Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association


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Center for Food Safety Files Legal Action to Prohibit Hydroponics from Organic

January 16, 2019 – Center for Food Safety – Today, Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a new legal action demanding the Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibit hydroponic operations from the Organic label. Hydroponic production systems – a catch-all term that applies to food production methods that do not use soil – do not meet federal organic standards and violate organic law, which requires that organic farming include soil improvement and biodiversity conservation. Hydroponic systems cannot comply with the organic standard's vital soil standards because hydroponic crops do not use soil at all. The CFS filing was endorsed by over a dozen other organic farmer, consumer, retailer, and certifying organizations, including the Organic Farmers Association, Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA), PCC Community Markets, and the Cornucopia Institute.


Debate brews over splitting Maine’s agriculture, conservation department

January 16, 2019 – By Kevin Miller, Portland Press Herald – As Gov. Janet Mills prepares to announce her final Cabinet nominee, there is renewed discussion about breaking up the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to better serve farming, logging and land preservation interests.


Grant fuels expansion of Cheese, Brews, and Bread fest in Skowhegan

January 16, 2019 – By Doug Harlow, Kennebec Journal – The Wesserunsett Arts Council has teamed up with Main Street Skowhegan and the Maine Grain Alliance to form a committee that will plan and execute an expanded version of the Cheese, Brews, and Bread festival, fueled in part by an enterprise grant from the Maine Office of Tourism.


Organic Food Health Benefits

January 16, 2019 – By Lois Zoppi, News Medical – Consumers are increasingly concerned about the effects of herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, and growth-promoting hormones that are found in food. Organic food, which is grown and produced differently to food produced in conventional methods, is thought to contain fewer additives and contaminants and is also considered to be more environmentally friendly.


French Court Cancels Monsanto Weedkiller Permit on Safety Grounds

January 15, 2019 – By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Gus Trompiz, Reuters, The New York Times – A French court canceled the license for one of Monsanto's glyphosate-based weedkillers on Tuesday over safety concerns, placing an immediate ban on Roundup Pro 360 in the latest legal blow to the Bayer-owned business.


These 10 States Grow the Nation’s Organic Food

January 15, 2019 – By Paul Ausick, 24/7 Wall St. – The Lower 48 states cover about 1.9 billion acres of land in what can only be described as a patchwork of cities, farmland, rangeland and public lands. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data, cropland accounts for about 392 million acres, while pasture and rangeland account for 654 million acres. Nearly all the land west of a line along the eastern borders of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico – just over a third of all the land in the lower 48 states – is pasture and rangeland. Cropland accounts for just over 20% of the land in the Lower 48.


Organic makes headway at retail

January 15, 2019 – By Tom Burfield, The Packer – As consumers set out to eat healthier, more and more organic produce seems to be popping up on supermarket shelves.


New organic items trending

January 15, 2019 – By Tom Burfield, The Packer – Watermelon radishes, proprietary apple varieties and snack-size veggies are just a few of the latest offerings available from innovative organic produce grower-shippers.