organic

New USDA rules further degrade integrity of organic certification

Monday, October 14, 2013 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: USDA rules, organic certification, prohibited substances

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
White House admits staging fake vaccination operation to gather DNA from the public
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
Irrefutable proof we are all being sprayed with poison: 571 tons of toxic lead 'chemtrailed' into America's skies every year
EXCLUSIVE: Natural News tests flu vaccine for heavy metals, finds 25,000 times higher mercury level than EPA limit for water
Truvia sweetener a powerful pesticide; scientists shocked as fruit flies die in less than a week from eating GMO-derived erythritol
Senator who attacked Doctor Oz over dietary supplements received over $146,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma mega-retailer and Monsanto
Global warming data FAKED by government to fit climate change fictions
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
HOAX confirmed: Michelle Obama 'GMOs for children' campaign a parody of modern agricultural politics
Ben and Jerry's switches to non-GMO, Fair Trade ice cream ingredients
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women
Cannabis kicks Lyme disease to the curb
Elliot Rodger, like nearly all young killers, was taking psychiatric drugs (Xanax)
Harvard research links fluoridated water to ADHD, mental disorders
Right to farm being stripped from Americans: Michigan to criminalize small family farms with chickens, goats, honey bees and more
Delicious
(NaturalNews) Since its original inception back in the '90s, the National Organic Program (NOP) has paved the way for food that is free of artificial ingredients, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and synthetic additives to flourish in the American marketplace under a common organic labeling standard. But this standard is now under attack, as new guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) strip key protections from the program that are meant to ensure that prohibited substances do not slip through the cracks.

While organic certification requirements have long allowed for certain prohibited substances to be used in organic food products when viable alternatives are unavailable, these exemptions have traditionally been bound by a "sunset process" that requires all prohibited substances to be removed after five years. The intent of this sunset process, of course, has always been to encourage manufacturers to seek out acceptable natural alternatives as quickly as possible so as to maintain the integrity of the organic program.

But the USDA recently issued a new ruling that does away with the mandatory expiration timeline for substances bound by the sunset process and instead allows them to be voted on for extended approval. As explained by Waking Times, this change puts an enormous burden on the public to keep a close eye on which substances are given sunset exemptions and when they are set to expire. In other words, it will be up to health-conscious individuals and consumer advocacy groups to convince members of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to remove sunset exemptions from the list of approved substances.

"Under the new policy, an exempt material could be permitted indefinitely unless a two-thirds majority of the NOSB votes to remove an exempted (synthetic) substance from the list," writes Natasha Longo for Waking Times. "The new policy allows USDA to relist exemptions for synthetic materials without the recommendation of the independent board and outside of public view, as required by current law."

This is a far cry from the previous NOP requirements which mandated that all sunset exemptions be automatically removed from the permitted substance list after five years, except in the case that a two-thirds "decisive" majority from the NOSB, backed by public review, decides to keep a substance on the list for a longer period of time. Now, the NOSB will actually have to achieve a two-thirds vote just to remove a substance from the list.

USDA ruling sidesteps the law, makes it easier for Big Food to continue adding junk ingredients to organic foods

To put this all into perspective, there has been much debate lately about whether or not carrageenan, a synthetic thickening substance made from seaweed, should be allowed in products labeled as organic. The USDA decided earlier this year to renew approval for the stabilizing agent in organic food products after conducing its own review of the scientific literature and voting on the issue in accordance with the Organic Food Products Act of 1990. But under the new rule, approval for carrageenan would have automatically been renewed apart from the board specifically voting against it.

"The USDA's decision minimizes all incentives for creating organic, natural alternative ingredients and lowers the standard for what consumers can expect behind the organic label," wrote Beyond Pesticides, the Consumers Union, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and Food and Water Watch (FWW) in a recent joint statement about the ruling.

"Allowing the USDA to automatically relist materials without the recommendation of the NOSB erodes the Board's legal authority over materials decisions, a key to consumer trust in the organic label ... Potentially allowing an indefinite listing of non-natural ingredients and requiring a super-majority vote to retire a substance after five years undermines the spirit of the law for how materials head into 'sunset' or retirement."

You can read the full statement from these groups here:
http://www.beyondpesticides.org.

You can also view the full USDA ruling for the Notification of Sunset Process, as published in the Federal Register, here:
www.federalregister.gov.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.wakingtimes.com

www.federalregister.gov

http://www.beyondpesticides.org

http://www.businesswire.com

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.