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The No Organic Checkoff Coalition submitted to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA) a list of 1,888 signatories to a petition urging the agency to reject a proposal to create a new “research and promotion” program, also called an organic checkoff program. The Coalition also submitted a letter opposing the checkoff signed by more than 60 organic organizations asking for the USDA to end the checkoff proposal. Two Coalition partners submitted petitions with a total of 19,592 signatures to stop the checkoff. The coalition represents 31 organizations and more than 6,000 organic farmers from the Western, Midwestern, and Eastern United States.
NODPA submitted over 17 pages of comments in opposition to the proposed organic checkoff under the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996 (the Act) and many other organizations submitted detailed comments against the proposed rule. Over 2000 individuals have written unique individualized letters to the USDA documenting why they oppose the checkoff.
All organic producers need to recognize that as soon as an organic checkoff is established, we will lose the ability to be exempt from paying into checkoffs. The choice would be either paying into an organic checkoff or a conventional one.
The timeline for any decision by USDA on what happens with the organic checkoff is unpredictable. The only prediction is that a decision to move forward or not will take the USDA many months, perhaps over a year to complete the process. We will keep everyone updated on the process and subsequent actions and in the interim, folks can find more information at www.noorganiccheckoff.com.
Posted: to Policy in the News on Tue, Apr 11, 2017
Updated: Tue, Apr 11, 2017