Monday, November 13, 2017

USA - ALL 50 STATES DEMAND GOVERNORS TO BAN GLYPHOSATE

Press release                               
For Immediate Release
Monday, November 13, 2017
Mission Viejo, CA - Moms Across America announces a nationwide campaign to ban glyphosate herbicides in all fifty of the United States. Support from The California Guild, Organic Consumers Association, Institute for Responsible Technology and Thinking Moms Revolution, with millions of supporters collectively, urge state governors to protect their residents and children. 
“European Member states, after considering volumes of scientific studies and numerous testimonies by lawyers and researchers, have refused to renew the license for glyphosate. If it is not safe for Europeans, and Malta, Sri Lanka, The Netherlands, and Argentina who have banned glyphosate, then we do not want glyphosate in our United States. We urge our governors to take bold steps like the Governor of Arkansas and Missouri did in banning Dicamba, and ban glyphosate herbicides and toxic chemicals immediately.”- Zen Honeycutt, Executive Director of Moms Across America
Glyphosate herbicides or Monsanto'sRoundUp weed killer, the most widely used herbicide in history, has been proven to cause serious harm to life. Glyphosate has contaminated our planet and is now found in our children's urine, mother's milk, our bloodstreams, and our food, beverages, and water.
In 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization found that glyphosate “is a probable human carcinogen.”
In July of 2017 the California State Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) added glyphosate to its Prop 65 list of known carcinogens.
In October of 2017, after 1 million Europeans requested a ban, 72% of the Members of the European Parliament voted to BAN glyphosate and EU Member states have refused to renew the license.
Malta, Sri Lanka, The Netherlands, and Argentina have banned glyphosate. Many school districts and cities in the United States have already discontinued the use of glyphosate.
Glyphosate ban requests are already being considered by Governor Brown of California from the California Guild. Pesticides including glyphosate have already been banned in Connecticut for use on school and daycare grounds. The Governors of Arkansas and Missouri have already banned Dicamba, proving that statewide action can be taken to protect citizens.
Glyphosate herbicides have also been found to be linked to various cancers specifically lymphoma, are endocrine disruptors, neurotoxic, and a cause of liver disease. Global studies show that we are routinely exposed to dangerous levels of glyphosate. Millions of citizens in all fifty states come in contact with glyphosate daily. The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that our children are the most vulnerable to pesticides, we need to take action to protect the future of our state.
Over 1000 Americans are currently suing Monsanto, the manufacturer of glyphosate herbicides, for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. The Justice Department is investigating Monsanto for corruption, coverups, and collusion with the EPA in relation to the carcinogenic effects of glyphosate.
All 50 state governors are being petitioned by moms and supporters through Change.org and local state residents from each state are launching a mail-in campaign today requesting meetings with their governors. The campaign came together in just 5 days after The Doctors aired an episode of the Monsanto lawsuit and the EU members refused to renew glyphosate.
Honeycutt adds, “Now is the time. Our country is in an unaffordable and tragic public health crisis. Toxic chemicals have been shown to contribute to or cause many of these health issues, especially for our children.  It’s time for our states to take actions that our EPA is not willing to take. They can, must and we believe, will protect our citizens from irreparable harm. It’s just a matter of which state will be the first to ban glyphosate?”

Moms Across America is a 501c3 non profit organization whose motto is "Empowered Moms, Healthy Kids."
-- 
Zen Honeycutt
Executive Director, Moms Across America
Mission Viejo, CA. 92691

Empowered Moms, Healthy Kids

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PESTICIDE SPRAY -CALIFORNIA LEADS WITH BAN NEAR SCHOOLS JAN 1, 2018

Image result for ABC News imagesCalifornia bans use of some farming pesticides near schools    


