“Intent” in Organics when it’s convenient: NOT

April 2nd, 2015 | 0 Comments

I was discussing with a certifier a substance that is being fed to some organic cows that is, lets just say, problematic. It’s components probably contain areas than fall into some grey areas in the organic rule. However, from a strict reading of the rule, certifiers have been allowing it. Some object to it’s use because it doesn’t meet “the intent”. Well now we have organic dairy farmers trying to meet the organic “grazing rule” dealing with the uncertainties of mother nature and when and how much it will rain, who have been putting their cows out on grass to pasture since in some cases late December. They have the full “intent” to get the cows out and graze. However, that early grazing with the poor regrowth of grass we are likely to see unless we get a lot more regular rain in the area, is creating situations where those producers will have a very hard time meeting the actual regulatory rule of 30% dry matter intake average being consumed as pasture for a minimum grazing season of a minimum of 120 days. For those who can’t meet the rule, and we really won’t know until at least May, will they get a break for their “intent”? Probably not, unless the Secretary issues a temporary variance. People hate to hear it but “Intent means nothing”. In other words if the intent does not match the regulation then change the regulation to meet the intent. But in the mean time you have to follow the regulation even if it doesn’t quite meet the intent.

Engineered Nanotechnology prohibited from use in Organic Production and Handling

March 30th, 2015 | 0 Comments

The National Organic Program has finally codified (most of) a NOSB recommendation on engineered nanotechnology in organic production and handling. All engineered nano particles are synthetic. There are no non-synthetic engineered nano, even if it has been engineered from an organic Ag product. This designation requires that all engineered nano HAS to be petitioned to the NOSB for inclusion on the National List. As much as some people wanted, nanotechnology is not included within the definition of Excluded Methods. Excluded methods was defined to cover GMO and refers to genetic alteration, not physical.

NOSB Livestock Subcommittee recommend to list Acidified Sodium Chlorite

March 26th, 2015 | 0 Comments

The recommendations for the Spring 2015 NOSB meeting have been posted online via the NOP website. The Livestock Subcommittee has recommended to “List” Acidified Sodium Chlorite on 603 for use as a teat dip in organic livestock production. Thank you LC members for reconsideration on this substance. Also, thank you Government shut down in 2013, if not for you, this substance would have been lost.