Largest Sustainable Agricultural Conference West of the Mississippi
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2000
Press Contact: Sam Earnshaw
EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE AT THE CENTER OF RAPID INDUSTRY GROWTH
Asilomar, Pacific Grove, CA- At a hidden retreat on the California Coast, over 1,500 farmers, marketers, consumers and activists will gather from around the world to debate genetically-engineered crops, farming with fewer chemicals and growing healthier crops for expanding markets.
According to Ray Green, Director of the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Organic Program, registrations for organic certification have surged to almost 2,500 registered organic farmers. "In the last 18 months, we've had an average of one new application per day."
This growth has not escaped the notice of Wall Street or the American public. In mid-December, General Mills announced its acquisition of Small Planet Foods, which owns two of America's most successful organic product manufacturers, Muir Glen and Cascadian Farms.
Jeremy Rifkin, internationally-acclaimed critic of U.S. governmental policy on genetically- engineering (GE) crops, will be a featured speaker, in the wake of revelations that an estimated 50-70% of all non-organic food products contain some ingredients derived from GE crops, such as corn or soybeans. His talk comes on the heels of the Food and Drug Administration's hearings to receive public comment on their GE labeling policy. Their last hearing, held in Oakland, CA, drew well over a thousand industry and consumer rights activists.
Organizers expect a vast network of attendees, including farmers, marketing gurus, policy makers, government officials and educators. The dynamic program includes over 60 workshops from A-Z (Alternative Agriculture to "Zinc for Zucchini.")
This year's 75 sponsors representing the public and private sector include: Fetzer Vineyards, Whole Foods and Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF).
The conference will be held January 19-22, at the Asilomar Conference Center, about two hours south of San Francisco, California. For more information, call 831-763-2111, or visit: www.csa-efc.org
The Eco-Farm Conference is an annual event of the Committee for Sustainable Agriculture, a non-profit educational organization founded in 1981 to promote an agricultural system that is ecologically sound, economically viable, and socially just. The conference is open to the public.
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