Alert of the Week Save Organic Standards: Tell the USDA and the NOSB to Protect Organic Standards

Certified organic food and personal care products are just about the only things sold in grocery stores these days that can be accurately described as healthy, nutritious, safe and good for the environment. (Beyond organic you can vote for economic justice with your consumer dollars by choosing items that are labeled as Fair Trade or Union-Made.) But constant vigilance is required to prevent unscrupulous companies from driving down organic standards, or exploiting their workers. Family-scale organic dairy farmers are being undermined by factory farm feedlots masquerading as organic, as well as Wal-Mart and other national retail chains driving down farm gate prices. Multi-ingredient organic food processors are cutting costs by using the same supply chain as bottom-of-the-barrel conventional brands, with unfortunate results such as the recent peanut butter food poisoning scandal. And, fake organic imports threaten to flood the domestic organic marketplace.

Under the Bush Administration, the USDA National Organic Program contributed to these problems by being slow to address National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) recommendations, issue definitive regulations and enforce existing ones. Under the new Obama Administration, with Kathleen Merrigan as second-in-command at the USDA, we have an opportunity to prevent corporate greed from corrupting organic standards.

Please send a letter to the USDA

And, help the OCA develop our comments for the NOSB’s next meeting May 4-6,