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.
We've been patiently waiting for the garlic in the OEC demonstration garden to be ready. The time has come!
The National Organic Program published a final rule today that addresses the use of three substances in organic agriculture with specific limitations that would support production and processing of organic products.
The MOSES Farmer-to-Farmer Mentoring Program pairs experienced organic farmers with those who are new to organic farming practices. The current program has pairings in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois in diverse farm settings: apples, hazelnuts, grains, livestock, high tunnels and more.
Again this year new U.S. exhibitors to BioFach Germany will have the first opportunity to showcase their products in the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) booth within the U.S. Pavilion Feb. 13-16, 2013.
Do you have organic certification expenses? The USDA organic cost share programs make certification more affordable by reimbursing producers and handlers for as much as 75 percent--up to a maximum of $750 a year--for their certification costs.
The National Organic Program (NOP) recently published a final rule which renewed the use of specified allowed or prohibited substances in organic agriculture. During this renewal process, the NOP clarified the use of colors in organic processed products. If the organic form is not commercially available, the USDA organic regulations allow the use of 19 non-organic colors that meet specific criteria.
Wide-spread drought conditions in certain U.S. regions prompted USDA to offer new flexibilities and assistance to livestock producers. USDA organic regulations account for the impacts of drought on organic farmers and ranchers as well. Unavoidable conditions can, under certain instances, be cause for granting temporary variance from specific regulatory requirements.
The vigilance of the organic community is a vital force in ensuring organic integrity. Organic handlers should continue to review certificates carefully, validate with their certifying agents where needed, and send any suspicious certificates to the NOP Compliance and Enforcement team.
"In summary, we determined that AMS has adequate management controls in place for administering the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. We did not identify any significant reportable issues and, as such, are not making any recommendations." - Office of Inspector General Audit Report, page 3
The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) has updated the audit checklists and Sunset dates sections of the NOP Handbook. USDA is also looking for feedback on its Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program.
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has posted eight petitions for non-regulated status for GE plants for public review and comment. These include crops from Pioneer, BASF, Monsanto, Dow, Genective and others.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA will accept comments through mid-September on a petition asking the agency to give non-regulated status to the Arctic apple genetically engineered to prevent browning when sliced or bruised.
We’re keeping our members up-to-date as we join forces with CCOF and will provide regular updates until we reach our goal of becoming one organization by November 1, 2012. Read how the restructure is going!
Nominations are now being accepted for candidates for Oregon Organic Coalition's 2012 Awards for Excellence, the annual recognition of farmers, food processors, researchers, retailers, and individuals who are leading the state's organic sector.