OPA Submits Comments to the NOP Regarding Upcoming Standards Development Activities

March 28, 2022

The Organic Produce Association today responded to USDA's request for comments regarding upcoming standards development activities, including feedback about specific recommendations received from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).

OPA’s comments were generally directed to protecting the integrity of the USDA Organic Seal, advancing organic innovation, and strengthening organic growers’ ability to meet growing consumer demand.

On organic seeds, OPA recommended increased public investment in organic plant breeding and seed research, as well as improved communication between seed companies and certifiers regarding what inputs are used to treat and prime seeds.

On greenhouse and container production standards, OPA believes that any growing method that adheres to the national organic regulations should be permitted, regardless of the growing procedure used. OPA applauds USDA’s 2018 clarification that hydroponics, aquaponics and aeroponics growers can earn organic certification and the additional clarification in the current request for comments that AMS does not intend to propose the prohibition of these production systems. OPA is working to develop specific recommendations on greenhouse and container production standards, to be delivered to USDA later this year.

OPA also stated it is imperative that the National Organic Program (NOP) continue to operate in a way that protects the USDA Organic Seal while allowing for appropriate technical innovations, ensuring affordable organic produce is available to all who want it.

OPA’s full submission can be found here.

The Organic Produce Association (OPA) consists of members in the organic produce industry who focus on science-based policymaking and the ability to be innovative while respecting the tradition of organics and the integrity of the USDA Organic Seal.