Share The Wealth by Chris Gupta
June 28, 2007

More Milking Of Organic Standards.


Further to Abuse of Organic Dairy Standards, clearly the race is on to make non organics foods organic. This is the biggest enchilada that could have been thrown at the obscene money grubbing food industry... Just imagine getting organic prices for non organic synthetic, fractionated, empty and toxic foods or should I say non foods! As per my earlier comments on margarine:

"the real reason is the considerable profit that margarine, and other processed foods bring over the more expensive natural products. The cost of the margarine is based on denatured vegetable oil which only costs a few cents, while good butter may cost a few dollars. This provides considerable room for easy profits. It does not take rocket science to market margarine at prices just slightly less than butter and pocket the resulting huge profit."

Extracted from: BUTTER VERSUS MARGARINE

"Dairy products account for 25 percent of the organic-food market, according to Food Navigator USA, a food-industry news website. While organics make up only 2 to 3 percent of the food industry as a whole, they constitute one of its fastest-growing areas. In fact, according to Food Navigator, the demand for organic products, particularly dairy, far outstrips the supply.

Proposals to weaken organics-industry standards are not restricted to dairy farming. In a previous public comment period that ended May 12, organic advocates protested USDA rule proposals written in response to a congressional amendment that allows many synthetic products to be used in processed foods that carry the organic seal.

The amendment reinforces a long-time practice that started when the organics industry first developed processed foods, which include artificial substances such as leavening or thickening agents. The NOSB began to compile a list of substances that were determined to be safe for human consumption and necessary for production. The Board codified controversial ingredients like sodium phosphates, which is used as a leavening agent, into a National List of permitted ingredients."

This is yet again another attempt to basically codify what the USDA has been doing all along....

Of course this is happening across the board. For non food items see: Organic Fraud

Having said all this I hasten to add the best food is getting it from conscientious farmers particularly from those you know.

"It is always preferable to know the sources of one's food. This is generally possible when buying locally as this is often the only way to ensure quality and purity of the food.

For example commercial honey producers often use corm syrup for their bees even if they claim it to be unprocessed, natural etc., this of course is not the nutrient dense food that our ancestors used for all manner of health enhancing remedies not to mention the great taste! Often the supermarket food manager does not know the source of the food he sells. I.e. wether fresh fish is farm raised or not or the grass fed beef is really grass fed and the list goes on and on. Then there are all the treatments the food may have gone through such as irradiation, pasteurization, chemical additives, preservations and other processes that are often disguised or not mentioned on the labels."

Extracted from: 100 Mile Diet - Local Food Recipe For Health

"Buying local is the first step in going truly organic, we need to reward the farmers who take the necessary steps to increase the fertility and nutrient quality of their soil and raise their animals on pasture. The higher cost can be offset by cutting out the middle man and the expense of transport etc."

Extracted from: The Significance Of Buying Local Food

Please write and let your comments to heard as per below: Commenting instructions are somewhat confusing. Certainly this will discourage commenting - this may well be intentional??? Not to mention the confusing document numbering system, that seems is only understandable by the industry lobbyists!

Suggest mailing and/or sending faxes. Unlike email these are not as easy to delete. Please make sure you request a response.

Chris Gupta

See also: Corporate Takeover of Organics!
---------------------------

Send a Letter to USDA Now (bottom)

ALERT UPDATE (6/23/2007): Despite receiving more than ten thousand comments from consumers and family farmers opposing various aspects of a late May 2007 proposal, the USDA has approved a rule that will allow 38 new non-organic ingredients to be allowed in products bearing the "USDA Organic" seal.

The USDA's passage of this proposal has resulted in the following:

-Anheuser Busch will be allowed to sell its "Organic Wild Hops Beer" without using any organic hops at all.

-Sausages, brats, and breakfast links labeled as "USDA Organic" are now allowed to contain intestines from factory farmed animals raised on chemically grown feed, synthetic hormones, and antibiotics.

-Products labeled as "USDA Organic" and containing fish oil may contain toxins such as PCBs and mercury (note: nonorganic fishoil products have this same risk, but despite the USDA ruling, it is against the National Organic Standards to allow such toxins in organic foods).

YOUR HELP IS STILL NEEDED The USDA has responded to OCA's demands to repoen re-open the public comment period on this issue. Industry was given two years, and the public was initially only given 7 days. But the USDA has agreed to accept public comments for 60 additional days while giving interim approval to the proposal. It's important that consumers, farmers and organic producers use this period to share their opinions. .

