Organic Bytes
SUBSCRIBE | DONATE Share on Facebook Follow OCA on Twitter OCA on Pinterest Follow OCA on YouTube Instagram LinkedIn RSS Feed

Murray Provine in This Farm is Medicine

‘This Farm Is Medicine’

Meet Murray Provine. He used to be a steak-and-potatoes type of guy living a no-exercise, traveling-executive lifestyle.

All that changed after Provine was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Luckily, radiation destroyed Provine’s tumor. He got a second chance.

That’s when Provine decided it was time for him to eat right and take control of his own health. He knew his body was full of toxins. It needed to heal itself. One way to do that, he decided, was to start growing his own food.

Under the tutelage of rancher and consultant Allen Williams, Provine converted his 110-acre horse property in Clarksville, Georgia, into an Adaptive Multi-Paddock grazing farm.

Three years later, Provine and his land are in much better health—a fact well-documented in Peter Byck’s most recent film, “This Farm is Medicine.”

Read ‘This Farm Is Medicine’

Watch the video

small brown puppy dog laying in a grassy green lawn

Pet Project

We know that humans increasingly test positive for residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller.

If you’ve been exposed to glyphosate—by breathing it, drinking it or by consuming glyphosate residues on your food—could your dog be at risk, too? 

A new pilot study shows that dogs are likely to have even higher levels—up to 5000 percent higher—of glyphosate in their bodies than what testing has detected so far in humans.

“In a pilot study, we noticed that dogs’ glyphosate levels were, on average, 50 times higher than people’s,” said Dr. John Fagan, chief scientist at HRI Labs and former researcher at the National Institutes of Health. “Recent biomedical research suggests harm to health at these levels, and even lower,” he added.

To follow up on the pilot study, HRI Labs has launched a citizen science research project. The lab will work with pet owners to determine why animals have such a high exposure to glyphosate.

Read ‘New Study to Investigate the Dangers of Glyphosate Exposure in Pets’

Got a dog? Participate in HRI Labs’ citizen research project

planet earth surrounded by shards of broken glass

Bad Behavior

“The health of the planet and the health of the people are one. . . Health, starting with the soil, to plants, animals and humans must be the organizing principle and the aim of agriculture, commerce, science, of our lives and of international trade.” – Vandana Shiva

Part of the work we do at OCA involves calling out corporations. For polluting the environment. For poisoning our food. For paying off elected officials to write regulations that put public health at risk. For intentionally misleading us, through false advertising and labeling claims.

It never ceases to amaze us how these corporations—led and staffed by real people, just like us—justify their bad behavior. 

Recently, some of us sat around a boardroom with a group of corporate executives from a large, multinational factory farm company (which will remain unnamed for now).

We talked about the public health crisis caused by the rampant misuse of antibiotics on factory farms. We talked about animal welfare concerns. We reminded them of their company’s role in the devastating pollution of U.S. waterways, especially in the Midwest.

They, in turn, sang the same old tired tune: We’re feeding the world.

They aren’t. According to the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization, 70 percent of the world’s food is produced by smallholder farmers—and they produce that food on only 25 percent of the world’s land.

What this corporation and others like it are doing is feeding us a line of bull, while they “feed” their CEO salaries and big shareholders.

We can’t let these corporations continue to poison our environment with impunity. We just can’t. Because like it or not, our own health is directly related to the health of our soil, water, air—and of course, our food.

“The health of the planet and the health of the people are one.”

We won’t stop confronting corporate factory farms. Until they stop their bad behavior.

And we won’t stop working with the media and with the courts, when necessary, to let consumers know exactly what these corporations are doing—and why it matters.

We’re committed. But we need your support. Please consider a donation today? Thank you!

Make a tax-deductible donation to the Organic Consumers Association

Make a tax-deductible donation to OCA’s Millions Against Monsanto campaign

Support Citizens Regeneration Lobby (CRL), OCA’s sister lobbying organization Donations to CRL, a 501(c) (4) nonprofit, are not tax-deductible

Click here to learn about other ways to support our work

lady justice with a set of scales peeking out from under her blindfold

Justice at Last?

A judge in California is poised to decide if Monsanto has been getting away with murder.

Reporting for the Guardian, Carey Gillam writes:

At the age of 46, DeWayne Johnson is not ready to die. But with cancer spread through most of his body, doctors say he probably has just months to live. Now Johnson, a husband and father of three in California, hopes to survive long enough to make Monsanto take the blame for his fate.

