Completed Action Alerts Archive

Tell Organic Regulators: Protect Native Ecosystems and End Fraudulent Organic Imports

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

[This action alert is over.]

Comment to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) by April 4

Regulatory loopholes permit destruction of the environment in pursuit of profit, and lack of enforcement by the USDA allows fraudulent imports to pollute the organic marketplace.


Source: St. Paul Girl, Flickr

Although organic agriculture is intended to promote and enhance biodiversity, organic regulations do not explicitly protect sensitive native ecosystems from being converted to organic production—in fact, they incentivize it!

Unlike farmland which has to forgo agrichemicals for a minimum of three years before transitioning to organic production, investors can take wild forests, grasslands, and other native ecosystems and plow them up, turning them into agricultural land that then qualifies for organic certification immediately.

Now the NOSB is considering some additional regulatory language that will help stop organic producers from destroying valuable native ecosystems. This move is both needed and overdue; these additions to organic regulations are important to prevent more valuable wild ecosystems from being turned into agricultural lands. Read Full Article »

Tell the Trump Administration Not to Undermine the Democratic Governance of Organic Food and Farming

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

[This alert is over.]

USDA Should Enact the Proposed Rule Improving Enforcement of Organic Livestock and Poultry Living Conditions

Don’t Let Factory Livestock Interests Undermine the Organic Label

Screened-in Porch as “Outdoor Access”

The USDA recently announced its intent to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule (OLPP) from the National Organic Program. This move comes after successive delays by the agency and in spite of massive public comment in favor of implementing the rule.

Help protect the integrity of the public organic rulemaking process by submitting your comments decrying this unprecedented move by the USDA.

By the USDA’s own account, they received over 47,000 comments when the agency asked whether they should implement, delay, suspend, or withdraw the OLPP as submitted. Over 40,000 commenters supported the option to implement the OLPP as planned. In striking contrast, only 28 commenters supported the option to withdraw the rule (presumably representing corporate agribusiness interests).

What is at stake? The OLPP would require a set amount of outdoor space for poultry and improves some management practices for all livestock under the organic label. Most importantly, the OLPP would close a loophole allowing some factory farms to use small screened-in porches as “outdoor access” for laying hens. These industrial “organic” farms confine as many as 200,000 birds in a single building. Read Full Article »

Don’t Water Down Organics — Keep Soil in Organic Agriculture

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

[This action alert is over.]

Sign the Petition Opposing Approval of Industrial Hydroponics by October 30

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is considering a proposal at its meeting at the end of this month that would allow the organic certification of hydroponics and its use in container growing.

“Feed the soil not the plant.”
The long-time mantra of founding organic farmers

Current regulations, based on federal law, require careful stewardship of the soil as a prerequisite for granting organic certification to farmers.  This approach adds organic matter to the billions of organisms living in healthy soil ecosystems, who then feed and nurture plants that give us superior taste and nutrition.

Hydroponic greens grown in solution
Source: Horticulture Group

Big money and powerful corporate lobbyists want their piece of the growing organic pie. They are pushing for allowance of a hydroponics environment for producing your fruits and vegetables.  This scheme is barred from organic certification in Canada, Mexico, and the European Union — yet they are shipping their hydroponic produce here, and the USDA is allowing them to label it organic! Read Full Article »

Organic Regulations Should Protect Pristine Environments

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

This alert is over

Close Regulatory Loopholes that Incentivize the
Conversion of Wild Land to Organics
Comment by October 11 to the National Organic Standards Board

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!

Irrigation on an “organic” dairy in Texas

Burning down the rainforest to plant “organic” soybeans, or irrigating the Southwestern desert, often paving the way for factory-farm “organic” dairy production, needs to stop. These pristine lands have never had agrichemicals applied, so they can immediately be certified organic.

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has proposed new regulations that will provide protections for these ecosystems by removing this incentive. This move is both needed and overdue; these additions to the organic regulations are important to prevent more valuable wild ecosystems from being turned into agricultural land. Read Full Article »

Stand Up for Authentic Soil-Based Organic

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

Industrial Hydroponics Poised to Take Over

Testify at Florida NOSB meeting/attend farmer rally

The semi-annual National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting begins October 31 in Jacksonville, Florida, with a focus on the controversy swirling around hydroponics and organics.  At issue is the rise of soil-less hydroponic production, much of it imported and on a gargantuan industrial scale. The USDA has been allowing these operations to claim certified organic status despite their reliance on liquid fertilization and lacking any relation to soil fertility building.

USDA Secretary Perdue tours a hydroponic farm
Source: USDA

You can speak up for true organics by testifying at the meeting.  But you need to sign up now to ensure access to one of the limited speaking slotsYou can send written comments to the NOSB as well.

You can also sign up to testify over the phone. Although a greater investment in time and money, being there in person wields tremendous power. The NOSB greatly respects the testimony of real farmers.

In addition, a lunchtime rally for soil-based organic agriculture is planned for Tuesday, October 31 in Jacksonville to put pressure on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to uphold organic integrity.  The rally is supported by leading organic farmers, consumers, and good food activists. Read Full Article »