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Beyond Pesticides

February 27, 2015

If You Care about Bees, Butterflies, Birds, and the Planet,
You'll Want to Do This!

Take 5 Minutes TODAY, February 27, 2015 by Midnight to Comment

It's not just what we eat, it's how it is grown in a world where species decline, including pollinator decline, is a real threat to the planet and our very existance.

Agriculture can protect bees, pollinators, and the delicate balance of ecosystems. But, only if we send a comment to the National Organic Program (NOP) to make sure that happens. And, it will only happen if we tell USDA that habitat is critical to protecting against species decline.

>>Send your comment today! The deadline is TODAY, February 27, at midnight.
>>See Sample Comments

As biologist and author Dave Goulson, Ph.D. says:
"We need worms to create soil; flies and beetles and fungi to break down dung; ladybirds and hoverflies to eat greenfly; bees and butterflies to pollinate plants to provide food, oxygen, fuel and medicines and hold the soil together, and bacteria to help plants fix nitrogen and to help cows to digest grass. . .[yet] we often choose to squander the irreplaceable, to discard those things that both keep us alive and make life worth living."

Under the organic rule, organic production is defined as "[a] production system that is managed in accordance with the Act...to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity."

Without specific direction and guidance requiring attention to biodiversity conservation in organic systems plans (OSP) and a checklist of practices in the organic certification, these are just words on a page. In 2005 and 2009, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) adopted recommendations for biodiversity conservation. It is only now that NOP is proposing to act.

>>Urge that organic be a model for protecting and enhancing biodiversity by sending a comment to NOP today!


Use the sample comment below as a guide for your submission. As always, individualized comments carry more weight.


To the National Organic Program:

Thank you for releasing this long-awaited draft guidance regarding biodiversity and organic production. We appreciate the Program's work in towards fulfilling the intent of the organic statue as "[a] production system that is managed in accordance with the Act...to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity." In ensuring that this intent is adequately addressed, I ask the Program consider the following points.

1) The OSP must list and describe measures that the producer will take to conserve ecological balance, biodiversity, and natural resources.
2) NOP must prevent natural habitat from being turned to agriculture. Conservation of biodiversity is an essential part of organic production.
3) Terms must be defined. Words such as riparian habitat, high conservation value areas, biodiversity, invasive species and other terms used in the guidance.
4) NOP' s Accreditation Division must ensure that certifiers do their job. Certifiers must implement biodiversity standards through clear and consistent documentation.
5) NOP must prescribe criteria for conservation practices on adjacent land.
6) Biodiversity conservation includes action to mitigate global climate change.

Thank you for your consideration of my comments,

Sincerely,


Click here to send your comment to NOP today!

Thank you for taking action to encourage biodiversity in organic production.

>>ALSO: If you have a few more minutes, let President Obama know you want action. Let's make sure @BarakObama and the @WhiteHouse #BeeKindObama, and take action to #SaveOurBees. Sign the petition HERE
.

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