Organic Consumers Association

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.

Why Alaska Might Seriously Consider a Carbon Tax

Alaska isn’t exactly the first state you’d expect to embrace a price on carbon. Yet the state legislature will likely be weighing one after the November elections. When carbon taxes keep getting scrapped by blue states like Washington and Oregon, why would such a plan succeed in Alaska: a red state where oil companies are a major economic lifeline?

One Man's Suffering Exposed Monsanto's Secrets to the World

It was a verdict heard around the world. In a stunning blow to one of the world’s largest seed and chemical companies, jurors in San Francisco have told Monsanto it must pay $289m in damages to a man dying of cancer which he claims was caused by exposure to its herbicides.

Updates on the Fight for Mercury-Free Dentistry

Consumers for Dental Choice has successfully facilitated a total ban on dental amalgam for children under 15 and pregnant and nursing women within the European Union (EU), effective July 1, 2018 — a victory that will positively affect half a billion people in 28 countries. Edo, Nigeria, has also followed suit, as have the Bangladesh Dental Society (BDS), the Bangladesh Civil Society and the Vietnam Dental Society.

Farmers and Low Income Consumers May Lose Out With Change in Government SNAP Contract.

By July, farmers’ markets across the country are in full swing. But for many farmers’ market managers, the mid-season momentum turned to confusion and scramble on July 9, after The Washington Post reported that a change in government contracts could leave 1,700 farmers’ markets without the ability to accept SNAP dollars from low-income customers.

My Personal Journey on How I Went From Sick to Healthy

"Experience is a formidable teacher, and much of what I'm teaching today grew out of the lessons I learned as I tried to get healthier. I made plenty of mistakes, and fell for many of the lies, deceptions and confusion of conventional medicine.Like so many others, I grew up eating cereal for breakfast, and I fully believed margarine was healthy."

Food Facts: Valuable Nutrition Information at Your Fingertips

Have you ever wondered how much vitamin C is in a serving of strawberries or what makes avocados so good for you? Or maybe you're interested to know which has more sugar: raisins or dates? It's questions like these that necessitated the creation of Mercola.com Food Facts.

Archuleta's Message Inspires: Get the Ecology Right, the Money Will Follow

Nationally-known soil scientist Ray Archuleta presented a practical road map for restoration of farm profitability to about 200 farmers gathered at the Tainter Creek Watershed Council’s ‘Reducing Costs and Flood Impacts on the Farm’ events. The program was held Wednesday, July 25 and Thursday, July 26 at Woodhill Farms in rural Vernon County.

'Guilty on All Counts!': In Historic Victory, Monsanto Ordered to Pay $289 Million in Roundup Cancer Lawsuit

In an historic victory for those who have long sought to see agro-chemical giant Monsanto held to account for the powerful company's toxic and deadly legacy, a court in California on Friday found the corporation liable for damages suffered by a cancer patient who alleged his sickness was directly caused by exposure to the glyphosate-based herbicides, including the widely used weed-killer Roundup.

Monsanto Loses Landmark Roundup Weedkiller Case; Jury Awards $289M to Cancer Victim

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) today issued this statement in response to today’s verdict in the case of Dewayne Johnson vs. Monsanto Co., awarding $289.2 million in damages to plaintiff Dwayne Johnson, a former school groundskeeper who, after being required to spray Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, is terminally ill with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

“This verdict proves that when ordinary citizens, in this case a jury of 12, hear the facts about Monsanto’s products, and the lengths to which this company has gone to buy off scientists, deceive the public and influence government regulatory agencies, there is no confusion,” said Ronnie Cummins, OCA’s international director. “This is a company that has always put profits ahead of public safety, and today, Monsanto has finally been held accountable.

“We hope that this is just the first of many defeats for Monsanto, and that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will pull this product off the market immediately. In the meantime, OCA looks forward to the next steps in our own lawsuit against Monsanto, for misleading consumers about the safety of Roundup for humans and pets.”

Monsanto to Pay $289.2M in Landmark Roundup Lawsuit Verdict

A San Francisco jury returned a verdict today in the case of a former groundskeeper with terminal cancer against Monsanto Company, ordering the agrochemical giant to pay $39.2 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages for failing to warn consumers that exposure to Roundup weed killer causes cancer.

Dewayne “Lee” Johnson filed the lawsuit (case no. CGC-16-550128) against St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. on Jan. 28, 2016, alleging exposure to the Roundup herbicide he sprayed while working as a groundskeeper for the Benicia Unified School District caused him to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

The Importance of Standing More, Sitting Less

With over 300 joints, your body was made for movement. Although the rising tide of technology has created an amazing number of ways to share information, it has also increased the number of hours you remain seated each day. It's likely by now most understand sitting glued to your desk all day increases your risk of illness and early death.

The Wonder Plant That Could Slash Fertilizer Use

For thousands of years, people from Sierra Mixe, a mountainous region in southern Mexico, have been cultivating an unusual variety of giant corn. They grow the crop on soils that are poor in nitrogen—an essential nutrient—and they barely use any additional fertilizer. And yet, their corn towers over conventional varieties, reaching heights of more than 16 feet.

New Zealand Will Ban Plastic Bags for Good

With an estimated eight million tonnes of plastic waste entering the global marine environment each year, and New Zealand's marine Exclusive Economic Zone (a UN-prescribed state sea zone) being 15 times the size of its land mass, the country has a significant part to play in the globe's plastic pollution cleanup.

The Toll of America's Obesity

Obesity rates in the United States continue to worsen. So, too, does economic inequality. Are these trends related? After remaining essentially flat in the 1950s and 1960s, the prevalence of obesity doubled in adults and tripled in children between the 1970s and 2000. According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control, the epidemic shows no signs of abating.

FDA Investigating Possible Link Between Factory Farms and Tainted Lettuce

This week, the FDA acknowledged it is investigating whether a nearby massive concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO), or factory farm, could be the source of E. coli contamination of romaine lettuce earlier this year. The tainted lettuce resulted in hundreds of illnesses in 36 states and resulted in five deaths.

According to Food & Water Watch’s Factory Farm Map, an analysis of USDA data on factory farms, the density of cattle feedlots in the region where the tainted lettuce was grown is extreme. In Yuma county in 2012, cattle feedlots had an estimated average of over 67,000 head of cattle per facility. In the region implicated in the outbreak, samples of nearby irrigation canal water tested positive for the same strain of E. coli that caused the outbreak. The canal is close to a CAFO that can hold in excess of 100,000 head of cattle at any one time.

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