Here we all are, trying to do the right thing and support organic foods and then, BAM! things get messy. Soon it won't be enough to look for the USDA Organic seal on products. As I read on treehugger today, "The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) greenlighted a proposal late last Friday allowing 38 new non-organic ingredients in products bearing the "USDA Organic" seal, despite more than 10,000 e-mails and letters from concerned consumers and farmers, according to the Organic Consumer's Association."
So, this means that Anheuser Busch will be allowed to sell its "Organic Wild Hops Beer" without using any organic hops at all. And, sausages, brats, and breakfast links labeled as "USDA Organic" are now allowed to contain intestines from factory farmed animals raised on chemically grown feed, synthetic hormones, and antibiotics.
It really infuriates me that this has to be so complicated. From my humble perspective it looks like big businesses are the only ones to gain from this. As a consumer, I want to be able to buy pure organic products knowing they are held to high ingredient standards. What is the point of having separate organics and an indentifying label if they are not what they claim to be?
If you are as outraged as I am, please sign a petition on the Organic Consumers Association website. I really do try to keep the petition requests to a minimum, but this one seems important and urgent. In an unusual twist on standard policy, they have given the public only 7 days to comment on this proposal. They make it very easy for busy people to sign it quickly.