Lemoore, Calif. California regulators have announced a new rule that bans farmers from using 
certain pesticides near schools and day care centers. The state's Department of Pesticide 
Regulation announced the new rule Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. The department says the new 
regulation is among the strictest pesticide in the U.S. (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian, File)
California has banned farmers from using certain pesticides near schools and day care centers under a new rule announced Tuesday that regulators said is among the toughest in the U.S.
Under the new rule, California farmers will be prohibited from spraying pesticides within a quarter mile (0.4 kilometers) of public K-12 schools and licensed daycare centers from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the school week, the state Department of Pesticide Regulation said in a statement.
The new regulations take effect Jan. 1 and apply to crop dusters flying over fields, air blasters spraying orchards and fumigants along with most dust and powder pesticides that could be blown onto school grounds by the wind.
"These rules will help to further protect the health of children, teachers and school staff from unintended pesticide exposure," Brian Leahy, the department's director said in the statement.
Some California counties already require buffer zones between schools and areas where pesticides are sprayed on crops.
But the new rule is the first statewide standard of its kind, the department said. It is meant to safeguard about 4,100 schools and day cares and will affect about 2,500 California farms growing everything from almonds, strawberries and grapes to produce wine, officials said. Violators will face fines up to $5,000.
Farmers will also be required to annually tell schools and county agriculture offices about the pesticides they expect to use near school buildings. School officials will have the option of deciding whether to share that information with parents.
Farmers who criticize the new rule have said they are being unfairly targeted because schools often build campuses on cheaper land outside of town centers where the farmers tilled the soil long before students arrived.
"Nobody is going to argue, we need to do whatever we can to protect our children," said Bruce Blodgett, executive director of the San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation. "But we need to take a step back here. It's not that the farms went to the schools, the schools were built in the farm areas. We need better guidelines about where we're building schools."
Farmers are mindful of neighboring schools and don't spray crops with pesticides when it could harm children, he said.
But officials said more than 50 people have been sickened since 2005 by pesticides that drifted onto school campuses, illustrating the need for the stricter regulations.
In the most recent incident, about two dozen students and staff at Coachella Valley High School in Riverside County reported feeling ill in October 2015 after a grower used a pesticide near the school and the wind changed direction, said Charlotte Fadipe, a pesticide department spokeswoman.
Under the rule, farmers will be limited to spraying near schools at night and on weekends, when students are usually not on campus.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

NO GLYPHOSATE RENEWAL EU VOTE - MOVED TO NOV 6 2017

Glyphosate – the latest

Newsflash – 25th October, 11am – EU fails to renew glyphosate and delays decision until 6th November
Following today’s meeting of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCOPAFF) it appears that we are no nearer to an answer on the future of glyphosate in the European Union.
Representatives of Member States failed to reach agreement on whether or not the controversial weed killer should have its approval renewed. The European Commission’s proposal to renew it for periods of either ten, seven or five years all failed to gain sufficient support. The Commission will now take into account the views of Member States and return in November for further discussions.
However, in what can be seen to be very encouraging news, there was more opposition to approving glyphosate than had been expected. Belgium, Greece, Croatia, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Austria, Slovenia and Sweden were all opposed to renewal.
Sadly the UK was in favour of continued use of glyphosate thus following its long ignoble tradition of siding with the pesticide industry rather than voting for greater protection for the health and environment of the people of the UK.
The vote is now due to be held in just under two weeks’ time on 6th November. PAN UK will continue to work with our colleagues to put pressure on relevant decision makers to ban glyphosate in the EU once and for all.
European Parliament sends clear message – it is time to ban glyphosate
PAN UK welcomes the result of today’s (Tuesday, 24th October) vote in the European Parliament which passed a Resolution calling for restrictions on the use of the controversial weed killer glyphosate. Whilst the resolution does not call for an immediate ban it does insist on a phase out of all uses within the EU by 2022. Also included on the recommendations of the Resolution are calls for an immediate ban on all non-agricultural uses of glyphosate.
PAN UK once again applauds the European Parliament and the MEPs, including those of the UK that supported this Resolution. Whilst it is non-binding it sends a clear message that the will of the people of the EU and of their representatives in Parliament clearly see that it is time to get rid of this insidious chemical.
It is to be hoped that this Resolution, the 1.3 million signatures from EU Citizens and the clear evidence that viable alternatives are available will be reflected on Wednesday, 25th October, when the final decision on glyphosate approval is expected to be delivered by the European Commission.
Find further information:  http://www.pan-uk.org/ban-glyphosate/

Thursday, September 14, 2017

USDA SUED BY MILLIONS TO KEEP HIGHEST ORGANIC STANDARD

NEWS RELEASE                                                                 
Contact: Maggie McNeil  (mmcneil@ota.com)                                                                                                          
                (202-403-8514; 202-615-7997)

Farmers, businesses, certifiers and consumers lock arms in lawsuit to defend organicOrganic Trade Association sues USDA over failure to advance organic livestock standards


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 13, 2017) – Taking action to defend the organic seal and organic standards, the Organic Trade Association on Wednesday is filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture over its failure to put into effect new organic livestock standards.

