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May 2014 Organic Integrity Quarterly Now Available

May 2014 Organic Integrity Quarterly Now Available

The May issue of the Organic Integrity Quarterly Newsletter is now available with stories covering organic labeling at Farmer's Markets, NOSB meeting updates, and much more.

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USDA NOP Hosts a Google Hangout: Growing the Organic Sector

USDA NOP Hosts a Google Hangout: Growing the Organic Sector

Join the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Program Wed. 5/14 for a Google Hangout on growing the organic sector. Submit your Qs in advance using hashtag #AskUSDA: http://ow.ly/wKfat

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USDA Releases 2012 Agriculture Census Data

USDA Releases 2012 Agriculture Census Data

The U.S Department of Agriculture recently released the results of the 2012 Census of Agriculture. According to the report, total organic product sales by farms have increased by 82 percent since 2007, from $1.76 billion in 2007 to $3.1 billion in 2012.

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Vermont Lawmakers Pass GMO Labeling Bill

Vermont Lawmakers Pass GMO Labeling Bill

Vermont became the first state to recently pass a bill requiring the labeling of GMOs on all food items despite the opposition of the powerful U.S. food industry. The Governor is expected to sign the bill this week, with requirements taking effect in July 2016.

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Eating Organic Reduces Pesticide Exposure

Eating Organic Reduces Pesticide Exposure

A new study published in the journal Environmental Research found that eating an organic diet for a week can reduce pesticide exposure.

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Final Guidance: "Made With Organic" Category

Final Guidance: "Made With Organic" Category

This final guidance describes the requirements for products in the "Made with Organic (specified ingredients or food group(s))" labeling category.

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Publications on Supporting Pollinators on Organic Farms

Publications on Supporting Pollinators on Organic Farms

Concerned about pollinators on your organic farm? The Xerces Society recently released a new manual on Pollinator Management for Organic Seed Producers. This new publication aids organic seed producers in understanding the role and diversity of seed crop pollinators, as well as strategies for reducing pollen movement between organic and conventional farms.

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Update or Add your Listing to the National Farmers Market Directory

Update or Add your Listing to the National Farmers Market Directory

Do you sell your products at one of the 8,000+ farmers markets across the country? If so, AMS needs your help updating the National Farmers Market Directory. The Directory relies on self-reported input from farmers market stakeholders and is one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date sources of information about farmers markets nationwide.

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Post Harvest Handling Guidance

Post Harvest Handling Guidance

The Federal Register published a notice to announce the public comment period for draft guidance on post harvest handling. This draft guidance helps organic certifiers, farms, and businesses understand which substances may be used to wash, sort, cool, and sort raw agricultural products post-harvest.

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Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program: Request for Applications

 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program: Request for Applications

USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has released the 2014 Request for Applications for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). Applications are due June 12.

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If You’ve Eaten an Organic Apple This Week, Thank Rachel Carson

If You’ve Eaten an Organic Apple This Week, Thank Rachel Carson

Carson’s book about agrochemicals launched the modern environmental movement, but the work she started in Silent Spring is far from finished.

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Organic Fire Blight Prevention Project

Organic Fire Blight Prevention Project

The Organic Center has completed a project providing critically needed information on how to prevent fire blight from decimating apple and pear orchards without the use of antibiotics.

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Organic solutions prove effective in livestock

Organic solutions prove effective in livestock

A new study found that organic medicinal treatments for livestock can be just as effective as conventional treatments. Researchers at North Carolina State University compared herbal treatments for infections such as mastitis with conventional antibiotics.

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USDA Announces Growth of U.S. Organic Industry and Additional USDA Support Available with New Farm Bill

USDA Announces Growth of U.S. Organic Industry and Additional USDA Support Available with New Farm Bill

The USDA announced a 4.2 percent increase of certified organic operations in 2013, with a record breaking 18,513 certified organic farms and businesses in the United States alone.

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Public Comments on Spring 2014 NOSB Proposals Due April 8, 2014

Public Comments on Spring 2014 NOSB Proposals Due April 8, 2014

As a reminder, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is accepting public comments on its spring 2014 proposals.

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NIFA Funding Opportunities

NIFA Funding Opportunities

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced two grant opportunities. The Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) seeks to solve critical organic agriculture issues, priorities, or problems through the integration of research, education, and extension activities.

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Update on Organic Certification Cost Share Programs

Update on Organic Certification  Cost Share Programs

AMS is working to implement the reauthorized Organic Cost Share Programs. This week, a Notice was published in the Federal Register estimating the reporting burden for these cost share programs and opening a sixty day comment period. This notice is an important step in implementing the organic certification cost share programs for Fiscal Years 2014 through 2018. Comments are due by May 16, 2014.

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Updated List of Certified Operations

Updated List of Certified Operations

The updated list of certified organic operators is now available! As of the end of 2013, 18,513 organic farms and processing facilities in the United States were certified to the USDA organic standards. Worldwide, there are now more than 25,000 certified organic operators in more than 120 countries.

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National Organic Standards Board: Call for Nominations and Intent to Renew Charter

National Organic Standards Board: Call for Nominations and Intent to Renew Charter

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is a Federal Advisory Committee that provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture on the implementation of the Organic Foods Production Act. USDA announces its intent to renew the NOSB's charter, and seeks nominations for seats on the NOSB.

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FDA Food Safety Modernization Act Update

FDA Food Safety Modernization Act Update

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a public meeting on April 4, 2014, to discuss the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the produce safety proposed rule and is extending the public scoping period to April 18, 2014.

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