Organic Standards Undermined During Government Standoff

A key National Organic Standards Board meeting and discussions scheduled for October 17 have been cancelled.  Meanwhile, the USDA-controlled National Organic Program is making another attempt to undermine organic standards and the role of the 15-member National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). Organizations that are organic watchdogs, such as Cornucopia Institute, Consumers Union, Food and Water Watch, and Organic Consumers Association are protesting this latest move, described as “a power grab by the USDA that arbitrarily changes the rules for approval of synthetic and non-organic materials used in organics.”

Formerly, and under the law that created the National Organic Program, the NOSB was granted explicit authority to approve or disapprove synthetic additives for the “materials list” attached to organic standards under the program.  Those additives also were subject to a “sunset” provision that terminated their inclusion on the approved list of substances without specific NOSB approval by a 2/3 majority to retain a substance on the approved list.  Now, according to former NOSB chair Barry Flamm, “The USDA has now turned the entire sunset process on its head.”

Here is a link to The Cornucopia Institute: http://www.cornucopia.org/.

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