On April 29 in San Antonio, Texas, Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and March Against Monsanto San Antonio (MAMSA) representatives protested at the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting. The protest is against changes being made to organic standards that would mean that more and more non-organic and synthetic ingredients would be allowed to be listed as organic.
As Alexis Baden-Mayer, political director for the OCA explains, “For more than a decade, the process for deciding what ingredients and materials are allowed in organic has been fairly democratic. Under the new provision, it will be extremely difficult to get non-organic materials and ingredients removed from the list. Our protest today is intended to draw attention to the threat this new process poses to organic standards, the arbitrary manner in which the process was changed, and to demand that the change be reversed.”
Some believe that this change was made to perniciously grow the organic market. In any case, the list of non-organic materials targeted for removal, including sausage casings made from the intestines of non-organic animals from factory farms, is enough to convince any reasonable person that this change must be corrected, and organic standards must be protected. You can support OCA in saving organic standards by signing their petition.
As MAMSA representative Cynthia Kurkowski put it, “It’s important to keep organic standards strong. Organic farming is the best alternative to genetically modified industrial agriculture. This change impacts everyone who is now seeking alternatives to GMOs, not just the people who already consider themselves to be part of the organic community. Organic has to be a system people trust in order to get them to buy in.”
Image credit: galant via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution