After three years of public hearings, numerous revisions, and intense deliberations, on April 15, 2021, the Central Coast Water Quality Control Board approved a new agricultural order regulating discharges from irrigated lands.
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.
Jenny Tucker, the deputy administrator of the USDA National Organic Program, released a policy memo on June 3, 2019 regarding land use history requirements for container based production systems. This memo clarified that all container systems “including hydroponic and other pot-based systems with or without soil must meet land requirements of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and the USDA organic regulations.” The regulations require that land must not have prohibited materials applied for three years prior to the harvest of an organic crop.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) started its Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) inspections of produce farms this spring. Produce farms with more than $500,000 in average annual sales may be contacted by CDFA in 2019 for an inspection to verify the farm’s compliance with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.
What to Expect During an Inspection
USDA published a final rule making two amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The final rule is based on public input and the November 2017 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) recommendations for livestock and handling and will be effective May 30, 2019.
The National Organic Program (NOP) issued a proposed rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The rule proposed to allow elemental sulfur for use as a molluscicide, add polyoxin D zinc salt to control fungal diseases, and reclassify magnesium chloride as an allowed nonsynthetic ingredient in organic handling.
The members of the California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) elected new leadership at their meeting during the annual EcoFarm Conference in Asilomar, California. The committee elected Karen Archipley of Archi’s Acres as chair of the committee and Jeremy Johnson of Traditional Medicinals as vice chair.
In late December, 2018, the National Organic Program (NOP) issued a final rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The rule changes the use restrictions for 17 substances allowed for organic production and/or handling, adds 16 new allowed substances, and prohibits rotenone in organic crop production and ivermectin as an allowed parasiticide.
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. The exemption does not apply to products with less than 70 percent organically produced ingredients.
The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board is updating the agricultural order that regulates discharges from irrigated farmland. A comment period is now open with comments due by 8 a.m. on January 22, 2019.