Archive for the ‘GMOs’ Category

Keeping Soybeans Free of GE Contamination

  Soybean (Glycine max) Soybeans have the distinction of being the first GE crop deregulated in the US in 1994. Just twelve years later, in 2006, 95% of the U.S. soybean acreage had been converted to GE. Soybean is considered a low-risk candidate for GE contamination due to its nature […]

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OSGATA Comments on Organic Standards

  At the upcoming meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in Washington, D.C., on April 24-27, many important issues are on the docket. Organic law grants NOSB sole authority to make recommendations regarding what materials are allowed in organic (those appearing on the National List), as well as recommendations on a wide variety […]

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Mitigation of GE Sugarbeet Contamination

Sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris) Sugarbeets engineered to resist glyphosate were first deregulated in the U.S. in 1998. Market hesitancy, however, stalled the adoption by commercial producers until nearly a decade later. In the U.S., most of the sugarbeet seed production is controlled by a handful of agribusiness corporations and is focused […]

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Avoiding GE Contamination in Canola


  Canola (Brassica napus; B. rapa) Canola is a high-risk crop in terms of contamination from GMOs. Its basic biology along with its ability to persist outside of cultivation in disturbed habitats (like field edges and roadsides) presents multiple avenues of potential contamination. And contamination poses threat beyond canola seed […]

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Keeping Alfalfa GE-Free


Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) In 2005 alfalfa became the first perennial GE crop to attain approved status in the U.S. Within a year of GE alfalfa’s initial commercial release, contamination had occurred in the commercial sector. The Roundup Ready™ trait was identified in conventional non-GE plantings of alfalfa in Montana, Wyoming, […]

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GMO Corn Contamination 101

Corn Section - 2

Corn (Zea mays) Ninety percent of all corn grown in the U.S. is genetically engineered. This fact, coupled with corn’s outcrossing nature, equals significant risk of GE contamination for organic corn growers. Of course, the individual degree of risk differs based on various factors: the region in which the organic […]

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Protect Your Seed from GE Contamination


Since the genetically engineered Flavr Savr tomato was first approved for the American marketplace in 2004, GE crops have grown to become part of the agricultural mainstream. Plantings of GE crops in the U.S., measured in acres, increased by 68% between 2000 and 2005 and climbed another 45% between 2005 and 2013. In 2013, American farmers planted […]

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Colorado’s Boulder County Initiates Phase-Out of GE Crops

corn field

On March 17, 2016,  Boulder County’s Board of County Commissioners ordered a draft plan for the phase-out of GE crops on publically owned farmlands. The current directive allowing select GE crops to be planted on public land will remain in effect until the end of the year, with the phase-out anticipated to span three-to-seven years. Since 2011, Colorado’s […]

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OSGATA President on Organic Integrity & Corporate Interest

jg_heirloom expo

Video coverage of OSGATA President Jim Gerritsen’s presentation at the 2015 National Heirloom Exposition is now available. Gerritsen delves into seed consolidation, right-to-know GMO labeling, and democracy  in his talk [23:20]. Regarding protecting the integrity of organic certification, he said,: “We are going to continue to defend your interest. Our organization, […]

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Stricter Regulations for Biotech

corn field

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are supposed to jointly regulate GE plants and animals, but the present regulation of biotechnology does not adequately protect farmers, the general public, and the environment from the potential adverse effects of GE […]

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Tougher Regulations for GE Wheat

turkey red

The U.S. tops the chart as the world’s leading exporter of wheat. Annually, its exported wheat accounts for $8 billion. Suffice to say, it’s a big business. And, one that is in a precarious situation due to threat of contamination from genetically engineered (GE) wheat. Despite the fact that GE wheat has not been […]

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OSGATA President Joins Panel with Vandana Shiva at 2015 National Heirloom Exposition

Vandana-Shiva-heirloom expo

OSGATA President and Maine organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen joins world-renowned activist and author Vandana Shiva for a panel presentation on the impact of seed patents on farmers at The 2015 National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa, CA. On Thursday, Sept. 10, Gerritsen, Shiva, and Food Democracy Now! co-founders, Dave Murphy and Lisa Stokke, will […]

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OSGATA President on the DARK Act


Following the passage of  “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act”( H.R. 1599), OSGATA President and Maine organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen speaks out against Monsanto’s motivations to deny Americans the right-to-know in a ‘Pulse Morning Show’ interview [10:48] with host Don Cookson from WZON Radio in Bangor, Maine. Last week the House […]

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Jackson County Ban on GE Crops Upheld in Court

gmo free jackson county

The first major stage of the Monsanto-backed legal attempt to overturn Oregon’s Jackson County ban on genetically engineered (GE) crops was defeated when Federal Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke upheld the GE seed ban last week. In May 2014, 66% of Jackson County voters supported a ban on growing of GE crops within the county.  This initial victory came despite nearly $1 […]

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Link Between GE Cotton and Indian Farmer Suicides Explored in New RT Documentary


India is the fourth largest producer of genetically engineered (GE) crops, with Bt cotton accounting for the entirety of the country’s GE plantings. A new RT documentary “100% Cotton. Made in India” [26:36] takes an in-depth look at the rise of Indian farmer suicides in relation to the widespread adoption of GE cotton technology. […]

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Defending Organic Agriculture: Acres U.S.A. Interview with OSGATA’s Jim Gerritsen


“Defending Organic Agriculture: Farmer, Advocate Jim Gerritsen Strives to Preserve Organic Integrity in the Face of Mounting Threats,” recently published in Acres U.S.A. chronicles OSGATA President Gerritsen’s agrarian activism from the very start of his certified organic seed farm in Northern Maine to today.   “What really sets Gerritsen apart, though, is […]

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OSGATA Comments on Coexistence


Organic seed is the most critical link to producing bona fide organic products. Contamination of organic seed by genetically engineered (GE) traits, not only compromises the livelihoods of seed growers and the viability of all organic farmers, but also the credibility of the USDA’s organic label in the eyes of […]

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Altered Genes, Twisted Truth

altered genes

FDA fraud is exposed in Steven Druker’s newly released book Altered Genes, Twisted Truth. OSGATA President Jim Gerritsen offers insight into what he calls a “game-changer” with this recent WZON interview [9:13]. Some may remember Druker as the public interest lawyer who sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the late ’90s. Gerritsen summarizes, “Through […]

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OSGATA President on Food Sleuth Radio


Food Sleuth Radio host and Registered Dietitian, Melinda Hemmelgarn, speaks with organic farmer and OSGATA President Jim Gerritsen, on the status of the 2011 OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto lawsuit and how the Supreme Court decision took away the ownership of seeds from the commons in granting patents on seeds. Gerritsen said, “It […]

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Public Comment Window on GE “Innate” Potato


  The USDA seeks public comments on an environmental assessment and plant pest risk assessment for a new GE potato, engineered to have fewer acrylamides and reduced bruising. The potato, branded as “Innate,” was developed by J.R. Simplot Company, in Boise, Idaho. Innate technology involves inserting genes from potatoes that quiet […]

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