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RSS News Feeds - Organic Consumers Association

Organic Consumers Association News Headlines

The best daily news about organics, consumer issues, the environment, agriculture, fair trade, globalization and health.


'Everyday People Like It When We Fight for Everyday People'

Bolstering Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-N.Y.) recent remark that "everyday people like it when we fight for everyday people," a new analysis of social media data published on Sunday found that the freshman congresswoman received more Twitter engagement over the past month than any other Democrat in Congress—and it wasn't even close.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

The Green New Deal: How We Will Pay for It Isn't 'a Thing' - and Inflation Isn't Either

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's announcement of an ambitious new Green New Deal Initiative in Congress has brought predictable – and predictably silly – callouts from conservative pundits and scared politicians. ‘How will we pay for it?,' they ask with pretend-incredulity, and ‘what about debt?'

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

Scientists Say Microplastics Are All Over Farmlands, but We're Ignoring the Problem

Microplastics are particles smaller than five millimetres. About 800,000 to 2.5 million tonnes of these tiny pieces of plastic are estimated to end up in oceans each year, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. However, not much is known about the damage these particles cause to landscapes as they make their way to the sea.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

Receipts Are Secretly Really Bad - Why Are We Still Using Them?

If you walk into a neighborhood coffee shop in San Francisco and buy a drink, you'll probably pay on a Square reader and get your receipt by email. If you walk into the Walgreens next door, you might get a foot-long paper receipt.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

The Women Fighting a Pipeline That Could Destroy Precious Wildlife

Deep within the humid green heart of the largest river swamp in North America, a battle is being waged over the future of the most precious resource of all: water. On one side of the conflict is a small band of rugged and ragtag activists led by Indigenous matriarchs. On the other side is the relentless machinery of the fossil fuel industry and all of its might.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

'We're Black Sheep:' The People Who Are Fascinated by Soil in Cities

A recent gathering of scientists on the upper west side of Manhattan enthused about a crucial element in the formation of the surrounding city. The substance talked about in revered tones? Soil. In a fairer world, soil would be receiving reverence from people well beyond the fourth annual NYC Urban Soils Symposium, given that the slender outer layer of the planet supports the life that treads, grows and flies above it.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

French Court Cancels Monsanto Weedkiller Permit on Safety Grounds

A French court cancelled the licence for one of Monsanto's glyphosate-based weedkillers on Tuesday over safety concerns, placing an immediate ban on Roundup Pro 360 in the latest legal blow to the Bayer-owned business.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

How Did the US EPA and IARC Reach Opposite Conclusions About Glyphosate's Genotoxicity?

Many people around the world still struggle to understand how and why the US EPA and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that the herbicide active ingredient glyphosate is not genotoxic (damaging to DNA) or carcinogenic, whereas the World Health Organisation's cancer agency IARC came to the opposite conclusion. IARC stated that the evidence for glyphosate's genotoxic potential is “strong” and that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. 

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

Nebraska Could Be Next in Line to Define What the Word 'Meat' Really Means

Several months ago, Missouri became the first U.S. state to regulate product labels with the term “meat” on them. Now Nebraska lawmakers are looking to do the same. Nebraska's farm groups are pushing for protection against “fake meat”—products that are plant-based, insect-based, or lab grown.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

Trump to Farmers: Wetlands Protections 'One of the Most Ridiculous' Regulations

President Donald Trump pointed to farmers Monday as winners from the administration's proposed rollback of federal protections for wetlands and waterways across the country, describing farmers crying in gratitude when he ordered the change. But under longstanding federal law and rules, farmers and farmland already are exempt from most of the regulatory hurdles on behalf of wetlands that the Trump administration is targeting.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

Why Hemp Could Take off (And How the Shutdown Is Fueling Uncertainty)

After the passage of the 2018 farm bill, which opened the door to industrial hemp production, farmers and business owners started planning for a big year for the crop in 2019. But for now, they will have to wait. Since the government shut down last month, the Department of Agriculture, one of the federal agencies closed by the shutdown, hasn't been able to approve new hemp cultivation plans.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

EU Glyphosate Approval Was Based on Plagiarised Monsanto Text, Report Finds

EU regulators based a decision to relicense the controversial weedkiller glyphosate on an assessment plagiarised from industry reports, according to a report for the European parliament. A crossparty group of MEPs commissioned an investigation into claims, revealed by the Guardian, that Germany's Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) copy-and-pasted tracts from Monsanto studies.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

Take Action to Help Your Local Meat Producers!

