OSGATA is excited to announce the launch of a new book, Protecting Organic Seed Integrity, defining best practices for avoiding genetically engineered (GE) contamination in organic seed.
Just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court failed American farmers who had sought protection and their right to self-defense from GE contamination in the landmark lawsuit OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto, OSGATA has printed 5,000 copies of an important handbook dedicated to protecting the organic seed supply.
Beginning today, OSGATA is providing copies of the book to organic farmers without cost. This includes over 450 of the nation’s top organic seed farmers who are currently in-attendance at the 7th Organic Seed Growers Conference in Corvallis, OR.
The organic seed industry is at once especially vulnerable to GE contamination and also a crucial link to reducing contamination. Organic seed, which by definition is free of GE contamination, is the foundation of organic agriculture. Organic crops grown with contaminated seed will inevitably yield a contaminated crop. GE contamination in organic seed, however minimal, is unacceptable.
Compromised organic seed integrity has broad-reaching impacts on the viability of organic farms and the credibility of organic products in the eyes of the consumers. Organic farmers also risk the perverse threat of patent infringement litigation in the face of contamination. In order to limit GE presence in organic seed, growers need to become educated about best practices for contamination avoidance and genetic testing protocols.
This new book serves as a one-stop tool for organic farmers, seed handlers and seed companies to determine individual, scale-appropriate and crop-specific strategies to maintain genetic purity in organic seed, as well as organic food crops.
It offers pertinent guidance on seed contamination avoidance and testing protocols for the following at-risk crops (those with USDA-approved GE counterparts which are currently in commercial production): corn, soy, cotton, alfalfa, papaya, canola (Brassica rapa), sugarbeet, and squash (Cucurbita pepo).
The peer-reviewed work has been synthesized through an assessment of international literature, as well as solicited input from organic farmers, seed company professionals, and seed breeders familiar with isolation and purity concerns, along with implementation constraints in the field.
Protecting Organic Seed Integrity was made possible with funding from Seed Matters, Organic Farming Research Foundation, Food Democracy Now!, and Dr. Bronner’s, and Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association.
The book has also been published online as a free e-book, available to everyone. Click here for a free electronic download.