Seed News

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

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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

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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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Comment Window Extended on Proposed EPA Rule on Pesticides

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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

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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

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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

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  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

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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

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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

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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

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  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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Monsanto’s Bid to Acquire Syngenta Raises Antitrust Concerns

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What will the seed and biotechnology industries look like if agribusiness giant Monsanto acquires the world’s largest supplier of pesticides? The Diane Rehm Show explores the possible Monsanto-Syngenta merger in hosting three guests: Alan Bjerga, an agricultural policy and commodities reporter for Bloomberg News; Scott Partridge, Monsanto’s vice president of […]

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Jackson County Ban on GE Crops Upheld in Court

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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

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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

Jim Gerritsen, OSGATA President

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

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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

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“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

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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

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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

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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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