The new Congress is busy setting its priorities for the 2019-20 session. So now is the time to let your representatives know how they can help the regenerative organic food and farming movement.

One easy thing Congress can do is to make it easier for farmers who produce pasture-raised meat to process their animals closer to home, and access new local markets.

The benefit to consumers? More locally produced meat at potentially more affordable prices.

TAKE ACTION: Ask your representatives in Congress to be original cosponsors of the New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act and the Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption (PRIME) Act.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

Gambling With Our Health: Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals Cost the U.S. $340 Billion a Year

The diseases caused by exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in our food, environment and household and personal care products cost the U.S. $340 billion a year, says children's environmental health expert Dr. Leonardo Trasande.

Trasande is the author of â€œSicker, Fatter, Poorer,” featured on a recent CBS News segment. The book highlights the potentially harmful effects of thousands of endocrine disruptors, also known as hormone mimickers, which can interfere with the body's endocrine system and cause adverse developmental, reproductive and neurological effects.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

Baby's Death Sparks Water Safety Fight

The battle began with a mother's anguished blog post about the death of her infant. That was the catalyst for a hundred angry neighbors with undrinkable water who gathered at the Lake Aire Supper Club on a rainy September night to consider an extraordinary step: suing one of the biggest players in the state's powerful agriculture industry.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

'I'm Proud to Have Brought the Rain Back:' Reforestation Revives Cambodian Mountains

During the 12th century, people came to Kulen mountain, a sacred place associated with fertility, to cut huge chunks of stone that would have to be hauled down by elephants. In recent decades, despite Kulen becoming a protected area, people have come not just to pick the sweet lychee fruits but to cut trees to sell for luxury hardwood or charcoal in towns further down.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

A Call for the Food Movement to Get Behind the Green New Deal

The final months of 2018 will likely be remembered as the decisive moment when the global grassroots awakened to the life-or-death threat posed by global warming. With violent weather and climate disasters becoming the norm, and international scientists finally shedding their customary caution to report that we must drastically slash (by at least 45 percent) global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, hundreds of millions of ordinary people across the world seemed to simultaneously wake up.

Young climate activists under the banner of the Sunrise Movement in the U.S. and the Extinction Rebellion in the UK and other countries, sat in at politicians' offices. They blocked streets and roadways. They emanded immediate and bold action. 

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

Healthy Food Just Got a Big Boost in the New Farm Bill

Fresh fruits and vegetables just got a whole lot more affordable for people who use SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program formerly known as food stamps. The 2018 Farm Bill passed both houses of Congress with bipartisan support and was signed into law Dec. 20 by President Trump—although SNAP's funding beyond February depends on Congress and the president enacting a new budget and ending the government shutdown.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

'Goat Fund Me' Campaign Aims to Use Farm Animals to Fight Wildfires

In tiny Nevada City, a Gold Rush town in Northern California touting a population of 3,100, folks are big on a novel idea to fight the increasing threat of wildfires: calling in the goats. Vice Mayor Reinette Senum has launched a crowdsourcing campaign called â€œGoat Fund Me,” hoping the online fundraising efforts will garner $30,000 to work with local ranchers on a prescriptive grazing project on city-owned land, including 450 acres of greenbelt.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

Question for Democrats: What Is a 'Green New Deal?'

The term has become a potent brand name for a slate of ideas for transforming the economy and fighting climate change, championed by progressives like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and embraced, at least cautiously, by potential presidential nominees including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Beto O'Rourke.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

Feds, States Can Help Biochar Live up to Its Soil-Saving Potential

Even though every dollar spent on soil improvement can save much more in environmental costs down the road, startup costs can sometimes make it hard for farmers to implement best environmental practices. A team of researchers from Rice and North Dakota State universities argues that this is especially true for using biochar, but that the problem can be addressed through well-designed policy.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

'As World Teeters on Brink of Climate Catastrophe,' 600+ Groups Demand Congress Back Visionary Green New Deal

On behalf of their millions of members and supporters, 626 environmental organizations on Thursday demanded that U.S. policymakers "pursue visionary and affirmative legislative action" such as a Green New Deal to combat the "urgent threat" of the global climate crisis.

