Archive for the ‘Hot Topics’ Category
SMART VIDEO that supports the POP Campaign’s efforts to end the promiscuity tendencies of Genetic Engineered Crops raping our minerals and nutrients from our organic plants. Save our children, jail glyphosate as the perpetrator – Dr. Huber is a solid scientist – stay tuned 🙂 Dr. Huber has the depth of 50 years as a researcher – he underscores the huge economic monopoly and money making values behind GE food at the expense of us humans as experiments. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrq_1ovWlVE
ALL OF OUR EFFORTS ARE COMING TO A HEAD NOW IN CONGRESS – WE WILL KEEP YOU POSTED AS WE PREPARE TO HAVE OUR VOICES HEARD BIG TIME –
MEDIA RELEASE: Boxer, DeFazio Introduce Bill to Require Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods
More than 90 Percent of Americans Support the Right to Know What Is In The Foods We Feed Our Families
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) today introduced the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, legislation that would require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to clearly label genetically engineered (GE) foods so that consumers can make informed choices about what they eat.
Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mark Begich (D-AK), Jon Tester (D-MT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) are cosponsors of the Senate bill.
Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Donna Christensen (D-Virgin Islands), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Peter Welch (D-VT), James Moran (D-VA), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Don Young (R-AK), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), George Miller (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Ann Kuster (D-NH) are cosponsors of the House bill.
“Americans have the right to know what is in the food they eat so they can make the best choices for their families,” Senator Boxer said. “This legislation is supported by a broad coalition of consumer groups, businesses, farmers, fishermen and parents who all agree that consumers deserve more – not less – information about the food they buy.”
“When American families purchase food, they deserve to know if that food was genetically engineered in a laboratory,” Representative DeFazio said. “This legislation is supported by consumer’s rights advocates, family farms, environmental organizations, and businesses, and it allows consumers to make an informed choice.”
“Despite the prevalence of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in grocery stores and prepared foods, it remains difficult if not impossible for consumers to determine if the foods they eat contain GMOs,” Representative Polis said. “This labeling bill is about empowering consumers: consumers can chose to eat or not eat GMOs, or to pay more or less for GMOs. I believe consumers have a right to know what they are eating so they can make their own informed food choices. I am proud to be working toward more informative food labels.”
“Food is a basic necessity in our everyday lives, and people have a right to know what’s in the food that we eat,” Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said. “I have long been an advocate of labeling food containing GE products because consumers deserve honest, transparent information about their food. This legislation puts consumers first and will empower them to make informed choices for themselves and their families.”
“GMO labeling is an issue I’ve cared deeply about for a long time and is one of the things I hear most often about from constituents,” Congresswoman Pingree said. “I think people have a right to know exactly what they’re feeding themselves and their families. The choice of whether to eat GMO food is best left to the consumer–but there’s no choice to make if we don’t provide them the information.”
According to surveys, more than 90 percent of Americans support the labeling of genetically engineered foods. In fact, many consumers are surprised to learn that GE foods are not already labeled.
Currently, the FDA requires the labeling of over 3,000 ingredients, additives and processes, but the agency has resisted labels for genetically modified foods. In a 1992 policy statement, the FDA allowed GE foods to be marketed without labeling, claiming that these foods were not “materially” different from other foods because the genetic differences could not be recognized by taste, smell or other senses.
Unfortunately, the FDA’s antiquated labeling policy has not kept pace with 21st century food technologies that allow for a wide array of genetic and molecular changes to food that can’t be detected by human senses. Common sense would indicate that GE corn that produces its own insecticide – or is engineered to survive being doused by herbicides – is materially different from traditional corn that does not. Even the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has recognized that these foods are materially different and novel for patent purposes.
Consumers – who are used to reading labels to see if foods contain MSG, gluten, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup or aspartame – clearly want more information. More than one and a half million Americans have filed comments with the FDA urging the agency to label GE foods.
The bipartisan legislation introduced today would require clear labels for genetically engineered whole foods and processed foods, including fish and seafood. The measure would direct the FDA to write new labeling standards that are consistent with U.S. labeling standards and international standards.
