Completed Action Alerts Archive

EPA Raised Residue Limits of Monsanto’s Glyphosate Herbicide

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Toxic herbicide linked to serious health impacts – EPA puts Monsanto’s profits over public health

Comment before Monday, July 1, 2013 at 11:59 PM ET (This alert is over)

The EPA has issued a new rule raising the allowed residue levels of Monsanto’s herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) on food. Comment today to let the EPA know that their decision to cater to Monsanto’s interests is unacceptable given the recent science pointing to serious harm from this toxic herbicide. Click on the “comment” link or see the instructions below for further details.

Glyphosate is an herbicide produced and marketed by Monsanto Corporation, the agrochemical and biotechnology giant. Monsanto claims that glyphosate is safe and has successfully lobbied the Environmental Protection Agency to raise the residue limits of this toxic chemical.

But independent scientists disagree with Monsanto: several recently published peer-reviewed studies point to serious health impacts from exposure to this toxic herbicide.

NRCSMD91009_-_Maryland_(4569)(NRCS_Photo_Gallery)Glyphosate has been shown in several recent studies to be an endocrine disruptor. According to the National Institutes of Health, endocrine disruptors could have long-term effects on public health, especially reproductive health. And the “dose makes the poison” rule does not apply to endocrine disruptors, which wreak havoc on our bodies at low doses.

The EPA must consider independent and recent science rather than depending on industry-funded, outdated studies supplied by Monsanto. A June 2013 study concluded that glyphosate “exerted proliferative effects in human hormone-dependent breast cancer.”i An April 2013 study by an MIT scientist concluded that “glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of other food borne chemical residues and environmental toxins,” and pointed out that glyphosate’s “negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body.”ii

INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUBMITTING COMMENT

To submit your comment electronically:

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0132-0009

For the required field “Organization Name,” please enter “Citizen.”

The deadline for submitting comments is Monday, July 1.

SAMPLE LETTER (you may cut and paste, but you are encouraged to personalize)

The EPA’s final rule raising the residue limits of glyphosate is unacceptable and based on outdated science.

The toxicology profile for glyphosate is not “complete,” as the EPA claims. Ongoing research shows glyphosate may promote breast cancer, induce inflammation, and act as an endocrine disruptor.

I urge you to perform a careful review of independent science to determine the health impacts of raising the residue limit for glyphosate.

Again, please act by Monday, July 1 to submit your comments!


i http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23756170
ii http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416

ACTION ALERT: Stand with Family Farmers — Protect Them from a Tax Benefiting Agribusiness

Friday, May 31st, 2013

(This Action Alert is Over)

Federal Research and Marketing Promotion Programs = Robin Hood in Reverse

Call your senators now to tell them to support SA 1083.  –  Senator Cruz amendment to the Farm Bill

Boss_Tweed,_Thomas_NastThis amendment to the Farm Bill allows farmers to voluntarily choose whether or not they pay into Federal “checkoff” programs.  Anytime a farmer sells a steer, a gallon of milk, an egg, bushel of corn or soybeans, or any other covered commodity, the producer is required to pay a fee to industry-run organizations for marketing campaigns such as the Got Milk? and Pork, The Other White Meat or The Incredible Edible Egg.

The problem is that advertising of this nature primarily benefits processors, marketers and retailers — not the farmers who are stuck paying the bills! Now a new similar tax is being proposed covering all organic farmers. Senator Cruz (R-TX) has offered this amendment:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no program to promote and provide research and information for a particular agricultural commodity without reference to 1 or more specific producers or brands (commonly known as a “check-off program”) shall be mandatory or compulsory.”

Starting on Monday June 3rd the full Senate will continue their discussion of the 2013 Farm Bill as recommended by the Senate Ag Committee.  Please Call Your Senators’ offices  — on or before Monday — and ask to speak to the Staff who deals with agriculture – Be sure to leave a message if you don’t get to talk to this person.  

This amendment will be part of SEC. __XX. PROHIBITION ON MANDATORY OR COMPULSORY CHECK OFF PROGRAMS.

By supporting this amendment you will be giving family farms the freedom to choose how their money is spent. Read Full Article »

Unbelievable! USDA Power Grab Should Not Go Unchallenged

Friday, May 24th, 2013

(This Action Alert is Over)

USDA violates the Organic Foods Production Act

Draft rule on carrageenan, cellulose and “inert” synthetics in pesticides disregards decisions by the National Organic Standards Board

Comment before Monday, June 3, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. ET

Political corruption and power grabs usually happen behind closed doors. The Cornucopia Institute has consistently called for more transparency at the USDA’s National Organic Program, but quite frankly, this power grab, in broad daylight, is unexpected.

