cows in field

National Organic Program and National Organic Standards Board

The NOC has been advocating for years for increased funding for the National Organic Program and this Farm Bill gave $5 million to the program to update and modernize its services and data compilation. The NOP repeatedly informs us that they are overstretched and have difficulties moving their priorities through the USDA and regulatory process. Hopefully, this $5 million will help speed that process.

The Origin of Livestock Proposed Rule has finally left the NOP and is working its way through the various processes of approval at USDA and other agencies, then on to the Executive Office of Budget and Management (OMB). This rule making has for a long time (6-7 years) been a priority for the NOP. Perhaps we might see the Proposed Rule published in the Federal Register by the Fall of 2014.

The NOP continues to push its new interpretation of the ‘sunset’ process, which restricts the input by producers regarding what can be used in organic production, and threatens consumer confidence in the integrity of the organic label.

For more information or to comment on this, please go to:

The NOP appears set to reduce the independence of the National Organic Standards Board by increasingly applying the regulations enacted by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). While the NOSB does come under this Act, it has historically had its own chairperson and decided on its own agenda, which has given consumers confidence in the accountability and independence of the program and the integrity of the organic seal. Too much control of this Board by the USDA will undermine this confidence and perhaps lead consumers to decide that the organic seal has lost its unique qualities.

The next NOSB meeting will be on April 29 - May 2, 2014, St. Anthony Hotel, 300 East Travis Street, San Antonio, Texas.

The NOC Pre-NOSB Meeting: April 28, 2014 9am-5:30pm
St. Anthony Hotel, 300 East Travis Street, San Antonio, Texas.