Organic Action Alert

08.21.2007

Organic Action Alert

This just in from the Organic Trade Associaton:

Act now: Keep key regulations in place

Manufacturers, do you want to keep making your products?
Farmers, Retailers, Certifiers, Consultants, Importers, Exporters, Distributors, Brokers, Ingredient Suppliers, and Shoppers, do you want to want to keep growing the availability of organic goods?
If you said yes, you need to comment NOW to keep key regulations in place.

Your voice is needed to counteract organized opposition to the use of select non-organic agricultural ingredients when organic ingredients are not available. The USDA and the Office of Management and Budget will rely on numbers of comments as well as the content of the comments, so send your comment NOW.

Send your comment to United States Department of Agriculture NOW in support of the Interim Final Rule that lists the specific non-organic agricultural ingredients that can be used in organic products. Comments are due by close of business on Monday, August 27, 2007.

Even if you already commented on this issue before May 22, 2007, YOU and YOUR COLLEAGUES need to comment TODAY to keep building the organic market.

It's easy. Here's how:
1. Copy the suggested comment from below.
2. Click: http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main
3. Click "All Documents Open for Comment" (just under "Submit Comments")
4. Scroll to find Docket Number AMS-TM-07-0062 (far left column).
5. Click the yellow comment icon at the far right to open a comment form.
6. Fill out your name and location.
7. Paste in the suggested comment from below:



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Dear NOP:
RE: Docket Number AMS-TM-07-0062; TM 07-06IF: National Organic program (NOP)-Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Processing)

As a member of the Organic Trade Association, I support this interim final rule as it stands.

While my business may not use any or all of the non-organic agricultural products listed, I recognize that in order for the trade as a whole to grow smoothly, it is necessary for these products to be able to be used if an organic version is not available.

With the U.S. District Court order issued as a result of actions that challenged the National Organic Standards in June, 2005, and USDA's agreement, now all potential non-organic agricultural ingredients must be petitioned for use. The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) diligently reviewed a sizable number of petitions; only 38 were recommended. I appreciate NOSB's process, and that this rulemaking was not a determination of commercial availability of the petitioned materials.

Listing these products is a safeguard against possible supply disruption, and allowing these non-organic minor ingredients when they are commercially unavailable will only develop the market, and therefore boost the demand, for their organic counterparts.

Previously, any non-organic agricultural ingredients were being allowed in the remaining 5 percent of the ingredients in products labeled as "Organic" if an organic version were unavailable. The list proposed therefore represents a dramatic reduction in the potential allowance of non-organic agricultural products in that 5%.

Of course, all other provisions of the regulations pertaining to non-organic agricultural ingredients in organic products remain in place, which means that these non-organic ingredients are not genetically engineered, grown on farms treated with sewage sludge, or irradiated.

Keep growing organic agriculture. Keep the regulations in place as they are.




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Need to know more before you act? Remember, comments are due by Monday, Aug. 27, so act today.

Background information
Additional, more detailed comment template

Thank you for taking a few minutes to encourage the expansion of organic farming.

Questions? Contact Tom Hutcheson, OTA Regulations and Policy Manager or Holly Givens OTA Public Affairs Advisor

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