nations to exploit GMO-free status
Geography gives nations surrounded by water the unique
ability to protect themselves from genetic contamination.
New Zealand is set to cash in on this ability to give
special value to their crops, while Ireland is close
EU acceptance of a permissible level of GE contamination
in all crops gives New Zealand a real opportunity and
point of difference in the world as a GE-Free crop producer,
according to the Soil & Health Association, New
Zealand. "New Zealand has zero tolerance to GE
contamination and with organic food the world’s
fastest food sector growth area, there are fantastic
opportunities here for both genuine GE Free organic
and conventional growers," said Soil & Health
spokesperson Steffan Browning.
Following the Green Party’s historic agreement
last month to form a coalition government with traditional
political power Fianna Fáil, the two parties
revealed their agreed policy "to negotiate for
the whole island of Ireland to become a GMO-free zone."
Farmers and food producers on both sides of the border
have spent the past nine years campaigning to achieve
this goal. The Green Party is an all-island party, working
in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Booklet series provides
analysis, recommendations for topics within Farm Bill
range of impacts
Bolstering an already robust set of materials on the
2007 U.S. Farm Bill, the Institute for Agriculture and
Trade Policy (IATP) is rolling out a series of 16-page
booklets. Using creative graphic design in the Social
Realism genre echoing U.S. art of the ‘30s and
‘40s, the pieces provide narrative, graphics and
documented analysis of current and proposed policy.
Current titles look at the Farm Bill and the U.S.,
the world, renewable energy, the world’s hungry,
competitive markets and public health; coming are series
booklets on immigration and conservation. They are available
for download or in hard copy (the latter recommended
for full effect, but limited supply) by contacting Linda
Viera at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (612) 870-3455.
New natural remedy
for whiteflies eyed
A hardy fungus found on insects feeding on Texas eggplants
may become a new natural control for widespread and
costly whitefly pests that are tough to control with
Global south development,
greenhouse gas impact conflicting values in air-freighted
organic food debate
Can conscientious shoppers favoring organic produce
happily accept food grown in tropical developing nations,
under certified-organic conditions—then flown
by greenhouse-gassing jets to wealthier areas of the
The debate in the U.K. is creating uncomfortable fault
lines within the organic community. The long-simmering
debate has been forced to the front by the growing popular
awareness of global-warming and the high impact of burning
jet fuel. De-certifying air-freighted food would have
significant negative economic impact on organic farming
in developing nations, just as it is gaining ground.
A two-year study finds higher yields from planting
a blend of complementary wheat varieties than from a
Farm air pollution
targeted in California
California plans to enact the most costly pesticide
regulation in state history as it cracks down on the
use of fumigants in farm fields to comply with a court-ordered
deadline to combat smog.
State officials warned that the cost will be extremely
high—estimated at $10 million to $40 million a
year—and that growers of strawberries, carrots,
tomatoes and peppers will bear the brunt of it. The
biggest burden will fall on Ventura County's strawberry
growers, who will face strict caps on emissions and
may have to resort to pulling thousands of acres out
of production—or to growing organically—to
meet the smog target levels.
Canadian organic food
sales grow past $1 Billion
Studies commissioned by the Organic Agriculture Centre
of Canada (OACC) show that retail sales of “certified-organic”
food in Canada were worth more than $1 billion in 2006
and that consumers in British Columbia eat more organic
food than consumers in other provinces.
Mainstream grocery chains have responded to consumer
demand and now sell over 40 percent of all organic food
sold in Canada, amounting to CDN$412 million in 2006,
according to data provided by the Nielsen Company. National
organic regulations are currently in a two-year implementation
phase which began Dec. 21, 2006.
Direct sales of certified-organic produce at farmers
markets across the country and at the farm gate are
estimated to be worth at least $50 million.
organic standards status summary