Friday, April 25, 2008

In the Know

Maybe as a monthly post I will do an "In the Know" section based on items I read from a few of the subscriptions I take. Since a number of my blog readers don't raise animals they may not read some of these subscriptions. Even many of the people I know who do raise livestock don't read these. Why? Well, it's not because their weird or have strange views---it's mostly because they are not widely carried in "normal" bookstores. You have to know of them---and go on line to subscribe. Two I frequently quote from are: Stockman Grassfarmer --an excellent 61 year publication that is directed specifically at those that don't want to grain their livestock and want to raise them organically. And Acres USA. Acres is also for the organic farmer, not only livestock person, and has been around for 35 years.

So here are a few small bits from Acres this month (some shortened slightly since I am retyping them)

Pro-rBST group.
A group has been formed to halt the increasing flow of milk coming from cows that aren't treated with rBST or rBGH. Called American Farmers for the Advancement of Conservation of Technology (AFACT) they purportedly are a "grass-roots" farmers group: although it was organized by Monsanto, a Colorado consulting group that has Monsanto as a client, and the marketing firm of Osborn & Barr (whose founder includes a former Monsanto executive. This is a serious attempt to muddy the waters---watch out for it.

While I personally don't find this next one a problem from an ethical view point, less confined animal operations are a good thing and buying local from a farmer is better, I do find it a problem from an economic standpoint:

Chicken Plant Closing.
Pilgrim's Pride is closing a chicken plant in Siler City, North Carolina, along with 6 distribution centers. Reason? As quoted from CEO J. Clint Rivers:
"Due largely to the U.S. government's ill-advised policy of providing generous federal subsidies to corn based ethanol blenders, our company's total costs for corn and soybean meal to feed our flocks in the fiscal 2008 would be more than $1.3 billion more than they were two years ago." Other closures are possible.

(What I want to know is if the corn is worth that much---why are they still getting government subsidies?????!!!????)


The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap Company (love their peppermint soap) have filed Cease and Desist letters with various companies who are labeling their products as organic despite the fact that a number of their products have tested positive for the cancer causing synthetic ingredient 1,4-Dioxane, including these well known brands:

Jason's, Nature's Gate and, Kiss My Face among others.

The OCA is demanding that these companies reformulate their products to remove petrochemicals and 1,4-dioxane or else remove the "organic" label claims from their packaging. Offending companies who do not contractually comply by April will be sued by the OCA.

To see a safe list of body and home care products, and keep abreast of this issue, go to the OCA web site at

1 comment:

Robbyn said...

I like your idea of reading updates and lesser-known info from those great publications...thanks so much, Monica!