Thursday, May 27, 2004

USDA rescinds changes to organic food labellling

I am stunned. Earlier, I was bummed about the new USDA changes to labelling organic food, which rendered the organic label as meaningless.

Wednesday, the USDA rescinded all four changes in response to public outcry.
    Those changes, which the department called clarifications, had expanded the use of antibiotics in organic dairy cows and pesticides in crops, allowed livestock to eat nonorganic fishmeal and deregulated "organic" seafood, cosmetics and pet food.

    The reversal was in response to a broad wave of outrage from organic farmers, the $11 billion organic food industry, its advocates and Republican and Democratic supporters in Congress. They objected both to the changes and to the fact that National Organic Program administrators made them in private without consulting their own advisory board or organic producers.
Now, let's get them to test more cattle for BSE. I'm still cynical of agribusiness in government. I'm betting the cattle industry spent more money on the Bushies than the pesticide and antibiotic industries.