Natural Foods Merchandiser

NOP: What's next

Since the organic rule was passed, several developments have occurred:

  • Personal care. NFM reported that The National Organic Standards Board recommended in November 2009 that the USDA crack down on the misuse of the term “organic” for personal care products. “(An) ever-increasing stream of personal care products making organic claims continues to flow into the marketplace,” said the board, which is charged with helping the USDA develop standards for substances used in organic personal care production. The action encourages the USDA to police organic claims on personal care products and develop a complete federal organic personal care product program.

  • Access to pasture. In response to complaints that organic livestock spent little time grazing on pasture, in October 2008, the USDA published a proposed amendment to the livestock and related provisions of the NOB titled “National Organic Program (NOP)—Access to Pasture (Livestock).” The document states: “By specifying in greater detail that producers are to provide ruminants with pasture, recognize pasture as a crop and incorporate pasture into their organic system plan, producers will have better records and tools for managing pasture and demonstrating compliance with the livestock regulations.” Barbara Haumann, spokeswoman for the Greenfield, Mass.-based Organic Trade Association, said that comments were solicited during the past year in order to shape the final rule. “The final rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register by the end of January,” says Haumann.

  • Organic funding. The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Act) includes a fivefold increase in mandatory funding for organic programs. Check out the specific organic provisions.

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