Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) aren’t allowed in organics because they fall into the “excluded methods” category—meaning things that are excluded from organics.
But there’s one exception to the “no GMOs in organics rule”—GMO vaccines for livestock.
Under current law, GMO vaccines are allowed in organic, but only after they’ve been reviewed and approved by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), and with the recommendation that they be approved only in cases where non-GMO vaccine alternatives don’t exist.
Unfortunately, the Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program (NOP) hasn’t been enforcing the law. The agency admits that GMO vaccines are used in organic, even though none have been approved. In fact, not a single GMO vaccine has even been submitted to the NOSB for review.
When the NOSB meets at the end of this month (October 28 – 30, 2014), the board is expected to vote on a proposal requesting the NOP to provide guidance on the use of GMO vaccines.
“Guidance” isn’t enough. It’s time for the NOSB to assert its authority to review, regulate and, when appropriate, prohibit genetically engineered vaccines. The NOSB should tell the NOP to enforce the law and get GMO vaccines, none of which have been reviewed or approved, out of organic!