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 83279 signatures
Number Date Name Location Comments (optional)
83279 6 days ago Geraldine meehan amsterdam, NY We just want completely and truly organic food to be labeled organic. All carcinogens and gm vaccines should be off the list. Do not make organic food any worse than you already have, in fact, pleas...
83278 1 week ago Daniel Kafton Spanaway, WA The new standards seem to suggest that what the USDA really wants is an "almost organic" standard.
83277 3 weeks ago Denis Sullivan Boston , MA
83276 3 weeks ago Kelly Melnyk Austin, TX This new policy is unacceptable. It's a tragedy that the NOSB has become stacked with people who oppose the very values it is intended to uphold.
83275 3 weeks ago Rose Gerstner OR
83274 3 weeks ago patrick morvan west babylon, NY
83273 3 weeks ago Angela Peck Felton, CA
83272 4 weeks ago Karen Buck NY
83271 4 weeks ago Michael Wherley Eugene, OR
83270 4 weeks ago Anonymous eugene, OR
83269 4 weeks ago Tamara Alfson Hillsboro, ND
83268 4 weeks ago Oceah Clark OR Please don't weaken the rules that protect our foods from chemicals and poisons!
83267 4 weeks ago Jim Kueny MI Do the right thing - reverse the new rule
83266 4 weeks ago Erin Ely Eugene, OR We do not want to lower and/or water down organic standards.

Organic foods are certified not to contain or be produced using genetically modified organisms (GMOs), pesticides, antib...
83265 4 weeks ago Melanie Dito Newtown, PA
83264 1 month ago LEO G YOUNGER SACRAMENTO, CA OUTRAGEOUS! USDA's contempt for consumers is obvious. Corruption is evident.
83263 1 month ago Susan Syroski Dunedin, FL
83262 1 month 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 month ago CJ Goodman GA
83260 1 month 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 month ago Anonymous CA Reverse this ruling and give us back our 100% organic food!
83258 1 month ago Lisa Koester CA
83257 1 month ago Anonymous Denver, CO
83256 1 month ago Anonymous CA
83255 1 month 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.
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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