Breaking: Time’s running out! Urge the National Organic Standards Board to Stand Up for Organic and Keep Out Illegitimate Corporate Hydroponics and Genetic Engineering from Certified Organic production. The NOSB needs to hear from you TODAY! Please sign our Petition NOW! – EVERY signature counts! >>
Dear Food Democracy Now! member,
When Congress passed the landmark Organic Foods Production Act in 1990 it created the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) - the unique expert 15-member citizen’s body - to advise the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) about what is appropriate for organic production. The critical role of the NOSB is to protect the interests of the organic community from attacks by corporate lobbyists sent by Industrial Agriculture to water down organic integrity.
In a decisive vote in 2010, the NOSB voted not to allow Hydroponic Production – industrialized, artificial, soil-less production systems totally reliant on imported inputs - in organics. This was a courageous - and correct position - because it recognized and respected that for the one hundred years organic farming has been around it has always been a revolutionary system of food production based on growing in and improving the soil.
So central is soil to the foundational concept of organic that its very name - ‘Organic Farming’ – originates from the life-giving Organic matter content in the soil which organic farmers know to cherish and work hard to protect and increase. As organic consumers, we all understand that Healthy Food comes from Healthy Plants grown in Healthy Soil. Soil is and must forever be the foundation of organic farming.
Citizens have been outraged by the reckless actions of the USDA-NOP which - ignoring that major NOSB ruling against Hydroponics – has allowed Corporate Hydroponic operations to have their production labeled ‘Certified Organic.’ USDA’s bending the rules for Corporate Hydroponics is an outrage and MUST STOP!
Take a stand to protect organic standards! Organic farmers need your help today. Tell the NOSB to it's time to Keep the Soil in Organic and Keep new Genetic Engineering out of Organic! Every voice counts!
Much of this fake “organic” hydroponic production is being imported from countries like Canada, Mexico and Holland. Incredibly, this produce would not qualify for organic certification in much of the rest of the world, including some of the countries in which it is grown.
Now Gene Editing Techniques are Being Promoted to be Included in Organic Standards by OTA / UNFI
Even worse than the current efforts to undermine soil-based organic farming is a brand new effort by the corporate organic self-promoters at the Organic Trade Association (OTA) and UNFI announcing they want to consider new “gene editing” techniques to be allowed in organic food production. That’s right, the same people who sold us out on GMO labeling are now trying to sneak the latest genetic engineering techniques into organic standards.
In a September 22 blog earlier this year, OTA board member and UNFI lobbyist Melody Meyer wrote about allowing "gene editing" - a new form of genetic engineering - into organic standards – a clear sign that the OTA and the corporate paymasters at UNFI want to include these new techniques over the objections of virtually all organic farmers and consumers.
“If some gene editing techniques are forever banned from organic seed breeding, will we eventually become a Luddite bevy of breeders? Will it slow down our ability to make the changes needed to adapt organic agriculture to the climate changes we are witnessing?
If forever expelled will that brilliant university student of the future want to proceed with organic breeding using outdated tools? Will we be putting ourselves at a disadvantage in the race to heal the planet of unsustainable farming practices?”
Beyond just asking questions, it’s clear that the OTA/UNFI’s Meyer is trying to use the biotech industry’s own fear tactics to try to get novel ‘gene editing’ techniques (that have not yet proven safe) included in organic standards – this is an outrage and clearly being coordinated behind the scenes in Washington DC.
The Comment Period - prior to the NOSB’s next meeting next month in St. Louis - closes this week! We must let the NOSB know we will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them in standing up for organic integrity. The NOSB must resist the USDA’s corporate favoritism and their reckless disregard for organic soil-based principles.
It is critical that we let the NOSB know we want them to stand up for organic! We must warn the NOSB to confront the USDA and protect organic consumers and Certified Organic family farmers. It’s not fair for American organic farmers to have to compete with bogus – and unidentified - Corporate Hydroponic tomatoes, peppers, greens and fruit. We must urge the NOSB to support organic family farmers and Keep the Soil in Organic.
Please SHARE this important Petition far and wide with friends and family today!
Remember, democracy is like muscle, if you don’t use it you lose it.
Thanks for supporting Organic Integrity!
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! Team
“If You Care About Organic, Show up for Organic”, UNFI Organic Matters blog, Melody Meyer, September 22, 2016.