Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cool down smoothie

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Need to cool down after a tough workout or a hot day at the beach? Lap up this low-cal, citrus-infused drink.

SERVINGS: 1

1 navel orange, peeled
¼ c fat-free half-and-half or fat-free yogurt
2 Tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
¼ tsp vanilla extract
4 ice cubes

COMBINE the orange, half-and-half or yogurt, orange juice concentrate, vanilla, and ice cubes. Process until smooth.

NUTRITION (per serving) 160 cal, 3 g pro, 36 g carb, 3 g fiber, 28 g sugars, 1 g fat, 0.5 g sat fat, 60 mg sodium

David Bronner

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By: Just Label It
Article Source: http://justlabelit.org/august-right-to-know-champion-david-bronner/

David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap, is an organic industry pioneer and outspoken genetically engineered food labeling activist. David and his brother Michael established Dr. Bronner’s as a trendsetter in the organic body care industry by becoming one of the first brands to certify its soaps, lotions and balms under the USDA National Organic Program in 2003 — marking the beginning of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps’ issue-oriented activism in the natural products marketplace.
We had the pleasure of interviewing him about the incredible work he’s done on the GE labeling front, check it out.

Q&A: Right to Know Champion, David Bronner, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap

Q: What made you first become passionate about the issue of genetically engineered food, and advocating for mandatory labeling?

A: At Dr. Bronner’s we are passionate about organic agriculture, and are one of very few personal care companies whose entire product range is certified under USDA’s National Organic Program standards, the same program that certifies food. Organic versus conventional agriculture is about building soil health and tilth naturally and sustainably, without the petrochemical pesticides and fertilizers that destroy our soil and pollute our food, water and bodies.
While genetic engineering could be a beneficial technology in principle, as applied to agriculture it’s been a disaster. Far from freeing us from the chemical treadmill of conventional industrial agriculture, it’s now on steroids. Only two genetically engineered traits are in widespread commercial use: herbicide resistance, so that huge amounts of herbicide can be sprayed on food crops, and crops that produce their own insecticide. Both have the entirely foreseeable effect of exerting massive selection pressure on weeds and pests to develop resistance, much like overdosing factory farmed densely confined animals with antibiotics is causing resistance in virulent strains of bacteria. Pesticide use has predictably skyrocketed as weeds and pests gain resistance, which is great for the giant chemical companies that engineer the seeds to resist their chemicals and sell the chemicals, but not for anybody else.
Labeling GMOs would give consumers that right to choose if they want to buy a genetically engineered food or not. It is a no-brainer: we need complete transparency in order for consumers to be able to make an informed choice about the products they are buying and the kind of agriculture they want to support.

Q: From a business perspective how hard would it be for companies to label the presence of GE ingredients in their products?

A: It would not be hard at all. Companies change their labels all the time (including Dr. Bronner’s) and not once has that meant we raised prices to our customers. It’s so dumb. Further, U.S. food companies already label in 64 countries that require GMOs to be disclosed, including all of the European Union and Japan, and food costs have not gone up in those countries.

Q: Do you think there are any potential benefits to biotechnology?

A: Definitely I appreciate the fact that we can produce medicines like insulin via genetically engineered microorganisms, versus grinding up cow pancreases. And theoretically in agriculture, drought tolerance or nitrogen fixing would be great. Unfortunately these are complex genetic traits and they have so far been commercial failures. People need to focus on the facts on the ground versus make-believe: over 99% of GMO crop acreage is engineered to resist and/or produce pesticides. And the resulting widespread weed and pest resistance means that even more pesticides are being blasted on our food and farmlands.

Q: As a company, what has Dr. Bronner’s done to support GE labeling?

A: We financially support diverse NGOs (including Just Label It) dedicated to organic sustainable agriculture, who are opposed to the disaster of genetic engineering in agriculture. We were an early major supporter of California’s Prop 37, a GMO labeling initiative that was voted on in 2012. Despite being outspent $45 to $9 million by the opposition, we almost won that election, 49-51.
In 2013 we were heavily involved in Washington State’s 522 Initiative for GMO labeling. We were the largest contributor to the campaign, giving almost 2 million dollars to try to get it passed. We also experimented with having a special label on our soaps for the first time, to inform consumers about the issue. We were still vastly outspent by the opposition, and again, narrowly defeated, 49-51. The movement, on the one hand, made a mistake trying to pass a measure in an odd-year electorate which is much smaller, older and more conservative. On the other, we kept the pressure on in the larger culture and fight, that helped pave the way to the major 2014 victories in Vermont and Jackson County, Oregon.
We also were major donors to the Vermont effort, giving over $300K over the past three years, as well as $40K to Jackson county’s fight. We support various state and national efforts, but this year we are very excited that the Oregon Right to Know GMO effort is going to ride the momentum off Vermont and Jackson county, and break open the dam for states everywhere to enact labeling. Things are lined up there with a very favorable and informed electorate, and a terrific and experienced campaign team. And we are once again going to do a special GMO info label on our soaps.

