26 April 2018 — Organic Consumers Association
[First, a whinge about the the UK environmental movement: It sucks! Organisations like Friends of the Earth (FOE) and Greenpeace with millions in resources can’t even manage a weekly newsletter like this one from OCA, a US-based organisation or another I carry here, Sustainable Pulse. Greenpeace do have RSS feeds but you have hunt around the website to find them and my subscription to FOE has yet to deliver anything. What does it tell us about the state of political involvement here in the UK? WB]
ESSAY OF THE WEEK
What Could Go Wrong?
Monsanto is working frantically with its cronies at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to get another 15-year approval for its Roundup weedkiller—before EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt gets fired or Trump is impeached.
Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, is the most-used agricultural chemical ever. Mounting scientific evidence of its human health impacts indicates that it may also be the most devastating.
The EPA has been conducting its required 15-year re-registration review of glyphosate since 2009. The agency was supposed to reapprove or ban the chemical by the end of 2015. We assumed that glyphosate would get the stamp of approval for another 15 years while President Obama was still in office.
Then in March 2015, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) panel of cancer experts, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), did its own review of the latest science on glyphosate. The IARC panel of 17 scientists unanimously agreed to reclassify the chemical as a probable human carcinogen.
The IARC cancer finding forced the EPA to take its glyphosate review more seriously. That slowed down the process.
Now, the decision is in the hands of Trump’s EPA. What could go wrong?
Peter C. Wright is a lawyer who has spent his entire career helping Monsanto and Dow avoid cleaning up their toxic pollution.
Now Trump has nominated Wright to help lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Land and Emergency Management—the office that oversees the Superfund hazardous waste cleanup program.
Wright is currently employed by DowDuPont, which is listed as the responsible party for more than 100 toxic Superfund sites that the EPA is trying to get cleaned up across the nation.
What are the chances that Dow will have to clean up its messes, if the Senate approves Wright to oversee the cleanup of Superfund sites?
Wright has a long history of being on the wrong side of the debate over chemical pollution. One of the tragic results of his advocacy is a breast cancer cluster in Midland, Michigan, home to Dow’s global headquarters. Residents there are exposed to the highest levels of dioxin pollution in the country. Yet Dow continues to block cancer victims’ efforts to seek justice.
With all the drama around Trump’s tweets, his latest “you’re fired” or his most recent #metoo, it’s easy to miss the dramatic policy changes the Trump administration is making—changes that directly affect your daily life.
Don’t miss this opportunity to help stop this disastrous appointment.
We’re surrounded by tens of thousands of chemicals every day. They lurk in our food, drinking water, personal care products, household cleaners, furniture, clothing, children’s toys—you name it.
More than 80,000 of those chemicals have undergone little or no safety testing.
Constant exposure to toxins is making us sick in ways we don’t yet fully understand, says green living expert and Mamavation.com founder Leah Segedie in her new book, “Green Enough: Eat Better, Live Cleaner, Be Happier.”
Our government does more to protect the chemical manufacturers than it does to protect us. So how do we protect ourselves “enough”—without driving ourselves “batshit crazy,” Segedie asks?
In her book, Segedie exposes thousands of brands and products that contain toxic and hormone-disrupting ingredients. She also offers sane, common-sense guidance for choosing safer, toxin-free products, as well as advice on where to buy meat, dairy and eggs that don’t contain antibiotics, GMOs, growth hormones and dangerous pathogens.
Better, Not Bigger
“We have won many victories, but we are losing the planet.” – James Gustave Speth, author, “Angels by the River: A Memoir”
You probably tire of hearing us say it. But here we go again.
We can’t talk about cleaning up our waterways, or fixing an antibiotic-resistance public health crisis, or preserving plant, animal and insect biodiversity, or reversing chronic illness trends, or warding off a global warming catastrophe . . . without talking about changing the way we produce food. All food, whether it’s vegetables or meat or dairy.
And we can’t talk about changing our food and farming system without addressing the (literal) elephant in the room: Bigger has already proven not to be better.
But if not bigger, what? How do we feed a burgeoning population?
The United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) and others who have studied world hunger tell us that the only way to feed the world is by empowering local farmers and communities to feed themselves.
Instead, our government continues to worship at the altar of the giant monopolistic food corporations, whose illness-inducing, nutrient-poor, environmentally damaging food is subsidized by us (through the Farm Bill).
