Thursday, 05 March 2015 12:32

Researchers Find Glyphosate in Honey

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.

Thursday, 05 March 2015 11:19

Organic Alberta At AFFPA

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.

Bill C-18 passed final reading in the House of Commons in November. This legislation introduces UPOV `91 to Canada, and embeds the ‘farmers’ privilege’ to save seed into law. As a result of strong pressure from COTA and partner organizations, a crucial amendment was made at the last minute to include the concept of storing seed. COTA sees this amendment as a victory for organic farmers, but will continue to vigorously defend our sector’s interests and needs in subsequent rounds of regulatory development based on the new law. In particular, we will fight any efforts to further limit the farmers’ privilege. For more information, contact COTA Strategy and Regulatory Affairs Manager Marie-Eve Levert ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

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.

The provincial government is moving to stamp out bogus organic claims being made by farmers that do not have third-party certification.

New regulations will restrict the use of the word “organic” to describe only products that have been certified by a national or provincial certification program, effectively closing a loophole that had allowed B.C. farmers to use the term without being certified, provided they were not selling their products outside B.C.

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