Petition to Betsy Rakola (NOP Director, Compliance & Enforcement Division), Paul Lewis (NOP Director, Standards Division), NOSB, Jennifer Tucker, Miles McEvoy, Devon Pattillo, Jessica Walden, Kay Holmes, Samuel Jones
Ban the use of plastic packaging for organic produce
We're asking the USDA's National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and National Organic Program (NOP) to actively work toward: - THE PHASING OUT OF PLASTIC AND METAL PACKAGING FOR ORGANIC PRODUCE - THE OBLIGATION FOR THE ORGANIC INDUSTRY TO INVEST IN TRULY COMPOSTABLE MATERIALS AND HARMLESS TECHNOLOGIES- THE GOVERNMENTAL AND/OR PRIVATE SUPPORT OF MAJOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN ENVIRONMENTALLY BENIGN PACKAGING. NOT "recyclable plastic" (only 8% of plastic gets recycled anyway) NOT "recycled plastic" (it's still plastic!) NOT "biodegradable plastic" (they are controversial as to their carbon footprint and end result) WE DEMAND A FOCUS ON NATURAL FIBERS, NATURAL WAXES, NATURAL RUBBERS AND MECHANICAL TECHNIQUES, AS WELL ANY OTHER SOLUTION USING EASILY RENEWABLE, 100% COMPOSTABLE AND NON POLLUTING ELEMENTS. Background: Organic produce is packaged IN MANY TIMES MORE PLASTIC than conventional produce: polystyrene, polyethylene, polypropylene, ethylene vinyl acetate, polyethylene terephthalate, nylon, polyester, etc. for the meshes, bags, hard shells & labels. This packaging also often involves METALS: steel and aluminum for the staples, wire ties, & coating of cartons and chips bags. THIS IS A MAJOR ISSUE. On a global scale, it participates in the destructive plastic pollution of the environment, and in the dispersion of metals that will never be recovered On an individual level, it forces organic consumers to consume more plastic than other consumers, despite their striving towards a healthier, waste-free lifestyle and investing more money in organic produce. It forces organic consumers to spend their own time figuring out how to dispose of these plastics & metals, without any guaranty that their end of life will be a sustainable one (and indeed, it's not). In short, the pollution created by the packaging of organic food cancels out the efforts organic consumers are making for a low-impact, healthy life. In the words of the Plastic Pollution Coalition: "Plastic never goes away Plastic spoils our groundwater Plastic attracts other pollutants Plastic piles up in the environment Plastic poisons our food chain Plastic affects human health Plastic threatens wild life Plastic costs billions to abate" We're calling on the NOSB, the NOP, on producers, packaging manufacturers, handlers, and distributors of organic produce, to seriously take on this issue - which will grow at the same rate as the organic market - before it's too late.
Petition to Pennsylvania-based Hillandale Farms, Jack DeCoster
In Humane conditions for Chickens in Turner, Maine
Please boycott all eggs from this farm in Turner Maine This facility needs to be shut DOWN!!!!! https://youtu.be/m9P8XavGWr4 Video link above shows rotting chickens, inhumane conditions at Maine egg facility The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is considering a request by the Humane Society of the United States to investigate alleged animal cruelty at a southern Maine egg facility based on an undercover operation by the animal rights group. For four weeks in May, a whistle-blower secretly videoed conditions in the Turner egg production facility by notorious egg magnate Jack DeCoster and operated by Pennsylvania-based Hillandale Farms. The results of the undercover operation were released Tuesday by the HSUS. “For one month we had a whistle-blower filming and found hideous animal cruelty and food safety issues,” Paul Shapiro, HSUS vice president, said Tuesday morning. “What we saw in that video is heartbreaking.” Other than to say the whistle-blower is a “supporter of the HSUS” who approached the organization and was an employee of the Turner facility at the time of filming, Shapiro would not identify the individual by name. “This individual is a hero,” Shapiro said. Shapiro described footage taken by the then-employee with a camera supplied by the HSUS showing chickens “crammed into cages, dead birds rotting in cages with live birds actually laying eggs on the dead birds, massive piles of dead chickens, birds with their heads stuck in cages dying from dehydration inches away from water, massive amounts of rodents [and] a numerous other horrors.” In a statement released to the media Tuesday afternoon via email, a Hillandale official said they have made their own request to the state for an investigation into the conditions shown in the video. “We reviewed the video, and we are investigating the