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Thursday, May 17, 2007

ANOTHER SNEAK ATTACK ON ORGANIC STANDARDS

USDA & INDUSTRY TRY TO SNEAK BANNED CONVENTIONAL INGREDIENTS INTO ORGANIC BEER, SAUSAGE, & PROCESSED FOODS
The USDA has announced a controversial proposal, with absolutely no input from consumers, to allow 38 new non-organic ingredients in products bearing the "USDA Organic" seal. Most of the ingredients are food colorings derived from plants that are supposedly not "commercially available" in organic form. But at least three of the proposed ingredients, backed by beer giant Anheuser-Busch and pork and food processors, represent a serious threat to organic standards, and have raised the concerns of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), as well as a number of smaller organic companies and organic certifiers. Specifically, the OCA disagrees with the "Budweiser exemption," allowing conventionally grown hops, produced with pesticides and chemical fertilizers, to be used in beers labeled as "USDA Organic". Also, OCA strenuously objects to the USDA's proposal to allow the use of conventionally raised factory-farmed animals' intestines (we'll spare you the gory details of what thes animals have been fed) as casing for sausages labeled as "organic." Adding salt to the wound, the USDA has indicated the public comment period will not be the standard 30-60 days. Although the USDA has been working closely with industry on these proposed changes as far back as 2002, the agency will only be accepting public comments for seven days. Take action now and forward this alert to interested friends and colleagues.

posted by Alix @ 10:23 AM

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