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Your Comments Needed Before Midnight, April 3

The spring 2020 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting has been moved online. For the first time, the public can listen to the meeting from home. The Cornucopia Institute will follow along and keep you informed via web updates and live tweets during the public comments on April 21 and 23 and during the meeting itself on April 29 and 30. Watch our news feed for that post.

Cornucopia is focused on our collective health, access to clean, nutrient-dense food, and the livelihoods of farmers who produce organic food and contribute to the health of the planet. We object to the USDA’s refusal to follow the recommendations of the NOSB–its own advisory board.

In 2017 the NOSB recommended disallowing the use of conventional inulin-oligofructose enriched (IOE), whey protein concentrate, and Turkish bay leaves in organic products because organic options had become commercially available. Organic handlers are permitted to use a non-organic ingredient only if the organic ingredient is commercially unavailable.

Based on comments from the industry, the National Organic Program (NOP) instead opted to keep these ingredients on the National List, permitting their use in organic food for the next five years.

Now IOE, whey, and Turkish bay leaves are up for sunset review again.

As the NOSB previously concluded, organic versions of these conventional ingredients are commercially available. And the industry has had five additional years to build supply lines.

Continuous improvement is one of the central tenets of organic food production; authentic organic farmers steward soil and the best handlers seek the highest quality organic ingredients for their products.

Share your support for the 2017 NOSB recommendation to remove these conventional ingredients from the National List. The open comment period ends midnight ET on April 3. If you would like to offer oral comments during the webinar, sign up on the NOP website as soon as possible.

Your comment could address any of these concerns:

  • Conventional IOE, whey, and Turkish bay leaves are no longer essential ingredients in processed products and should be removed from the National List.
  • The National Organic Program should respect the NOSB’s advisory powers and enact their recommendations in a timely manner.
  • The NOSB should put pressure on the NOP to enact their 2018 recommendation to remove the incentive to convert native ecosystems to organic production.

Review the meeting materials and information and submit your written comments (Docket # AMS-NOP-19-0095) by 11:59 pm ET on April 3, 2020.

For more guidance on submitting effective comments, read these tips on Regulations.gov.

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