Organic Consumers Association

Save Organic Standards! Tell USDA Secretary Vilsack to Reverse Rule that Weakens Organics

Under pressure from the Organic Trade Association, representing some of the largest players in the organic and natural food segment, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has once again weakened the standards for organic.

Tell USDA Secretary Vilsack: Save organic standards! Reverse the NOSB’s new rule that weakens organic standards.

Without any input from the public, the USDA changed the way the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) decides which non-organic materials are allowed in certified organic. The change all but guarantees that when the NOSB meets every six months, the list of non-organic and synthetic materials allowed in organic will get longer and longer.

The USDA’s new rule plays to the cabal of the self-appointed organic elite who want to degrade organic standards and undermine organic integrity.

For consumers, farmers, co-ops and businesses committed to high organic standards, the USDA’s latest industry-friendly move is a clarion call to fight back against the corporate-led, government-sanctioned attack on organic standards.

For consumers, this also means that the list of synthetic and non-organic ingredients allowed in organic will just get longer and longer, making reading organic labels and choosing among organic foods more complicated, confusing and time-consuming.

The USDA didn’t give the public an opportunity to comment on the change, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune to public outcry.

Please sign and share our petition to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack asking him to reverse this disastrous new rule. We’ll deliver the petition to National Organic Program Director Miles McEvoy at the next NOSB meeting Apr. 29-May 2 in San Antonio.

1-25 of 83265 signatures
Number Date Name Location Comments (optional)
83265 1 day ago Melanie Dito Newtown, PA
83264 6 days ago LEO G YOUNGER SACRAMENTO, CA OUTRAGEOUS! USDA's contempt for consumers is obvious. Corruption is evident.
83263 6 days ago Susan Syroski Dunedin, FL
83262 1 week ago Victoria Smedley Jersey Shore, PA I am furious that the USDA is weakening the integrity of our organic standards. I have been a part of the organic revolution since the early 1980s. Now, because I don't trust the standards anymore...
83261 1 week ago CJ Goodman GA
83260 1 week ago Pamela Walker Houston, TX All of us who eat have the right to know how and where our food is produced. USDA NOP should defend and extend this right, not undermine and destroy it.
83259 1 week ago Anonymous CA Reverse this ruling and give us back our 100% organic food!
83258 1 week ago Lisa Koester CA
83257 1 week ago Anonymous Denver, CO
83256 1 week ago Anonymous CA
83255 1 week ago Renee Burkhead Mount Vernon, WA Do not change the rules for Organics. Monsanto, and the U.S. of A are just trying to kill all of it's citizens, just like they did to the American Indian.
83254 1 week ago Sherry Eborn-Fovel Park City, UT 84098, UT
83253 1 week ago Anonymous Yardley, PA
83252 1 week ago Suzanne Ferroggiaro and Family Grass Valley, CA
83251 1 week ago Carol Nagle Napa, CA We buy organic because WE DON'T WANT CHEMICALS IN OUR FOOD! Please don't weaken our organic standards!
83250 1 week ago Prisca Foures East Syracuse, NY
83249 1 week ago Alfonso Olguin CA Why would you place all at risk? If you've stopped caring, move aside and let someone who care ls do the job. We trust you to have our best interests at heart. Stop defrauding us. Please. Stop.
83248 2 weeks ago Cydney Henderson Bakersfield, CA Please reverse this ruling. I want organic standards protected. I want to be sure when I am eating organic that I am being protected from synthetic materials.
83247 2 weeks ago Erica Martenson Napa, CA Once again, it's government by the corporations, of the corporations, and for the corporations.
83246 2 weeks ago alex dragovich navarre, OH
83245 2 weeks ago Richard Griggs Kannapolis, NC
83244 2 weeks ago debbie lushina cloverdale, OR please know that we citizens of this great country are becoming so disheartened that the agencies our taxes pay for and that are suppose to keep the playing field fair, keep bending for the big po...
83243 2 weeks ago Wells Hively Marthasville, MO
83242 2 weeks ago Linda Price Napa, CA The organic movement should be protected by the USDA -- not undermined.
83241 2 weeks ago John Osborne OR If the USDA remains complicit in the process of soiling the organic label - those of us who support the organic farmer and organic principles will no longer have a label in which we can rely upon.
The "organic" label has become confused because legislation has sought to accommodate mainstream market leaders. Whose market flanks which have become weakened by genuine organic companies and farmers. The USDA has a lengthy history of weakening organic standards and thereby strengthening mainstream interests - at the expense of smaller farms, local producers and principled farmers.

If mainstream corporations want to complete in these markets, let them compete on the basis of the principles which have been established by the founders and practitioners who abide in the principles and historical legacy of the organic food movement.

Protecting the constitution of the United States is important because of the principles which it represents. Similarly, the principles of the organic movement
should be protected by USDA. Sadly, unfortunately and disturbingly the USDA has become an accomplice in undermining the practitioners, standards and beautiful history and ecology of organic agriculture.

Mainstream corporations must be made to play by the same rules and principles which have been established by the pioneers of the organic food industry.

The USDA should not allow mainstream players to extend mainstream practices into organic farming. Nor should the USDA pick winners and losers in this market by adopting rules which favor mainstream producers at the expense of local producers.

The USDA may require a wholesale change in its purpose, mission and staff. So that it can protect and maintain the principles and values of organic farming instead of manipulating markets.'); return false;">...
Next ->


The National Organic Standards Board is a 15-member advisory committee appointed by the US Department of Agriculture Secretary to make decisions about synthetic and non-organic materials allowed in certified USDA Organic food. With 10 out of 15 members’ approval, a synthetic or non-organic material can be added to the National List. Every five years each non-organic material must be reviewed in a Sunset Process. Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture changed the rules of Sunset. For the first time, at its next meeting (Apr. 29-May 2), the NOSB will be operating under the new rules

Under the original Sunset Process, 5 years after a non-organic material was added to the National List, it would be removed from the List unless the National Organic Standards Board voted with a two-thirds majority to keep the material on the List. Industry would be given 5 years to find organic versions of necessary non-organic materials, and when the 5 years were up, the non-organic material would be phased out or “sunsetted.” Now, the process is reversed. Each non-organic material will stay on the National List unless the National Organic Standards Board votes with a two-third majority to remove it. 

The 15-member National Organic Standards Board, appointed by the Agriculture Secretary, is always stacked with industry reps that consistently vote with Big Food against consumers. Currently, this includes employees of, certifiers of and consultants to Driscoll’s, Organic Valley, Horizon, Zirkle Fruit Company, Earthbound Farm, Whole Foods Market and other industry stalwarts. The Board’s industry-weighted membership guarantees that the ten votes need to remove a non-organic material stand little chance of being garnered.

Read OCA’s full article on the NOSB rule change