Organic trade group blames USDA for “pattern of hostility” toward organics after termination of Organic Check-off
Published: June 6, 2018
Category: Organic News, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) recently denounced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s action to terminate the rulemaking process to establish a national research and promotion program for organic (aka “Organic Check-off”). In a statement, OTA said the move “reflects a mounting pattern of hostility on the part of USDA toward organic. The $50 billion organic sector offers opportunities for U.S. organic farmers and businesses. It makes no sense that the agency is continuing to take steps to cut it off at the knees.”
There is a pattern established of patronizing consumers and engaging in culture wars rather than supporting choice, transparency, and opportunity.”
“If there was ever a need for an organic check-off, it is now. We are seeing organic dairy and egg sales flattening because of USDA’s failure to move the animal welfare rule forward. Organic research funding is uncertain because it is tied to the unpredictable fate of the Farm Bill. The government also has interfered with the strong role of the National Organic Standards Board. These actions hurt U.S. organic farmers and businesses, and turn choices about organic to inside-the-Beltway elites,” said Laura Batcha, CEO/Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association.
Moreover, Batcha pointed out, “This announcement comes within days of a smiley face GMO disclosure logo, which is bound to cause confusion for consumers and reveals that USDA is not being even-handed. There is no question we need promotion for organic as consumers continue to demand food transparency.”
OTA said it was “unfathomable” that organic stakeholders will not be given the chance to decide for themselves if they want to implement an organic checkoff.
Source: Organic Trade Association
To view the full statement, visit