Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Corporate Attack of Organic Standards

I checked the fraud site and this seems legitimate... and unfortunately it also sounds very plausible. As Americans are/have become the most overweight and obese nation on the planet (yeah I know)... and as the expensive addictive pharmaceutical dietary and health pills are being paraded across television sets around the country... there is a growing movement towards organic foods and local produce as a better way to good health... it seems too big an "opportunity" for the super stores not to want in....and unfortunately the growth, care and most important, distribution methods of local organic food runs counter to the profit-centric mindset of the corporate monopolies who stand to lose market-share as the local organic movement strengthens—taking dollars from their pockets and customers from their shelves... that is unless they can manipulate the organic food standards... weaken the definition of what is organic, to allow them to infiltrate the market.

I don't think you need to play partisanship politics on this one folks... its just as bad for republicans as for democrats... liberals as conservatives, though an argument can be made that the organic standards were established by people other than the current administration and their emboldened masses in tow... it is those masses that need to motivate and join with the movement towards organic foods, if they care about the quality and availability of good wholesome, organically grown, pesticide-free, local nutrient-rich produce— and the struggling farmers who have taken the harder road to agriculture production by refusing to subscribe to the agribusiness model for cash-farming.

Please read on and sign this... share it with your email book and show our leadership that, like public television, some things are better left pure and strong not tainted to allow exploitation.


The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) needs your immediate help to stop Congress and the Bush administration from seriously degrading organic standards. After 35 years of hard work, the U.S. organic community has built up a multi-billion dollar alternative to industrial agriculture, based upon strict organic standards and organic community control over modification to these standards.

Now, large corporations such as Kraft, Wal-Mart, & Dean Foods--aided and abetted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are moving to lower organic standards by allowing a Bush appointee to create a list of synthetic ingredients that would be allowed organic production. Even worse these proposed regulatory changes will reduce future public discussion and input and take away the National Organic Standards Board's (NOSB) traditional lead jurisdiction in setting standards. What this means, in blunt terms. is that USDA bureaucrats and industry lobbyists, not consumers, will now have more control over what can go into organic foods and products.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 20, acting in haste and near-total secrecy, the U.S. Senate will vote on a "rider" to the 2006 Agriculture Appropriations Bill that will reduce control over organic standards from the National Standards Board and put this control in the hands of federal bureaucrats in the USDA (remember the USDA proposal in 1997-98 that said that genetic engineering, toxic sludge, and food irradiation would be OK on organic farms, or USDA suggestions in 2004 that heretofore banned pesticides, hormones, tainted feeds, and animal drugs would be OK?).

For the past week in Washington, OCA has been urging members of the Senate not to reopen and subvert the federal statute that governs U.S. Organic standards (the Organic Food Production Act - OFPA), but rather to let the organic community and the National Organic Standards resolve our differences over issues like synthetics and animal feed internally, and then proceed to a open public comment period. Unfortunately most Senators seem to be listening to industry lobbyists more closely than to us. We need to raise our voices.

In the past, grassroots mobilization and mass pressure by organic consumers have been able to stop the USDA and Congress from degrading organic standards. This time Washington insiders tell us that the "fix is is already in." So we must take decisive action now. We need you to call your U.S. Senators today. We need you to sign the following petition and send it to everyone you know. We also desperately need funds to head off this attack in the weeks and months to come. Thank you for your support. Together we will take back citizen control over organic standards and preserve organic integrity.

No comments: