(Beyond Pesticides, September 13, 2012) Are you concerned about industryâ€™s attacks on organic? Do you want to make sure that organic meets your expectations for safety and environmental protection? Do you care about the health of those who grow and harvest the food you eat?
Do you want to keep hazardous synthetic substances out of organic food production and processing? Do you want to ensure that all ingredients, including “inert ingredients,” are reviewed? And that your concerns are heard by regulators through an open process with maximum public input?
If so, then take a few minutes to let the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and USDA know what you think. Let it be your voice rather than your silence that influences the future of organic as it grows. Submit your comments by September 24, 2012.
Keep Hazardous Synthetics Out of Organic
Your voice is needed to ensure that the NOSB keeps out of organics synthetics that do not meet the core principles and values of organic because they are:
(i) hazardous to the environment or people,
(ii) incompatible with organic principles and systems, and
(iii) not essential and therefore not needed to produce organic food.
These core principles apply across the board to proposals under consideration by the NOSB at its upcoming October 15-18, 2012 meeting and during the public comment period ending September 24, 2012.
In this context, we need your help in order to keep new proposed synthetic substances out of organics:
(i) In crop production -oxidized lignite from coal, sulfuric acid in poultry manure as a fertilizer, PGML as a broad spectrum miticide;
(ii) In livestock production -synthetic amino acids available from natural sources; and
(iii) In handling -synthetic ingredients in infant formula.
And ensure that all ingredients, including so-called â€śinertâ€ť ingredients, are fully evaluated as the organic law requires of all synthetic ingredients.
Improve Public Involvement and Transparency in the Decision Making Process
Make sure that as organic grows,
(i) the public and practitioners are able to inform the decision making process with timely and critical information, as proposed through the public communications recommendation before the NOSB, and
(ii) with full public disclosure by NOSB members of conflicts of interest.
How to Submit Your Comments
Go to the Beyond Pesticides’ Keeping Organic Strong webpage, to read about the issues before the NOSB, see our summary and positions on the issues, and follow the easy instructions and link to ensure your views are counted.
Why Your Voice Is So Important
Organic practices are the solution to pesticide pollution. It is critical, therefore, that public health and environmental advocates, and consumers of organic food protect and strengthen the integrity of organic certification -so that it grows to become the mainstream food production and land management system. More than other areas of standard setting, organic rules are subject to a transparent, public process with the oversight of the National Organic Standards Board. While the board is charged by law with maintaining the National List of allowed substances in organic production and making related recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture, the boardâ€™s decision making process evaluates health and environmental issues, and limits the allowance of any synthetic input to only those deemed essential in a clearly defined organic system.
For more background and suggested language for your comments on organic, see Beyond Pesticidesâ€™ Keeping Organic Strong webpage. Submit your comments by September 24th. Thank you!