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Non-GMO Project Standard Now Open for Comment

The Non-GMO Project Standard, the goal of which is to assist farmers, processors and manufacturers in avoiding the contamination of GMOs by progressively reducing the risk of GMO contamination, is now open for public comment until November 10.

The Standard is a consensus-based document that reflects a dynamic range of perspectives, and this will be the fifth public comment period. Comment periods are held twice yearly (spring and fall).

As part of this comment period, the Project will, for the first time, host a webinar on the Standard. The webinar will focus on the contents, scope, requirements and variances of the Non-GMO Project Standard, with an emphasis on making the document accessible to those for whom it is a first review. The session will also be valuable to those who are already familiar with the Standard; the Project will be covering the changes implemented during last spring’s public comment period and discussing the opportunity to submit feedback during the current public comment period, which closes November 10.

The Standard is process-based with a focus on continuous improvements; therefore it relies on input from farmers, industry members, retailers and consumers alike. To access a PDF version of the Standard, click here.

To submit comments, please click here.

To learn more, visit www.nongmoproject.org.

HIA and Supporters Plant Hemp on DEA Lawn

On October 13, North Dakota farmer Wayne Hauge, Vermont farmer and Founder of Cedar Circle Organic Farm Will Allen and a number of American hemp growers and entrepreneurs for the first time turned to public civil disobedience with the planting of industrial hemp seed at Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) headquarters to protest the ban on hemp farming in the United States.

Hoping to focus the attention of the Obama Administration on halting DEA interference, Hauge, Allen, Hemp Industries Association (HIA) President Steve Levine, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps President David Bronner, Vote Hemp Communications Director Adam Eidinger and Founder of Livity Outernational Hemp Clothing Issac Nichelson were arrested while digging up the DEA’s lawn to plant industrial hemp seed imported from Canada.

Hauge, along with North Dakota State Representative David Monson, sued the DEA in the US District Court of North Dakota in 2007, and the case is currently before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. “In recent years there has been strong growth in demand for hemp in the US, but the American farmer is being left out while Canadian, European and Chinese farmers fill the void created by outdated federal policy,” said fourth-generation farmer Hauge. “When hemp is legalized, land grant universities across the nation will develop cultivars suitable to different growing regions to enhance yield and explore innovative uses such as cellulosic ethanol.”

“Dr. Bronner’s has grown into the leading natural soap brand in the US since incorporating hemp oil in 1999, due in significant part to the unsurpassed smoothness [hemp] gives our soaps,” said Bronner. “As an American business, we want to give our money to American farmers and save on import and freight costs. In this difficult economy, we can no longer indulge the DEA”s self-serving hemp hysteria.”

For more information, visit www.votehemp.com/DEAhempplanting.html.