Blog posts by standards

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, October 9, 2017 on advocacy, grower, standards

A bill just signed by California Governor Jerry Brown extended the deadline for cannabis growers to file documentation of their water source to October 31, 2017.    The new deadlines are specific to growers who plan to submit their growing license application to CalCannabis before January 1, 2019.   According to a message from the State Water Resources Control Board:   If you currently have a Small Irrigation Use Registration (SIUR), Permit, License, or plan on filing for an SIUR, the statutory deadlines below do not apply to you, but you will need to include appropriate documentation of your...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 2, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, regulatory, standards

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their fall meeting in Jacksonville are approaching! It is critical that members of the organic community submit public comments on the substances up for re-listing or removal from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances and the other NOSB agenda items. The votes and discussions in Jacksonville will impact future organic standards and substances allowed in organic production.   In total, 43 substances will be discussed at the fall meeting:   Crop scope...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 2, 2017 on general organic, standards

USDA’s Natural Resources Conversation Service (NRCS) updated their resources for organic farmers and farmers interested in transitioning to organic. Their organic resources have various resources such as guides, videos, fact sheets, webinars, booklets, and more.    NRCS’s newest booklet, Growing Organic: NRCS Assistance for Organic Farmers, provides a wealth of information for farmers who are interested in implementing practices that support soil health, weed management, habitat and biodiversity, irrigation and water management, pasture management, and high tunnels.   An updated guide for...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 25, 2017 on advocacy, research, standards

On Monday, over 20 CCOF members throughout Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s (R CA-01) district signed a letter urging the congressman to support H.R. 2436, the Organic Agriculture Research Act of 2017.    The letter explains that organic farmers and ranchers work hard to produce their crops, livestock, and food products, but their sector needs more funding for organic agricultural research.    The Organic Agriculture Research Act will increase annual organic research funds in the farm bill up to $50 million. These funds will ensure that researchers have ongoing support for their organic research...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 18, 2017 on general organic, standards

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) filed a lawsuit against USDA over its delay of the implementation of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule.    OTA’s lawsuit alleges that: USDA violated the Administrative Procedure Act because it delayed OLPP without any public process and also violated the same act by abusing its discretion by proposing action to indefinitely delay or shelve the rule; USDA violated the Organic Foods Production Act and its consultation provisions where industry and public stakeholders can revise, refine, and advance organic standards via the well-defined...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 18, 2017 on general organic, materials, NOSB, standards

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has released the meeting materials for their upcoming fall meeting in Jacksonville, Florida.    NOSB will discuss: Compliance, Accreditation, & Certification Subcommittee: o Proposal: Eliminating the incentive to convert native ecosystems to organic production o Proposal: Excluded operations in the supply chain (uncertified handlers) Crops Subcommittee: o Crops 2019 Sunset Reviews o Proposal: Petition - Fatty alcohols (octanol/decanol mix) o Proposal: Petition - Anaerobic Digestate o Proposal: Strengthening the organic seed guidance (NOP 5029)...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, regulatory, standards

Farmers and ranchers in the San Diego region have until August 7, 2017, to enroll in the Agricultural Order, a set of monitoring and reporting requirements that regulates pollutant discharges from agricultural lands.    Each of California’s nine regional water quality control boards are at various stages of implementing an agricultural order. The San Diego Water Board adopted an Agricultural Order for the San Diego region in November 2016.   Growers can comply with the Agricultural Order by joining a third-party group, such as the San Diego Region Irrigated Lands Group, or apply as an...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 3, 2017 on advocacy, genetic engineering, policy, standards

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has released 30 questions for input from the public regarding GMO labeling (National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard). CCOF plans to respond to the proposed questions and encourages its members to also provide input to USDA. Submit responses to GMOlabeling@asm.usda.gov by July 17, 2017.   USDA is seeking input for a proposed rule on GMO labeling to fulfill its congressional mandate to implement a mandatory GMO labeling standard. The proposed rule is expected to be released for public comment in late fall or early winter. For more background, visit...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 3, 2017 on policy, regulatory, standards

The National Organic Program (NOP) has issued a memorandum in response to the National Organic Standards Board’s (NOSB) recommendations made at its spring 2017 meeting.    At their spring 2017 meeting in Denver, NOSB, the 15-member federal advisory committee that provides advice to USDA and the Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, recommended that L-Methionine, an essential amino acid, be added to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). The National List includes allowed and prohibited synthetic, non-synthetic, and non-organic substances.    NOP responded to...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, May 8, 2017 on livestock, policy, regulatory, standards

If you support the organic rulemaking process and strong organic livestock and poultry standards, please take a moment to email the United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and tell him that the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule must be implemented without delay.  After postponing the rule for five months, this week USDA stalled again, issuing an additional six-month delay for implementation. USDA also opened another comment period on the rule with comments due June 9, asking people to weigh in on these four alternatives: Let the rule become effective. This means that...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, May 8, 2017 on advocacy, events, standards

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel will host its next meeting on May 18, 2017 in Sacramento and will vote to finalize the Healthy Soils Program framework. The Healthy Soils Initiative has five goals: Protect and restore soil organic matter in California’s soils. Establish a Healthy Soils Program that is implemented through the Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel with funding from CDFA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and from the USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service’s Environmental Quality...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, May 8, 2017 on advocacy, regulatory, standards

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has released proposed regulations for California’s cannabis cultivation and licensing program. Members of the public can submit written comments on the proposed regulations until 5:00 p.m. on June 12, 2017. Detailed instructions on how to submit comments can be found on the CDFA website. Written comments can be submitted through a printable postcard or should be addressed and mailed to: Rachelle Kennedy Department of Food and Agriculture CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing 1220 N Street Sacramento, CA 95814 Comments can also be...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 8, 2016 on materials and inputs, NOP, standards

The National Organic Program is removing the following materials from the National List: egg white lysozyme; cyclohexylamine; diethylaminoethanol octadecylamine; and tetrasodium pyrophosphate. The rule goes into effect Sept. 12, 2016. Organic products made with these materials that are already in the stream of commerce can still be sold as organic after the effective date, but products manufactured on or after Sept. 12 may not be made with these substances. For questions about how this rule may impact your operation, contact your Certification Service Specialist. For general questions...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 13, 2016 on livestock, NOP, regulatory, standards


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA)’s Agricultural Marketing Service extended the comment period for the Proposed Rule on Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices. Stakeholders now have until July 13, 2016 to submit comments. This landmark proposed rule adds numerous livestock and poultry production practices to the national organic standards. It proposes to add 19 new definitions to the standards and new requirements for livestock health care, mammalian living conditions, avian living conditions, transport, and slaughter. CCOF welcomes this long-awaited rule and urges the USDA...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, June 13, 2016 on materials and inputs, NOP, policy, regulatory, standards

CCOF and the Organic Trade Association (OTA) recently submitted statements representing the interests of organic producers in a federal lawsuit filed by the Center for Food Safety (CFS) against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which challenges the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) guidance on the Allowance of Green Waste in Organic Production Systems. The guidance states that organic standards are process-based. These processes aim to exclude pesticide residues. However, the compost may contain pesticide residues so long as those levels do not contribute to the contamination of...

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