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Climate Change & Organic Farming

This article was written by Renata Brillinger, California Climate & Agriculture Network.

This is a good news and a bad news story. First, the bad news…

Cold Copiers and Hot Phones!

It's a New Year!

Our first CCOF staff meeting of the new year began with sharing personal resolutions and words of wisdom with each other. Our vows to get in better shape, be more present, and take on new challenges match well with CCOF’s organizational goals:

Comment Opportunity on Critically Overdrafted Groundwater Basins in California

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is updating the list of critically overdrafted basins in the state as part of its responsibilities under the new California groundwater management law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014.

Comment Period Open for NOP Draft Guidance on Calculating the Percentage of Organic Ingredients

The National Organic Program has issued a draft guidance "Calculating the Percentage of Organic Ingredients in Multi-Ingredient Products (NOP 5037)" that is available for public comment through February 6, 2017.

Although the USDA organic regulations establish labeling categories for organic products based on the percentage of organic ingredients in the product, certifying agents have interpreted the requirements for calculating the percent of organic ingredients differently.

Comment Period Open on State Organic Program Registration Requirements

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s State Organic Program (SOP) is accepting public comments on a recent proposal to expand crop reporting requirements. Comments must be submitted no later than September 11, 2017. 
 
Background
 

Comment Periods Extended for Draft Guidance and Sunset 2017 Changes

The National Organic Program announced that two comment periods have been extended.

Complimentary Consumer Education Cards!

Are your customers confused about what organic means? Order a complimentary batch of the 2018 “Why Buy Certified Organic?” postcards today! The cards include information for consumers about what organic means and why it’s important to buy organic products.
 
In 2017, Fresno Commons, “a for-profit corporation and non-profit land trust, working to grow vibrant, community-owned local food system in the Fresno and San Joaquin Valley,” ordered cards to include in their CSA boxes to help educate their customers about the benefits of buying organic. 
 

Congressional DARK Act Supporters Undermine GMO Labeling Efforts

In July, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would stop all state and local regulation of foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), including GMO labeling requirements. The vote was 275 in favor and 150 opposed.

The bill, dubbed the “Deny Americans the Right to Know” or DARK Act, was widely seen as an effort to undermine state-level labeling of GMO foods. CCOF wrote letters to representatives who voted on both sides of the issue, praising those who voted against it and expressing disappointment toward those who supported it.

Congressman Garamendi Cosponsors Organic Integrity Bill

Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA-3) joins fellows California Congressional delegates in supporting organic integrity with his cosponsorship of the Organic Farmer and Consumer Protection Act of 2017, H.R.3871.
 
H.R.3871 would ensure a fair playing field for organic producers and protect consumer trust in the organic seal by strengthening the USDA National Organic Program’s oversight of domestic and international organic production.
 

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