Robynn Shrader

Robynn Shrader is chief executive officer of the National Cooperative Grocers Association.

Grass stain

Four things you can do to defend organic against the GMO alfalfa threat

Members of the sustainable food movement are furious and, frankly, we have a right to be. Last month’s decision by the USDA to fully deregulate GE alfalfa isn’t just a minor skirmish in a long and exhausting battle. It threatens the existence of organic farming and organic food, and flies in the face of USDA’s mandate from Congress under the Organic Foods Production Act to promote and preserve organic agriculture. The biotech industry loves to talk about how safe and beneficial GE technology is, and regardless of where your opinion lands on those claims, the simple fact is this: GE …

WIC Recipients Should Have Access to Organic

It is a truth of modern day grocery shopping that a bag of apples costs more than a bag of chips. Unfortunately, the cost disparity between healthy and unhealthy foods is a driving force behind what goes into shopping carts – a sad reality for millions of Americans who struggle to afford healthy food. National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), representing 114 natural food co-ops, believes all people deserve access to and education about healthy and nutritious foods. We applaud the Women, Infants, Children Program (WIC) for its dedication to this same mission. However, we believe the federal government should follow …

Food safety: How local can you go?

Photo: Beth RankinThe Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 (FSEA) draft, was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Waxman on May 26, 2009 and is expected to move quickly through the House.  Consumers, farmers, and manufacturers alike all appear to be for a food safety bill, so the question is not whether a bill will be approved, but whether it will make our food safer.  Our food system is seriously broken in places, and at first glance, many elements of the FSEA are hard to argue with.  For example, the bill would provide the FDA with mandatory recall …

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