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January 31, 2005

Transgenic Crops Threaten Vermont Organic Production

As many of you may know, I am a Vermont native and was a vegetable grower and seedsman there for about 25 years, including a stint on the board of the Vermont Small Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. We Vermonters (wherever we live) are a bit chauvinistic about our agriculture, small in scale as it may be (we actually like that).

Now the Vermont Public Interest Research Group has released a report on the threat of transgenic crops to the continued growth of certified organic agriculture in Vermont, even within the overall continued decline of agriculture in the state.

Growth trends highlighted by the report include:

  • Certified acreage under production in Vermont has soared from 15,967 acres in 1999 to 35,826 acres in 2004.
  • During the same time period, certified organic dairies increased from 38 to 84, with an additional 25 dairies in the pipeline.
  • The number of certified organic farmers in the state has more than tripled, from 90 in 1994 to 332 in 2004.
  • In 2004, roughly 23% of Vermont's total vegetable acres were farmed organically, the highest percentage of farmland in the country.

If you'd like to see the complete report, it is available on line at http://www.vpirg.org/pubs/GMO report FINAL.pdf

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it. If you don't have Acrobat Reader, you can download a free copy from the Adobe website.

Posted by shepherd.ogden at January 31, 2005 08:47 PM