Extracted from: ALERT: ANOTHER SNEAK ATTACK ON ORGANIC STANDARDS: USDA TO ALLOW MORE CONVENTIONAL INGREDIENTS IN ORGANICS

-----------------------------

AMS Release No. 009-03

Joan Shaffer (202) 720-8998
joan.shaffer@usda.gov

Billy Cox (202) 720-8998
billy.cox@usda.gov

USDA PUBLISHES AMENDMENTS TO LIST OF SUBSTANCES USED IN ORGANIC PRODUCTION AND HANDLING

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2003 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture today issued a proposed rule that will amend USDA's National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). The amendments reflect recommendations submitted by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) from June 6, 2000, through October 20, 2002.

The proposed rule adds 10 substances to the National List, revises the annotations of two substances and makes technical revisions to clarify specific sections of the National List and to reflect previous NOSB recommendations. The proposed rule also invites public comment on the use of ethylene in organic crop production.

The National List, which is part of the National Organic Standards, is developed by the NOSB in consultation with outside experts. The National List identifies substances that are allowed and prohibited in organic production and handling operations. Specifically, these are permitted synthetic substances and prohibited nonsynthetic substances under the National Organic Program.

The proposed rule will appear in the Federal Register on April16, 2003. Public comments must be received by April 28, 2003.

Interested persons may comment on the proposed rule:
By mail to Richard H. Mathews, Program Manager, National Organic Program, USDA-AMS-TMP-NOP, Room 4008-So., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250.
Electronically to National.List@usda.gov.
By fax 202-205-7808.

Written comments should be identified with the docket number TMD-02-03. Those commenting should identify the topic and section number to which the comment refers, clearly state the reason for the comment, recommend language changes if appropriate, and include articles or other references that lend support to the comment.

All comments to the proposed rule will be made available for viewing on the National Organic Program homepage at www.ams.usda.gov/nop or in person at USDA-AMS, Transportation and Marketing Programs, Room 4008-South Building, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday (except official Federal holidays). Persons wishing to visit the USDA South Building to view comments received in response to this proposed rule are requested to make an appointment in advance by calling (202) 720-3252.

For further information contact Toni A. Strother, Agricultural Marketing Specialist; Telephone: 202-720-3252; or fax: (202) 205-7808.

Return to AMS News Releases

The list of 38 substances can be found in: What are the implications of the Ag Appropriations bill on organic labeling?

----------------


Consumer Advocates Challenge 'Misuse' of 'Organic' Label (Note this is a 2006 news item and is for background information.)


by Shreema Mehta

*A correction was appended to this news article after initial publication.

June 8, 2006 In the latest skirmish over the meaning of the label "organic" as it is applied to food, small farmers and natural-food advocates are asking the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to impose a minimum pasture time for cows in organic dairies.

The USDA is holding a public comment period on its regulation addressing cows' access to pasture and grazing until June 12. Currently, the regulation requires farms labeling milk as "organic" to offer cows access to pasture, but it says little else. Organics-consumer advocates say the vague wording has allowed large organic dairy companies such as Horizon and Aurora to build huge farms that house thousands of cows and feedlots without guaranteeing their cows sufficient pasture time.

The controversy over milk standards highlights a rift in the industry over whether the term "organic" has a meaning beyond the absence of chemicals and antibiotics during production.

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), an advisory committee to the National Organic Program, recommends cows spend at least 120 days per year grazing, and that 30 percent of their food should come from pastures. Critics of the current rules are calling on the USDA to establish at least a minimum number of grazing days for cows.

Spokespeople for Horizon and Aurora defended their farming practices.

"Cows have several months a year on the pasture," said Clark Driftmier, head of environmental stewardship at Aurora. "They aren't locked in a barn," he told The NewStandard.

Horizon spokeswoman Sara Unrue said cows spend "at least" 120 days out on pasture and eat a "balanced" range of grass and grain.

Mark Kastel, cofounder of the Cornucopia Institute, which has become a watchdog over the organic-food industry, said companies like Horizon violate the basic principles of organic production by confining thousands of cows in large barns for part of the year. As an advocate who has visited dairy farms over the past quarter century, most of them non-organic, Kastel said some of the large-scale organic dairies are "virtually identical in their appearance" to nonorganic farms.

"They're giant farms with thousands of cows," Kastel noted. "[The cows] are not out munching grass," he said, arguing that though the dairies give cows grazing time, they often feed them before sending them out to pasture so the cows will "just lay out and chew their cud."

Dairy products account for 25 percent of the organic-food market, according to Food Navigator USA, a food-industry news website. While organics make up only 2 to 3 percent of the food industry as a whole, they constitute one of its fastest-growing areas. In fact, according to Food Navigator, the demand for organic products, particularly dairy, far outstrips the supply.

