February 2013

Volume 29, Issue 2

The FireStarter

Co-op Scholarship Opportunity for HS Seniors

Tonasket Natural Foods Co-op is offering our annual scholarship to high school seniors. Applications will be available after March 1, 2013 and can be picked up at the Co-op, Tonasket High School (THS) or accessed on the THS scholarship web site. The applicant must be a graduating senior and the child of a current Co-op member. There were no applicants last year, so the scholarship opportunity has been opened to students from other schools, as well as those from THS.

Last Chance to Stop GE Salmon

from the Cornucopia Institute

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is poised to give transgenic salmon its final stamp of approval. The FDA claims that genetically engineered salmon is safe to eat, based on their assumption that GE foods are “equivalent” to natural foods rather than on rigorous scientific investigation.

The GE salmon has been genetically altered to produce growth hormones at all times, allowing it to grow faster and bigger than natural salmon. Scientists have predicted that escaped GE salmon would likely wipe out wild salmon populations, which would destroy the livelihood of coastal communities that depend on fishing.

The FDA is accepting public comment until February 25, 2013

Respected Organic Dairy Farmer Appointed to National Organic Standards Board

from the Cornucopia Institute

The USDA has announced the appointment of Iowa dairy farmer Francis Thicke to a five-year term on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The 15-member NOSB, made up of stakeholders from the organic community, advises the USDA on organic policy and makes determinations on materials allowed for use in organic food and agriculture. The NOSB has not had a working dairy farmer as a member since Kevin Engelbert completed his term in 2010 (then joining The Cornucopia Institute's Board of Directors).

Dr. Thicke and his wife Susan operate an 80-cow certified organic dairy near Fairfield, IA. They produce--and direct market--milk, cream, yogurt and cheese. In addition to his experience as a grass-based dairy producer, and years of involvement in the environmental movement, Dr. Thicke holds a PhD in soil science. He is also a current member of Cornucopia’s Policy Advisory Committee.

“The organic community will be well served by Francis Thicke’s involvement in the governance of our industry,” says Mark Kastel, Cornucopia’s Codirector.

Added Kastel: “We also want to recognize and thank Dr. Barry Flamm, who steps down as NOSB board chairman this month. Barry consistently represented the interests of all stakeholders in the organic community in protecting the integrity of the organic label and did so, especially as NOSB chairman, in an exceedingly diplomatic manner.”

Feds Stall Landmark EPA Report on Children and Toxins in Food

from the Cornucopia Institute

Scientific studies have linked pesticides to autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Now, there’s yet another reason to support organic farmers: a recent study links pesticides to food allergies.

Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University found an association between high urine levels of dichlorophenol, a chemical commonly used in pesticides, and food allergies.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, concluded: “Excessive use of dichlorophenols may contribute to the increasing incidence of food allergies in westernized societies.”

The incidence of food allergies among children has indeed been on the rise, increasing 18% between 1997 and 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study’s authors noted previous published research that documents the increase in food allergies alongside an increase in environmental pollution and pesticide use, and decided to study whether the two were related.

According to lead author Dr. Elina Jerschow, “The results of our study suggest these two trends might be linked, and that increased use of pesticides and other chemicals is associated with a higher prevalence of food allergies.”

Which Foods Might Be Genetically Modified?

It’s virtually impossible to provide a complete list of genetically modified food (GM food) in the United States due to the fact that these crops are not regulated in this country.

Some estimates say as many as 30,000 different products on grocery store shelves are "modified", which is largely because many processed foods contain soy. Half of North America's soy crop is genetically engineered.

Below are some of the more common GM foods typically found on mainstream grocery shelves.

Honey – Honey can be produced from GM crops. Some Canadian honey comes from bees collecting nectar from GM canola plants. This has shut down exports of Canadian honey to Europe.

Rice - Genetically modified to contain high amounts of Vitamin A. Rice containing human genes is to be grown in the US. Rather than end up on dinner plates, the rice will make human proteins useful for treating infant diarrhea in the developing world.