Q: Do you personally try to avoid eating GE foods? How?

A: I eat organic foods as much as possible. By definition, organic food cannot contain any genetically engineered ingredients. To be clear, simply because something is not GE, doesn’t mean it isn’t coated in pesticides and grown in a completely unsustainable manner. Only organic delivers the full sustainable deal.

Q: Who do you admire for their leadership on GE labeling?

A: Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association takes names and kicks ass like no other; Andy Kimbrell founder of Center for Food Safety has been a crucial leader and strategist for the movement. Rather than try to list all the rock stars and miss anyone I’ll just say there’s a lot more on the spectrum rocking hard across the board in this movement.

Q: What other causes are you involved with?

A: We’re passionate about fair trade – while organic certification addresses the environmental side of farming and production, it does not touch the social side. Migrant workers in California don’t get any better wages or working conditions in organic fields, although it’s great they’re not being doused with pesticides. We also are active in reforming drug policy in this country, to take a more humane rational approach, such as re-commercializing industrial hemp and legalizing medical marijuana for patients. Those who are addicted and abuse drugs should get treatment; we should not be destroying otherwise productive nonviolent citizens and their families with jail time and records. And we’ve recently opened up an animal rights front, fighting with allies for animal husbandry regulation to stop meat and dairy products from being produced under such poor conditions.

Q: What would you say to others who are hoping to start and lead a movement around positive change?

A: Go for it. Be ready to make a lot of mistakes and learn by doing. And any leader is only really as good as his or her team – so surround yourself with people who complement your skills and who have your back.

Q: Would you recommend any good resources for others hoping to learn more about GMOs?

A: Just Label It is a fantastic resource for updates and how to engage and help at the national level, as well as finding your local state effort and battles and plugging in. GMO Inside is also doing excellent work as well to educate folks on the issue.

Really Safeway?

Shareholder Activists Visit Four Corporations to Urge Enhanced Fight Against Efforts by Organic Food Industry to Stigmatize GMO Foods

By: Judy Kent
Article Source: http://www.nationalcenter.org/PR-Safeway_GMOs_072814.html

Washington, D.C. / Pleasanton, CA – At the annual meeting of Safeway shareholders this past Friday in Pleasanton, California, the overwhelming majority of shareholders followed the advice of the National Center for Public Policy Research and rejected an anti-scientific shareholder proposal that would have forced the grocery store chain to brand products containing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) with labels.

The purpose of the mandatory-labeling campaign is to deter the sale of products containing GMOs by frightening consumers unnecessarily.

“Safeway’s shareholders sent a loud message to the GMO activists and lobbyists that represent them – science trumps baseless fear-mongering campaigns,” said National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq.

Danhof spoke out against a proposal submitted by the Green Century Equity Fund that sought to require the company to identify and label all of its products that “may contain genetically engineered ingredients.”

“In the face of all of the uncontroverted scientific evidence that GMOs are safe, the proponent of the GMO-labeling proposal had the temerity to tell Safeway’s shareholders that no long-term scientific evidence exists to show that GMO foods are safe,” noted Danhof. “This is beyond willful ignorance. Some anti-GMO activists are shameless in their attempt to advance their agenda.”

Danhof countered the proposal by noting, in part:

This proposal is unscientific, unnecessary for Safeway’s business purposes and would increase food prices, disproportionately harming lower-income customers.

Numerous scientific bodies have determined that GMO foods are safe, including:

1. The National Academy of Sciences

2. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (which has stated that the “science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe”)

3. The American Medical Association (which has stated that “Bioengineered foods have been consumed for… 20 years, and during that time, no overt consequences on human health have been reported and/or substantiated in the peer-reviewed literature.”)

4. The Royal Society of Medicine

5. The World Health Organization

The European Union spent ten years and hundreds of millions of Euros to exhaustively examine GMOs, determining: “The main conclusion to be drawn from the efforts of more than 130 research projects, covering a period of more than 25 years of research, and involving more than 500 independent research groups, is that biotechnology, and in particular GMOs, are not per se more risky than e.g. conventional plant breeding technologies.”

The proposal can be found on pages 241 and 242 of Safeway’s proxy statement.

Danhof’s full statement against the proposal, as prepared for delivery, can be found here.

The proposal failed, with only 10.25 percent of company shareholders voting for it.

