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 behind.
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)
New natural remedy for whiteflies
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 chemicals.
Global south development,
greenhouse gas impact conflicting values in air-freighted organic
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 global north?
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 single-variety planting.
Farm air pollution targeted
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
organic standards status summary