Monday, August 17, 2009

Restore Organic Law

My trip to the farmers market this weekend yielded three wonderful pints of organic wild blueberries. I promptly vacuum sealed them and put them in my freezer, for a winter full of yummy berry dishes for the family. Each quart of blueberries came with a sticker on it that identified that they were certified organic by MOFGA, picked on Arthur Harvey's blueberry farm in Hartford Maine, and packaged by Betsy’s of Maine. But the most interesting tidbit on the small sticker was the link to this website where I discovered the danger organic standards are in. In essence, lobbyists allowed the inclusion of non-organic substances to be allowed into foods that can still be labeled as organic. Harvey, a 72-year-old organic blueberry farmer and inspector, then sued Agriculture Secretary, alleging that the National Organic Program was overstepping the bounds of the Organic Foods Production Act. This change in the standards of organic foods and processing, "is to allow synthetic ingredients in manufacturing foods to be labeled organic. Prior to this change the words quoted above served as a firewall for organic products, preventing the addition of synthetics. But now, only the discretion of USDA will determine which synthetics are used---mostly without being named on the labels." If you are interested in preserving the purity of organic foods, please go to the website and see what you can do to help. A sample letter that you can send to law makers can be found here. Another website to visit is Organic Consumers. One thing I know for sure, I am proud of who and where my blueberries came from!

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