American family farmers and ranchers grow and raise organic foods for the nation under strict standards. Those standards are set by the National Organic Program under the guidance of the National Organic Standards Board and protect the integrity of the industry. When major producers and organic product importers fail to comply with these standards, it puts all organic farmers and ranchers at a major disadvantage. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson highlighted the importance of the USDA enforcing those standards in a letter sent to Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue. Johnson pointed out two examples of incidents that called into question the integrity of the organic seal. The first discussed longstanding concerns that the nation’s largest organic milk producer, Aurora Organic Dairy, has not complied with the Organic Access to Pasture rule. Johnson also mentioned imports of corn and soybeans from eastern Europe that were fraudulently labeled “organic.” Johnson says U.S. farmers entered into organic production to add value to their farms. “The fraudulent imports caused a drastic drop in organic grain prices and caused consumer suspicion about the program,” Johnson says.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.
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