According to Gillam, on June 18, Johnson will become the first person to face down Monsanto in a courtroom over allegations that the biotech giant has long known that its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer—but has deliberately hidden the truth from farmers and consumers.

And, Gillam writes, Johnson’s case just received a major boost:

Last week Judge Curtis Karnow issued an order clearing the way for jurors to consider not just scientific evidence related to what caused Johnson’s cancer, but allegations that Monsanto suppressed evidence of the risks of its weed killing products. Karnow ruled that the trial will proceed and a jury would be allowed to consider possible punitive damages.

Will Johnson prevail? And set the precedent for hundreds of similar lawsuits to come? All eyes will be watching.

Read ‘Landmark Lawsuit Claims Monsanto Hid Cancer Danger of Weedkiller for Decades’

Make a tax-deductible donation to our Millions Against Monsanto campaign

combination of a red and green apple sliced together

‘Flying in the Dark’

Amazon is selling GMO apples, under the brand name Arctic ApBitz Dried Apple Snacks. According to the packaging and advertising, these apples are “wholesome, preservative-free, 100% apples.”

What mother wouldn’t want to feed these apples to her kids? Probably the mother who finds out that these “wholesome, 100% apples” are 100% GMO. 

Arctic ApBitz Dried Apple Snacks are made with GMO apples. But you’d never know it—because neither Amazon nor the snack maker use the words “GMO” or “genetically engineered” anywhere on the package, or in their advertising.

Here’s what the scientists we interviewed said about the technology used to engineer the Arctic Apple, or as some call it, the Frankenapple:

“Given that the dsRNA from our food, and presumably the Frankenapple, will enter the bloodstream and cells of consumers, safety research should be done before this GMO apple is put on the grocery shelf to prove that the dsRNA that enters consumers’ bodies will not harm them. To date, no such research has been reported, so the Frankenapple is flying in the dark.”

Another day, another brand (and retailer) hiding the truth about what’s really in your “food.”

TAKE ACTION: Tell Amazon: Stop Selling Unlabeled GMO Apples!

persons hand holding a red apple that is bearing sharp monster teeth

Bad to Worse?

Whew! Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted down the House version (H.R. 2) of the Farm Bill, a bill that could cripple conservation programs intended to promote organic and regenerative agriculture practices.

Unfortunately, this terrible Farm Bill was defeated for reasons that have nothing to do with food or agriculture. Worse yet, it will be back. The House is set to vote on H.R. 2 again, on June 22. 

Meanwhile, we’re waiting to see what’s in Senate’s Farm Bill, which could end up being just as bad for organic standards as the House version. The Senate is also expected to vote in June. But unlike the House version, the Senate’ bill will be bipartisan—which means it’s sure to pass.

We’d like to think that the Organic Trade Association would stand with consumers to oppose any attempts to use the Farm Bill to erode organic standards. But that’s not likely, given the group’s track record. (More on that here).

Our best hope is that dysfunction in the House will force Congress to extend the 2014 Farm Bill and give us another chance for a better Farm Bill, when the new Congress takes office in 2019.

In the meantime, please let your Senators know that you want them to protect organic standards.

Read ‘Will Congress Use the Farm Bill to Undermine Organics?’ 

URGENT ACTION NEEDED! Tell your Senators to protect strong organic standards and regenerative agriculture in the Farm Bill! 

raw meat for sale at a grocery counter with a sign reading USA...???


You know if the tomatoes you buy in the supermarket were imported from Mexico. You know if the sweater you purchased was made in Vietnam. You know if the chicken you toss in our grocery cart was imported from another country.

Under Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) laws, these products are required to carry labels that tell you if the product was imported from another country.

But beef and pork? Those products are exempt from COOL laws. That means you have no idea where our steak and bacon came from, unless the producer chooses to label it.

U.S. cattle ranchers say the failure to require COOL labels on beef is hurting their industry. That’s especially true for ranchers serving the fast-growing grassfed segment of the beef industry says Will Harris, president of the board of directors of the American Grassfed Association (AGA) and a fourth-generation cattleman.

Harris says American consumers are being intentionally misled. He estimates that at least 75 percent of the grassfed beef consumed in America comes from Australia, New Zealand or Uruguay—but it’s being wrongly labeled as “Product of the USA.”

Read ‘Do You Know Where Your Meat Comes From?’