The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Katherine Paul, 207.653.3090, or Alexis Baden-Mayer, 202-744-0853

OCA Brings 'Boycott Factory-Farmed Foods' Message to Forward on Climate Rally

Factory farms responsible for more than 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions


The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) will join the Sierra Club,, the Hip Hop Caucus and more than 90 other organizations on Feb. 17, in Washington D.C., for the "Forward on Climate" rally. The rally is being billed as the largest climate rally in history. Participants will urge President Obama to reject the toxic Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, limit carbon pollution from our nation's dirty power plants, move beyond coal, oil and natural gas by investing in a clean energy economy, and transition to a healthy and sustainable food and farming system.

OCA will emphasize the critical, but often overlooked role factory farming plays in contributing to our planet's rapidly warming climate. According to the Worldwatch Institute, the production of meat, eggs and milk on factory farms is responsible for more than 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

"We have the technology to save the planet," said OCA National Director Ronnie Cummins (OCA). "By abolishing factory farms and industrial and GMO crop cultivation, and transitioning back to carbon ranching and organic farming, we could potentially sequester the overwhelming majority of greenhouse gas emissions, and bring the CO2 level back down to the safe level of 350 parts-per-million. That's the number scientist say we must achieve in order to avert a climate crisis."

Industrial agriculture spews greenhouse gases into the earth's atmosphere at the rate of 3,700 pounds of CO2 per year per acre. Compare that with an acre of land farmed using organic methods, including composting and cover crops. The organically farmed acre can naturally sequester up to 7,000 pounds per year of CO2 back into the earth, according to research carried out by the Rodale Institute and others.

To facilitate this transition, OCA advocates boycotting products that come from factory farms, eating more local, organic produce, and consuming less meat; requiring mandatory labeling of all factory farm-produced meat, eggs and dairy; and empowering food and farm workers, local communities, and family farmers - the people who experience the harsh realities of factory farm abuses, pollution and economics first hand - to have a greater say in how we create a green, sustainable farming system.

Candidate Barack Obama agreed with OCA's positions in 2008, stating "As president, I would direct the Environmental Protection Agency to strictly monitor and regulate pollution from large factory farms, with tough fines for those that violate environmental standards. I also support efforts to provide more meaningful local control over these factory farms."

For more details and to march with the OCA on Feb. 17, in Washington, D.C., sign up here.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots 501(c)3 nonprofit public interest organization, and the only organization in the U.S. focused exclusively on promoting the views and interests of the nation's estimated 50 million consumers of organically and socially responsibly produced food and other products. OCA educates and advocates on behalf of organic consumers, engages consumers in marketplace pressure campaigns, and works to advance sound food and farming policy through grassroots lobbying. We address crucial issues around food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children's health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability, including pesticide use, and other food- and agriculture-related topics.