A nationwide network of nonprofit organizations, including the
Organic Consumers Association, are mobilizing to stop Congress
from passing a law that would enable telecommunications giants
to control the flow of traffic on the internet. Companies like
AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are pressuring Congress to pass
the "telecom reform bill" that would allow them to restrict
or slow down your access to certain websites on the internet.
As an example, last year, Canada’s version of AT&T — Telus
— blocked their internet customers from visiting a web site sympathetic
to workers with whom Telus was negotiating. This controversial
bill would create a similar situation in the U.S. whereby telephone
and cable companies would have increased power to control how
well (or poorly) specific websites, including nonprofit organizations,
would function on your computer. The current construction of the
internet allows everyone to compete on a level playing field.
This is the reason that the internet is a force for economic innovation,
civic participation and free speech. If the public doesn’t speak
up now, Congress will hand over control of the internet to these
Please take action: /old_articles/rd/telecom.cfm
& VIRTUAL MARCH OF ORGANIC CONSUMERS AGAINST THE WAR &
A massive march and rally, organized by a network of peace, environmental,
and public interest organizations, including the OCA, will take
place Saturday, April 29 in New York City. Hundreds of thousands
of demonstrators will call for an end to the war in Iraq, a massive
reduction in greenhouse gases, and a transformation of the American
economy to sustainable and organic production. If you can travel
to New York, please attend the march, but you can also take part
online by joining organic consumers across the country in calling
for an end to the war in Iraq and a massive reduction in greenhouse
Sign on as a "Virtual Marcher" here: /old_articles/Politics/itstime060428.cfm
A new certification and labeling system has been launched in Western
Montana that goes a step beyond federal "USDA Organic."
The Western Montana Sustainable Growers Union has launched the
"Homegrown" label, which guarantees that products sold
to consumers are not only organic, but were also produced locally
or regionally, within a 150 mile radius. The Homegrown label also
aims to promote fair labor practices. Farmers with the Homegrown
certification are also urged to purchase supplies locally to keep
money in the community. According to Lynn Byczynski, editor and
publisher of Growing for Market, a national magazine dedicated
to farmers’ markets "What they (the Growers Union) are doing
there is not uncommon. There are groups like this bubbling up
all over the place in response to the corporate takeover of organics."
Learn more: /old_articles/btc/montana060420.cfm
Foods bought small natural cereals producer Back to Nature in
2004. The company, a subsidiary of Altria Group, which also
owns Phillip Morris Companies Inc., one of the largest cigarette
makers in the world. Kraft also owns Boca Burger Inc.
Inc., which produces natural and organic fruit juices, was purchased
by Coca-Cola in 2001.
Foods Co., the largest dairy company in the U.S., bought out
Horizon Organic in 2003, in addition to Silk soymilk and White
has acquired several natural and organic brands: Kashi Cereal
and Morningstar Farms.
Mills purchased Cascadian Farm, in 2000. The brand consists
of items such as frozen fruit, vegetables, granola bars and
fruit spreads. General Mills also bought out Muir Glen, which
produces ketchup, tomato sauce, and salsa.
bought out Ben & Jerry’s for $326 million.
Co. is purchasing Tom’s of Maine, which specializes in natural
oral and personal care products.
If you don’t have one already, there’s no better time than the
present to start your own vegetable garden, whether it’s on your
own land or in a local community plot. According to the latest
data from the US Department of Agriculture, the level of home
food production is at its lowest point in US history. With the
average food traveling more than 1500 miles from farm to fork,
the environmental impact of big agribusiness foods is at an all
time high. Concerned about global warming and peak oil? Consider
the fact that it takes 400 calories of fossil fuels to transport
a single 5 calorie strawberry from California to East Coast supermarkets.
What’s more, that flavorless non-organic strawberry was grown
with methyl bromide, a carcinogenic and ozone depleting pesticide.
In contrast, a perennial patch of strawberries in your yard grows
back on its own every year, requires no fossil fuels and no pesticides,
and tastes a whole lot better. It gets even scarier when you take
a good look at what’s involved in growing and processing staple
crops like corn, rice, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. The environmental
benefits of growing some of your own food are staggering. The
Organic Consumers Association is developing a new campaign to
help turn every thumb into a Green thumb.
Learn more: /old_articles/btc/subversive060419.cfm
Consumers are forcing the $35 billion per year lawn & garden
care industry to make space for organics. Stores like Lowe’s,
Sears and Home Depot, which traditionally have only sold synthetic
fertilizers and pesticides, are selling record amounts of organic
soils and fertilizers this Spring. A recent survey from the National
Gardening Association found that, while only 5% of U.S. households
now use all-organic methods in their yards, some 21% said they
would likely do so in the future. Studies over the past three
decades have linked common lawn and garden chemicals with cancer
and kidney or liver damage, particularly in children and pets.
"Initially, it may feel harder, but in the long term, it’s
easier," says Scott Meyer, editor of Organic Gardening magazine.
He likens using chemicals to "putting your yard on steroids."
Over time, he says, "it weakens the system."
Learn more: /old_articles/ofgu/lawn060418.cfm
NEWS AND BAD NEWS: The Environmental Protection Agency has announced
new stricter regulations on a number of carcinogenic chemicals. The
adjusted standards finally take into account the fact that children
are far more vulnerable to toxic chemicals, such as pesticides, than
FARMS SPREAD LICE: Canadian researchers have discovered farmed salmon
are spreading sea lice to wild salmon. The scientists found unusually
high levels of lice in a 19 mile radius surrounding a salmon farm. "Conservatively,
this means that the parasite footprint of the farm is 150 times larger
than the farm itself," said study co-author John Volpe. /old_articles/foodsafety/salmon33105.cfm
YORK FIREMEN EAT MAD DEER: Mad Deer disease has now spread across
the country to New York, where scientists report that the state’s first
confirmed infected white tail deer was donated to the Verona (NY) Fire
Department and eaten at a banquet. Although the Oneida County Health
Department claims it is "unlikely" a deer infected with Chronic
Wasting Disease (CWD) can transfer the fatal illness to humans, they
are recommending that everyone who attended the event contact the New
York State Health Department immediately. /old_articles/madcow/firemen040505.cfm
IN LABELING: Thanks to consumer pressure, the Whole Foods Market
grocery chain has finally announced it will begin to label its private
label products in a manner that allows consumers to see which ingredients
may contain genetically modified organisms. CEO John Mackey said of
the policy, "If we don’t do this, who will?" Noting the possibility
that labeling could invite legal actions, Mackey stated that it would
be a "lawsuit worth fighting." /old_articles/ge/wholefoods040705.cfm
MILLION ORGANIC CONSUMERS IN USA: The organic market is exploding!
The Natural Marketing Institute has released a report indicating that
23% of U.S. shoppers are now organic consumers. In 2004, the organic
market grew by a full 18%, due to consumer concerns about their health
and the environment. /old_articles/organic/23percent32905.cfm