Sixty-four countries around the world already require the labeling of GE foods, including all the member nations of the European Union, Russia, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand.
This legislation follows last year’s letter from Senator Boxer, Representative DeFazio and 54 Senate and House lawmakers urging the FDA to require the labeling of GE foods.
I am outraged and laughing at the manipulations and fear tactics of the FDA. It just posted a Friday Food Safety notice to be wary of raw sprouts because of the risk of food borne illness such as salmonella and E. coli. They claim that there have been 30 reported outbreaks within the past 16 years and that the problem is with the seed itself. They caution even home grown sprouts including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung beans.) They also caution people with challenged immune systems, children and pregnant women to not eat sprouts raw or lightly cooked.
Such BS. The problems come with the chicken, bat, and cow manure in the sol used or leaking downstream into water sources used. This comment is based on 30 reports over 16 years – what about the 100 million plus instances where people have eaten sprouts and not only boosted their immune systems and helped challenge certain diseases but also went away healthy with smiles. I wonder if the FDA has ever posted reports from years ago that a rumored 240 deaths a day are traced to meat consumption –opps, gotta be careful of the meat industry.
The POP Campaign is conducting more research to address the details in case this mushrooms into a huge strategy of control or regulation – or setting the stage for massive GE planting of sprouts.
Drs. Brian and Anna Maria Clement, Dr. Gabriel Cousins, Viktoras Kulvinskas, Cheri Soria, and many other health educators and healthy businesses are taking a very strong stand in favor of Proposition 37 in California to label genetically engineered food. There is no real argument here. this is a no brainer… and a must…but we have to get the word out. This passage will effect the entire nation on GMO labeling.
3 TO 3 TO 3 TO MAKE HISTORY – we are sparking our networks to ask you to connect with at least 3 people to connect with 3 people to connect with 3 other people who live in California or know someone in California to:
1. Watch and forward these 3 short POP Campaign and MOMS4POP videos
2. Post and share the video links below via email and social media between now and November 6th (copy & paste suggestions below)
3. Make history by voting “YES” on Proposition 37 – To Label Genetically Engineered Food today through November 6, 2012
Copy & Paste: Email and post on Facebook, Twitter, and other Social Media:
Everyone you know is NOT AWARE and CONNECTS THE DOTS like you do. Many of our concerned friends are being swayed by millions of dollars of deceptive ads. LET’S MAKE HISTORY TOGETHER and make this happen…. NOW!
JOIN US – we want a tsunami of connections and posts with less than 3 weeks to go ….. this is our time in history to make a difference.
VOTE “YES” ON PROPOSITION 37 To Label Genetically Engineered Food – now through November 6th
firstname.lastname@example.orgDrs. Brian and Anna Maria Clement, Hippocrates Health Institute
Preserve Organic Power!
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Click On The Links To Learn More About…
There are a number of issues in motion on this topic (POP is IN ACTION) …We are rallying together to preserve our access to PURE ORGANIC FOODS and to choose vibrant health for our inner AND outer environment, as well as educating the masses, policy makers and congress on these issues… it’s time to take the “sneakiness out” of labeling.
You can make a big difference NOW by taking actions below… make a call and fax a letter …and please donate to POP to continue all these efforts.
Also, check out this signed copy of the GE Congressional Dear Colleagues letter for a Bicameral Letter to the FDA Here and see a list of Kucinich Bills and co-sponsor tallies below.
What can you do to help?
A. Phone Calls: Tell him or her that you want mandatory labeling on ALL genetically engineered (or GMO) foods.
– Remind them this is a Non-partisan issue and is important to you and your family.
– This is simply truth in labeling – consumers, including you, have the right to know.
– He/she needs to Co-sponsor HR 3553 (Kucinich –see below)
– There is currently a Dear Colleague letter from Senator Boxer and Congressman Defazio asking for signatures on a Bicameral letter to the FDA supporting the Citizens Petition on mandatory labeling – please support this and sign it.
