Image Image Image Image Image
Scroll to Top

To Top

Blog

02

Aug
2017

No Comments

In Blog
Featured

By admin

10 myths about farming to remember on your next grocery run

On 02, Aug 2017 | No Comments | In Blog, Featured | By admin

Most of us don’t spend our days plowing fields or wrangling cattle. We’re part of the 99 percent of Americans who eat food but don’t produce it. Because of our intimate relationship with food and because it’s so crucial to our health and the environment, people should be very concerned about how it’s produced. But we don’t always get it right. Next time you’re at the grocery store, consider these 10 modern myths about the most ancient occupation. Read more…

Building Bee Resilience, One Queen At A Time

On 28, Jun 2017 | No Comments | In Blog, Featured, Pollinator Health | By admin

Published on VPR

Originally published on June 27, 2017 11:49 am

Listen to the full recording here. Read more…

For dairy farmers, every day is Earth Day

On 20, Apr 2017 | No Comments | In Blog, Featured, GMO’s and The Environment | By admin

Millions of people around the world will soon celebrate Earth Day, but for hundreds of New England’s dairy farmers, every day is Earth Day.

We’re talking about farmers like the Erb family. The Erbs own and operate Springvale Farms and Landaff Creamery in Landaff. This was one of three pilot farms that assisted the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences in creating an on-farm sustainability assessment tool, called the Vital Capital Index for Dairy Agriculture. This tool allows farms to measure what matters and establish a baseline of sustainability on farms. Read more…

USDA letter on federal GMO labeling law

On 02, Mar 2017 | No Comments | In Blog, Featured, GMO Labeling, Uncategorized | By admin

On July 29, 2016, President Obama signed into law an Act amending the Agricultural Marketing at of 1946 which provides for a national bioengineered food disclosure standard. The FDA sent letters to Governor Malloy explaining that under this new law there is no longer a need for state-specific labeling laws given that the Federal Government had set a uniform standard.

Click on the link below to see the letter.

Connecticut

How People, Water and Agriculture Connect – Food Insight

When you think of water, what comes to mind? Is it a cool swig after a hard workout? Is it your beach vacation from last year? Or is it whether or not enough water will fall from the sky to grow your food?

March 22 is World Water Day, and it’s an opportunity to reflect on the importance of water. This year’s theme is “better water, better jobs.” How does water impact agriculture, which employs nearly 1 billion people around the world? Let’s take a look.

Although nearly 70 percent of the Earth is covered in water, only 2.5 percent of that water is fresh. To complicate things, only 1 percent of that fresh water is easily accessible. To sum it up, only 0.025 percent of the planet’s water is available for human use.

Agriculture uses a lot of water, accounting for almost 70 percent of all withdrawals and up to 95 percent in developing countries where there may be fewer technologies to make water use efficient. While you only need to drink about a gallon of water per day, it takes 528 to 1,320 gallons of water to grow the food you eat in a single day. Think about that.

Water is important in maintaining food security, which is defined as “regular access of people to enough high-quality food to leave active, healthy lives.” Lack of water, or too much water, can contribute to famine and undernourishment, especially where people depend on local agriculture for their livelihood. Using water efficiently is critical.

Irrigation is an important technology to help maximize the efficiency of water use in agriculture. The highest yields that can be obtained from irrigation are more than double the best yields from rain-fed agriculture. For instance, drip irrigation involves distributing water at very low rates from a system of plastic pipes with outlets called emitters or drippers. The water is released so that the only part of the soil that receives moisture is where the root grows.

Read the entire article and learn more about agricultural innovation here.picture-79-1403036319

21

Feb
2015

No Comments

In Blog
Featured

By admin

No GMO Label Needed

On 21, Feb 2015 | No Comments | In Blog, Featured | By admin

At first blush, it sounds like a good idea: require the labeling of genetically engineered foods so that consumers can make informed choices about what they eat. Yet such a law, proposed by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and other senators, simply caters to unjustified worries and makes no sense scientifically.

Genetically modified food isn’t new. Since farming began, humans have been breeding food — in other words, changing the genetics — for beneficial traits and better crops. The practice has moved from the field to the lab, as scientists can now transplant genes from species to species.

