Unbroken Ground—Revolutions Start From the Bottom

Our food choices are deeply connected to climate change. Food will play a critical role in the next frontier of our efforts to solve the environmental crisis.

Unbroken Ground, a compelling new film by Chris Malloy that explores four areas of agriculture that aim to change our relationship to the land and oceans.

Non Profits Sue General Mills for False and Misleading Use of ‘Natural’

For Immediate Release: August 25, 2016

Contacts:
Beyond Pesticides, Jay Feldman, 202-255-4296, Stephanie Davio, 202-543-5450
Organic Consumers Association, Katherine Paul, 207-653-3090
Moms Across America, Blair FitzGibbon, 202-503-6141

Non Profits Sue General Mills for False and Misleading Use of ‘Natural’
Tests Reveal Nature Valley Products Contain Glyphosate, an Ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup

Washington, DC – Today, three non profit organizations filed a lawsuit against General Mills for misleading the public by labeling their Nature Valley brand granola bars “Made with 100% NATURAL whole grain OATS.” It was recently discovered that the herbicide chemical glyphosate, an ingredient in Roundup and hundreds of other glyphosate-based herbicides, is present in the Nature Valley granola bars, which consumers expect to be natural and free of toxins.

Moms Across America, Beyond Pesticides and Organic Consumers Association with The Richman Law Group filed jointly on behalf of the non profit members in Washington DC under the District of Columbia’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act.

“As a mother, when I read “100% Natural” I would expect that to mean no synthetic or toxic chemicals at all. Glyphosate is a toxic chemical that the EPA recognizes as a “reproductive effector” which “can cause liver and kidney damage” and “digestive effects.” It is unacceptable that Nature Valley granola bars contain any amount of this chemical.” Zen Honeycutt, Founder and Executive Director of Moms Across America.

A national survey conducted by Consumer Reports in 2015 finds that sixty six percent of consumers seek out products with a “natural” food label under the false belief that they are produced without pesticides, genetically modified organisms, hormones, and artificial ingredients.

A national survey conducted by Consumer Reports in 2015 finds that sixty six percent of consumers seek out products with a “natural” food label under the false belief that they are produced without pesticides, genetically modified organisms, hormones, and artificial ingredients.

“Glyphosate cannot be considered ‘natural’ because it is a toxic, synthetic herbicide,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. “Identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a carcinogen, it should not be allowed for use in food production, and certainly not in food with a label that suggests to consumers that the major ingredient –oats– is 100% natural, when it is produced with and contains the highly hazardous glyphosate,” he said.

“Food grown with dangerous pesticides like glyphosate isn’t natural. Consumers understand this. That’s why sales of natural products are booming. Unfortunately, companies’ misleading claims trick consumers into buying just what they’re trying to avoid. This has to be stopped.” -Alexis Baden-Mayer, Political Director of the Organic Consumers Association.

The case specifically cites the use and presence of the weedkiller glyphosate in General Mills’ Nature Valley Granola products. The hazardous chemical is used during the production of oats, the major ingredient in these products, which are marketed as “natural” and labeled “Made with 100% Natural Whole Grain Oats.” As a result, glyphosate is present in the natural-labeled products.

Proponents of glyphosate herbicide use may claim that the residue levels found in many foods and beverages in America recently are below the EPA allowable levels established in 2014, and therefore consumers have no reason to be concerned. However, a 2015 study published in the journal Environmental Health finds that chronic, low-dose exposure to glyphosate as low as .1 parts per billion leads to adverse effects on liver and kidney health. A study released in early 2016 finds that glyphosate can cause changes to DNA function resulting in the onset of chronic disease, including diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The lawsuit alleges that, when marketing Nature Valley products, General Mills misleads and fails to disclose to consumers of the use and presence of glyphosate and its harmful effects. Plaintiffs are asking a jury to find that General Mills’ “natural” labeling is deceptive and misleading and therefore a violation of law, and require its removal from the market.

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A Tale of Two Chickens

When did chicken, pound for pound, become cheaper than bread? Find out by watching the story of two chickens, one raised on a FACTORY FARM, the other PASTURE RAISED.

By illuminating the vocabulary of sustainable agriculture, and with it, the conversation about America’s rapidly evolving food culture, the Lexicon project will educate, engage and activate people to pay closer attention to how they eat, what they buy, and where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system in America. Learn more at https://www.lexiconoffood.com/

Harvesting Profits

Every day in America, as we consume whatever food we can access and afford, the system that supplies our sustenance is engaged in its own form of consumption. It feasts on human toil, commodifed animals, natural resources, and our own bodies. Food, one of the foundations of life, has become a hub of suffering and struggle.

Harvesting Profits

Surveying the landscape of food, we find a long menu of problems, from farm closures to climate change. Corporate-patented genetically modified organisms (GMOs) threaten farmers, food democracy, and biodiversity. Honeybees, life-giving pollinators central to our food supply, are in mass decline from pesticides and other factors. In the United States and worldwide, hunger and malnutrition remain rampant—affecting nearly one billion people globally, and at least forty-five million Americans—even as United Nations data show we have more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet.

Read the full article (.PDF)

Eggs 101- What Do Those Confusing Labels Mean?

By Cooking Up a Story

eggs1[1]Many of the issues that those in the food movement feel are wrong with our dominant food system can be found in the poultry egg industry at large. Whether it’s examining our food production through the lens of animal welfare concerns, environmental impacts, worker’s health, deceptive consumer marketing practices, weak government oversight—the egg industry could serve as the poster child of much that is wrong with our industrial agriculture system.

Right off the bat, two things should concern those of us that enjoy eating fresh chicken eggs. First, does it really require almost a 15-minute video to explain what we are actually buying when we purchase a dozen eggs at the supermarket?

And second, ask yourself this question. If we were permitted to visit any egg production farm in the country without notice and without any on-site viewing restrictions, would we likely purchase those eggs if we saw how the chickens lived and what they were fed?