Proposals to weaken organics-industry standards are not restricted to dairy farming. In a previous public comment period that ended May 12, organic advocates protested USDA rule proposals written in response to a congressional amendment that allows many synthetic products to be used in processed foods that carry the organic seal.

The amendment reinforces a long-time practice that started when the organics industry first developed processed foods, which include artificial substances such as leavening or thickening agents. The NOSB began to compile a list of substances that were determined to be safe for human consumption and necessary for production. The Board codified controversial ingredients like sodium phosphates, which is used as a leavening agent, into a National List of permitted ingredients.

In October 2003, Maine blueberry farmer Arthur Harvey sued the secretary of agriculture on a variety of counts, including over the inclusion of synthetic ingredients on the National List. While many of Harvey's claims were thrown out, last January, an appeals court ruled that the USDA violated the 1990 Organic Food Production Act by including such ingredients in regulations for organic processed foods.

After the court ruling, the Organic Trade Association, a group that represents a wide variety of companies, worked with politicians to change the law, according to spokeswoman Katherine DiMatteo. "OFPA didn't clearly allow for synthetics to be allowed, and the court agreed with that," she said, adding that private sector and international standards did permit many such substances.

"It's not what it's made of, but rather, what is its long- and short-term negative impacts, what is its necessity for use, and if there's an all-natural substitute," DiMatteo said, offering the reasons such substances are now allowed in production of processed foods recognized as "organic."

Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides, which has been active in strengthening USDA organic standards, said the amendment negated the lawsuit's victory for advocates and consumers who want to keep artificial ingredients out of organic products. "The law basically codified what the USDA had been doing all along," he said.

Feldman said the amendment was representative of the diminishing value of the organic label over the years. "These are the very materials people are seeking to avoid when they purchase organic food," he told TNS.

During a previous comment period ending May 12, organic consumer advocates also called on the USDA to clarify its regulations on transitioning to organic livestock. They argued that companies have made it a norm to buy cows raised on non-organic feed and then convert them over a year, rather than make the extra investment to raise cows organically from birth. The USDA proposed a rule regarding conversion of entire dairy herds but does not specify buying what Beyond Pesticides calls individual "replacement animals" and later converting their diets to organic feed.

Many advocates argue that such practices represent watered-down national standards that allow companies to just meet USDA regulations to sell their products as organic, even if they miss the principles of organic production.

"Giant corporations have more power at the USDA than [all the] power farmers and consumers can buy, so we have to put the pressure on them to act ethically," Kastel said.

But DiMatteo said on behalf of the trade association that national regulations are necessary to level the playing field of farmers between states.

"I believe that the standards and regulations that are embodied in the national program are high standards and certainly reflect the best of all the standards that had been in place on a statewide basis," she said. "It allows for farmers and businesses to compete with each other and to have the same cost."

DiMatteo added that USDA regulations make international trade easier.

But Kastel countered that international trade of food is an industrial practice that goes against the core organic principle of producing and eating locally homegrown food. General Mills regularly imports organic fruits and vegetables, he said, "but we can produce them perfectly well here... They're profiting from the good name [of organic]," he said.

"Once the standards were put in place, they're rather fixed," Binghamton, NY organic dairy farmer John Bunting said. Having to go through the government can pose a challenge for farmers looking to make changes in their farming practices.

Kastel said standards were necessary at first so that consumers could trust that the organic milk they bought came from farms that do not inject antibiotics into cows, or that the fruits they bought came from farms that do not use artificial pesticides.

But with a larger, more sophisticated organic movement, Kastel said retailers like Whole Foods or Wild Oats can collaborate with small-scale farmers to set regulations with no government involvement.

"Back in 1990, people could sell organic food without it being certified by a third party, and we needed the government to set [standards]," he said. "Today the government is more trouble than it's worth."

To combat the slide in USDA standards, organic advocates across the board said the solution is to buy regionally.

"Trucking organic products halfway around the world doesn't make a lot of sense," said Bunting, who is preparing his farm to produce dairy goods to be sold to local customers.

Kastel, whose organization recently released a report card on the ethics of various organic dairy companies, said, "consumers should support dairy brands with standards higher than those set by the USDA."

*Minor Change:
In the original version of this article, an item on the permitted synthetics list was incorrectly written as "sodium acid pyrophosphate" instead of "sodium phosphates."

| Change Posted June 13, 2006 at 15:09 PM EST
© 2006 The NewStandard. All rights reserved. The NewStandard is a non-profit publisher that encourages noncommercial reproduction of its content. Reprints must prominently attribute the author and The NewStandard, hyperlink to http://newstandardnews.net (online) or display newstandardnews.net (print), and carry this notice. For more information or commercial reprint rights, please see the TNS reprint policy.