– More than 20 groups and thousands of citizens have sent a Citizens Petition to the FDA asking for mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods – consumers are concerned.
B. Fax Your Follow-up Letter: The most impact is following up your call with a short letter faxed – see the bicameral colleague letter below – and an example of a letter:
To Your Senator
The Honorable (full name)
Room # ( ), Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator (name):
To Your Representative:
The Honorable (full name)
(Room #)House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable (Name):
I am writing to tell you that I want mandatory labeling on ALL genetically engineered (GE/GMO) foods. This is a simple truth in labeling concern where every consumer should have the right to know clearly what he or she is buying. This is as important to my family as I am certain it is to yours. This is a non-partisan issue.
I am asking that you
1. Sign the Dear Colleague letter from Senator Boxer and Congressman Defazi for a bicameral letter to the FDA to require mandatory labeling and support the Citizens Petition; and,
2. Support and cosponsor HR 3533 Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act (Kucinich – see below) and any similar Senate Bill that might be introduced.
There have been thousands of concerned citizen and over 400 organizations and groups across the country concerned about GE labeling. The time has come to secure a legacy of healthy food for our children for generations to come.
2) GET INVOLVED IN TALKING to candidates and policy makers at all levels of government during this 2012 election cycle. Share knowledge with them and your concerns about protecting organic foods; that quality farming is important to you; and, that you want mandatory labeling of all genetically engineered foods.
3) SUPPORT OUR POP CAMPAIGN EFFORTS – donate or call 415-999-9414 to participate in many other ways.
GMO Bills: Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Democrat from Ohio introduced three bills regarding genetically engineered foods and seeds – for viewing the complete bills, lease link to http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php
H.R.3553: Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act – 19 Co-sponsors
H.R.3554: Genetically Engineered Safety Act – 3 Co-sponsors
H.R.3555: Genetically Engineered Technology Farmer Protection Act – 4 Co-sponsors
Colleague Letter for a Bicameral Letter to the FDA:
Congressman Peter Defazio and Senator Barbara Boxer sent a letter to their colleagues on February 9th asking them to sign onto a letter to the FDA, calling for the FDA to implement mandatory labeling., in alignment with a Citizens Petition submitted.
The following Senators have already signed on: Boxer (CA) Begich (AK) Tester (MT) and Wyden (OR) The following Representative have already signed the letter: DeFazio (OR) Hanna (R-NY) Pingree ME) Kucinich (OH) McGovern (MA) Moran (VA) Stark (CA) Farr (CA) George Miller (CA) and Polis (CO), Filner (CA).
The POP Campaign, with you, is reaching out to legislators, educating them on Genetically Engineered labeling issues and encouraging their signature on a bicameral letter with Senator Boxer and Congressman Defazio.
Click this link to see the letter:
Action Alert for another huge step towards freedom and health- the POP Campaign has been a strong advocate for Genetically Engineered labeling – we are asking everyone to contact their Senators and House of Representatives. Ask them to cosign this Bicameral Letter to the FDA “requesting” that the FDA mandate (GE) labeling of all food. (We will get all of the phone numbers up later.) We are working with the Just Label it Coalition and others on this effort – go team.
The global POP Campaign was founded to educate and to promote the power of the community of consumers and industry of the organics movement in preserving and promoting organic foods, dietary supplements, overall health and food freedom. POP played a significant visible role throughout the process of making the Food Safety Bill, S-510, a much better bill.
The three-legged prongs of power for the POP Campaign to gain strong influence are Health oriented providers; Grass roots support and outreach, and Grass tops – industry participants.
The Campaign is poised to play a key role in coalition building with other representative groups, businesses, health practitioners and educators so as to strengthen its voice and leverage impact throughout the world.
