Organic & Natural’s Advocacy Priorities

Consumers want to have access to a wide range of quality goods and services that support their health and that of the planet. They also want to be assured of the safety and integrity of the foods and dietary supplements they purchase. O&N members throughout the supply chain, along with like-minded businesses and organizations, want a robust and fair organic and natural products marketplace.

In championing these causes, O&N has the following advocacy priorities:

  • Preserve and promote current USDA organic standards. O&N is committed to promoting the USDA’s organic standards and the expanded use of the USDA Organic seal across market segments. We support policy that strengthens the impact of organic in the marketplace.
  • Support and promote third-party verified standards grounded in regenerative practices. This includes American Grassfed Association’s (AGA) Grassfed Standard for meat and dairy.
  • Support the development of rational standards for health claims substantiation. O&N supports the communication of truthful and non-misleading information by and among industry and to consumers.
  • Promote the stringent application of and compliance with good manufacturing practices (GMPs) throughout the supply chain. O&N supports extending FDA’s GMP rule for dietary supplements, which currently only covers manufacturers, to include raw ingredient suppliers.
  • Support the development of testing protocols and supplier verification requirements throughout the supply chain to ensure product integrity. O&N supports rigorous residue and processing analyses to ensure the highest level of product safety.
  • Guide research and health policies toward a wellness model.

O&N challenges industry norms associated with regulatory reform, explores pathways to ensure access to unique ingredients, and holds frank discussions with legislators and regulators relating to issues critical to industry such as New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) notifications.

Advocacy Actions and Accomplishments

In support of our mission, our membership and our advocacy priorities, O&N has:

  • In response to FDA’s request for comments on the Revised Draft Guidance for New Dietary Ingredients, asserted that the proposed process, as articulated, does nothing to support or enhance the documented safety record of the dietary supplement industry.
  • Advocated against passage of Senate Bill 764 regarding the establishment of a national mandatory bioengineered food disclosure standard, also known as the DARK Act, in light of its lack of transparency and poorly crafted compliance program.
  • In response to FDA’s request for comments on defining the term “natural,” submitted the results of an O&N sponsored NMI (Natural Marketing Institute) consumer research survey, which concluded consumers perceive “organic” and “natural” to be substantially equivalent, and took the position that any potential standard developed for natural should exceed the government’s criteria for organic.
  • Filed a citizen petition with the FDA asserting raw ingredient suppliers adhere to GMPs in the wake of New York Attorney General Schneiderman’s February 3, 2015 cease and desist letters relating to herbal supplements and mislabeling. Subsequently, AG Schneiderman communicated his support of the O&N citizen petition to Congress.
  • Submitted comments to the FTC in support of claims made by iHealth, Inc. and Martek Biosciences Corp., that the dietary supplement BrainStrong™ Adult improves memory in adults or prevents cognitive decline and requested the FTC withdraw their proposed settlement against the two companies.

Visit Comments and Testimony for more information.