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USDA Seeks Input on GMO Labeling Standards

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has released 30 questions for input from the public regarding GMO labeling (National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard). CCOF plans to respond to the proposed questions and encourages its members to also provide input to USDA. Submit responses to GMOlabeling@asm.usda.gov by July 17, 2017.

USDA to Expand Organic Exemption to Federal Check-Off Programs

Comment period extended to February 17, 2015. Comment now.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently proposed a rule that exempts more organic producers, handlers, and importers from paying into conventional commodity check-off programs. The rule is open for comment through January 15, 2015, and is expected to become law next year.

The Proposed Exemption

USDA Withdraws Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule

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.  
 

Voice Your Support at EcoFarm to Pass the Organic Farming Act!

Join CCOF at EcoFarm as we kick off our campaign to pass the Organic Farming Act—an act to end outdated State Organic Program fees and paperwork!

California Central Coast Assemblymember Mark Stone will introduce the Organic Farming Act to update California’s state organic law. The Organic Farming Act will end unfair, duplicative, and outdated fees and paperwork while also creating a new framework for the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to support organic agriculture.

To pass the Organic Farming Act, we need your help at two critical EcoFarm events.

Voto de los Estatutos de CCOF

Para asegurar que todos los miembros certificados por CCOF estén representados a nivel de la junta directiva, los miembros deben aprobar cambios en los estatutos de CCOF que permitirán a la junta establecer nuevas organizaciones locales. Este otoño, todos los miembros certificados tendrán la oportunidad de votar para enmendar los estatutos de CCOF como corresponde. En Septiembre, los miembros recibirán papeletas y materiales y tendrán 30 días para responder. Se requiere un quórum del 10 por ciento para promulgar estas revisiones a los estatutos.
 

We Need Farmers’ Voices to Help Oppose Mega-Mergers!

The proposed mergers of Dow Chemical with DuPont, Monsanto with Bayer, and Syngenta with ChemChina could potentially reduce competition and farmers’ choices and will likely make inputs (including seeds and animal feed) more expensive. Join us in opposing this concentration of power by signing a sign-on letter on agrochemical and seed industry mergers.

Weigh in on New Regulations for Pesticide Use Near Schools

California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is accepting written comments and holding three public hearings on proposed rules that will more strictly regulate pesticide applications near schools.

The new rules restrict pesticide applications to ¼ mile or 25 feet from school sites between the hours of 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, the distance depending on the application method and the type of pesticide. Property owners must provide both annual and application-specific notification to schools in advance of all pesticide applications.

Welcome to New NOSB Members

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is a citizen advisory board that offers input to the National Organic Program on allowed materials and practices in certified organic production. Appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, the NOSB meets twice a year to review organic materials and policies.

Secretary Tom Vilsack recently appointed six new members to the NOSB who will begin serving their terms in 2016.

The new NOSB members are:

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