An artificial definition sours organic food

Effort to change organic standards are not in the interest of consumers.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Cancer ranks second. Considering the statistics, one must wonder about U.S. Senate efforts with the 2006 agriculture appropriations bill to attack organic standards.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the National Organic Standards Board, sets strict standards on what counts as organic.The NOSB would lose the power to set organic standards and basically hand them over to industry lobbyists and USDA officials under riders in the appropriation bill.

The organic industry has exploded over the past decade, generating $10 billion in sales annually. The efforts in the agriculture appropriations bill would benefit some big names like Wal-Mart and Dean Foods that would like to allow products treated with toxic chemicals, sewer sludge and antibiotics to be labeled organic. The organic community has prospered in the face of industrial agriculture. Following the example set by Europeans, consumers are turning to organic products with the knowledge that products made and treated with chemicals are probably not the healthiest to be consumed or used.

Organic foods must be kept truly organic. Consider acrylamide, which was named this year by the National Toxicology Program as a substance known to cause cancer in humans. Less than five years ago, acrylamide was commonly found in permanent press fabrics and high-temperature foods like french fries.

Humans are not able to handle the thousands of chemicals and artificial products they are exposed to each day. Our hunch is that humans that constantly exposed to chemicals and artificial products are more likely to get cancer and heart disease. There isn’t enough research conducted yet to make this hunch concrete, but work conducted by scientists like the ones at the National Institutes of Health points toward the deadliness of artificiality.

Keep organic products truly organic. Consumers must be allowed the opportunity to buy healthfully.