Insights by Goldie
Organic standards update

Sound Consumer | July 2004

by Goldie Caughlan
Quality Standards Specialist

Fortunately, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture directed the National Organic Program (NOP) management to rescind some directives that threatened organic standards. The directives, noted in my June column, would have allowed antibiotics for dairy cows one year before selling organic milk, non-organic fishmeal to supplement organic livestock feed, and toxic "inerts" in pesticides on organic crops. Another document reversed prior positions on what products could be considered for organic standards.

Because the directives were rescinded and removed from the USDA/NOP Web site, the URL noted in my June column no longer work. Read them at www.organicconsumers.org/sos.cfm by scrolling down the right hand side and clicking on each link. Read more at:

The integrity of the organic standards will come under fire occasionally from those who want loopholes. But actions such as these by the administrators entrusted with managing and regulating organic standards are unacceptable.

It's still important to write letters to the USDA. Thank Secretary Veneman for defending organic standards. Tell her and NOP Manager Richard Mathews that you expect all USDA officials to consult with and heed the advice of the NOSB as Congress intended.

USDA Organic Seal

Ann Veneman
Secretary of Agriculture

1400 Independence Ave. SW
Washington, D.C. 20250

Richard Mathews
National Organic Program

Manager USDA-AMS-TMP-NOP
4008 South Building
1400 Independence Ave. SW
Washington D.C. 20250-0020

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