The semi-annual meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will be held in Washington, DC. Because the NOSB makes decisions largely determine the future of organic food (which is the advisory board for the National Organic Program or NOP), ANH-USA. He has been committed to the board for some time.
After reviewing the agenda, we note two elements of concern.
As reported last fall, the issue of the elimination of vaccines GMOs in organic production has stagnated for years. The stated reason NOSB inaction is the difficulty of distinguishing of GMOs in non-GM vaccines, given the rapid pace of technological advances.
In the spring of 2016 their meeting materials, the NOSB seems to be moving in the establishment of a more complete definition of genetic modification. That’s a start, but still far from eliminating vaccines GMOs in organic production.
The problem is that even if an updated definition of “genetically modified” capture the different techniques used to create vaccines OMG, there are still likely to be a lot of confusion among certifiers and producers as to which they made specific vaccines on the market using “methods excluded.” to address this problem, in 2012 the NOSB NOP asked to help identify registered with the USDA as “OMG” or “non-GMO” vaccines. the USDA evasively, saying that creating a list would imply that there is something wrong with GMOs vaccines. (Well, no!) USDA also complained that inaccuracies in the list could create liability problems.
This problem has been stretched too long. It is time for the NOSB and NOP to work collaboratively to ensure that vaccines created with “excluded methods” such as genetic modification are not allowed in organic production. It is “difficult” to do so is no excuse.
Toxic “inert” ingredients Pesticides
One of the main functions of the NOSB is creating lists of materials and substances that are allowed or not allowed in organic production. One of the problems in recent years have been exceptions for “inert” synthetic chemicals in pesticides that are considered “inactive”, even though, as we have recently pointed out, many so-called inert gases are actually very active and very toxic. As some pesticides are composed almost entirely of inert, it is especially important for these chemicals to be reviewed by NOSB in a timely manner and failed in organic production.
Despite this urgent need, the NOSB has been dragging its feet for years when it comes to review and decide on the lists of supposedly inert chemicals, some of which are known endocrine disruptors. Following a change in the way the EPA classifies inert, NOSB recommended the creation of a working group at its meeting in April 2010 to work with the EPA to re-evaluate and update their own list of inert. Then, at its meeting in October 2010, the NOSB renewed its exceptions for inert considered that could pose a minimal risk ( “List 4” inert EPA) until October 2017. In May 2012, it recommended NOSB due date for inert with an “unknown” level (EPA “toxicity” inert Schedule 3).
it used to be that any exemption of organic standards is about to expire or “sunset” on a specific date, unless restored by a two-thirds “decisive” votes the NOSB. Now, however, it is just the opposite: a synthetic material can be allowed to remain in an organic food indefinitely unless a two-thirds majority votes to remove it from the list of exempted, and that’s a big problem. If the NOSB not vote to allow inert to be removed, they could remain in organic production indefinitely.
A specific group of chemicals is reviewing NOSB are nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE). These can cause hormonal disorders  among other negative health effects. The NOSB must move quickly and decisively to remove organic production NPE.
Consumers often pay a high premium for buying organic products to promote health and prevent toxic pesticides and other contaminants that have come to characterize our industrial farming system. These consumers deserve an organic label that meets these promises and prevents companies from taking shortcuts, not one that is mired in crony capitalism offers.