OSA is in Denver this week for the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) spring meeting. On the agenda is something big: a proposal to update the organic seed regulation, the first time a change has been initiated since the rules were implemented in 2002. The regulatory change would require that improvement in sourcing and use of organic seed be demonstrated every year until full compliance (100% organic seed usage) is achieved. Measuring and monitoring progress in this regard is needed to ensure stronger integrity of organic products and to support more investments in organic seed research and production. Importantly, this regulatory change is coupled with many improvements to the National Organic Program’s seed guidance document published in 2013. Guidance documents help organic certifiers and their inspectors better understand specific pieces of the standards and how best to enforce them.
We’ve long advocated for increased attention to the organic seed rule and its enforcement, and are pleased to see that some of the proposed improvements come from recommendations in our State of Organic Seed, 2016 report. While we’re happy with much of the proposal, OSA is requesting additional improvements be made before the board votes on the document. Our hope is that the board will incorporate public comments heard this week and develop a new version of the proposal ahead of its next meeting this fall.
Follow us on Twitter to follow the organic seed discussion happening at this week’s meeting.