Organic Consumers Association

OCA
Homepage

Previous Page

Click here to print this page

Make a Donation!

JOIN THE OCA NETWORK!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Ronnie Cummins 218-349-3836 --Adam Eidinger 202-744-2671
April 15, 2004

Consumers Condemn USDA Retreat From Enforcing Organic Labeling on Non-Food Products

New NOP Scope Ignores Fraud and Hurts Honest Businesses

WASHINGTON, DC -Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program (NOP) published a new scope document that unravels efforts to establish meaningful organic standards for personal care products, dietary supplements, fertilizers, soil amendments, manure and related materials, fish and seafood, and pet foods. The new NOP Scope will make it illegal for makers of the aforementioned products to display the USDA Organic Seal in the future or make any other claims suggesting these products are made under the USDA NOP standards.
See http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/NOP/Guidance%20Statements/ScopeGuidance041304.pdf.

"The Organic Consumers Association condemns the USDA failure to regulate organic labeling, in particular for personal care products," said Ronnie Cummins, Executive Director of the Organic Consumers Association. "Under the new scope document it is our understanding that manufacturers of personal care products labeled 'organic' or 'made with organic ingredients' will be completely unregulated from now on - opening the door to massive labeling fraud - while punishing companies that have made significant investments in certified organic ingredients in recent years."

The new NOP Scope states that by October 21, 2005, organic non-food products that comply with the NOP organic regulations must remove any labeling that indicates the product is produced in compliance with the NOP regulations. In other words, companies who make organic non-food products certified to national organic standards will not be allowed to communicate that. "In effect consumers won't know if the organic claim on a non-food product is real or not," said Cummins. "Rather than work to broaden the use of certified organic materials in a wide variety of products, the NOP is limiting USDA regulation to food. The result will be reduced demand for certified organic ingredients, ultimately hurting small farmers that produce organic crops that turn out far less pollution per acre than conventional agriculture."

The OCA is planning to mobilize its 500,000 person network to protest the USDA's failure to protect organic integrity by not expanding it's jurisdiction to cover non-food products that are labeled 'organic'. "We are not going to allow this to happen without a fight," adds Cummins.

The OCA is a grassroots nonprofit organization concerned with food safety, organic farming, sustainable agriculture, fair trade and genetic engineering.

###
ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION · 6101 CLIFF ESTATE ROAD · LITTLE MARAIS, MN 55614 USA
Telephone: 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652· email: info@organicconsumers.org; http://www.organicconsumers.org