SOS–Safeguarding Organic Standards

A network of environmental, consumer and trade organizations, including the OCA, has recently teamed up to "assist" the National Organic Standards Board in strengthening organic standards and closing loopholes in the National Organic Program (NOP). These loopholes are currently allowing a myriad of poorly made products to pollute the organic market and undermine the integrity of the organic label. Some examples:

  • Most consumers aren't aware that the USDA Organic Standards allow "organic" meats and dairy to be raised on factory style farms.

  • Despite organic labeling claims, nonfood products like cosmetics and fertilizers are not even being regulated by the USDA's NOP.
  • The National Organic Program says it's okay to label the dairy from a cow as "USDA Certified Organic," even if the animal has been treated with synthetic hormones and drugs for most of its life.

All of these loopholes currently exist in the standards and are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous businesses. In October the National Organic Standards Board will be meeting to discuss some of these issues. The OCA, along with other members of this new organic standards Alliance, will be presenting preliminary recommendations to the board regarding these issues. Stay tuned to the OCA for further updates.

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