Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...
June 21 — A federal judge overturned a Department of Agriculture policy that allowed compost certified as organic to contain trace amounts of synthetic pesticides ( Ctr. for Envtl. Health v. Vilsack, 2016 BL 197194, N.D. Cal., No. 15-cv-01690, 6/20/15 ).
The judge, Jacqueline Scott Corley of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, said the department did not go through proper public comment procedures in developing this policy.
The ruling means that producers of organic compost will need to, for at least the near future, go to greater lengths to ensure their products contain no traces of any synthetic pesticides.
The policy was first put forth in a 2010 guidance document that clarified which types of compost meet the USDA's organic standards. It stated that compost can retain an organic certification if it contains only trace amounts of synthetic pesticides—even pesticides that are banned for use in organic farming.
Several environmental groups sued the USDA last year over this document. They argued it was a major policy shift that should not have been rolled out in a guidance document but, instead, should have gone through the standard notice-and-comment process.
In her June 20 ruling, Corley agreed with the environmental groups and vacated the USDA's organic compost guidance document.
However, Corley also ruled that any compost purchased before she issued her order would be grandfathered in—it can still be classified as organic even if it contains trace amounts of pesticides.
To contact the reporter on this story: David Schultz in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at email@example.com
A copy of Corley's ruling in Ctr. for Envtl. Health v. Vilsack is available at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/Center_for_Environmental_Health_et_al_v_Vilsack_et_al_Docket_No_3.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)