Archive for the ‘Seed News’ Category

Comment Window Extended on Proposed EPA Rule on Pesticides

Comment Window Extended on Proposed EPA Rule on Pesticides

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the public comment period, through July 29, 2015, for its proposed rule on pesticide restrictions to better protect managed bees used for pollination services from acute exposure to foliar applications of pesticides. Growers routinely contract honey bee keepers to bring managed bees to pollinate crops. While this EPA

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Whole Foods Changes “Responsibly Grown” Labeling

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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10 Reasons to Opt for Organic Seed

10 Reasons to Opt for Organic Seed

1. Promote Biodiversity. Over the last century thousands of local varieties of seed have disappeared− with estimated losses of nearly 75% of agricultural genetic diversity. 2. Keep Collective Resources in the Commons. Seed sovereignty equals food freedom. Rampant consolidation has swept through the seed industry in recent history, resulting in

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Certified Organic Farmers Challenge Whole Foods Labeling

Certified Organic Farmers Challenge Whole Foods Labeling

  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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OSGATA Tells EPA to Protect Pollinators from Pesticide Exposure

OSGATA Tells EPA to Protect Pollinators from Pesticide Exposure

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed pesticide restrictions to protect managed bees used for pollination services from acute exposure. Growers routinely contract honey bee keepers to bring managed bees to pollinate crops. While this EPA proposal would limit managed honey bee exposure to foliar application of pesticides, it doesn’t address one of the

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OSGATA Comments on Biotechnology Regulations

OSGATA Comments on Biotechnology Regulations

Current regulation of biotechnology does not adequately protect farmers, the general public, and the environment from the potential adverse effects of GE crops. However, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is currently revisiting its biotechnology regulations, from over a decade ago, and calling for public comment. Join OSGATA in this opportunity to demand stronger regulations

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Organic Farmers Protect Pollinators

Organic Farmers Protect Pollinators

A staggering 75% of food crops rely on pollinators for production− from oil seeds and nuts, to fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Honey bees alone are responsible for pollinating approximately $12.4 billion in crops annually. A new study found wild bees to be roughly equivalent in economic value to domesticated colonies.

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Organic Seed Growers Conference Call for Proposals

Organic Seed Growers Conference Call for Proposals

  The 8th Organic Seed Growers Conference, held February 4-6, 2016, in Corvallis, OR, brings together the organic seed community in two days of presentations and networking events focused on organic seed. Hosted by the Organic Seed Alliance, the conference theme is Cultivating Resilience. Proposals for presentations, workshops, posters, and panels addressing

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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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Family Farmers Oppose Organic Check-off

Family Farmers Oppose Organic Check-off

OSGATA president Jim Gerritsen addresses why organic family farmers oppose the Organic Trade Association’s Organic Check-off proposal in a interview with Bob Meyers of Brownfield Ag News for America. In a recent referendum, the OSGATA membership unanimously voted to oppose the check-off. Gerritsen says OSGATA members participating in other check-offs do not have confidence that

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OSGATA Membership Votes To Oppose Industry’s Organic Check-off

OSGATA Membership Votes To Oppose Industry's Organic Check-off

A recent referendum by the OSGATA membership resulted in unanimous opposition to the “Organic Check-off” proposed by the Organic Trade Association (OTA). Significantly, not a single vote was cast in favor of the Organic Check-off. Last week, the OTA formally petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to initiate a vote and requisite

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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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OSGATA President Addresses Organic Integrity at Spring NOSB Meeting

OSGATA President Addresses Organic Integrity at Spring NOSB Meeting

Today kicks off the four-day  National Organic Standards Board(NOSB) in La Jolla, CA. OSGATA President and Maine organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen will testify on behalf of OSGATA’s membership about the critical need to maintain integrity in the organic industry.  The NOSB was established as the official liaison between the organic community and organic

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OSGATA Comments on Coexistence

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, Twisted Truth

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 Joins Groups Challenging Major USDA Change to Organic Rule

OSGATA Joins Groups Challenging Major USDA Change to Organic Rule

Today organic stakeholders have filed a lawsuit in federal court, maintaining that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) violated the federal rulemaking process when it changed established procedures for reviewing the potential hazards and need for allowed synthetic and prohibited natural substances used in producing organic food. OSGATA joins a coalition of

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Fruition Seeds in the Dominican Republic: Reflections on Seed

By Petra Page-Mann, Fruition Seeds We are fortunate to live in a country where we have access to certified organic, regionally adapted varieties that are open-pollinated for us to save, even if we don’t plan to ever save a single seed.  I (Petra) spent the last week of January in the Dominican

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Powerful Organic Seed Documentary Now Available Online

‘Open Sesame- The Story of Seeds’ has been made available, beginning today, for online streaming. The film, which depicts the importance of organics and the enormous effort to protect organic seed, by New York-based filmmaker Sean Kaminsky is also available for DVD purchase online. ‘Open Sesame’ is a groundbreaking film with a

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OSGATA President on Food Sleuth Radio

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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