Archive for the ‘Seed News’ 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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Conversations with an Agrarian Elder

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    Internationally known organic farmer and OSGATA President will speak about agroecology & organic farming systems this Earth Day. Considered an Agrarian Elder, Gerritsen has farmed organically for more than 30 years. He and his wife Megan own and operate  Wood Prairie Farm, in Bridgewater, ME. The event, held by FAMU StateWide Small Farm […]

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Avoiding GE Contamination in Canola

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  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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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  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

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  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

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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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It’s #GivingTuesday- Show Farmers Some Love!

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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

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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

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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 Addresses Organic Integrity at NOSB Meeting

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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

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  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!

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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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