Washington, DC – Organic means healthier food production for you, the environment, and those who farm. So, ensuring that the public trusts the organic food label is critical to the growth of organic. Please join our Save Our Organic campaign to defend the organic food label from USDA changes. Unfortunately, the organic label will be undermined by changes that USDA announced on its website on March 6.
Reduce the rigor of the ongoing decision making process on allowed synthetic materials in organic production; Take away transparency in the decision making process; Limit public participation in policies and procedures governing organic practices and standards; Undermine the responsibility of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and organic community to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on organic issues; Change organic policy making from one driven by the public process to one controlled by USDA, which can choose to dismiss critical issues.
Trust in the organic label over the last 20 years has been built on principles of collaboration among the stakeholder groups (farmers, consumers, and producers) and USDA. Because of the democratic and open decision making process, public trust in the organic label has grown rapidly along with the tremendous growth of the organic market. We want this to continue!
Congress established the NOSB, bringing together the diverse interests in the organic community, to adopt recommendations on policy and what materials are allowed in organic production. Through this process, the interest groups represented on the NOSB must concur that the allowance of a synthetic material is based on the latest science and an evaluation of its need, given alternative practices and natural materials. The process is based on the understanding that without concurrence from key groups -from farmers and processors to consumers and environmentalists- the organic label may lose the public’s trust. However, this will all change under the USDA-announced changes.