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Newsletter Worth Reading: OrganicBytes

[ I’ve sung the praises of CommonDreams.org, DemocracyNow!, and other sites before. Now it’s worth bringing OrganicBytes (from OrganicConsumers.org) to your attention! There’s an excerpt of the newsletter below. FYI: It only comes out every week or two. –BL ]


Organic Consumers Association

Organic
Bytes #49
Food and Consumer News Tidbits with an Edge!
1/28/2005
Subscribe

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ALERT:
NEW EPA DEAL LETS FACTORY FARMS POLLUTE AIR WITHOUT RESTRICTION

The day after the inauguration, January 21, the Bush Administration
signed an agreement that allows factory farms to freely violate
any and all clean air standards for the next two years, and forgives
these same companies from paying fines for past air pollution violations.
In exchange for the freedom to pollute without any restrictions,
the deal "requests" that factory farms agree to monitor
their air pollution and provide that data to the government. Bush’s
"Dirty Air" agreement is outrageous, given that the Clean
Air Act already requires factory farms to provide air pollution
data, while also requiring facilities to adhere to clean air standards.
One of the companies that will benefit the most from this arrangement
with the Bush Administration is Tyson Foods, who also happened to
be one of the largest donors to the Bush inaugural festivities.
Fortunately there is a 30 day public comment period. Please make
your voice heard. Take action here. http://www.organicconsumers.org/epa3.htm

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A
QUICK LOOK AT HOW SOME COUNTRIES ADVERTISE FOOD TO KIDS

  • Ireland:
    All television commercials for fast food and candy are banned.

  • Sweden/Norway/Austria/Luxembourg:
    All television advertising to children is banned.

  • Belgium/France/Portugal/Vietnam:
    All marketing is banned in schools.
  • United
    States:
    Spending more per child than any other nation in the world,
    the U.S. plugs $15 billion per year into marketing food to kids, which
    is more than what it would cost to provide health insurance for all
    uninsured children.

    Sources:
    New
    York Times 1/12/2005
    , Children’s
    Defense Fund 5/14/2003 press release
    , USgovinfo
    SCHIP Program

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INDUSTRY
LAUNCHES NEW CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE "HEALTHIER" JUNK FOOD
IN SCHOOLS

In response to efforts to rid schools of junk food, the Vending
Association has launched a new marketing campaign using color-coded
stickers to indicate to children the relative "healthiness"
of the vending machine snack. A red sticker indicates the snack
should only be chosen rarely, yellow is "choose occasionally,"
and green means the snack is healthy and should be chosen frequently.
An example of a snack that will receive a green sticker is Teddy
Grahams, a product that comes in varieties such as sugared cinnamon,
chocolate, and creme-filled. The Vending Association announced this
new campaign with a press conference, urging parents and children
to exercise more frequently by doing sit-ups and push-ups during
TV commercials. Learn
more…

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THICKBURGERS, WAL-MART, & COKE: THE 10 WORST CORPORATIONS OF
2004

The Multinational Monitor has released its annual list of the "10
Worst Corporations of 2004." Among the "winners"
of this prestigious award are Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart and Hardees. Coca-Cola
made the list when documentation surfaced revealing the company
was involved in 179 human rights violations at its bottling plants
in Columbia, including allegations of involvement in nine murders
of union leaders. Wal-Mart was caught manipulating the tax system
in order maximize profits at the expense of taxpayers. In fact,
it turns out that each of Wal-Mart’s 1000+ stores are costing taxpayers
nearly half a million dollars per year. Hardees made its debut on
the "Worst Corporations" list for its overtly aggressive
advertising of its new product, the "Monster Thickburger."
The 2/3 pound sandwich is 1,420 calories and equivalent to eating
five standard sized hamburgers. Learn
more…

[ Read more … ]

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