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Org a nic Consum er s A sso ci at ion



F o o d & C o n su m e r N e w s W e e k ly

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San Francisco Giving Away Toxic Sewage Sludge to Backyard Gardeners and Schools
With toxic municipal sewage sludge being spread over tens of thousands of non-organic farms and ranches across the US, and sold in garden supply stores—often falsely labeled as “organic” fertilizer—OCA is about to launch a major campaign against the sewage sludge industry. But before we launch this campaign we need to respond to the current outrage in the so-called “Green City” of San Francisco, where the city is giving away toxic sewage sludge to backyard gardeners, farmers, and schools, under the guise of it being “organic fertilizer.” Take Action: tell San Francisco to stop endangering schoolchildren and backyard gardeners and dragging organic integrity through the toxic sludge! www.is.gd/52f6k Please call and/or fax and email the Public Utilities Commission and Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office and give them a piece of your mind: SFPUC: 415-554-3155 Mayor Gavin Newsom · City Hall, Room 200 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, SF, CA 94102 Phone: 415-554-6141 · Fax: 415-554-6160 gavin.newsom@sfgov.org

Quote: The Organic Answer to Hunger
“We reaffirm that our ecological food provision actually feeds the large majority of people all over the world in both rural and urban areas (more than 75%). Our practices focus on food for people, not profit for corporations. It is healthy, diverse, localized, and cools the planet. … Our practices, because they prioritise feeding people locally, minimize waste and losses of food and do not create the damage caused by industrial production systems. Peasant agriculture is resilient and can adapt to and mitigate climate change… We call for a reframing of research, using participatory methods, that will support our ecological model of food provision. We are the innovators building on our knowledge and skills. We rehabilitate local seeds systems and livestock breeds and fish/aquatic species for a changing climate… We commit to shorten distances between food provider and consumer. We will strengthen urban food movements and advance urban and peri-urban agriculture. We will reclaim the language of food emphasising nutrition and diversity in diets that exclude meat provided from industrial systems.” -People’s Food Sovereignty Now! Declaration, November 2009

Book: The Value of Nothing
Oscar Wilde observed, “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” Raj Patel’s book, The Value of Nothing, shows how our faith in prices as a way of valuing the world is misplaced. He reveals the hidden ecological and social costs of a hamburger (as much as $200), and asks how we came to have markets in the first place. Both the corporate capture of government and our current financial crisis, Patel argues, are a result of our democratically bankrupt political system.

Stop Obama’s Monsanto Men
Democracy Now! Reports on the Growing Stop Siddiqui Campaign President Obama’s nominee for the Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the office of the US Trade Representative, Islam Siddiqui, is currently a vice president at CropLife America, a coalition of the major industrial players in the pesticide industry, including Syngenta, Monsanto, and Dow Chemical. He was previously a lobbyist for CropLife and also served in the US Dept. of Agriculture under President Clinton and the California Dept. of Food & Agriculture. A coalition of over eighty environmental, family farm and consumer advocacy organizations, including the OCA, have sent a letter to the Senate Finance Committee urging them to reject his nomination. The OCA is initiating a letter-writing campaign asking the USDA to take quick action on the NOSB recommendation. While we wait for the USDA to begin enforcement actions, we’re calling on consumers to boycott fake, falsely labeled organic body care brands, and instead to buy only USDA certified organic products. www.is.gd/52fjK

Update On Climate Art Project
Submissions Due November 29, 2009 Thanks to the many of you who have let us know you’re considering helping OCA participate in the 1Sky Campaign’s “Make Art for Climate” project! We are excited to be able to spread the word about organic agriculture’s amazing potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester climate-destabilizing CO2 in the soil as the world turns its attention to the Copenhagen climate talks. If you send an artwork on cloth, we will incorporate your art into a large banner for use in public actions and demonstrations. The art pieces will be delivered in DC to the Obama administration and key Senate offices on December 4. If we receive your work by November 29 it can also be displayed at Mobilization for Climate Justice events in DC. We are commemorating the 10 year anniversary of the November 30, 1999, Seattle WTO protests and will put the global justice perspective on climate change at the fore as we celebrate the local struggles for self-determination that connected in a worldwide movement against corporate globalization in the 1990s. OCA’s contribution to the events will include a demonstration inspired by Vandana Shiva’s book Soil Not Oil. To learn more about N30 events go to: ActForClimateJustice. org. To get involved contact alexis@organicconsumers.org or mail your artwork to: 1858 Mintwood Place, NW #4 · Washington, DC, 20009.

Oppose Nomination of Shah to Head USAID
Rajiv Shah, currently the USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics and Chief Scientist, has been nominated by President Obama to lead USAID. Shah is on the board of directors for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and was the director of the Gates Foundation’s Agriculture Development program. AGRA and the Gates Foundation have been criticized for working closely with Monsanto and its non-profit research arm, the Danforth Center. In his short tenure at the USDA, Shah has used the connections he made at the Gates Foundation, where he facilitated $37 million in grants for genetic engineering, to fill the USDA’s Research, Education and Economics mission area with biotech scientists and advocates. He has used his USDA post to fund and champion genetic engineering and other novel technologies. In a report to Congress earlier this year on programs delivered by his mission area, Shah emphasized technology over ecology, saying, “We can build on tremendous recent scientific discoveries - incredible advances in sequencing plant and animal genomes, and the beginnings of being able to understand what those sequences actually mean. We have new and powerful tools in biotechnology and nanotechnology.” Take Action: www.is.gd/52fpI

Win a Free Tour at Via Organica Ranch
In celebration of the 200th edition of Organic Bytes, the OCA is offering a chance to win a free visit to the Via Organica ranch in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico! Everyone who donates over $50 in the next week will have their name entered in a drawing to win a free tour and stay at El Rancho, during the time slot of your choice (airfare not included). You can find out more information about the tour at www.is.gd/52fuw

Written and edited by Alexis Baden-Mayer & Ronnie Cummins · Please post, distribute, & subscribe: organicconsumers.org/organicbytes.cfm We are Making Positive Change · Our Work Depends on You! Please Donate: www.organicconsumers.org/donations.cfm

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