“When a government agency that pretends to represent the organic community instead represents government and corporate self-interests, it’s time for a new balance of power between consumers and the organic industry.”
– Ronnie Cummins, national director, Organic Consumers Association
On Tuesday, OCA political director Alexis Baden-Mayer was hauled away from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in handcuffs. Her crime? Leading a protest of a USDA National Organic Program (NOP) move to extend the use of certain synthetic and non-organic materials in organic.
End of story? Not on your life.
The battle to recapture control of the organic and natural food and products system, which has fallen under the control of government and corporate self-interests, is a long-term one. And we intend to see it through.
In the coming weeks, OCA will formally announce the formation of the Organic and Natural Health Trade Association. The new association will be open only to those companies and organizations that adhere to strict, ethical organic and natural health standards.
Greenwashers need not apply.
In the meantime, the battle to overturn the NOP’s recent decision is far from over. And we have some heavy hitters on our side.
Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), both of whom were principal authors of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, have written to USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to voice their disapproval of the NOP’s latest power grab.
Ditto former NOSB chairs Jim Riddle, Jeff Moyer and Barry Flamm.
The NOP may have to arrest a lot more people before this showdown is over. Is that really how the USDA wants to run its organic program?
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