Mad Cows and Insane Bureaucrats
Despite repeated claims that "all is well." a third case of Mad Cow
Disease has been confirmed in Canada. The
discovery has prompted the US Department of Agriculture to reconsider their
plan to reopen US borders to Canadian cattle exports. The beef industry and the
USDA have always claimed that North America
was free from the fatal brain wasting disease-until the first confirmed case in
2003. Mad Cow has killed approximately 150 consumers in UK and Europe since
1996. Mad Cow disease is spread through the routine practice of feeding blood,
manure, and slaughterhouse waste to cattle, a practice banned in Europe and prohibited on organic farms
across the world. OCA Policy Board member John Stauber, co-author of the book,
Mad Cow USA, points out how current US and
Canadian regulations are putting public health at risk.
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Warnings Of Disaster From Animals
According to National Geographic, there have been a significant number of reports documenting animals who seemed to sense the recent Asian tsunami before it hit. For example, Sri Lanka's Yala National Park suffered many human casualties, but park managers said the wildlife suffered almost no casualties. "The elephants, wild boar, deer, monkeys and others had moved inland to avoid the killer waves." In Thailand, seemingly insane elephants broke their chains and fled inland before the waves hit. Authorities in India reported that "the indigenous, stone-age tribes of the Andaman and Nicobar islands escaped the effects of the tsunami because they heeded warning signals from birds and animals." A number of scientists have pointed out that this remarkable behavior should alert us to pay closer attention to a wide range of warnings from the animal kingdom, not only in regards to natural disasters, but also in relation to danger signs of the impact on animal and human health of environmental pollution, such as the recent outbreak of frog mutations, species extinctions, and drops in mammalian
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Monsanto Found Guilty of International Bribery
Monsanto, the leading global producer of genetically engineered seeds and crops, has been found guilty of bribing government officials in Indonesia. The Justice Department has fined Monsanto $1.5 million for bribing the Indonesian Ministry of Environment to allow the company to ignore required environmental impact studies before proceeding to plant genetically modified crops. Meanwhile, in the US, bribery seems hardly necessary for the Gene Giant, given that the Bush administration and regulatory agencies are stacked with former Monsanto employees and pro-biotech bureaucrats. Monsanto strengthened its grip on US policymaking last week when one of its former lobbyists, Martha Scott, was appointed as Staff Director of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Other Monsanto boosters in the Washington power elite include former Secretary of Agriculture Anne Veneman (formerly head of the Monsanto subsidiary Calgene), Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (formerly CEO of a Monsanto pharmaceutical subsidiary, Searle) and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (formerly a Monsanto lawyer).
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Organic Factory Farms?
The Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute has filed a formal complaint with the USDA National Organic Program against an "organic" dairy farm in Colorado. The industrial sized feedlot, Aurora Dairy, claims its milk is organic, despite the fact the facility houses 5,600 dairy cows in a factory farm setting with no real access to pasture (which is required by the National Organic Standards). A similar factory farm in Idaho supplies Horizon Organic (now owned by dairy giant Dean Foods) with much of its "organic" milk. Mark Kastel, Cornucopia's Senior Farm Analyst, said that such factory style operations go against the spirit of organic standards and threaten the livelihood of genuine organic family farmers. Almost immediately following the complaint submission, the USDA issued an internal memo, asking the National Organic Standards Board to develop strict policies on the pasture requirements.
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Organic Milk Has More Nutrients And Antioxidants
A new study has found that organic milk has higher levels of nutrients and antioxidants than conventional milk. According to research spearheaded by the UK's Soil Association, dairy cattle raised on an organic diet produce milk with 50% more Vitamin E and 75% more beta carotene than conventionally farmed dairy. The organic milk is also two to three times higher in zeaxanthine and lutein, which are powerful antioxidants. Jill Eisberg, chief executive of The Dairy Council said the research is "an interesting new development for the dairy industry". http://www.organicconsumers.org/organic/milk011005.cfm