Organic Bytes
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small green plants growing in a farm crop field on a sunny day

Power of Soil

In case you missed it, December 5 was World Soil Day. 

To honor the occasion, Regeneration International’s roving reporter, Oliver Gardiner, interviewed Dr. Martin Frick, senior director of policy and program coordination for the United Nations Framework on Climate Change, while both men were attending the COP25 global climate summit in Madrid, Spain. (OCA is a founding partner and financial supporter of Regeneration International).

Frick didn’t mince words when it comes to the link between healthy soils, healthy food and a healthy climate. “I think soils are absolutely instrumental in fixing the climate,” he said. And with over half the world’s arable land moderately to severely degraded, the restoration potential is “enormous,” he said.

As for who will lead the soil restoration efforts, Frick said farmers can do it—but they’ll need to be paid for not only growing healthy food but for restoring healthy soils so that those soils can sequester the carbon drawn down by healthy plants.

Watch this ‘Power of Soil’ Interview at COP25 climate summit

TAKE ACTION: Make a tax-deductible donation to Regeneration International by December 31, using this link, and Patagonia will match your donation!

Fair World Project International Guide to Fair Trade Labels

Fair-ly Confusing

If you’re a frequent reader of our newsletter, you’re no stranger to the perplexing world of food labels.

The world of fair trade labels is just as bad, if not worse. Fortunately, our Fair World Project (FWP) has just published a new international guide to help you make sense of the growing confusion over what fair trade means, and which labels accurately reflect that definition.

According to FWP, the guide is rooted in the principles of fair trade and the approach to trade enshrined in the Fair Trade Charter. The standards are evaluated based on how well they meet the following objectives, grounded in the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

• Focus on achieving inclusive economic growth
• Decent work & improved wages & incomes
• Empowering women
• Protecting the rights of children
• Nurturing biodiversity & the environment
• Influencing public policies
• Involving citizens in building a fair world

Not surprisingly, when it comes to playing by the rules, corporate-owned Big Brands get the lowest marks for living up to the claims they make.

Thankfully, FWP’s at-a-glance resource guide lets you avoid the scammers and support the worthy producers.

Read ‘What’s the Difference Between All These Fair Trade Labels?’

Check out the fair trade labels resource guide

Read the in-depth report

cow in a field on a sunny day

Asking for a Friend

This is where we usually ask you to support our work.

This week, we’re asking for a friend.

From now until the end of December, all donations to Regeneration International, made through this link, will be matched by Patagonia.

Wow. That’s a generous offer. We want to help Regeneration International make the most of it.

OCA is not only a founding partner and financial supporter of Regeneration International, we’re also partners on many projects, national and international.

It’s important work that we do together. Supported not only by OCA, but by Patagonia, a company committed to protecting the environment. Please help us help a friend this week. Thank you!

TAKE ACTION: Make a tax-deductible donation to Regeneration International by December 31, using this link, and Patagonia will match your donation!

Former Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant

Isn’t It Rich?

When Hugh Grant sealed the $66-billion deal with Bayer—and cavalierly announced that Bayer would drop the Monsanto name—the former Monsanto chairman and CEO probably thought he’d finally washed his hands of the most evil company in the world.

Not so. 

Last week, a court ruled that Grant—a staunch and relentless defender of Monsanto’s poison—will have to testify next month, in St. Louis, Missouri, at the trial of Sharlean Gordon.  

Gordon developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using Roundup weedkillers for 25 years, at her home in South Pekin, Illinois.

Grant, who’s been spared so far from testifying at the first three Monsanto trials because they took place in California, tried to weasel out of testifying at the St. Louis trial. But as U.S. Right to Know’s Carey Gillam reports, the court wasn’t buying Grant’s flimsy excuses for sitting out Gordon’s trial:

Mr. Grant appeared for interviews on public radio representing that Roundup is not a carcinogen; in earnings calls for investors Mr. Grant personally responded that the classification of glyphosate as a probable carcinogen was ‘junk science;’ in 2016 Mr. Grant personally lobbied the EPA Administrator and the Agricultural Committee Chair of the topic of glyphosate.

It appears Grant will finally have to face the music—not to mention his victim. We can’t wait.

Read ‘Former Monsanto CEO Ordered to Testify at Roundup Cancer Trial’

TAKE ACTION: Make a tax-deductible donation to the Millions Against Monsanto Campaign

farmer and child with a basket of harvested vegetables on a farm field on a sunny day

Imagine That!

Americans cherish the “family farm.” Most are also happy to be able to buy local foods at farmers markets, grocers or their favorite restaurants.

In the marketplace, consumers are sending the message that they want more sustainable and organic food, sales of which exceeded $50 billion last year. And the vast majority of people in our nation believe that climate change is real, and that urgent action needs to be taken.

While there is some variability depending upon one’s political affiliation, Democrats and Republicans alike hold these views. If this is what we collectively believe, across party lines, then surely our politics and public policies support these priorities, right?

Well, not so much.

In this week’s guest blog post, Anthony Flaccavento talks about how we all want to eat well, and how we all need a livable climate. But how do we get there?

Flaccavento asks us to imagine turning one million conscious consumers into food citizens.

Read ‘Three Steps for Building a Million-Person Food Citizen Force’

SIGN THE PETITION: Consumers Want a Regenerative Green New Deal

Cannabis plant close up

Smokin’ Idea

Here’s an idea: Let’s keep the Pesticide Giants out of the cannabis industry—and keep healthy soil in.

The drug war isn’t over yet, but it’s not too soon to advocate for regenerative organic cannabis!

Black-market marijuana is synonymous with pesticide-heavyresource-intensive indoor hydroponic production.

Now that many states have chosen to legalize cannabis for medical and recreational use, we have an opportunity to advocate for regenerative organic cannabis, grown in healthy soil and sunlight, without chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.

TAKE ACTION: Join our campaign for organic cannabis by signing this petition.