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CCOF Applauds USDA Announcement of Organic Equivalence Agreement with Japan

(September 25, 2013) Santa Cruz, CA - USDA and Japan announced Thursday at Natural Products Expo East a new organic equivalency agreement, finalizing many years of perseverance toward equivalence without critical variances. As of January 1, 2014, the Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries will recognize the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) as equivalent to Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS). CCOF engaged early in the agreement process, representing our more than 2,600 members by hosting visits with Japanese officials here in the United States.

Farm Bill Features Wins for Organic Farmers

(January 29, 2014) Santa Cruz, CA – The U.S. House of Representatives today approved a farm bill that includes funding for critical programs that support the growth of the organic sector. The Senate is expected to follow suit in the coming days. Among the wins for organic was the National Organic Certification Cost Share program, a main focus of CCOF’s policy work last year through visits to Congress members and dozens of emails and calls by CCOF members.

DARK Act Dead—For Now

After pulling some political shenanigans in the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, committee chair Pat Roberts failed to gain the votes needed to move the anti-GMO labeling bill forward.

The bill popularly known as the DARK Act—an acronym for Deny Americans the Right to Know—was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives last year and forwarded to the Senate. The bill preempts states’ ability to require GMO labeling of food products and creates a voluntary labeling system.

$20 million Announced in Assistance for Drought-Impacted Producers

We were thrilled this morning to learn that the USDA is making $20 million available in assistance to California producers affected by drought. I was on a conference call this morning with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack as he made this announcement. He was joined by Representative Jim Costa and CDFA Secretary Karen Ross, who spoke about the implications of the drought and their commitment to helping farmers.

A Cause for Celebration: CCOF Policy Day at the State Capitol

Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr.

On February 11, a dedicated group of individuals came together in Sacramento to represent and advocate on behalf of organic at CCOF’s Policy Day. Over 100 members of the organic community met with elected representatives and public officials to hammer home the message that organic is a significant and growing part of the California and national economy.

Addressing Seed Purity – Part 1 of 2

This post was written by Kristina Hubbard, director of advocacy and communications for Organic Seed Alliance. She recently published an article in Agriculture and Human Values entitled, "Confronting coexistence in the United States: organic agriculture, genetic engineering, and the case of Roundup Read alfalfa."

Animals Need Access to Soil, Not Concrete

CCOF believes that organic livestock standards should require humane and ethical treatment of animals during all stages of production, including transport and slaughter. CCOF, consistent with our mission and principles, has long advocated for NOP standards that ensure outdoor and soil access.

In December 2011, the NOSB unanimously passed a recommendation on Animal Welfare and Stocking Rates that capped off several years of work on these subjects. The NOSB recommendations were consistent with CCOF and other organizations’ recommendations.

Arctic® Apples: The Proposal for a New GE Food Needs Your Comments!

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.

Bagrada Bug News #3 Reports on Role of Weeds and Parasitoid Research

The third edition of the Bagrada Bug News is now available to read and print on demand.

This edition reports on work being conducted in California and France to test promising natural enemies of bagrada bug. Scientists collected three species of wasps that lay their eggs in bagrada bug eggs, thus killing the nymphs inside, in South Africa and Pakistan and are now assessing their potential for release as natural predators of bagrada bug in California.

Bill to Expand Overtime Pay for California’s Farm Workers

AB 1066, the Phase-in Overtime for Agricultural Workers Act of 2016, is a bill authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) that would set new overtime pay requirements for California farm workers.


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