Loc: Waterloo, NY
Erin Brockovich: “Ah... say it ain't so... killing us slowly... for so many sources. This is what happens when nasty criminal polluters (DuPont, Monsanto, Bayer, 3M, Dow... to name a few) are aloud to sell millions of tons of their toxic, untested, trillion dollar products... in to the unregulated market place - often with concealed or covered up studies that demonstrate toxicity. PFOA/PFOS are in mothers breast milk, in our blood streams for life, cause cancer, blood disease, and other sicknesses. Glyphosate (Roundup) in our ice cream, Cheerios, and granola bars.”
Glyphosate Found in Most Samples of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
100,000 PAGES OF CHEMICAL INDUSTRY SECRETS GATHERED DUST IN AN OREGON BARN FOR DECADES — UNTIL NOW by Sharon Lerner
Along the way, she amassed disturbing evidence about the dangers of industrial chemicals — and the practices of the companies that make them. Two documents, for instance, detailed experiments that Dow contracted a University of Pennsylvania dermatologist to conduct on prisoners in the 1960s to show the effects of TCDD, a particularly toxic contaminant found in 2,4,5-T. Another document, from 1985, showed that Monsanto had sold a chemical that was tainted with TCDD to the makers of Lysol, who, apparently unaware of its toxicity, used it as an ingredient in their disinfectant spray for 23 years. Yet another, from 1990, detailed the EPA policy of allowing the use of hazardous waste as inert ingredients in pesticides and other products under certain circumstances.
She had to make peace with not fully understanding a personal tragedy, too. In 1977, her house burned to the ground and her four children died in the fire. Firefighters who came to the scene said the fact that the whole house had burned so quickly pointed to the possibility of arson. But an investigation of the causes of the fire was never completed.
Van Strum suspected some of her opponents might have set the fire. It was a time of intense conflict between local activists and employees of timber companies, chemical manufacturers, and government agencies over the spraying of herbicides. A group of angry residents in the area near Van Strum’s home had destroyed a Forest Service helicopter that had been used for spraying. And, on one occasion, Van Strum had come home to find some of the defenders of the herbicides she was attacking in court on her property.
I'm introducing legislation to ban chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxin pesticide linked to brain damage in children. Chlorpyrifos threatens the health of everyone it comes into contact with, from farmworkers in the fields to kids at the dinner table. I'm proud to lead this fight to protect children, farmers and farmworkers.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allowing Cornell University’s Agricultural Research Station in Geneva, N.Y., to conduct an experiment involving the release of millions of genetically engineered diamondback moths. The moths are an Intrexon invention engineered with a suicide gene that will cause the moths’ female larvae to drop dead on cabbage, broccoli and the other cruciferous crops. This means we’ll be eating genetically engineered moth larvae!
TAKE ACTION: Call Governor Andrew Cuomo at 518-474-8390 today to demand a full safety assessment before releasing GMO moths in New York!
Here’s what you can tell Gov. Cuomo:
Stop the Cornell GMO moth experiment. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has a duty to protect the environment and human health. It must conduct a full safety assessment of the risks associated with the experimental release of genetically engineered diamondback moths in an agricultural area. Until this happens, the experiment must be halted.
Where are our state’s environmental regulators?!
In New York State, you have to get a permit to release butterflies at your wedding, but the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is refusing to assert jurisdiction over the release of Intrexon’s GMO moths.
We need our state’s environmental regulators to investigate:
1. Whether GMO moths are safe to eat. If everything goes according to plan, Intrexon’s genetically engineered moth larvae will die on crops (before they’re able to damage the plants). This means we will to end up eating the GMO moth larvae. Regulators should also consider the impact of Intrexon’s suicide gene contaminating nature’s food chain as GMO female diamondback moths, eggs and larvae are eaten by their natural predators.
2. The risks associated with the use of antibiotics in breeding GMO moths. Tetracycline is a medically important antibiotic needed for the treatment of human infections. It shouldn’t be used in agriculture, but it is. Intrexon uses tetracycline to control the expression of its GMO moth’s suicide gene. This is likely to make antibiotic resistance worse. It could also compromise the effectiveness of the GMO trait to control crop infestations with so much tetracycline already in the environment. (Tetracycline is sprayed on orchards and crops.)
3. Whether Intrexon’s strategy is worth the risks. Intrexon, through its subsidiary Oxitec, is trying to convince pest control authorities that the best way to decrease insect populations is to increase them. Their plan to release millions of genetically engineered diamondback moths is counterintuitive and risky. The plan to crash insect populations with the release of GMO moths carrying a suicide gene might not work because of too much tetracycline in the environment or for other reasons. Farmers could be plagued with a new GMO version of an old pest.
