Monday, October 06, 2003

Bush Administration Limits Farmers from Suing Pesticide-makers

"...if a pesticide not only doesn't do what it says it's supposed to do, but also kills your crop, that could cost you a year's income. There has to be some legal recourse, and (this change) could really limit that."—Tom Buis, National Farmers Union
The Bush administration, apparently feeling that donations from the pesticide industry are more important than votes from farmers in states Bush will probably win anyway, has changed a long standing federal position allowing farmers to sue pesticide companies when their products don't do what's advertised.

Erik Olson of the Natural Resources Defense Council says the change immunizes pesticide-makers from legitimate damage claims. The new policy also could bolster pesticide-makers' contention that federal labeling insulates them from suits alleging that their products caused broader health and environmental harm, Olson says.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Bulgaria is hoping to become Europe's food basket by moving into organic farming.

"More than 80 percent of Bulgaria's farming land is suitable for organic farming."—Nihat Kabil, Bulgarian deputy minister for agriculture and forestry
Ironically, because of the sheer poverty of the Bulgarian people, chemical pesticides and fertilizers just weren't an option after the fall of the Soviet Union. So, for the past 12 years or so, vast tracts of land have remained fallow, while many small farmers have been growing organically. So many, in fact, that sustainable agriculture has become quite a growth industry.

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Organic Food Has More Healthy Compounds

A new study has revealed that, contrary to what the chemical people have been telling us for years, organically grown food is more nutritious. For years I've talked about A Mozafar's study showing that crops using manure as fertilizer were higher in vitamin B. Now a new study shows that blackberries grown sustainably or organically and then frozen contained 50 percent to 58 percent more polyphenolics than conventionally grown crops from neighboring plots. Sustainably grown frozen strawberries contained 19 percent more polyphenolics than conventional fruit. Sustainably grown and organic produce also had more ascorbic acid, which the body converts to vitamin C, Mitchell's team reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Republican Redneck From Georgia Wrote Language to Dilute Meaning of Organic

Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman says organic food standards could be undermined by a measure passed in Congress that allows farmers who feed animals conventional meal to label the meat organic if reasonably priced organic grain isn't available. She stopped short of endorsing an effort led by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., to repeal the language wrapped by Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., into the $397 billion government-wide spending bill. Still, organic food supporters welcomed her statement. "I think that USDA's statement provides the perfect justification for quietly saying: Let's repeal this," said Bob Scowcroft, head of the Organic Farming Research Foundation in California.