Monday, May 15, 2017 by Tracey Watson
Azure Standard, a beautiful 2,000-acre organic farm in Oregon, which has been providing competitively priced beef, field peas, Einkorn and organic wheat to consumers around the country for nearly two decades, is under attack.
Oregon state law mandates that farmers control certain noxious weeds, including Canadian Thistle. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) explains that Canadian Thistle, or Cirsium arvense, was likely introduced into the United States in the 1600s by shipments of farming seed brought in from Europe. The plant is considered a threat, as it crowds out native species and reduces crop yields.
Sherman County alleges that Azure Standard is not controlling this weed to their satisfaction, and has decided to take steps to do so personally by spraying the farm with dangerous herbicides, including Roundup, Milestone and Escort. [RELATED: Find out why Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide is so dangerous at Glyphosate.news]
Now, presumably Azure Standard is not finding that Canadian Thistle is reducing its crop yields, or crowding out what they’re trying to plant. And, while it’s true that by not spraying herbicides on their farm the weed could possibly spread to nearby farms, if those farmers are not farming organically they are likely spraying poisonous herbicides anyway, which would theoretically halt the spread. It is, therefore, illogical to insist that Azure should lose their organic certification by forcing the spraying of herbicides on their farm.
And that certification is really hard to obtain. It’s not as if Azure could just spray their fields and then carry on where they left off. Mother Earth News explains that obtaining USDA organic certification is a costly, lengthy and complicated process.
For one thing, it’s not just about not spraying herbicides or chemical fertilizers. It involves making the soil itself so healthy that it supports strong plants that naturally repel pests. Spraying the fields with toxic herbicides will undermine that process.
Also, even many natural products are not permitted on organically certified farms, e.g. though tobacco dust is natural, it is not permitted because it is toxic.
In addition, “a grower must have an organic system plan that describes the practices that will be performed to ensure the stewardship of the soil, lists of every substance that will be used as an input, where it will be used and how often, and anything else the certifying agency thinks necessary to make sure the farmer is in compliance with the law.”
And here’s the kicker: No prohibited substance (obviously including cancer-causing herbicides like Roundup) may be used on the land for three years before the harvesting of the first organic crop. This forced-spraying would therefore essentially put Azure out of business for three years. [RELATED: Read about the organic and water-rich fertilizer that will help drought-stricken farmers.]
That’s not the only cost they will incur, either. To add insult to injury, the county will put a lien on the farm to cover the labor and chemical costs of this forced spraying; they will essentially bill Azure for the privilege of destroying them.
We are calling on all Natural News readers to get involved and try to prevent this travesty. We have to move quickly though, because the deadline for contacting Sherman county is the May 22 – just one week away. The next court discussion will be held on May 17, so it would be even better to let your voice be heard before then.
To do that, please contact:
This affects every American consumer. The fact is, if the government is allowed to force-spray organic farms, pretty soon we won’t have the option to choose non-GMO, organic produce anymore.