Organic begins with seed

Archive for the GMOs Category

ORGANIC FARMER GROUP Dumps ORGANIC TRADE ASSOCIATION

ORGANIC FARMER GROUP Dumps ORGANIC TRADE ASSOCIATION

OSGATA Cites Betrayal Over Monsanto-Backed GMO LABELING BILL Washington, ME, July 13, 2016 – By a unanimous vote of its Board of Directors, the organic farmer-controlled Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) has withdrawn its membership from the Organic Trade Association (OTA).  OSGATA’s decision was prompted by OTA’s duplicity towards organic farmers and consumers […]

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GMO Labeling: A Public Policy Imperative

GMO Labeling: A Public Policy Imperative

  The latest issue of GeneWatch, published by the Council for Responsible Genetics, is dedicated to GMO labeling. Martin Levin, J.D., OSGATA Board member and environmental lawyer, discusses the flaws in the current regulation of genetically modified (GM) foods  in his piece “The Public Policy Imperative for GM Food Labeling.” Levin writes: “Profit-motivated businesses engaged […]

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Cotton Contamination by GMOs

Cotton Contamination by GMOs

Cotton (Gossypium spp) Cotton has a relatively low risk of gene flow via pollen in comparison to other GE crops on the market. However low the perceived risk, cotton contamination is still real. In Texas, where over 90% of cotton grown is genetically engineered, most organic cotton farmers acknowledge the […]

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GE-Free Papaya

GE-Free Papaya

Papaya (Carica papaya) GE contamination of papaya is classified as either air contamination or seed contamination. Papaya flesh always has the same genetic make-up as the seed of the tree that it came from. Trees grown from GE seeds will have GE leaves and fruit flesh, and at least 75% […]

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Keeping Soybeans Free of GE Contamination

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

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

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

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

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

GMO Corn Contamination 101

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

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

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

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

OSGATA President on Organic Integrity & Corporate Interest

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

Stricter Regulations for Biotech

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

Tougher Regulations for GE Wheat

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

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

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

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

Jackson County Ban on GE Crops Upheld in Court

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

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: 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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