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From across the web, some interesting things we’ve read this month

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This article comes from the NOFA/Massachusetts 2017 June Issue Newsletter

By Dan Bensonoff

We’ve compiled this list of stories to help keep you up to date on issues impacting food and farming.

Why Your 'Organic' Milk May Not Be Organic

A Washington Post investigation of Aurora, a mega organic dairy in Colorado, revealed that their 15,000 head of cattle were rarely allowed access to pasture. In this case, the abuse goes much deeper though; their inspector turned a blind eye to Aurora’s abuse of the organic standards, which brings into question the veracity of other farm-inspector relationships.

Patients: Roundup Gave Us Cancer As EPA Official Helped The Company

500 people with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma are suing Monsanto over the carcinogenicity of its famous weed killer, Roundup.

State of Washington law paves way for organic marijuana market

Organically certified Cannabis will now be available in Washington, after the Governor signed a bill making WA the first state to create an organic cannabis certification program.

Religious beliefs involved in Oregon pesticide dispute

Oh the irony... county officials are threatening to spray herbicide on an Oregon farm because their weeds pose a contamination risk for nearby wheat seed growers. (*Editor’s note: Why aren’t GMO crop fields ever fumigated for posing a threat to organic growers?)

There’s Funding to Support Organic Farmers, but Many Don’t Know It Exists

Did you know that the cost of organic certification can be subsidized by 75% through federal funds? If you didn’t, read this. (Oh, and the article features an interview with NOFA/Mass board president, Laura Davis.)

Health Leaders Must Focus on the Threats From Factory Farms

This op-ed lays out the case for a global effort to shift our diet away from factory-farmed meat. According to the article, factory-farmed meat is responsible for the three primary global threats to our health: climate change, antibiotic-resistance, and chronic disease. (*Editor’s note: This article doesn’t once mention pasture-raised meats. A conspicuous omission.)

Soils Called Crucial For Combating Climate Change

Thought leaders, scientists, and advocates met in Paris recently to discuss the role of soil carbon in climate change mitigation. As keynote speaker Christiana Figueres said, “Carbon in the soil is a very good proxy for the health of the land, and carbon in the atmosphere is a very good proxy for the lack of health of the planet.”

USDA Delays New Organic Animal Welfare Standards

Yet again, the embattled animal welfare rules are under siege. These rules, so essential to leveling the organic meat and egg playing field, have been delayed for at least six months and are at risk of being scrapped altogether.

Has This Silicon Valley Startup Finally Nailed The Indoor Farming Model?

A new start-up called Plenty says it has figured out a way to grow 350 times more produce in the same space as conventional farming. The key, they say, is their use of vertical space and innovative technology.


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