[permaculture] Disturbing news from Organic Consumer Association

lbsaltzman at aol.com lbsaltzman at aol.com
Wed Jun 27 19:19:12 EDT 2007


ALERT:
USDA IGNORES PUBLIC REJECTION OF PROPOOSAL TO ALLOW 38 NON-ORGANIC INGREDIENTS & TOXIC FISH OIL IN FOODS LABELED AS "USDA ORGANIC"
Basically ignoring more than ten thousand emails and letters from consumers and farmers opposing the latest industry-sponsored attack on organic standards, the USDA has approved a proposal allowing 38 new non-organic ingredients to be allowed in products bearing the "USDA Organic" seal. But the agency says this may just be interim approval, and has offered to extend the public comment period another 60 days (the original public comment period was only 7 days). The USDA's controversial proposal will result in the following:


Anheuser Busch will be allowed to sell its "Organic Wild Hops Beer" without using any organic hops at all. 

Sausages, brats, and breakfast links labeled as "USDA Organic" will be allowed to contain intestines from factory farmed animals raised on chemically grown feed, synthetic hormones, slaughterhouse waste, and antibiotics. 

Products labeled as "USDA Organic" and containing fish oil may contain toxins such as PCBs and mercury.



Learn more and take action: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_5225.cfm




QUICK FACTS OF THE WEEK:
CORN-BASED ETHANOL ADDS TO GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS


In the past 12 months, the global corn price has doubled. 

Because corn is the most common animal feed, this affects the price of milk, cheese, eggs, meat, as well as corn-based sweeteners and cereals. 

In the U.S., milk prices have nearly doubled. 

Butter prices in Europe have spiked by 40%. 

Pork prices in China are up 20%. 

In Mexico there have been riots in response to a 60% rise in the cost of tortillas. 

In six of the past seven years, global grain consumption has exceeded production. As a result world grain reserves have dwindled to 57 days. This is the lowest level of grain reserves in 34 years. 

While the UN lists 34 countries as needing food aid, 30% of next year's grain harvest in the U.S. will be converted to ethanol to fuel cars.



QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
"The stage is now set for direct competition for grain between the 800 million people who own automobiles, and the world's 2 billion poorest people."

Lester Brown from the Earth Policy Institute speaking at a briefing to the US Senate two weeks ago. 


SOLUTION OF THE WEEK:
FEED THE HUNGRY AT THE GAS PUMP


Automakers roughly doubled the fuel economy of cars between the 1970s and the late 1980s. In other words, the "know-how" has been here for a long time. 

Over the past 20 years, automakers have used advancements in technology to add more than 800 pounds to the average vehicle and nearly double horsepower, while fuel economy has declined. Be smart about what you drive. 

The grain required to fill a 25 gallon gas tank with ethanol would feed one person for a year. Every time you fill your tank, think about biking, walking, mass transit or just relaxing at home. Live simply so that others may live. 

Next year, 30% of U.S. corn will be used for ethanol. Instead, the same amount of fuel could be saved by increasing average fuel efficiency by just three miles per gallon. Let your Representatives and Senators know that you support strong fuel efficiency standards and a wholesale conversion of U.S. transportation, utilities, and agriculture to renewable sources of energy..Take part in OCA's Farm Bill alert below. 



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