Policy

 NOFA RI advocates locally for Rhode Island Organics!

NOFA / RI Board Members with Senator Whitehouse and Representative Langevin for a hands-on farm tour at Brandon Family Farm in West Kingstown.

USDA to Work on GMO Labeling 

Posted April 25, 2017

New Executive Orders about agriculture regulations are on their way from the Trump Administration.  “The U.S. Agriculture Department will attempt to follow the congressionally
mandated schedule to create a plan for mandatory disclosure of genetically
modified ingredients in food by July 2018, but companies will not be
expected to comply at that time, the White House aide in charge of
agriculture said today [April 24]…companies would not be required to
comply with labeling by, for example, September 2018… President Donald
Trump will issue an executive order April 25 for a review of regulations
affecting agriculture over the next 180 days.”
Full Article Here

To learn more about the current state of Labeling legislation for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or Genetic Engineering (GE), see the Organic Consumers Association and their action link here. Learn the basics of genetic engineering and biotech firms here.

Real Organic is NOT Hydroponic

Opposition to the inclusion of hydro in organic certification is rapidly building. Some people are only now finding out that hydroponic is being allowed on a massive scale in organic certification. Most customers (and many farmers!) still have no idea. “It’s right in the law that the term organic means it enhances the health of the soil. If there’s no soil, how can you apply the term? It’s misleading to the consumer. It’s fine if they want to label the products as pesticide-free, but hydroponic growers shouldn’t be cashing in on the organic market.”  And even more compelling is our growing understanding that real organic agriculture, by whatever name, is the only possible path to reversing climate change.  At the very moment that the organic movement has a critical role to play in cooling our planet, the organic label is degenerating into a USDA “Almost Organic” label, losing its position of moral authority and leadership.  Read more on this important topic here.

Some highlights of NOFA /RI Policy involvement include:

  • Review and provided comments on
    – Solar Energy Development on Farmland
    – Farm Energy Program Funding
    – DEM Organic Farm Program Review
    – Pollinator Work Group
  • Objected to Railway thru Westerly Farmland
  • Met With Farm Bureau on Farm Stand Issues
  • Hosted RI Food Director Sue Anderbois to
    expand organics in RI Food Plan
  • Advocated regionally with the NOFA Interstate Council:
  • Organic Hydroponics designation
  • -National Policies to boost organic production
  • Advocating for GMO Labeling On-going
    (especially after the Dark Act passed negating State rights for efforts such as bar code labeling)

Learn more about NOFA’s regional policy work here.

Thank you for working to keep our food safe! Learn more:

  • View posts by the NOFA Interstate Council on Policy, Advocacy and GMOs/GEs here.
  • View posts by the GMO-Free USA here and GMO-Free Connecticut here.
  • View posts by the Center for Food Safety about Genetic Engineering (GE).
  • View 11-year-old, Birke Baehr’s talk, “What’s Wrong With Our Food Supply? And How Can We Make a Difference?” explaining organic food benefits over GMOs here.
  • View story on GMOs by The Campaign for Real Farming.
  • View common crops likely to be GMO here.
  • View GMO policy from CT NOFA here.
  • View Advocacy policy of NOFA/Mass here.
  • View Advocacy policy of NOFA-VT here.
  • View Advocacy policy of NOFA-NY here.
  • View National Organic Coalition (NOC) position papers.

Contact your elected officials here: Senators and Representatives.

For questions, email Mark Hengen, NOFA/RI Policy Committee member.