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Keep the Organic in Organic

Do you like knowing that your organic food was grown with the appropriate safety measures? Do you feel comforted knowing that the government takes real, tangible steps to ensure poisons are kept out of food labeled as “organic?” The National Organic Standards Board is considering numerous changes to these safeguards and is accepting public comments through this Sunday. Please stay informed and pass this link along:

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

Number of Entries : 1023
  • Larry Jacobs

    It is misleading to represent this as “supporting organic agriculture”. There is strong disagreement amongst organic growers regarding opinions expressed by Beyond Pesticides. We support Beyond Pesticides but some positions if adopted make farming organically significantly more challenging, increasing organic production costs, food safety risks and likely result in decreased organic acreage and farmers. We encourage Beyond Pesticides to find common ground with organic farmers on their material recommendations and not divide the organic industry. We need to work together. The pesticide industry is united against us. We can’t afford to be divided when companies like Arystra promote highly toxic chemicals like methyl iodide and influence regulators.

    Larry Jacobs

    Jacobs Farm / Del Cabo

  • Jay Feldman

    Thanks, Larry, for your comments and what you do as an organic farmer. We understand that not all organic farmers will agree with the positions that Beyond Pesticides takes on these critical materials and cultural practice issues. The positions of Beyond Pesticides are developed in consultation with many in the organic community, including producers.

    More importantly, it is our hope that our input to the decisions of the National Organic Standard Board (NOSB) will help promote a broad discussion on the substance of these critical issues of organic integrity –while addressing the needs of growers, concerns relating to environmental protection, and the expectations of consumers. In fact, the organic law embraces a vision of vibrant and healthy debate on issues of practices and materials, and that is why, as you know, all the allowed materials/substances in organic production and processing sunset every five years. In this context, we would appreciate hearing your perspective on specifics regarding the positions that Beyond Pesticides has taken. It would be helpful to hear where our analysis of the science, law, and alternative practices (as cited in our comments) can be corrected, amended, and/or better informed. We are open to it! We view the public comment period as an opportunity to dialog and further inform our final positions before the NOSB votes on these issues.

    Re. methyl iodide, we are united. We agree that removing bad actor chemicals is important (Beyond Pesticides has been working to remove individual chemicals for decades), especially ones like methyl iodide in conventional or organic agriculture. (By the way, as you may know, we believe that the current organic law does not actually allow methyl iodide to be used in certified organic production in the case of annually planted strawberry starts.) More broadly, though, Beyond Pesticides is working to advance organic farming systems (with allowed practices and inputs) with increasing consumer support and a growing market, and we appreciate the opportunity to work together. While we strive for concensus, we know that not everyone may agree on every issue.

    Jay Feldman
    Executive Director
    Beyond Pesticides
    701 E Street, SE
    Washington, DC 20003
    202-543-5450 (phone)
    202-543-4791 (fax)

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