Supporting Sustainable Agriculture since 1973

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Consumer Alerts
Tell USDA That You Care About GE Contamination of Organic Food! PDF Print E-mail

You have 1 More Day!!!! Get Involved.

In 2006, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) sued the Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its illegal approval of Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) Roundup Ready alfalfa. The federal courts sided with CFS and banned GE alfalfa until the USDA fully analyzed the impacts of the plant on the environment, farmers, and the public in a rigorous analysis known as an environmental impact statement (or EIS). USDA released its draft EIS on December 14, 2009. A 60-day comment period is now open until February 16, 2010. This is the first time the USDA has done this type of analysis for any GE crop. Therefore, the final decision will have broad implications for all GE crops.

CFS has begun analyzing the EIS and it is clear that the USDA has not taken the concerns of non-GE alfalfa farmers, organic dairies, or consumers seriously. USDA’s preliminary determination is to once again deregulate GE alfalfa without any limitations or protections for farmers or the environment. Instead USDA has completely dismissed the fact that contamination will threaten export and domestic markets and organic meat and dairy products. And, incredibly, USDA is claiming that there is no evidence that consumers care about such GE contamination of organic!

Please find CFS's full Action Alert here.

A sample letter is included on the Center for Food Safety website, but handwritten letters in your own words have the most impact. Send them to:

Docket No. APHIS-2007-0044
Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8
4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238

Comments period has been extended to March, 3, 2010

 
Keep methyl iodide out of California PDF Print E-mail

The Pesticide Action Network reports that for the first time in many years, California's Department of Pesticide Regulation is considering adding a new fumigant to its list of pesticides approved for agricultural use. Methyl iodide has been approved nationally, rejected by New York, and is now up for review in California. Methyl iodide is a known carcinogen and “one of the more toxic chemicals used in manufacturing," according to a letter sent to the EPA and signed by 50 scientists.


As the largest market for this new chemical, California's choice will send a clear signal to methyl iodide's manufacturer, and the EPA has indicated that California's decision will have an impact on national use. Take action and sign up to receive email alerts at www.panna.org.

 
Backyard Chickens are Finally Legal in Sacramento! PDF Print E-mail

Starting November 1, raising up to three hens in your backyard will be legal in the City of Sacramento. Many Sacramento residents have been fighting for the right to raise egg-laying hens for over two years; the City Council passed an ordinance in August that will, at long last, allow it. Read more here

If you are thinking about joining the backyard chicken craze, check out these local resources:

Western Feed & Pet Supply
Their Sacramento location is just around the corner from the Co-op at 1600 34th Street. They sell chicks in the early spring, and feed, feeders, supplements, books and nesting boxes all year.

Creative Coops
This Grass Valley business sells modular chicken coops, including some on wheels, for different sized flocks. The coops are designed to be adaptable and grow along with your chicken raising enthusiasm.

Classes
The Co-op and Soil Born Farms offer classes on keeping chickens several times a year. Look for another round of classes on the topic in the new year.

 
Think outside the bottle PDF Print E-mail
Bottled water is changing the way people think about water—from a human right to a high-priced commodity. Bottled water is expensive compared to what flows from the faucet, even though it is often no safer than tap water simply sold back to consumers at an inflated rate.  Plastic bottles also require massive amounts of fossil fuels to manufacture and transport. Visit www.thinkoutsidethebottle.org and consider taking the Think Outside the Bottle Pledge.
 
Choose organic dairy products that support family farmers PDF Print E-mail
Organic industry watchdog The Cornucopia Institute reports that industrial-sized organic dairy Dean Foods (Horizon) has been cancelling contracts with family farmers who provided milk to the large distributor while simultaneously building another giant factory farm, with thousands of cows, in the desert of New Mexico. Meanwhile, Dean Foods has been cutting its prices so that trusted organic brands are unable to compete.

This is a potential disaster for many farm families that could be forced out of business. It is more important than ever to make sure that you choose dairy products that support legitimate organic family farmers. Check out the Organic Dairy Scorecard to see how your favorite dairy products rank. It is available at the Co-op, and you can view it at www.cornucopia.org.

 
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