Standards for organic food were implemented in 2002 and include the creation of National Organic Program Standards, which require producers to use a planned systems approach to crop protection, said Monica Elliott, professor of plant pathology at the University of Florida's Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center. However, additional organic farming research and education are needed in order to maintain viable organic farming systems, she said.
Because California has the largest output of organic crops of any state, plant pathologists are looking to California's organic program as a model for organic farming programs nationwide. "Plant health scientists are working to meet the needs of organic farmers and the needs of consumers who want organic foods," said Elliott.
More on this topic will be presented during the Organic Foods-From Production to Market symposium at APS Annual Meeting in Anaheim, Calif., July 31- August 4, 2004. This session, to be held Tuesday, August 3, 2004 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center, will examine organic agriculture from a plant pathology perspective and address questions regarding funding sources for organic agricultural research, plant diseases and control methods, and the function of the National Organic Standards Board.
A Sustainable Agriculture Day is also planned for Tuesday, August 3 at the Anaheim Convention Center. This one-day event will be devoted to the discussion of new developments in sustainable agriculture and will bring into focus the roles and accomplishments of APS members in
Contact: Amy Steigman
American Phytopathological Society