Soybeans - Genetically modified to be resistant to herbicides - Soy foods including, soy beverages, tofu, soy oil, soy flour, lecithin. Other products may include breads, pastries, snack foods, baked products, fried products, edible oil products and special purpose foods.

Sugar cane - Made resistant to certain pesticides. A large percentage of sweeteners used in processed food actually comes from corn, not sugar cane or beets. Genetically modified sugar cane is regarded so badly by consumers at the present time that it could not be marketed successfully.

Tomatoes - Made for a longer shelf life and to prevent a substance that causes tomatoes to rot and degrade.

Corn - Resistant to certain pesticides - Corn oil, flour, sugar or syrup. May include snack foods, baked goods, fried foods, edible oil products, confectionery, special purpose foods, and soft drinks.

Sweet Corn - genetically modified to produces its own insecticide. Officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have said that thousands of tons of genetically engineered sweet corn have made their way into the human food supply chain, even though the produce has been approved only for use in animal feed. Recently Monsanto, a biotechnology food producer, said that about half of the USA's sweet corn acreage has been planted with genetically modified seed this year.

Canola oil - May include edible oil products, fried foods, and baked products, snack foods.

Flax - More and more food products contain flax oil and seed because of their excellent nutritional properties. No genetically modified flax is currently grown. An herbicide-resistant GM flax was introduced in 2001, but was soon taken off the market because European importers refused to buy it.

Cottonseed Oil - Cottonseed oil and linters. Products may include blended vegetable oils, fried foods, baked foods, snack foods, edible oil products, and small goods casings.

Meat - Meat and dairy products usually come from animals that have eaten GM feed.

Peas - Genetically modified (GM) peas created immune responses in mice, suggesting that they may also create serious allergic reactions in people. The peas had been inserted with a gene from kidney beans, which creates a protein that acts as a pesticide.

Vegetable Oil - Most generic vegetable oils and margarines used in restaurants and in processed foods in North America are made from soy, corn, canola, or cottonseed. Unless these oils specifically say "Non-GMO" or "Organic," it is probably genetically modified.

Dairy Products - About 22% of cows in the U.S. are injected with recombinant (genetically modified) bovine growth hormone (rbGH).

About Some of Our News Sources

We often reprint articles found on a couple of online news sources, which encourage sharing their articles, even word-for-word. Their main goals are to get the info out to as many readers as possible. Two of our favorites are The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and The Cornucopia Institute.

OCA is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The OCA deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children's health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability and other key topics.

The OCA represents over 850,000 members, subscribers and volunteers, including several thousand businesses in the natural foods and organic marketplace. Our US and international policy board is broadly representative of the organic, family farm, environmental, and public interest community.

The Cornucopia Institute is engaged in research and educational activities supporting the ecological principles and economic wisdom underlying sustainable and organic agriculture. Through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, The Cornucopia Institute provides needed information to family farmers, consumers, and stakeholders involved in the good food movement, and the media.

Co-op Staff “PICKS”

Co-op Staff “PICKS”

Co-op Board of Directors meets at the Community Cultural Center on the first Tuesday of each month, beginning at 5:30pm (subject to change)

Web Notes

submitted by Patrice, Member and Webmonkey

Reminder: The Co-op's website has an online Classifieds section available to all at no charge. Use this web bulletin board for buying, selling, renting, sharing, and promoting your local events. Feel free to browse at www.TonasketCoop.com/CorkBoards.

As of February 1, 588 People 'Follow Us' on Facebook! You can, too, at www.facebook.com/TonasketCoop

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The Co-op News is edited by River Jones and published as a service to the members of the Tonasket Natural Foods Co-op.

Letters and articles are welcome from members. Please email your submission for consideration to us at .

Views expressed in The FireStarter are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Co-op management, directors, or membership. Acceptance of advertising does not indicate endorsement by the Co-op of the produce/ service offered.
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