Farmers cultivate new organic label
About 15 farmers and scientists from around the country met in Vermont late last month to create the standards for an additional organic certification program.
According to the Associated Press, the group says an additional organic certification program is needed, so that consumers would know whether the plant had been grown in soil.
Under the current U.S. Department of Agriculture program, the organic label means that a tomato has been produced without synthetic substances — with some exceptions — and without certain methods, like genetic engineering. The additional label, which does not yet have a name or wording, would indicate that a tomato, for example, has been grown in soil, and that meat and dairy products came from farms that pasture their animals.
"I think that a lot of farmers, especially young farmers, feel that the organic label no longer describes the way they farm, and we're trying to recapture that," said Linley Dixon, a vegetable farmer in Durango, Colorado, and senior scientist for Cornucopia Institute, who is also on the standards board of the Real Organic Project.
Read more about the new organic labeling effort here.