The laboratory angle worries some people, and in recent years about 2,000 studies have been done on genetically modified foods to uncover any problem. The result? According to the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, the National Academies of Science and several other groups, so-called GMO food — made with genetically modified organisms — is safe.

As the European Commission put it, engineering crops genetically is “no more risky than conventional plant-breeding techniques.”

Despite the failure of research to come up with hazards, what’s wrong with better informing consumers by labeling genetically engineered food? Several things.

Such a move doesn’t inform consumers so much as it caters to misconceptions, and government shouldn’t be about that. Labels may limit consumer choice: Despite the lack of proof that such crops endanger anyone, retailers may choose not to stock certain foods. And mostly, politics shouldn’t trump science.

Perhaps the oddest aspect of the genetically engineered label debate is that the labels already exist, in a sense.

The majority of food found in the supermarket, especially processed food, contains some genetically engineered component. Non-engineered items routinely carry the label “USDA Organic.”

Lack of such a designation almost always indicates some genetic engineering, so those who are worried about a potential hazard need only look for the label. No new law is necessary.

Tags |

08

May
2013

No Comments

In Blog
Featured
Portfolio

By admin

Connecticut News

On 08, May 2013 | No Comments | In Blog, Featured, Portfolio | By admin

 

CTRetailMerchants

Connecticut Retailers Warn Legislature On Bill Requiring Labeling Of Genetically Engineered Food

“Forcing a labeling requirement will put Connecticut merchants on an island in relation to neighboring state competitors and the rest of the country”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 2013 – The Connecticut Retail Merchants Association (CRMA) today stated their opposition to pending legislation that would mandate the labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients in Connecticut.

“Forcing a labeling requirement will put Connecticut merchants on an island in relation to neighboring state competitors and the rest of the country,” said Timothy Phelan, President of the CRMA.  “If Connecticut becomes the only state in the nation to require labeling our Legislature is putting local retailers at a competitive disadvantage.”Phelan pointed out that labeling requirements place an undue burden on retailers and the customers they serve, making store owners the watchdogs of every label on thousands of products on their store shelves.  “If the Legislature passes these labeling bills it will send a message that Connecticut is unfriendly to business,” said Phelan.  “We’re doing just fine without labeling and those consumers who voluntarily choose to eat only organic products have plenty of options, so why would we mandate this costly measure?”

Phelan said that thousands and thousands of genetically engineered products have been in stores for decades with no health or safety problems, and that scientists and federal food safety officials agree that genetically engineered products are a safe and vital part of the food economy in the United States.

The Connecticut Retail Merchants Association has been representing retailers at the State Capitol and in the marketplace since 1910. It is the only statewide business group that represents retailers and only retailers.

 

 

courant

Editorial:

“Agricultural products have been “genetically modified,” in terms of selective breeding, since prehistoric times. But for the past 20 years, scientists have been able to mechanically transplant genes to achieve the results they want.

Since then, there have been no credible scientific studies showing that genetically modified crops pose any more risk than conventional ones. The American Medical Association says there is no evidence that GMOs pose unique health risks.

Supermarket chains claim that adding another labeling requirement will make food cost more, with no apparent benefit. They have a stake in the matter, but they also have a point.”

Read the full editorial here:

http://articles.courant.com/2012-12-19/news/hc-ed-genetically-altered-food-is-ok-20121219_1_gmos-genetic-modification-usda-organic-label

 

courant

Don’t Label Genetically Engineered Food

By RONALD KLEINMAN | OP-ED The Hartford Courant

May 6, 2013

The recent call for labeling of foods containing genetically engineered ingredients — especially on a state-by-state basis as in Connecticut — is unnecessary, unrealistic and uninformed.

As someone who grew up and attended college in Connecticut, I particularly appreciate the state’s farmland preservation program and the thriving local agriculture, which is being encouraged and protected. And as a pediatrician I know the weight new parents place on every decision affecting their children — from infancy to young adult. I have made it my life’s work to help guide parents through these challenges. This work, however, has been made even more complicated by the barrage of messages, information and misinformation that we all encounter daily. What is most important is to help parents separate myth from fact, and recognize when emotion has trumped hard science.

That is exactly what is at the core of a debate currently playing out in Connecticut over foods produced through biotechnology, also known as genetic engineering or genetic modification. A bill before the General Assembly would require labeling of genetically engineered food.

