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Tell Organic Baby Food Brands to Stop Using Genetically Modified Organisms
As 2011 comes to an end, we are revving up our important campaign to Safeguard Organic Standards—getting genetically engineered ingredients out of certified organic baby food. Tell organic baby food brands to stop using GMOs (genetically modified organisms) by clicking here.
Since 2006, Martek Biosciences, owned by multinational biotech giant DSM, has been selling its DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ARA (arachidonic acid), synthesized versions of the essential fatty acids that are naturally found in breast milk, to companies manufacturing organic infant formula, baby food and other food products.
Now the National Organic Program says the 2006 approval was illegal, and they're conducting a formal review of the Martek products for the first time.
The Cornucopia Institute has been warning since 2008 that the DHA and ARA might be made using genetic engineering, an excluded method under national organic regulations.
The Organic Consumers Association has confirmed the Cornucopia Institute's concerns with our own research and we've learned:
The DHA and ARA used in organic infant formulas and baby cereals is manipulated using microencapsulation to transform it from an oil to a powder. Microencapsulation is specifically listed as an excluded method in the organic regulations, one of a "variety of methods used to genetically modify organisms or influence their growth and development by means that are not possible under natural conditions or processes and are not considered compatible with organic production."
In addition, DHA and ARA are produced from mutant strains of algae and fungi with unnaturally high DHA and ARA levels. Mutagenesis is not specifically mentioned in the organic regulations' definition of excluded methods, but it certainly fits the category definition listed above.
Mutagenesis involves exposing cells to radiation or mutagenic chemicals to create a variety of mutant cells from which desired characteristics can be selected. DSM, Martek's new owner and the long-time producer of its ARA, boasts the invention of modern extensions of this process, including "site-directed mutagenesis technology." DSM screens the vast numbers of microbial strains produced by random mutagenesis and selects for improved properties using a robotic High-Throughput Screening facility which automates analytical tasks, including complex enzymatic analyses and high-tech flow-injection nuclear magnetic resonance. Then, they use recombinant-DNA technology to combine multiple mutations in a single organism.
Products of microencapsulation and mutagenesis don't belong in organic. To help get these GMOs out of organic baby food, click here.
For more information, click here.
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.