Utah Committee Passes Bill to Expand Raw Milk Sales, Reject Federal Prohibition Scheme

By Mike Maharrey

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Feb. 10, 2020) – Last week, a Utah House committee unanimously passed a bill that would further expand raw milk sales in the state. Final passage of this bill would take another important step toward rejecting a federal prohibition scheme in effect.

Rep. Kim Coleman (R-West Jordan) filed House Bill 134 (HB134) for the 2020 legislative session. The bill would expand raw milk sales to allow permit holders to sell raw milk cream and butter. The current law only allows the sale of pure raw milk even for those with a permit.

The House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee passed HB134 by a 10-0 vote.

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HB134 builds on an expansion of raw milk sales Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law in 2018. Under that new law, a milk producer can sell up to 120 gallons of raw milk per month to consumers without meeting stricter requirements under the current permitting program, providing certain conditions are met.

Passage of HB134 would not only take another step toward opening up the raw milk market in the state; it would also advance efforts to nullify a federal raw milk prohibition scheme.

Impact on Federal Prohibition

FDA officials insist that unpasteurized milk poses a health risk because of its susceptibility to contamination from cow manure, a source of E. coli.

“It is the FDA’s position that raw milk should never be consumed,” agency spokeswoman Tamara N. Ward said in November 2011.

The FDA’s position represents more than a matter of opinion. In 1987, the feds implemented 21 CFR 1240.61(a), providing that, “no person shall cause to be delivered into interstate commerce or shall sell, otherwise distribute, or hold for sale or other distribution after shipment in interstate commerce any milk or milk product in final package form for direct human consumption unless the product has been pasteurized.”

Not only do the feds ban the transportation of raw milk across state lines; they also claim the authority to ban unpasteurized milk within the borders of a state.

“It is within HHS’s authority…to institute an intrastate ban [on unpasteurized milk] as well,” FDA officials wrote in response to a Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund lawsuit against the agency over the interstate ban.

The FDA clearly wants complete prohibition of raw milk and some insiders say it’s only a matter of time before the feds try to institute an absolute ban. Armed raids by FDA agents on companies like Rawsome Foods back in 2011 and Amish farms over the last few years also indicate this scenario may not be too far off.

When states allow the sale of raw milk within their borders, it takes an important step toward nullifying this federal prohibition scheme.

We saw this demonstrated dramatically in states that legalized industrial hemp even as the federal government maintained virtual prohibition. When states authorized production, farmers began growing industrial hemp, even in the face of a federal ban. Despite facing the possibility of federal prosecution, some growers were still willing to step into the void and begin cultivating the plant once the state removed its barriers. Eventually, the pressure on the feds led to the repeal of hemp prohibition.

In the same way, removing state barriers to raw milk consumption, sale and production would undoubtedly spur the creation of new markets for unpasteurized dairy products, no matter what the feds claim the power to do.

It could ultimately nullify the interstate ban as well. If all 50 states allow raw milk, markets within the states could easily grow to the point that local sales would render the federal ban on interstate commerce pointless. And history indicates the feds do not have the resources to stop people from transporting raw milk across state lines – especially if multiple states start legalizing it. Growing markets will quickly overwhelm any federal enforcement attempts.

WHAT’S NEXT

HB134 will now move to the full House for further consideration.


Article source: The Tenth Amendment Center

Michael Maharrey [send him email] is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center. He is from the original home of the Principles of ’98 – Kentucky and currently resides in northern Florida. See his blog archive here and his article archive here.He is the author of the book, Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty. You can visit his personal website at MichaelMaharrey.com and like him on Facebook HERE

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Billions of Locusts Pose an “Unprecedented Threat” to Africa, UN Warns

By Aaron Kesel

Desert locusts are invading and feasting on crops across Africa, and those affected are calling for international help, a new report states.

The outbreak of desert locusts is reportedly the worst that Kenya has seen in 70 years, according to the Associated Press. The insects have been flooding the country from Ethiopia and Somalia, leaving destroyed farmland in their wake in a part of the world that already suffers from hunger, drought, and flooding warned the UN.

“We must act immediately,” David Phiri of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) said.

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“This has become a situation of international dimensions that threatens the food security of the entire subregion. FAO is activating fast-track mechanisms that will allow us to move swiftly to support governments in mounting a collective campaign to deal with this crisis,” FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said in a statement earlier this week.

