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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Protect Organic Labeling Now!

I just received this e-mail blast from NOFA-NH and thought it was important and I'm passing it along to you.

News Alert
Protect Organic Labeling Now!
Response Deadline: Tuesday, October 12th.

Please write a Letter of Concern to National Organic Standards Board, (NOSB) petitioning for the protection of vital labeling standards for organics. By taking action now, you will be helping secure the future of organic food in America.

The National Organics Standards Board will be meeting in Wisconsin on October 25-28. There are some critical issues on its agenda, all aimed at protecting the integrity of the organic label.

Communicate your thoughts and ideas directly to members of the NOSB. Highlighted in blue in the paragraphs below are some simple suggested comments you can include in your letter. The staff person at NOSB, who reads the myriad comments must be able to quickly ascertain your position.

Please make your comments personalized by using your own letterhead or email address, and writing style, as more and more federal agencies and departments are discounting comments that come "in bulk" or look like they copy, paste, and email.


Organic Wine: Many well-thinking domestic winemakers want to add sulfites, a synthetic preservative, to their wines and still label them organic. Existing organic wineries are upset at the chance that sulfites could be allowed, as they have carved out a successful organic niche market and would feel betrayed. Please do not allow sulfites to be added to the list of approved organic additives for our wine industry.

So-called "organically raised" factory farmed chickens: The handful of giant industrial organic egg operations provide more than 80% of the country's "organic" eggs. Yet, these chickens "have access" to outside, free space but rarely if ever get fresh air. These industrial giants complain that they would have to leave the industry if they were forced to have their hens outdoors. The discussion about adding animal welfare provisions to the federal organic standards will be on the agenda. Please develop a strict set of animal welfare standards for organic chicken farmers so that their hens spend quality time each day in the outdoor air.

Synthetic Omega Oils in Baby Food: This is a simple one. A member of the baby food industry wishes to add synthetic omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to its baby food. But these synthetics are processed with hexane, a petrochemical solvent already prohibited by the NOSB. But the manufacturer is asking for an allowance and rule change. Please do not change the rules on allowing the hexane extraction process to be used in organic ingredients, such as the omega-3 and omega-6 requests from Martek Biosciences.

Written Comments: The National Organic Standards Board welcomes your comments in writing, on their fall 2010 recommendations and discussion documents via www.regulations.gov (preferred) or via mail (instructions provided in the Federal Register Notice (PDF)
Written comment deadline: Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In-person Comments: Contact Lisa Ahramjian at nosb@ams.usda.gov or ph: 202-720-3252 to reserve a 5 minute slot, noting the desired date and topic.
In-person request deadline: Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thank you for taking time to help us maintain the integrity of our organic principles and standards.

Remember: the organic label belongs to us!
If you have important news to share relating to organics, please email your submission to eleanor@nofanh.org.

Eleanor Moyer, Office Manager


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