Conventional food is considerably more expensive than organic food

Politics, Politics

17.05.2016 Karin Heinze

For a long time the organic industry has been having a discussion about so-called externalized costs. But far from all consumers are aware of the fact that the low price of food is achieved at a cost because of the chemicals used in agriculture, factory farming and the severe consequences for the environment. Or they put it to the back of their minds. It’s high time to tell people the truth. This is the reason why Volkert Engelsman, head of the Dutch organic company Eosta, has launched the information campaign “The True Cost of Food”. Organic supermarkets have started to promote the campaign. The background and a video interview with Volkert Engelsman.

IFOAM: need for more sustainable farming

Politics, Politics

12.05.2016 Editor

On Earth Day, IFOAM - Organics International urges governments to address the role industrial agriculture plays in damaging the earth and accelerating climate change and call for the worldwide adoption of agroecological farming practices.

Modified mushrooms not considered as GMO

Politics, Politics

10.05.2016 Editor

The U.S. Department of Agriculture regulators pondered an outwardly unremarkable mushroom for two and a half years before they decided its GMO status earlier this month.

What happens when EU states approve glyphosate again

Politics, Politics

10.05.2016 Leo Frühschütz

The European parliament submitted a compromise proposal for extending the authorisation of the controversial herbicide glyphosate and voted with a big majority for certain conditions and an extension of only seven instead of fifteen years. This proposal is, however, not legally binding.The fact that the decision was postponed was a morale-booster for many people who oppose pesticides. Our author Leo Frühschütz spoke with Heike Moldenhauer, the expert in genetic engineering at the German Organisation for Environment and Nature Protection (BUND), about the chances of still being able to prevent a renewal of the authorisation of glyphosate.

Banned in Europe but widely used in the U.S.

Politics, Politics

04.05.2016 Editor

The European Union just banned two agricultural weed killers linked to infertility, reproductive problems and fetal development, which is the first-ever EU ban on endocrine-disrupting pesticides.

EU vote: German minister can ban glyphosate

Politics, Politics

03.05.2016 Karin Heinze

It is likely that on 18 or 19 May the EU member states will vote on whether and under what conditions to approve the renewal of authorisation of glyphosate. An open letter calls on the German Minister of Agriculture, Christian Schmidt, to vote against approval and thus to prevent further authorisation of glyphosate. The European Commission now wants to restrict the renewal of authorisation to 10 years. In its proposal at the beginning of March renewal was for 15 years. The Dutch Council Presidency had called for a reduction of five years, the Greens asked for a complete ban.

Bulgarian companies represented at biggest natural products show in Europe

Politics, Politics

29.04.2016 Editor

On Sunday the 17th of April, the Minister Lukarski visited the Bulgarian stand at Natural and Organic Products Europe 2016.

Challenges and opportunities to developing organic farming under a new organic regulation

Politics, Politics

26.04.2016 Karin Heinze

Is the new EU Organic Regulation negotiated until June? Where are still sticking points? That was the topic on the second day of the IFOAM EU congress in the Netherlands. The 200 participants from 27 EU countries listened intently what the negotiators from Brussels brought up in the discussion. There are still some open issues, but the Dutch have indicated their objective of concluding the trialogue between the Commission, Council and Parliament, and to bring the new regulation by the end of its EU presidency on the way. With video documentation on BioMarktInfo Youtube.

Attack on Vermont's GMO labeling law!

Politics, Politics

26.04.2016 Editor

Under pressure from Monsanto and Big Food lobbyists, Vermont lawmakers are weighing a rider to the state budget bill that would let food companies off the hook for complying with Vermont’s GMO labeling law until January 1, 2018.

USDA: Protecting organic integrity through enforcement

Politics, Politics

25.04.2016 Editor

The mission of the National Organic Program (NOP) is to protect the integrity of the USDA organic seal. In FY 2015, enforcement activities resulted in 13 settlement agreements and civil penalties in excess of $1.8 million. 

UK’s Organic farmers fear the exit of the EU

Politics, Politics

25.04.2016 Editor

The leading organic licensing body OF&G said being part of the EU gives organic businesses direct access to the world’s second largest organic market.

