|Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 10:48 am: || |
Take Action to Keep Organic Standards Strong
Organic food standards are facing their largest challenge since the USDA's 1997 proposal to allow toxic sludge, genetically engineered organisms and irradiation on oragnic farms. Under pressure from large food processors, the Senate plans to attach a rider to the 2006 Agriculture Appropriations Bill that could significantly compromise the organic label. Take action today to keep organic standards strong.
The amendments could:
- permanently allow synthetic processing aids and food contact substances, including over 500 food contact substances, to be used in organic foods without any type of public review for their safety and compatibility with organic production and processing.
- leave unresolved whether young dairy cows could be treated with antibiotics and then converted to organic after twelve months;
- create a serious new loophole in which organic ingredients could be substituted with non-organic ingredients without any consumer notice based upon "emergency decrees”.
Please go to this site and send letters to your representatives. Thank you.
This is the letter you can send at that site:
As your constituent and a supporter of organic agriculture and strong organic food standards, I am writing to ask that you reject any proposed language that could weaken the Organic Foods Production Act as the House and Senate meet in conference committee to pass the Agricultural Appropriations bill.
I depend on the integrity of the organic label and am willing to pay a premium price for natural, healthy products produced under exacting standards that I can trust. In a marketplace crowded by unhealthy, factory-produced foods, organic foods provide a desperately needed alternative. The Senate must not undermine these standards!
Industry amendments would weaken organic law and threaten the meaning of food labeled as "organic." The law changes could permanently allow new synthetic processing aids and food contact substances--including over 500 food contact substances--to be used in organic foods without any type of public review for their safety and compatibility with organic production. They could allow young dairy cows to be treated with antibiotics and later converted to organic after twelve months. They would create a serious new loophole through which organic ingredients could be substituted with non-organic ingredients based upon "emergency decrees" without any consumer notice.
Please reject any language that could lead to a degradation of organic standards. I’m counting on you to protect the integrity of my food.
|Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 1:22 pm: || |
Signed and sent the letter in...easy to do at the site you gave us. Thanks for giving us the chance to be proactive on this issue. I would encourage those who would like to, to click on the site for the St. Petersburg Times concerning Lynn Stratton's story about MSG. Click on the site given on the posting here and then click on the menu topic "contact us". You can thank them and share your feelings about MSG or share you story.
|Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 2:18 pm: || |
Thanks for keeping us informed. I sent a letter too. It was easy to do.
|Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 3:16 pm: || |
Thank you guys for sending the letter. I hope and pray this does NOT pass. All the listed things they want to pass are BAD for our health and safety!! You can bet the loophole about them bing able to substitute with non-organic things based on emergency decrees would be instituted in a flash also. There is just absolutely no protection for the consumer, ever, anywhere.
|Posted on Friday, November 04, 2005 - 4:24 am: || |
From today's NY Times Editorial section:
Organic food has become a very big business, with a 20 percent annual growth rate in sales in recent years. But popularity has come at a price. Ever since 2002, when the Department of Agriculture began its program of national organic certification, there has been a steady lobbying effort to weaken standards in a way that makes it easier for the giant food companies, which often use synthetic substances in processing, to enter the organic market. That's exactly why many organic farmers greeted the U.S.D.A.'s organic seal with real trepidation. They know that the one thing the department has always done especially well is to capitulate to the lobbying pressure of big food and big agriculture. Last week, an amendment was slipped into the agricultural spending bill without meaningful debate in a closed-door Republican meeting. It would do two things. It would overturn a court decision reinstating the old legal standard that prohibits synthetic substances in organic foods. And it would allow the agriculture secretary to approve synthetic substances if no organic substitute was commercially available. In part, this is a battle over a label. The big producers, which often use synthetic materials in processing, want to call their processed foods organic because that designation commands premium prices. They do not want to say their products are made with organic ingredients - a lesser designation that allows more synthetics. This is also a cultural battle, a struggle between the people who have long kept the organic faith - despite the historic neglect of the U.S.D.A. - and industry giants that see a rapidly expanding and highly profitable niche that can be pried open even further with lobbying. "Organic" is not merely a label, a variable seal of approval at the end of the processing chain. It means a way of raising crops and livestock that is better for the soil, the animals, the farmers and the consumers themselves - a radical change, in other words, from conventional agriculture. Unless consumers can be certain that those standards are strictly upheld, "organic" will become meaningless
My own comment: More trouble for us NoMSGers --- and everyone else.
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