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Organic vs. Natural: Understand the Difference, Educate Others

Organic vs. Natural: Understand the Difference, Educate Others

These past few days have been heaven for college football junkies such as myself. Why? We got to watch a ton of great bowl games and the best is yet to come — January 10th when Auburn and Oregon play for the National BCS Championship. Then, a few months later comes March Madness, the college […]

GMO Organic Regulation Uncategorized USDA
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These past few days have been heaven for college football junkies such as myself. Why?

We got to watch a ton of great bowl games and the best is yet to come — January 10th when Auburn and Oregon play for the National BCS Championship. Then, a few months later comes March Madness, the college basketball championship tournament.

Now that I got the sports plug in, let’s talk about Organic vs. Natural.

I am addressing this now because when I was watching the Rose Bowl game yesterday (TCU vs. Wisconsin), a major potato-chip manufacturer kept popping up with its “all-natural” ads. The vegetables in the ads looked pristine, the kitchen was sparkling white and the cutting board was beautiful. It was about as picturesque and healthy looking as you can imagine.

And, they kept saying their potato-chips were “all-natural”.

According to the USDA’s website, this is what “natural” means.

As required by USDA, meat, poultry, and egg products labeled as “natural” must be minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients. However, the natural label does not include any standards regarding farm practices and only applies to processing of meat and egg products. There are no standards or regulations for the labeling of natural food products if they do not contain meat or eggs.

Did you read that last sentence? There are no standards or regulations for the labeling of natural food products if they do not contain meat or eggs.

As a result, “natural” has been badly abused as a marketing technique, and tons of companies have used genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), synthetic chemicals, and growth hormones in the production of their “natural” foods.

Since the government has been unwilling to enforce any type of standard for the term “natural”, class action lawyers have gotten involved and filed lawsuits against corporations such as Pepsi (Naked Juice) and Kashi who have used ingredients that are anything but natural.

What to do?

Avoid buying products labeled as “natural” and purchase “organic” products.

Organic food has very strict standards — no GMOs, no toxic pesticides or chemicals, nothing artificial, nothing can be irradiated or grown in sewage sludge — and the certification process is rigorous. Organic food is MUCH healthier for a person and for the planet.

So, the next time some person or some advertisement says that a food product is “natural”, now you know what the word really means. Or, doesn’t mean.

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The Future of Food Documentary – Watch it For FREE Online

The Future of Food Documentary - Watch it For FREE Online

I just found out that there is a FREE online version of the very well-done documentary called The Future of Food, and I wanted to pass this information along ASAP. If you have never seen this movie, please watch it as it is extremely important. It gives a very detailed review of how GMO-food evolved […]

DVD/Movie Reviews FDA GMO Organic Restaurants The Center for Food Safety USDA
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I just found out that there is a FREE online version of the very well-done documentary called The Future of Food, and I wanted to pass this information along ASAP.

If you have never seen this movie, please watch it as it is extremely important. It gives a very detailed review of how GMO-food evolved in our country and the tremendous danger that it presents to consumers, farmers and our entire planet.

As I have said many times before, the argument that GMO-food is the only way to feed the world is one of the most flawed arguments that I have ever heard. This is propaganda that the biotech industry and BigAg wants us to believe but is simply not true.

Three things in the movie that I want to point out: Read more »


Destruction of GMO-Crops is on Hold – For Now

Destruction of GMO-Crops is on Hold - For Now

Last week, I wrote about how a federal judge ordered the destruction of GMO-crops for the first time ever. These genetically-modified sugar beets should have been uprooted already but that has been put on hold. To no one’s surprise, Monsanto was not going to just sit there and let this happen. So, the company appealed […]

GMO Organic Restaurants President Obama
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Last week, I wrote about how a federal judge ordered the destruction of GMO-crops for the first time ever. These genetically-modified sugar beets should have been uprooted already but that has been put on hold.

To no one’s surprise, Monsanto was not going to just sit there and let this happen. So, the company appealed this court decision and now the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted a temporary stay, which will block the destruction of these crops until December 23rd.

It is possible that the December 23rd date will get pushed back even further but that is all we know as of now.

This issue of GM-sugar beets is a continuing saga between our government (policies that started with President Bush and continue with President Obama) and proponents of organic food.

I’ll keep you posted on any new developments.


First Time Ever: Federal Judge Orders the Destruction of GMO-Crops

First Time Ever: Federal Judge Orders the Destruction of GMO-Crops

Does it make sense that we have to sue our government to get them to obey the law? No, of course not. But that is what we have to do these days. The USDA is so controlled by Big Ag, biotech and pro-GMO companies that it will completely ignore the law in order to placate […]

GMO Organic Regulation The Center for Food Safety
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Does it make sense that we have to sue our government to get them to obey the law? No, of course not.

But that is what we have to do these days. The USDA is so controlled by Big Ag, biotech and pro-GMO companies that it will completely ignore the law in order to placate its very powerful constituency.

