Girl Planting seeds

USDA Sits on Organic Board Recommendation to Eliminate Unintended Incentive to Convert Native Ecosystems to Organic Production

Organic advocates are raising the alarm on what may be an unintended consequence of a provision in the National Organic Standards (NOS), the rules that govern certified organic agricultural production. The concern is that one National Organic Program (NOP) requirement for organic certification — a three-year waiting period during which land must be free of disallowed substances — is actually incentivizing the conversion of critical ecosystems, and fueling deforestation and biodiversity loss. Conversions of native landscapes to working organic land to date include losses of: a California forest, Colorado prairies, a New Mexico wetland, and native sagebrush lands in Washington and Oregon. The Wild Farm Alliance has pointed out that, “These areas, that were once delivering critical ecosystem services and providing essential habitat for wildlife, are no longer performing the same functions and [it] would take hundreds of years to reverse the damage.” Read more.....



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