WHITE HOUSE PETITION: Ask President Obama to Reverse USDA Coup Undermining Organic Governing Board and Shifting Power to Agribusiness Lobbyists
Stop allowing corporations to add gimmicky and risky synthetic chemicals to organics
When Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA), they created a unique and powerful citizen advisory panel, with statutory authority, to assist the Secretary of Agriculture in implementing the act. The independent National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) was a key component of OFPA when it passed Congress. Without its creation as a buffer between corporate lobbyists and an industry-friendly USDA (the agency testified against the organic legislation before its passage), it is unlikely that OFPA would have received the requisite support in the organic farming community.
Now the independence and power of the 15-member NOSB – composed of farmers, environmentalists, public interest groups, food processors, a scientist, a retailer and a certifier – is being seriously undermined. Last fall the USDA, in its most unapologetic and undemocratic power grab to date, broke with 15 years of precedent in stripping the NOSB of much of its authority and power.