From the Environmental Working Group:
Spearheaded by Representative Nathan Deal, and for the sake of one special interest, Fieldale Farms Corporation of Georgia, a single item in the Omnibus spending bill threatens to undermine the integrity and importance of the new USDA organic standards.
The provision was added to the omnibus spending bill behind closed doors on Wednesday night with only Republicans present. Fieldale Farms, balked at using more expensive organic chicken feed and convinced the Republican leadership to include a provision in the bill allowing chickens to be labeled “organic” even if they do not meet the strict USDA labeling criteria.
“For the sake of one well-heeled constituent, they are threatening an entire industry and throwing away 12 years of hard public policy work,” said EWG President Ken Cook.
USDA was the target of waves of public out-cry and strong opposition from the organic industry when it considered allowing weaker standards for its organic seal. The new organic certification entered into force October 21, 2002, and was hailed by environmental and consumer groups as a meaningful federal program to ensure quality in organic products.
Even Tyson fought against this sneak attack on organic farmers. Considering that they are one of the largest poultry agribusinesses in the world, doesn’t that say something? So, who’s for joining me in a boycott of all products from Fieldale?
View the offending text from the spending bill (PDF document)
News Releases: href="http://www.ota.com/news2003.htm#backroom">Organic Trade Assoc. | href="http://www.organicconsumers.org/Organic/degrade021403.cfm">Organic Consumers Assoc.
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