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Why Organic?

Why Organic???

Since the 1980 passing of a Supreme Court ruling (Diamond vs Chakrabarty) allowing life forms to be patented for commercialization, all life from a microbe to human cells are up for ownership by multinational biotech corporations. Over the past 20 plus years, 50% to 90% + of all the foods sold to U.S. citizens are unlabeled genetically modified. More than 70 to 80 million acres of land have been dedicated to genetically engineered agriculture. All this has been done without any prior health safety testing or regulations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

A Chronicle of the Harmful Affects of GMO
(Genetically Modified Organisms) on Human Health

1989: GMO L-tryptophan was sighted as the cause of morbidity and mortality to thousands who were taking the supplement.

1994: The introduction of the genetically engineered rBGH (bovine growth hormone) into dairy cows despite scientist warnings of higher risks of cancer. Animal studies showed malignant transformation of cells. FDA confirmed this with a documented 46% increase in a splenic mass. rBGH dairy products are distributed through out the U.S. even though pasteurization proved to destroy less than 80% of the hormone. Despite the United Nation’s marking rBGH as unsafe and many countries worldwide refusing it in their food supply, rBGH products are pervasive in the dairy products sold in the U.S.

1996: The 1st reported case of near death reactions to soy beans that were spliced with brazil nut genes. Since the infusion of GMO products into our food supplies, there has been a rising trend of allergic and immune disorders at unforeseeable rates .

1997: USDA held a meeting to address the dangers of gene mixing and superviruses in genetically altered foods after a Canadian study confirmed the ability of genetically engineered plants to independently mix genes. To date, there are no regulatory actions to prohibit the occurrence or the effect of gene mixing and the potential creation of superviruses.

1998: The Journal Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease reported that gene technology is an easy route to a resurgence of infectious diseases throughout the ecosystem. Since antibiotics are used for genetic implantation, growing resistance to antibiotics overused in genetic bioengineering can lead to the formation of new and unopposed strains of viruses and bacteria. Humans and other species partaking of these processed and altered foods can show weakened immunity. rBGH injected cows have more udder infections and require more antibiotics leading to higher concentrations of antibiotics in dairy products.

2000+ genetically engineered foods containing transgenic DNA can be taken up in the gastrointestinal systems of cows and poultry to be passed on to humans. What the full impact of transgenic DNA will have on human gene expression remains to be seen. Increases in birth defects and premature deaths in cows injected with rBGH have been documented.

Pesticides are an integral part of every cell in genetically engineered food. It is there alongside the genetic material used to make up every part of the plant. The health implications of consuming foods that have “cell interior toxicity” have never been safety tested prior to its release to the public. Its biological implications are great.

Despite the goal of increased nutritional value in genetically engineered foods, research has shown that a number of GMO products are low in nutrients.

Genetically engineered foods contain modified proteins which have never been eaten before. This ability of GMO to randomly produce pleiotropic proteins and toxins that are foreign to the human defense system, as well as other living organisms in the natural food web ,could be devastating.

Genetically engineered foods (GMOs) are harmful to the Earth

Biotech corporations are the only party that benefits from the production of GE crops. Everyone else suffers: the humans that eat their products, the farmers all over the world who become a slave to terminator and traitor technology and above all the ecosystem that it violates. Terminator technology renders crops sterile after one growing season. Traitor technology makes crops "commit suicide" unless the farmer sprays a particular chemical on them.

GMO foods change the soil:

Genetically modified potatoes change the bacterial communities in soil.

[Thomas Lukow, Peter F. Dunfield, and Werner Liesak, "Use of the T-RFLP technique to assess spatial and temporal changes in the bacterial community structure within an agricultural soil planted with transgenic and non-transgenic potato plants," FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 32 (3), 241-247 (2000)]

Toxins from Bt pesticide inserted into the DNA of plants are found in the soil for up to 234 days.

Researchers at New York University and the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Investigators, Nature, Dec. 2, 1999

GMO foods alter the ecological balance wherever they are grown

The Ecological Society of America (ESA), a professional scientific society whose members are leaders in ecological research and education, has warned that scientists and governments should proceed with caution. ESA cited such potentially negative effects as creating new or more vigorous pests and pathogens, exacerbating the effects of existing pests through hybridization with related GE plants or animals, harm to non-target species (such as soil organisms, non-pest insects, birds and other animals), disruptive effects on biotic communities, and irreparable loss or changes in species diversity and genetic diversity within a species.

There is also the real threat of contamination of organic crops from genetic drift of genetically engineered pollen. As long as genetic engineering of crops is allowed, organic producers are at risk of their crops being exposed to background levels of GMOs.

If bugs become resistant to Bt, organic growers will lose the use of natural Bt as a pest control. Without Bt, organic farmers will be left with far fewer effective strategies, while conventional farmers, who also have relied on Bt sprays, will have to turn to pesticides that are more toxic.

Even though the National Academy of Sciences Proceedings (Sept. 2001)implied the risk of ill effects of GMO corn on monarch butterflies is negligible, the original investigator Karen Oberhauser warns that there is not enough data to conclude that the risks are minimal.

Top 10 Reasons to Support Organic in the 21st Century
- www.organic.org

1. Reduce The Toxic Load: Keep Chemicals Out of the Air, Water, Soil and our Bodies

Buying organic food promotes a less toxic environment for all living things. With only 0.5 percent of crop and pasture land in organic, according to USDA that leaves 99.5 percent of farm acres in the U.S. at risk of exposure to noxious agricultural chemicals.

