USDA Has Issued New rules On

Organic Food, Contact Them Now With 

Your Comments

Below is a website where you can add your comments. It is important to let the US Department of Agriculture know that you fully support the idea of organically grown foods.

"Despite major improvements in the current proposed USDA organic standards over what was put forth in 1998, there are a number of problems and shortcomings in the lengthy March 8 document. Among the most obvious problems are the following:

* So-called "natural foods" with less than 50% organic ingredients will be allowed to list their organic ingredients on their information panel--usually on the back of the package--even though the non-organic ingredients of these products may be genetically engineered, irradiated, derived from sewage sludge, or produced with pesticides, growth hormones, or antibiotics.

* Manure from factory farms will be allowed to be used as a fertilizer on organic farms.

* Although the proposed regulations on organic animal husbandry require "access to outdoors," no clear definition of what constitutes "pasture" are offered, nor does the USDA delineate exact space or spacing requirements for humane housing and outdoor access for poultry, pigs, cattle, and other animals.

* Although the USDA claim they don't intend to impose economic hardships on organic certifiers and farmers, the added costs of USDA oversight will fall heavily on small certifiers and farmers. The USDA should provide accreditation services to organic certifiers free of change as well as subsidize the costs of any farmer who wishes to become certified as organic. Beyond this the USDA should allocate funds to pay farmers a premium price for their products during their "transition to organic" phase as an added incentive for the majority of farmers to begin making the transition to sustainable and organic farming practices.

* Although genetic contamination of organic crops by "genetic drift" from farms growing genetically engineered crops is one of the most serious environmental threats to organic agriculture, no residue limits for genetic contamination are delineated in the USDA's proposed federal regulations. The USDA must hold biotechnology patent holders and seed companies accountable and financially liable for the environmental and economic damage inflicted on organic farmers and producers caused by genetic drift."

This information comes from the Organic Consumers Organization.

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And finally don't forget to send in your comments to the USDA on the proposed national organic standards by June 12. Stay tuned to OCA website and our newsletter for further developments.

See below for website link to USDA

USDA website

For comments on organic food regulatons

Ann's Letter

Downloaded from a website on Organic Foods

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