“We are standing up on behalf of the entire organic sector to protect organic integrity, advance animal welfare, and demand the government keep up with the industry and the consumer in setting organic standards,” said Laura Batcha, Executive Director and CEO of the Organic Trade Association.

The suit alleges the U.S. Department of Agriculture violated the Organic Foods Production Act, and unlawfully delayed the effective date of the final livestock standards that were developed by industry and in accordance with the processes established by Congress, and with abusing the agency’s discretion by ignoring the overwhelming public record established in support of these organic standards. The trade association further contends that the Trump Administration’s Regulatory freeze order issued to federal agencies on Jan. 20, 2017, should not apply to organic standards because they are voluntary and are required only of those farms and businesses that opt in to be certified organic.

Supporting the Organic Trade Association in the suit, as groups harmed by this protracted government inaction, are organizations representing organic livestock farmers, organic certification agencies, and organic retailers and consumers.

Batcha said the Organic Trade Association’s duty to protect the U.S. organic sector and enable it to advance, to uphold the integrity of the organic seal and to honor the consumer trust in that seal compelled the association – on behalf of the organic industry -- to take the legal action against the Administration.

“The organic industry takes very seriously its contract with the consumer and will not stand aside while the government holds back the meaningful and transparent choice of organic foods that deliver what the consumer wants,” said Batcha. “The government’s failure to move ahead with this fully-vetted regulation calls into question the entire process by which organic regulations are set – a process that Congress created, the industry has worked within, and consumers trust.”

“The viability of the organic market rests on consumer trust in the USDA Organic seal, and trust that the organic seal represents a meaningful differentiation from other agricultural practices,” said Batcha, who noted that the Board of the Organic Trade Association voted unanimously to initiate the lawsuit.

What the organic livestock standard says
The Organic Livestock and Poultry Production rule, commonly referred to as the Organic Animal Welfare Rule, is the result of 14 years of public and transparent work within the process established by Congress, and reflects deep engagement and input by organic stakeholders during multiple administrations, both Republican and Democrat.

It addresses four broad areas of organic livestock and poultry practices, including living conditions, animal healthcare, transport, and slaughter. The OLPP represents a refinement and clarification of a series of organic animal welfare recommendations incorporated into the Organic Foods Production Act of 2002, which established the federal regulations overseeing the U.S. organic sector.

The rule:
·      Establishes minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements for poultry,
  • Clarifies how producers and handlers must treat livestock and chickens to ensure their health and well-being throughout life, including transport and slaughter,
  • Specifies which physical alterations are allowed and prohibited in organic livestock and poultry production,
  • Provides more than ample timelines for producers to come into compliance including:
    • five years to establish outdoor access requirements for egg operations
    • three years for broiler operations to establish indoor space requirements
    • one year for all other adjustments.
  • Levels the playing field by clarifying the existing organic standards.
Fourteen years of engagement culminate in over 47,000 comments in 30 days against second delay
 
After extensive public input and a thorough vetting process that included the transparent review and recommendation process of the National Organic Standards Board, an audit by the Agriculture Department’s Office of Inspector General and solid economic analysis by the National Organic Program,  the National Organic Program released the final rule on Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices on January 19, 2017, and published it in theFederal Register on that day. Due to a White House Memorandum to federal agencies released on January 20, 2017, requesting a regulatory freeze on rules recently published or pending, the effective date of the rule was delayed to May 19,2017.

On May 10, 2017, the USDA delayed the effective date again by an additional six months to November 14, 2017, and opened a 30-day comment period asking for responses to four possible options for the Final Rule:
(1) let the rule become effective, which would mean the rule would become effective on Nov. 14, 2017;
(2) suspend the rule indefinitely, during which time the Agriculture Department would consider whether to implement, modify or withdraw the Final Rule, (3) delay the effective date of the rule further, beyond Nov. 14, (4) withdraw the rule.

