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Keep Fragile Ecosystems Wild

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 7:49
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(Before It's News)

[Read Cornucopia’s comprehensive comments on this issue.]

Comment to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) by March 30

Though organic agriculture promotes and enhances biodiversity, organic regulations do not explicitly protect sensitive native ecosystems from being converted into organic production – in fact, they incentivize it!

Image source: Airwolfhound

The National Organic Program’s (NOP) three-year waiting period for land to be free of prohibited substances unintentionally incentivizes producers to convert native ecosystems, since this land is instantly ready for organic production.

By eliminating the incentive to convert native ecosystems with a rule change, producers will be encouraged to transition the right land: the 99% of U.S. agricultural land that is still conventionally managed.

Over the last two years, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has received public comments describing loss of high value conservation and fragile ecosystem acreage when farmers transition to organic production. The NOSB has been asked to review this issue and propose some incentives and disincentives to reduce conversion of high value conservation ecosystems.

Tell the NOSB to eliminate the incentive to convert native ecosystems to organic production.

Post your comments online today — deadline March 30

  1. Go to the comment form at
  2. Either write directly in the window provided, cut and paste your comments into the provided space, or attach a word document. Sample bullet points which you can customize, paste, and copy into this USDA website can be found here.
  3. You can submit comments online until 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) on March 30, 2017 at the above link.
  4. If you are an organic farmer, or are involved in the organic industry, please be sure to mention that! Comments from organic consumers are vitally important as well, especially if you tell regulators why you care.
  5. To learn more about these issues, visit the Wild Farm Alliance’s action alert and website.

Please tell the USDA that you support The Cornucopia Institute’s comprehensive comments to protect high value lands threatened by conversion to agricultural use.

The following are the major concerns of Cornucopia’s scientists, researchers, and policy analysts:

  • The Organic Food Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) established that organic producers must conserve biodiversity and avoid any activities that would diminish it.
  • High value lands are being lost to organic agriculture at an alarming rate. A change in the rule to de-incentivize turning native ecosystems into organic production is needed immediately to stem this loss.
  • Consumers assume that when they are buying organic products they are more environmentally friendly and sustainable – and this perverse incentive results in the loss of biodiversity and long-term sustainability.

Post your comments today – due in Washington by March 30

Reminder: Your comments on hydroponics are also needed by March 30, in order for the NOSB to review them for their April meeting.

The post Keep Fragile Ecosystems Wild appeared first on Cornucopia Institute.


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