This just in from Mischa…
“There might finally be a bit of good news in the organic industry. Maybe…
Miles V. McEvoy, Deputy Administrator of the USDA’s National Organic Program, plans to begin testing 10 percent of the operations his agency certifies.
But, before anyone gets too excited, try to imagine if they only tested 10 percent of the athletes who competed at the Olympics. How much credibility would they have? Then imagining if they only tested American athletes at the Olympics while Chinese athletes were allowed to simply swear they were clean by signing an affidavit.
So far, only domestic organic farmers will be subjected to tests on their crops to make sure they’re not using prohibited, toxic herbicides, pesticides and fungicides. (No word yet on whether McEvoy plans to test for the big moneymaker, synthetic nitrogen fertilizer). But everyone knows that most domestic organic farmers are honest; it’s our overseas competitors that need to be scrutinized.
You can go to my website www.isitorganic.ca for a more on the USDA’s long overdue plan to test organic farms, a plan that President Bill Clinton first envisioned all the way back in 1997. Miles no doubt has good intentions, but unless he tests foreign organic farms that supply over 80 percent of the American and Canadian market for organic food, it’s too little too late.”
Mischa Popoff is a IOIA Advanced Organic Farm and Process Inspector and the author of Is it Organic? Mischa hails from Osoyoos, BC, Canada.
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By the way, you can get 20% off the purchase of Mischa’s book, Is it Organic? – – – check it out at: www.isitorganic.ca
**Excerpts from Crop Biotech Update, dated July 9, 2010
***GM Canola Yield Triples in Western Australia*
The Australian Oilseeds Federation (AOF) estimates that national GM canola acreage more than tripled as a result of the commercialization of genetically modified (GM) canola in Western Australia. Despite having been grown for only a year in Western Australia, planting of GM canola is over 50 percent of total production. AOF projects that GM plantings will make up around 8 percent of the total canola crop of around 1.61 million hectares.
“This rapid uptake by technologically savvy Australian growers supports how useful the GM varieties can be in a production system to better manage weeds, reduce tillage, lower fuel use and provide alternatives to residual herbicides,” said Peter O’Keeffe, head of Monsanto Australia. He added that figures “clearly indicate that approved GM canola varieties are being embraced by farmers, and that the NSW, Victorian and Western Australian government’s decisions have benefited agriculture by enabling choice-based access to the technology.”
For the original article see http://sl.farmonline.com.au/news/nationalrural/grains-and-cropping/general/gm…
*Demand Increasing for Suitable GM Testing and Approval Process*
The global and scientific challenge of GMO testing was discussed during the fourth EuroScience Open Forum in Turin last July 6, 2010. According to experts, the challenge includes choosing suitable sampling techniques and finding ways to come up with credible results. The development and adoption of GM crops continue to advance through the years. However, the approval processes for commercializing the GM crops vary from country to country, which affects the global food trade. Thus, it is difficult to come up with a consistent and similar testing and approval process.
Senior Scientist Claudia Paoletti of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said that extensive research is required on the genetic variations that can take place among the samples of particular GM products, which also need complex sampling procedures. “It is not only important to know how many samples are being tested but also how they have been taken,” Paoletti said. “We need to find the balance between good science and time and financial constraints.”
to view the summary of the workshop.