At a recent Congressional Farm Bill Hearing, the powerful Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman, Pat Roberts from Kansas, put forth unprecedented derogatory opening statements and featured testimony that strike at the very core of organic integrity – the National Organic Standards Board. This unique citizen’s review board is a legal entity constituted to ensure that all organic stakeholders have equal access and input into the process for setting and maintaining high organic standards.
However, in concert with agribusiness lobbyists behind the scenes, Senator Roberts declared that the standards board is dysfunctional, fails to represent large scale growers and needs to be altered by opening the formative Organic Food Production Act of 1990 to make statutory changes. Opening the law would subject organic’s tough standards to numerous weakening amendments that would allow industrialized farms to easily qualify for the organic label.
This Hostile Takeover attempt is a BIG DEAL and we need to get All Hands On Deck to help defend and strengthen organic.
Step One is already in gear. Numerous longtime organic organizations, coalitions and businesses from all around the country are participating in a forceful letter of solidarity addressed to the Senate and House Agriculture Committees, speaking in one voice to prevent the gutting of the Law and Standards Board that protects organic integrity.
Coming soon, Step Two is for grassroots groups to orchestrate a HUGE and LOUD retort to our Congressional delegations. Look for Alerts from your state’s NOFA Chapter; get active and help spread the word. All of NOFA Nation’s 14 Senators and 53 Representatives have to hear directly from a large number of constituents that this attempted Takeover is unacceptable – and they need to help support and strengthen organic instead.