Organic News

Mainstream media’s stab at Homeopathy

Consumer Reports journalist, Doug Podolsky, took a stab at homeopathy in the recent issue of Consumer Reports. Despite more than 200 years of successful use for a variety of ailments, homeopathy is quackery, according to Podolsky who writes, "Check whether over-the-counter products are labeled homeopathic. If they are, we think you should put them back on the shelf." Podolsky’s Consumer Reports piece references a 2005 study indicating homeopathy is ineffective, but he fails to mention the study has since been debunked. Unfortunately, due to the prestige of Consumer Reports, the article has already gone viral, as marketing firms and pharmaceutical companies spread it far and wide in an attempt to snuff competition from the natural health world.

A Poll: Genetic engineering

The following is from a CBS News and New York Times Poll, asking consumers about genetically engineered (GE) foods:

• 53%: Percentage of polled Americans who say they won’t buy food that has ingredients from genetically engineered plants.

• 65%: Actual percentage of products on grocery store shelves that contain unlabeled GE ingredients (usually soy or corn derived).

• 90%: Portion of U.S. grown soybeans that are genetically engineered.

• 99%: Estimated likelihood that the U.S. sugar supply will start to be sourced from genetically engineered plants this year.

Small farms are more productive and profitable

• A 1,000-acre U.S. corporate farm growing genetically engineered crops nets an average of $39 an acre.

• In contrast, a four-acre family farm nets, on average, $1,400 per acre.

• Small organic farms are proving to be even more profitable. With oil prices on the rise, growing food without petroleum-based pesticides/fertilizers, and delivering that food to local markets will quickly prove to be the most affordable food available. Source: New York Times

Government promotes Monsanto GE corn

The federal government has struck a deal with the Monsanto Corporation, and for the first time in history, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is endorsing a specific company’s seeds. In fact, U.S. farmers in four states, including Minnesota, will be given taxpayer-subsidized price breaks on insurance premiums if they buy Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn this year as opposed to other biotech, conventional, or organic seeds. According to Monsanto’s New Business Development Manager, Tim Hennessy, the federal government’s new openness to promoting and advertising Monsanto "opens the door for a lot of future opportunity."

Wal-Mart goes rBGH-free

Wal-Mart recently announced its so-called "Great Value" store brand of milk will no longer come from cows injected with Monsanto’s controversial genetically engineered hormone, rBGH/rBST. Ronnie Cummins, director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), stated in an interview with the Toronto Globe and Mail that Wal-Mart’s announcement will likely serve as a tipping point for driving Monsanto’s controversial bovine drug off the market. Since its inception, the OCA has campaigned aggressively against rBGH, which is banned in Europe, Canada and most of the industrialized world. Wal-Mart’s move, according to industry experts, will likely dramatically expand market demand for rBGH-free and organic dairy products. According to Cummins, "After 14 years of bullying consumers and buying off FDA and USDA bureaucrats, this is the beginning of the end for this cruel and dangerous drug."

Feds slaughter of wild bison beats 20th century records

More than 1,000 wild buffalo have been slaughtered in the Yellowstone National Park area since November 2007, representing the largest kill since the 1800s. "It would seem as though history was not learned the first time, for here we are today, watching these same government entities enacting the same policy," said Nez Perce tribal member James Holt. According to those monitoring the situation, namely the Buffalo Field Campaign, the total kill-off number will likely exceed 2,000 for the year. While the government’s official reason for the slaughter is to prevent the spread of brucellosis from wild bison to cattle, no such transmission has ever been documented, and the bison being sent to slaughter are not being tested for the disease.

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