practices in the barns where this footage may have been captured to ensure this is addressed immediately,” Melanie Wilt, company spokesperson, said in the email. “We have engaged our farm veterinarian, food safety and quality assurance teams to act swiftly to assure that we meet or exceed all animal health and food safety guidelines. In addition, we have reached out proactively to ask the [Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry] to conduct an immediate inspection.” Wilt said the employee who shot the video is no longer employed by company: “The worker did not meet Hillandale’s standard of care” by not removing dead chickens from cages within a day. Based on the footage, Shapiro said there is every indication the problems at the Turner plant are nothing new. “Some of the animals looked like had been dead for months,” he said. “It’s hard to imagine what it must be like for them.” Hillandale took over the Turner facility last July, Wilt said, and since then have invested in equipment and process upgrades to what she said were aging barns in addition to expanding training for employees there. John Bott, director of communications for the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, confirmed Tuesday that his agency had received the request for an investigation into the Turner plant from the HSUS. As of Tuesday afternoon, it wasn’t yet clear whether Hillandale’s request had also been received. “The DACF takes allegations of this nature very seriously,” Bott said in an emailed reply for comment. “[The department] has contacted the HSUS in order to gather the information needed to conduct an inquiry and respond to their request.” The humane society has also requested a federal investigation by the Food and Drug Administration into the facility, Shapiro said. The factory farm, which is still operating, is described in the HSUS report as a complex of 70 warehouses with roughly 4 million laying hens and is New England’s largest single producer of eggs. The unit in which the whistle-blower was employed contained approximately 450,000 hens producing 420,000 eggs every day. This is not the first time Jack DeCoster’s facilities have come under fire. In 2010, more than 1,900 people across the country reported getting sick from salmonella enteritidis linked to tainted eggs supplied by the Alden, Iowa, company Quality Egg, doing business as Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms, an operation also managed by the DeCosters. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Bennett sentenced Austin “Jack” DeCoster, 81, of Turner, Maine, and Peter DeCoster, 51, of Clarion, Iowa, each to three months in prison for introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison. The two men are appealing their sentences to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. A similar video was previously made public at a different Hillandale facility. Undercover video shot by an employee in the company’s Gettysburg facility a year ago showing conditions similar to those alleged in the Turner farm. Hillandale calls that an “isolated incident” resulting from the employee’s deliberate disregard of company’s operational policies aimed at misrepresenting the company, according to a statement on Hillandale’s website. That footage was aired as part of an ABC Nightline investigation into animal cruelty at the poultry facility. On Tuesday, Turner Town Manager Kurt Schaub said he had heard about the latest HSUS report, but it is municipal policy to not comment on any employer in the town. “It is not anything we’d have any jurisdiction over,” Schaub said, adding that the facility is the town’s largest employer. Wilt indicated that the company takes any allegations of this nature very seriously. “We have engaged our farm veterinarian, food safety and quality assurance teams to act swiftly to assure that we meet or exceed all animal health and food safety guidelines,” she said. “In addition, we have reached out proactively to ask the Maine Department of Agriculture to conduct an immediate inspection.” For now, Shapiro said his organization hopes to meet soon with state and federal officials to move the investigation forward. “We would love to see them announce they are going to a ‘cage free’ operation,” he said. “That does not solve all the problems, but it does improve conditions for the animals.” In a cage-free facility, Shapiro said, the hens may live indoors all the time but have more room to walk around, perch, take dust baths and enjoy a better quality of life. “It is sobering to realize the largest egg producer in New England is engaged in those cruel practices,” Shapiro said. “This is a widespread form of animal cruelty in the industry.”
