U.S. Organic Trade Group Lists 2015’s Top 10 Milestones

By Sustainable Food News December 28, 2015

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The  Organic  Trade  Association  (OTA)  on  Monday  released  its  top  10  milestones  for  2015, including  the  drive  for  an  organic  research  and  promotion  check-­off  program.

The  top  10  organic  developments  in  2015:

1)  Organic  sales  boomed.  OTA’s  2015  Organic  Industry  Survey  showed  organic  sales  in  the U.S.  in  2014  reaching  a  new  record  of  $39.1  billion.  Organic  food  sales  hit  $35.9  billion,  up  11 percent  from  the  previous  year.  Sales  of  organic  non-­food  products  shot  up  14  percent  to  $3.2

billion.  Organic  food  sales  made  up  nearly  5  percent  of  all  U.S.  food  sales,  and  for  the  first  time  traditional  retailers  sold  50  percent  of  the  total volume  of  organic  products.  Online,  the  number  of  shoppers  buying  organic  doubled.  Eating  out,  organic  lovers  found  organic  on  the  menus  of their  favorite  casual  and  even  fast-­food  restaurants.

2)  Organic  industry  moved  forward  on  a  trail-­blazing  organic  check-­off.  In  a  ground-­breaking  move  for  the  nation’s  organic  sector,  OTA petitioned  the  U.S.  Department  of  Agriculture  to  begin  steps  to  conduct  a  vote  on  an  organic  research  and  promotion  check-­off  program.  The action  reflected  three  years  of  dialogue  with  the  organic  sector  to  craft  a  check-­off  tailor-­made  for  organic.  The  move  to  collectively  invest  in  its future  represented  a  game-­changing  move  by  organic  stakeholders,  and  would  enable  the  sector  to  raise  funds  to  boost  organic  research, promote  the  organic  brand,  and  increase  organic  acreage  in  the  United  States.

3)  Organic  standards  were  tightened  and  improved.  In  a  four-­day  public  meeting  in  the  fall,  the  National  Organic  Standards  Board  (NOSB) recommended  the  removal  of  an  unprecedented  eleven  materials  from  organic’s  National  List  of  Allowed  and  Prohibited  Substances.  NOSB’s action  reflected  the  innovations  made  in  organic  practices  that  have  enabled  the  use  of  fewer  and  fewer  synthetic  inputs.  Once  the recommendations  are  approved  by  the  National  Organic  Program,  these  materials  will  no  longer  be  allowed  in  producing,  processing  or handling  organic  food.

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U.S. Organic Trade Group Lists 2015’s Top 10 milestones

Organic diet cuts pesticide levels in body, says study

By Sustainable Food News, October 19th, 2015

23642kidorganiceatUC  Berkeley  researchers  suggest  higher  sources  of  pesticide  exposure  for  children  living  in  farming  communities.

Making  the  switch  to  an  organic  diet  could  quickly  reduce  the  body’s  level  of certain  pesticides,  according  to  a  new  study  by  the  Center  for Environmental  Research  and  Children’s  Health  (CERCH)  at  UC Berkeley’s School  of  Public  Health.

The  study  was  led  by  CERCH  Associate  Director  Asa  Bradman  and involved  researchers  collecting  the  urine  samples  of  20  children  from  urban communities  in  Oakland,  Calif.,  and  20  children  from  agricultural communities  in  Salinas,  Calif.,  over  16  consecutive  days.  During  this  time, researchers  alternated  the  children’s  diets  between  “conventional”  and organic.

The  study  was  published  in  the  October  issue  of  the  journal  Environmental  Health  Perspective. Researchers  tested  samples  for  metabolites  -­  components  of  the  body’s  metabolizing  process,  which  reflect  the  body’s exposure  to  certain  pesticides.

Among  the  six  most  frequently  detected  pesticides,  two  decreased  by  nearly  50  percent  when  children  were  on  the  organic diet,  and  levels  of  a  common  herbicide  fell  by  25  percent.  Three  other  frequently  detected  pesticides  were  not  significantly lower  when  on  the  organic  diet.

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Organic diet cuts pesticide levels in body, says study