Foods and Supplements Are Inexplicably Linked
In the U.S., as you know, dietary supplement rules and regulations are under the umbrella of food regulations as dietary supplements are considered foods, not drugs. Even without the regulatory connection, foods and supplements are inexplicably linked, as most dietary supplement ingredients are food based. Some dietary supplement companies only use organic food products to produce their supplements. This “linkage” is a point of contention among regulators; and, Congress continues to clarify the regulatory framework. Within this contentious context, POP’s role is essential on an ongoing basis to ensure an educational role and watchdog presence.
CODEX Threat to Supplements and the Dangers of a CODEX to U.S. Bleed-through
CODEX is a very specific threat to supplements worldwide, including potential bleed through to US policy. A major stage has been set as seen in occurrences in the international arena where the European Union, led in large part by the same players who are on their CODEX Delegations, passed a law several years ago requiring prior approval of supplements before entering the market place. As we saw this year, this has dramatically limited product access. Because the EU does not have the protections of the Proxmire Amendment, they have succeeded in setting upper limits on vitamins that are below the therapeutic threshold.
Although the Proxmire Amendment withheld challenges by the FDA and got ultimately folded into DSHEA, the threat remains to undercut this cornerstone. (Most recently the introduction of S 1310, the Dietary Supplement Labeling Act of 2011 which you will hear much more on soon.) Every significant piece of food and supplement legislation that has passed has a section pertaining to the coordination and compliance of that legislation with ANY treaty or international agreement the US has signed. Any treaty has CODEX rules as the driver, giving that agreement a trump card for over-riding any food policy and freedoms allowed so far within the U.S.
Besides the obvious protections in place, and the introduction of S-1310, are there still any tangible threats? Yes, threats to DSHEA in the near future exist. On the front burner, the FDA’s egregious tactics where they raided the Amish Farm and the Oregon Maxam Nutraceutics supplement company with scores of armed agents shows their mindset – if you are small and ‘alternative’ you are a target. Further, there are legislators such as Waxman and Susan David, who are always looking for ways to overturn DSHEA. Again, the FDA continues to seek ways to get around DSHEA, they want drug like pre-market approval requirements and revive this at every level possible.
A small counter step was taken in 2010 where, for the first time pertaining to the CODEX and trade amendments in any legislation, the POP Campaign specifically shared process information with the Senate to amend the Food Safety Bill CODEX section to include FDA accountability language and a two-year report back to the Senate on the impact of CODEX on Food and Organic products. This is the first time that this has happened.
Another huge counter influence is the media where it continues to state fraudulently that dietary supplements are not regulated (or the new phrase, are ‘barely’ regulated) and run sensational dramatic stories to gain readership. The POP Campaign has made concerted efforts to be a source of reason, truth, and clarity and has helped share information and reframe the dialogue around these issues. In 2010, it garnered public statements for the record by Senators Harkin and Hatch that the FDA cannot adopt CODEX Guidelines affecting dietary supplements without Congressional Approval.
The ongoing work in CODEX has to do with setting reference values on vitamin and mineral supplements. This is very controversial and will be used to expand this attack on supplements to the global market place and demand conformity to participate in trade issues. Furthermore there are activities in process or in development that will or may specifically affect individual products and where the POP Campaign can have a stronger presence and share information, for example in the cases of Noni and Kava (as seen in the note below). Some additional supplement microscope activity is seen around Blue-green algae, Ginko Biloba, Acidophilus and probiotics to just mention a few. (Please see below.)
As CODEX bleed-through gains momentum as seen in FDA, Trade, Agriculture, etc. U.S. Departments agendas, these efforts to solidify and seek CODEX alignment require constant vigilance and education – a role the POP Campaign plays.
Legislative Policy Presence and Education Savvy
The POP Campaign plays a strong role of “health educator” and has a presence in DC – this presence being vital in connecting with legislators and key staff. Knowing how to script the message and what areas to provide information with certain legislators and policy makers is crucial to success. Strengthening this connectivity for back channel communications, leveraging, educating, and “getting the scoop” is the backbone of the long-term relationships of the Capitol consultants we work with.
