CNG's Comments to FDA re: "Natural" on Food

Thanks to everyone who responded to our calls to submit comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the use of "natural" on food products. (Find background information here on this earlier blog post.) This is a hot topic about which FDA received more than 4,000 comments.

Certified Naturally Grown also weighed in. We are pleased to share with you the comments we submitted to FDA. (Want to be notified of other ag policy issue concerning CNG? You may subscribe here to receive periodic updates from us.)

Read below our comments to FDA! 

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Mushroom Standards Adopted

mushrooms.pngFor the past fourteen months CNG staff have worked in consultation with our Mushroom Advisory Council to develop certification standards for a new program for mushroom producers. These standards were posted for public review last year, then further refined, and at last, adopted and published in April. View them on our Mushroom page, where you can also register for updates.

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Tell FDA: Stop Misuse of Natural

Tell FDAThe United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking comments on the use of the term natural in the labeling of human food products. This is an issue of great importance to Certified Naturally Grown and the broader sustainable agriculture community.

As you know, the GMO-friendly processed food manufacturers have played fast and loose with the term natural, deploying it on nearly any food product they wish, and often gaining an undeserved marketing advantage. Many people assume that processed foods labeled natural don’t contain GMO’s. Reasonable people interpret it to mean that there are no artificial or synthetic ingredients or processing aids. But in reality, the FDA places very few limitations on the use of natural.

The comments and experiences of Certified Naturally Grown members and friends can provide valuable perspective to FDA as it considers how to approach this situation. Your input is particularly important in light of some rather striking petitions submitted to FDA regarding how natural should be defined or regulated. The public comment period ends May 10, 2016.

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The Skinny on Seeds & Seedlings

promo5.jpgEach year we get questions aplenty about the CNG seed & transplant requirements:

  •        Do I have to use Certified Organic transplants?

           Where can I find seeds that meet CNG standards?

           Are seed potatoes considered "seeds"?

We've got answers to those questions and more!



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Seeking Candidates for CNG Board of Directors

Ambassador_with_logo.pngCertified Naturally Grown thrives today because of the many hundreds of people who have contributed their time and talent to our grassroots initiative. We depend on the widespread participation of our members and supporters, and on individuals who step forward to assume greater leadership roles. This spring CNG is seeking candidates to serve on the Board of Directors. 

Members of the board help strengthen, guide and support CNG's work. We encourage all interested parties to apply by completing this short questionnaire online by May 9th, 2016.

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Winter 2016 Newsletter

We are pleased to present the inaugural issue of our quarterly newsletter. The Harvest Quarterly will arrive only once every three months, so enjoy it while it's fresh! 

Best wishes for a great season in 2016!    
Alice and Aly

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CNG in 2015 - The Year in Numbers

Numbers.pngAs we transition to a new year, we thought we'd pause to appreciate some numbers that reflect our work in 2015. 

A couple of these numbers are just for fun, but several are exactly what we were working toward. Read on see why we're feeling pretty good about the progress we all made in 2015.




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CNG Aquaponics Standards Are Published

aquaponics.pngWe are pleased to announce that we have published the CNG Aquaponics Certification Standards. This is the main component of our new certification program for aquaponics producers. 

This new program will promote best practices in ecological aquaponic food production. We expect to launch it by the end of January, 2016. To be sure you're notified directly when we begin accepting applications, please register for updates on our Aquaponics page.

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Designing a tasty food packaging label

Tweefontein.pngWe all know not to judge a book by it's cover, but when it comes to the competitive market of packaged foods and wellness products, the label can make all the difference. 

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You spoke & we listened: Thanks for the comments on aquaponics standards!

Lettuce, close upFirst off, we want to give a HUGE THANKS to everyone who took the time to provide feedback on our Draft Aquaponics Standards. The feedback we received was very positive overall, so we felt encouraged that we were on the right track. Perhaps more importantly, there were several areas where you helped us strengthen and clarify our standards, including the use of IBC totes, compost, and soil; water flow requirements; and eligibility criteria for inspectors, among several others.

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