Phiri called for aid to “avert any threats to food security, livelihoods, malnutrition.”

According to an FAO fact sheet, a swarm of locusts the size of Paris could eat the same amount of food as half the population of France in just a single day. The UN states that even a small swarm of locusts can eat through enough food for 35,000 people in a single day and can travel more than 90 miles.

The FAO estimates one swarm in Kenya to be around 930 square miles, suggesting it could contain up to as many as 200 billion locusts.

Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia are all struggling with “unprecedented” and “devastating” swarms of the insects, the FAO has said. And the locusts are not only eating crops but disrupting farm animals and basic farming operations, according to the agency.

Beyond that, the locusts can even disrupt passenger planes in the region and may have already done just that. In fact, earlier this month an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Djibouti to Dire Dawa performed an emergency landing after the insects collided with it. A report states that the locusts were trapped in the engine and others hit the aircraft’s windshield.

The UN proposed a six-month emergency action plan estimated to cost $70 million. The cost would include aerial pesticide spraying, which they say is the only effective way to combat the insects. However, that task won’t be an easy effort especially in Somalia, where parts of the country are controlled by the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab extremist group.

The United Nations said that the problem could increase in March when rainfall picks up in the region.

FAO expressed fears that if the problem is left uncontained when new vegetation grows, the swarms could grow 500 times by June of this year. If the infestation is not controlled, the agency warns that South Sudan and Uganda are also at risk.

Ethiopia and Somalia have not faced an infestation on this scale for 25 years while Kenya has not seen a locust threat this size for 70 years, the FAO said earlier this week.

In November of last year, Ethiopia issued a call for “immediate action” to deal with the problem affecting four of the country’s nine states.

In northern Amhara state some farmers have lost “nearly 100%” of their crop of the staple grain teff, the FAO said. The FAO estimate that the insects were eating 1.8 million tons of vegetation a day across 135 square miles of Ethiopia.

“The speed of the pests’ spread and the size of the infestations are so far beyond the norm that they have stretched the capacities of local and national authorities to the limit,” the FAO said.

Besides locusts in east Africa, the insects have also been breeding in India, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Pakistan which could turn into massive swarms in the spring. The locusts in East Africa are believed to have originated from Yemen last August, having traveled across the Red Sea.

The unusually heavy rain that has recently hit the region may also be a factor in the swarms, according to Accuweather. Warmer temperatures can also play a role in desert locust swarms.

A donor conference in Rome next week will be asked to pledge $70 million to deal with the plague of desert locusts that are threatening where tens of millions of people already face extreme hunger. The UN has so far released $10 million from its Central Emergency Response Fund to combat the invasion according to to VOA who spoke to Jens Laerke, spokesman for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

By Aaron Kesel | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Insecticides are Becoming MORE Toxic to Honey Bees

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — During the past 20 years, insecticides applied to U.S. agricultural landscapes have become significantly more toxic — over 120-fold in some Midwestern states — to honey bees when ingested, according to a team of researchers, who identified rising neonicotinoid seed treatments in corn and soy as the primary driver of this change. The study is the first to characterize the geographic patterns of insecticide toxicity to bees and reveal specific areas of the country where mitigation and conservation efforts could be focused.

According to Christina Grozinger, Distinguished Professor of Entomology and director of the Center for Pollinator Research, Penn State, this toxicity has increased during the same period in which widespread decline in populations of pollinators and other insects have been documented.

“Insecticides are important for managing insects that damage crops, but they can also affect other insect species, such as bees and other pollinators, in the surrounding landscape,” she said. “It is problematic that there is such a dramatic increase in the total insecticide toxicity at a time when there is also so much concern about declines in populations of pollinating insects, which also play a very critical role in agricultural production.”

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The researchers, led by Maggie Douglas, assistant professor of environmental studies, Dickinson College, and former postdoctoral fellow, Penn State, integrated several public databases — including insecticide use data from the U.S. Geological Survey, toxicity data from the Environmental Protection Agency, and crop acreage data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture — to generate county-level annual estimates of honey bee “toxic load” for insecticides applied between 1997 and 2012. The team defined toxic load as the number of lethal doses to bees from all insecticides applied to cropland in each county.

The researchers generated separate estimates for contact-based toxic loads, such as when a bee is sprayed directly, and oral-based toxic loads, such as when a bee ingests the pollen or nectar of a plant that has recently been treated. They generated a map of predicted insecticide toxic load at the county level. Their results appear today (Jan. 21) in Scientific Reports.

