Organic Link Love – Some Very Important Stories in This Post
By now, most of you are probably well aware of the illegal GM-wheat discovery in Oregon.
Since then, South Korea and Japan have halted shipments of wheat from the U.S., class action lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto for negligence, and the USDA has reported that this was an “isolated incident.”
Organic farmers lost a legal decision to protect themselves against GMO-contamination, and in what has to be the most laughable news over the past few weeks, Monsanto and Syngenta executives won the World Food Prize. These two companies are poisoning the environment with their toxic chemicals and yet they win awards.
(If you’re not familiar with Syngenta, they are the proud owners of Atrazine, a toxic weed killer. 76 million pounds of Atrazine is dumped onto our farms each year, mostly for corn, and 94% of our water supply now contains it. Click HERE to watch a shocking video about Atrazine.)
If chemical companies winning food awards isn’t scary enough, just wait.
The most frightening news that you likely haven’t heard about is something that President Obama is trying to secretly push through called Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). While it would impact every area of commerce, it would force the U.S. and other participating countries to “harmonize” food safety standards and make it increasingly difficult to ban, or even require the labeling of, genetically-modified organisms. This is a MUST-READ article and please take action.
In the meantime, we are making small progress on the state level as both Connecticut and Maine passed GMO-labeling bills. Neither is perfect and there are a lot of contingencies, but this is a start. Major, major thanks to all of the activists in Connecticut and Maine for getting this done. Additionally, the USDA finally did the right thing by approving a label for animals fed non-GMO feed.
Hopefully, the politicians in our country will start taking this bee crisis seriously and very soon. If they don’t, here is what our supermarkets would look like if all the bees died off. This is extremely, extremely scary.
Making matters worse was that there was an enormous die-off of 25,000 bumble bees in Oregon last week. The reason? Landscapers sprayed the nearby trees with a toxic insecticide called Safari.
At least in London, unlike the U.S., there appears to be some awareness of this issue. There have been calls for the city’s first organic golf course to help save the bees.
In India, a major steel company is taking to organic farming. Demand is outstripping supply for organic food in Scotland, and there is a small but growing demand for organic produce in Egypt.
While France aims to double organic farmland by 2017, the U.S. is moving in the opposite direction. A Washington State study study says that organic farming acreage is shrinking.
Target has released its own line of organic food called Simply Balanced, certified organic beer got just got more organic, Chicago’s O’Hare Airport now has an organic vertical garden, and after 30 years in business, a bagel company in California is switching to 100% organic.
In juicing news, Florida’s OnJuiceaims to build a national lifestyle brand, Garden of Flavor is taking over the juicing scene in Ohio, and Magic Mix Juicery is keeping Wall Street healthy.
It was an total mob scene at the opening of Whole Foods’ Detroit store, and Co-Founder John Mackey unveiled a smaller store strategy in the UK.
Lastly, I want to give a shout out to two people.
1) Even though it took place a while ago, the news that Chipotle is now labeling its genetically-modified ingredients has only broken over the last week or so. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to my good friend Vani Hari (you know her as the Food Babe) for helping to make this happen.
She has been relentless in getting major food corporations, such as Chipotle, Kraft, Chick-Fil-A and many others, to start behaving in a responsible manner, and her willingness to take a stand on behalf of the general public is priceless. Vani is an absolute force.
2) If you’re not reading Stephanie Strom of The New York Times, please start doing so. She may be the most important food journalist we have in the country right now and is providing fantastic coverage of organics and GMOs.