Cornucopia codirector Mark Kastel and lead scientist Dr. Linley Dixon will report live from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in Washington, D.C. You can get the play-by-play on Twitter or on our website for the three-day meeting that starts Monday, April 25.
The NOSB meets twice yearly to vote on recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture regarding the National Organic Program (NOP). The NOSB determines which synthetic/non-organic farm inputs or food ingredients are allowed in organics using these criteria: safety for human and wildlife health and the environment, essentiality, and compliance with other requirements in the law. The NOSB also advises the USDA Secretary on organic policy issues.
Cornucopia champions organic integrity by supplying the NOSB with independent research on materials and organic policy items. Our work to inform the NOSB on behalf of all organic stakeholders is a critical counterbalance to the corporate agribusiness and food processor lobby that provides one-sided, industry-friendly research in an attempt to sway Board votes in their favor, thereby weakening organic standards.
On behalf of our membership and those committed to the spirit of organics, The Cornucopia Institute submits thorough written comments for every NOSB meeting, and encourages everyone in the organic community to do the same. The public comment period for this meeting is now closed, but you can review Cornucopia’s analysis of all public comments submitted for the upcoming meeting here.
Cornucopia’s Dixon and Kastel, along with our organic farmer allies, will be providing oral testimony next week highlighting multiple issues within the National Organic Program (NOP), including:
- Corporate-friendly changes to the NOSB’s Policy and Procedures Manual
- The potential renewal of the controversial additive carrageenan for use in organic food
- Cornucopia and Sierra Club requesting a ban on use of oil and gas fracking wastewater for irrigation in organics
- Business executives holding NOSB seats reserved for farmers
- Cornucopia’s call for new management at the NOP
You can view our previous coverage of the last NOSB meeting, in fall 2015, here.