"As the world teeters on the brink of climate catastrophe, we're calling on Congress to take large-scale action," said Bill Snape of the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), which signed the letter (pdf) to lawmakers. "Americans want a livable future for their children, and that requires keeping fossil fuels in the ground while greening the economy on a wartime footing."

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

Listen: Dr. Michael Hansen on Genetically Engineered Food

This week's Earth Watch guest on the Sojourner Truth Radio Show was Dr. Michael Hansen, a Senior Staff Scientist with Consumer Reports for more than 20 years. Dr. Hansen and host Margaret Prescod discussed a disclosure rule issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in late 2018 that will not help consumers easily identify food that has been genetically engineered or that contains genetically modified ingredients (GMOs), according to Consumer Reports. 

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

Top 11 Reasons to Start Using Frankincense Oil

Essential oils carry biologically active volatile compounds in a highly-concentrated form that can provide therapeutic benefits in very small amounts. Frankincense essential oil — commonly referred to as the King of Oils — is made from the resin of either the Boswellia sacra or Boswellia carterii tree. Frankincense essential oil is pale yellow-green with a woody, earthy and spicy aroma. Traditionally used in many religious holy rites, it is also commonly used as an ingredient in perfumes and skin care products.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

Consumer Group Wins First Round in Lawsuit Against Ben & Jerry's

A federal judge has ruled against Ben & Jerry's and allowed a lawsuit alleging that the company doesn't live up to its environmentally friendly messaging to move forward.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) filed suit in Washington in July arguing that the Vermont-based ice cream maker misled consumers to think its product is more environmental friendly than it really is, in violation of consumer protection laws. On Monday, Judge Neal Kravitz foiled Ben & Jerry's efforts to get the case dismissed.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

Oral-B Glide Floss Tied to Potentially Toxic PFAS Chemicals, Study Suggests

Using Oral-B Glide dental floss might be associated with higher levels of toxic PFAS chemicals in your body, according to a new peer-reviewed study of consumer behaviors potentially linked to the substances.

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are potentially harmful chemicals often used for their water and grease resistance.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

The Green New Deal Risies Again

Back in 2007, I wrote a column calling for a â€œGreen New Deal,” and I later expanded on the idea in a book, â€œHot, Flat and Crowded.” Barack Obama picked up the theme and made a Green New Deal part of his 2008 platform, but the idea just never took off.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

Agriculture Is a Big Climate Problem. Now Farmers Are Sharing Solutions.

Hans Herren began his farm as a hobby almost 20 years ago. He's been planting grapes and growing apple orchards on an 11-acre plot of land near Napa Valley in California. Thus far, the venture has been a success, but he knows he needs to make some adjustments soon.

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

Organic Consumers Association Wins on Motion to Dismiss in Case Against Unilever-Owned Ben & Jerry's for Deceptive Marketing Claims

Organic Consumers Association (OCA) today announced that the District of Columbia Superior Court rejected Ben & Jerry's motion to dismiss a lawsuit OCA brought against the Unilever-owned brand in July 2018 under the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act (CPPA).

“We are pleased that the court agrees that Ben & Jerry's can be held accountable for the claims it makes about its products, and how the production of those products impacts animal welfare and the environment,” said Ronnie Cummins, OCA's international director. “This is a major victory for millions of consumers who have been deceived by Ben & Jerry's marketing claims.”

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

Getting to the Bottom of the Green New Deal

The Green New Deal is suddenly on everyone's lips. Freshman superstar Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is championing it. The GOP's anti-tax jihadi Grover Norquist is trashing it. But what is it? And where did it come from? And why were its backers protesting Nancy Pelosi?

(01/01/1970 @ 01:00)

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