More than 47,000 comments were received during the 30-day comment period, with 99 percent of those comments in support of the rule becoming effective as written without further delays, on Nov. 14, 2017.

“Producers are organic because they choose to be. It’s a voluntary system, and the organic sector welcomes clear and fair standards under which to operate,” said Batcha. “Organic regulations apply only to certified organic producers, and those organic producers are overwhelmingly in favor of this new regulation. Most of the criticism of the new organic animal welfare rule has come from outside the sector, and by special interest groups not impacted by the regulation, but which would like to override the will of our members.”

“It is important to note this issue did not just arise in 2017, rather it is the result of many years of failure of good government,” Batcha added.

“The organic industry has been fighting for this rule for years,” said Jesse Laflamme, owner and CEO of organic egg producer Pete and Gerry’s Organics. “Certified organic egg, dairy and animal producers hold their operations to a higher standard of animal welfare than is required, because it is the right thing to do and it is what our customers expect. The organic industry works hard to live up to the expectation of its consumers, and we expect the USDA to live up to its mandate to oversee the industry in a way that is fair and will enable us to continue to prosper.”

Organic farmer cooperative Organic Valley CEO George Siemon said that the government’s failure to allow this regulation to be implemented could jeopardize consumer trust in organic.

“The  organic consumer and  community have worked closely with USDA to help craft this sound regulation, and have followed the established rulemaking process. For the Administration to now let political pressure derail that progress is an assault on the trust in the organic process that the organic industry works so hard every day to earn,” said Siemon. “Organic Valley works with thousands of organic dairy, laying hen, beef,  hog and poultry producers, and has long advocated for action to clarify the living conditions and expectations for animal care in organic. Animal living conditions and welfare are a critical part of an organic livestock system. We in organic need to lead on this front, and the consumer’s trust in organic needs to be respected.”

What the lawsuit alleges

  • That USDA has violated the Administrative Procedure Act because the repeated delays were issued without any public process.
  • That USDA has violated the Administrative Procedure Act and abused its discretion by proposing action to indefinitely delay or kill the rule, in stark contrast to the established public process.
  • That USDA has violated the Organic Foods Production Act and its consultation provisions enacted to apply in just these circumstances for industry and public stakeholders to revise, refine, and advance organic standards via a well defined process.
  • That the Trump Administration Executive Order freezing regulations should not apply to the voluntary industry-driven organic standards that allow for businesses to opt in or out.
The lawsuit also describes the extensive public process and overwhelming record used to develop the standards, and details the faulty appeals decision from USDA on the use of “porches” to comply with the existing outdoor access requirements of the standard that have resulted in an uneven playing field.

The Organic Trade Association asks the court to reverse the agency’s decisions to delay and eliminate options proposed by USDA to further delay, rewrite, or permanently shelve the rule -- thereby making the final livestock rule effective immediately, as written.

Supporting the Organic Trade Association are groups harmed by USDA action including:
  • Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative owned by more than 2,000 organic farm families;
  • Jesse Laflamme of Pete & Gerry’s Eggs partnering with  over 100 independent, family-owned and operated farms across 14 states;
  • National Co+op Grocers and its 200 retailer food co-ops owned by over 1.3 million consumers;
  • The Accredited Certifiers Association non-profit educational organization whose members include 53 accredited certification agencies working to ensure the integrity of organic certification in the United States.
Consumers buying organic because they know it makes a difference

American consumers are eating more organic food than ever before, show the findings of the Organic Trade Association’s 2017 Organic Industry Survey. Organic food sales in the U.S. totaled $43.1  billion in 2016, marking the first time organic food sales in this country have broken through the $40 billion mark. Organic food now accounts for more than five percent of total food sales in this country, another significant first for organic.

Organic meat and poultry sales posted new records in 2016, increasing by more than 17 percent to $991 million, for the category’s biggest-ever yearly gain. Sales are expected to surpass the $1 billion mark for the first time in 2017. Growing awareness of organic’s more encompassing benefits over natural, grass-fed or hormone-free meats and poultry is spurring consumer interest in organic meat and poultry aisles.

