Monday, October 26, 2009

Organic Consumers Association

Location: Finland, Minnesota
Years: 1998-Present
Members: 3000 retail coops, natural food stores, CSAs, and farmers markets; 850,000 electronic subscribers

Anti-Monsanto Video Featured on OCA

Started in 1998 during the debate on the Department of Agriculture’s regulations of organic food, the Organic Consumer Association was formed as public awareness group to fight for organic agriculture. Having grown into an active and large network ranging in action from petitions and electronic newsletters to a local resource for new organic consumers, OCA coordinated a number of campaigns including the Safeguard Organic Standards Campaign (fighting for strict organic standards), Breaking the Chains Campaign (fighting against corporate globalization), and Millions Against Monsanto (fighting industrial agriculture and genetically modified food). The archive of the website documents the political activities of OCA. Most interesting is the database/buying guide of retail cooperatives, natural food stores, CSAs, and farmers markets that provides a buying guide for all sorts of organic/non-GM items, and has an extensive list of local "Green Businesses" in all sorts of categories for consumers to utilize.

OCA's overall six-point political program is the Organic Agenda 2005-15.

+The conversion of American agriculture to at least 30% organic by the year 2015, including major reforms in agricultural subsidies and appropriations to help family farmers make the transition to organic, develop local and regional markets, and adopt renewable energy practices.

+Fair Trade and economic justice, not so-called corporate-driven "Free Trade" as the global norm.

+A global moratorium on genetically engineered foods and crops.

+A phase-out of the most dangerous industrial agriculture and factory farming practices.

+Universal health care with an emphasis on prevention, nutrition, and wellness promotion.

+Energy independence and the conversion of US and global agriculture, transportation, and utilities to conservation practices and renewable energy.

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