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USDA Declares Intention to Withdraw Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule

USDA published notice in the Federal Register this week that it intends to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule, which has been under development by the organic community for over a decade. The notice opens a public comment period that is open through Jan. 17, 2018.  Comments may be submitted through regulations.gov.
 

USDA Disaster Relief Available in Some California Counties

Enrollment for the USDA Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) began on September 11, 2019. More than $3 billion is available for producers affected by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019. Producers in 29 California counties are eligible for relief, including prevented planting payments for those unable to plant eligible crops in 2019.

USDA Finalizes GMO Labeling Rules

The USDA released its final rule for labeling genetically modified (GM) foods in December, two-and-a-half years after Congress passed a federal labeling law.
 
In a significant win for organic, all certified organic products, including the label categories “100% Organic”, “Organic”, and “Made with Organic” are exempt from the labeling requirement.

USDA NRCS Releases "Growing Organic" Booklet & Updated Resources

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. 
 

USDA Organic Survey to Determine Organic Crop Insurance Payment Levels

The U.S. Department of Agriculture sent the 2015 Certified Organic Survey to all known organic farms in the United States earlier this year. This survey requests information on acreage, production, and sales for a variety of certified organic crop and livestock commodities.

Of the many surveys organic farmers receive, this survey stands out in importance because the data collected will help determine the value for covered crop losses under federal crop insurance policies.

USDA Proposes Expanding Allowance for Elemental Sulfur & Reclassifying Potassium Acid Tartrate

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published a proposed rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). The proposed rule is based on public input and recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).
 
AMS will accept public comments on the proposed rule until June 29, 2018. Comments can be submitted via regulations.gov
 

USDA Recognizes Certifiers for Outstanding Contributions to National Organic Program

2019 Investing in Integrity Award
Deputy Administrator Jennifer Tucker (center) with 2019 Investing in INTEGRITY award winners at the National Organic Standards Board meeting in Seattle, Washington. Pictured left to right: Jodi Snyder and Becky Scheifele of Global Organic Alliance, Sam Welsch of One Cert, and Phil LaRocca, Mary Chramiec, and Peter Nell of CCOF.

 

USDA Removes Eight Substances off National List and Renews Three Others

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) released their 2017 Sunset final rule. The rule removes three synthetic substances and five non-organic agricultural substances from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) and renews three other substances. 
 

USDA Reopens Origin of Livestock Proposed Rule for Comments

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.

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