Blog posts by Peter Nell

Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Program released a proposed rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The proposed rule is based off public input and recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board from 2018. Stakeholders may submit comment on the proposed amendment by December 17, 2019. Comments can be submitted via Regulations.gov using Docket Number AMS_FRDOC_0001-1913. The proposed rule would:Allow the use of blood meal made with sodium citrate to be used as a soil amendmentProhibit the use of natamycin in organic crop productionAllow tamarind seed gum to be...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 on general organic, policy

USDA released an interim final rule to establish a domestic hemp production program. The 2018 Farm Bill directed USDA to establish a regulatory framework for hemp production. The framework will work in tandem with state production plans which must be submitted to USDA for review and approval. Hemp producers must comply with both USDA’s and their state’s regulations on the production of hemp.  The interim rule is effective October 31, 2019 through November 1, 2021. The interim final rule is open for public comment until December 30, 2019 using Regulations.gov docket number AMS_FRDOC_0001-1919...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 7, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy, regulatory

On October 1, 2019 USDA reopened the Origin of Livestock proposed rule for additional comments. The proposed rule was closed by USDA in 2015 without notice but was reopened for a new 60-day comment period. Comments can be submitted until December 2 to Regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-11-0009-1572.  CCOF highly encourages members to submit comments on the proposed rule. It is important that both dairies that came under certification before and after the initial 2015 proposed rule submit comments. USDA notes that commenters who submitted comments in 2015 need not to resubmit comment...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 7, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

Last week CCOF submitted eight written comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) ahead of their fall 2019 meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The meeting will occur Wednesday, October 23, through Friday, October 25.  NOSB is the federal advisory committee to the National Organic Program and meets twice a year to provide recommendations on substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances and the organic standards. At their spring meeting earlier this year, NOSB began their 2021 Sunset Review process and will complete the reviews of the substances in...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, policy, research

Earlier this year, CCOF Foundation launched the Roadmap to an Organic California project to highlight how organic farming addresses many of California’s toughest challenges. From climate change and water degradation to public health threats and struggling local economies, organic agriculture is a proven solution.    The Benefits Report presented over 300 peer-reviewed scientific studies showing how organic agriculture positively impacts the economy, society, and the environment. These studies demonstrate that organic farms are combatting climate change by building healthy soils that store...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, policy, research

The CCOF policy team is in the midst of researching and writing recommendations for the second phase of the Roadmap to an Organic California project. The project presents the research-supported benefits of organic agriculture  and recommends policies that address California’s toughest challenges. From climate change and water degradation to public health threats and struggling local economies, organic agriculture is a proven solution.  Phase one of the Roadmap, the Benefits Report, was released in early 2019 and represents a comprehensive scientific review of the economic, social, and...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

Last week the United States Senate Agriculture Committee passed the Agriculture Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2020. In the bill, USDA is required to issue the Origin of Livestock rule that incorporates public comments from the proposal rule within 180 days of the bill becoming law. The language matches a House of Representatives bill that passed in June, showing bipartisan congressional support for the rule.  The Origin of Livestock rule was based on six recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board and clarified and amended the requirements for how dairy producers can...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 23, 2019 on advocacy, NOSB

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their fall meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 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.  Submit Oral & Written Comments Written comments are accepted through October 3, 2019 via Regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-19-0038.  NOSB will accept oral comments through two...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 9, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will host their second yearly meeting in Pittsburgh on October 23-25, 2019. Organic stakeholders can register now to speak at a pre-meeting webinar and at the meeting in Pittsburgh.  The NOSB will host two webinars on October 15, 2019 and October 17, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Those interested in the webinar must register before October 3, 2019. Commenters are allotted a three-minute comment slot and can only register for one commenting slot on either day.  The NOSB will also accept in-person comments in Pittsburgh. Commenters...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) released their meeting materials ahead of their upcoming meeting on October 23-25, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comments via Regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-19-0038 until October 3, 2019. Additionally, oral comments will be accepted in-person and through pre-meeting webinars. NOSB reviews all substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) every five years to determine their status in organic production. NOSB discussed the substances at their...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, August 19, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, general organic, policy

The Ceres Community Project, a nonprofit that promotes the production of and access to healthy, sustainable food as the foundation of health, released a new report describing their efforts to advance policy and systems change to support a healthy, just, and sustainable world. Ceres provides medically tailored organic meals to families experiencing health crises.  Ceres, a CCOF partner organization, is based in Marin and Sonoma counties in California and is focused on three primary policy and systems change goals:Prove the case for medically tailored meals and other food as medicine...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 3, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy

Two CCOF-supported bills to streamline industrial hemp regulations in California have cleared their house of origin. Senator Scott Wilk’s (R-Santa Clarita) Senate Bill (SB) 153 received no opposition votes through the Senate and was voted into the Assembly. Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry’s (D-Winters) Assembly Bill (AB) 228 also did not receive opposition votes through the Assembly and was voted to the Senate. Both bills will now move through the senate and assembly before being sent to the governor’s desk for signature into law. SB 153 revises provisions regulating industrial hemp...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, May 6, 2019 on general organic, policy

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has announced open registration for industrial hemp cultivation within the state. Industrial hemp cultivators must submit an application to their county agricultural commissioner to receive approval to grow industrial hemp. Cultivators must submit the application form with an annual registration fee of $900 for each county they intend to cultivate industrial hemp in.  Current California law requires registrants to obtain a laboratory test report indicating the THC content of their industrial hemp prior to harvest. CDFA is currently...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 22, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The deadline for nominations to fill upcoming vacancies on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is quickly approaching! USDA is seeking:– An environmental protection and resource conservation expert– An organic farmer representative– An organic retailer– Two organic handlers  Nominations must be submitted by May 17, 2019 and include a resume and an AD-755 Application form, and must be postmarked on or before May 17, 2019. Nominees must meet the criteria of NOSB membership. Members of NOSB participate in committee meetings, bi-monthly subcommittee conference calls, review materials and/...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 22, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is now accepting comments on the GRO Organic initiative. Generate Results and Opportunity for Organic (GRO Organic) is a private-sector initiative for a voluntary industry-invested organic research, promotion, and education check-off like program. It will be collaboratively designed and implemented by organic stakeholders.  Comments on the initiative can be submitted through April 30, 2019 to GROideas@ota.com. Anonymous responses will not be accepted. Submissions must include name, location, and business affiliations so that the GRO Organic Steering...

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