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ALERT: E. COLI–GETTING TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM


The recent tragic outbreak of E. coli in spinach that has killed
one person and poisoned at least 146 others, is being mistakenly
blamed, by some in the media, on organic farming practices–specifically
the use of animal manure in making fertilizer compost on organic
farms. While no conclusive source of the current E. coli outbreak
has yet been determined, mountains of E. coli-tainted manure
on conventional factory farm feedlots and rainfall-induced agricultural
runoff are the likely culprits. Despite this fact, a number
of apologists for industrial agriculture continue to attack
organic food in the press as "unsafe." (Read OCA’s
position on the nationwide outbreak of E-coli poisoning from
bagged spinach here: /old_articles/2006/article_2407.cfm).
Help spread the truth–
Follow this link to send a letter to the editor
of your local newspaper in support of organics:

http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/oca/pickMedia.jsp?
letter_KEY=569

We
rely on your donations to continue our work on these important issues!
Donate Now!

/old_articles/donations.htm


PUT FOOD, FARMING, & CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE TABLE IN THE 2006 ELECTIONS

PUT
FOOD, FARMING, & CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE TABLE IN THE 2006
ELECTIONS

The Organic Consumers 2006 Political Candidate Survey and Voter
Guide are
spreading across the country. If you haven’t already done so,
please
visit the Organic Consumers Fund web page to see how candidates
from your
area have responded and to how get involved.
http://www.organicconsumersfund.org

Join
OCA and our allies for the International Day of Climate Action
on
November 4, 2006. OCA will be hosting house parties, film screenings
and
demonstrations in conjunction with worldwide actions prior to
the United
Nations Climate Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, where delegates
from more than
175 countries will be meeting from November 6-November 17. For
more
information, please visit: /old_articles/climateaction.cfm


ALERT: TINY TOXINS–NANO, NANO EVERYWHERE


Despite a lack of federal oversight and no requirements for
labeling, nanoparticles have been placed into countless consumer
products, including food, food packaging, nutritional supplements,
and body care products. Nanoproducts contain extremely small
particles, roughly one-billionth of a meter in size. Laboratory
studies already warn that nanoparticles can cause inflammation,
damage brain cells, and cause pre-cancerous lesions. The Food
and Drug Administration has scheduled its first-ever Public
Meeting on October 10, 2006 to address the emergence of nanotechnology.
Learn more about nanotechnology and contact the FDA to call
for a moratorium on untested and unlabeled nanoproducts until
adequate testing and federal oversight is in place: http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/oca/campaign.jsp?c
ampaign_KEY=5232


USDA SAYS SHUT UP AND EAT YOUR FRANKENRICE


The USDA has finally reacted to the contamination of the U.S.
rice supply
by an unapproved, genetically engineered variety of rice created
by the
Bayer Corporation. Three weeks ago, it was discovered that Bayer’s
mutant
rice, gene-spliced to survive heavy doses of a powerful herbicide
called
glufosinate, had contaminated U.S. long grain rice stocks. The
USDA
admitted it had "no idea" how extensive the contamination
was. Meanwhile Japan
banned U.S. rice imports. Meanwhile the EU is rejecting all
rice imports
from the U.S. that test positive for contamination. The rice
industry has
been in a state of upheaval, with rumors of a massive market
recall
spreading across the country. This week, the USDA announced
its plan of
action: instead of recalling this illegal, and potentially unsafe
rice, it
is working with Bayer to fast-track the approval process. "Illegal,
potentially hazardous rice in grain bins, on supermarket shelves,
in cereal,
beer, baby foods, and all rice products. It should be a no-brainer.
Recall
this stuff to make sure no one eats it," said Joseph Mendelson,
Legal
Director of the Center for Food Safety. "Instead, USDA
plans to rush
through ‘market approval’ of a genetically engineered rice
that Bayer itself decided was unfit for commerce. Why? To free
Bayer
from liability."
Learn more: /old_articles/2006/article_2159.cfm


BOOKS OF THE WEEK: THE WAR IN IRAQ & THE WAR ON U.S.FAMILY FARMERS

BOOKS
OF THE WEEK: THE WAR IN IRAQ & THE WAR ON U.S.FAMILY FARMERS


"The
Best War Ever," by best-selling authors John Stauber and
Sheldon Rampton, is a vital and timely account of why the Bush
administration is losing the bloody and hugely unpopular war in
Iraq. We have met the enemy-and it’s our own PR machine. Ignoring
international law, public opinion and its own Iraq experts, the
Bush team has chosen instead to churn out reams of lies and propaganda
through conservative media outlets and PR campaigns. And as the
book reveals, they’re still doing it…the people who sold us
the war in Iraq are now trying to sell us a dangerous and deadly
expansion of the war into Syria and Iran. Watch the flash video
trailer of
the book here: http://www.TheBestWarEver.com


"Mad
Sheep" is a riveting new book, designed to shake the USDA
to its foundations. "Mad Sheep" is the true story of
an organic sheep farm in Vermont destroyed by the USDA in an effort
to mislead the American public about the real hazards of Mad Cow
disease and safeguard the profits of factory farms and the beef
industry. Linda Faillace, scientist, farmer, wife, and mother
of three tells the harrowing story of corruption, gun-toting federal
agents, and heart-breaking loss with amazing clarity and skill.
Learn more and read the fiery Foreword to the book by Ronnie Cummins,
National Director of the Organic Consumers Association:
http://www.chelseagreen.com/2006/items/madsheep


TIP OF THE WEEK: CONFUSED ABOUT WHICH ECO-LABLES YOU CAN TRUST?


