Completed Action Alerts Archive

Action Alert: Tell USDA to Protect Organic Animal Welfare

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Don’t Let Politicians and Factory Livestock Interests Undermine the Public Partnership that Has Been the Hallmark of Organic Rulemaking

Incremental Improvements in Organic Livestock Regulations Need to Go into Effect

The USDA is requesting your input at this critical juncture to determine whether the organic livestock rule should be scrapped or become effective as planned. Help us protect the integrity of the public organic rulemaking process by making these rules effective now.

The new Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule should have been effective on March 20, but it has been delayed by the Trump administration until at least November 14. The USDA is now asking the public to revisit the already approved rule to decide whether it should become effective, be tabled, or be discarded altogether. Congress has, inappropriately, threatened to intervene as well.

The pending rule requires at least a small amount of outdoor access for poultry and improves some management practices for other types of livestock. It is essential that the practice of allowing “porches” to qualify as outdoor access for organic laying hens be ended – and this rule would be a strong step in the right direction. Read Full Article »

Take Action to Oppose New Organic Tax

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Comments Due to USDA by April 19 on Checkoff Proposal

Image source: dreamstime.com

The USDA wants public feedback on a proposed checkoff program for organics. The scheme, advocated by the industry’s largest lobby group, the Organic Trade Association (OTA), would establish a mandatory tax on farmers, food processors, distributors, retailers, and importers engaged in organic commerce. Cornucopia is calling on all good food advocates to stand together to reject this proposal.

You can help organic farmers by telling the USDA to reject this unfair checkoff proposal.

Make your voice heard today! The public comment period closes on April 19. Read Full Article »

Keep Fragile Ecosystems Wild

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

[The comment period for this issue is now closed.]

[Read Cornucopia’s comprehensive comments on this issue.]

Comment to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) by March 30

Though organic agriculture promotes and enhances biodiversity, organic regulations do not explicitly protect sensitive native ecosystems from being converted into organic production – in fact, they incentivize it!

Image source: Airwolfhound

The National Organic Program’s (NOP) three-year waiting period for land to be free of prohibited substances unintentionally incentivizes producers to convert native ecosystems, since this land is instantly ready for organic production.

By eliminating the incentive to convert native ecosystems with a rule change, producers will be encouraged to transition the right land: the 99% of U.S. agricultural land that is still conventionally managed.

Over the last two years, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has received public comments describing loss of high value conservation and fragile ecosystem acreage when farmers transition to organic production. The NOSB has been asked to review this issue and propose some incentives and disincentives to reduce conversion of high value conservation ecosystems.

Tell the NOSB to eliminate the incentive to convert native ecosystems to organic production.

Post your comments online today — deadline March 30 Read Full Article »

Keep Organics Rooted in Nutritious Soil

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

[The comment period for this issue is now closed.]

Comment to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) by March 30

When food grown without soil (hydroponic) is allowed to carry the organic label, the environmental and health benefits that underpin organic farming are lost, and legitimate, soil-based farmers who steward the land are unfairly undercut by this cheaper/industrialized growing method.

You can do something about this …
      … to protect real organic farmers and nutritionally superior food!

Hydroponic Pepper Operation
(c) Dario Sabljak/Adobe Stock

In 2010 the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) voted to prohibit hydroponics in organics.  Seven years later, the USDA has still not acted on this recommendation, turning a blind eye to the illegal organic certification of industrial-scale soil-less growers (both domestic and major importers).

Meanwhile, opposition to industrial organic hydroponic and “container” operations is growing. Organic farmers have organized and rallied to “keep the soil in organic.” Consumers are demanding nutrient dense food grown in soils high in organic matter.

Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Congressman Peter Welch, have called for a moratorium on new hydroponic organic certification.  A letter signed by 45 organizations representing over two million members also called for a moratorium. The National Organic Program still has not responded.

Please join the resistance by telling the USDA to keep the soil in organics!

Post your comments online today — deadline March 30 Read Full Article »

Sign the Proxy – Keep Organics Rooted in Nutritious Soil

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Tell the USDA Growing in Factory Farm Fish Waste/Conventional Soybean Slurry, under Artificial Lighting, is not Organic!

SignProxybutton

A few years ago, the organic community was shocked to find out that the USDA’s National Organic Program was quietly allowing the certification of hydroponic operations despite the law! Organic regulations clearly state that nurturing the fertility of the soil is an integral part of organic management.

Hydroponic Pepper Operation
(c) Dario Sabljak/Adobe Stock

Unlabeled, it is impossible for organic consumers to tell what fruits and vegetables are grown in nutrient-rich soil (impacting flavor and our health) or grown in a liquid fertilizer solution, in industrial conditions, and  imported from countries like Canada, Mexico and Holland — where it cannot legally be labeled as “organic”!

Much of the hydroponic or “container” grown fruits and vegetables are produced inside sealed warehouse-sized buildings under artificial lighting — with liquid fertilizer that could come from a myriad of different waste products or even highly processed GMO soybeans. Currently more than 100 facilities are supplying U.S. consumers with “organic” hydroponic fruits and vegetables, including the giant berry producer Driscoll’s. Read Full Article »