“If GMOs are so bad and causing the human devastation that activists claim, why are groups such as the Green Century Equity Fund only calling for labeling?” asked Danhof. “If the science backed up its scary claims, it would be calling for an outright ban. And, if the science backed them up, I expect I might join with them. But the wild claims of the anti-GMO crowd have no scientific backing and simply rely on fear.”

Friday’s meeting marks the fourth time during the 2014 shareholder season that the National Center urged corporate America to do more to combat the assault from anti-GMO activists, which is in part funded by the organic food industry.

In late January, Danhof urged Monsanto shareholders to reject another anti-scientific proposal that sought to have the company work with the Food and Drug Administration to advance GMO labeling. As National Center Chairman Amy Ridenour said at the time, “[i]t’s easy for relatively well-fed Americans to overlook the tremendous promise of GMOs as a tool to combat malnutrition and hunger worldwide. Yet the demonization of genetically-modified foods could have a tragic result if it stops or slows the use of seeds that improve agricultural yields and nutrition in the Third World. GMOs are even more environment-friendly than traditional farming. As GMOs are safe, why surrender the benefits?”

Like Safeway shareholders, Monsanto shareholders overwhelmingly agreed with the National Center and soundly rejected the proposal.

Danhof also urged Monsanto executives to make the company’s scientists and health experts more available to the press to combat the high-level of misinformation and pseudoscience from anti-GMO zealots that pervades the GMO debate. As noted by the Wall Street Journal following the meeting, Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant agreed with Danhof, saying that “it’s a really good idea” and that the company “need[s] to do more” to win the GMO debate.

In May, Danhof attended the Kraft Foods and Pepsi shareholder meetings to urge them to do more to combat the fear-mongering and deceptive narratives of anti-GMO special interests.

At Kraft’s meeting in Glenview, Illinois, Danhof noted that, by using fear, anti-GMO activist groups seek to confuse and successfully scare much of the public. He stated: “The anti-GMO attacks come from Americans who have likely never missed a meal in their lives. Their campaigns against GMOs are unscientific, fear-based and inhumane, but they are winning. In fact, one ABC News poll showed that 93 percent of Americans think the federal government should mandate GMO labeling – a tactic they hope will elevate GMOs with taboo products such as tobacco and alcohol.”

Danhof then asked Kraft’s CEO to “[e]xplain how much GMO labeling laws would increase food prices, explain the environmental benefits of GMOs and explain the potential life-saving benefits they hold for third-world consumers. I don’t need to tell you or your food experts all the benefits of GMOs, but we firmly believe it would be strongly in the company’s best interest – and the public’s best interest – if Kraft stepped up its efforts to educate the American public about them.”

Following the meeting, Danhof said that he “was encouraged by Kraft CEO Tony Vernon’s response to my question about GMOs. Vernon said that the company and the National Center are on common ground when it comes to the issue of GMOs. He thanked me for my question, and said that I stated the case for the promise of GMOs eloquently. Vernon is very passionate about the GMO issue and the benefits GMOs hold for the environment and public health. He agreed that the company must do more to engage and win this public policy debate. He noted that GMOs are in so much of what everyone in the meeting has been eating for the past 25 years, and are perfectly safe. He pledged that in the coming months, the industry and Kraft would be much more vocal and aggressive in speaking about the many benefits of GMOs.”

When Danhof arrived at the Pepsi meeting the following day in New Bern, North Carolina, multiple executives from the company’s government relations department approached him to discuss the GMO issue. They explained to him how they were engaging with stakeholders – including key players in Washington, D.C. – to better explain the health and environmental benefits of GMOs. They informed Danhof that Kraft executives reached out to Pepsi’s staff the previous afternoon to get some more information on the factsheets and beneficial information that Pepsi had already produced so that they may be able to make good on their CEO’s commitment to the National Center’s Danhof.

“This experience bolsters what we already know – that the Free Enterprise Project gets results. While some of those results, such as General Electric amending its corporate policy on green initiatives, received wide publicity, others, such as the Kraft/Pepsi communication, mostly go unseen, but are nonetheless vital toward advancing a pro-liberty agenda,” said Danhof.

At the Pepsi meeting, Danhof pointed out that anti-GMO sentiment – fueled by well-to-do Westerners – caused genuine human suffering and death elsewhere. He noted that: “Scientific American recently reported that the delayed application of Vitamin A-enhanced Golden Rice thanks to controversies stirred by anti-GMO activists had cost over 1.4 million life years in India alone since 2002. This is real human suffering and death. And it is children who too often suffer the most.”

Following the meeting, Danhof reported Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi saying the company planned “to use its resources to work with the Food and Drug Administration to get the word out about high-yield crops. She believes the FDA has a responsibility and a duty to educate the American people about food ingredients and safety. She also recognized the powerful role the National Center can play in public education through our broad outreach efforts and engagement with other food and beverage corporations.”