TIP
OF THE WEEK:
CONFUSED ABOUT WHICH ECO-LABLES YOU CAN TRUST?

That weekly trip to the grocery store is getting to be as much
of a cranial work-out as a day at the library. Ethically-minded
consumers everywhere are spending ever-increasing time trying
to grind through aisle after aisle of ingredient and product labeling
mumbo jumbo. It seems there are constantly new labels and certification
logos showing up on products. But what do they all mean and which
ones can you trust? That bottle of "Cruelty Free, Bird Friendly,
All Natural, Hypoallergenic" wonder-goo may not be as great
as it claims to be.
Learn more about the different types of humane and eco-labels
here:
/old_articles/2006/article_2322.cfm


UNTESTED, UNLABELED & TOXIC NANO-PARTICLES INVADING OUR HOMES & BODIES


UNTESTED,
UNLABELED & TOXIC NANO-PARTICLES INVADING OUR HOMES &
BODIES

A recent survey shows that the majority of consumers have little
or no knowledge of how pervasive nanotechnology has already become
in everyday products. The relatively new science makes use of
extremely small particles, on the scale of one-billionth of a
meter in size; larger than atoms, but much smaller than a cell.
Nanoparticles are now used in a wide variety of consumer products,
including high-capacity computer drives, food packaging, shampoos,
sunscreens, and cosmetics. Nanoparticles’ unique behavior offers
great promise to their future use, but some experts are concerned
the products are being released on the market too soon and without
adequate safety testing. Early research has found that nanoparticles
easily pass through body tissues from one area of the body to
another. Laboratory studies already warn that nanoparticles can
cause inflammation, damage brain cells, and cause pre-cancerous
lesions. The fall issue of the journal "Sustainable Development
Law & Policy" takes a good look at the new technology
and the current lack of federal oversight of this promising yet
unpredictable consumer productline.
Read more here:

/old_articles/2006/article_2152.cfm
/old_articles/2006/article_2145.cfm

We
rely on your donations to continue our work on these important issues!
Donate Now!

/old_articles/donations.htm


THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENTS


PRODUCT
PLUNDER OF THE WEEK:

Corporations are increasingly confusing potential investors with
phrases like "corporate social responsibility," "sustainability,"
"green business" and "socially responsible investing."
But rarely do these terms accurately reflect the corporation’s
true business ethics. Greenwashing has become one of the most
successful modern-day marketing arts, whereby corporations tout
themselves as practitioners of sustainability while actually practicing
business-as-usual. Although incredibly popular among green consumers
seeking to make ethical investments, the international SRI (socially
responsible investing) mutual fund industry has fallen prey to
a variety of greenwashing tactics, leaving the SRI market littered
with corrupt corporations dressed up in earth-friendly costumes.
Paul Hawken’s Natural Capital Institute provides an in-depth analysis
of the problems in the SRI market and has begun to publish an
online database to help consumers identify which SRIs and mutual
funds truly promote health, justice, and sustainability.
Learn more: /old_articles/2006/article_2415.cfm


HEALTH NEWS OF THE WEEK: BROWN SEAWEED BURNS FAT


At the 232nd American Chemical Society National Meeting in San
Francisco, new research was released that indicates brown seaweed,
the type used in many Asian dishes, contains an anti-obesity
compound. Dr. Kazuo Miyashita from Hokkaido University reported
seeing significant reductions in fat tissue in rats and obese
mice fed the edible seaweed carotenoid fucoxanthin. "The
mechanism for this effect is a new one," Dr. Miyashita
points out in a statement, explaining the seaweed induces expression
of the fat-burning protein UCP1. Prior studies by Miyashita’s
group have shown that fucoxanthin also helps promote the death
of human prostate cancer cells in culture.
Learn
more:
/old_articles/2006/article_2168.cfm


HEALTH TIDBIT OF THE WEEK: SWEETENED COFFEE CAN MAKE YOU FAT

HEALTH
TIDBIT OF THE WEEK:

SWEETENED COFFEE CAN MAKE YOU FAT

  • A
    20 ounce Starbucks Caffè Mocha with whipped cream has
    490 calories, equivalent to a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with
    cheese.
  • A
    24-ounce Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino with whipped cream
    is equivalent in calories to a standard cup of coffee plus
    11 of their creamers and 29 packets of sugar.

Source:
Center for Science in the Public Interest’s September Issue
of Nutrition Action Healthletter http://www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/coffee.pdf