Petition to ABC Bakers
Please make Girl Scout cookies GMO free and organic
Alicia is 9 years old and has been a Girl Scout for almost 5 years. Her mom is a Troop leader for Alicia’s and her 2 sisters' troop. Alicia likes learning about new things and helping others. She began to learn a lot about food and ingredients. When Girl Scout Cookie Season came around, she and her mom looked at the ingredients in the cookies. There were a lot of words Alicia couldn’t read and she didn’t know what a lot of the ingredients were. She did recognize some of the ingredients as being GMO (genetically modified organisms). Knowing of some of dangers related to GMOs, she knew she wanted them out of our cookies. “I want Girl Scouts to make cookies without GMOs.” Alicia has been very actively involved in the Girl Scout community in many areas. She has raised money for her school’s organic Garden, raised awareness about endangered animals, participated in many recycling projects, helped organize food and toy drives for those in need and more. She exemplifies what it means to be a Girl Scout. She has also researched a lot about GMOs and is concerned with the independent studies done (on mice) showing infertility and tumors, the fact that over 60 countries either label or ban GMOs, and that the result form growing genetically modified crops is hurting our farmers and harming our land. Alicia wants to protect our farmer’s, our land, our bees, and for us all to have food without the dangers of GMOs.“I want GMOs out of our cookies so they will be safer for my friends and everyone to eat.” ABC Bakers can source other ingredients that are organic and non-GMO. In doing so, they will take a step in the right direction in improving their cookies. They will prevent any possible harm or illness that may come from consuming GMOs or Girl Scout Cookies made with GMO ingredients. They will be creating awareness and pioneering a movement in the food industry. “ABC Bakers can make the cookies with healthier ingredients, so they will be safer to eat.” If ABC Bakers continues to make cookies with GMO ingredients, our soil will continue to be saturated with pesticides. Our Farmer’s will continue to pay higher prices for seeds and purchase larger quantities of pesticides. Our Organic farmers will continue to struggle. Our bees will continue to die off. In eating the cookies we will continue to gamble with our health. “If ABC Bakers don’t make cookies without GMOs, everyone could get sick and not even know it.” Please sign the petition in asking ABC Bakers to make Girl Scout cookies without GMOs.
Petition to Robert M. Califf, M.D. (Head of the FDA), Stephen Ostroff, M.D. (Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine), Tom Vilsack ( Secretary of Agriculture - USDA)
Require the Meat Industry to label similar to the Tobacco Industry !
Every year billions of animals are slaughtered and their body parts sold by the meat industry to consumers as food. These consumers are often unaware of the circumstances in which the animals are held and ultimately butchered, as well as the health risks the consumers themselves are exposed to. The meat industry is too loosely regulated and many other industries that directly affect the consumers’ health have much higher standards and labeling requirements. Consumers have a right to know what they are supporting and what promotes or compromises their own health! Much like the Tobacco Industry the Meat Industry will be required to label their products in a specific manner as required by the guidelines. We, the undersigned, are petitioning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to implement the requirements. This petition asks the FDA to implement the following guidelines in accordance with the strengthened tobacco guidelines as they started stronger labeling in 2010: The following labels will begin to appear on meat products and products that include meat elements. They will appear on products offered on the market and in media advertisements. • WARNING: By consuming this product you are supporting the confinement and slaughter of a living being (in accordance with harming another being through secondary smoke). • WARNING: By consuming this product you are supporting the harmful effects raising and feeding farm animals has on the environment. • WARNING: This product can harm your health because: • This product can cause colon cancer. • This product can cause heart disease. • This product can cause diabetes. • This product can cause harmful cholesterol levels. • Meat most often contains additives such as antibiotics, steroids, and/or other growth hormones that you will enter your system and cause resistance In addition every TV commercial or Public Message that promotes the consumption of meat needs to include the above! Labeling needs to include the specific area each single animal has to live on without interference or intrusion (e.g. “free range” would be considered as insufficient; needs to say 10 feet, etc.). This petition requests that the same requirements will be implemented for kosher/ halal meat products without exceptions. All of the above will be regulated through quarterly inspections and if not implemented as indicated will be fined in an amount adequate per each violation (e.g. one WARNING violated and TV commercial standard violated = e.g. certain amount fine, a.s.o). Also, violations cannot be fined as a one-time offense within a quarterly period. If the company does not correct a violation within a two-week time period the fine for the respective violation will not stand but double in amount. We all have a right to information and especially where any industry deals with lives, those of consumers and those of the animals, we request full disclosure!