The history includes time spent in the Office of Alternative Medicine, House Government Reform Committee oversight for expanding the health care system to include dietary supplement regulation, participating in numerous hearings that progressed into DSHEA, participated as a delegate to CODEX ‘S special Nutrition Committee, represented 6 million constituents in California, and much more.
So many areas are in development pertaining to food and supplements where POP has a role, for example, our DC presence helped garner several million in research dollars for alternative medicine research through appropriations. This is significant as a tactic for food and supplements because alternative medicine is tied to supplements both philosophically and as a means of therapy. Every alternative system of healing uses nutrition as the first line of therapy and alternative medicine research dollars often are used for looking at nutritional supplement evaluation.
Grass Tops – Key Alliances
Many times, more powerful even than grassroots are well-positioned grass tops – business executives and owners from the industry willing to give support and speak out. The power of a business owner talking to a legislator is significant. Business owners equal jobs and are perceived as friendly territory for garnering support in future elections. The POP Campaign has the ability to form sound coalitions with business owners and “grass tops” based upon sound thinking and without compromising its positions on organics on every side of policy education.
At the same time, there is no take away from the power of the consumer, and Congress generally wants to do the right thing. Grass roots and tops, providing accurate information and supporting each other through the POP Campaign, can forge new alliances, provide information of new standards, and maintain a complete organic presence.
POP Campaign’s Role Crucial in the US and CODEX Policy Making
Congress is becoming very interested in how the FDA is setting priorities and is engaging with them now about protecting the organic and supplement industry and consumers’ access. This is a high priority for the community. Equally, with CODEX policy making, the POP Campaign can play an important role.
1. Educating the public about what is happening at policy-making levels – especially proving to be an accurate source of information on a topic where there is so much misinformation. (On the Food Safety Bill, there were more than 200 radio interviews and numerous articles and hundreds of group appearances.)
2. Solidifying and expanding the POP Campaign support base, especially through its global Moms for Preserving Organic Power initiative – MOMS4POP.
3. Educate legislators on organic food and present information as to the alignment or not with CODEX guidelines.
4. Engage with the international community to improve guidelines within CODEX Committees.
There are many good ingredients in supplements and food that the FDA would love to see forced out of the marketplace. Science and the traditional use demonstrate benefit not just to wellness, but also to disease management and prevention. If Noni and/or algae can help with health concern, then the public is going to insist it stay in the marketplace. The key, of course, is for supplement companies (along with others) to engage in sound discussions and build their presence in Washington by supporting the POP Campaign and being involved so that as an issue arises, they already have an inside presence.
* MOMS4POP Strategy: MOMS4POP adds a unique platform to the POP Campaign where Moms engage other Moms to keeping their voices and choices alive, keeping organic food and standards pure, keeping informed and educated as leaders and taking action to make a difference…. while making money along the way. Each Mom can realize her dreams together with other Moms, get the professional support to contribute, and build wealth while doing what they do best – being a Mom.
Hawaiian Noni: In the fall of 2010, the CODEX Committee on North America and the South West Pacific, included discussion of Noni (also referred to as Nonu). The Committee from Tonga is running the electronic working group after developing a discussion paper regarding the development of a commodity standard for Noni. (The same type of process is occurring in this Committee with Kava). The Coordinating Committee noted that there was a need to better clarify the nature, scope, safety, and intended use of Noni. The Committee also noted that a number of scientific and technical issues needed to be resolved prior to proceeding with the development of a standard. CODEX is considering whether or not a regional or global standard on Noni is needed.
In past years, the FDA has sent warning letters to distributors of Noni regarding the a breach of the disease claims regulations. Noni also garnered attention at the NIH, and research looking at its potential benefit for cancer is ongoing. This can be a doubled edged sword as the design of the study is essential to the outcome, and as we have seen the in the past, not all studies at the NIH in nutrients are well designed and executed.
Blue-green algae: This is listed in the FDA’s poisonous plant database, but they do not make that connection to dietary forms of algae. The FDA has warned companies that sell drinks with algae as dietary supplements. There remains a need for reframing scientific points and being alert.
