“Major Victory for Organic Consumers and Integrity..” USDA Busted in Federal Court for Breaking Its Own Rules
“Major Victory for Organic Consumers and Integrity..” USDA Busted in Federal Court for Breaking Its Own Rules.
The USDA organic program is considered the gold standard for mainstream food production, but recently organic watchdog groups and health organizations have called out the organization for not enforcing its own rules, standards and codes.
The organization has been accused of watering down standards in the past, and now some of those suspicions are being reconfirmed as a federal court has ruled that the USDA broke its own law regarding the organic program.
As noted in this press release by the Center for Food Safety:
“Synthetic pesticides are once again prohibited in compost used for organic production, thanks to a federal court in the Northern District of California. The court issued a decision in litigation brought by several nonprofits challenging the United States Department of Agriculture’s allowance of pesticide contamination in compost used in organic food production.
“Center for Food Safety, Center for Environmental Health and Beyond Pesticides filed the case in April 2015, arguing that USDA had unlawfully changed organic regulations to create a new pesticide loophole without first undertaking a formal rulemaking and allowing the public to participate in any such decision.”
The post was shared on Facebook by Jim Gerritsen, president of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, who had this to say:
“This important ruling declared USDA is not above the law and must FOLLOW FORMAL RULEMAKING and NOT ignore the law’s requirement for public input…
“This is a major victory for organic consumers and organic integrity.”
As sales of organic food have exploded, many people have wondered about whether companies and food producers would continue to be held to a high and truly organic standard in food production.
While the potential for abuses and fraud remains, the ruling against the USDA shows that there is still hope for the organic label and its promise of a better quality product after all.
“The court decision upholds an organic industry that has been built on a foundation of consumer and farmer investment in ecologically sound practices, principles and values to protect health and the environment.
“USDA has violated a basic requirement of public accountability in the standard setting process, which is fundamental to public trust in the organic label and continued growth in organic production,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides.
For more reactions and information on the ruling, check out the full press release by clicking here.