Letter to Sec. Johanns, March 9, 2006 - Organic Trade Association
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Letter to Sec. Johanns, March 9, 2006


March 9, 2006


The Honorable Mike Johanns


U.S. Department of Agriculture

Jamie Whitten Building – Suite 200A

1400 Jefferson Place SW

Washington, DC  20250


Dear Mr. Secretary:


We, here at the Organic Trade Association, have read with interest the recent report, “Impact of Harvey v. Johanns and Restoring the NOP to pre-Lawsuit Status:  A Report to Congress – March 2006.”  Its thorough articulation of the factors at work in the lawsuit, as well as the accomplishments of Congress in restoring many aspects of the organic standards are very helpful to the public understanding of this complex issue. 


We certainly agree with your view, as expressed in the Report, that “Congress continued to ensure that any changes to the National Organic Program (NOP) regulations would be done by engaging in notice and comment rulemaking.  This ensures that the organic standards will not be weakened, and the organic community’s concerns will be addressed.”   We have always understood these transparent and orderly procedures would be followed by you and the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), but it is important that they are highlighted again by USDA in the Report.


I speak for the members of the Organic Trade Association in expressing our appreciation for USDA’s attention to the needs of the organic community, and know that these efforts can help us continue to build growth both domestically and globally.


Yours truly,



Caren Wilcox

Executive Director


Cc:       Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner

            Dale Moore, Chief of Staff

            Beth Johnson, Deputy Chief of Staff

Dr. Chuck Lambert, Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs

Lloyd Day, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service

            Barbara Robinson, Associate Deputy Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service
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