Ginko Biloba: The large clinical trial on ginko at the NIH is a prime example of government corrupting the scientific process. All of the experts agreed from the outset that the study design could not answer the key question (whether or not the use of ginko in seniors would delay the onset of Alzheimers.) The study as anticipated was negative.
Acidophilus and probiotics: The dramatic rise in the popularity of pro and prebiotics has stimulated interest at the NIH and FDA. It is one of the incidences in which the benefits are widely known and have become mainstream. Activia’s advertisements were recently required to change their commercials.
- Support the healthiest choices and whole food products. One that supports the campaign is Mila, a proprietary blend of the most nutrient dense chia seeds available in the world – packed with Omega 3’s, fiber, protein, phytonutrients and antioxidants! Mila is a “word of mouth marketing” business opportunity… when you (mom) purchase and make money, Pop makes money too! It’s a win/win! Mila is brain food and highly nutritious for babies, children, adults, pets and also good for pregnant and nursing woman.
- Engage in “Shop Talk” –Mom’s share what they know with at least one other cart-pusher in the market by pointing out “bad” food and sharing other options to elevate awareness.
- Support each other economically and the POP Campaign educational and research efforts through her efforts and networks, becoming a driving, self-sufficient economic force
- Call on MOMS to take a stand against toxic food and make pro organic, healthy food choices.
As time ticks on in the battle for our food and supplement freedom, the POP Campaign continues to take an active and highly visible role – invested in the outcome. Currently, we stand poised for a response to one of the biggest issues so far this year – S-510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act as well as any action towards restricting our choices or use of supplements.
Currently, S 510 is still waiting on the Senate calendar to be scheduled for a vote. The Food Safety bill has no specific date for coming to the Senate floor for a vote, but as far as we know, a scheduled assignment can have a 48-hour turn around! We stay alert. The primary causes for delays, besides our own educational efforts as well as those of so many of you, have been ‘extender bills’ and major supplemental pieces of legislation that have priority such as the military and disaster relief—also the Supreme Court nominee hearings. These all have taken so much time. Of course, there also is the politics of the mid-term elections.
However, this does not mean that S 510 has become completely stagnant. Senator Harkin has yet to formally release his ‘manager’s amendment’ which still allows some maneuvering of language. We keep tabs on the pulse on the ground in Washington through one of our POP representatives, Beth Clay. Beth is working with Senators and Senate staff, especially Senators Harkin and Hatch, having scheduled a series of meetings to bring up our messages in person, provide sound educational input, and help frame the conversations and debate for better organics language. She also is keeping an eagle eye on any movement regarding supplements.
Your input as concerned citizens—especially the letters you have been writing and comments —have made a huge difference in steering the debate and educating representative on the issues. The POP Campaign is able to approach the key organics players with concerns from real folks who know about real situations. “Your letters are very helpful,” says Beth Clay, and “we all hope that you can keep up the hard work alongside us on this road to pure organics.”
The next step now is to help the POP Campaign turn S-510 into a national issue, sharing yours desires and knowledge about organic food and educating on your choices and freedoms. Right now is the perfect time to make this happen. For example, during these mid-term elections, we may have the opportunity to speak with our representatives in person to steer questions and dialogue towards organic foods, supplements, and S-510. We ask you to help us frame the national debate around organic foods by continuing to write letters, make phone calls, and bring up great points and questions. So often, it is about making our government aware of an issue and sharing specific facts, ideas, concepts, studies, etc. so that those in policy making roles can be informed to clearly discern and formulate a good idea vs. a bad one. Together, we could have all types of representatives, governors, senators, and state legislators all working towards our cause as well. Help us make our issue a global issue – it is essential that everyone have the freedom to choose healthy food.
Stay tuned to the POP Campaign to keep up to date on the most recent actions. Also, check out our past blogs or our ‘Issues’ section for more general information on bills and issues. Note your push backs and pushes forwards – it all makes a huge difference.
Thank you for your donations, as they really help us keep the action going. Please keep ’em coming! Donation button is on the right sidebar…