 


posted by Chris Gupta on Thursday June 28 2007

URL of this article:
http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/chris/2007/06/28/more_milking_of_organic_standards.htm

 

 


Related Articles

Artificial Water Fluoridation: Off To A Poor Start / Fluoride Injures The Newborn
Please watch this short 5 minute video: Little Things Matter: The Impact of Toxins on the Developing Brain Toxins such as Arsenic, Lead, Mercury, Aluminum and other known and unknown chemicals, that are often above the legal limits, are deliberately added to our water to manage the disposal of toxic industrial waste chemicals under the pretense of "safe and effective" for water fluoridation mantra.Knowing and acting on the above should... [read more]
December 30, 2014 - Chris Gupta

Drinking Water Fluoridation is Genotoxic & Teratogenic
This paper by Prof. Joe Cummins is a very important 5 minute delegation made to London Ontario Canada "Civic Works Committee" public participation meeting on January 25, 2012 on fluoride*. While a bit technical it is short and easy to grasp. A must read as it goes to the heart of the matter regarding the well established toxicity of fluoride which is well in all scientific circles even before water... [read more]
February 06, 2012 - Chris Gupta

Democracy At Work? - PPM On Fluoride
Here is a commentary on the recent (Jan, 25th, 2011) Public Participation Meeting (PPM) on Fluoride in the City of London, Ontario. The meeting started with a strong pro fluoride stance form the City engineer. His lack of knowledge on chemistry of the toxic wastes used to fluoridate water could embarrass even a high school student never mind his own profession. He blatantly violated his "duty to public welfare" as... [read more]
January 29, 2012 - Chris Gupta

 

 


Readers' Comments















Security code:




Please enter the security code displayed on the above grid


Due to our anti-spamming policy the comments you are posting will show up online within few hours from the posting time.



 

   

 

A Person Is Only As Valuable As She Can Be Of Help To Others

 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

These articles are brought to you strictly for educational and informational purposes.
Be sure to consult your health practitioner of choice prior to any specific use of any of the non drug device or food based medicinal products referenced herein.

 

2911



Enter your Email


Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz


 

 


Most Popular Articles

Bad News About Statin Drugs

Cod Liver Oil - Number One Superfood

Statin Drugs & Memory Loss

Cold remedies that really work.- update

STATIN DRUGS Side Effects

 

 

Recent articles
Drinking Water Fluoridation is Genotoxic & Teratogenic

Democracy At Work? - PPM On Fluoride

"Evidence Be Damned...Patient Outcome Is Irrelevant" - From Helke

Why Remove Fluoride From Phosphate Rock To Make Fertilizer

FOFI Codex Meeting Report On Labelling May 9 - 13, 2011

Misconduct Of Health Canada Bureaucrats


Archive of all articles on this site

 

 


Most recent comments

Cold remedies that really work.- update

Why Doctors Don't Recommend More The Use Of Coq10?

Re: Dispelling the Night-Time Frequent Urination

Health via Meditation/Stress Reduction

Build a Low cost & simple Magnetic Pulser

 

 

Candida International

What Does MHRA Stand For??

Bono and Bush Party without Koch: AIDS Industry Makes a Mockery of Medical Science

Profit as Usual and to Hell with the Risks: Media Urge that Young Girls Receive Mandatory Cervical Cancer Vaccine

 

Health Supreme

Multiple sclerosis is Lyme disease: Anatomy of a cover-up

Chromotherapy in Cancer

Inclined Bed Therapy: Tilt your bed for healthful sleep

 

Evolving Collective Intelligence

Let Us Please Frame Collective Intelligence As Big As It Is

Reflections on the evolution of choice and collective intelligence

Whole System Learning and Evolution -- and the New Journalism

Gathering storms of unwanted change

Protect Sources or Not? - More Complex than It Seems

 

Consensus

Islanda, quando il popolo sconfigge l'economia globale.

Il Giorno Fuori dal Tempo, Il significato energetico del 25 luglio

Rinaldo Lampis: L'uso Cosciente delle Energie

Attivazione nei Colli Euganei (PD) della Piramide di Luce

Contatti con gli Abitanti Invisibili della Natura

 

Diary of a Knowledge Broker

Giving It Away, Making Money

Greenhouses That Change the World

Cycles of Communication and Collaboration

What Is an "Integrated Solution"?

Thoughts about Value-Add

 

Best sellers from