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

NOFA/Mass, as you know, has been fighting an intense two-year battle to pass GMO food and seed labeling in Massachusetts. Last session our coalition came closer than we have ever done, and had a majority of legislators signed up in support of the bill. But House leadership kept the lid on tight and we could never get it out of the key committee to the floor for a full vote.

The Massachusetts Legislature has passed two important changes in the way small farms are treated under the Unemployment Insurance (UI) system.

One morning in early March of this year, I received a phone call from a man who seemed rather young and uncertain about what he had to say and how to say it. He started to tell me that there was a planned “natural” gas pipeline that would “hug” the corridor between the towns of Ashfield and Plainfield, a magnificent, hilly, and sparsely populated agricultural region in western Massachusetts. I own a 43-acre farm in Ashfield – a town with a population of about 1,100.

The FDA is rolling out a set of sweeping regulations that are changing the way food is cultivated and prepared. Participants will gain an understanding of 1) The Food Safety Modernization Act 2) civil liabilities arising from food safety issues on the farm 3) potential consequences of food borne illnesses caused by farm products and 4) risk mitigation.

I’ll explain the expanding federal and state crackdown on private food sales—farm raids, court suits, trials, arrests—why it’s happening, how it’s moved beyond raw milk into meat and eggs, why it is nearly certain to expand into veggies via the Food Safety Modernization Act, and how communities and farmers can fight back.

On March 17, 2014, the joint legislative committee on Agriculture favorably reported out a redrafted bill calling for mandatory labeling of food or seeds containing GMOs! We are grateful to the legislators on the committee for listening to the growing concern about GMOs.

Things are happening on the GMO labeling front. I can’t promise you a law this year, but thanks to tremendous popular interest and support, we are beginning to make progress in the legislature.

First off, NOFA/Mass has hired a part time organizer, Amie Lindenboim, to work on this issue. She is an attorney, has been a volunteer and activist fighting GMOs for several years, and is a mother with two young children. Amie lives in Brookline and has already represented us at the State House and in area meetings.

Who amongst us does not hold some anxiety regarding climate change? Probably not too many of us at this point. Every time another big or bad or “un-natural” storm rolls through, or the news brings us word of a new record heat wave or extended drought, my blood pressure rises.

NOFA/Mass is part of a state-wide coalition to do just that with mandatory legislation. 
Want to know more? Go to: 

NOFA/Mass is supporting two petitions started by David Chapman, organic tomato grower in Vermont, urging the National Organic Program to adopt a recommendation of the National Organic Standards Board and refuse to allow hydroponic growing to be considered “organic”.

Pages

Subscribe to Policy

Donate to NOFA/Mass

Become a Member

Subcribe to the Newsletter

-A A +A