As organic advocates, we are charged with the responsibility of National Organic Program (NOP) oversight and strengthening the integrity of the organic label.
The USDA National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) needs to hear from you – farmers, businesses, consumers – about what works well and what processes and standards could be better?
Twice each year, the NOSB meets in various locations around the United States for stakeholders and citizens to provide public input about the NOP. The meeting this fall will be held virtually due to COVID-19. During this public forum, the NOSB will discuss public comments and agenda items, and then vote on recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture.
IOA is here to help! If have thoughts you’d like to share and would like support in developing a letter or public comment, please email email@example.com.
- LINK to submit LETTER submit by Oct 1 – so far the NOSB has received 325 comments; you can view those comments here.
LINK to register for PUBLIC COMMENT register by Oct 1
- Tuesday, October 20 from Noon - 5:00 pm EST – (via Zoom)
- Thursday, October 22 from Noon - 5:00 pm EST– (via Zoom)
- NOSB Public Meeting Day 1: Wed, October 28: Noon - 5:00 pm EST
- NOSB Public Meeting Day 2: Thurs, October 29: Noon - 5:00 pm EST
- NOSB Public Meeting Day 3: Fri, October 30: Noon - 5:00 pm EST
CURRENT ORGANIC ISSUES
- Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) – restore funding to 75% of organic certification fees, with a maximum reimbursement of $750 per certification scope per operation as authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill (and increase to 100% reimbursement during the pandemic).
- Strengthening of Organic Enforcement – expand resources, authorities and responsibilities as authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill to address concerns about fraudulent organic imports, which undermine consumer confidence in the organic label and undercut prices for U.S. organic producers. The December 19, 2019 deadline to publish the proposed final rule and other provisions to strengthen organic enforcement has passed and has still not been released for public inspection and comment.
- Expand USDA organic programs – increase funding for the NOP, the agency charged with writing, updating and enforcing organic standards. As the organic industry continues to see remarkable growth ($50B in sales in 2018), the NOP and other organic programs must grow as well to support this industry.
- Origin of Livestock – close loopholes in organic regulations related to transition of conventional dairy cows into organic production. Congress required USDA to issue a final Origin of Livestock (OOL) rule by June 17, 2020. That deadline has passed. This lack of action continues to impact over-supply of milk in the market and depresses organic dairy prices.
- Enforcement of the pasture rule for organic dairy operations – reinforce the importance of the organic pasture rule to increase consumer confidence and reaffirm to farmers that there is one, consistent pasture standard that applies to dairy products.
Thank you for helping to advance organic in Iowa and strengthen the NOP!