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USDA Finalizes GMO Labeling Rules

The USDA released its final rule for labeling genetically modified (GM) foods in December, two-and-a-half years after Congress passed a federal labeling law.
 
In a significant win for organic, all certified organic products, including the label categories “100% Organic”, “Organic”, and “Made with Organic” are exempt from the labeling requirement.

USDA NRCS Releases "Growing Organic" Booklet & Updated Resources

USDA’s Natural Resources Conversation Service (NRCS) updated their resources for organic farmers and farmers interested in transitioning to organic. Their organic resources have various resources such as guides, videos, fact sheets, webinars, booklets, and more. 
 

USDA Organic Survey to Determine Organic Crop Insurance Payment Levels

The U.S. Department of Agriculture sent the 2015 Certified Organic Survey to all known organic farms in the United States earlier this year. This survey requests information on acreage, production, and sales for a variety of certified organic crop and livestock commodities.

Of the many surveys organic farmers receive, this survey stands out in importance because the data collected will help determine the value for covered crop losses under federal crop insurance policies.

USDA Proposes Expanding Allowance for Elemental Sulfur & Reclassifying Potassium Acid Tartrate

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
 

USDA Recognizes Certifiers for Outstanding Contributions to National Organic Program

2019 Investing in Integrity Award
Deputy Administrator Jennifer Tucker (center) with 2019 Investing in INTEGRITY award winners at the National Organic Standards Board meeting in Seattle, Washington. Pictured left to right: Jodi Snyder and Becky Scheifele of Global Organic Alliance, Sam Welsch of One Cert, and Phil LaRocca, Mary Chramiec, and Peter Nell of CCOF.

 

USDA Removes Eight Substances off National List and Renews Three Others

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) released their 2017 Sunset final rule. The rule removes three synthetic substances and five non-organic agricultural substances from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) and renews three other substances. 
 

USDA Reports on Farm Bill Implementation

USDA issued an update on its progress in implementing provisions of the new farm bill, which was signed into law December 2018. Here are some highlights:
 
TITLE I – Commodity Programs
  • Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy): On March 22, 2019, Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that dairy producers who elected to participate in the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Cattle Program in 2018 can now retroactively participate in the MPP-Dairy for 2018.

USDA Seeking Organic Producers to Serve on NOSB

USDA is accepting nominations for the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The deadline to submit nominations is May 17, 2019.
 
Nominations must include a resume and an AD-755 Application form, and must be postmarked on or before May 17, 2019.

USDA Terminates Organic Check-Off

USDA announced the termination of the rulemaking process for the national certified organic marketing order. The marketing order was commonly known as the organic check-off. USDA reported that the rulemaking process was terminated because of “uncertain industry support and outstanding substantive issues with the proposed program.”
 

Value of California Organic Processed Products Reaches $11.65 Billion

The latest report from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on organic processed products shows that gross sales were $11.65 billion in 2017. This represents 17 percent growth from 2016, when organic processed product sales were $9.94 billion.
 

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