Rule proposed to level the playing field for organic dairies

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A policy that allows a one-time transition of dairy cows from conventional to organic production has been inconsistently enforced, putting farmers who play by the rules at a competitive disadvantage and undermining the integrity of the organic label. However, a proposed rule would level the playing field by more clearly defining current regulations.The Origin of Livestock proposed rule, which was originally published in 2015 but has not yet been finalized, would allow organic dairy farms to transition conventional replacement animals into organic production only once, prohibiting the continuous transition that some farms have incorrectly practiced. In comments submitted, National Farmers Union (NFU), a longtime advocate of fair and commonsense organic rules and regulations, voiced support for the rule and urged its immediate finalization and implementation.“The organic label is only as meaningful as the enforcement of organic standards. But currently, the origin of livestock provisions are being applied inconsistently across the industry, allowing some farmers to repeatedly transition conventional replacement animals into organic production while others comply with the rules and only transition a single, distinct herd once. This practice not only confuses American consumers, who have certain expectations about what the organic label means, but also puts rule-abiding producers at a significant disadvantage and threatens the integrity of the organic program,” said Roger Johnson, NFU President . “By providing greater clarity on transition regulations and ensuring that standards are uniformly applied, the Origin of Livestock proposed rule would protect consumer confidence in the organic label and ensure its economic viability for family farmers. We urge USDA to act quickly to finalize and implement this crucial rule.”last_img read more

Paul George fires 37, Thunder hold off Blazers

first_imgOklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, right, dribbles away from Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oklahoma City Thunder had a six-game overall losing streak to the Trail Blazers, and they had lost their last eight at the Moda Center, a streak dating back to 2014.Proclaiming a “new year, new team,” Paul George scored 37 points and the Thunder beat the Blazers 111-109 victory on Friday night.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES View comments SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “We came here, we told ourselves we need to change it — and we got it done,” George said.Russell Westbrook added 31 points for the Thunder, who held off a furious last-minute rally by the Blazers that fell short. Damian Lillard led Portland with 23 points and eight assists.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion“I was thinking about it when I landed yesterday,” Westbrook said about the long drought. “For me, this was personal. I wanted the streak to end.”The Thunder trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half but pulled in front late in the third quarter and pushed the lead to 107-97 with just over 4 minutes to go on a basket by Westbrook, who scored 20 points came in the second half. Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ CJ McCollum’s jumper got Portland within 109-105 and Lillard made two of three free throws to cut the deficit with 42.8 seconds left.Lillard and McCollum both missed shots before George made free throws with 4.3 seconds left. The Blazers fell short on Al-Farouq Aminu’s basket at the buzzer.“The Blazers are a tough team to play against and this is a tough place to play. To find a way to get a win here, since it’s been a while, sometimes you’ve got to do a lot of different things,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said.Oklahoma City, sitting in second place in the Western Conference behind the Nuggets, has won three straight, including a 107-100 victory over the Lakers on Wednesday.The Thunder rose to 12 games over .500 for the first time this season.ADVERTISEMENT The Blazers had won two straight overall and were coming off a 113-108 overtime victory in Sacramento on New Year’s Day. The game against the Thunder was the first of a five-game homestand.“You put yourself in that type of position, it comes down to — like I always say — you’ve got to be perfect. We needed to probably make every shot, get every stop,” Lillard said. “We just came up short. We had plenty of opportunity.”George got off to a fast start with 13 points in the opening quarter, including a pair of free throws that pulled the Thunder into a 28-all tie.The Blazers went up 47-39 after Jake Layman’s 3-pointer, and extended the lead to 58-47 after Maurice Harkless’ 3.Jusuf Nurkic had 16 first-half points and Portland went into the break with a 62-57 lead.The Thunder closed within 80-78 on Steven Adams’ layup then took an 83-82 lead on George’s 3-pointer. Aminu answered with a 3 for the Blazers but George made another 3 and the Thunder went into the final period with a 93-87 lead.“We really increased the defensive pressure in the second half and made it harder for them to score,” George said.Nurkic finished with 22 points and eight rebounds.“It was disappointing, kind of a crazy game,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “I thought we had good flow and good momentum most of the game.”TIP-INS SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Elite will not tolerate Rabeh Al-Hussaini’s absence from team Thunder: George had 21 points at the half. … Terrance Ferguson fouled out with 2:43 left. … It was the first of four meetings between the teams. Last season Portland won all four of its games against the Thunder.Trail Blazers: Nurkic was coming off a rare 5-by-5 (five points, five rebounds, five assists, five steals, and five blocks) against the Kings on Tuesday, when he had 24 points, 23 rebounds, seven assists, five steals and five blocks. The only other Blazer with one was Nic Batum. Nurkic is the first NBA player to pull off a 5-by-5 with 20-plus points and rebounds.REMEMBERING LARRY: The Blazers held a moment of silence for Larry Weinberg, one of the founders and original owners of the team, who died on Monday. Weinberg was among those who got the franchise started as an NBA expansion team in 1970. He sold the team to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 1988.UP NEXTThunder: Host the Wizards on Sunday.Trail Blazers: Host the Houston Rockets in the second of a back-to-back on Saturday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issuelast_img read more