Here’s what happened: In August, Federal District Judge Steven S. White (pictured) ruled that the USDA could not approve the planting of GE-sugar beets until an environmental review had been completed. Seeking to circumvent this ruling, the USDA’s Department of Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service gave the green light for GE-sugar beet seedlings to be planted just one month later, in September. Read more »


My Take on the NYT Op-Ed Piece by Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser

My Take on the NYT Op-Ed Piece by Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser

Tonight, the Food Safety Bill is supposed to be voted on in Congress, and I just came across this op-ed piece by influential organic food advocates Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser. Overall, I like what they have to say. The important Tester amendment appears to be in there and much to no one’s surprise, Big […]

FDA GMO Organic Regulation
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Tonight, the Food Safety Bill is supposed to be voted on in Congress, and I just came across this op-ed piece by influential organic food advocates Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser.

Overall, I like what they have to say. The important Tester amendment appears to be in there and much to no one’s surprise, Big Ag thinks that small farmers should not get any exemption. As we all know, Big Ag and their factory farms are the true cause of all of our food problems — not the little guys.

The main issue I have with this legislation (and this op-ed piece) is that it gives the FDA a tremendous amount of power over food manufacturers. In theory, this makes a lot of sense. Having a government body oversee and monitor our food supply is very reasonable.

However, the FDA is so beholden to Big Ag and biotech that I don’t trust they will use their authority in the correct way. I see them cracking down on the little guys while the major food conglomerates remain unscathed. Even if small farmers are exempt from a lot of red tape, the FDA still will have power to harass them. And, that is what makes me nervous.

The FDA needs to prove that it can play fair and make rational decisions when it comes to organic food. Its first test will be to reject the ridiculous GE-salmon debacle that has been proposed. Yet, the FDA is acting in a very shady manner and everything I read makes me think that they are going to approve Franken-Fish.

Let’s hope they do the right thing and not allow GE-salmon. Only then will I have more faith that they will act appropriately in keeping our food supply safe.


Live Update on Food Safety Bill

Live Update on Food Safety Bill

This was an email I just received from Will Telligman, Legislative and Advocacy Manager for the Organic Trade Association.  I spoke with him briefly this morning about what is going on with the Food Safety Bill and below is the message that he just sent me.  It is copied and pasted below. ————— 2:00PM EST […]

Organic Regulation
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This was an email I just received from Will Telligman, Legislative and Advocacy Manager for the Organic Trade Association.  I spoke with him briefly this morning about what is going on with the Food Safety Bill and below is the message that he just sent me.  It is copied and pasted below.

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2:00PM EST – November 18, 2010

The Senate is moving forward on the food safety bill, S.510.  There was concern that the bill would be stalled due to an amendment offered by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) to exclude small operations that engage in direct to consumer sales.  An amendment to ban the use bisphenol A (BPA) was introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and was also seen as a potential roadblock for the bill.

A compromise was reached on Tester’s amendment that allows small facilities and farms engaged in direct to consumers sales to be exempt from requirements in the bill to create a HACCP plan, but they still have to prove that they have identified possible problems and have preventative measures in place, or be in compliance with state or local food safety laws.  Foods regulated under state or local laws must be labeled as such with the contact information of the operation prominently displayed.  Exempted facilities must sell their product directly to a consumer, restaurant or retailer within a 275 mile radius (the original amendment called for 500 miles) or must be within the same state, and may not have averaged more than $500,000 in sales annually over the past three years.  The final amendment language also allows the FDA to end an exemption if an exempt facility or farm is linked to an outbreak. Read more »


Do You Want to be Eating Genetically-Engineered Fish for Dinner — Forever? If not, Please Watch This Video

Do You Want to be Eating Genetically-Engineered Fish for Dinner -- Forever? If not, Please Watch This Video

For those of you who do not know, the FDA is very close to approving genetically-engineered salmon. If they do, this would be an absolute disaster. Watch the video above to see why. What is even more appalling is what The Center for Food Safety (CFS) recently discovered that FDA knowingly withheld a Federal Biological […]

FDA Fish Food Safety GMO The Center for Food Safety
LivingMaxwell.com

For those of you who do not know, the FDA is very close to approving genetically-engineered salmon. If they do, this would be an absolute disaster. Watch the video above to see why.

What is even more appalling is what The Center for Food Safety (CFS) recently discovered that FDA knowingly withheld a Federal Biological Opinion by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) prohibiting the use of transgenic salmon in open-water net pens pursuant to the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA).

According to Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety, “This adds further evidence that in fact GE salmon pose a serious threat to marine environments and is another compelling reason for the FDA not to approve the fish for commercial use. While the FDA applauded the company’s choice of land-based containment as responsible, it never revealed that it is illegal in the U.S. to grow genetically engineered salmon in open-water net pens.” Read more »