For more than 15 years, the majority of packaged foods and beverages consumed in the U.S. and dozens of other countries has contained some ingredient that was developed through the use of biotechnology. Biotechnological advances have included improved resistance to plant diseases and reduced reliance on pesticides, resulting in safer, more nutritious food that is able to sustain the growing demands of our world and has helped to protect the environment at the same time. Biotech ingredients are grown by Connecticut farmers, and foods containing biotech ingredients are sold in local stores for local consumption.

Foods enhanced through biotechnology have been extensively studied by scientists in this country and around the globe. The federal Food and Drug Administration has deemed genetically engineered foods safe for infants, children and adults. The FDA recently that all ingredients derived from FDA-approved biotechnology are the same in composition, nutritional value and quality as non-biotechnology derived ingredients. The agency went further by stating that plants with biotech ingredients are no more likely to cause an allergic or harmful reaction than foods from traditionally bred plants.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture continually work to ensure that there are no ongoing environmental or human health concerns resulting from improving agriculture with the use of biotechnology. Independent expert organizations — including the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization — agree these foods are safe for human consumption – from infants to adults.

Unfortunately, there are some people in Connecticut who prefer to ignore the enormous body of scientific literature in favor of rhetoric and scare tactics in an attempt to force unnecessary and potentially confusing labeling of foods containing biotech ingredients. These individuals seek to play on fear and emotion to convince legislators and the public that biotech foods are harmful, despite overwhelming scientifically derived evidence to the contrary.

Federal agencies such as the FDA, which are experts on issues surrounding labeling, have stated that, because foods derived with biotechnology are no different than any other food, labeling of foods derived by biotech is unwarranted. The FDA does support labeling of some ingredients of foods, such as gluten, for consumers who wish to avoid such foods. This is completely unrelated to whether those foods are produced using modern biotechnology. Consumers can also buy products certified organic, which do not contain biotech ingredients, should they wish to do so.

Foods made with ingredients developed from agricultural biotechnology have been consumed by literally billions of people worldwide for more than 15 years, and there has not been a single documented health problem related to these foods.

Forced labeling would only serve to give false credibility to misinformation, discourage people from eating foods that are perfectly safe and cause havoc in our food supply. Lawmakers in Connecticut need to focus on the facts, stand up against the scare tactics and vote against forced labeling.

Ronald Kleinman, M.D., is chief of the Department of Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital and physician-in-chief at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. He is a consultant for profit and not-for-profit organizations in the food industry.

norwich

Our View: GMO labeling is better if voluntary

Posted Apr 05, 2013 

Norwich, Conn. —

The Legislature’s Public Health Committee this week gave favorable approval to a measure that would require labeling of all food products containing genetically modified organisms (GMO) — products where the genetic makeup has been altered through genetic engineering.

On the surface, it sounds like a no-brainer.   Who wouldn’t want to know what we’re eating?

The problem, however, is that the bill, if enacted, would only be effective within the borders of Connecticut. Several other states are considering similar legislation, but those measures would have no impact here, and our legislation would have no impact anywhere else.

Stan Sorkin, president of the Connecticut Food Association, contends that if such labeling were necessary — and he and others contend it isn’t — that such a mandate should be issued by the Federal Food and Drug Administration on a national scale, not piecemeal by individual states.

The FDA, however, has denied requests to mandate GMO labeling, saying there is no evidence of the GMO products being unsafe. If there is no public threat, then clearly there is no need for the mandate. But where also is the harm in labeling it as such?
Sorkin is correct in that Connecticut’s large supermarkets, small groceries and other food-related businesses would be unfairly and unnecessarily harmed with higher costs of doing business if such mandates were applied only to them.

Paul Pescatello, president and CEO of Connecticut United for Research Excellence (CURE), also contends that labeling GMO sends the wrong message to the very bio-science industry that Connecticut is hoping to attract to the state. Labeling, he contends, unfairly implies to the public that there is something to be concerned about when if fact there is overwhelming scientific evidence proving otherwise.

Unfortunately, in today’s society, mistrust of government and corporate America is the bigger threat than any genetically altered product. Such staunch opposition to labeling only feeds into that distrust.

Capitalizing on the scientific evidence, and voluntary labeling, would seem the more appropriate course of action.