Over the last twelve years the OCA has organized a series of national campaigns to safeguard organic standards.
While the OCA and our allies have prevented the standards from being significantly watered down, constant vigilance and mobilization have been necessary.
The Diane Rehm show recently covered the current debate over organic standards:
"The market for organic food has grown from just $1 billion in 1990 to nearly $30 billion today. As big corporations enter the market, concern has grown about enforcement of organic standards, and some see the movement drifting away from its founding principles of sustainability and local farming. They are alarmed by organic tomatoes grown in far-off, Mexican deserts that require constant irrigation, organic cows living on industrial-sized feedlots, and chickens laying organic eggs while confined in high-capacity barns. But others say that big farms bring organic food to the masses."
Listen to the show, then take action on the alerts below and in the column to the right.
Martek Biosciences claims that they are non-GMO, but the Organic Consumers Association has learned that their products are genetic engineered, processed with volatile synthetic solvents and microencapsulated, three things that are expressly banned from organic.
Tragically, Martek's Life'sDHA and Life'sARA are already in hundreds of products, including certified USDA Organic infant formula, baby food and dairy products.
The National Organic Program is trying to remedy this situation by conducting a formal review of Martek's products.
Please urge the USDA National Organic Program to inform the company that the illegal 2006 approval is rescinded and that their GMO, solvent-extracted, microencapsulated Life'sDHA and Life'sARA are not allowed in organic products.
Industrial agriculture's fatal harvest includes trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and filthy, disease-ridden factory farmed animal products, laced with pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, nano-particles and bacteria.
While a cornucopia of healthy food alternatives are available at the local level, from small organic farmers to urban gardeners to raw milk distribution networks and community supported agriculture projects, the USDA National Organic Program is the only system to provide certified national and global standards for organic food that is distributed regionally, nationally, and internationally.
Foods labeled "USDA Organic" are the gold standard for health and sustainability at the retail and wholesale level. Organics provide a beacon of light in grocery store aisles to guide consumers away from GMOs and chemical-tainted junk foods.
Consumer demand for healthy and eco-friendly food has built the organic market into a $30 billion a year powerhouse, and has forced even the largest retailers, wholesalers and brand names to get into organics.
While we oppose the "Walmartization" of organic, we are happy to see that even our adversaries are being forced to market and sell organic products.
While OCA's campaigns against worker abuses, GMOs, factory farming, and the many poisons used in industrial food production, are aimed at tearing down a deadly system, our work to keep organic standards strong guarantees that even the big corporate players must "play by the rules" if they are to call their products organic.
Unfortunately the big players (Monsanto, Kraft, Wal-Mart, General Mills, et al) keep trying to change the rules, which means we've got to keep fighting them.