OSGATA Addresses Organic Integrity at NOSB Meeting

 

Next week the four-day meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will be held in Stowe, VT, on October 26-29. OSGATA President and Maine certified organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen will testify on behalf of OSGATA’s membership about the critical need to maintain integrity in the organic industry, and more specifically in organic seed.

“The organic community is at a cross-roads,” said Gerritsen. “USDA policy continues to favor large-scale operations and the result challenges organic integrity and creates unfair competition for family-scale organic farmers.”

The NOSB was established as the official liaison between the organic community and organic industry regulators at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) through Congress’s adoption of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA). Many organic stakeholders feel the single greatest duty of the NOSB is to safeguard the integrity of organic food and provide a level playing field for organic farmers of all sizes.

OSGATA has continually provided input to the citizen-advisory NOSB on myriad matters of organic integrity. In advance of the fall meeting,  OSGATA submitted written comments regarding GE contamination prevention and also speaking out against the allowance of hydroponics in organic agriculture.

Organic watchdog organization, Cornucopia Institute, predicts hydroponics to be a hot topic at the upcoming meeting as many certified organic farmers are upset that the National Organic Program (NOP) overruled the NOSB and is allowing soil-less food production to be certified.

Read OSGATA’s full comments here.

Click here for the press release.

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