The National Organic Program (NOP) recently published a final rule which renewed the use of specified allowed or prohibited substances in organic agriculture. During this renewal process, the NOP clarified the use of colors in organic processed products. If the organic form is not commercially available, the USDA organic regulations allow the use of 19 non-organic colors that meet specific criteria.
Wide-spread drought conditions in certain U.S. regions prompted USDA to offer new flexibilities and assistance to livestock producers. USDA organic regulations account for the impacts of drought on organic farmers and ranchers as well. Unavoidable conditions can, under certain instances, be cause for granting temporary variance from specific regulatory requirements.
The vigilance of the organic community is a vital force in ensuring organic integrity. Organic handlers should continue to review certificates carefully, validate with their certifying agents where needed, and send any suspicious certificates to the NOP Compliance and Enforcement team.
"In summary, we determined that AMS has adequate management controls in place for administering the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. We did not identify any significant reportable issues and, as such, are not making any recommendations." - Office of Inspector General Audit Report, page 3
The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) has updated the audit checklists and Sunset dates sections of the NOP Handbook. USDA is also looking for feedback on its Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program.
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has posted eight petitions for non-regulated status for GE plants for public review and comment. These include crops from Pioneer, BASF, Monsanto, Dow, Genective and others.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA will accept comments through mid-September on a petition asking the agency to give non-regulated status to the Arctic apple genetically engineered to prevent browning when sliced or bruised.
We’re keeping our members up-to-date as we join forces with CCOF and will provide regular updates until we reach our goal of becoming one organization by November 1, 2012. Read how the restructure is going!
Nominations are now being accepted for candidates for Oregon Organic Coalition's 2012 Awards for Excellence, the annual recognition of farmers, food processors, researchers, retailers, and individuals who are leading the state's organic sector.
Potatoes are a relatively easy crop to grow, and will yield delicious results. Read this blog post for easy directions for growing potatoes.
Due to severe drought conditions, the USDA National Organic Program granted temporary variance to livestock operations in Wyoming. The temporary variance stipulates that no more than an average of 85% of a ruminant's dry matter demand must be from dry matter fed. The temporary variance will remain in effect for the remainder of the 2012 grazing season.
The NOP has published a new fact sheet to help farms and businesses determine if they need to be certified. If an operation doesn't need to be certified, this resource outlines the specific requirements that the operation must meet.
Videos of the NOFA-NY Organic Research Symposium, held in January 2012, are now available on YouTube. The inaugural event took place in Saratoga Springs in January 2012, in conjunction with NOFA’s Winter Conference and by all accounts, was a great success. Each of the fifteen sessions was videotaped and now all 45 presenters, as well as each Q&A session, are available for viewing on the NOFA-NY YouTube channel.
A Federal Register notice has been published addressing the implementation period for the listings for pectin on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The notice allows certified operations to reformulate organic products containing pectin until Oct. 21, 2012.
Attend the CCOF Tilth restructure webinar - Hear from Oregon Tilth Executive Director Chris Schreiner, CCOF Executive Director Cathy Calfo, and CCOF Chief Certification Officer Jake Lewin about the recently announced restucture with Oregon Tilth and how it will impact you.
Bumble bees, key pollinators of crops and wildflowers across the country and essential for a healthy environment, are declining at an alarming rate. Bee biologists discovered that several previously common species are now absent from much of their former territory.
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) program is administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and is available in all states and all counties. The program provides assistance for new and existing organic producers to implement conservation practices new to their farm, including conservation crop rotations, cover cropping, nutrient management, pest management, prescribed grazing, and forage harvest management.
The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) has published the final recommendations of the National Organic Standards Board from the meeting held in May 2012 in Albuquerque, NM.
The Organic Cost Share Program survives the Farm Bill vote. Crop Insurance will become fairer for organic farmers.
A collective solution to distinguish organic in the market place, grow demand, and educate consumers. In order to distinguish organic in the market place, grow demand, and help the consumer understand all that organic delivers, collective resources and coordination beyond those currently available to the industry are required.