Government mulls over decision on civil servants to be office-bearers of sports bodies

first_imgRaja Bhalindra SinghSports is at the centre of yet another controversy. The Government is presently mulling over a decision that is bound to have profound repercussions on the future of Indian sports. The issue is whether or not civil servants should be permitted to be office-bearers of the numerous sports,Raja Bhalindra SinghSports is at the centre of yet another controversy. The Government is presently mulling over a decision that is bound to have profound repercussions on the future of Indian sports. The issue is whether or not civil servants should be permitted to be office-bearers of the numerous sports bodies in the country.While the Central Government seems determined to direct its officials to withdraw from sports organisations, five state governments have already opposed the move, compared with two – Kerala and Punjab – who have supported it.The seeds of the current controversy were sown in April 1982, when Phalguni Matilal, then secretary of the Railway Sports Board, wrote to Union Home Secretary T.N. Chaturvedi, alleging financial irregularities in the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), which is headed by Inder Mohan Mahajan, of the Indian Police Service (IPS). In his representation, Matilal requested the Home Ministry to withdraw permission for Mahajan to be IHF president. Chaturvedi sought Mahajan’s explanation and after a detailed probe, recommended in August 1982 that Mahajan be asked to quit the IHF.Meanwhile, Raja Bhalindra Singh, president, Indian Olympic Association (IOA), wrote to the prime minister that it would be unwise to remove Mahajan just a few months before the Asiad. Mrs Gandhi directed her Principal Secretary Dr P.C. Alexander to look into the matter. While Mahajan was allowed to continue, the Prime Minister’s Secretariat suggested that the Home Ministry review the entire question of permitting government officials to hold positions in sports organisations.Government Proposal: Taking the suggestion as a fiat, the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms of the Home Ministry decided to amend the All India Service conduct rules by inserting a clause prohibiting All India Service officials from holding office in any sports organisation in the country.advertisementThe proposal required concurrence of state governments, so, on May 27, 1983, the Home Ministry sought their opinion. The letter addressed to state chief secretaries stated that if they did not reply by June 30, 1983, it would be presumed that they were in favour of the ban.The letter said that it had come to the Centre’s notice that some members of All India Service had involved themselves in controversial matters while seeking election to sports bodies. The letter also stated that a few officials – none was named – had misused their positions in sports organisations. The letter concluded that “such instances invite unfavourable criticism of the role of the members of the All India Service thereby affecting their reputation and effectiveness”.”If the Central Government implements its decision, the whole sportsmanagement will collapse. It will be suicidal for the promotion ofIndian sports if IAS and IPS officials are debarred from holdingofficial posts in the sports organisation.”Raja Bhalindra Singh, IOA chairmanPredictably, the Centre’s move caused a flurry in various state capitals. For there was not a single sports organisation at the state and district levels of which government officials were not members. Conventionally, deputy commissioners or district superintendents of police are ex-officio chiefs of district Olympic associations.And the sports bodies are heavily dependent on district officials not only for raising finances but also for arranging infrastructural facilities like playgrounds. Says Bhalindra Singh: “If the Central Government implements its decision, the whole sports management will collapse. It will be suicidal for the promotion of Indian sports if IAS and IPS officials are debarred from holding official posts in the sports organisation. Many of them have done commendable work in various fields.”Some states supporting the continuation of the present system have made the point that the presence of officials in sports organisations has been beneficial. They cite the role of officials at the Asiad last year, and the greatly improved performance of the Delhi District Cricket Association and the Indian Table Tennis Federation, where earnings and balance sheets have improved since the appointment of IAS officials on their boards, to support their stand.Bureaucrats Defensive: Among IAS and IPS officials who head major sports bodies are I.S. Bindra, joint secretary to the President, P.S. Bhindar, Punjab’s inspector general of police, and chief secretaries B.S. Ojha of Haryana and A. Ananthakrishnan of Kerala.Many officials are defensive about the tacit allegations contained in the letter. Says Bindra: “As government servants, we are bound by certain rules and discipline. If any IAS or IPS official has committed any irregularity, he should be sacked immediately. None of us will come to his rescue.” Some officials feel that the moves against them have the indirect support of those businessmen who have lost their positions in sports organisations – in most cases to civil servants.advertisementWhile the prime minister has yet to give her verdict on this question, she has received complaints about politicians grabbing positions in various sports bodies after the Asiad. Over 50 ministers, MP’s and MLA’s are officebearers in various sports organisations, starting with such luminaries as Union Ministers Vasant Sathe, N.K.P. Salve and K.P. Singhdeo, Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, former West Bengal chief minister Siddhartha Shankar Ray. Congress) President Sharad Pawar, Congress(I) MP Jagdish Tytler and Bharatiya Janata Party Secretary V.K. Malhotra.Political Gimmicks: Though some politicians have a genuine interest in sport or have been sportsmen themselves, others’ treat sports organisations as stepping stones for political advancement. Some observers view the two recent wrestling spectacles in Delhi’s prestigious Indraprastha Indoor Stadium – in which over Rs 7 lakh was collected as gate money – in this light.The meets were organised by Arjun Dass. a Congress(I) member of the Delhi Metropolitan Council, who was elected president of the Indian Wrestling Federation (IWF) recently at a controversial meeting of the general body. K.D. Minhas, a Punjab government official who headed IWF till last year, has challenged Dass’s election. Though the election has yet to be confirmed by the IOA, the events were patronised by Sports Minister Buta Singh and MP Rajiv Gandhi.Complains Bhalindra Singh: “We welcome politicians as sportsmen but not as politicians. Some of them have the tendency to politicise the sports organisations and exploit them either for their personal publicity or for promoting their own ideology – their entry into the sports world should be banned.”But Bhalindra Singh may find it difficult to insulate the sports world against political influence. He failed during the Asiad when his plea for co-opting opposition leaders with a genuine sports background for conducting sports events was ignored. The stage seems set for increased politicisation of Indian sports.last_img read more