Our bodies are the environment so supporting organic agriculture doesn’t just benefit your family, it helps all families live less toxically.

2. Reduce if Not Eliminate Off Farm Pollution

Industrial agriculture doesn’t singularly pollute farmland and farm workers; it also wreaks havoc on the environment downstream. Pesticide drift affects non-farm communities with odorless and invisible poisons. Synthetic fertilizer drifting downstream is the main culprit for dead zones in delicate ocean environments, such as the Gulf of Mexico, where its dead zone is now larger than 22,000 square kilometers, an area larger than New Jersey, according to Science magazine, August, 2002.

3. Protect Future Generations

Before a mother first nurses her newborn, the toxic risk from pesticides has already begun. Studies show that infants are exposed to hundreds of harmful chemicals in utero. In fact, our nation is now reaping the results of four generations of exposure to agricultural and industrial chemicals, whose safety was deemed on adult tolerance levels, not on children’s. According to the National Academy of Science, “neurologic and behavioral effects may result from low-level exposure to pesticides.” Numerous studies show that pesticides can adversely affect the nervous system, increase the risk of cancer, and decrease fertility.

4. Build Healthy Soil

Mono-cropping and chemical fertilizer dependency has taken a toll with a loss of top soil estimated at a cost of $40 billion per year in the U.S., according to David Pimental of Cornell University. Add to this an equally disturbing loss of micro nutrients and minerals in fruits and vegetables. Feeding the soil with organic matter instead of ammonia and other synthetic fertilizers has proven to increase nutrients in produce, with higher levels of vitamins and minerals found in organic food, according to the 2005 study, “Elevating Antioxidant levels in food through organic farming and food processing,” Organic Center State of Science Review (1.05)

5. Taste Better and Truer Flavor

Scientists now know what we eaters have known all along: organic food often tastes better. It makes sense that strawberries taste yummier when raised in harmony with nature, but researchers at Washington State University just proved this as fact in lab taste trials where the organic berries were consistently judged as sweeter. Plus, new research verifies that some organic produce is often lower in nitrates and higher in antioxidants than conventional food. Let the organic feasting begin!

6. Assist Family Farmers of all Sizes

According to Organic Farming Research Foundation, as of 2006 there are approximately 10,000 certified organic producers in the U.S. compared to 2500 to 3,000 tracked in 1994. Measured against the two million farms estimated in the U.S. today, organic is still tiny. Family farms that are certified organic farms have a double economic benefit: they are profitable and they farm in harmony with their surrounding environment. Whether the farm is a 4-acre orchard or a 4,000-acre wheat farm, organic is a beneficial practice that is genuinely family-friendly.

7. Avoid Hasty and Poor Science in Your Food

Cloned food. GMOs and rBGH. Oh my! Interesting how swiftly these food technologies were rushed to market, when organic fought for 13 years to become federal law. Eleven years ago, genetically modified food was not part of our food supply; today an astounding 30 percent of our cropland is planted in GMOs. Organic is the only de facto seal of reassurance against these and other modern, lab-produced additions to our food supply, and the only food term with built in inspections and federal regulatory teeth.

8. Eating with a Sense of Place

Whether it is local fruit, imported coffee or artisan cheese, organic can demonstrate a reverence for the land and its people. No matter the zip code, organic has proven to use less energy (on average, about 30 percent less), is beneficial to soil, water and local habitat, and is safer for the people who harvest our food. Eat more seasonably by supporting your local farmers market while also supporting a global organic economy year round. It will make your taste buds happy.

9. Promote Biodiversity

Visit an organic farm and you’ll notice something: a buzz of animal, bird and insect activity. These organic oases are thriving, diverse habitats. Native plants, birds and hawks return usually after the first season of organic practices; beneficial insects allow for a greater balance, and indigenous animals find these farms a safe haven. As best said by Aldo Leopold, “A good farm must be one where the native flora and fauna have lost acreage without losing their existence.” An organic farm is the equivalent of reforestation. Industrial farms are the equivalent of clear cutting of native habitat with a focus on high farm yields.

10. Celebrate the Culture of Agriculture

Food is a ‘language’ spoken in every culture. Making this language organic allows for an important cultural revolution whereby diversity and biodiversity are embraced and chemical toxins and environmental harm are radically reduced, if not eliminated. The simple act of saving one heirloom seed from extinction, for example, is an act of biological and cultural conservation. Organic is not necessarily the most efficient farming system in the short run. It is slower, harder, more complex and more labor-intensive. But for the sake of culture everywhere, from permaculture to human culture, organic should be celebrated at every table.


• 5 A day: www.5aday.org

• Beyond Organic Radio Show: www.beyondorganic.com

• Co-op America: www.coopamerica.org

• Ecological Farming Association: www.eco-farm.org/efc/efc_main.html

• International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements: www.ifoam.org

• Lifestyles of Health & Sustainability: www.lohas.com/page/home.html

• Local Harvest: www.localharvest.org

• Organic Exchange: www.organicexchange.org

• Organic.org: www.organic.org

• Organic Trade Association: www.ota.com

• Sustain360: www.sustain360.org

• The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service: www.mosesorganic.org

• The National Organic Program: www.ams.usda.gov/nop/indexNet.htm

• The O’Mama Report: www.theorganicreport.org

• Organic Foods are Healthier: lookwayup.com/free/organic.htm

• Mayo Clinic’s View of Organic: www.mayoclinic.com/health/organic-food

• Organic Consumers’ Association: www.organicconsumers.org

• Food Security: www.foodsecurity.org/

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Chicago, Illinois