Dear Human, Glyphosate by Any Other Name is Now a Reality

green tractor

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

As a follow up to my interview with Chuck Benbrook, I was astounded to see the verdict come through on the case of Alva and Alberta Pilliod. The jury awarded them an astonishing $2 billion in damages for their exposure to the herbicide glyphosate and their subsequent fight with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Chuck testified in the case on April 17th, and he focused on Monsanto’s “stewardship” and lack thereof for its Roundup-brand herbicides.

Chuck comment that “This verdict will surely get Bayer’s attention. Talk about chickens coming home to roost.” His May 13thblog post, Has Bayer’s Day of Roundup Reckoning Arrived?, elaborates more on the verdict.

What does all this have to do with organic products? Herbicides like glyphosate are explicitly forbidden in organic production. Continue reading

California State Congresswoman Introduces First Organic-to-School Pilot Program

flat lay photography of three tray of foods

Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com

California has always been at the forefront of change in the food movement. It’s the state that first passed organic regulations in 1990 and birthed the first certifier, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF).

The first Farm-to-School projects also sprang forth in the Golden State in 1997, at Santa Monica-Malibu United School District and The Edible Schoolyard  in Berkeley.

At long last, both Farm-to-School and Organic-to-School may come together. On February 21st, Assembly Member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry introduced AB 958 which would create the first-ever Organic-to-School pilot program in California. Continue reading

A Tribute to CCOF’s Cathy Calfo: Her Guiding Light Advances Organic Agriculture

2018 Cathy Calfo 2018I have witnessed Cathy Calfo’s vivacious drive since 2011 when she became the Executive Director of CCOF.  Since that time, she has been a friend, mentor, confidant and co-conspirator in advancing all things organic.

During her eight-year tenure, she achieved many policy and advocacy successes for organic agriculture in California and the Nation.

Cathy will leave the organization in March, in the good hands of Kelly Damewood.

I recently had the privilege of speaking with Cathy about her work at CCOF, commitment to organic and vision for the future. Continue reading

Who Will Fund the Challenges Facing Organic Today?

Rain on plant

The political winds are against us. We are in an era of stagnating and dwindling regulatory oversight by the current administration.

Organic seems to be floundering in its own juices.

Trump’s USDA withdrew the final animal welfare rule that consumers and legitimate producers all agreed upon for over decade.

The administration meddled with the NOSB’s work plan, withdrawing work on Aquaculture, Apiculture and Pet Food. There will be no regulations to advance organic in these areas in the near future.

They killed the idea of a check-off that would have raised much-needed funds to bolster our still adolescent industry.

This is indeed an unfriendly crew cutting and slashing rules and opportunities that organic wants. Continue reading

Your Clothes… What’s Organic GOTS to do with it?

closet-clothes-clothes-rack-102129Most of us don’t think much about how or where our clothes were produced. We’re more likely to take a fancy to the style of the cut or the hue of the cloth. Or perhaps we’re after a bargain and relish the least expensive adornment to garnish our bodies.

If you care to pull back the curtain, the production of textiles is actually a dirty rotten business. Continue reading