Petition to Dan Cathy
Chick-Fil-A: Stop the Styrofoam!!
Mr. Cathy, As someone who cares deeply about our environment, I'm writing to ask Chick-Fil-A to STOP using styrofoam cups. The particles created from disposal of these cups are being eaten by wildlife and endangering their lives. Polystyrene is also dangerous to humans, and its chemicals easily leech into our drinks. If we continue to destroy our ecosystem through the irresponsible use of nonbiodegradable materials, our planet will not be able to continue supporting us. Other food industry giants have stepped up their game and ditched styrofoam for more sustainable packaging. It's time you came on board. You might say that your cups are being used to make benches, but in all honesty that is not any better. Millions of cups still get thrown away without being saved for benches. Even still, you cannot recycle these cups into more cups, and so the production continues along with the destruction of our environment. After reading your bio on the Chick-Fil-A website, I know you're a man who enjoys nature and animals. Don't you want to protect that for yourself, your family, and many generations to come? Do the right thing, and switch over to paper. It's more eco-friendly, more sustainable, more recyclable, and overall the better choice for your company and the planet. Thank you for your time and your advocacy for us all.
Petition to President mock, tarun malik, paul reinfeld
JWU (college) Better food options
We the students at johnson and wales would like to see better food options in the cafeteria. We are a culinary arts school yet the food still seems to be disappointing. Alot of us have complained on social media as well as in the cafeteria. We would like see better food options. Our goal is create ways we can bring better options in the cafe. We could get a vote going online of what we would like to see in the cafe and take it from there instead of the same options everyday. As well as using our meal swipes in different food places such as chic fil etc..
Petition to Kirsten Gillibrand
Why All Restaurants Should Have An Epipen On Premises.
My proposal is to try and legislate that all restaurants be required to have an Epipen on the premises, and here is why: Researchers estimate that approximately 15 million Americans are afflicted with food allergies. This means that as of now, roughly 1 in every 13 children (under 18 years old) will have a food allergy. While the severity of allergies may range, anaphylaxis reactions without the prompt treatment of epinephrine can result in death. It is estimated that every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency department. This results in more than 200,000 emergency department visits per year and 300,000 ambulatory-care visits a year among children under the age of 18. (https://www.foodallergy.org/facts-and-stats) As someone who has my own allergies (Shellfish and Tree Nut), I can personally attest for the anxiety that eating causes every day. I can also attest for the fear of not having my epipen on me when I do eat causes. I have been hospitalized more times than I can count as a result of my own personal allergies. However, I do believe in personal responsibility in carrying your own epipen if you do have allergies. That's why this petition is not for me: I would like you to imagine a scenario where potentially you or your loved one (Child, brother, parent, etc...) are out at a restaurant to eat without any known allergy. Now imagine that you/they have an anaphylaxis reaction to something you/they may or may not have ever eaten before. You/they do not have an epipen because you were unaware of your allergies. What if that ambulance that was supposed to save your/their life does not arrive in time and you or your loved one dies because you/they had a food allergy and did not know about. For this reason, I believe it should be mandated that all restaurants carry an epipen in their first aid kits and receive training on how to use them in the event of an attack. Thank you for supporting and taking the time to understand my cause.
Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, Don Young
Demand the right to know about the food we are eating.
We have a right to know about the food we eat and feed to our families. Under current regulations, we don’t have that ability when it comes to genetically engineered and modified foods. The number and the variety of GMO foods reaching grocery store shelves has grown exponentially. It is estimated that GMOs are present in 75 to 80 percent of conventional processed food.There’s been no proper regulation, human health testing, or labeling. We need the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to act on H.R. 205: To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require labeling of genetically engineered fish. Unknown Health Risks:.Genetically modified salmon contain higher levels of a growth hormone called IGF-1. This hormone has been found to have a connection with breast, blood, prostrate and colon cancer and may promote the development of these illnesses in humans. It's unacceptable that consumers continue to be denied their right to know what's in their food and how it's produced. Join us by signing this petition and calling on your Representatives to pass this important legislation now.