Resistance to antibiotic drugs is a growing health crisis, fueled by widespread overuse of antibiotics in both agriculture and in human medicine. Leading health experts and scientific bodies concur that nontherapeutic use of antibiotics in animal agriculture leads to antibiotic-resistant infections in humans.
Since sodium nitrate is a natural substance, it is allowed unless specifically prohibited in the USDA organic regulations. Those regulations currently state that sodium nitrate can only be used to provide 20 percent or less of a crop's total nitrogen requirement. After the current restriction expires on October 21st, NOP expects continued compliance based on other sections of the USDA organic regulations.
To help individuals who own, manage, or certify organic operations meet all USDA organic requirements, the NOP has published new resources in its Program Handbook: Unannounced Inspections, Recommended Penalties, Penalty Matrix.
Farmers' Legal Action Group (FLAG) is pleased to announce the release of a comprehensive and much-anticipated publication, the Farmers' Guide to Organic Contracts, written to help farmers make informed decisions at every stage of the contract relationship
Effective Sept. 1, The Organic Center is combining efforts with the Organic Trade Association (OTA) and relocating its headquarters from Boulder, CO, to Washington, D.C. The Organic Center will remain an independent non-profit 501(c) (3), but now will be under the administrative auspices of OTA.
As summer turns to Autumn the OEC garden is preparing for the chilly and wet months ahead by planting hearty fall crops.
Have you ever struggled to find information on or someone to talk to about a USDA program? The USDA has developed a guide to organic and organic-related programs, and is implementing a department-wide training program to improve service to current and prospective organic stakeholders.
Organic certification is more affordable when USDA pays up to 75 percent of the costs. Funds are still available—as much as $750 per certified operation—to certified organic farmers and businesses. We hope the organic community will help connect certified operations with this opportunity!
The next meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is approaching. The tentative agenda and proposals are available on the National Organic Program website. Visit to see proposals, agenda, and other materials.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture is once again offering reimbursement for some of the costs to become organically certified by a U.S. Department of Agriculture accredited certifier. Oregon growers, processors, and handlers who are certified organic by USDA accredited certifiers are eligible to receive 75 percent of their certification fees reimbursed, up to a maximum of $750 per annual certification period.
The publication describes best management practices for growers of GMO and non—GMO crops, including certified organic crops, to help minimize GMO contamination of non-GMO crops. The 8-page guide contains commonsense steps that producers can take to reduce risks of GMO contamination.
An Indian Parliamentary panel yesterday urged the government to halt all open-field trials of transgenic crops until it develops a better system of monitoring and oversight. The panel also called for a complete overhaul of the regulatory system, saying that it “reflects a pro-industry tilt”, and claiming that it is riddled with conflicts of interest.
Responding to opponents' worry that growing canola in the Willamette Valley would cause "irreparable harm" to valuable specialty seed crops, the Oregon Court of Appeals has ordered a temporary halt to state rules that would have allowed canola planting this fall.
Opponents of GMO labeling say it will raise food costs by hundreds of dollars per family when in fact it will likely cause NO cost increase at all! The California Right to Know 2012 Ballot Initiative, which will be voted upon in November, will tell Californians—and ultimately perhaps other Americans—whether their food contains genetically engineered ingredients. Not surprisingly, the biotech companies are up in arms over the proposal.
Despite massive public opposition, last year the USDA announced plans to streamline its genetically engineered petition process under the Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Earlier this year, these controversial changes were implemented, speeding up the approval process for new genetically engineered seeds and crops. The new process will cut in half the time it takes for new GE seeds and crops to enter the market.
The drought of 2012 is the most serious to impact U.S. agriculture since 1988. As of August 15, 2012, Secretary Vilsack has designated 1,670 U.S. counties as natural disaster areas due to severe drought. While these severe conditions affect all farms in these counties, organic ruminant livestock operations--unless their pasture has access to irrigation--may not be able to meet the organic pasture requirements in the USDA organic regulations.
The National Organic Program (NOP) wanted to alert the organic trade and public to the presence of a fraudulent organic certificate.
See what happens when thousands of people come together in rural Wisconsin to celebrate organic food, sustainability & local community.
A recent report from Oregon State University and Oregon Tilth, Inc., Enhancing Organic Agriculture in Oregon: Research, Education, and Policy, offers insights into how to enhance organic agriculture in Oregon. Unlike traditional agriculture research assessments, the report reaches beyond the farm, capturing the points of view of a variety of organic community stakeholders—local retailers, farmers’ market managers, produce distributors, farm to school program staff, and nonprofit organizations that advocate for sustainable agriculture—and OSU organic agriculture researchers.