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Safeguard Organic Standards

All A-Board for Organics

It’s that time again. When the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meets to discuss what should, and what shouldn’t, be allowed in organics.

This year’s four-day meeting will take place in La Jolla, Calif., beginning on April 27. OCA will be there to present your comments on two important issues. One, whether to raise allowed levels of a synthetic growth promoter, methionine, in organic chicken feed. And two, whether or not organic farmers should be allowed to use manure from factory farms.

On methionine: OCA advocates for banning the use of synthetic methionine in organics. Synthetic methionine, which acts as a growth promoter, is used primarily by large, factory-farm-like operations that skirt U.S. Department of Agriculture rules requiring organic poultry farmers to provide outdoor access for their birds. Alternatives to synthetic methionine exist, including natural supplementation with organic whole wheat, organic whole oats, alfalfa meal, sunflower meal, fish meal and limestone, and access to pasture where birds get enough methionine from a natural diet.

On factory farm manure in organics: Current National Organic Program regulations allow organic farmers to use waste from factory farms, or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) as the industry calls them. There is no requirement to test this waste for heavy metals or antibiotics, even though growing plants can absorb some of these contaminants.

OCA’s position is that CAFO waste should be banned from organic farming, though we also recognize that there isn’t enough clean manure to go around. The NOSB will discuss this issue, including where and how organic farmers can get enough clean manure. Ultimately, the answer lies in ridding the world of factory farms, and replacing them with alternative models, including large-scale, economically viable organic, regenerative farms. 

The deadline for the submission of written comments was April 7, but there’s still time to have your comments submitted at the meeting when we testify. 

TAKE ACTION: Tell the NOSB: No more synthetic methionine! Organic chickens need pasture, not this synthetic growth promoter!

TAKE ACTION: Tell the NOSB: Get Factory Farm Waste Out of Organic!

Time to Hold Corporations Accountable To Farmworkers


Rat-infested camps. Unreliable clean water supply. Lack of sanitation. Little to no bedding. Withholding of already inadequate wages. Restricting workers’ ability to escape. 

Those are the conditions endured by the people who work on the farms that supply food to many of American’s most popular brand-name companies, as revealed by the Los Angeles Times in its 2014 investigative report

The report triggered consumer outrage. And promises by some of those companies that source produce from the farms, notably the retailer giant Walmart, to do more. But nothing improved. So in March of this year, farmworkers in the Baja area of Mexico became so desperate, they went on strike.

We have NAFTA to thank for the fact that a third of our fruit, and two-thirds of our vegetables, come from large produce farms in Mexico. U.S. corporations are more than happy to pay low wages to farmworkers in order to increase their own profits.

Can we, as consumers, force U.S. corporations to treat Mexican farmworkers with decency and fair wages? Can we afford not to?

TAKE ACTION: Subway, Darden Restaurants (Yard House, Olive Garden, Capital Grill), and Yum Brands (Taco Bell and Pizza Hut) to clean up their supply chains and be fair to farmworkers!


March Against Monsanto

March Against Monsanto: May 23. Everywhere.

On Saturday May 23, millions of people around the globe will once again take to the streets to March Against Monsanto.

We’ve got plenty to talk about this year. Last month the World Health Organization (WHO) declared glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, a probable human carcinogen. 

That news didn’t stop Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) from reintroducing a bill that if passed, will wipe out states’ rights to pass mandatory labeling laws.  H.R.1599, written by the biotech and junk food industries, is officially called the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.” But we call it the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act. Because the bill’s sole purpose is to keep consumers in the dark about the genetically modified organisms in their food.

And then there’s Hillary Clinton, who recently threw her hat into the ring for President. Clinton, who supports Monsanto and GMO agriculture, has yet to publicly state whether or not she would support Pompeo’s DARK Act, or if she would take the side of the more than 90 percent of Americans who believe we should pass mandatory GMO labeling laws. 

These are just a few of the issues people will be talking about on May 23, when they come together, in cities around the world, to March Against Monsanto. Will you be at one of those marches? Are you organizing a march in your city? Need more information? Need leaflets? Or bumper stickers? 

We can help. We’ve put together packets designed especially for May 23, which focus on this simple, but powerful, message: Monsanto Makes Us Sick. And we’re offering them free of charge to anyone organizing or participating in a March Against Monsanto event.

