Blog posts by regulatory

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 25, 2016 on NOSB, regulatory

In September of 2015, the National Organic Program appointed 16 members to a task force to explore hydroponic and aquaponic production practices and their alignment with the USDA organic regulations. The task force was charged with preparing a report to inform the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) as it determines the best path forward on hydroponic and aquaponic production systems. The NOSB is a federal advisory committee whose 15 members represent the entire organic community. NOSB members recommend whether substances should be allowed or prohibited in organic production or handling,...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, July 5, 2016 on advocacy, NOP, policy, regulatory

On June 20, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) did not properly issue guidance on the allowance of green waste in compost used for organic production. USDA has 60 days to appeal the decision. The ruling is the outcome of a federal lawsuit filed against USDA that challenges the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) guidance on the allowance of green waste in organic production systems. The Court held that USDA did not properly issue the guidance because it did not provide for public notice and comment. The Organic...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 13, 2016 on livestock, NOP, regulatory, standards


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA)’s Agricultural Marketing Service extended the comment period for the Proposed Rule on Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices. Stakeholders now have until July 13, 2016 to submit comments. This landmark proposed rule adds numerous livestock and poultry production practices to the national organic standards. It proposes to add 19 new definitions to the standards and new requirements for livestock health care, mammalian living conditions, avian living conditions, transport, and slaughter. CCOF welcomes this long-awaited rule and urges the USDA...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, June 13, 2016 on materials and inputs, NOP, policy, regulatory, standards

CCOF and the Organic Trade Association (OTA) recently submitted statements representing the interests of organic producers in a federal lawsuit filed by the Center for Food Safety (CFS) against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which challenges the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) guidance on the Allowance of Green Waste in Organic Production Systems. The guidance states that organic standards are process-based. These processes aim to exclude pesticide residues. However, the compost may contain pesticide residues so long as those levels do not contribute to the contamination of...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOP, NOSB, policy, regulatory

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) met at the end of April to hear public comment, discuss the 2018 Sunset Materials, and vote on a number of proposals. NOSB also welcomed six new board members at the April meeting, including CCOF member Jesse Buie! Proposals Passed by NOSB NOSB discussed and voted on 12 proposals during the spring 2016 meeting. Most notably, NOSB voted on multiple proposals to change the use of parasiticides in organic livestock production. NOSB made a final recommendation to update organic regulatory language to require: “That parasiticides continue to be...
Written by Valerie George and Jane Sooby on Monday, April 11, 2016 on advocacy, livestock, policy, regulatory

The National Organic Program (NOP) announced on April 7, 2016, that it will propose amending the organic livestock and poultry production requirements. The proposed regulation, which is based on recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board, is an effort to achieve consistency in organic livestock practices. It covers a range of topics including health care practices and living conditions for organic animals. Here are some of the highlights of the proposed rule: It sets forth separate living condition standards for mammals (e.g., cattle, sheep, and pigs) and poultry. It specifies...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, February 1, 2016 on policy, regulatory

The California Food Policy Council (CAFPC) published the 2015 Report on Legislation Related to and Food and Farming. The document reports on California bills related to CAFPC’s guiding principles and critiques the 2015 California legislative session. The document also presents legislator voting records to identify California policymakers who champion food issues, and offers a Food Policy Index to provide context-setting data points. As part of the CAFPC policy workgroup, CCOF participated in identifying bills to be tracked and analyzed for the report. CCOF strongly values the CAFPC...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, November 30, 2015 on advocacy, policy, regulatory, State Organic Program

Since the implementation of the national organic standards in 2002, CCOF members have expressed concerns that the California State Organic Program (SOP) duplicates the fee and reporting requirements of the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). In response to these concerns, CCOF wrote a comprehensive report in 2015 titled Review of the California State Organic Program. About the Report CCOF wrote the Review of the California State Organic Program in collaboration with an advisory committee to ensure input from a range of stakeholders, including organic producers, policy experts, and public...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 23, 2015 on advocacy, food safety, policy, regulatory

On Friday, November 13, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published the final Produce Safety Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The Produce Safety Rule establishes food safety standards for produce farms in the United States. Will the Produce Safety Rule impact my operation? The Produce Safety Rule includes requirements that address water quality, employee health and hygiene, wild and domesticated animals, manure and compost application, equipment, and buildings. For a run-down on the Produce Safety Rule and organic operations, see the Organic Trade Association’s response...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, August 31, 2015 on advocacy, food safety, policy, regulatory

Over the next few months, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will publish the final food safety requirements for produce farms and food processing facilities under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Many produce farmers and food processors that make food for people to eat will need to comply with the new food safety requirements.How did we get here? In 2011, President Obama signed FSMA in to law. FSMA represented the first overhaul to food safety practices in the United States since 1938.FSMA directed FDA to engage in public rulemaking to establish new food safety standards. In...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Friday, June 5, 2015 on livestock, policy, regulatory, standards

Submit your comments today on the National Organic Program’s (NOP) proposed rule on Origin of Livestock.About the Origin of Livestock Proposed RuleAfter years of anticipation, the NOP recently published a proposed rule that updates and clarifies organic requirements related to the transition of nonorganic dairy animals to organic production. The proposed rule states that milk or milk products labeled or sold as organic must come from dairy animals that have been managed organically since the last third of gestation, but that the NOP will make a one-time allowance for a producer to transition...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 16, 2015 on NOP, NOSB, policy, regulatory

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently announced its draft agenda for the spring 2015 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting to be held in La Jolla, California at the end of April. That means it’s that time of year again! Time for you to share your story and help determine the path of organic agriculture. Prior to the meeting, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) invites the public to comment on what should be included and excluded in the organic standards. The NOSB—a committee of certified organic farmers, processors, and other...
Written by Jane Sooby on Thursday, April 3, 2014 on NOSB, regulatory, standards

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is the advisory committee that advises the Secretary of Agriculture on implementation of the Organic Foods Production Act. There are currently four seats open on the NOSB: environmentalist, organic producer, organic handler, and retailer with significant trade in organic products. NOSB members are volunteers who represent the diversity of the organic community. They are appointed for five-year terms and are expected to attend meetings twice a year, participate in conference calls bimonthly or more, review materials on the National List of Allowed...
Written by Brise Tencer on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 on grower, materials and inputs, pests and pesticides, regulatory, State Organic Program

Understandably, organic growers are concerned about the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP), a pest that is a carrier of a devastating disease of citrus trees, huanglongbing (HLB). ACP findings are particularly concerning for organic producers because of how few choices there are for organic control methods. In cases of CDFA eradication efforts, there are no currently accepted organic treatments, but organic producers do have tools for management and prevention.  We encourage citrus growers to read up on the issue and be proactive with preventive management. In general, organic common sense principles...