3 May 2018 — Organic Consumers Association
ESSAY OF THE WEEK
According to internal FDA emails, test results show that hundreds of commonly consumed foods contain glyphosate. Yet so far, none of that information has been made public.
Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by watchdog group U.S. Right to Know, the FDA’s secret is out. Yet according to an article by U.S. Right to Know’s Carey Gillam, the agency is downplaying the results—and making no apologies for hiding the information from the public.
OCA is no stranger to the world of testing foods for glyphosate. But unlike the FDA, we let the public know when foods like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream are contaminated. In fact we’ve sued several companies for advertising glyphosate-contaminated food as “natural”—we’ll soon have updates on the outcomes of two of those lawsuits.
Meanwhile, if you haven’t already, you’ll want to read this latest report on a government agency keeping consumers in the dark.
What About U.S.?
That’s great news . . . but what about the U.S.?
So far, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the “leadership” of Scott Pruitt—who never met a chemical (company) he didn’t like— shows no sign of protecting bees (or humans or the environment, for that matter) here in the U.S.
After 5 million people in the E.U. signed a petition demanding a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, campaigner Antonia Staats said:
“Finally, our governments are listening to their citizens, the scientific evidence and farmers who know that bees can’t live with these chemicals and we can’t live without bees.”
P.S. Common sense would, or at the very least should, suggest that pesticides that are killing millions of bees are probably not good for people, either. Along those lines, a new study suggests that neonics may alter estrogen production in humans, because they belong to a class of chemicals known as endocrine disruptors.
END FACTORY FARMS
‘Beakons’ of Hope?
The industrial poultry industry brags about that number. After all, that’s what makes companies like Tyson, Cargill, Perdue and others so profitable.
But there are two big problems with that number. First, Americans eat too much meat. Health experts say we should eat meat much more sparingly.
Second, most of the meat we eat, including chicken, comes from factory farms—a failed system that wreaks havoc with human health and the environment, is rife with unhealthy and unfair labor practices, and, quite simply, is in the animal torture business.
And let’s not forget. All of these factory farms are fueled by GMO crops, grown for animal feed—and we all know how damaging these crops, sprayed with atrazine, 2,4-D, Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller and other toxic chemicals, are to human health and the environment.
In this latest article on regenerative poultry and grain production, the authors lay out the downside of our “modern” industrial poultry production system:
Today’s system never intended to deliver solutions. It was designed and structured to be extractive, degenerative and profit-driven. Through massive, well-funded campaigns, today’s poultry producers create the illusion that they can deliver large amounts of healthy food at very low prices. But the true cost of industrial food is hidden behind the convoluted systems the industry has created.
Some of those costs are obvious, yet we have no legal recourse to demand payment. Who pays for the ever-expanding list of food-related diseases? Or water contamination? Who pays the social cost of pushing food and agriculture workers into poverty?
There’s a better way. But if we want to disrupt the industrial poultry production model and replace it with a regenerative alternative, we’ll have to scale up the successful regenerative poultry and grain projects, such as those piloted by Main Street Project (Northfield, Minnesota) and Granjas Regenerativas, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and build a whole new system. Can chickens lead the way?
SUPPORT OCA & CRL
Unfortunately, this week’s newsletter (and a lot of our past communications) didn’t make it into the inboxes of others who, like you, are subscribed. Because like other legitimate organizations providing honest communications, OCA has become a victim of the “fake news” police.
There’s plenty of misinformation swirling around in cyberspace. We get that.
But revealing the truth about government agencies conspiring with corporations to hide critical health and safety information isn’t fake news.
Reporting on scientific studies showing the harmful effects of pesticides and other chemicals isn’t fake news.
Sharing the results of tests conducted by legitimate, certified laboratories isn’t fake news.
Yet our email open rates show that the cyber gods think otherwise. So they’re sabotaging our emails every time we use certain words in an email that they deem “suspicious”—though most of those words have to do with exposing the dastardly deeds of corporations.
Along with these latest attempts to keep our emails from reaching subscribers, are the increasing number of attacks on OCA by corporate front groups, including the American Council on Science and Health and Genetic Literacy Project.
The good news? We wouldn’t be under attack if we weren’t seen as a threat. These attacks are a sign that we’re doing our job.
The bad news? These attacks force us to divert precious resources to extra spending on technology issues and defending our work.
The best news? There’s no way we’ll stop exposing chemical companies and factory farm corporations, no matter how many arrows those corporations sling at us.
Now, more than ever, this work is critical. Thank you for supporting us.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
That’s how organic farmer Ben Dobson began his TEDxHudson talk a few years ago. “Appropriate organic farming techniques and properly planned grazing can reverse climate change,” Dobson told his audience.
Dobson has been a farmer his entire life. But it wasn’t until six years ago that he made the connection between agriculture and climate change.
“We emit carbon dioxide in many more ways than just out of our exhaust pipes, out of coal plants, out of factories. We emit potentially more from our soils and by cutting down trees. Carbon is the skeleton of what’s under our feet and we’ve been taking that skeleton out of the ground bone by bone and putting it in the atmosphere.”
After OCA’s Ronnie Cummins recently visited Dobson at Stone Barn Farm, we thought it was worth sharing this TED Talk again, even though it’s a few years old.
Very possibly, according to not one, but several studies linking lawn chemicals—especially 2,4-D—to canine cancer.
According to an article on the website Think About Now:
Studies found that lawn chemicals travel to neighboring yards and inside homes, and chemicals have been found in the urine of dogs whose owners did not spray their lawns. The authors of the studies state how their findings can be used to further research on human cancers.
The article, “Studies Link Canine Cancers to Lawn Chemicals,” cites a six-year study by Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine linking lawn pesticides to canine malignant lymphoma (CML). The study found “specifically, the use of professionally applied pesticides was associated with a significant 70-percent higher risk of CML. Risk was also higher in those reporting use of self-applied insect growth regulators.”
The article also cited a study linking 2,4-D to canine bladder cancer.
In “Can Dirt Save the Earth?” reporter Moises Velasquez-Manoof follows the eye-opening journeys of several farmers who, by rethinking how they understand dirt, become more successful at farming.
In the process, these farmers (and thankfully others) are building soil health, which in turn is contributing to a cleaner, healthier environment and a more climate-stable planet.
Essential Reading for the Week