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CCOF Applauds USDA Announcement of Organic Equivalence Agreement with Japan

(September 25, 2013) Santa Cruz, CA - USDA and Japan announced Thursday at Natural Products Expo East a new organic equivalency agreement, finalizing many years of perseverance toward equivalence without critical variances. As of January 1, 2014, the Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries will recognize the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) as equivalent to Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS). CCOF engaged early in the agreement process, representing our more than 2,600 members by hosting visits with Japanese officials here in the United States.

Actualización sobre el Programa para México

El sector orgánico en México continúa evolucionando y creciendo. CCOF recientemente asistió a una reunión para los certificadoras orgánicos aprobadas por el gobierno mexicano para certificar bajo las normas orgánicas de México (LPO). La reunión se llevó a cabo en Oaxaca con el SENASICA/SAGARPA y las agencias que supervisan el programa orgánico de México. Las operaciones inscritas en el Programa de Cumplimiento de CCOF para México, deben estar al tanto de las siguientes actualizaciones:

Addressing Seed Purity – Part 1 of 2

This post was written by Kristina Hubbard, director of advocacy and communications for Organic Seed Alliance. She recently published an article in Agriculture and Human Values entitled, "Confronting coexistence in the United States: organic agriculture, genetic engineering, and the case of Roundup Read alfalfa."

Animals Need Access to Soil, Not Concrete

CCOF believes that organic livestock standards should require humane and ethical treatment of animals during all stages of production, including transport and slaughter. CCOF, consistent with our mission and principles, has long advocated for NOP standards that ensure outdoor and soil access.

In December 2011, the NOSB unanimously passed a recommendation on Animal Welfare and Stocking Rates that capped off several years of work on these subjects. The NOSB recommendations were consistent with CCOF and other organizations’ recommendations.

CCOF Comments on Organic Standards

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet October 28-30 in Louisville, Kentucky to review organic standards and to determine what recommendations it will make to the National Organic Program (NOP) for future rulemaking.

CCOF Focused on Moving Organic Forward

In recent weeks we at CCOF have observed a variety of activities and discussions about organic certification and organic standards.

Elaboration on CCOF's Comments on the Proposal to Extend the Expiration Date for Oxytetracycline

CCOF is committed to ending the use of antibiotics in organic fruit production. We believe that a longer time period is necessary for oxytetracycline than the current 2014 expiration date because of the continuing research in varying locations and seasons that would ensure success, the need for registration of new materials, and enough time for grower education and outreach. We would like to see an extension in the range of 2017 to 2020 for phase out; however, we support the majority position to extend the expiration date for the use of oxytetracycline to October 21, 2016.

Fall NOSB Meeting Cancelled

As a result of the government shutdown, the National Organic Standards Board meeting scheduled for October 22-24 has been cancelled. Stay tuned for further information. It is unclear if the fall meeting will be rescheduled or agenda items will be postponed until the next regularly scheduled NOSB meeting, which will be held in San Antonio, Texas, April 29-May 1, 2014.

FDA Releases Two Proposals for the Long-awaited Federal Food Safety Rules

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released two proposed rules for implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law on January 4, 2011. One of the rules is about produce safety and other is about processing. Both rules have 120-day comment periods. Additional rules related to implementation of FSMA are expected.

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