STOP THE USDA’S LATEST SNEAK ATTACK ON ORGANIC STANDARDS

ALERT

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, no doubt hoping to limit public controversy, has announced a very short public comment period (ends May 12, 2006) on proposed new federal regulations that will weaken organic standards. USDA’s proposed amendments, supported by grocery store chains and large food corporations, will allow so-called organic dairy feedlots to continuously import calves from conventional farms—where the calves have been weaned on blood, dosed with antibiotics, and fed genetically engineered grains and slaughterhouse waste. USDA’s new rules will also allow over 500 artificial (synthetic) substances in organic processed foods without prior scrutiny and review by the National Organic Standards Board. USDA’s latest efforts are basically an attempt to codify last fall’s controversial “Sneak Attack” in Congress, when industry players and the Organic Trade Association convinced the Republican Party majority to attach a last minute rider to the 2006 Agricultural Appropriations Bill. Take action now and tell the USDA to back off on lowering standards!

http://www.organicconsumers.org/sos.cfm



ALERT: FREE THOUSANDS OF AMERICA’S ORGANIC COWS FROM INTENSIVE CONFINEMENT

The USDA is also seeking public comments on revisions it has made to the National Organic Program regarding pasture access for organic dairy cattle. Two of the largest organic dairy companies in the nation, Horizon Organic (a subsidiary of Dean Foods), a supplier to Wal-Mart and many health food stores; and Aurora Organic, a supplier of private brand name organic milk to Costco, Safeway, Giant, Wild Oats and others, are purchasing the majority of their milk from so-called organic feedlot dairies where the cows are kept in intensive confinement, with little or no access to pasture. Together, Horizon and Aurora control nearly 65% of the organic dairy market. Recent scientific studies have shown that humanely raised, grass-fed dairy and beef are qualitatively better for human health and the environment. Take action to close the loopholes in organic standards that currently allow factory farm dairies to call their products “organic.”

http://www.organicconsumers.org/nosb2.htm



HORIZON AND AURORA BANNED IN CO-OPS

One month ago, after a poll of our members, the Organic Consumers Association called on consumers to boycott dairy companies like Horizon and Aurora for their practice of raising "organic" cattle on intensive confinement feedlots. A number of natural food stores and co-ops across the U.S. are beginning to respond to concerned consumers and removing suspect dairy products from their stores. The Wedge Co-op in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the second largest co-op in the U.S., no longer carries Horizon products. In Colorado, the Boulder Co-op Market, has also discontinued stocking Horizon products. Amy Wyatt, Assistant General Manager for the Co-op, says, "Based on our concerns regarding Horizon's practices, we didn't feel that continuing to carry this company's products was consistent with our mission and values.” Dean Foods, Horizon’s parent company, is also starting to come under fire for abandoning U.S. organic soybean farmers and importing cheap soybeans from China, where organic standards are dubious, and farm labor wages and conditions are abysmal. Dean Foods now controls the nation’s largest organic soymilk brand, Silk, as well as the largest organic tofu brand, White Wave.

Learn more: http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_400.cfm



PROTEST STARBUCKS:

Frankenbucks National Week of Action June 19th-25th Despite years of grassroots pressure, Starbucks continues to serve milk from cows that are injected with Monsanto’s controversial genetically engineered recombinant bovine growth hormone, also known as rBGH or rBST. Virtually every industrial country, except for the United States, has banned the use of rBGH. Milk produced from cows injected with rBGH poses serious hazards to human health, including increased risks for cancer. The time has come to kick rBGH off the market, once and for all. If Starbucks, a major buyer of milk, were to ban rBGH dairy products in its coffee beverages other major corporations would likely do the same. Join OCA and allies June 19-25, to protest or leaflet at Starbucks cafes in your neighborhood. Help us reach our goal of 300 actions!

Click here to leaflet Starbucks or for more information
http://organicconsumers.org/Starbucks/

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