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Department of Agriculture wants organic rules enforced

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
According to The New York Times, at the end of March the Department of Agriculture noted that it would "Begin enforcing rules requiring the spot testing of organically grown foods for traces of pesticides, after an auditor exposed major gaps in federal oversight of the organic food industry."

Spot testing has actually been required for some time due to a 1990 law created as the basis for national organic standards, but recent reports show that regulators have never made sure that the testing required by law was being carried out.

Also from the Times:

The testing for pesticide residues is expected to begin in September. It will be done by the network of independent certifying agents that are already accredited by the department to inspect and certify organic growers, processors and handlers... details of the pesticide inspections were still being worked out but that they would probably focus on growers whose risk of pesticide contamination might be highest, like those whose organic fields are cultivated next to nonorganic fields or those that raise both organic and conventional crops.

Hopefully what this means is that consumers who are paying more for organics get what they expect. Not to mention that it's just kind of shoddy to let people use the organic label when pesticides are still in play.
post #2 of 3
In my honest opinion, the United States lags behind other developed nations in terms of government efforts to improve food safety standards, especially when it comes to organically-grown goods. The FDAs approval of GMOs, for example, is a major disappointment because I think it relegates the people's rights and safety at a lower order beneath the interests of corporate entities. Another example is how the US allows the use of bovine growth hormones in cows when it is banned from other countries like those in Europe, in New Zealand and even Canada.

It's good news therefore that the government is stepping up its efforts to clean the dirt in the organics industry.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
I agree with you. We're behind in a lot of things, especially as related to food. I think it's so obvious we have issues when you consider that we're the number one obese country in the world - it's evident that few people are thinking seriously about what they eat. I'm not surprised more people don't demand stricter food laws. You know? 

Overall this is good news but these laws have been in place for so long that it's a little laughable that they're just getting on board now. While I'm glad to hear that change might be in the works I'll wait to see what they actually do before throwing the Department of Agriculture a party.
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