Strengthening organic seed usage

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) strongly recognizes the fundamental role organic seed plays in the success of a thriving organic farm system, and over the years has consistently supported the need to improve ongoing efforts to develop and use organic seed and planting stock. We acknowledge, however, that the organic regulations allow for the use of non-organic seed and/or planting stock when organic equivalent varieties are not available in the appropriate quantity, quality or form.

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Advocacy ongoing for organic animal welfare final rule

The organic industry has been working on defining and applying animal welfare requirements to the organic standards for over a decade. This work culminated in a final rule released just prior to the Administration change in January. Since that time, the effective date of the final rule has been delayed twice. Accompanying the most recent delay to November 14, the U.S. Department of Agriculture opened a comment period asking the public to weigh in on four options:

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Baseball star Jayson Werth scores with organic

Major league baseball player Jayson Werth doesn’t look like an organic farmer—especially when he’s at the plate or in the outfield in his Washington Nationals uniform. But, looks can be deceiving.

The star hitter and outfielder has batted in almost 800 runs, hit more than 200 home runs and helped win a World Series in his now 15-year major league baseball career. He’s kept his eyes on the ball and on his health, and has eaten organic for more than a decade. And for almost a decade now, he’s also been an organic farmer.

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Organic fraud prompts action on import verification

In response to the discovery of fraudulent imports of soybeans from Turkey that violated federal organic regulations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Organic Program (NOP) in June revoked the organic certification of Beyaz Agro—a major Turkish grain exporter. The soybeans in question had been fumigated with aluminum phosphide—a prohibited substance under USDA’s National Organic Program—prior to arrival in the United Sates, yet were sold here as organic.

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Bipartisan bill would increase organic research funding

Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) this spring introduced the Organic Agriculture Research Act of 2017, which would invest in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) to meet the needs of the growing organic sector. Sales of organic products in the U.S. reached approximately $47 billion in 2016, and expectations are for continued growth as more consumers choose organic.

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Organic: Important for the welfare of farmworker health

Organic food and farming have many health benefits for consumers—they have lower levels and frequencies of pesticide residues, and can have higher levels of antioxidants and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. However, another less well-known health benefit centers on the welfare of farmworkers and families in agricultural areas.

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