The team found that the pounds of insecticides applied decreased in most counties from 1997 to 2012, while contact-based bee toxic load remained relatively steady. In contrast, oral-based bee toxic load increased by 9-fold, on average, across the U.S. This pattern varied by region, with the greatest increase — 121-fold — seen in the Heartland, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture defines as all of Iowa, Illinois and Indiana; most of Missouri; and part of Minnesota, Ohio, Kentucky, Nebraska and South Dakota. The Northern Great Plains had the second highest increase at 53-fold. This region includes all of North Dakota and part of South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and Minnesota.

Oral-based bee toxic load increased by 9-fold, on average, across the U.S. This pattern varied by region, with the greatest increase — 121-fold — seen in the Heartland, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture defines as all of Iowa, Illinois and Indiana; most of Missouri; and part of Minnesota, Ohio, Kentucky, Nebraska and South Dakota. The Northern Great Plains had the second highest increase at 53-fold. This region includes all of North Dakota and part of South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and Minnesota. Credit: Scientific Reports; Margaret Douglas, Dickinson College

“This dramatic increase in oral-based toxic load is connected to a shift toward widespread use of neonicotinoid insecticides, which are unusually toxic to bees when they are ingested,” said Douglas.

The most widely used family of insecticides in the world, neonicotinoids are commonly used as seed coatings in crops, such as corn and soybean. Some of the insecticide is taken up by the growing plants and distributed throughout their tissues, while the rest is lost to the environment.

“Several studies have shown that these seed treatments have negligible benefits for most crops in most regions,” said Grozinger. “Unfortunately, growers often don’t have the option to purchase seeds without these treatments; they don’t have choices in how to manage their crops.”

The researchers suggest that the common method of evaluating insecticide use trends in terms of pounds of insecticides applied does not give an accurate picture of environmental impact.

“The indicator we use — bee toxic load — can be considered as an alternative indicator in cases where impacts to bees and other non-target insects is a concern,” said Douglas. “This is particularly relevant given that many states have recently developed ‘Pollinator Protection Plans’ to monitor and address pollinator declines. Ultimately, our work helps to identify geographic areas where in-depth risk assessment and insecticide mitigation and conservation efforts could be focused.”

“It is important to note that the calculation of bee toxic load provides information about the total toxicity of insecticides applied to a landscape,” said Grozinger. “It does not calculate how much of that insecticide actually comes in contact with bees, or how long the insecticide lasts before it is broken down. Future studies are needed to determine how toxic load associates with changes in populations of bees and other insects.”

This research is part of a larger project to investigate the various stressors impacting pollinator populations across the United States. One tool created within this research project is Beescape, which allows users to explore the stressors affecting bees in their own communities.

Sources:

Penn State

Journal article

Top image: Pixabay

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13-Year-Old Food Freedom Activist On a Mission to Spread Seed Libraries Across the U.S.

By Jason Erickson

Alicia Serratos has been an activist since the age of 8 when she campaigned to get GMOs out of Girl Scout cookies, according to fellow activist and author Rob Greenfield seen in the video below.

Alicia hasn’t stopped since those early days of promoting food freedom; today at the age of 13 she has turned her attention toward seed libraries which aim to make seeds accessible to more people as well as educate about the importance of seed saving.

As regular readers might know, Big Ag and its corporate and government partners have been on their own mission to criminalize the act of sharing seeds, even going as far as to declare it a form of “Agri-Terrorism”  in violation of the Seed Act of 2004.

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Nevertheless, Alicia is being recognized by sensible people everywhere as a hero for her work. She has appeared in the documentary The Need to Grow, as well as being invited to Rob Greenfield’s World Solutions Speaking Tour.

Alicia’s new project is called 3 Sisters Seed Box, which will be a self-contained seed library starter pack that she aims to place in each of the 50 states.

She details her mission at her blog where you can donate if you would like to Support her work HERE:

My goal is to send out 100 Seed Boxes, with at least one in each of the 50 United States. I am excited to get started, but can’t do it alone. It will take all of you to help me reach my goal. I will need help with donations of organic seeds, a total of 2,000 packs! I will also be accepting monetary donations to purchase all of the other items that will go in the Seed Boxes and to help cover the cost of shipping.

