Jim Riddle Presents at Organic Conference in Iran

September 25th, 2015
Jim Riddle and Vandana Shiva

On August 25, 2015, Jim Riddle, Director of Organic Independents LLP, spoke at the 3rd International Conference on Trade and Market Development of Organic Products in Tehran, Iran. Riddle spoke on the “Environmental and Health Impacts of GMOs.” The daylong conference was attended by 600 persons, with extensive media coverage. Other speakers included Dr. Vandana Shiva and Andre Leu, President of IFOAM.

Riddle, from Winona, Minnesota, has long been respected as a leader in the US organic farming movement. In addition to having served as the chairman of the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board, the advisory/governing panel set up by Congress, he is also the founder of the International Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA).

This is the second time the Jim Riddle has traveled to Iran, having been invited to speak on “US Organic Regulations and Markets” at the same conference, in May 2014. During this visit, Riddle also presented a two-hour, interactive workshop for 100 attendees on regulations for the organic production of horticultural crops.

Mr. Riddle, Dr. Shiva and Mr. Leu met with Iran’s Vice President for the Environment, Massoumeh Ebtekar, where they discussed organic research and development needs to support the expansion of organic agriculture in Iran, along with environmental concerns related to the cultivation of genetically engineered crops.

“Iran has a long history of agricultural production and is a center of biodiversity for many domesticated crops and animals. It is good to see interest in organic production growing in Iran, since organic has much to offer in terms of protecting biodiversity, building soil health, better water use efficiency, cutting pesticide use, and producing healthy foods,” commented Riddle on his return.

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