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Home > Organic Regulations and Plastics: Policies, Pathways, and Challenges

Organic Regulations and Plastics: Policies, Pathways, and Challenges

Amber Sciligo, PhD | Director of Science Program at The Organic Center (discussion leader)

Dr. Amber Sciligo is the director of science programs at The Organic Center where she directs projects associated with communicating and conducting research related to organic agriculture. During her tenure at The Organic Center, Dr. Sciligo has worked closely with researchers, industry, farmers, and policymakers to identify organic research needs, and she has collaborated on a diverse range of research programs.

Dr. Sciligo heads The Organic Center’s grant writing program and FFAR funding partnership which offers organic research funding and prizes for outstanding organic extension efforts. She also leads the center’s signature conference event, Organic Confluences, which brings together policy makers, researchers, farmers, industry members, and other non-profits to address and overcome challenges faced by the organic sector. Dr. Sciligo brings the organic voice to communities at international, national, and local levels by serving on boards and advisory committees for ISOFAR, FFAR and the Organic Association of Kentucky, the state in which she resides.



Katherine DiMatteo | Independent Consultant

Katherine DiMatteo is an independent consultant, previously managing partner at Wolf, DiMatteo + Associates. Formerly the executive director of the Organic Trade Association from 1990 to 2006, she was instrumental in shaping the outcome of the U.S. National Organic Program standards and the U.N. Codex Guidelines for organically produced foods. She currently serves on the Fairtrade America and PCO Board of Directors, and the Advisory Committee of Protect Our Breasts. Katherine was a founding member of the Climate Collaborative. Previously she served as the president of IFOAM-Organics International Board of Directors and was a founding member of The Organic Center’s Board of Directors.




Kyla Smith | Certification Policy Advisor at PCO

Kyla Smith is the Certification Policy Advisor at PCO, a USDA accredited certification agency that certifies approximately 1600 operations in the US.  She has worked in the organic industry for over 20 years in various roles from conducting organic inspections and file review to directing the certification department at PCO. In her current role, Kyla is responsible for performing certification policy analysis and development, compliance, and program training. Kyla also serves as the certifier representative on the National Organic Standards Board. She received her master’s degree in Transformative Leadership and Social Change from the Maryland University of Integrative Health. 





Dr. Lisa Erdle | Director of Science & Innovation at 5 Gyres

Lisa is the Director of Science & Innovation at the 5 Gyres Institute. She is a microplastics researcher and uses science to inform effective solutions at different scales, from local to global. Lisa completed her PhD at the University of Toronto, where her research focused on microfiber sources, fate, effects, and solutions. Currently, Lisa lives in California and her research focuses on different sectors of plastic use in society – predominantly plastic pollution solutions for textiles and agriculture. In the agricultural sector, Lisa’s work investigates the fate of biodegradable plastics in realistic environmental conditions, informing policy in the US. Lisa is also an active member of GESAMP, a global group of independent scientific experts that provides advice to the United Nations on scientific aspects of marine environmental protection. 





Chris Anderson | Vice President at Sustainable Strategies

Currently serves as a strategic advisor to a prominent organic industry consulting group that develops strategies and services for companies, organizations, and governments globally. Provides direction and guidance to clients as they move through the rigorous organic food certification process. Regularly consults with state and national government entities and multi-national corporations regarding organic agriculture and international trade.