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New tests find bee-killing pesticides in 51% of bee-friendly plants from garden centers across U.S. and Canada

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) recently took part in a national research project showing that many bee-friendly home garden plants sold at Home Depot, Lowe's and Walmart have been pre-treated with pesticides that harm and kill bees. Friends of the Earth U.S., the Pesticide Research Institute and SumOfUs coordinated the study and collaborated with MOFGA and dozens of other groups that conducted pesticide sampling across the United States and Canada.

Read more.

Organic and Sustainable Agriculture News
Cries of lax regulation after USDA ruling on bluegrass
The New York Times - 7/6/2011.
By Andrew Pollack – The Agriculture Department has exempted a genetically engineered grass from federal regulation, a decision that some critics say could portend a loosening in oversight of biotech crops. The department said that an herbicide-tolerant Kentucky bluegrass being developed by Scotts Miracle-Gro was not subject to federal regulation because its creation did not entail use of any plant pests.
Vietnam era weapon being used to clear the Amazon
Treehugger - 7/6/2011.
By Stephen Messenger – Agent Orange is one of the most devastating weapons of modern warfare, a chemical which killed or injured an estimated 400,000 people during the Vietnam War – and now it's being used against the Amazon rainforest. According to officials, ranchers in Brazil have begun spraying the highly toxic herbicide over patches of forest as a covert method to illegally clear foliage.
Banned from the barn
The New York Times - 7/5/2011.
By Mark Bittman – Iowa’s ag-gag law failed to pass before summer recess last week: a good thing. The ridiculous proposition, which died along with similar ones in Minnesota, Florida and New York, would have made it illegal to videotape or photograph in the agricultural facilities that house almost all of our chickens and pigs.
EPA risks killing bees to fight invasive stink bugs
Grist - 7/5/2011.
By Tom Laskawy – For many Americans, the brown marmorated stink bug is a well-known household pest – but it's also a serious agricultural threat. The threat is so serious that the EPA is taking the unusual step of allowing farmers to attempt to control the bug by using dinotefuran, an "unregistered" pesticide.
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Upcoming MOFGA Events

July 30 - Waldo Organic Growers potluck and program

July 31 - Fall Planting in a High Tunnel

August 1 - MOFGA’s Common Ground radio show

August 3 - Scatterseed Project Tour

August 4 - MOFGA Volunteer Workday: Putting Food By

August 9 - MOFGA's Organic Orcharding  Workshop: Bud Grafting with Seth Yentes

August 13 - Conservation Farm Tour, Aroostook County

August 14 - The Art of Giving Gala to Benefit MOFGA

September 6 - Seed Saving Workshop with Will Bonsall

September 6 - Seed Saving 101 & The Scattered Seed Project

September - 19, 20 and 21 - MOFGA’s Common Ground Country Fair


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