Harnessing the Power
To take advantage of this opportunity without making any costly mistakes, make sure you understand the
details of EU labeling requirements
and how to interpret the U.S.-EU
equivalence arrangement vis-à-vis your
products. You may also want to work
with a consultant to explore opportunities to enter into or expand your
(continued from page 8)
presence in the EU market.
Special thanks go to all who helped
bring this historic arrangement to
fruition—with special call-outs to the
USDA, Organic Trade Association, Office
of the U.S. Trade Representative, Bob Anderson, Katherine DiMatteo and the members of the US-EU Equivalency Task Force.
Peter Murray, the lead investigator for
the initial gap analysis in 2001, deserves a
special note of tribute, as he would have es-
pecially appreciated this accomplishment.
He passed away in 2004.
Bill Wolf is the president of Wolf, DiMatteo
+ Associates ( www.organicspecialists.com),
specializing in organic certification, compliance, or farming practices and strategic direction in the U.S. and overseas. You can
contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
on Labeling GE Foods from
Stonyfield Farm and
The Organic Center
Label It Now: What You Need to
Know About Genetically Engineered
Foods, a consumer guide to understanding foods that have been genetically altered, is now available as an electronic
book for download. The book covers
the legacy of Roundup brand herbicides, regulatory issues and how GE
foods have rapidly become a part of our
food supply, with little oversight or
scrutiny. It also includes a consumer action plan.
Co-authors include Gary Hirshberg,
president and CEO, Stonyfield Farm,
Charles Benbrook, chief scientist of The
Organic Center, and Britt Lundgren, director of organic and sustainable agriculture at Stonyfield. All proceeds from
the book, which sells for $2.99 per copy,
will go to support Justlabelit.org, a national campaign working for GE food labeling. Label It Now: What You Need to
Know About Genetically Engineered
Foods is available for download via
iBookstore, i Tunes, Amazon.com, Barnes
& Noble and other digital booksellers.
Clarkson Grain Celebrates New Rule on Organic Lecithin
More than six years after introducing the first organic soy lecithin to the market, Clarkson Grain is finally being rewarded for its investment in organic innovation. In February of 2012, the USDA
published a rule in the Federal Register that
removed nonorganic soy lecithin from the
National List, section 205.605 as an “allowed
synthetic,” meaning that organic lecithin
must now be used in products labeled organic. The only exception is if a product requires de-oiled lecithin, which has not
been developed in organic and therefore was added to section 606, allowing the
use of nonorganic unless the organic form becomes available. However, the majority of lecithin used today is oiled, or liquid lecithin.
For the past six years, manufacturers have not officially been required to use
the organic lecithin even though it was available. This was due to many factors—
including an underfunded, understaffed National Organic Program (NOP).
While some companies chose the organic option anyway, many others decided to
take advantage of the loophole to cut a bit off the bottom line.
Encouraging Organic Innovation. When the National List was first developed,
the goal was that ingredient manufacturers would create organic innovations to
take the place of listed items, and that the list would shrink as time went by—and
now this is finally starting to happen. Organic soy lecithin is the first ingredient to
effectively “kick” the nonorganic version off the list.
“It’s exciting to see the organic system working the way it is supposed to work,”
says Lynn Clarkson, CEO and founder. “After the National Organic Standards
Board (NOSB) recommended this action, it took 2. 5 years for the NOP to make it
a final rule, but that’s not terribly upsetting because no organization is born ma-
ture, and until recently, the NOP didn’t have enough financing to do more than
buy paper clips. But now the system has the means to better regulate, which en-
courages entrepreneurs to innovate.”
Clarkson says that there are still challenges though. “After doing all this work
to introduce a new organic ingredient into the market, thinking it will be em-
braced with excitement—often we are instead greeted with complaints about
costs. However, almost every ingredient in an organic product cost more, but peo-
ple invest in these ingredients because they believe in organic.”
He adds, “This new rule helps even up the playing field for those who create
organic products. Those companies that started using organic lecithin in 2004
have been paying more, while other products that sit on the shelf next to them
have been allowed to use cheaper conventional versions that reward the use of
pesticides. Rather than fight with people, we worked diplomatically, quietly
through the regulatory system. Fortunately, we saw ourselves rewarded this year.”