In Defense of Soil

“The health of soil, plant, animal and man is one and indivisible” Lady Eve Balfour | Founder of the Soil Association & IFOAM Co-founder In 1939, Evelyn Balfour bought a farm. She’d dreamed of being a farmer since the age of twelve. It seemed a strange dream for the niece of a former Prime Minister […]

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Opinion: Lithothamnion sp. Coralline Algae Is NOT “Ag,” Should NOT Be Allowed as “Organic” If We Care About The Planet.

March 12, 2021: The USDA released a memo to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to request that they make recommendations to the industry regarding whether or not Lithothamnion calcareus algae species may be certified organic. It’s unclear why the ruling is needed since the NOP informed at least one certifying agency prior to 2008 […]

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Hemp Production Final Rule

The Hemp Final Rule–published on January 19, 2021–superseded the Interim Final Rule that established The Domestic Hemp Production Program that was mandated as part of the 2018 Farm Bill. The Final Rule covers the regulations the USDA will follow when it approves the hemp production plans submitted by States and Indian tribes and establishes a […]

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An Uncertain Future for U.S. Hemp?

It seems like there are new developments surrounding the hemp industry every day–and not all of them are positive. The European Union recently voted to deny a hemp industry-supported application to add hemp & hemp-derived CBD extracts to the EU’s list of “novel foods.” Hemp’s addition to that list would have allowed all hemp parts […]

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Monsanto petitions the USDA for deregulation of dicamba tolerant corn varieties

Organic stakeholders are encouraged to comment on the petition, which can be found here: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/biotechnology/brs-news-and-information/2020_brs_news/monstanto_corn_050820 In 2015, Monsanto sought deregulation of dicamba tolerant bean and cotton varieties marketed to farmers as the solution to the increasing glyphosate resistance of weeds like Palmer Amaranth. While the new dicamba tolerant crops were certainly a way for Monsanto […]

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Preparing Your Records for Inspection in The Covid-19 Era

While the organic record-keeping requirements for certified operations aren’t likely to change any time soon, the way organic operations are asked to present their records may be–at least temporarily. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) office emphasizes that annual organic inspections must go on, though certifying agencies have been asked to […]

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