Members of the European Parliament want a ban on garden weedkiller

Politics, Politics

19.04.2016 Editor

The existing license for glyphosate expires in June and the European Commission is set to decide whether to approve its use for another 15 years.

Chile and the EU sign agreement on organic products

Politics, Politics

19.04.2016 Redaktion

The first EU bilateral recognition with a Latin American country has come to an end.

IFOAM EU Congress: how to transform the agri-food system

Politics, Politics

19.04.2016 Karin Heinze

In his welcome note for the 10th IFOAM EU European Organic Congress in Driebergen, Netherlands, re-elected IFOAM EU President Christopher Stopes emphasized that this event would contain a high level of interaction with more than 200 participants. The goal was to look at different models to reach the vision and make Organic 3.0 concrete. Watch the video with statements of several stakeholders.

EU Parliament opposes re-approval of glyphosate for most uses

Politics, Politics

14.04.2016 Editor

Breaking news from the European Parliament. Yesterday it voted for new regulations on Glyphosate including stopping pre-harvest use.

France intend to better animal welfare

Politics, Politics

14.04.2016 Editor

The French Ministry for Agriculture has launched a four-year animal welfare strategy, a first for the country, which is far behind its European partners in this respect.

IFOAM EU: Schlüter übergibt an Cuoco, Stopes als Präsident bestätigt

Politics, Politics

13.04.2016 Karin Heinze

Marco Schlüter, langjähriger IFOAM EU Direktor, übergab am 8. April offiziell die Geschäfte an seinen Nachfolger Eduardo Cuoco, der bisher die Forschungs- und Innovationsplattform der IFOAM EU, TPOrganics, leitete. Die Verabschiedung Schlüters fand während der IFOAM-Generalversammlung in Amsterdam statt, ebenso wie die Vorstandswahlen. Christopher Stopes wurde für eine weitere Amtsperiode als Präsident bestätigt. Im Video-Interview blickt Schlüter auf 13 Jahre Arbeit in Brüssel zurück und beschreibt die aktuellen Herausforderungen.

IFOAM EU: change of directors, president re-elected

Politics, Politics

12.04.2016 Karin Heinze

Long-term IFOAM EU Director Marco Schlüter officially stepped down on Friday, April 8. Eduardo Cuoco who was responsible for Technology Research Platform for organic food and farming TPOrganics was appointed to be the new director. See the video-interview with the outgoing director Marco Schlüter and the new director Eduardo Cuoco.

The long way to sustainable palm oil

Politics, Politics

07.04.2016 Redaktion

Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution has called on European countries to pay the premium for sustainable palm oil, affirms Eco-Business.

IFOAM EU: New board elected

Politics, Politics

05.04.2016 Editor

Building on the strength of increasing influence and recognition for its strong advocacy work in Brussels, the IFOAM EU membership elected a new board at its 8th General Assembly in Amsterdam yesterday.

EU organic controls: quite good on paper, but...

Politics, Politics

05.04.2016 Leo Frühschütz

In principle and on paper organic controls in the EU work quite well. However, in practice there is still a lot that could be improved in many countries. This is the conclusion we can draw from three reports presented by the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) of the EU that have summarised the results of a large number of audits carried out by the staff of the FVO from 2012 to 2014.

Markets have to adjust to Europe’s food safety legislations

Politics, Politics

29.03.2016 Editor

In recent years, the food sector has been regularly hit by crises, according to the site Fresh Plaza.

IFOAM asking for feedback about a draft on genetic engineering

Politics, Politics

15.03.2016 Redaktion

IFOAM – Organics International invites to contribute to the global vision on genetic engineering and genetically modified organisms.

IFOAM EU: only a few places left for European Organic Congress

Politics, Politics

14.03.2016 Editor

In three weeks the IFOAM EU is celebrating its 10th European Organic Congress. From 4 – 6 April the congress will be in Driebergen, Netherlands. There are only a few places left – register before 18 March.

Glyphosate - an investigative film

Politics, Politics

10.03.2016 Editor

Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used weed killer. Some claim it is completely harmless, others say it is a serious health hazard for man and animals. A topical investigation into a controversial substance.

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