The Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. NOFA/Mass welcomes everyone who cares about food, where it comes from and how it’s grown

Growing Organically Since 1982

Donate to NOFA/Mass

become member

NOFA/Mass Enews

Policy

Join us for a public hearing on an Act Protecting Massachusetts Pollinators on Tuesday, November 17.

Norwich organic Grower Jake Guest speaking at rally Monday,Oct-26

You may have heard about, or seen media reports on, the organic farmers protesting in Stowe, Vermont the last week in October. A few tractors roared about and 50 or so farmers dumped manure and rallied in a parking lot outside where the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) was meeting.

The issue? Despite a 2010 recommendation from the NOSB that hydroponic plants grown without soil should not be considered organic, the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) has allowed produce grown hydroponically, in water but not soil, to be certified organic.

Organic layers graze fresh pasture grasses, explore soil for beetles and other delectable morsels, and live safe from predators.

A number of NOFA/Mass members have called or emailed to say that proponents of the 2016 Massachusetts ballot initiative on Humane Farm Animal Treatment are soliciting them to sign the ballot initiative petition. They are interested in our organization’s position on this effort, and I thought this would be a good occasion to go into a little detail on the initiative, the history and politics of such measures, and the alternative approaches that have been offered to achieve the same goals.

GMOs
Pesticides in paradise: Hawaii's spike in birth defects puts focus on GM crops
Christopher Pala – The Guardian
Local doctors are in the eye of a storm swirling for the past three years over whether corn that’s been genetically modified to resist pesticides is a source of prosperity, as companies claim, or of birth defects and illnesses

A public hearing on the bill to require labeling of most foods containing GMOs sold in Massachusetts, H. 3242, will be held by the state legislature’s Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture on September 22, 2015 at 1pm. The fact that we have 154 legislative sponsors, including a majority of both houses, among the members of a 200-person legislature seems to have persuaded the legislative leadership on Beacon Hill that this is a popular cause. They have given us the largest room in the State House, Gardner Auditorium, for the hearing! That is the hall in the basement of the State House, and it seats 600. We need to fill all those seats with labeling supporters like YOU!

The bill to require labeling of most foods containing GMOs sold in Massachusetts, H. 3242, will be heard by the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture on September 22, 2015 at 1pm. The fact that we have 154 legislative sponsors among the members of a 200-person legislature (both houses!) seems to have persuaded the powers that be on Beacon Hill that this is a popular cause. They have given us Gardner Auditorium for the hearing, the largest room available to the legislature. That is the hall in the basement of the State House which seats 600.

The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that 70 percent of all antibiotics administered in the US are used as feed or water additives for pigs, poultry and cattle for the non-therapeutic purposes of growth promotion and general prevention of disease. Many doctors and medical associations have expressed concern that this widespread use of antibiotics in livestock production – not for promotion of health but simply to encourage faster growth – is a dangerous practice.

As you no doubt have heard, organic food is continuing to enjoy a spectacular growth in the American marketplace. It went up over 11% last year and now accounts for more than 5% of the US food market. Organic products have been called the “fastest-growing” consumer food trend in modern history.

Recently we have received calls and emails from people concerned that we are sponsoring an on-farm workshop on how to slaughter and butcher a pig. We would like to offer our thoughts on this topic and explain how such education events are appropriate and valuable.

Pages

Subscribe to Policy

Donate to NOFA/Mass

Become a Member

Subcribe to the Newsletter

-A A +A