Each Seed Box will include:

A binder, complete with everything you need to know about Seed Libraries

20 packs of seeds (including one each of corn, squash and beans)

20 containers to house each seed variety

20 wooden seed label stakes for labeling newly planted seeds

1 pack of envelopes (to check out and return seeds)

1 pack of pens

1 box

Follow Alicia on Instagram at @Alicia.Serratos  and Facebook at 3SistersSeedBox

Jason Erickson writes for NaturalBlaze.com. This article (13-Year-Old Food Freedom Activist On a Mission to Spread Seed Libraries Across the U.S.) may be republished in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

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In Copenhagen, They Will Be Planting Communal Fruit Trees In The Streets

By Mayukh Saha

Soon you wouldn’t need to buy snacks while roaming in the streets of Copenhagen. The city council has recently made a decision to plant fruit trees for the whole community. Many trees will be planted, including apple trees and blackberry bushes. The trees are to be planted in public places like playgrounds, churchyards, and parks.

The primary aim of the council is to familiarize people with the local vegetation and food. Danish diet has had a variety of food traditionally, but the present generation has lost the connection with food and plants. This plantation drive will hopefully re-introduce the traditional flavors in the food.

The trend of foraging has been on the rise since the last few years at a global level. Denmark is one of the countries that is taking it very seriously though. There are several ecological as well as gastronomic benefits related to foraging. The New Nordic Cuisine uses these benefits to their full advantage. This cuisine focuses on preparing food out of plants growing in one’s backyard.

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Local foraging has been a long-forgotten tradition of Denmark. There are law books from the Middle Ages that allowed citizens to freely harvest food from public lands. The footpaths on private lands were also open to the public for harvesting. People had to follow the trail, though, they couldn’t divert. The recent decision which will allow us to munch on the streets of Copenhagen is thus pretty old!

The age-old practice is now only being extended to the urban areas. Children will find it easier to learn about their native plants now. They will also find healthier options for snacking. Planting fruit trees for the whole community will increase the communal feeling.

Vild Mad (meaning “wild food”) is an app for educating people about foraging. Those who don’t know about the different ingredients and their locations will find it useful. This app will also suggest delicious recipes made from the wild ingredients. The purpose of this app is to familiarize people with the food that grows in their backyard. It will also help the visitors discover all the amazing food Copenhagen has to offer them.

Planting fruit trees for the whole community will prove to be a win-win situation for everyone. People will have delicious fruits to munch on and the city will become greener.


Hey! Message me. I am Mayukh. I help people and websites with content, videos, design, and social media management. I am an avid traveler and I started living as a digital nomad in Europe since 2019. I am currently working on www.noetbook.com – a creative media company. You can reach out to me anytime: justmayukh@gmail.com Love, Mayukh Read More stories by Mayukh Saha

This article was sourced from Truth Theory.

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Atlanta to Transform 7 Acres of Vacant Land Into Country’s Largest Free Food Forest

By Emma Fiala

Atlanta’s City Council just voted in favor of transforming over 7 acres of vacant property into the state of Georgia’s first food forest. The measure, which paves the way for the largest food forest in the country according to Councilwoman Carla Smith, was approved last Monday after a unanimous vote.

The Urban Food forest will be available free of charge and will include edible trees, shrubs, and vines in addition to traditional community garden beds as well as walking trails, public gathering spaces and other features.

“It’s just like going into a park and picking muscadines from a bush,” Smith said.

The land, currently own by environmental agency The Conservation Fund, will be sold to the city of Atlanta for $157,384.00. The agency was in possession of the land after it was abandoned due to a failed business venture.

According to the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

The Urban Food Forest at Browns Mill has been in the works since November 2016 when the city accepted an $86,150 grant from the U.S. Forest Service Community Forest and Open Space Program.

Atlanta’s Department of Parks and Recreation will oversee the property and Trees Atlanta, will maintain the Urban Food Forest. Trees Atlanta has secured $121,500.00 in funding and plans to employ two part-time workers including including a Forest Ranger and a Community Workforce Educator.

Plans for the Urban Food forest conform to the city’s goal to “strengthen local food economy to ensure 85 percent of the city residents are within one-half mile of fresh food access by 2021.” According to the measure, “parks, greenspace and recreation are an integral part of the fabric of the City of Atlanta.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 36 percent of Atlanta was classified a food desert in 2017 and a quarter of the city’s residents must travel more than a half-mile to purchase fresh produce.

