vantage of more resources within the USDA.
For example, we are looking into ways to increase market surveillance of organic labels that are being sold in the marketplace. We don’t have the resources
to do much surveillance with our 15 staff members here but there are USDA inspectors all over the country. If we can have a cooperative agreement with some
“The organic community needs to
continue to be active. Providing input to the NOP
of these other programs, we could utilize those inspectors to help the NOP
have more of a presence.
inputs. Other programs such as fair
trade have social components, and
these labels can complement the organic label quite well. The Organic
Food Production Act (OFPA) did not
include social standards, however, and
thus it’s something that would not be a
component of the NOP unless the
statute was changed. IFOAM is trying
to address social issues through its
work, but it’s certainly not a part of the
NOP at this point.
OP: Looking to the future, what do you see
as the goals of NOP?
OP: You also used to work closely with The Food Alliance, which is a program of envi-
ronmental and social guidelines that go beyond what the NOP requires. Do you feel
that more environmental and social issues need to be addressed by the NOP?
McEvoy: The initial concept of The Food Alliance was to ensure food operations benefited farmers economically and were environmentally sound and socially just—but it is not a strictly organic program and doesn’t prohibit synthetic
McEvoy: Short-term goals are to publish the Access to Pasture Final Rule,
develop a strategic plan for the program that meets the expectations of
the organic community and hire additional staff to put the plan into action.
One of the long-term goals is to ex-