USDA Stacks Government Organic Panel With Industry Reps

The OCA recently blew the whistle on the USDA's appointment of four new representatives to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) with strong ties to corporate agribusiness. The NOSB is the organic community's traditional watchdog over organic standards. According to the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, the USDA is supposed to appoint a NOSB that is broadly representative of the organic community, including environmentalists, consumer representatives and scientistst. But the USDA has begun to arbitrarily fill vacant seats with industry representatives from companies such as General Mills and Campbell's, companies whose profits are almost entirely based on nonorganic crops grown with synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Thousands of organic consumers have responded to this outrage by sending emails to the USDA demanding the removal of these appointees. The USDA's stonewalling so far indicates the agency feels that its appointees, indeed, are as "diverse" as federal law requires. In fact, in a letter to the Syracuse New Times Standard, the agency points out that diversity is truly present in the current industry appointees, pointing out that they all work in different parts of the U.S.. Now that's diversity! If you haven't already done so, contact the USDA and demand that true organic advocates be appointed to the NOSB:

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