Hopefully Atlanta will be the first of many cities pushing for legislation that focuses on the wellbeing of their residents and transitions vacant lands into productive spaces that benefit the people. With many Americans living in areas classified as food deserts, it only makes sense to further legislation like Atlanta’s Ordinance 19-O-1251 to make use of the vacant lands that dot America’s urban landscapes.


This article was sourced from The Mind Unleashed.

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U.S. Organic Food Sales Exceed $50 Billion in 2018


Sales hit a record $52.5 billion as organic becomes mainstream, says Organic Trade Association survey

Clean, transparent, fresh, sustainable. Environmentally friendly, animal humane, high quality, social activism. Those traits are all identified with organic, and in 2018 they all helped push organic sales to unprecedented levels. The U.S. organic market in 2018 broke through the $50 billion mark for the first time, with sales hitting a record $52.5 billion, up 6.3 percent from the previous year, according to the 2019 Organic Industry Survey released Friday by the Organic Trade Association.

New records were made in both the organic food market and the organic non-food market. Organic food sales reached $47.9 billion, for an increase of 5.9 percent. Sales of organic non-food products jumped by 10.6 percent to $4.6 billion. The growth rate for organic continued to easily outpace the general market: in 2018, total food sales in the U.S. edged up just 2.3 percent while total non-food sales rose 3.7 percent.


CHART: TOTAL U.S. ORGANIC SALES AND GROWTH, 2009-2018

Millennials are pushing for transparency and integrity in the food supply chain, and they are savvy to misleading marketing. The USDA Organic seal is gaining new appeal as consumers realize that organic is a certification that is not only monitored and supported by official standards, but is the only seal that encompasses the spectrum of Non-GMO, no toxic pesticides or chemicals, dyes or preservatives.

Organic industry grows to over $50 billion in sales. Almost 6 percent (5.7 percent) of the food sold in this country is now organic. Today’s consumers can find organic products – food and non-food items — in every aisle of their grocery stores. They can choose organic in their favorite big box store, their club warehouse store, even in their neighborhood convenience store, and increasingly on the internet. Organic is no longer a niche market.

“Organic is now considered mainstream. But the attitudes surrounding organic are anything but status quo,” said Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association. “In 2018, there was a notable shift in the mindset of those working in organic toward collaboration and activism to move the needle on the role organic can play in sustainability and tackling environmental initiatives.”

“Activism is a natural reaction from an industry that is really close to the consumer. When we are in an environment where government is not moving fast enough, the industry is choosing to move to meet the consumer rather than get stalled,” said Batcha.

Produce still reigns supreme

Still the stalwart of the organic industry, sales of organic fruits and vegetables rose to $17.4 billion in 2018 for a 5.6 percent rate of growth, on par with the growth attained in 2017. By comparison, the overall fruits and vegetables category, including both organic and conventional products, grew by just 1.7 percent in 2018.

Fruits and vegetables now account for 36.3 percent of all organic food sales. Organic fruits and vegetable make up close to 15 percent (14.6 percent) of all the produce sold in the U.S., and have nearly doubled their market share in the last ten years.

Produce is a gateway to organic for consumers, especially Millennials and those with young families. Industry experts note that the more people learn about health and wellness, the more people buy fresh produce.

Popular in the organic produce aisles: the classics like carrots, greens, apples, bananas. Also hitting stride are organic berries, avocados, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and tropical fruits like mangoes and papayas. And outside the fresh produce section, the frozen, canned, and dried vegetable and fruit sections also made gains.

Innovation is key in the organic dairy market

Shoppers, especially young families, are increasingly seeking out products made from high-quality simple ingredients from brands committed to sustainable agriculture and its environmental benefits. Those shoppers turn to organic dairy as a trusted clean product free of antibiotics, synthetic hormones and chemicals. But growth in the U.S. dairy sector slowed for the second straight year due largely to shifting diet trends. Still the second-largest organic category, dairy and egg sales were $6.5 billion in 2018, up 0.8 percent from 2017.

Although growth in organic egg sales has slowed from the strong double-digit growth seen in the first part of this decade, the $858 million category still grew by a solid 9.3 percent in 2018. As more consumers get into organic, organic egg demand is expected to continue growing.

