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Farmers Veggies Happy Flowers Via Organica

Around the Corner

It may not seem like it now, but spring and summer are just around the corner. If you’re looking to combine a getaway with your interest in food and sustainability issues, how about combining a trip to Mexico with workshops on sustainable food and water?

The Center for Appropriate Technology and Indigenous Sustainability (CATIS Mexico) will host two action-packed trips this spring, and two sessions of its acclaimed “Analyzing Earth Friendly Technologies: Studying Context, Culture and Design” this summer. CATIS works in conjunction with OCA's Via Orgánica Project, based in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.

The deadline for registering for the spring courses is January 31. Spring courses include:

March 7-15: Sustainable Food Systems: You are what you eat. (Via Organica is one of the projects showcased.)

March 14-22, 2015: Integrated Water Systems: Water is life

A $950 fee for each course includes workshop, most meals, simple housing and transportation during the course.

The summer course, “Analyzing Earth Friendly Technologies: Studying Context, Culture and Design,” will be offered twice, from July 4-18 and again from July 25-August 8. A $1550 fee covers workshop, most meals, simple housing and transportation during course.

To register or learn more contact Jenn AT

Vandana Shiva

‘Our Food is Our Freedom’

Monsanto, which already controls the cotton industry in India, is bullying its way into playing a bigger and bigger role in shaping India’s agricultural policy—with little or no concern for the fact that India’s small farms account for 92 percent of farms and occupy around 40 percent of all agricultural land.

Activist, author and physicist, Dr. Vandana Shiva, hopes to engage the leaders of the U.S. and India in a conversation—and a plan—to protect India’s small farmers and the country’s food sovereignty by rejecting the negative impacts of seed patenting, biopiracy and corporate personhood. Shiva has written an open letter, addressed to President Obama and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And she’d like you to sign it.

In her letter, Shiva says:

"Prime Minister Modi and President Obama, let this Republic day in India sow the seeds of Earth Democracy and Vasudhaiva Kutumbhakam, for our times and the future. We hope you show great leadership by working together to strengthen the laws to protect your citizens and countries instead of making it easier for corporations to take control over life-forms for short term profits. Let us build Purna Swaraj for all life on Earth, freedom to grow our food and know our food. Let us work toward a future where our food is our freedom.

Read the open letter

TAKE ACTION: Sign Vandana Shiva’s letter to President Obama and India’s Prime Minister Modi

Scientists Under Attack Movie

Scientists under Attack

In his new film, “Scientists Under Attack: Genetic Engineering in the Magnetic Field of Money,” German director Bertram Verhaag tells the story of two distinguished scientists—Árpád Pusztai and Ignacio Chapela—whose careers both lie in ruins because they dared to challenge the Gene Giants.

According to the film, about 95 percent of the research in the field of genetic engineering is funded by—you guessed it—the biotech industry. And that industry, led by Monsanto, Dow and Dupont—have a history of attacking the credibility of any researcher or scientist who challenges the corporate line that GMOs, and the toxic chemicals used to grow them, are safe.

It’s a situation that threatens science, public health and our democracy.

Watch the trailer

Why Poison Us?

Got a Headache?

You probably think “aspirin” when you hear the word Bayer. But you may be surprised to learn that through its subsidiary, Bayer CropScience, the corporate giant Bayer AG causes far more headaches than it cures.

Bayer CropScience manufactures neonicotinoids, a class of poisons scientists say are killing off honeybees. Now that neonics are under attack, by sane folks who believe not only that honeybees are essential to growing food, but that poisoning everything in sight is probably bad for the entire ecosystem, Bayer is fighting back with a slick public relations campaign.

As part of our mission in 2015, we are determined to get the word out, far and wide, that there are no “safe levels” of poisons—neonics or otherwise. And that companies who say otherwise need to be exposed for what they are actually doing—profiting from the poisoning of our soil, air, water, plants, insects, animals, food and yes, our own bodies.

Bayer, and companies like Bayer, have millions to spend on propaganda. But we have a secret weapon—you. Whether you help by posting our newsletters on social media, or forwarding them to friends. Or by signing petitions, attending rallies, or calling your legislators, or making a donation, your help is essential to ending the headaches—and worse—these companies are creating for the world’s ecosystems. Thank you!

Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)

Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our GMO labeling legislative efforts)

Bayer sign

Blame It on Bayer

With so many corporations polluting our environment, poisoning our food and corrupting our democracy, it’s tough to single out “the worst.” But this year, we’re asking you to elect one of the biggest bee-killers in the world, Bayer CropScience, into the Corporate Hall of Shame.

We think it’s about time consumers hold Bayer accountable for not only manufacturing the pesticides that kill bees, but for creating a public relations campaign aimed at blaming everything but the company’s pesticides for the mass die-off of pollinators.

By now, we all know that neonicotinoids are the primary culprit in Colony Collapse Disorder. We also know who stands to profit the most from selling neonics—Bayer CropScience is the world’s number one seller of neonics, with annual sales of over $1 billion.

To hear Bayer tell it, the neonic-maker is the honeybee’s best friend. Instead of taking responsibility for poisoning pollinators, Bayer has launched a very expensive public relations campaign, outlined in this report by the Friends of the Earth. The campaign is aimed at shifting the blame to global warming. Or maybe mites.

Bayer has even established the bogus Bayer Bee Care Center in a disingenuous public relations move aimed at convincing consumers that the company is dedicated to protecting bees.

Bayer should be ashamed. It isn’t, of course. So it’s up to us to shame the world’s leading bee-killer.

Vote Bayer into the Corporate Hall of Shame

Spraying Chemicals

Does Monsanto Make You Sick?

On January 30, Monsanto executives and shareholders will meet in St. Louis, to pat themselves on the back for selling $1.25 billion worth of glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, last year. Then they’ll plot ways to sell even more next year.

We’ll be there. And we hope many of you will be there, too—if not in person, perhaps through your words and photos.

OCA, Moms Across America and others will attend the Monsanto annual shareholder meeting. Inside, we’ll present Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant with a huge stack of testimonials from people who have been harmed by Monsanto’s Roundup and GMO foods. We’ll also present the growing body of scientific studies the devastating impact Monsanto’s products have on human health.

Outside, Jeff Ritterman, M.D., vice president of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, will speak at a rally.

If you have a story about how Roundup and/or GMO foods have caused you or a family member health problems, please send us your testimonial. We'll deliver it to Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant.  Also, please email us your photo, so we can create a powerful visual display outside Monsanto headquarters.

We’d also love to see you at the rally. It starts at noon on January 30, at Monsanto World Headquarters, 800 N. Lindbergh Blvd, Creve Coeur, Missouri 63167. For more information, or to send us your picture, email alexis AT

TAKE ACTION: Send us your testimonial about the impact of glyphosate and/or GMO foods on your health, or the health of a famiy member

Email your photo to alexis AT

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Bee close up

Stop the Madness

Monsanto sells soybean seeds coated in neonicotinoids (a class of pesticides directly linked to the mass die-off of honeybees) under pretense of helping farmers increase their yields. 

But according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pre-treating soybean seeds with neonics doesn’t deliver on that promise. And now, new evidence suggests that not only do pretreated soybean seeds not provide any benefit to farmers, they may actually cause a decrease in crop yields.

So why perpetuate the madness? When we know neonics are poisoning pollinators, our soil, our drinking water, and even our food?

Profits, of course. Neonic sales are a $2.6 billion business, according to a report by Friends of the Earth. And the big profiteers are the usual suspects: Monsanto (who sells the seeds), and Bayer and Syngenta, who make the poisons.

TAKE ACTION: Tell EPA to Reject Neonic-Coated Soybeans

Carrots and Kale

The ‘Golden Fact’ Is Just a Lie

The survival of corporate agribusiness rests on the myth that without GMO crops and pesticides, we can’t feed the world.

Yet according to experts at the World Bank Institute, the world already produces enough food to feed 14 billion people, more food than we’ll ever need.

The Golden Fact of agribusiness is a lie. 

What industry understands, and the food movement does not, is that what prevents total rejection of bland, industrialized, pesticide-laden, GMO food is the standard acceptance, especially in Western countries, of the overarching agribusiness argument that such food is necessary

In this important article, Jonathan Latham, co-founder and executive director of the Bioscience Resource Project, argues that today, in the age of the internet, we don’t have to let industry define the truth. We can restore reality to the global discussion about food so that all potential production methods can have their merits fairly evaluated (IAASTD, 2007). 

If we don’t, agribusiness and chemical industry solutions will always be the default winner. And alternative agriculture will always be alternative—if it exists at all.

Read the essay