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News Release

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Media Contacts: Steve Lyle, CDFA Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462,

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #16-007
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SACRAMENTO - January 28, 2016 – The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will bring together federal and state officials as well as organic stakeholders to discuss California’s state organic program (SOP) on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 in Sacramento. The meeting will be from 10 a.m. to 3 the California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street – Main Auditorium, Sacramento, CA 95814.
“California was one of the first states in the nation to establish standards for organic production.  It has evolved into a  robust program that includes spot inspections, complaint investigations, sampling, and data collection for the organic community and it remains the only state organic program,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “As such, California’s SOP enforces production and handling standards while maintaining transparency to provide trust and confidence in the ‘organic’ label.”
Current discussions are underway within the organic community to consider amending California’s organic laws.   California is the largest organic agricultural producer in the nation, with $2.2 billion in sales accounting for 40 percent of the nation’s organic sales. Under existing law, California’s State Organic Program complements the federal National Organic Program with state and county officials verifying organic compliance from production to point of sale.
"As an organic farmer, I am looking forward to hearing perspectives from organic farmers and government agencies on what defines and differentiates California’s organic program from the rest of the nation," said Craig McNamara, president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture.
Invited speakers include: Miles McEvoy, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service (via teleconference); Rick Jensen, California Department of Food and Agriculture; Brian Leahy, California Department of Pesticide Regulation;  Jane Reick, California Department of Public Health; Stacy Carlsen, Marin County Department of Agriculture, Weights & Measures; Melody Meyer, California Organic Products Advisory Committee; Cathy Calfo, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF); Kelly Damewood, CCOF; Philip LaRocca, LaRocca Vineyards; and Thaddeus Barsotti, Farm Fresh to You.

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture advises the governor and the CDFA secretary on agricultural issues and consumer needs. The state board conducts forums that bring together local, state and federal government officials, agricultural representatives and citizens to discuss current issues of concern to California agriculture.

This meeting will be streamed online at:

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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814