But where skim milk and low fat products were not so long ago favored by consumers, products high in healthy fats and protein are now popular. Many Millennials have also moved away from livestock-based products toward plant-based foods and beverages. Experts said that to satisfy today’s consumer, the importance of innovation in the organic dairy sector has never been greater. In 2018, the industry responded with milk beverages with increased protein, more full-fat dairy products, new flavors and grass-fed products.

Organic reaching far beyond food

Consumers are making the connection that the same reasons they choose to eat organic food apply to the non-food products they use–whether napkins for their dinner table, food for their pets, lotions they put on their skin or the supplements they ingest. Consumers want clean labels and to reduce the chemical load on their bodies. Millennials also have a higher awareness around supply chain transparency and sustainability. All of these factors bode well for the future of the organic non-food industry.

In 2018, the organic non-food category reached $4.6 billion in sales with a growth rate of 10.6 percent. This rate is both well above the 7.4 percent growth rate reported in 2017, and the 3.6 percent growth rate reported in 2018 for the overall non-food industry (conventional and organic combined).

The strongest growth came from fiber, the largest of the non-food categories, which accounts for 40 percent of the organic non-food market. In 2018, fiber recorded $1.8 billion in sales, up from $1.6 billion in 2017.

An organic outlook of innovation and activism

The outlook for organic is not without its challenges, but all expectations are that innovation and activism by the organic industry will continue to build as the sector works to maintain the credibility of the Organic seal and the trust of consumers.

“Organic is in a unique and tough environment. The government is slowing the advancement of the organic standard, but the positive news is that industry is finding ways to innovate and get closer to the consumer without walking away from the organic program—the sector is innovating yet requiring that federal organic be in place,” said Batcha. “So, whether it’s grass-fed, regenerative, or Global Organic Textile Standard certified, they all have to be organic. The industry is committed to standards and giving consumers what they want.”

This year’s survey was conducted from January through April 2019 and produced on behalf of the Organic Trade Association by Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ). More than 200 companies completed a significant portion of the in-depth survey. Executive summaries of the survey are available to the media upon request. The full report can be purchased online.

Article published by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) – a membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America.

Image by ElasticComputeFarm from Pixabay

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Smirnoff Vodka Switches to Non-GMO Corn, Upsets Big Ag

By Jeffrey Green

Smirnoff vodka is now made with non-GMO corn. Apparently, they made the announcement a few months ago but didn’t get much exposure in the corporate or independent media.

“While Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka has always been gluten-free, 10-times filtered and triple-distilled, now the brand has made a substantial investment in transitioning to using non-GMO corn during distillation,” Smirnoff said in the announcement.

“By using non-GMO corn for Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka, we’re ensuring that anyone who avoids gluten and GMO ingredients in their everyday life still has the option to enjoy a delicious Smirnoff cocktail,” said Jay Sethi, Vice President, Smirnoff, Diageo North America.

They released a short commercial promoting the new GMO-free vodka recipe.



Previously, Smirnoff used genetically-modified corn which many people prefer not to consume.

According to Organic Consumers Association,

GMOs are created in a lab, by inserting a gene from one organism into another unrelated organism, producing plants and animals that would never occur in nature. No long-term safety studies have been done on humans, but animal studies link the consumption of GMOs to an increase in allergies, kidney and liver disease, ADHD, cancer, infertility, chronic immune disorders and more.

Popular GMO corn strains like Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Corn are designed to withstand being heavily sprayed with glyphosate, which has been determined to be “probably carcinogenenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2015.

It’s still unclear if GMOs themselves are the cause of illness in lab tests, or whether the chemical herbicide glyphosate is the primary cause.

Yet, it grows increasingly certain that glyphosate is indeed detrimental to human health. Monsanto-Bayer is neck-deep in lawsuits by sick farmers and others. And nearly all processed food has harmful glyphosate in them.

And, of course, the move by Smirnoff was roundly attacked by Big Ag sources as “farmer smearing,” “a marketing gimmick” and “anti-science.”

Others opined that since alcohol is already considered a carcinogen, who cares if it’s made with GMOs?

Shouldn’t we have a higher standard for any product we consume? Shouldn’t we support products that use the absolute best ingredients available to them?

Bravo to Smirnoff!

Jeffrey Green writes for Natural Blaze where this article first appeared.

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The Cornucopia Institute Issued A Guide To Organic Certifiers: Information Consumers Ought To Know

By Catherine J. Frompovich

In March 2019, The Cornucopia Institute produced a 22-page online report “The Gatekeepers of Organic Integrity.”

