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Update on Court Ruling Against USDA Compost Guidance

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.

USDA Announces Rulemaking Process on Organic Appeals

Last week, USDA announced it will propose rulemaking on adverse actions appeals process within the national organic standards. 
 
The proposed rule will streamline the appeals process and ensure that the National Organic Program (NOP) can more efficiently stop producers from marketing noncompliant products as organic. 
 
The rulemaking is part of USDA’s broad strategy to strengthen oversight of organic imports.

USDA Appoints Dr. Jennifer Tucker as Deputy Administrator of NOP

USDA announced the appointment of Dr. Jennifer Tucker as Deputy Administrator of the National Organic Program (NOP) under the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Dr. Tucker previously served as the Associate Deputy Administrator of the NOP. As Deputy Administrator of the NOP, Dr. Tucker will oversee the development and enforcement of the national organic standards. 
 

USDA Grants Temporary Variance to Certified Organic Livestock Producers

In response to requests made by CCOF and other certifiers, the National Organic Program (NOP) approved a temporary variance request pertaining to the livestock pasture standards. The variance applies to organic ruminant livestock producers located in California counties that have been designated as primary natural disaster areas.

USDA Launches Organic Learning Center Featuring CCOF-Produced Content

Last week the National Organic Program (NOP) launched the Organic Integrity Learning Center, an online platform that will provide free organic education geared towards certifiers, inspectors, reviewers, and compliance specialists. CCOF-produced videos were featured in a lesson titled “Sound and Sensible Organic Certification.” These videos were produced with a grant from USDA’s Sound and Sensible initiative to ease the process of transition and certification for producers.

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