In the Netherlands, the Dutch Parliament has passed a law to ban the sale of glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup to private parties which is expected to go into effect in late 2015. While the Dutch Lower House had initiated the law to ban glyphosate from non-agricultural use years ago, Monsanto’s grip on the government “overrode” the motion at the time. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, has been linked to many health risks including different forms of cancer, nervous system damage and birth defects among many other issues. The Netherlands now joins Russia and Mexico as the latest country to ban Monsanto’s Roundup.
Researchers from Abraxis LLC and Boston University have found residues of the herbicide glyphosate in food products, including honey and soy sauce, purchased in the Philadelphia, PA, metropolitan area. In their study, they tested honey, pancake and corn syrup, soy sauce, soy milk and tofu. Of the 69 honey samples analyzed, 41 (59%) had measurable glyphosate concentrations. Even more surprisingly, five of the 11 organic honey samples (45%) contained measurable glyphosate concentrations. The results also showed that honey from countries that permit GM crops contained far more glyphosate than honey from countries which limit or prohibit GM crop cultivation, with levels in the U.S. by far the highest.
Organic Alberta Executive Director Becky Lipton was happy to participate in the Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association (AFFPA) Farm Fresh School in Olds this past Friday, March 6th. The two day conference was an excellent opportunity for producers to learn, network and build capacity in direct market fruit, vegetable and livestock production and marketing. Organic Alberta and AFFPA are proud partners. For more information on their activities check out the AFFPA website.
A recent study published in the journal Landscape Ecology has found that using organic methods is more important in determining the amount of beneficial predator insects on farms than having diverse landscapes. Scientists compared the effects of landscape composition, habitat quality related to organic and conventional farming, and other characteristics such as hedgerows to determine the diversity of aphid natural enemies using a modeling approach. Forty pairs of organic and conventional winter wheat fields were sampled for ladybirds, carabid beetles, and parasitoids -- all aphid predators. The data were then included in a model accounting for farming method, landscape heterogeneity, and natural elements such as hedgerows. Researchers determined that using organic methods was most important in determining whether or not farms had high beneficial insect diversity because they also had high habitat quality. See recap on The Organic Center's website.
The discovery of Roundup Ready alfalfa in global hay exports should be on Canadian farmers’ radar, says a Canadian hay exporter.
Ed Shaw, who exports forage around the world, including to China, said three American hay exporters have been blacklisted from exporting hay to China, and hundreds of container loads of hay have been turned away after Roundup Ready alfalfa was found in the loads.