Big corporations haven’t solved world hunger. The number of people who go to bed hungry, around the world and here at home, continues to rise (as do corporate profits).
Meanwhile, we’re allowing these corporations to kill off the ecosystem that supports life on earth.
Our job, with your help, is to educate as many people as possible about the self-defeating myth that “bigger is better,” by exposing the long list of ills associated with corporate agribusiness, especially factory farms.
But that’s not enough. If we were to successfully bring down the factory farm system, what would we offer in its place?
That’s the other part of our job—all of our jobs. To create the alternative. To put in place the local and regional food-production infrastructures that feed the world by working with natural systems, by producing food using practices that restore soil health, water cleanliness, biodiversity.
This is the work we’re committed to, through OCA and through our close collaboration with Regeneration International. Please invest with us in this work—and in the future.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
How do you grow sunflower sprouts? Start your own seedlings without plastic pots? Should you save your seeds?
These are just a few of the questions people interested in homesteading ask themselves. They’re also topics that the managers of Vía Orgánica, a regenerative teaching farm and ranch in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, provide instruction on to local farmers and students. (Vía Orgánica is a sister organization of Organic Consumers Association).
Sustainable living expert Marjory Wildcraft, founder of The Grow Network, and Rosana Álvarez, director of Vía Orgánica, recently produced a series of videos at the ranch, on these and other topics of interest to homesteaders and home gardeners.
This week we highlight four of those videos, in a blog post that showcases some of the training that takes place at Vía Orgánica.
FAIR WORLD PROJECT
Day of Action
In advance of May Day, two groups are calling for a world where the most marginalized working families can live with dignity, safety and power.
The groups—Fair World Project (FWP) (a project of OCA) and the Food Chain Workers Alliance (FCWA)—are asking people and organizations to sign on to a joint statement that includes a promise to participate in a national day of action on May Day (May 1), 2018, International Workers’ Day. Signers are asked to participate in marches, rallies and strike actions.
According to Saurav Sarkar, research coordinator for the Poor Peoples Campaign at the Institute for Policy Studies, while the official unemployment rate in the U.S. is low, employment today often means low-wage work that offers little job security. Writing for Common Dreams, Sarkar said:
Our society’s treatment of workers has changed, too. For example, 28 states have passed so-called “right to work” laws that undermine the ability of workers to organize.
Last month, the Institute for Policy Studies and the Poor People’s Campaign released “The Souls of Poor Folk,” a report on 50 years of change in the issues that affect working people, and particularly those at the bottom. The study looked at systemic racism, poverty, militarism and ecological devastation.
On May 1, FWP and FCWA hope to call attention to a host of labor issues, including increasingly aggressive assaults against indigenous sovereignty, immigrant and African-American families, women, LGBTQ people, the Muslim community and other marginalized groups working in the food industry. The groups are rallying support across communities for large-scale action, on May 1 and beyond.
We now know one of the best ways to improve gut health is to consume fermented foods on a regular basis.
The probiotics in fermented foods like turnips, cucumbers and eggplant help balance the mucus in your digestive tract, protect against disease and chelate toxins, and remove heavy metals from your system.
You can usually find a good selection of fermented vegetables and other foods at your natural health store. But you can also make your own. It’s not that hard to do. Plus, you’ll get more for your money! According to Dr. Mercola:
“Fermented foods not only give you a wider variety of beneficial bacteria, they also give you far more of them, so it’s a much more cost-effective alternative. Here’s a case in point: It’s unusual to find a probiotic supplement containing more than 10 billion colony-forming units. But when my team actually tested fermented vegetables produced by probiotic starter cultures, they had 10 trillion colony-forming units of bacteria. Literally, one serving of vegetables was equal to an entire bottle of a high potency probiotic! So clearly, you’re far better off using fermented foods.”
Mercola.com makes fermenting your own vegetables easy. Mercola’s enhanced formula produces healthy bacteria that promote gut health, beneficial enzymes that make digestion easier on the stomach, and even increase bioavailability of vitamins, like vitamin K2, in your vegetables.
Now through midnight April 30, 2018, get 20 percent off Mercola’s Kinetic Culture Packets and most other Mercola products with this promo code: ORGANIC418. Mercola will also donate 20 percent of the product price to OCA.