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National Organic Program

USDA delays Obama’s organic livestock standards for review

File comments at regulations.gov after USDA/AMS posts notice today in the Federal Register

The USDA is today publishing a notice in the Federal Register to further delay and reconsider new mandates for handling and transporting livestock and providing avian “living conditions” for poultry raised as organic food. Without the action, the new requirements under the National Organic Program would have taken effect today. Meat and poultry products labeled as… Continue Reading

Inspector General again finds weaknesses in organic imports

Consumers buying pricey organic produce would likely be upset if they knew the imported fruits and vegetables they pay premium prices for are sometimes doused with chemicals when they reach the United States. A new report by USDA’s Inspector General looks at the National Organic Program’s international “arrangements and agreements” and finds them badly in need of… Continue Reading

Head of USDA’s organic program steps down after 8 years

The USDA’s National Organic Program will have new leadership as of October when Miles McEvoy steps down after eight years at the helm. McEvoy, who has been deputy administrator of the National Organic Program within USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, announced his departure in a Sept. 10 letter he said he sent to the “organic community.”… Continue Reading

Should the boost in funding for organic farming survive in the new administration?

Opinion

And By Jay Lehr President Obama tripled the budget and staffing at the offices of the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP), only to see American organic acreage flatline during his tenure. The $9.1 million might seem like a rounding error for Washington D.C. But what 43 organic staffers actually did during Obama’s tenure will surprise… Continue Reading

Controversies loom for National Organic Standards Board

When the National Organic Standards Board meets this week in St. Louis, its 15 members will confront some particularly controversial agenda items involving whether certain substances and production methods are acceptable for use in food items certified as organic. The NOSB is an citizen advisory group responsible for considering and making recommendations to USDA on a… Continue Reading

One year later, White House still sitting on organic aquaculture standards

The folks who write POLITICO’S Agriculture Tip Sheet were celebrating an anniversary Tuesday. Not their own, but the one-year anniversary of USDA’s proposed organic aquaculture standards being hung up in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) at the White House. What POLITICO calls “the first ever standards for cultivation and production of organic fish and… Continue Reading

Judge strikes down USDA compost guidance, orders a do-over

An industry trade group representing California and Arizona produce growers isn’t happy with a recent federal court decision striking down government guidance for using composted municipal green waste on organic farms. In a statement released June 21, Western Growers of Irvine, CA, expressed disappointment in the June 20 ruling by U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley of the Northern… Continue Reading

Organic vs. Non-Organic: What’s the Difference?

This is part two in a series of three articles on organic foods originally published by Food Sentry on March 31, 2013. Read part one here: The Low-Down on Organic Foods. With the basics behind us of what constitutes an organic product under the National Organic Program (NOP), we can move forward to comparing organic… Continue Reading

USDA Caution on Organic Fraud from China

Although there’s no evidence that certain extracts falsely labeled as organic were sold in the U.S., the Department of Agriculture is nonetheless warning organic distributors and processors to be aware of a fraudulent organic certificate being circulated by an uncertified operation in China. The certificate falsely represents hibiscus, jasmine and beet root extract powders as… Continue Reading