Organic Consumers Association

What If Mother Nature Is on the Ballot in 2020?

There is an assumption that the 2020 presidential election will be business as usual: Donald Trump will run on the economy, social issues and immigration, and the Democratic candidate will run on income inequality, Democratic socialism and Trump’s character — the 2020 version of right-left U.S. politics.

Monsanto Appeal Attempt Fails as California Lists Glyphosate as Known Carcinogen

The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to hear a challenge to a key provision of the state’s landmark chemical consumer-disclosure law, Proposition 65, brought by Monsanto. The chemical maker was seeking to force California to remove glyphosate, found in the company’s Roundup products, from the Proposition 65 list of carcinogens.

Monsanto's EPA-Manipulating Tactics Revealed in $289 Million Case

For years, DeWayne “Lee” Johnson drove a truck with a 50-gallon tank of Monsanto’s Ranger Pro pesticide mounted on top. A groundskeeper for the Benicia Unified School District in Solano County, California, north of San Francisco, Johnson went through hundreds of gallons of the stuff every week between the truck and his backpack sprayer.

Circles of Impact - What We Can Learn from Serendipalm

In 2012, just hired as a communications associate with Dr. Bronner’s, I began working on a project to support fundraising for the purchase of bed nets to curtail malaria, and support the building of a maternity ward in the local health care facility in Asuom, Ghana, where Dr. Bronner’s palm oil is produced.

Monsanto Cancer Ruling Sparks Backlash Around the Globe

Glyphosate, the world's most popular herbicide, is at the center of international scrutiny after a San Francisco court on Friday decided in favor of a California school groundskeeper with terminal cancer. The jury ruled that the plaintiff, Dewayne "Lee" Johnson, developed cancer from repeated exposure to Roundup.

Expert Witness From Landmark Monsanto Trial Offers 5 Fixes to Shortcomings in Current GE Food Regulations

Johnson sued Monsanto and was awarded $289 million in damages last week, after the jury delivered a stunning, unanimous verdict against Monsanto. 

Hardly a day goes by without a new scientific paper or news coverage addressing problems down on the farm.

Just this month, for example, two studies highlighted the growing problem of weeds resistant to the herbicide glyphosate—the main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup—and how this continues to push herbicide use, expenditures, and collateral damage upward. The more herbicide farmers spray, the faster herbicide efficacy slips.

Smartphones Speed Up Blindness

Blue light emitted from digital devices such as smartphones and laptops can accelerate blindness. According to a study from University of Toledo, repeated exposure to the blue light from smartphones, laptops, tablets and the sun "transforms vital molecules in the eye's retina into cell killers," a press release from the university states.

Belfast residents file suit against city over salmon farm zoning process

BELFAST — Citing improper municipal process and failure to follow citizen participation procedures, two Belfast residents filed a complaint against the city, and cite the Belfast Water District and Nordic Aquafarms, Inc., a privately owned Norwegian-based business, as parties in interest. Nordic Aquafarms wants to site a land-based indoor salmon farm on 40 acres that currently belongs to the water district and private landowner Sam Cassida.

Ellie Daniels and Donna Broderick live on property abutting the 40-acre parcel in question, which is currently wooded and is adjacent to the Little River that flows into Penobscot Bay. 

They said, in a prepared statement on Aug. 8, that the city, “abused its powers by approving April 17 zoning and comprehensive plan amendments without following state statute and local zoning ordinance process for planning board and community involvement.” 

Weeds Growing in Poor City Areas More Nutritious Than Store-Bought Produce

Despite the odds, nature does her best to nurture us. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, have reported finding nutritious wild greens growing abundantly in poor urban areas of San Francisco, even surviving record droughts. The researchers, led by Philip Stark, collected the edible wild greens from three areas, each equivalent to nine city blocks, in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

Two Landmark Cases: Is the Toxic Tide Turning In

Our children are exposed to high levels of pesticides and herbicides ingested and inhaled daily, which is negatively impacting the health of an entire generation. Two significant court rulings today in favor of protecting our children and the environment from toxins.

Monsanto's Loss Is Our Gain—Let's Make the Most of It

First, let’s say a big, collective “Thank you.”

Thank you to the 12 jurors who listened attentively and critically, during long days of testimony, then deliberated with care, and ultimately did the right thing.

Thank you to the lawyers who invested countless hours in investigative work and trial preparation, and who argued rationally and intelligently on behalf of the plaintiff, science and ethics.

Thank you to those media outlets and advocacy organizations who covered the case, pored over the “Monsanto Papers” and took seriously their obligation to inform the public.

But most of all, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, the plaintiff in the Dewayne Johnson v. Monsanto case. For his persistence in getting to the bottom of what caused his non-Hodgkin lymphoma. For is bravery in going up against one of the most powerful corporations in the world.

For his refusal to give up, no matter the toll on his family, and on his failing health.

As our director, Ronnie Cummins said in an interview this week about the trial, and about Monsanto’s corruption and deception:

“We talk about these things in the abstract. But when you see the face of a victim, it literally brings these issues home.”

Migrant Injustice: Ben & Jerry's Farmworker Exploitation

These are harrowing times for the nearly 1,500 migrant workers laboring on Vermont’s largest dairy farms. These farmworkers, predominantly from Mexico, are forced to live in the shadows, where their farm bosses harbor them in exchange for long hours, low wages, and cheap housing. It’s a human rights stain on the state, allowing these migrant workers to live and be treated this way. And it continues because there’s a whole lot of “looking away” from the deep-rooted ugliness of this system, which has been described by human rights advocates as “close to slavery.”

Worse than looking away, with its implicit acceptance of the exploitation, is the complicit role Vermont’s dairy industry giants are playing to maximize their profits on the backs of this cheap labor. As the state’s near-billion-dollar-a-year ice cream and cheese corporations – Ben & Jerry’s and Cabot Creamery – continue to pay less than the cost of production for its dairy supply, Vermont’s remaining 700-or-so dairy farms are forced to cut costs at every opportunity, particularly when it comes to labor. Gone are the days when these farm jobs were filled by neighbors and community members, as the danger, speed, scale and filth – coupled with poverty-level wages — has made it impossible to attract local workers.

Bayer Takes the Hit After Monsanto Loses Roundup Cancer Trial

Two months after clinching its $66 billion purchase of Monsanto Co., Bayer AG faces a protracted legal battle over the U.S. company’s Roundup weed killer -- a prospect that wiped more than $11 billion off the German conglomerate’s market value.