Organic Consumers Association

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Kucinich Secures Funding for Organic Farming Research

 Washington D.C. (October 7, 2009) - Congressman Kucinich (D-OH) secured a legislative victory for organic farmers and consumers by ensuring that the US Department of Agriculture will collect and share economic data that is essential to help the organics industry compete with agribusiness.  The $500,000 for the Organic Production and Market Data Initiative was secured as part of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriation Act.

"Organic foods and products should be able to, at a minimum, compete equally with foods and products made with pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and genetic manipulation," said Kucinich.

Reliable economic data is critical for any industry. Organic farming is one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. agriculture. There are currently over 16,000 organic farms and over 11,000 conventional farms that are converting additional acres into organic.  The need and demand for this information will continue to increase, and with this funding, we will help to ensure that growth is possible.

"Organic farming makes sense for our health as well as the health of our air, water, and soil.  That is why it is one of the fastest growing businesses in the US."

In recent years, the Economic Research Service of the USDA has engaged in the collection and analysis of segregated organic data. Information collected by the USDA in the recent past has been highly valued by the organics industry.

$500,000 of the $82.5 million budget of the Economic Research Service will ensure that critical information about organics, like farm numbers and trends, marketing trends, consumer preferences and contracting practices in the organic sector, is available to meet the needs of organic farmers.

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