USDA/NOSB/Organic Issues

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is an expert citizen panel, created by Congress and charged with advising the Secretary of Agriculture on organic rulemaking and policy.

The NOSB meets twice a year to vote on recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture regarding the federal organic program.

But the NOSB does more than just advise. No synthetic/non-organic farm inputs or food ingredients are allowed unless the NOSB has determined that they are safe for human health and the environment, that they are essential, and compliant with other requirements in the law.

To a large extent, votes taken by the NOSB determine the future of organics, and corporate executives and lobbyists yield tremendous influence at NOSB meetings. While the NOSB certainly has not approved every petitioned material, there has been a distinct correlation between the size and the political clout of the corporation backing a petitioned material and its likelihood of approval.

To counter this slow erosion of the integrity and meaning of the organic label, and to counter biased and corporate-funded research and materials supplied by lobbyists, Cornucopia produces and supplies the NOSB with accurate, thoroughly researched information on agenda items.

Corporations and trade associations have their lobbyists, and Cornucopia is committed to representing the interest of the public, including organic farmers and their organic consumers-allies.

Our detailed comments to the NOSB can be found below.

Spring 2014 meeting, San Antonio, TX
Written Comments
Analysis of submitted written comments

Spring 2013 meeting, Portland, OR
Written Comments
Analysis of submitted written comments

Fall 2012 meeting, Providence, RI
Written Comments
Analysis of submitted written comments

Spring 2012 meeting, Albuquerque, NM
Written comments
Testimony by Dr. Joanne Tobacman on carrageenan and its harmful impacts on human health

Read the Organic Watergate white paper