Baseball star Jayson Werth scores with organic

Major league baseball player Jayson Werth doesn’t look like an organic farmer—especially when he’s at the plate or in the outfield in his Washington Nationals uniform. But, looks can be deceiving.

The star hitter and outfielder has batted in almost 800 runs, hit more than 200 home runs and helped win a World Series in his now 15-year major league baseball career. He’s kept his eyes on the ball and on his health, and has eaten organic for more than a decade. And for almost a decade now, he’s also been an organic farmer.

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Organic fraud prompts action on import verification

In response to the discovery of fraudulent imports of soybeans from Turkey that violated federal organic regulations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Organic Program (NOP) in June revoked the organic certification of Beyaz Agro—a major Turkish grain exporter. The soybeans in question had been fumigated with aluminum phosphide—a prohibited substance under USDA’s National Organic Program—prior to arrival in the United Sates, yet were sold here as organic.

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Bipartisan bill would increase organic research funding

Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) this spring introduced the Organic Agriculture Research Act of 2017, which would invest in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) to meet the needs of the growing organic sector. Sales of organic products in the U.S. reached approximately $47 billion in 2016, and expectations are for continued growth as more consumers choose organic.

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Organic: Important for the welfare of farmworker health

Organic food and farming have many health benefits for consumers—they have lower levels and frequencies of pesticide residues, and can have higher levels of antioxidants and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. However, another less well-known health benefit centers on the welfare of farmworkers and families in agricultural areas.

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Update on OTA Sector Councils

Farmers Advisory Council


The Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) Farmers Advisory Council (FAC) is growing its organizational and direct member participation. Numerous farmer organizations across the country have expressed interest in joining FAC, and OTA looks forward to working with each organization in facilitating their involvement. Similarly, as OTA continues to grow its direct farmer membership, we expect participation on FAC to develop in both its breadth and depth.

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California to join other states in restricting school pesticides

If all goes as planned, by September 2017 California will join nine states in restricting pesticide use near schools. Of the states with regulations, California’s will be the most restrictive as far as chemical use and application methods, says Brian Leahy, Director of California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR).

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