The NOP Organic Insider, USDA National Organic Program

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AnnouncementNovember 10, 2011

On April 4 and June 24, 2011, USDA Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack designated 214 Texas counties as primary natural disaster areas. USDA is granting ruminant livestock producers in these Texas counties a temporary variance due to documented severe drought.
View Letter

The variance involves the following sections of the USDA organic regulations: 205.237(c) and 205.240. This variance applies to non-irrigated pasture only; producers having access to irrigated pasture are not included in the variance.

About Temporary Variances
Temporary variances from the production and handling requirements of the USDA organic regulations may be granted by the Agricultural Marketing Service Administrator for the following reasons: 
  • Natural disasters declared by the Secretary
  • Damage caused by severe weather or other business interruption, 
  • Practices used for the purpose of conducting research in organic production or handling.

Procedures for requesting temporary variances are described in NOP 2606: Processing Requests for Temporary Variances. 7 CFR Section 205.290 provides the full regulatory text regarding temporary variances.

About the National Organic Program (NOP)

The NOP facilitates trade and ensures integrity of organic agricultural products by consistently implementing organic standards and enforcing compliance with the regulations throughout the world. Learn more.

About the NOP Organic Insider

The NOP Organic Insider is intended to inform the organic community on a wide range of NOP functions, including organic standards, accreditation and international activities, compliance and enforcement, the National Organic Standards Board, training events, and the Cost Share program.


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