In March 2017, Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a national phone survey on the opinions of Americans regarding the organic label. The survey found that six out of ten Americans said it is highly important that the animals used to produce organic food are raised on farms with high standards for animal welfare. For consumers who always or often buy organic, this number rose to 86 percent. Also, more than half of Americans say it is highly important that eggs labeled organic come from hens able to go outdoors and move freely outside. Among consumers who always or often buy organic, that number rises to 83 percent.

“Consumers rely on organic livestock and poultry being raised according to the highest standards, and they trust that the organic seal is an assurance of those high standards,” said Batcha. “The organic sector does not take for granted the trust of the consumers we serve, and we work hard every single day to maintain it. Organic is an opt-in regulated marketing program that ensures products bearing the USDA Organic seal meet strict consistently applied standards and provide the consumer a meaningful choice. The future of the organic market rests on consumer trust, and the organic sector depends on the USDA to set organic standards fairly and according to the law.”


The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing over 9,500 organic businesses across 50 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect ORGANIC with a unifying voice that serves and engages its diverse members from farm to marketplace.

The Organic Trade Association does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation or marital/family status. Persons with disabilities, who require alternative means for communication of program information, should contact us.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

WANT GLYPHOSATE-FREE FOOD?

Glyphosate Residue Free Food Label Starts Wave of Transparency for US Brands

12th July 2017
Source: http://sustainablepulse.com/2017/07/12/glyphosate-residue-free-food-label-starts-wave-of-transparency-for-us-brands/#.WWY7o4R97IU

Chosen Foods and Heavenly Organics have started a wave of Glyphosate Residue Free certified brands in the U.S., in what is being described as a “consumer-based push for transparency”.

The past week has seen the first wave of Glyphosate Residue Free brands entering the U.S. grocery market and many large brands including USDA organic and non-GMO certified brands have shown deep interest in the new certification.

Why are brands interested in Glyphosate Residue Free certification?

Glyphosate is the most used pesticide in the World and has the highest public profile of any chemical used in food production. It has been found in a range of popular American food products and in the urine of 93% of people tested by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).

The revelation from WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2015 that glyphosate is a ‘probable human carcinogen’ has led to consumers around the World asking for transparency regarding the levels of glyphosate in their food.

Henry Rowlands, Director of The Detox Project (owner of the Glyphosate Residue Free label), stated on Tuesday that “Glyphosate Residue Free certification enables food manufacturers to give consumers what they really want – glyphosate residue free food.

“Currently the toxic chemical testing standards for both non-organic and organic food are very weak but we aim to change this by certifying ingredients and food products – consumers have the right to know what toxic chemicals are in the food they buy at grocery stores across the U.S.”

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Chosen Foods

9 products certified Glyphosate Residue Free, including their famous 100% Pure Avocado Oil.

Chosen Foods was founded by a well-traveled Naturopathic Doctor who discovered the powerful effect traditional foods were having in their native cultures. He was inspired to share these ancient superfoods with the rest of the world - and so their journey began.

In the last 3 years, Chosen Foods has launched 15 cooking oils, condiments, ancient grains and snacks. They have gone from 5 to 30 employees and seen their products reach more then 24,000 grocery store shelves around the United States and Canada.

Heavenly Organics

9 products certified Glyphosate Residue Free, including their Acacia, Neem and White Honey

Heavenly Organics supports nearly 600 family farmers in India and produces 100% Organic Raw Honey, Chocolate Honey Patties and 100% Organic Whole Cane Sugar.

Their work helps displaced people find markets to sell their goods and ensures them a reliable income.  Without it, their means of livelihood would be very limited.  For the past decade, Heavenly Organics has been leading the authentic fair trade movement and creating big change.  Their goal is to increase the number of farmers they work with to 5,000 in the next five years and to extend this business model into other countries to help create long-lasting sustainable economies in other isolated areas and conflict zones.

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Media Contact:
Henry Rowlands, Director, The Detox Project – henry@detoxproject.org
About The Detox Project
The Detox Project is a research and certification platform that brings awareness to the public by testing for toxic chemicals.
We believe you have the right to know what toxic chemicals are in your body and in your food!
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