Sign up for your free packet of Monsanto Makes Us Sick materials
Purchase a banner here
Submit a letter to the editor about stopping the DARK Act here
March Against Monsanto events list here

Vandana Shiva Message for Mother Earth Day

Mother Earth Day Message from Vandana Shiva

After destroying the soil’s fertility and its ability to produce nutrient-dense food, the biotech industry wants to perpetuate the cycle of destruction by producing GMO bananas and Golden Rice, in order to provide vitamins and nutrients that we used to get from our food.

It’s a vicious cycle of insanity.

In her Earth Day message, Vandana Shiva encourages us to make peace with the Earth. And continue our work to end the war on Earth that has been perpetuated by industrial agriculture, that with its toxic chemicals and pesticide-reliant GMO crops, accounts for the largest share of destruction of biodiversity, soil, water and climate stability, Shiva says. 

The Earth is inviting us to a resurgence. We will either listen to her, or be pushed to extinction. And I know there are enough of us out there that we will not go blindly into the path of extinction. We have a future. Let’s make it together.

Watch the video

protect the earth

Limited Matching Funds Offer

For just this week, our natural health ally,, is matching up to $250,000 in donations to the OCA. The matching funds drive is part of Mercola’s GMO Awareness Campaign.

This generous offer couldn’t come at a better time, as we campaign in New England, for GMO labeling laws, and in Washington D.C. to stop a federal bill that would strip states of the right to pass mandatory GMO labeling laws.

Please take a minute to watch this video (bottom of the page) interview of OCA National Director Ronnie Cummins, by Dr. Joseph Mercola. Then please consider a generous donation today. 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)

glyphosate testing

Got Glyphosate? Find Out!

Your doctor won’t test you to see if it’s in your body. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) won’t test your food for it. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) won’t test your water for it, and neither will your local water testing company.

Now, you can take matters into your own hands.

The Feed The World project, launched today, offers the first public glyphosate testing program for the general public. OCA has joined with Feed The World to promote the testing, worldwide.

For the first time, validated public LC/MS/MS glyphosate testing for urine, water and soon, breast milk, is being offered to anyone who wants to know if their drinking water contains glyphosate, or if the world’s most widely used herbicide, recently declared by the World Health Organization a probable carcinogen, is present in their urine or breast milk.

For decades, Monsanto has falsely claimed that glyphosate is “safe.” Scientists on Monsanto’s dole dutifully fell in line with the corporate propaganda. Scientists who disagreed were attacked. And even though in 1985, the EPA said glyphosate causes cancer, the agency later reversed its decision and, since then, every government agency charged with serving the public has instead served Monsanto.

It will be up to the public to get glyphosate banned, permanently. And once we, as consumers and citizens, mothers, fathers and grandparents, realize that we are personally affected, more of us will rise up. More of us will insist on change.

The testing is not free. But it’s priced at the lowest amount possible, an amount that allows for high-quality, scientifically sound testing while encouraging the participation of as many people as possible. This testing, previously unavailable, could be the answer to ridding the world of glyphosate. We hope you can participate, and will share this news far and wide.

Order glyphosate testing
Read the OCA press release

Read the Feed The World Press release

Mother Earth Day 2015

Ronnie’s Mother Earth Day Message

“The elimination of fossil fuels for all but the most limited and essential purposes is necessary but not sufficient to allow our descendants a fair chance for a healthy and prosperous future. Enhancing carbon biosequestration in terrestrial ecosystems is also essential.”  Wayne A. White, Biosequestration and Ecological Diversity p.118 (CRC Press 2013)

Feeling depressed on Earth Day week? Tired of the standard doom-and-gloom discourse surrounding global warming and climate change? Feeling disempowered?

There’s a better way. What if, starting this week, we embrace what the United Nations has designated the “Year of the Soil?”  What if we look at our planetary crisis from an entirely different, and more hopeful perspective? 

There’s plenty of good news. Including the fact that the global grassroots, farmers and consumers, united, can reverse our suicidal “business-as-usual” food, farming, energy and land use practices. By harnessing the power of Regenerative Organic Agriculture and reforestation, we can lsuck down enough excess heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and naturally sequester it in our plants, trees and soils.  

Regenerative Agriculture and Earth Repair practices can not only mitigate, but also, in combination with drastic reductions (80-90 percent) of fossil fuel emissions in our food and farming, transportation, housing, utilities, and industrial sectors, actually reverse global warming. 

It’s time to think of ourselves as climate and food activists. Because the harsh truth is this: There will be no organic food, nor food whatsoever, on a burned out planet. Nor will there ever be a 90-percent reduction in greenhouse gas pollution without a transformation of our food and farming and land use practices, both in North America and globally.

Read Ronnie’s essay