Blog posts by standards

Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on general organic, standards

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released draft guidance documents for farms to comply with the federal Produce Safety Rule. The Produce Safety Rule establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce. FDA will accept public input on the draft guidance, “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption: Draft Guidance for Industry,” at four meetings across the country and in written comments.  The draft guidance includes broad recommendations on how to meet the food safety...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 17, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, standards


Ask Me About What's Not in Organic

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) placed a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal last week that lists hundreds of chemicals and processes used in conventional food production that are prohibited in organic. The list includes the use of GMOs, glyphosate, sewage sludge, artificial preservatives, irradiation, and more.  The ad is in response to the Wall Street Journal running an opinion editorial making false claims about organic. CCOF board member and certified organic farmer Vernon Peterson of Abundant Harvest Organics submitted a letter to the editor responding to the claims made in the...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 on general organic, policy, standards

CCOF submitted a comment to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) on the proposed Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, or GMO food labeling rule. The deadline for comments was July 3, 2018.   CCOF’s comment was rooted in the following principles, for which CCOF advocated in previous comments: Labels must have clear statements that include the term “GMO.” Electronic or digital links are not sufficient to communicate to consumers.  Protect the USDA National Organic Program’s regulations defining bioengineering and related terms.  Organic certification is sufficient to make a “not...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, June 11, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic, grower, handler, help and tips, standards

New U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop insurance programs have expanded risk management options for organic farmers and ranchers. Are you curious to know what programs might be a good fit for your operation?    Join the CCOF Foundation and California FarmLink on June 19 for a webinar that reviews the basics of the Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) program and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP). Learn the application requirements and key deadlines for both programs, as well as how the programs meet the needs of organic farmers and ranchers.    Speakers include...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 on general organic, Non-GMO & More seal, standards

USDA is accepting comments on the proposed rule to establish the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. The standard was mandated by Congress in 2016 to require food manufacturers and other food labeling entities to disclose information about bioengineered foods and bioengineered ingredients.   USDA is using the term “bioengineered” for what are commonly known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMOs are banned in organic production.    Comments will be accepted until July 3, 2018 via regulations.gov or by mail to Docket Clerk, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 4543-South,...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 on general organic, materials and inputs, standards

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published a proposed rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). The proposed rule is based on public input and recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).   AMS will accept public comments on the proposed rule until June 29, 2018. Comments can be submitted via regulations.gov.    At their Fall 2017 meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) recommended that AMS add elemental sulfur to the National List to treat livestock and livestock housing. Elemental...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 19, 2018 on advocacy, policy, standards

USDA ignored the pleas of organic producers across the country when it announced its final decision to ignore the organic rulemaking process and withdraw the widely supported Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule.    CCOF members have long advocated for the OLPP rule because it would have brought greater clarity and consistency to organic livestock production and certification.     CCOF members are already in compliance with the majority of the provisions that would have been clarified under OLPP, including living conditions, preventive health care practices, stocking densities...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 12, 2018 on advocacy, policy, standards

The Organic Trade Association wants its day in court. The association on Wednesday requested that oral arguments be heard on its lawsuit against the USDA over the department's failure to put into effect new organic livestock standards. The request comes as the case is gaining significant momentum and as more organic businesses and stakeholders take action and speak out in support of the lawsuit.   Since the filing of the lawsuit, a host of organic stakeholders representing thousands of organic farming families, organic certifiers, and organic policymakers—along with leading animal welfare and...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 29, 2018 on general organic, NOP, regulatory, standards

USDA proposed new updates to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) that include 29 recommendations on 35 substances from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). NOSB evaluates substances on the National List every five years to confirm that each substance continues to meet the required criteria for its allowance or prohibition. The proposal includes updating the restrictions of 17 substances, prohibiting ivermectin in organic livestock production, prohibiting rotenone to align with EPA regulations, and adding 16 substances to the National List.  The...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 22, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, policy, regulatory, standards

Last week, CCOF submitted a comment to USDA opposing the agency’s proposal to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule. CCOF also joined 80 other organic producers, retailers, organizations, certifiers, farm groups, and consumer organizations in an open letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue urging him to implement the rule.    The OLPP rule is the result of decades of rulemaking effort by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and members of the organic community. The rule ensures that organic animals live in pasture-based systems, establishes minimum indoor and...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, policy, regulatory, standards

The comment period on USDA’s proposal to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule (OLPP) ends at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on January 17, 2018.    Comment now to protect organic standards!   OLPP is the product of a lengthy rulemaking effort by the National Organic Standards Board to advise the National Organic Program (NOP). The rule clarifies animal welfare practices in organic production, including living conditions, preventive health care practices, stocking densities, and access to the outdoors.    However, since NOP released the final rule in early 2017, USDA has...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, December 18, 2017 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, livestock, policy, regulatory, standards

USDA published notice in the Federal Register this week that it intends to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule, which has been under development by the organic community for over a decade. The notice opens a public comment period that is open through Jan. 17, 2018.  Comments may be submitted through regulations.gov.   Originally set to be fully implemented earlier this year, USDA under the current administration already has delayed implementation three times and now proposes to withdraw the rule on the premise that it exceeds USDA’s statutory authority.   CCOF...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 23, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, grower, handler, materials, NOSB, standards

CCOF submitted 11 written comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) ahead of the fall 2017 NOSB meeting.   NOSB is the federal advisory committee to the National Organic Program and meets twice per year to discuss organic standards. This fall, the meeting will be held in Jacksonville, Florida from October 31 through November 2, 2017.   At the meeting in Jacksonville, the board will complete the 2019 Sunset Reviews on 43 substances listed on the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List). NOSB will vote to relist the substances on the National List or...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, October 9, 2017 on advocacy, grower, standards

A bill just signed by California Governor Jerry Brown extended the deadline for cannabis growers to file documentation of their water source to October 31, 2017.    The new deadlines are specific to growers who plan to submit their growing license application to CalCannabis before January 1, 2019.   According to a message from the State Water Resources Control Board:   If you currently have a Small Irrigation Use Registration (SIUR), Permit, License, or plan on filing for an SIUR, the statutory deadlines below do not apply to you, but you will need to include appropriate documentation of your...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 2, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, regulatory, standards

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their fall meeting in Jacksonville are approaching! It is critical that members of the organic community submit public comments on the substances up for re-listing or removal from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances and the other NOSB agenda items. The votes and discussions in Jacksonville will impact future organic standards and substances allowed in organic production.   In total, 43 substances will be discussed at the fall meeting:   Crop scope...

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