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Organic Trade Association: Wolf In Sheep's Clothing?
By Theodora Filis
In the US and Canada, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) claims there mission is to promote consumer ethics, protect and promote the benefit of organic trade environment, and promote the economy of the public and farmers as a whole. OTA is a member of the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM).
“Organic” refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. It includes a system of production, processing, distribution and handling to maintain the organic integrity that starts on the farm. Governed by government standards, organic requires that products bearing the organic label are made without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides, synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, antibiotics, synthetic hormones, genetic engineering or other excluded practices, sewage sludge, or irradiation.
Sixty percent of OTA members are micro and small business trade members. The OTA originally went under the name Organic Foods Production Association of North America or OFPANA which was established in1985. Consumers have relied on the OTA for protecting and promoting organic advocacy and standards, instilling confidence in the production of certified organic produce.
The following documentary by Organic Spies tells how the OTA purports to represent organic food companies and farmers, big and small, but is dominated by the organic and so-called "natural" boutique brands of a few big multinational food companies -- whose real stake is in genetically modified foods, industrial agriculture, and factory farms.
This films helps to explains why the OTA has consistently worked to weaken organic standards and has never taken a strong stance against genetically modified crops that threaten to destroy organic seed stocks through contamination.
Providing your family with quality foods that do not contain artificial colors, artificial hormones, and artificial preservatives, or GMOs should not be a guessing game, or a game of Truth or Dare. So, how can you be sure the food you're buying is in fact organic? In order to be labeled organic, foods must fall into one of the following categories:
100% Organic: All ingredients, with the exception of salt and water, must be produced organically. The agency certifying the product must be clearly stated on the label. The USDA organic seal may also be included on the label.
Organic: This label applies to products with at least 95% organic content. The balance of the ingredients must be all natural ingredients not commercially available organically, and must be listed on the USDA's National List of non-organically produced products not available in organic form. The agency certifying the product must be clearly stated on the label. The USDA organic seal may also be included on the label.
Made with organic ingredients: This label applies to products with at least 70% organic content. The balance of the ingredients can be made up of all natural ingredients or items listed on the USDA's National List of non-organically produced products not available in organic form. The label may state "Made from Organic" and list up to three of the organic ingredients. No other organic claims can be made on the package other than the designation of specific organic ingredients in the ingredient statement. The agency certifying the product must be clearly stated on the label. The USDA organic seal may not be included on the label.
Cosmetics: not regulated by any government agency, which means there are no specific federal standards for such products. However, personal-care products are allowed (but not required) to display the US Department of Agriculture’s Organic seal if at least 95 percent of their ingredients were organically produced.Some health and beauty products might reflect the basic ideas of an organic lifestyle. For example, they might contain no artificial ingredients or additives. But the only way to know if a health or beauty item is truly certified organic is to look for the USDA Organic seal.
An international Food Label battle, involving more than 100 countries that comprise the Codex Alimentarius Commission, ended on July 5, 2011 in Geneva when the US "surprisingly" withdrew its objection to listing GMO ingredients on food labels. However, If you think US food packaging is about to provide consumers with full disclosure of genetically modified ingredients… think again. The US ended the stalemate with conditions...
The new Codex agreement allows any country to use food labelling that advises consumers a product contains genetically modified ingredients -- this disclosure is not the law -- it is completely voluntary, and at the discretion of the country.
Since the US is the largest producer of Genetically Modified foods in the world, it remains more than likely consumers in the US will remain in the dark about exactly what they are eating.
When we damage our water systems, we're not only putting marine life at risk, we're also putting human life and resources in peril.
Our planet currently has six plastic islands made of trapped garbage. The damage to sea life by these plastic death traps can only be imagined, but scientists are now investigating the long-term impacts of toxic pollutants absorbed, transported, and consumed by fish and other marine life, including the potential effects on human health.
Plastic that now pollutes our oceans and waterways is having a severe impact on our environment and our economy. Seabirds, whales, sea turtles and other marine life are eating marine plastic pollution and dying from choking, intestinal blockage and starvation.
Scientists previously thought that only actual plastic floating in the ocean could harm marine animals. But, new research proves there are additional unseen dangers being created by the plastic we discard daily. Initially it was thought that larg…
The US House Judiciary Committee is now discussing an anti-online piracy bill that will allow independent parties to cut off websites accused of posting copyrighted material. Called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the bill is designed to get around the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
Committee Chair Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) Currently, under the DMCA, a copyright holder can request a website remove material he or she owns. If the website refuses, the matter can go to court. Under SOPA, which will go before the House Judiciary Committee on November 16, 2011: o Search engines can be required to block accused websites from results.
o Internet service providers can be required to block accused websites from their customers.
o Payment companies don't need a request from a copyright holder to block a website. Instead, they can do so on their own if they suspect a website may be posting copyrighted work without permission.
By Theodora Filis Patty Ameno has been a steadfast and solitary solider, for over 25
years, in the battle to set to rights the horrific, self fulfilling
acts of the Nuclear Industry. Ameno is well known for her
environmental activism and for spearheading a 14-year lawsuit with
Attorney Fred Baron, for wrongful death, personal injury and property
damage from the operations of two former nuclear fuel plants in
Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. The owners of the plants, Babcock &
Wilcox and the Atlantic Richfield Co. settled with over 300
plaintiffs for more than $80 million in 2009. Ameno has received
honors and recognition from the State of Pennsylvania, US Senate, and
The Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP).
Most recently, Patty was
the focus of an article written by John Emshwiller, Wall Street
Journal, titled: Waste
Land: One Town's Atomic Legacy: A $500 Million Cleanup:
Patty Ameno's One-Woman Nuclear Crusade“She has been praised as a community protector and criticized …