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), the citizen panel charged by Congress to determine which synthetics are allowed in organic food production, voted to prohibit the use of carrageenan in organic infant formula, to prohibit the use of synthetic microcrystalline cellulose as a food ingredient, and set a deadline for reviewing synthetic and potentially harmful ingredients in previously approved pesticide formulations.

Organic_Watchdog_buttonBy law, the USDA cannot allow a synthetic material in organics unless it has been approved by the NOSB. But the agency seems completely uninterested in following the law governing organics, the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. The USDA’s proposed rule, released on May 3, disregards the NOSB’s decisions entirely on these three important topics.

Please send a comment to the USDA—let them know that they are acting outside their legal authority and that we will not stand by quietly while they protect corporate interests rather than the health of consumers and the environment. Read Full Article »

ACTION ALERT: Tell the USDA — No Illegal/Unreviewed Synthetics in Organics!

Friday, March 15th, 2013

[This Action Alert is Over]

Sneaking Synthetics into Organics

Close the Loophole – Submit a Comment to the National Organic Standards Board

Comments due Tuesday, March 19, 2013 (11:59 pm EST)

Think you’re avoiding synthetic ingredients like sodium benzoate and polysorbate 80 by choosing organic? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

The organic law clearly prohibits synthetic and non-organic ingredients in organic foods unless carefully reviewed and deemed safe for human health and the environment. But the United States Department of Agriculture and many organic certifiers have routinely ignored this important legal requirement.

They have allowed conventional agribusinesses, like Cargill, ADM and others, to include artificial preservatives, non-nutritive sweeteners, and other unapproved synthetics to the approved non-organic ingredients that may be used in organic processed foods.

Ingredients are often preserved with sodium benzoate, or treated with sulfuric acid, or extracted with the neurotoxic solvent hexane, and the list goes on…

Cornucopia’s dogged pursuit of this issue led the USDA to issue a memo to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), asking them to address this.

But rather than fix the problem and require that all ingredients and processing aids be certified organic or approved, certain members of the NOSB are now attempting to write an official policy that would continue the violations.

Their proposal is profoundly unacceptable, not to mention blatantly illegal, as it would institutionalize violations of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990.

Make your voice heard! Help end the illegal practice of giving agribusiness food suppliers carte blanche. Synthetic and non-organic ingredients that have not been reviewed and approved should not end up in organic foods.

Instructions for submitting public comment:

To submit your comment electronically:

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=AMS-NOP-12-0070-0001

For the required field “Organization Name,” please enter “Citizen.”

The deadline for submitting comments is Tuesday, March 19.

Sample Letter

Dear National Organic Standards Board members,

The organic law is clear: every ingredient that ends up in an organic food or beverage must either be organically produced, or approved for use in organics. This applies to all ingredients—whether they are required to appear on the ingredients list or not, as is the case with most sub-ingredients (“other/auxiliary ingredients”) and processing aids.

Rather than correct the past mistakes that have led to the widespread illegal use of unapproved synthetics, the NOSB’s Handling Subcommittee has put forth a proposal for dealing with the “other/auxiliary ingredients” issue that would institutionalize these violations.

Under no circumstances should the Handling Subcommittee’s proposal be adopted. It would be a blow to organic integrity, not to mention that it would be blatantly illegal.

Public interest groups have proposed a policy that would conform with the organic law and regulations. It has been referred to as “Option D.” I support this option, and I urge the Board to adopt Option D.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Read Full Article »

Call Your Senators Today on Biotech Regulatory Rollback

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

[This action alert is over]

UPDATE:  The Senate has yet to vote on the resolution, and may not until Monday.  If you haven’t called yet, you still have time to make your voice heard.

Speak up for farmers and good food!

farmers-monsantoMonsanto and agribusiness companies have managed to insert two dangerous provisions into the Continuing Resolution (“CR”) that is about to be voted on by the U.S. Senate, probably later today.

The first provision is the “Monsanto rider” that destroys the few protections that currently exist against the planting of new genetically engineered crops.  It is intended to force USDA to grant temporary permits and deregulations of GMO crops even if a Federal court rules that USDA hadn’t adequately considered the environmental or economic risks to farmers — as has been the case.  This would negate any meaningful judicial review of USDA’s decisions to allow commercialization of GMO crops.

The second provision will allow giant Agribusiness companies to continue abusive and deceptive practices that hurt livestock and poultry farmers.

The good news is that Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) is introducing amendments to strike both of these riders.

Please call both of your Senators today to urge them to vote YES on both Tester Amendments.  It only takes a few minutes, and your activism does make a difference!  Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and they will connect you with your senator’s office.  It only takes a few minutes, and your activism does make a difference!

If you don’t know who represents you, you can find out online at www.senate.gov.  More details about the amendments can be found here.

Thanks to Weston A. Price, the Center for Food Safety, and the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance for sharing this information. Read Full Article »