Organic Trade Association's Organic Newsroom: OTA: Proposed rule offers clear resolution to issues raised by lawsuit
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2006 Press Releases


OTA: Proposed rule offers clear resolution to issues raised by lawsuit

GREENFIELD, Massachusetts (April 26, 2006): The Organic Trade Association (OTA) today commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its proposed rule designed to address the final court order concerning the Harvey v. Johanns case and congressional amendments to the Organic Foods Production Act.

"OTA is pleased with the proposed rule as posted yesterday by USDA's National Organic Program," said Caren Wilcox, OTA's executive director. "It succinctly offers clear and unambiguous resolution to issues raised by the Harvey lawsuit and the 2005 legislation, and leaves intact two very important provisions of the original rule, written in 2000 and implemented in 2002— the criteria and National Organic Standards Board procedures for evaluating synthetic materials petitioned for use in processed foods, and the requirement that animals born on organic dairy farms be raised as organic from the last third of gestation."

She added, "This proposed rule, when made final in its current form, will bring stability and predictability for all sectors in the organic trade, from crop and dairy farmers to manufacturers and retailers."

Posted at under listings for April 25 and scheduled for publication in Thursday's Federal Register, the proposed rule revises the NOP regulations to clarify that non-organically produced products must be listed in Section 205.606 and may be used in or on processed products labeled as "organic" or "made with" organic ingredients only when organic products are not commercially available.

Also, under the proposed rule, transitioning dairy producers would no longer be able to use 20 percent non-organic feed during the first nine months of whole herd conversion to organic production. It further addresses dairy herd conversion by allowing crops and forage from land in its third year of organic management to be fed to animals under conversion.

The mission of the Organic Trade Association is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy. OTA envisions organic products becoming a significant part of everyday life, enhancing people's lives and the environment. As a membership-based business association, the Organic Trade Association focuses on the organic business community in North America. OTA's 1,700 members include farmers, processors, importers, exporters, distributors, retailers, certifiers, and more. For further information, visit OTA's web site at

Headquarters: P.O. Box 547, Greenfield, MA 01302 USA (413) 774-7511 fax: 413-774-6432 Canadian Office: 323 Chapel Street, Ottawa, On K1N 7Z2 (613) 787-2003 Legislative Office: 600 Cameron St., Alexandria, VA 22314 USA (202) 338-2900