The March 2012 edition of the NOP newsletter, now called the Organic Integrity Quarterly, is now available! This issue includes updates on many important topics, including: U.S. / EU trade partnership, including reflections from Deputy Secretary Merrigan; Canada equivalency arrangement update; National List update EQIP Organic Initiative and other NRCS programs and services; Recap: 2012 certifying agent training NOP staff update
The National Organic Program published a memo in response to the recommendations made at the December 2011 business meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).
USDA officials learned late Friday afternoon, March 16th, 2012, that fraudulent letters are being sent by FAX to individuals and businesses in at least four states. The letters purportedly come from a USDA procurement officer and seek personal information. These letters are false and in no case should a recipient respond with personal and financial information.
Is your farm eligible for financial and technical assistance through the National Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) Organic Initiative? Part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Organic Initiative offers $50 million in financial and technical assistance to support a wide array of conservation practices specifically designed for organic production.
As of the end of 2011, 17,673 organic farms and processing facilities in the United States were certified to the USDA organic standards. That's 478 more operators than at the end of 2010, and a 240% increase since NOP's tracking began in 2002. Worldwide, there are now 28,779 certified organic operators across 133 countries.
OMRI reports to certifiers any product names removed from the OMRI Products List© within ten days of their removal. OMRI 'drops' products when the companies voluntarily request their products be removed from our program or they fail to comply with the organization's policies. OMRI prohibits products only when conclusive evidence is on file to demonstrate a non-compliance with the NOP Rule.
Sen. Boxer and Rep. DeFazio were joined by 9 Senators and 44 Representatives in calling on the FDA to require the labeling of genetically engineered foods. The letter from the 55 Members of Congress was sent to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg (GE) on March 12.
On Feb. 15, The Congressional Research Service (CRS) published Previewing the Next Farm Bill for members and committees of Congress. Special crops and organic production are on pages 15-19.
The digital issue of The Organic Report has Arrived! Headlines include EU and U.S. sign historic organic equivalence arrangement, OTA closer to industry decision on organic check-off program, Legislative and Regulatory Updates, plus more!
On February 29, 2012, the USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG) published an audit report about the National Organic Program (NOP), focusing on oversight and monitoring activities of the National Organic Program and its certifying agents with respect to organic milk.
We're excited to meet the spring 2012 COG students! Join us March 14-April 4.
Around 300,000 organic farmers think that Monsanto, the biotech giant known for genetically modifying Mother Nature’s handwork for profit and pushing over the little guys all the while, is pretty seedy. Now a judge in New York is debating if Monsanto’s questionable methods will go before a jury.
The European Union and the United States announced that beginning June 1, 2012, organic products certified in Europe or in the United States may be sold as organic in either region.
The National Organic Program published a final rule in the Federal Register today to amend the crops and processing portions of the National List. Effective March 15, 2012
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) published a new web feature documenting how agribusiness giant Monsanto Company is failing to deliver on its promise to make the U.S. agriculture system more sustainable.
The National Organic Program (NOP) published draft guidance with request for comments. The draft guidance clarifies the certification requirements for handlers of unpackaged organic bulk commodities and specifies that handlers of bulk organic products—including grain, soybeans, hay, milk and livestock—must be certified or be covered under another operation’s organic certification.
Visit the revised handbook page, which provides the table of contents in a more user-friendly, PDF format with improved readability. Frequent users may wish to bookmark the link for fast access.
The Organic Farming Research Foundation set up in 1990 has published a report on “Organic Farming for Health and Prosperity”. The report clearly summarizes the benefits of organic agriculture and formulates the goal of changing the US government’s agricultural policy.
President Obama has appointed former Monsanto VP and lobbyist Michael Taylor to become senior advisor to the FDA's commissioner. This unthinkable linkage between food safety and corporate interests that have little regard for the public health must be stopped. This example of a "fox watching the henhouse" is inexcusable. President Obama must reverse this unimaginably dangerous policy and isolate the FDA from corporate influence.
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) was reauthorized in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Farm Bill) to provide a voluntary conservation program for farmers and ranchers that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible national goals.