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NOSB unanimously supports organic continuous improvement bill

Advisory board also urges USDA to implement organic animal welfare rule

Maggie McNeil
(
mmcneil@ota.com
(202) 403-8514
)
Washington , DC
US
 (
May 3, 2021
) — 

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on Friday expressed unanimous support for the recently introduced Continuous Improvement and Accountability in Organic Standards Act (CIAO), saying the legislation respects the work of the NOSB in clarifying and updating national organic standards.

The federal advisory board also unanimously passed a resolution calling on the USDA to “re-issue as final the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule…without further delay.”

Wrapping up NOSB’s 2021 Spring Meeting, NOSB Chair Steve Ela said the board had been polled on the CIAO legislation, and that all members were in favor of the bill. “I think this really respects the work of the NOSB that has been talked about often today….Again, I want to stress that the board is unanimous in its support for this.”

The bipartisan bill, introduced on Friday, is supported by a wide coalition of organizations. Ela  expressed thanks to “all the groups who worked to get this legislation introduced.”

The legislation requires USDA to advance and implement recommendations from the organic industry in a timely manner and to ensure the continuous improvement of organic standards. It requires USDA to develop an action plan for clearing the backlog of unimplemented NOSB recommendations; creates a system of accountability for advancing future recommendations in a transparent and expedited timeframe; and requires USDA to report to Congress on the results of accreditation audits of third-party certifiers and their implementation of new regulations.

Regarding the OLPP, NOSB unanimously endorsed a resolution in 2017 calling for the immediate implementation of the final regulation. In Friday’s resolution, NOSB said that “Though 4 years have passed since 2017, the board, and the organic community, remain unified in our call for the implementation of OLPP. Today we vote again, as a unified board, and ask for the immediate implementation of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule.”

The Organic Trade Association is currently involved in a lawsuit with USDA over the agency’s withdrawal of the OLLP rule.

Visit our website for more information on the OLPP and CIAO.


The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing over 9,500 organic businesses across 50 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA's Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect ORGANIC with a unifying voice that serves and engages its diverse members from farm to marketplace.