The USDA is considering a…

The USDA is considering a list of 38 nonorganic ingredients that will be permitted in organic foods. "The list includes 19 food colorings, two starches, casings for sausages and hot dogs, fish oil, chipotle chili pepper, gelatin and a host of obscure ingredients (one, for instance, is a 'bulking agent' and sweetener with the tongue-twisting name of fructooligosaccharides)." I don't understand how this is even an issue. You either grow it by the rules, or it's not organic. Or is this some Orwellian thing, Organic is Nonorganic?

6 thoughts on “The USDA is considering a…

  1. Theres a nice piece about how the organic farmers almost completely lost the battle over the USDA-enforced meaning of the term “organic” in The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

  2. Next the USDA will launch a huge marketing scheme for the word “sustainable” and then they’ll sour the definition of that word too. Organic, it its original definition (by Lord Northbourn in “Look to the Land”) once encompassed the same meaning that “sustainable” denotes today. The USDA really used and abused “organic” for marketing, so most small producers have already abandoned the organic labeling or have sought other labels. If only the system worked so that large producers could do the same…

  3. Remember when labels actually meant something?
    We need a simple pledge – “Changing the meaning of a food product name to allow it to be made with different, cheaper ingredients constitutes fraud.”

  4. Also, I fail to see how something can be labeled “Organic” when it’s only 95% organic. Shouldn’t “Organic” be 100% organic, and 95% organic be “Mostly Organic”?

  5. This is a strange issue. USDA regulates the food supply, organic foods become popular, USDA has to step in to define what it means to be Organic to protect consumers so there is some semblance of unity on the definition, then they start allowing all these exceptions so that the large producers can make money off organic consumers.
    Eventually, producers of non-contaminated foods will have to include long definitions on their labels:
    “This food was produced with no chemicals, herbicides, pesticides used at any time during any part of the process from growth, to harvest, to processing.”

  6. You do realize this it the US Govt under the Bush admin, don’t you? Rather naive to think that Big Brother is going to look out for you, when the status quo has been for Big Brother to look out for the lobbyist’s interests, not the consumers.
    I know that organic seems like a no-brainer, but I don’t think that’s the starting assumption with how our govt agencies deal with reality, with this or any other administration.
    Just sayin.

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