Archive for the ‘OSGATA’ Category

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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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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The 34th National Pesticide Forum


The 34th National Pesticide Forum will be convening on April 15-16, at the University of Southern Maine, in Portland, ME. The Forum is an opportunity for grassroots advocates, scientists, and policy makers to  build local, state, and national strategies to protect human health and the environment, as well as organic land management strategies. The event […]

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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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Keep the Soil in Organic


Soil is the foundation of organic − at least, it should be. At the fall meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in Stowe, VT, in October 2015, organic farmers united in protest against the allowance of hydroponic, or soilless, growing practices in certified organic production. OSGATA Board President […]

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New OSGATA Policy on Principles of Organic Plant Breeding


  The following new OSGATA  Policy on Principles of Organic Plant Breeding was unanimously approved by the OSGATA membership at the 2016 Annual Membership Meeting held at the 8th Organic Seed Growers Conference on February 6, 2016, in Corvallis, OR:   OSGATA Policy on Principles of Organic Plant Breeding Preamble. Seed is […]

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OSGATA @ The 8th Organic Seed Growers Conference


  The 8th Organic Seed Growers Conference, held February 5-6, 2016, in Corvallis, OR, is the conference for organic seed growers. This biennial conference brings together hundreds of farmers, plant breeders, seed companies, food companies, organic certifiers, policy advocates, and other stakeholders for two days of presentations, panel discussions, and networking events. It is  […]

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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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Help Organic Farmers & Get a Garlic Gift Pack!


  OSGATA launched its end-of-year fundraising campaign yesterday on #GivingTuesday, and we’re already more than a quarter of the way to our $5,000 goal. To help us close the gap, OSGATA members have generously donated gifts produced by them. Today, December 2, 2015, OSGATA member Southern Exposure Seed Exchange is offering garlic […]

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It’s #GivingTuesday- Show Farmers Some Love!


Today is Giving Tuesday, a day dedicated to giving back. Today people around the world will come together for one purpose: to celebrate generosity.  We hope you will show your support for organic farmers today, and encourage others in your community and network to do the same. Organic begins with seed, and our commitment […]

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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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OSGATA Addresses Organic Integrity at NOSB Meeting


Next week the four-day meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will be held in Stowe, VT, on October 26-29. OSGATA President and Maine certified organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen will testify on behalf of OSGATA’s membership about the critical need to maintain integrity in the organic industry, and more specifically in organic seed. […]

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Why We Oppose an Organic Check-off


  Why We Oppose an Organic Check-off 1. This will be just another Tax on farmers either directly or indirectly when processors pass the cost down. 2. Want to promote the benefits of Organic? You can’t in a check-off. Even something as simple and accurate as “Organic is the Gold […]

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Don’t Miss the 2015 Heirloom Expo!

heirloom_expo 2015

The 5th annual National Heirloom Exposition kicks off next week (September 8-10) at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, in Santa Rosa, California. Heralded as the “World’s Pure Food Fair,” the event is co-organized by the Petaluma Seed Bank in nearby Petaluma, CA, and boasts the world’s largest display of heirloom vegetables. In true county fair fashion, attendees […]

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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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Whole Foods Changes “Responsibly Grown” Labeling


Yesterday, CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) and Whole Foods Market announced that the retailer’s new Responsibly Grown rating system will soon be adjusted to better recognize USDA’s certified organic growing system. The statement is a direct response to the  June 23, 2015,  letter to Whole Foods CEO John Mackey by a coalition of Whole […]

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Certified Organic Farmers Challenge Whole Foods Labeling

whole foods market

  Whole Foods’ newly launched “Responsibly Grown” rating program is not sitting well with certified organic farmers.  In an attempt to rate the entire farming process, Whole Foods has devised a 7-tier value scheme− doling out points in the categories of soil health, waste reduction, and farm worker welfare, to name […]

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