4. Whether there’s a better way. According to the New York chapter of the Northeast Organic Farmers Association (NOFA), this risky experiment with GMO diamondback moths is unnecessary. There are already approved organic and integrated pest management techniques for controlling diamondback moth populations and reducing the harm they do to crops. Given the alternatives, Intrexon’s GMO moths will likely prove too expensive for farmers to try, even if they’re proven to work.
Please call Governor Andrew Cuomo at 518-474-8390 to tell him to stop the GMO moth experiment until there’s a proper Department of Environmental Conservation review.
Thanks! Alexis for the OCA team
P.S. There are new Resist & Regenerate chapters forming in New York to address this and other issues. Click here to learn more.
Court Rules Against General Mills Motion to Dismiss, Says It's Reasonable Consumers Wouldn't Consider Glyphosate-Containing Nature Valley Granola Bars 'Natural'
Moms Across America, Organic Consumers Association and Beyond Pesticides announced Monday that the District of Columbia Superior Court has rejected General Mills' motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the three nonprofits against the maker of Nature Valley granola bars. The recent ruling upholds the right of nonprofits to bring these types of complaints against corporations. It also reinforces the notion that consumers can reasonably expect a product labeled "100% Natural" to be free of herbicides.
These three nonprofit groups sued General Mills in August 2016, for misleading the public by labeling Nature Valley brand granola bars as "Made with 100% NATURAL whole grain OATS" after tests revealed the presence of the chemical herbicide glyphosate, an ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup and hundreds of other glyphosate-based herbicides. The suit was brought on behalf of the nonprofits' members in Washington, DC, under the District of Columbia's Consumer Protection Procedures Act.
"This is a huge win for consumers," said Organic Consumers Association's international director Ronnie Cummins. "In making this ruling, the judge reinforced the right of consumers to have reasonable expectations about what a company means by 'natural.' The 'natural' food industry is estimated at $90 billion a year. By slapping the word 'natural' on products that contain pesticides and other unnatural substances, corporations deceive consumers, and cut into the market share for authentically labeled healthy and certified organic products."
Key findings from the DC Superior Court ruling include:...
What You Wear Matters! Quick Guide to Organic Cotton
A Fact Sheet on Organic Cotton - Lower Impacts for Agriculture and Apparel Industries.
3. A Reality Check About Water and Cotton.
It is well established that cotton agriculture and apparel manufacturing, in general, require significant amounts of water. Whether the cotton is grown with chemicals, or organically, each farm and geographic region of the world will have different water usage and impacts. However, the notion that chemical cotton uses less water than organic cotton is false. Textile Exchange initiated a peer-reviewed Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) on organically grown cotton that uses the same methodology and the same LCA consultancy as was used for chemically grown cotton to ensure the most reliable information to base comparisons. Based on the LCA findings, organic production of cotton for an average sized t-shirt resulted in a savings of 1,982 gallons of water compared to the results of chemically grown cotton.
The real issue about water is pollution. Toxic chemicals used in conventional cotton production are poisoning the very water it claims to save.
Class lawsuit takes aim at dicamba producers, accuses Monsanto reps of condoning illegal spraying
“This was Monsanto’s real plan: publicly appear as if it were complying, while allowing its seed representatives to tell farmers the opposite in person,” the suit alleges, based on farmer testimony. “Their sales pitch: assure purchasers that off-label and illegal uses of dicamba would ‘be just fine.’”
Calls to end “ludicrous” herbicide spraying in public forests in New Brunswick
Nova Scotia is no longer funding herbicide spraying of their forest. and P.E.I. is pursuing Forest Stewardship Council certification for all of its public forest; this would mean banning herbicide spraying.
USDA Watch - Organics: Ferreting Out the Fraudulent Few, While Demanding Higher Standards, Better Enforcement
It’s naturally discouraging to read articles that sow doubt about whether a certified organic product meets your expectations. Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize the chances of ending up with an organic carton of milk or eggs produced by an “organic imposter.”
“People have a right to know if CAFOs are releasing hazardous substances that can pose serious risks of illness or death into the air near their homes, schools, businesses, and communities,” said Kelly Foster, Senior Attorney for Waterkeeper Alliance. “This ruling ensures that the public will be able to obtain this information in the future, and will hopefully spur EPA to start responding when hazardous substances reach toxic levels.”
Whitewashed: How Industry and Government Promote Dairy Junk Foods
It’s time to stop dancing around the federal checkoff programs by pretending they are privately-funded. As this report demonstrates, federal government administers, oversees, and approves almost every aspect of the dairy checkoff program. These funds are directly used to promote junk foods, which are contributing to the diseases our federal government is allegedly trying to prevent.