International Organics Weekly - Edition 71

This week's dose of organic headlines, updates, resources and recipes courtesy of dsnodgrass...


Let's span the globe.

Tapei, Taiwan:

'Organic' cosmetics need to be regulated: foundation

The judge in that case has issued his decision, and it's a mixed bag. In essence, the judge appears to be aiming for a compromise position which looks to give farmers who are growing genetically modified sugar beets the time frame of a growing season to convert to non-gm crops.

Taiwan's Consumers' Foundation has urged the Department of Health (DOH) to come up with regulations to oversee organic cosmetics or products claiming to be organic.

Not all organic cosmetics products have been made with 100 percent organic ingredients, not even products imported from foreign countries which were certified as being organic, the foundation said.

The foundation recently examined eight kinds of cosmetics, beauty and bath products sold in Taiwan with organic labels. Of those, only three were certified as organic by foreign organizations.

[...]

The foundation reminded consumers to look more closely while shopping for these products. Not all "organic" products were 100 percent organic, it said.

It also urged the DOH to draft a national organic program to provide standards for production of organic products, their labeling and marketing.


 

Bijapur, India:

CM to stay at organic farmer's house

The judge in that case has issued his decision, and it's a mixed bag. In essence, the judge appears to be aiming for a compromise position which looks to give farmers who are growing genetically modified sugar beets the time frame of a growing season to convert to non-gm crops.
Chief minister B S Yeddyurappa will stay at the farmhouse of organic farmer Gurupad Shivalingappa Bagi of Nidoni village in Bijapur taluk on Saturday.

During the six-hour-long stay, which is aimed at promoting organic farming, the CM discusses the farming practice and lends an ear to the problems being faced the farmers.

Gurupad has been practising organic farming for the past 15 years. His joint family has 25 members, with all his four brothers engaged in organic farming.

Speaking to TOI, Gurupad said: "I was inspired by agriculture expert Subhash Palekar after attending a seminar on rainwater harvesting." After obtaining a degree in Arts in 1994, he pledged his life to agriculture. Ever since, he has been working on his 160 acres of land. The crops that he has grown on his land are as follows: 8 acre __ sugar cane, 5 acre __ red gram, 5 acre __ banana, 40 acre __ jowar, 20 acre __ wheat, and 10 acre __ sunflower.

The brothers do not use any pesticides/ chemicals for cultivation. Instead, they use traditional form of pesticides. 


 

United States:

Cornucopia Institute Goes After Organic Dairies Over Heifers

The Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute has filed a formal legal complaint in an attempt to halt the USDA from allowing factory farms producing organic milk from bringing conventional dairy cattle onto their farms. The organization claims the practice places family-scale farmers at a competitive disadvantage, and is explicitly prohibited in the federal regulations governing the organic industry.
 
Cornucopia's latest formal legal complaint spotlights the Natural Prairie Dairy in Dalhart, Texas. The dairy, milking over 7000 cows in two barns, is thought to be the largest certified organic dairy in the United States.

"Real organic farmers don't buy replacement heifers," said Mark Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst at the Cornucopia Institute. "Real organic farmers sell 'surplus' heifers."

Kastel feels that in the factory farm model, animals are pushed for high production and get sick at an early age because of stress; whereas organic cows are generally healthy and live longer lives.

"For years, the USDA allowed giant organic factory dairies, milking as many as 10,000 cows, to confine their animals in huge feedlots and buildings instead of providing them access to pasture as required by federal law," the group said in a statement. "Sparked by Cornucopia's legal complaints against Aurora Dairy, Dean Foods and others operating phony organic feedlot dairies, a movement began to close loopholes and clarify pasture requirements for feed and grazing. The USDA's release of strict new pasture rules this past February counts as a major victory for organic family farms and consumers." 


 

Syria:

Syria invests in organic farming

The judge in that case has issued his decision, and it's a mixed bag. In essence, the judge appears to be aiming for a compromise position which looks to give farmers who are growing genetically modified sugar beets the time frame of a growing season to convert to non-gm crops.

The Syrian government is about to start the second step of the investment programme launched in 2006 to develop organic farming in the country, through farmers' education and infrastructures.

Syria is ready to launch the second step of the national project for the promotion of organic and quality farming. The Syrian government aims to spread awareness among producers about the great value of organic crops. The first part of the program started in 2006 with 20 training workshops throughout the country aimed at informing farmers about organic farming methods and interesting perspectives on the market for organic products.

The second step of the project involves the creation of infrastructures to support the launch of new productions. This stage should be completed in 2012. Syrian experts have decided to focus on traditional crops such as pistachios, olives, tomatoes and cotton. But in addition to the typical products of the country, new crops scarcely consumed in Damascus will be tested, such as cherries, citrus fruits and several vegetables.  


 

Related Reading:

Spreading the White Plague
Study Finds 'Green' Labels on Consumer Products Misleading

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  • Posted on Nov. 26, 2010. Listed in:

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