Your co-op
Sound Consumer | February 2003


Meet the new board candidates!

The annual PCC membership meeting will be on Sunday, April 27, from 2 to 5 p.m. The meeting is of vital concern to anyone interested in co-op affairs. You will hear the State of the Co-op reports from management and the board, as well as have the opportunity to hear from all the new board candidates. There will be ample time for questions.

This year's annual meeting is currently scheduled to take place at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. At press time, efforts are underway to see if the meeting might be held at the new Fremont store construction site to offer a sneak preview of the beautiful new store to come. A final decision on the meeting site will be announced in the March Sound Consumer.

Voting eligibility

PCC's 2003 annual election will be held May 3 through 25. You will be electing three people to the PCC Board of Trustees, as well as the nominating committee for the coming year. All active members are encouraged to vote!

Your membership is active for purposes of voting if you are on our list of active members as of March 31, 2003. If you are at the current level of investment (you've paid $60 on your membership) and have shopped at least once between April 1, 2002 and March 31, 2003, you are eligible to vote. You need to have your membership card scanned for us to know you've shopped. If you have not fully paid the $60 toward your membership, you must have shopped and made a payment toward your membership sometime between December 1, 2002 and March 31, 2003. In this case the sticker on the back of your card will read March, April, May or June 2003.

If you have any question about your eligibility to vote in the PCC election, please contact our Member Records Department at

Board meeting

The next meeting of the board will be Tuesday, March 25, at 5 p.m. at the PCC offices, 4201 Roosevelt Way NE in Seattle. There is an opportunity for members to make comments at 7 p.m. The January 28 meeting of the board will be reported on in the March issue of the Sound Consumer.

Changing staff

After almost 20 years as Board Administrator, Kathy Blackman is leaving that position to pursue training out of state. As of February 6, Janice Parker will be the new Board Administrative Assistant. If you've ever called the main PCC office, you've probably spoken with Janice, who has been a part of the powerhouse reception team for more than a year.

Calhoun Phifer: He'll always be with us

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Calhoun Phiffer, PCC Greenlake staff

Known for his sense of humor, outgoing personality, his plaid cap and penchant for classical music, Calhoun Phifer was a loving, generous man and irreplaceable member of the PCC Greenlake team.

Calhoun, age 78, passed away on January 3 while visiting friends in California. A small service was held at Greenlake park on January 19. "He always had a twinkle in his eye and saw humor in everything," says staffer Suzannah Pratt. Cindi Fuda, Store Director adds, "He was the sweetest southern gentleman — helping me with recycling and fixing things around the store. I honestly don't know what I'm going to do without him."

Calhoun had a vivid life that included earning degrees in history and philosophy from Tulane University and working on the railroad. He was self sufficient and independent and a joy to be around. Calhoun will be sorely missed by all of us at PCC.

Opposing irradiated foods in the USDA National School Lunch program

From time to time, PCC management weighs in with decision-makers on issues involving food or agriculture. The following is a letter sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on a proposal to include irradiated meat in the National School Lunch program. Irradiation is prohibited by organic standards.

December 19, 2002

Livestock and Seed Programs
Agriculture and Marketing Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Stop 0249, Room 2092-S
Washington, D.C. 20250-0249

Re:  comments on irradiated meat in school lunches

Dear USDA,
On behalf of our 40,000 members, I'm writing to register opposition to the USDA's consideration of irradiated meat for the National School Lunch program. PCC Natural Markets is the largest consumer-owned cooperative retailer of natural foods in the United States, with seven stores in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. The American people have spoken loudly and clearly on the issue of irradiation. More than 98 percent of Americans responding to a recent Food and Drug Administration survey say they wanted the law maintained or strengthened to clearly label irradiated foods. Allowing irradiated foods into the National School Lunch program, unlabeled, bypasses public opinion.

Irradiation is known to destroy vitamin and nutrient values. Irradiation exposes food to a dose of ionizing radiation equivalent to millions of chest x-rays. Irradiation creates new, untested chemicals in food called Unique Radiolytic Products, some of which are known or suspected to promote cancer and birth defects. There are no long-term studies on the safety of consuming irradiated food. The FDA did not follow its own testing protocols in approving irradiation. Irradiation does not address unwholesome conditions in some processing plants and does not remove contaminants. As you know, restaurants have refused to serve irradiated foods because consumers do not want them.

It's one thing to give consumers the option, with labeling, to purchase irradiated food. Under this proposal, children and their parents have no rights. We urge you not to purchase irradiated food for the National School Lunch Program.

Sincerely,
Randy Lee, Chief Financial Officer


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