Recently, the Washington Post exposed a couple of major certified organic brands that don’t strictly adhere to organic standards. The Post and others also recently reported on what one lawmaker, who serves on a key U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) committee, called “uncertainty and dysfunction” at the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).
These reports are troubling on multiple levels, especially to consumers who rely on the USDA organic seal to help them avoid pesticides, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), synthetic ingredients and foods produced using methods that degenerate soil health and pollute the environment.
What can consumers do to ensure that the certified organic products they buy meet existing organic standards? And how do we, as consumers, fight back against efforts to weaken those standards?
The short answers: There are about 25,000 honest organic local and regional producers, vs. a handful of big brands, mostly national, who flout the rules. And if consumers want stronger, not weaker organic standards, we need to demand them.