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California rice growers face new criteria
10/11/2000-According to a recent Associated Press report, plans are under way to organize an advisory board of growers, researchers, and handlers to establish new criteria, which will be given final approval by California agriculture officials. Eventually all farmers will have to undergo certification to determine if their crops have a commercial impact, meaning the way the rice is grown affects how it is marketed. Rice grown using pesticides could not be labeled organic, for example. In the increasingly specialized state rice industry, introduction of new, untested varieties is a growing concern, farmers say. The certifications will also play a significant role in rice marketing. The grain will be traced from the seed to the packaging, a pedigree of sorts. The state cotton industry is the only farmers' group known to have similar self-regulation.


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