Mark Keating's picture

Texas Two-Step: Organic Standards Board Meeting One to Watch

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will convene in San Antonio, Texas this week for its first meeting in more than a year.  Authorized by the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990, the NOSB’s origins make for a fascinating chapter in the history of the organic movement.  While the beginning of the story is well worth knowing, it’s the NOSB’s ongoing responsibility for establishing organic standards that will make this week’s meeting especially important.

Karen Adler's picture

Putting the Earth Back in Earth Day

“Essentially, all life depends upon the soil... There can be no life without soil and no soil without life; they have evolved together.” --Charles E. Kellogg /USDA Yearbook of Agriculture, 1938

How often do you think about the earth beneath your feet?

If you are a farmer or soil scientist, it’s many times a day. Otherwise, probably not very often, since our soil is something that most of us take for granted. But did you know that half of our topsoil has been lost in the last 150 years, and we’re now losing it at rates 10 to 40 times faster than it can naturally be replenished? Currently, 40% of the soil used for agriculture throughout the world is classified as degraded or seriously degraded.

Mark Keating's picture

Where Will Vermont’s GMO-labeling Bill Leave the Organic Brand?

     Proposals to require labeling of food products containing GMO ingredients are sprouting up in state legislatures and public referendums across the country. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are GMO labeling bills currently under consideration in 29 states and after years of stalemate, the tide may be turning in their favor.  While mandatory GMO labeling would be a milestone affirmation of our right to know where our food comes from, it also has genuine limitations when measured against organic certification.

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