Tag Archives: Organic

Beekeepers win major court victory against Monsanto in Europe

A court ruling this week could have major implications for the planting of GE crops in Europe, and for Canadian exports of honey. See the article and link below.

EU Court Puts Limits on Modified Honey

Associated Press, September 6 2011

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Silk Soy Beverage busted by Cornucopia for using GMO soy beans in their Organic lines

September 7, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Mark Kastel, 608-625-2042

Not Crying over Spilt Soymilk

Organic Farmers Celebrating Victory over Corporate Agribusiness

CORNUCOPIA, WI – It’s not often that family-scale farmers can go toe-to-toe with a $12 billion agribusiness and come out victors.  But organic soybean producers, and a modestly scaled but powerful ally, The Cornucopia Institute, are claiming victory over Dean Foods in the organic marketplace.

[Full news release at http://www.cornucopia.org/2010/09/not-crying-over-spilt-soymilk/]

Dean Foods, the manufacturer of Silk, the top-selling soymilk drink, was first “outed” in Cornucopia’s May 2009 report, Behind the Bean: The Heroes and Charlatans of the Natural and Organic Soy Foods Industry, for switching its soybean sourcing from American farms to cheaper organic beans from China.  Later in 2009, Cornucopia revealed that Dean Foods had then largely abandoned organic soybeans altogether, stealthily changing the soybeans in their core Silk product line from organic to less expensive conventionally grown soybeans that the company was calling “natural.”

The shift away from organic outraged many loyal consumers and alienated retailers across the country that were not informed of the change and continued to inaccurately merchandise Silk products as “organic.”

Now leading natural/organic foods retailer Whole Foods Market has decided to shift its soy milk offerings back towards organic.  Saying that its relationship with Dean Foods had “chilled,” Whole Foods indicated it was bringing in a new branded organic soy milk partner, Earth Balance.  The national retailer also told the Denver Post, in an August 27 story, that it wanted Earth Balance’s soy milk products to contain only domestically grown soybeans carrying the organic label.

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New Administration at USDA Steps Up to End Organic Corruption

Industry Watchdog / Washington Post Investigation Brings Down Old Leadership


Washington
, DC: In a strong departure from Bush-era policy, the USDA’s National Organic Program released a memo today banning synthetic “accessory nutrients” — ending a scandal that brought down its former organic leadership.

At issue were some of the nation’s leading manufacturers of infant formula that had been illegally adding synthetic forms of omega-3 and omega-6 oils to their organic products after a sweetheart deal between a powerful industry lobbyist and Dr. Barbara Robinson, the former head of the USDA’s organic program—exposed by a 2009 investigative report in the Washington Post.

Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), by The Cornucopia Institute and shared with the Washington Post, indicated that Robinson, after meeting with Jay Friedman, a lawyer and lobbyist with the powerful Washington law firm of Covington Burling, rescinded a ruling made by USDA career civil servants who found the inclusion of synthetic oils in organic infant formula to be illegal.

“Justice prevailed in this matter but it took a change in the administration in Washington to make this happen,” said Mark A. Kastel, Codirector of The Cornucopia Institute.

Problems and improprieties at the National Organic Program, during the Bush administration, were also profiled in a recently released audit from the USDA’s Inspector General’s office.

Cornucopia, an organic industry watchdog, first investigated the use of these “novel” nutritional oils, derived from soil fungus and algae, in infant formula, because they are extracted using a neurotoxic chemical, hexane, which is explicitly banned in organic production.  “We couldn’t understand why the USDA was allowing this to happen,” Kastel said.

Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act, as part of the 1990 farm bill, charging the USDA with defending the interests of ethical industry participants and protecting organic consumers against fraud.

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Video on Urban Food Growing in Cuba

Young people in Havanna Cuba are growing urban organic gardens within their city. It’s a good model to use for your own backyard ideas and community gardens.

Cuba Urban Gardens

Food For Thought

By April Reeves

In the US the CDC states that food borne pathogens kill 5200 US citizens a year. Bill HR 875 is being pushed through to combat this problem. It will increase inspections and fines. Some say it could destroy the organic industry, although I can’t really find any evidence of this, other than a whole lot of vague poppycock in the fine print.

Why doesn’t the CDC investigate the illness and deaths caused by herbicides, insecticides (pesticides), chemicals they call ‘food’ (artificial sweeteners, coffee creamers, GMO foods, cloned meats, preservatives)? All these wonderful inventions that make our food ‘safe’???