to GMO content contained substantial amounts of GMO ingredients.’€

More here

Watch the video

Meet the Urban Food Rebels


John Mooney runs a hydroponic rooftop farm on top of a 105-year-old historic building in the West Village of Manhattan. Abeni Reamsey runs her own crew at City Girl Farms in West Oakland. And 18-year-old Travis Roberts is a chicken rancher in Detroit. They’€™re today’€™s urban food rebels growing food where most of live’€”in cities.

Watch the video

We’ll Know


Essential Reading for the Week

Organic Farm and Consumer Groups Achieve Partial Victory to Protect National Organic Standards Board

What Whistleblowers Tell Us about Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness

Why We Allow Big Pharma to Rip Us off

Wood Chips: The Secret to Inexpensive Biodynamic Gardening

‘Symphony of the Soil’ Extols the Importance and Mystery of Soil

Fish Failing to Adapt to Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels in Ocean


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Curious about Cuba?


Now’€™s your chance to learn more about Cuba’€™s organic revolution. And find out how this island nation in the Caribbean Sea has evolved into a leader in sustainability.

Join a group of passionate explorers and researchers, food production and policy professionals as they travel the cities and farms of Cuba, November 21-30. Be prepared to transform your vision of sustainable food chains and cooperatives, in a country with a long and colorful history of agricultural reform.

Details and sign up here