“Organic Farmers Must Do These 11 Things Just to Prevent Being Contaminated (and Sued),” recently posted on AltHealth Network, summarizes the principles elaborated on in OSGATA’s Protecting Organic Seed Integrity: The Organic Farmer’s Handbook to GE Avoidance and Testing.
Supplemented by an interview with OSGATA President and Maine-based organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen, the full article offers these 11 tenants for farmers to follow:
1. Identify At-Risk Crops and Potential Points of Contamination.
2. Create a Buffer on Your Side of the Fence.
3. Test Any At-Risk Seed Prior to Planting.
4. Delay Plantings.
5. Implement an Individualized Testing Plan Based on Scale and Pre-Determined Contamination Thresholds.
6. Use Scale-Appropriate Sampling Methods to Collect a Representative Sample of the Largest Number of Seeds Acceptable to Your Operation.
7. Work with a Trusted Lab to Determine Which PCR Test is Best for Your Situation.
8. Understand the Potential for Gene Flow and Avoid Renting Pollinators That Have Been Used in Proximity to GM Fields.
9. As Appropriate, Implement Isolation Distances When Planting. Plan Isolations for Time as Well as Space if Possible.
10. Control Any Volunteers, Feral Populations, and/or Wild Relative (Plants) in Proximity to Fields.
11. Avoid Mixing During Harvest, Cleaning, Storage, Transport, and Sales. Clean All Equipment and Facilities Prior to Use.