Cornucopia’s Take: The article by OFARM’s John Bobbe below was originally published in The Milkweed. Bobbe is a strong ally in stopping the flow of fraudulent organic imports into the U.S. He has recently retired from OFARM, but he assures us he will continue to work on these important issues.
2018 Farm Law Boosts Funds to Fight Organic Import Fraud
The Milkweed (Subscribe here)
by John Bobbe
Congratulations to John on his retirement!
In the 2018 farm legislation, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) along with Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), who is also an organic farmer himself, successfully got language of the Organic Farmer and Consumer Protection Act of 2018 inserted into the signed bill (S2927).
That law gives USDA more funding for organic programs, and also stipulates what USDA must do to insure organic integrity throughout the supply chain — especially for imports. Liberal use of the word “shall” leaves little to no discretion for USDA to interpret how the provisions are to be implemented. Implementation will require at least a year, if not more. The following are some of the specific provisions and language.
The new farm law provides additional funding to the NOP as follows: $15 million for fiscal year 2018, and increases funding through 2023 to $24 million. It also provides a one-time appropriation of $5 million for modernization of trade tracking and data collection systems. Read Full Article »