Action Alert

The Organic Watergate

Don’t Let Organic Food be Corrupted
with Suspect Synthetic Ingredients,
Biased Science, and Corporate Influence

The Cornucopia Institute

Sign and Send in Your Proxy Letter

Consumers rightly expect high standards for organic food when they pay premium prices for organic products. Yet increasingly, corporate influence is corrupting the management of the USDA’s organic program and the National Organic Standards Board.

An unseemly alliance between corporate agribusiness and the USDA has resulted in a growing number of dangerous chemicals being allowed in organic farming and food processing.

The USDA, under President Bush, and now under the Obama administration, has stacked the governing body of organics, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), with corporate representatives (despite the fact that Congress set aside the majority of seats specifically for consumers, farmers and other independent organic community members).

Not being a scientific body the NOSB has depended on, theoretically, independent scientific experts to advise it. Now Cornucopia’s investigations find that the scientists advising the board …. are frequently corporate employees or consultants too!

And now you see why we call this the Organic Watergate … the fix is in!

We need you to help amplify the call for careful scrutiny of all synthetics in organics, a credible and independent scientific review process, and a legally-mandated diverse NOSB membership that truly reflects the composition of the organic community—as Congress intended. Please sign and send in your proxy letter today!

Download Proxy

And if concerns about synthetics in organic food is not enough to motivate you to take action, how about “organic” livestock, like laying hens, that spend their lives confined in giant buildings?

The USDA is letting corporate agribusiness get away with murder even though the law requires outdoor access. And now, a totally inadequate proposal comes out of the NOSB to provide the birds with a measly 2 ft.² of outdoor space. Only a lobbyist would love this solution—certainly not a laying hen!

Corporate lobbyists are out in force at NOSB meetings, pushing their unseemly agenda. But Cornucopia will be there too, and we aim to counter their efforts. Your proxy and (optional) financial support will strengthen our collective voice making sure the NOSB hears the depth of public backing for authentic and wholesome organic food.

Specifically, your signature on a proxy will demand that the USDA:

  • Remove carrageenan from the list of approved non-organic food substances due to serious health and environmental concerns—including being an inflammatory agent, causing serious intestinal disease, and classified as a “possible carcinogen.” A possible carcinogen in organic food?
  • Ensure that truly independent scientists—not just those associated with giant agribusinesses—review all future materials and ingredients proposed for use in organics.
  • Require the USDA to follow the law when making appointments to the diverse 15-member NOSB, as Congress intended when they established the oversight board.
  • Get reconsideration by the NOSB of its recent controversial approval of genetically mutated algal and fungal oils (DHA/ARA), extracted with synthetic petroleum-based solvents, for use in organic infant formula, dairy and other products.
  • Support meaningful animal welfare standards for egg-laying hens, poultry and other livestock species that make organics the gold standard for animal welfare.

Ethical organic farmers, and their processing partners, need your support more than ever. And your family deserves authentic organic food! Don’t let powerful corporations acting recklessly in their short-sighted pursuit of profit, in concert with a frequently indifferent USDA, ruin organics.

Together we can stand in support of an organic label we can all believe in.

Please act now. Take a moment to print, sign and mail the proxy letter that we will hand deliver to the USDA—and please forward this message to your contacts!

The Cornucopia Institute P.O. Box 126 Cornucopia, WI 54827