News regarding the dangers of GMOs and biotech, and the advantages of organic sustainable agriculture.

Monsanto Sues Maui on GMO Ban Approved by Citizens

As we reported earlier this month, Maui's voter-resolved ban on GMOs in their county has met with opposition from the well-funded biotech industry. Monsanto and others have challenged the voter resolution in court, and the county has agreed to delay the ban until all legal challenges are resolved.

USDA Power Play Threatens the Future of Organic Foods

Last week saw an inter-agency power grab. It begins with the weakening of organic standards—and could end with the term “organic” becoming practically meaningless. Action Alert! Tell the USDA to use a public and transparent process for all major changes to organic standards by publishing proposed changes in the Federal Register, and actively seeking public input and discussion. In addition, tell the USDA to enforce the sunset provision of the OFPA as it was originally intended—allowing synthetic products to remain after their “sunset” date only after public debate and a two-thirds vote of the NOSB. More than 100 synthetics will be up for sunset consideration in 2015. We must act now to protect the integrity of organics.

Victory! Hawaii Leads Nation on Banning GMO Crops

This week's elections saw two victories regarding banning GMOs in the United States. A ballot measure in Maui County, Hawaii that calls for a ban on GMO crops passed by a slim margin this week. But while the margin was slim, the victory was HUGE, because it followed an $8 million campaign against it by Biotech giants Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences. The GMO industry sees Hawaii as a rich region to develop new GMO crops. The amount of money spent to defeat the GMO ban initiative was the largest amount ever spent on a political campaign in the history of Hawaii, according to the Honolulu Civil Beat. And they lost. Maui consumers won. Well done Maui. In another election victory this week for Food Freedom, Humboldt County in California passed a County Measure "prohibiting the propagation, cultivation, raising or growing of GMOs in Humboldt County."

Gluten Intolerance and the Herbicide Glyphosate: A National Epidemic

Harvard educated Dr. Martin Michener, PhD, explains why the modern increase in gluten sensitivities, as well as a host of other diseases, are related to the harming of our gut microbiome due to increases in glyphosate from our food. He explains the widespread problem it is causing combined with other toxins in our environment, such as aluminum, and offers some practical solutions to help reduce toxic exposure.

ALERT: Certified Organic Food Grown in U.S. Found Contaminated with Glyphosate Herbicide

ALERT! Think you can avoid glyphosate by buying organic? Think again. A shocking new investigation by Tropical Traditions reveals that many products in the organic grain market in the U.S. contain glyphosate residue at levels almost the same as conventional grains.

New, More Toxic Breed of Genetically Engineered Crops Gain Approval

The United States now uses about 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides each year, and mounting research has linked pesticides to an array of serious health problems. What we need is not a new breed of chemical-resistant crops, but that’s exactly what we’re getting.

Big Processed Food Companies and GMO Seed Companies Spend Millions to Stop GMO Labeling

Voters in Oregon and Colorado will soon decide if genetically modified foods should be required to carry a label informing consumers that they are buying GMOs. If you live in either Oregon or Colorado, click on the appropriate Right to Know logo above to get more information. GMO seed companies and processed food companies have spent millions of dollars on negative campaigning in each of these two states to try and prevent these ballet measures from passing.

Scientists Prove Goats Are Better Than Chemical Weedkillers

Science proves what farmers already know: Goats make excellent weedkillers. Herbivores—not herbicides—is the way to go, according to research published in the journal PeerJ.

Organics Board to Review Rules for BPA, GMOs, and GMO Vaccines for Animals

The National Organic Standards Board will be meeting later this month to discuss and vote on fundamental issues that will determine the future of organic foods. They plan to research whether BPA in the packaging of organic food should be banned. They also will tackle cross-contamination of organic crops from GMO crops, and other thorny GMO issues. The deadline for comments is this week.

CSA Farm Offers “Health Care Shares” to Patients Selected by Their Doctors

A visitor who swings by the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) on a Wednesday afternoon will see rows opened boxes lined up across the barn floor. Farm crew members between the ages of 15 and 18 are distributing the week’s harvest evenly between the boxes. But what might sounds like an ordinary community-supported agriculture or CSA farm, is nothing of the sort. In fact, all this fresh produce will be delivered—free of charge—to low income Vermonters through a unique partnership with area hospitals. Building on the CSA model, the farm at VYCC offers weekly “health care shares” during the growing season to patients who have been selected by their doctors.