SANTA CRUZ, Calif., July 21, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, CCOF, the nation's leader in organic certification, will launch Pesticides Bug Me, an online education and fundraising initiative to let consumers know that buying certified organic products will keep harmful pesticides out of their food.
In 2009, over 156 million pounds of pesticides were applied to California's land. The use of dangerous pesticides is associated with birth defects, childhood brain cancers, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Disorder, and more.
These chemicals not only cause health effects in humans but have been linked to Colony Collapse Disorder in honeybee populations. American honeybee populations have dropped by 29 to 36 percent each year since 2006.
"At CCOF we don't want to live in a world with unhealthy people and no bees," said CCOF Executive Director Cathy Calfo. "By purchasing certified organic and looking for the USDA label, consumers can make sure that they are buying clean, safe food."
Organic certification ensures that food is free from dangerous pesticides. Yet, less than four percent of the food purchased by American consumers today is certified organic. The Pesticides Bug Me campaign will help raise consumer awareness by providing facts about the effects of harmful pesticides on our planet, and the benefits of choosing certified organic. The site also offers resources for those looking to learn more about avoiding harmful chemicals in their food.
To join the Pesticides Bug Me campaign and to help stop the use of dangerous pesticides, please visit www.ccof.org/pesticidesbugme. In addition, amateur or professional artists, as well as graphic designers, can participate in the Pesticides Bug Me T-shirt Design Competition.
Submissions will be accepted from July 18 to October 17 on the campaign website. The winning designer will receive $250, bragging rights, inclusion of his/her artwork on the Pesticides Bug Me official t-shirt to be sold at the CCOF online store, and the reputation and contacts that come with being listed as a graphic designer on the CCOF website for members of the organic community seeking art or design. The organic community is invited to vote for the winner on the CCOF Facebook page, www.facebook.com/CCOForganic.
CCOF, founded in 1973, certifies organic products, educates the public, and advocates for forward-thinking food policies.
Visit http://www.ccof.org/pesticidesbugme now.
CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers), a nonprofit organization, was founded in 1973 and is one of the nation's oldest and largest third-party organic certifying agencies. CCOF certifies, educates, advocates, and promotes organic through:
• A premier organic certification program for growers, processors, private labelers, and retailers.
• Programs to increase awareness of and demand for certified organic product and to expand public support for organic agriculture.
• Advocacy for governmental policies that protect and encourage organic agriculture.
CCOF certifies more than 2,400 organic operations in 33 states and three foreign countries and serves over 250 supporting members - consumers, suppliers, businesses and individuals - interested in supporting its work.
Contact: Robin Boyle
CCOF Director of Marketing, Member
Services and Development
(831) 423-2263, ext. 27
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