Don’t Drink the Water?

Agricultural WaterIt’s a fact that 80-90% of all the corn and soybeans grown in the US are genetically modified to withstand heavy applications of herbicides. The exponential growth of GMO crops has produced a host of super weeds that have evolved to withstand the chemical onslaughts. To combat this cycle, more super-herbicides are applied each year to eliminate the super-weeds. Conventional farmers are now spraying more of these dangerous brews, cooked up by DuPont, Syngenta and Monsanto. The run off flows into our streams and watersheds and is affecting animal and human health. GMO crops have conquered the fields and now their bi-products compromise our water.  I think about my family in the Midwest, living near this yearly toxic downpour. I wonder, should they drink the water?   Continue reading

Viewing the National landscape of GMO labeling

We are witnessing what could be a watershed moment as invigorated GMO labeling initiatives continue to pop up across the country. The discussion started a few years ago when the non- GMO project created a way to identify the absence of GMO ingredients in our food supply. Certifying that products don’t contain GMOs is great, but doesn’t address the 80% of all processed food that consumers are unwittingly eating. As parents across America are clamored for the right to know what is in their food, California and then Washington initiatives were defeated by big outside money interests. Those defeated proposals served the community by fueling the fires of awareness. Continue reading

Label GMOs? It’s time to get involved!

Speak upWhen I was at Expo West in March, I heard a plethora of discussions on GMOs in our food supply. What struck me was the losses we have suffered in California and Washington states have in many ways helped raise awareness with consumers across the nation. Those losses can be considered wins in sentiment and momentum, but they also present risks. The three-strikes-you’re-out rule doesn’t exactly apply, but the Obama administration and members of Congress are watching to see what happens next. What we do in the next few months is critical to the outcome. Continue reading

The National Organic Standards Board needs you!

200px-National_Organic_ProgramThis Spring, all organic stakeholders will have a chance to put their idealism into action. The National Organic Standards Board, or NOSB, will meet April 29 to May 2 in San Antonio, Texas, at the St. Anthony Hotel with the intent of hearing what you have to say on materials and the organic regulations.

The biannual meeting is an opportunity for advocates, consumers and growers to weigh in on proposed NOSB recommendations and discussion items. A list of subcommittees and proposals can be found by accessing this link. As many know, last year’s Fall meeting was canceled as a result of the government shutdown; many items that were to be addressed then will now be discussed at next month’s meeting. Continue reading

USDA gives small and medium sized farms a helping hand!

Helping HandJust after my Blog “Where will Future Organic Farmers of America come from?” was posted, a related announcement came from USDA giving possible solutions to my question. The Agricultural Act of 2014 included funding for organic and sustainable farm initiatives. The latest applications of these funds are programs designed to assist small and medium sized farmers and ranchers! Continue reading