'Pure' Fiction?

This week, OCA and our allies at Beyond Pesticides sued the maker of Sue Bee and Aunt Sue’s honey brands for labeling their products “Pure” and “100% Pure” after those products tested positive for glyphosate, the active (and ubiquitous) ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.

We know what you’re thinking. Honey comes from bees. And beekeepers don’t spray their hives with Roundup—so how did glyphosate end up in honey?

As organic farmers have been alleging for years, glyphosate doesn’t just land where it’s sprayed, end of story. It drifts—into places where it’s not wanted. Including maybe, nearby properties owned by beekeepers?

Bill Huser, vice president of Sioux Honey (owner of the Sue Bee and Aunt Sue’s brands) shared his theory with US Right to Know's Carey Gillam. Gillam first reported on the glyphosate-in-honey story in a September 15 article in the Huffington Post. Huser told Huffington Post that glyphosate is commonly used on farm fields frequented by bees, and that the pesticide travels back with the bees to the hives where the honey is produced.

That’s bad news for beekeepers. And bad news for consumers.

How do we know Sue Bee and Aunt Sue’s honey is contaminated with glyphosate? The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), under increasing pressure to test for glyphosate residue on food, found it. Gillam used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to get the FDA's test results. From the Huffington Post again:

In examining honey samples from various locations in the United States, the FDA has found fresh evidence that residues of the weed killer called glyphosate can be pervasive - found even in a food that is not produced with the use of glyphosate. All of the samples the FDA tested in a recent examination contained glyphosate residues, and some of the honey showed residue levels double the limit allowed in the European Union, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. There is no legal tolerance level for glyphosate in honey in the United States.

We sympathize with the beekeepers. We also encourage them to join with consumers in pressuring the EPA to get busy and ban this carcinogenic, endocrine-disrupting chemical. Now.

Read the press release

Read the formal complaint

More here

TAKE ACTION: Tell EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy: Quit Stalling. Ban Glyphosate Now!

Support OCA’s truth and transparency in labeling work (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)


‘Organic' GMO? No Way!

Consumers have always been able to count on the fact that if a product is certified organic, it’s GMO-free. That’s because GMOs aren't allowed in organic.

At least they haven’t been, so far.

Last week, our allies at Food DemocracyNOW! broke the news that Melody Meyer, a member of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), wants gene editing, a dangerous new form of genetic engineering, to be allowed in organic.Meyer said as much, in a blog post.

Yep, higher ups at the OTA—that “organic” Big Food front group that sold out the GMO labeling movement—are at it again.

First, they sold us out on the DARK Act, the bill that effectively killed GMO labeling in the U.S. Now, they want to use the loopholes and exemptions written into the DARK Act to force the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to allow certain types of genetic engineering (some of which are referred to as GMO 2.0) to be allowed in organic.

At its next meeting, November 16 – 18, in St. Louis, Mo., the NOSB will consider an “Excluded Methods Terminology” proposal that could determine whether or not Meyer and her compatriots at the OTA score another win against organics.

We say, no way. If you haven’t already, please sign our petition to the NOSB demanding that all GMO technologies be kept out of certified organic products.

TAKE ACTION BEFORE NOV. 15: Tell the National Organic Standards Board to keep genetically modified organisms out of certified 'USDA organic' food

Support OCA’s anti-GMO work (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)


Long Live the Soil

“If we farm in ways that improve soil health, we can harvest a wide range of on- and off-farm benefits.” – Dr. Laura Danly, astronomer

As we focus on the COP22 Climate Summit coming up in Marrakech, we can’t do enough to hammer home the point: Healthy soil is our ticket to reverse global warming.

That doesn’t mean we can keep on emitting greenhouse gases at our current, alarming, rate. We have to cut fossil fuel emissions. But as many scientists have warned, even if we reached zero emissions tomorrow, we’d still be in a heap of trouble.

We’ve got to draw down billions of tons of carbon from the atmosphere and put it back in the ground, where it belongs—a fact that one of the world’s most prominent climate scientists, James Hansen, recently confirmed.

And we need to get started now.

Watch the video

Watch the video in Spanish


Migration Magic!

Now you can combine international travel, adventure and organic food and agriculture education—with a 2-day trip to one of Mexico’s monarch butterfly sanctuaries.

For the additional cost of $190, Vía Orgánica’s November and December eco tours will include a trip to the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Sierra Chincua, an area within Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, where one of the sanctuary’s experts will guide you through the spectacular annual, 3,000-mile migration story of the majestic monarch.

Vía Orgánica’s eight-day eco tours in the central highlands of Mexico include accommodations at the Vía Orgánica eco ranch and farm school, which serves as an educational farm and training center for farmers, students and activists in the organic food movement. The ranch includes a natural retreat center with adobe buildings, walking trails, solar power, rainwater catchment, and greywater and composting systems.

Tours also include side trips to San Miguel de Allende and other World Heritage sites, trail rides and nature walks, horseback riding, and organic farming and cooking workshops—and of course, the opportunity to join in lively discussions with OCA and Vía Orgánica staff and other tour participants. Cost for accommodations and all-organic meals is $1250 per person. (Add $190 if you want to take the 2-day monarch sanctuary trip).

Available tour dates:

• December 6-13 (Register by November 15)
• January 17-24 (Register by December 17)
• February 15-22 (Register by January 15)
• March 19-26 (Register by February 19)

Watch a Vía Orgánica Eco Tour video 

Learn more 

For more information or to register contact:


Essential Reading for the Week

Former White House Chef Defends Junk Food Industry

IARC Scientists Defend Glyphosate Cancer Link; Surprised by Industry Assault

New York Times Takes Critical Look at False Promise of GMOs

Prince Charles Joins Clean Soil Project to Combat Climate Change

USDA Approves Genetically Engineered Potatoes

What Are Biodynamic Foods and Why Should You Be Eating Them?