Part 1: Gary Hirshberg reflects on GMO Labeling, Political Activism and Why He’s So Involved

Since the late 1970’s Gary Hirshberg has worked tirelessly to build a better food system. He’s followed his heart to encompass a love for the planet and its people. From building a business with seven cows, his heart has driven his mission. Tirelessly defending people from toxic chemicals, protecting the environment all the while selling some darn good yogurt, propels him still tirelessly to this day.

With his accomplishments and accolades in hand many like him would have sauntered off into the sunset of retirement. But Gary keeps pressing and driving hard for a better tomorrow. With such passionate energy I had to sit down and ask him: “Why do you do it?”    Continue reading

Is the USDA Label Strong Enough for All Organic Growers?

In response to my blog earlier in the week I sat down with the Coalition for Sustainable Organics (CSO) . They’re a group of growers committed to maintaining the USDA’s current high standards for certifying organic produce. They advocate for the continued allowance of containerized growing methods under the National Organic Program while enabling growers to select the most appropriate production system for their specific site and commodity needs.

They believe that everyone deserves organic produce, and growers must continue to find ways within the organic framework to expand supply.

Lee Frankel is the Executive Director of CSO. He recently elaborated on the current state of hydroponic and container growing in the US organic standards and the movements to create additional add-on labels in the organic marketplace. Continue reading

Do We Need Another Organic Label?

Last fall the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) made the decision not to prohibit hydroponic and container growing methods in organic production. This decision left some members of the organic community infuriated and galvanized. They vowed to dig in and create a label that meant something more than the USDA seal. After a few short months, the Real Organic Project (ROP) was formed by farmers and advocates who say that they are reclaiming the original meaning of organic. Continue reading

Kashi – Making a Difference for Farmers & Cereal Bowls across the Land

The average consumer isn’t always aware of what’s behind the organic label. Some don’t realize the USDA organic seal is backed with regulations and standards that are strictly enforced. With so much consumer confusion, is it wise to thrust another label into the already crowded market?

Kashi’s Certified Transitional program aims to help farmers and fill cereal bowls one acre at a time. Continue reading

USDA Study: 9 Problems Electronic GMO Disclosures Would Face

In July 2016 Congress passed the first national GMO labeling legislation in the U.S. It is set to go into effect in July 2018, but not before the Department of Agriculture writes extensive rules for the legislation, which left many questions unanswered.

One of the most controversial parts of the bill would allow companies to use digital disclosures such as QR codes. Due to the heated debate over digital disclosures, Congress stipulated that the USDA must complete a study to identify any technological challenges consumers might face if companies used a digital disclosure for GMO ingredients instead of on-package labels. Continue reading