On page 5, they discuss “hydroponics” as being incompatible with organic principles. Then, on page 7 “Container Hydroponics” is discussed along with the certifiers allowing them. Livestock management projects are covered starting at page 9 through 15. Certifiers and imported goods are covered on page 16. Personally, I find the report’s Conclusion somewhat inconclusive, pardon my saying.

Here is where consumers will find a “Guide to Domestic USDA Accredited Certifiers.”

March 14, 2019, Cornucopia issued a press release wherein this appeared:

[….] the USDA’s poor oversight of federally accredited third-party certifiers has paved the way for illegal output from “factory farms” that now dominate the $50 billion organic market basket.

[….]

“You can run but you can’t hide,” said Kastel. “Congress intended this to be a transparent process and we aim to shed sunlight on the cozy relationship between organic scofflaws and the certifiers they are paying.

The graphic below is taken from Cornucopia’s online report.

The Cornucopia Institute does an excellent job of keeping tabs on the organic food growing industry for which I, for one, am truly grateful. They are at the forefront of making certain the “organic” label means what it says.

Congratulations and kudos to The Cornucopia Institute, and thank you for what you do.

Image credit: Pixabay

Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.

Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.

Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.

Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)

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70% of Produce Sold in US is Contaminated With Pesticides, Even After You Wash It

By Elias Marat

If you’re buying fresh fruits and vegetables in the United States, 70 percent of it will carry pesticide residues on it even after you’ve washed it, according to a new study from a widely-respected health advocacy group.

The Environmental Working Group’s annual analysis of U.S. Department of Agriculture data offers grim evidence of the over-saturation of pesticides and toxic chemicals in conventional agriculture in the United States, with top crops such as spinach and strawberries counting among the most contaminated produce.

The group hopes the report will inform shoppers of the risks inherent in buying and consuming conventionally-grown produce versus organic fruits and vegetables.

Most surprisingly, kale–that trendy dark green superfood that’s risen to the top of health-conscious grocers’ lists in the past decade–is among the top three contaminated fruits and vegetables, with 92 percent of non-organic kale containing residues from at least two or more pesticides. Some kale sampled carried the residue of no less than 18 different types of pesticides.

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In a statement, EWG toxicologist Alexis Temkin said:

“We were surprised kale had so many pesticides on it, but the test results were unequivocal … Fruits and vegetables are an important part of everyone’s diet, and when it comes to some conventionally grown produce items, such as kale, choosing organic may be a better option.”

Both spinach and kale carried between 10 to 80 percent more pesticide residue by sheer weight than any other crop, respectively ranking second and third on the “dirty dozen” list of popular vegetables carrying the most pesticides.

Strawberries lead the pack, containing an average of nearly 8 different pesticides per sample–a shocking figure when considering that the average U.S. resident consumes around eight pounds of fresh strawberries per year.

Strawberry growers in regions across the west coast dump vast amounts of pesticides and poisonous gases on fields to make them safe for strawberry cultivation before further exposing crops to fumigation. The use of toxic pesticides in agricultural communities has seen California cities such as Oxnard, Santa Maria and Watsonville face mounting numbers of respiratory disorders, birth defects and illnesses, particularly by farm workers and neighborhoods near the fields.



And while the European Union has banned many of the pesticides used by U.S. strawberry growers, lobbyists from corporations like Dow Chemical Company have ensured that government turns a blind eye to the overuse of carcinogenic pesticides.

The EWG also noted that over “90 percent of samples of strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, nectarines and kale tested positive for residues of two or more pesticides.”

All nutritional experts and scientists agree that people benefit from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, as well as fresh produce–be it organic or conventional, depending on people’s budgetary constraints.

Yet the continued excessive usage of pesticides–largely by big food manufacturers and growers seeking to minimize costs–has made it difficult for health experts and regulatory bodies to accurately gauge the extent of pesticide exposure in our day-to-day lives, let alone to understand how the combinations of chemicals we’re exposed to can affect our bodies.

EWG research analyst Carla Burns noted:

The main route of pesticide exposure for most Americans who do not live or work on or near farms is through their diet … Studies have shown that eating fruits and vegetables free of pesticides benefits health, and this is especially important for pregnant women and children

Yet the researcher noted that regardless of the grim findings from the EWG study, “the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure.”

EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” for 2019 is:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes



This article was sourced from The Mind Unleashed

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