Inside Organics Blog

USDA’s failure to enact new livestock standards upends organic rule-making process
November | December 2017

Acting in the interests of the organic sector, the Organic Trade Association’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to legally take USDA to task for not honoring its rule-making mandate as a federal agency. Read more.

Should we achieve organic integrity through flexibility or consistency?
September | October 2017

We must have consistency in what is allowed. The rules should cover all aspects of the organic production, no matter what system is being certified. Read more.


Protecting organic integrity: Too little, too late?
July | August 2017

The integrity of U.S. organic products has recently come into question. The National Organic Program falls short of the enforcement and accreditation standards that have been long-established in Europe. Read more.


Organic label means more than just farming with approved inputs
May | June 2017

Viewing organic mostly by inputs used versus overall method of production results in two different definitions of organic integrity. Inputs might define what is allowed or not, but the system distinguishes organic from non-organic. Read more.


Weigh in on organic proposals, materials that impact your farm
March | April 2017

The spring in-person meeting of the NOSB will be April 19-21 in Denver, Colorado. Numerous materials are being considered as part of sunset. The NOSB needs to know if you rely on these items or think they should be removed from the National List. Read more.


In time of change, step forward to advocate for sustainable, organic farming
January | February 2017

To preserve what we’ve worked for in the organic standards and continue the expansion of organic production in this country, we need to continue to be strong advocates. Read more.


Time to update organic regulations to protect native ecosystems
January | February 2017

The NOP’s three-year waiting period for land to be free of prohibited substances unintentionally incentivizes producers to convert native ecosystems since this land is instantly ready for organic production. Read more.


Say goodbye to ivermectin for organic livestock
November | December 2016

By the time you read this, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will have had its 2016 fall meeting in St. Louis. The agenda included a petition to remove the long-time allowed material for controlling parasites in livestock, ivermectin. Read more.


inside-organics-qr-codeNew law plays hide-and-seek with GMO labeling
September | October 2016

On July 29, 2016, President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that requires all food packages to indicate whether or not they contain genetically modified Ingredients (GMOs). So what does this bill actually require? Not a clear on-package statement…. Read more.


Organic animal welfare needs to be gold standard
July | August 2016

The recently proposed rule for organic animal welfare has caused a ruckus from the farm to the marbled halls of Congress. The 90 days given for public comment has given all sides time to delve into the proposed changes, and provide the NOP with suggested improvements to make this addition to the organic regulation practical and meaningful.  Read more.


MOSES organic specialist moves from ‘peanut gallery’ to hot seat on standards board
May | June 2016

After many years of attending National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meetings as a member of the “peanut gallery,” I sat on the other side of the table for the first time at the recent board meeting in Washington D.C. Read more.


Elders pass torch to new stewards of organic movement
March | April 2016

Within the organic community, there is a generational shift occurring in leadership. Many of the organic pioneers who brought organic from the margins to the mainstream are reaching a time in their lives…. Read more.


State of organics in 2016 looks hopeful
January | February 2016

In the world of organic agriculture, we continue to face challenges but have good reason for optimism, too. The general public, government agencies, private companies and nonprofits continue to wake up to the benefits organic agriculture provides. Read more.


Spread word about benefits of organic to counter negative media stories
November | December 2015

Each year, organic products make up a higher percentage of the food and fiber market in the United States and around the world. With success comes negative media attention…. Read more.


Sterile landscape not solution to feeding world
September | October 2015

Challenges to our food system continue to grab headlines—avian influenza, bacteria in meat, contaminated produce, herbicide-resistant weeds. Read more.


Organic certification needed to reclaim ‘organic’ label
July | August 2015

Being a certified organic farmer or certified organic operator of any type is an achievement that reflects a producer’s commitment to a healthy planet…. Read more.


Let’s get serious about taking ingredients off §205.606
May | June 2015

While most organic producers are aware of the National Organic Program’s National List of prohibited natural and approved synthetic substances, many may not be aware of the last section 205.606.  Read more.


Organic needs user-friendly certification process to meet U.S. production demands
March | April 2015

Organic consumption in the United States has reached a point where domestic production can’t meet the demand.  Read more.


Organic farms hurt by pesticide drift lose more than money
January | February 2015

The incursion of unwanted toxic materials on organic land does more than just hurt the bottom line of the organic farmer; it sets back the progress….  Read more.


Approval of new GM crop-herbicide combo leads country in wrong direction
November | December 2014

As organic farmers and supporters, we know instinctively and from experience that our method of agricultural production is the right direction for a healthy future. Read more.


Organic farmers need unified ‘voice’ as organic sector grows
September | October 2014

Organic farmers understand the benefits of building coalitions to nudge along local, state, regional and national policies that support organic agriculture.  Read more.


Time has come to decide organic status of hydroponics
July | August 2014

The USDA organic regulations are not always clear in describing what type of production can carry the organic label. Hydroponic crop produc­tion is one of these gray areas…. Read more.


Is ‘big’ bad and ‘small’ beautiful?
May | June 2014

Organic agriculture could be considered a victim of its own success. As consumer demand for organic food has grown, so has the interest in organic products from food conglomerates and large retailers. Read more.


DCF 1.0Farm bill includes support for organic, including Certification Cost Share
March | April 2014

A 5-year farm bill was signed into law on Feb. 7, 2014. Read more.


young corn rowsGMOs, organic: “Coexistence” in the belly of the beast
March | April 2014

Protection of minority rights is a foundational principle of our republic, and it is time for this protection to be extended…. Read more.


Aud's fall corn fieldEfficiency or Democracy? NOP changes ‘sunset’ policy without public input
January | February 2014

The National Organic Program (NOP) recently modified the way materials on the National List are reviewed at “sunset.” Read more.


After FSMA CartoonProposed Food Safety Regulations put America’s Family Farms at Risk
November | December 2013

Anyone who cares about locally grown food–and everyone who grows it–should be alarmed about the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed food safety regulations. Read more.


USDA-organicEfforts to Strengthen Organic Label Hit Roadblock
September | October 2013

The regulations governing organic agriculture in the United States, while being unique in some of their strict provisions and oversight, are still part of the overall U.S. legal system. Read more.


blue sky fall empty fieldCan Organic be Perfect?
July | August 2013

At a meeting I recently attended a consumer representative stated she wanted “organic to be perfect.” This statement brought many questions to my mind. Read more.


kale field

Changes Improve Organic Crop Insurance, but Issues Remain
May | June 2013

In response to the USDA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit of organic crop insurance, the Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced changes in early March…. Read more.


drying onions

Food Safety Regulations – Not Ready for Prime Time
March | April 2013

It seems almost every month over the past few years there has been a large recall of fresh produce, meat or processed foods due to the presence of microbiological health hazards. Read more.


close-up soy rows

USDA Biotech Committee Report: The good, the bad and the ugly
January | February 2013

In November 2012, the USDA Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (also called AC 21), delivered its report…. Read more.


HarrietHarriet Behar, Senior Organic Specialist
Office: 608-872-2164


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