Yesterday a worker at the factory farm owned by Butterball, the nation’s largest turkey meat producer, pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty after being caught on hidden camera by a Mercy For Animals (MFA) investigator torturing animals. This marks the first-ever felony conviction on behalf of factory-farmed birds in US history, a major legal milestone in our work to protect farmed animals. MFA’s investigation into a Butterball factory in North Carolina revealed workers violently kicking and stomping on birds, workers bashing in the heads of live birds with metal bars, and severely injured birds denied any form of veterinary care. This conviction sends a loud and clear message to Butterball, and factory farmers nationwide, that animal cruelty will not be tolerated!
The Cornucopia Institute, a not-for-profit policy research organization based in Wisconsin, filed a formal legal complaint with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) against several infant formula manufacturers that are adding two synthetic preservatives to certified organic infant formula. The Organic Food Production Act, passed by Congress in 1990, explicitly bans synthetic preservatives in organic food. According to the Cornucopia Institute, there have been more that a dozen unapproved synthetic ingredients that have been added to organic infant formula over the past five years. While the USDA has admitted publicly that these synthetics were added to organics due to an erroneous interpretation by previous USDA leadership, the agency, after being pressured by industry, has refused to take enforcement action and pull the suspect products from store shelves. Consumers should be able to trust that the organic label represents foods that are free from unnecessary synthetic ingredients, and they rely on third-party certification by USDA-accredited certifying agents.
After two decades fighting to force U.S. food companies to tell consumers when their products are made with genetically modified organism, activists in California have mounted what is potentially their most promising to date. In November, voters in the nation’s most populous state will decide whether to require labels on food and drinks containing so-called GMO’s, or ingredients that come from plants whose DNA has been manipulated by scientists. Unbeknownst to many Americans, come of the most popular U.S. GMO crops: corn, soybeans and canola, have been staple ingredients for years in virtually every type of package food, from soup and tofu to breakfast cereals and chips. Supporters of the ballot initiative, who include food and environmental activists as well as organic growers, say consumers have the right to know what’s in the food they eat and want GMO products cut from the food chain.
CT NOFA (Connecticut Chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association) is now accepting applications for the 2012-2013 Beginning Women Farmer program.The training begins in mid-October and consists of 10 all-day Saturday sessions. The first six are throughout the winter at Goodwin College in East Hartford, CT and the four remaining sessions are on on-farm at different locations throughout the state.