Targeted regulatory, legislative, and marketing news and information for the organic business community.


NOP compliant microorganisms scheduled to expire in 2016
Posted 174 days ago
NOP compliant microorganisms scheduled to exp…
Mark your calendar for Aug. 19 residue sampling webinar
Posted 174 days ago
Mark your calendar for Aug. 19 residue sampli…
July edition of The Organic Scoop now available
Posted 174 days ago
July edition of The Organic Scoop now availab…
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Organic Exemption from Conventional Commodity Check-off

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its proposed rule to exempt more organic farmers from paying into conventional commodity check-off programs on December 16. The proposed rule would extend the exemption for organic farmers, handlers, marketers and importers to products that are certified “organic” or “100 percent organic” and also to those who produce, [...]

Sample letters make it simple to weigh in

Use OTA’s sample letter as a start for your own comments. The italicized portions at the beginning will help personalize your comments. OTA’s draft comments will be circulated in the coming days, and you can refer to those if you would like to re-emphasize our primary concerns and recommendations. OTA is urging members to weigh [...]

Instructions on submitting comments to USDA

OTA has outlined detailed instructions for submitting comments to USDA online via regulations.gov, or via U.S. mail. Let us know if you want your voice to be heard! Because of the tight timeframe (and holidays), please contact both Marni Karlin, OTA’s Vice President of Government Affairs/General Counsel, AND Laura Batcha, OTA’s Executive Director/CEO, if you [...]

OTA claims hard-won victory in check-off exemption for organic

OTA today applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) announcement of a proposed rule to exempt more organic farmers and handlers from paying into conventional commodity check-off programs, saying this is an important step that recognizes the organic industry’s unique needs, and lets the industry decide where its dollars are best spent. The proposed exemption, [...]

Shape OTA comments on proposed rule for check-off exemption

The U.S. Department of Agriculture published its proposed rule to exempt more organic farmers from paying into conventional commodity check-off programs in today’s Federal Register, with a 30-day public comment period ending Jan. 15. OTA will be reaching out to stakeholders to review the details of the proposed rule and to shape comments for submission. [...]

OTA submits final comments to FDA on revised FSMA proposals

On behalf of its members, OTA submitted final comments to FDA on the supplemental proposed Produce Safety and  Preventive Controls for Human Food Rules. OTA’s comments were guided by three critical factors: 1) FDA’s mandate to establish science-based and risk-based minimum standards that will minimize the risk of serious adverse health consequences or death; 2) FDA’s mandate to develop rules that do [...]

USDA seeks public comment on new EQIP rule

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday published an interim rule outlining how it will improve the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), one of USDA’s largest conservation programs. The interim final rule includes program changes authorized by Congress in the 2014 Farm Bill. USDA has established a 60-day comment period, ending Feb. 10, 2015. Comments [...]

Congress avoids government shutdown

Before leaving town for the year, Congress this past week took care of funding the government. After passing the House last Thursday, the $1.1 trillion government spending omnibus to fund most of the government through Sept. 30, 2015, passed the Senate late Saturday night. Provisions for agriculture programs include level funding of $8 million for [...]

Leadership chosen for next House Agriculture Committee

Congressman Mike Conaway (R-TX), the incoming chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, has named eight new Republican members who will serve on the committee in the next Congress. They are Jackie Walorski (Indiana), Ralph Abraham (Louisiana), Rick Allen (Georgia), Mike Bost (Illinois), Tom Emmer (Minnesota), John Moolenaar (Michigan), Dan Newhouse (Washington), and David Rouzer (North Carolina). [...]

Raise your voice for organic in Washington

Dubbed “Organic Week in Washington,” by industry insiders, OTA’s Policy Conference & Hill Visit Days (April 14-16, 2015) is comprised of three distinctly different days of activity, beginning with a day for members to conduct trade association business, an informative and thought-provoking policy conference, and a final day, when members will take the organic message to [...]