Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tell the USDA not to lower organic standards

The USDA wants to allow genetically engineered foods and the use of nanotechnology to be organic!

Here's the letter I sent to Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture:

I am concerned that the USDA is trying to degrade organic agriculture by trying to allow genetic engineering and nanotechnology into organic regulations. A May 2009 report issued by the USDA Foreign Agriculture Information Network, "The Unexplored Potential of Organic-Biotech Production," argues that "Governments should change their regulations to allow producers to gain organic certification for biotech crops grown with organic methods." Also in May, the National Organic Standards Board began talking about a ban on nanotechnology in organic, but felt stymied by their assumption that "Under the current definition, most nanotechnology would not fall into the category of excluded methods."

For organic consumers like myself, there is no question that these developing technologies have no place in organic agriculture--and I do not want them in the food and products I give my family. Genetically modified organisms are not safe. They have been linked to thousands of toxic and allergenic reactions, thousands of sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ and system studied in lab animals. Nanotechnology is also very dangerous. Early scientific evidence indicates that some nanomaterials produce free radicals which destroy or mutate DNA and can cause damage to the liver and kidneys.

Every day, new evidence of the dangers of nanotechnology emerge: 

- Workplace nanoparticle exposure was linked to seven cases of serious and progressive lung disease in China - including two patient deaths.
- Nanoparticles present in a chemical found in sunscreens - titanium dioxide - are being studies for their connection to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Genetically engineered and nanotech products are already unlabeled because the government refuses to acknowledge that genetically engineered and nanotech versions of natural substances are very different from the original. Buying food and personal care products that are certified organic is the only way for me to avoid these dangerous and untested technologies. Please do not lower the organic standards and allow these dangerous and unnatural technologies in organic products.


To get more info or to send a letter, go to the Organic Consumers Association Web site.

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