During the Spring 2022 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting, which was held virtually, National Organic Program (NOP) Deputy Administrator Dr. Jenny Tucker summarized public comments the program received in response to their rulemaking priorities. These are rulemaking needs that have been identified by the NOSB over the course many years. Updating the organic seed regulation was not listed in the NOP’s original rulemaking priorities. However, during Dr. Tucker’s opening remarks, she shared that strengthening the organic seed regulation per the NOSB’s 2018 recommendation ranked second among commenters identifying organic seed as a rulemaking priority.
Dr. Tucker said that while she didn’t expect organic seed to rank so high, given this outpouring of support, her team will be revisiting this issue as a priority. She shared: “Organic seed wasn’t on my list. Now it is. The public process does work. It was helpful to read public comments about this topic.” She also shared that OSA’s State of Organic Seed analysis will help her “re-evaluate this priority moving forward.”
This is good news for organic growers and the organic seed systems they rely on, and a reminder that speaking up and taking time to submit public comments does make a difference!