Urgent: Organic Standards At Risk!

I’ve always recommended organic produce. Not only is organic produce grown without chemicals, it also has more nutrients, is good for our environment and just plain tastes better.

Well now, the “organic” foods standard is at risk of being lowered by a “sneak attack”, a combination of large corporations, agri-business interest groups (lobbyists) and our government. Below is the background of this threat directly from the Organic Consumers Association. Please take a moment and take action to help maintain the highest standards for organic farming as possible. If the standards are lowered organic integrity will be comprimised and consumers will lose faith in organic foods. Our health, the health of all Americans are at stake. Thank you!

After 35 years of hard work, the U.S. organic community has built up a multi-billion dollar alternative to industrial agriculture, based upon strict organic standards and organic community control over modification to these standards.

Now, large corporations, such as Kraft, Wal-Mart, & Dean Foods–aided and abetted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and members of the Organic Trade Association, are moving to lower organic standards by allowing Bush appointees in the USDA National Organic Program to approve a broad list of synthetic ingredients and processing aids that would be allowed in organic production. Even worse these proposed regulatory changes will reduce future public discussion and input and take away the National Organic Standards Board’s (NOSB) traditional lead jurisdiction in setting standards. What this means, in blunt terms. is that USDA bureaucrats and industry lobbyists, not consumers, will have near total control over what can go into organic foods and products. (Send a quick letter to your Congresspersons online here)

During the next week, acting in haste and near-total secrecy, the U.S. Congress is being lobbied by industry to vote on a rider in the House/Senate Conference Committee to the 2006 Agriculture Appropriations Bill that could take away control over organic standards from the National Standards Board and put this control in the hands of federal bureaucrats in the USDA (remember the USDA proposal in 1997-98 that said that genetic engineering, toxic sludge, and food irradiation would be OK on organic farms, or USDA suggestions in 2004 that heretofore banned pesticides, hormones, tainted feeds, and animal drugs would be OK?).

For the past week in Washington, OCA has been urging members of Congress not to reopen and subvert the federal statute that governs U.S. Organic standards (the Organic Food Production Act: OFPA), but rather to let the organic community and the National Organic Standards Board resolve our differences over issues like synthetics and animal feed internally, and then proceed to a open public comment period. Unfortunately most members of Congress seem to be listening to industry lobbyists more closely than to us. We need to raise our voices. (Send a quick letter to your Congresspersons online here)

In the past, grassroots mobilization and mass pressure by organic consumers have been able to stop the USDA and Congress from degrading organic standards. This time Washington insiders tell us that the “fix is already in.” So we must take decisive action now. We need you to call your Congressional Representatives and Senators today. We need you to sign the following petition and send it to everyone you know. We also desperately need funds to head off this attack in the weeks and months to come. Thank you for your support. Together we will take back citizen control over organic standards and preserve organic integrity.

Call the Capital Switchboard here: 202-224-3121, and tell your Congresspersons not to support any ammendments to the ag appropriations bill that would lower organic standards. You can send a quick letter to your Congresspersons online here: www.organicconsumers.org/rd-ofpa.htm

Read more about the status and what’s at stake at the Organic Consumers Association web site.

To your best health!

Mark
Vegan Raw – The Ultimate Diet For Weight Loss, Health and Life

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Store Bought Raw Almonds Not Really Raw

Posted on January 29th, 2008 in almonds,raw,raw food by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate 1 Comment »

As you may recall, a directive from the Almond Board of California and backed by the USDA was put into effect in September of 2007 requiring all almonds to be pasteurized.

Controversial Raw Almond Mandate May Be Postponed

Posted on August 11th, 2007 in almonds,raw by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on Controversial Raw Almond Mandate May Be Postponed

Mark
www.RawFoodHowTo.com

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No More Raw Almonds?

Posted on April 6th, 2007 in almonds,consumer,labeling,raw by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on No More Raw Almonds?

Do you know whether the almonds you buy are raw or not?

The label may say ‘raw’ but because of a new mandate by the Almond Board of California, which oversees almost 100% of the almonds grown and eaten in the United States, will falsely label almonds that have been pasteurized as ‘raw’.

The reason for this mandate seems to stem from 2 outbreaks of salmonella in almonds in 2001 and 2004. From my sources, these incidents didn’t involve organic almonds. Why mandate all almonds, both conventional and organic? There have been dozens of salmonella or other outbreaks in other meats and vegetables, should we pasteurize and cook all meats and vegetables as well? Is this overkill?

It’s widely accepted that foods heated over 108 degrees are not considered raw. Pasteurization heats foods in temperatures that range from 150-280 degrees for varying time periods. The purpose is to kill micro organisms, but unfortunately it’s not a selective killer. It also kills the enzymes and nutrients in the food which are then considered ‘dead’.

It’s a scientific fact that foods heated over 108 degrees lose their nutrient quality and the amount of nutrients available are significantly diminished. Studies also show that these heated foods also transform and mutate and cause distress to the human body, in particular blood cells. Some studies also show carcinogenic effects of heated foods.

In as early as 1930, research was done in Switzerland showing what processed and cooked food did to the leukocytes, the white blood cells in humans. Prior to this research it was noted that upon eating there would be an immediate increase of the white blood cells which was called “digestive leukocytosis.” Digestive leukocytosis means that there is a rise in the number of white blood cells after eating.

It was not know why the cells would increase after eating and this increase usually meant that the person had been exposed to a harmful substance such as toxic chemicals, a trauma or infection.

Then at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry, Dr. Paul Kouchakoff found that eating unaltered, raw food or food heated at low temperatures did not cause a reaction in the blood. Kouchakoff also found that if the food was processed or heated beyond a certain temperature it caused a rise in the number of white blood cells. He found that foods that had been refined, homogenized, pasteurized, or preserved causes the greatest increase in white blood cells.

Of course, there’s the issue of truth in labeling.

If a food is pasteurized, it certainly isn’t raw. The definition of raw (from the Random House dictionary) is:


1. uncooked, as articles of food: a raw carrot.

2. not having undergone processes of preparing, dressing, finishing, refining, or manufacture: raw cotton.


Mislabeling is not only wrong, but can be criminal. Consumers ought to have an informed choice, to know how the food was altered, or not altered. This seems to go against any ‘truth in labeling’ movement and deceives the public.

The mandate is planned to take effect in the fall of this year (2007). Enjoy your raw and living almonds now, after the fall they may not be available. To contact the Almond Board of California and share your views, visit their web site at:

http://www.almondboard.com/utilities/FORMContactUs.cfm

or call them at: (209) 549-8262

Also, the Weston Price Foundation has put together a great background and list of people to contact.

To your BEST health!

Mark

Send this to a friend or loved one and help spread the word of this abuse of our freedom to choose. Click the link below.

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