Organic Food Rarely Organic, Says Report

July 3, 2009

US (ChattahBox) – A new report by MSNBC has revealed the source of the changing standards for organic food, which means that most food labeled organic by the USDA aren’t what you paid for.

According to the report, a high ranking staff member within the USDA a few years back was lobbied by a food company. She chose to overrule her staff, and allowed them to receive an official USDA label for their product, which used unorganic additives in their so-called ‘organic’ products.

From there a number of USDA employees have done the same, reducing the standards for companies that wish to apply that label to their own foods.

Now, though half the country buys organic some or all of the time, less and less products are featuring truly organic ingredients. And what is worst is they are getting away with it,

“It will unravel everything we’ve done if the standards can no longer be trusted. If we don’t protect the brand, the organic label, the program is finished. It could disappear overnight,” Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was quoted by the MSNBC expose.

Investigations into the matter are expected to be held, but whether or not anything will be done is another matter. Tom Vilsack, the Secretary for Agriculture, has said that he agrees something should be done, but that there is much pressure from the food industry to lower standards.

Apparently, it’s ridiculous to expect the government to encourage companies to higher theirs.


3 Responses to “Organic Food Rarely Organic, Says Report”

  1. Organic Food Rarely Organic, Says Report - | Living Green Shop on July 3rd, 2009 12:03 pm

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  3. OrganicTrade on July 6th, 2009 12:36 pm

    Contrary to what is implied in the MSNC piece, there is a very specific process that materials must go through before they are permitted for inclusion in organic products. The National Organic Standards Board, a citizen advisory board, consists of four farmer/growers, two handlers/processors, one retailer, one scientist, three consumer/public interest advocates, three environmentalists, and one USDA-accredited certifying agent. These volunteers assist the Secretary of Agriculture with the overall implementation of the National Organic Program (NOP).

    NOSB conducts an extensive review of materials that are petitioned for inclusion in organic, solicits public comment, and makes a recommendation to NOP as to whether a material should be allowed. The NOP implements NOSB’s recommendation.

    This process ensures that materials are NOT haphazardly permitted for use in organic production and reinforces the principles of transparency and integrity around which the organic system was built.

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