"We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles."
- Jimmy Carter

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Bisphenol A in Tomato Paste Cans

Dear MOF&G:

Wondering whether there was arsenic in the brown rice we get in bulk, or bisphenol-a in the organic tomato paste we buy, I made some phone calls recently. Happily, I am told that the rice, which comes from central east Arkansas, is grown on land that never grew cotton and so is unlikely to carry the arsenic residues from pesticides used in the past. Unfortunately, Muir Glen (1-800-832-6345), now owned by General Mills, confessed unashamedly that bisphenol A, an estrogenic hormone disrupter, is used in the plastic lining of its organic tomato paste cans. I wonder if some other material could be used, or should we be learning how to make our own our own tomato paste?
– Beedy Parker, Camden, Maine
Ed. note: A Muir Glen representative confirmed for The MOF&G that its cans with a white inner lining do contain bisphenol A and that “we don’t find it harmful.” Muir Glen is sending us information to that effect … Stay tuned, and please attend the Public Policy Teach-In at the Common Ground Fair to find out more about what chemicals may be in your food, clothing, furniture, perfume and household goods.

Questions BPC Decision on Engineered Corn in Maine

Dear editor:
Yesterday [July 30] the sweet corn in my vegetable garden was humming loudly. I watched my honeybees hanging by the dozens, busily gathering one of their favorite pollens. Even from a distance, the stream of yellow could be seen heading straight to their hive.
Yesterday was also when I learned the Maine Board of Pesticides Control approved the use of genetically modified Bt corn in Maine. I wonder how long it will be before my honeybees are carrying the Bt back to the hive and feeding it to their offspring, since there is no way to control where the Bt pollen will wind up. I wondered if the board considered honeybees in its decision and if the board members were aware of the current poor state of honeybees in the United States.
The many wild pollinators will also be subjected to the Bt pesticide. Without the pollinators, we will have no fruit, no flowers, no vegetables, very little plant food. How will my honeybees and wild pollinators be affected by the Bt? Does anyone know? How will this affect certified organic farmers who have no way of keeping the Bt corn pollen away from their crops and their honeybees?
– Carole Whelan, Hope, Maine


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