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May 26, 2007

Trashing Organic Standards

Posted in: Food

chinafactory.jpgOrganic food standards are the firewall protecting us from chemicals and mutant foods. Of course, the standards are under sustained attack, and this week was no exception.

Why bother with organic food? Even the Bushies can’t hide the answer.

In 2005, the National Academy of Sciences, EPA, USDA, and FDA together concluded:

- ….children receive 50% of their lifetime cancer risks in the first two years of life.
- According to [the] FDA, half of produce currently tested in grocery stores contains measurable residues of pesticides. Laboratory tests of eight industry-leader baby foods reveal the presence of 16 pesticides, including three carcinogens.
- In blood samples of children aged 2 to 4, concentrations of pesticide residues are six times higher in children eating conventionally farmed fruits and vegetables compared with those eating organic food.
- According to [the] Dept. of Health and Human Services, organophosphate pesticides (OP) are now found in the blood of 95% of Americans tested. OP levels are twice as high in blood samples taken from children than in adults. Exposure to OPs is linked to hyperactivity, behavior disorders, learning disabilities, developmental delays and motor dysfunction. OPs account for half of the insecticides used in the U.S.
- The CDC reports that one of the main sources of pesticide exposure for U.S. children comes from the food they eat.

So everyone wants healthy food free of pesticides and genetic experiments, right?

Everyone except Big Industrial Food, Big Ag, and Big AgChem (aka Big Bug Spray).

The USDA defines “organic” food in the US.  The USDA organic standards specifically protect us against toxic substances (herbicides, pesticides, fungicides) spread over our foods as well as protecting against foods that are themselves toxic (genetically engineered/modified foods – aka GMOs).  Current US organic standards largely forbid pesticides and wholly forbid GMOs.

The megacorps that bring us toxic hog farms, toxic junk food, and deadly harvests want to "help" the USDA by defining down "organic" standards to include all manner of toxic crap.

This week’s example of the USDA trashing organic standards

When you buy organic foods, you expect organic ingredients, right?

Silly consumer.

Last week the USDA unveiled their new “standards” for 39 food materials. Amazingly enough, all 39 proposed “standards” simply declare chemicals or chemically grown foodsstuffs can now be hidden in foods labelled “organic”. The comment period ended Tuesday, May 22.

Big Industrial Food (and their colleagues temporarily on detail as Bushie political appointees at USDA) have been chewing this over for years. The Bushies at USDA generously gave the public seven days of comment (instead of the usual 30 or 45) on the latest loopholes Big Ag and Big Bug Spray found for our tables.

Big Ag and Big Bug Spray have entered their “Harry Potter” phase. They want the USDA to magically declare:

  • Chemically grown rice magically produces organic rice starch
  • Chemically grown hops magically make organic beer.
  • Chemical cheese from chemically raised milk magically contains organic whey protein
  • Chemical fish raised in pens and fed nothing but artificial food pellets and antibiotics will – when passed through industrial grinders – magically produce organic fish oil.

Big Ag and Big Bug Spray believe in magic. Who knew?

Hey, maybe they just couldn’t admit it while Falwell was around.

(Photo of Chinese factory by Ariana Lindquist for The New York Times, via Goldy)


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