Blog posts by genetic engineering

Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, April 20, 2015 on genetic engineering, Non-GMO & More seal

Organic is always non-GMO–and so much more. Our certified members are held to a high standard of keeping their products GMO-free. CCOF conducts yearly inspections to ensure organic integrity and integrates GMO testing in addition to pesticide residue testing efforts. GMOs are strictly prohibited by the national organic standards, plus organic agriculture provides a long list of other benefits for healthy people and a healthy planet. Studies show that organically-grown food has higher amounts of Vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorous, and iron–all vital nutrients for healthy functioning bodies. In...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 30, 2015 on genetic engineering, policy

The deadline for comment has been extended to May 11, 2015. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting comments on a set of proposed activities to reduce the impacts of the unintended presence of genetically modified (GM) genes in organic and other non-GM crops. One of the activities is the federal organic farmer survey currently circulating, which is gathering information on economic losses experienced by organic farmers due to the presence of GM material in their crops. The timeline for comment is quite short; they are due April 10, 2015. To submit a comment, visit regulations.gov...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, March 30, 2015 on education, genetic engineering, Non-GMO & More seal

As the nation’s leading organic certifier, CCOF has been at the leading edge of organic initiatives and programmatic innovation. In that spirit of innovation, we’re working behind the scenes to ensure organic grows and thrives in the food industry. So far, 2015 has been an extremely busy and productive year for us. This year we have already seen the second installment of the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund to support the next generation of organic farmers. We held a wildly successful Policy Day where certified members were able to sit across from elected officials and inform them of organic...
Written by Tami Weiss on Monday, March 23, 2015 on CCOF, events, genetic engineering


Over 2,700 companies exhibited at this year’s Natural Products Expo West. CCOF-certified members were well represented. For instance, on the main floor you could start the morning off with some tea from Traditional Medicinals, wander over to the Lundberg booth for rice cakes, stop at Straus for some cheese to put on that rice cake, wash everything down with a new yerba mate drink from Guayaki, and finish up with one of the new flavors of Three Twins ice cream. Those were just the companies close to the CCOF booth! Happy Family, 18 Rabbits, Valley Fig Growers, Hilary’s Eat Well, Otis...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, December 15, 2014 on genetic engineering, labeling and packaging, policy

The federal agency in charge of the nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products recently implemented a procedure that allows labels for certified organic meat and poultry products to include a “Non-Genetically Engineered” statement. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)—a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)—unveiled a 3-step procedure for the labels earlier this year. The first step is for a company to write a letter to FSIS on the company letterhead that includes the FSIS approval number for their current organic label, a copy of the label, and the...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, November 24, 2014 on genetic engineering, policy


CCOF joined individuals and groups representing some 57 million Americans in signing a letter that warns citizens, politicians, and regulators in the United Kingdom and in the rest of the European Union about the hazards of genetically modified crops (GMOs). The letter describes the history of GMOs in the United States, including the struggle of farmers and concerned citizens to increase oversight and regulation of GMO crops. The letter not only points out environmental concerns, but it also notes that GMO drift continues to plague non-GMO producers across the United States. CCOF proudly...
Written by Zea Sonnabend on Friday, June 13, 2014 on advocacy, genetic engineering, NOP, NOSB, policy


In an environment where Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and their derivatives are widely distributed throughout the food chain, it is imperative that organic producers and handlers have strategies and plans to keep them out. A key tenet of "coexistence" is shared responsibility for the exclusion of the methods and products of genetic engineering. The organic part of this shared responsibility is extensive already, but specific new guidance from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) adopted by the National Organic Program (NOP) would make these practices more transparent to others...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 2, 2014 on advocacy, genetic engineering, policy


The CCOF Board of Directors voted in mid-May to adopt a strong GMO policy shared by CCOF’s strategic partner, the Organic Trade Association. The policy calls for a moratorium on production of genetically modified crops until more research on their environmental and potential health issues has been conducted, and a meaningful regulatory framework is in place. The CCOF board also reiterated its support for mandatory GMO labeling. Earlier this year, CCOF wrote a letter to California Congresswoman Noreen Evans expressing support for her bill that would require labeling of GMOs in all foods...
Written by Zea Sonnabend on Friday, November 22, 2013 on advocacy, genetic engineering, grower

A proposal by the food industry continues the onslaught of new genetically engineered crops that threaten both organic farmers and consumers who may not want GMOs in their food. The latest genetically modified crop likely to be deregulated in 2014 are Arctic® apples, which have been engineered not to brown when sliced. Organic proponents will likely question why the world needs non-browning apples, especially as this trait is not based on the basic agronomy or pest risks of the apple. However, there has been little controversy over the potential release so far. This may be a result of the...
Written by Cathy Calfo on Thursday, January 10, 2013 on advocacy, genetic engineering, services

It's a New Year! Our first CCOF staff meeting of the new year began with sharing personal resolutions and words of wisdom with each other. Our vows to get in better shape, be more present, and take on new challenges match well with CCOF’s organizational goals: Provide more personalized certification services (faster, less paper). Talk directly to local congressional offices for action on a new U.S. farm bill and investment in organic. While averting the fiscal cliff, Congress eliminated nearly all farm bill support for organic agriculture. Remind our friends and neighbors to say “No” to...