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Meetings: National Organic Standards Board October 2019 Document ID AMS-NOP-19-0038-0001

Agency Agricultural Marketing Service

Comment Period

May 22, 2019 to Oct 3, 2019

National Organic Standards Board:

I strongly object to any changes in USDA Organic Standards that would allow organisms created with gene editing, synthetic biology or any other method of genetic engineering in USDA organics. The NOSB must REJECT all methods of genetic engineering and must maintain the prohibition of foods and ingredients created by genetic engineering under USDA Organic Standards. GMOs, whether created by older genetic engineering techniques such as transgenesis or by newer genetic engineering techniques such as gene editing and synthetic biology, should never be allowed under USDA Organic Standards.

Recently, USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach made comments before the House Agriculture Subcommittee suggesting that gene editing methods be allowed in organic production.This is an affront to organic consumers like me who rely on the USDA Organic label in order to avoid the products of genetic engineering, among other benefits provided by the label.

Decades have been spent by the organic industry, nonprofits and consumer advocacy groups, and individuals like me promoting the values of organic food and agriculture. In addition to the avoidance of synthetic pesticides, the avoidance of the products of genetic engineering is a primary benefit of the organic label. To allow organisms created with gene editing or synthetic biology into organics would be an attack on the core values of the organic sector.

The NOSB must not bow to the pressures of the biotechnology industry. DO NOT allow any form of genetic engineering into organics!
Arty turns 11 this summer.