Wednesday was the third day of the four-day National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, California. At least twice a year the 15-member expert stakeholder panel meets at different locations around the country. The NOSB was created by Congress to represent the interests of the organic community, rather than allowing the industry to be dominated by corporate lobbyists, as is the custom in Washington.
Most of Wednesday was dominated by reviewing synthetic and non-organic materials that will “sunset” in 2017. For a few of them, comments were made by board members but most of the 140 materials were listed along with their uses, but with little information pertaining to potential concerns.
According to disputed new USDA rules, organic stakeholders (such as The Cornucopia Institute) must enter into the record evidence of concerns surrounding 2017 Sunset materials before this meeting for the NOSB to consider them. Comments can be submitted prior to the next meeting, when the NOSB will take an actual vote on each 2017 Sunset material; however, those comments will be “untimely” for consideration.
Under its new edicts, USDA’s National Organic Program, led by Mr. Miles McEvoy, has effectively made it impossible for interested citizens to fully participate in the important sunset process: Read Full Article »