USDA Waters Down Organic Standards

Organic standards watered down

Photo credit: Paul Takamoto
Organic food is organically grown, except when it isn't. Confused? So are we. (Man, are we ever.) The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) greenlighted a proposal late last Friday allowing 38 new non-organic ingredients in products bearing the "USDA Organic" seal, despite more than 10,000 e-mails and letters from concerned consumers and farmers, according to the Organic Consumer's Association.

The USDA's proposal will mean that Anheuser Bush will be allowed to sell its Organic Wild Hops Beer without using any organic hops at all. USDA Organic-certified sausages, brats, and breakfast links will be allowed contain intestines from factory-farmed animals raised on chemically grown feed, synthetic hormones, slaugterhouse waste, and antibiotics. Fish oil with the USDA seal of approval may also contain toxins such as PCBs and mercury for that extra flavor. Cats and dogs will be forced to live together. (Okay, we made that last one up.)

If, like Howard Beale on Network, you're mad as hell and you're not going to take it anymore, seize advantage of the 60-day public-comment period and send a letter to the USDA now. :: Organic Consumers Associaton

See also: :: Organic Food is Like, Organic, Right?, :: "Sustainable" Label Offered As Alternative to "Organic", and :: USDA Organic: Drama In The Produce Section