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WHITE HOUSE PETITION: President Obama, Please Reverse USDA Coup Undermining Organics


Green Lifestyle  (tags: conservation, eco-friendly, environment, food, greenliving, healthy, organic, protection, Sustainabililty )

Kathy
- 204 days ago - cornucopia.org
When Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA), they created a unique and powerful citizen advisory panel, with statutory authority, to assist the Secretary of Agriculture in implementing the act. The independent National Organic->



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Kathy B. (106)
Friday August 8, 2014, 4:52 pm
When Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA), they created a unique and powerful citizen advisory panel, with statutory authority, to assist the Secretary of Agriculture in implementing the act. The independent National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) was a key component of OFPA when it passed Congress. Without its creation as a buffer between corporate lobbyists and an industry-friendly USDA (the agency testified against the organic legislation before its passage), it is unlikely that OFPA would have received the requisite support in the organic farming community.

Now the independence and power of the 15-member NOSB – composed of farmers, environmentalists, public interest groups, food processors, a scientist, a retailer and a certifier – is being seriously undermined. Last fall the USDA, in its most unapologetic and undemocratic power grab to date, broke with 15 years of precedent in stripping the NOSB of much of its authority and power.

Please help roll back these changes by signing this petition
to President Obama and USDA Secretary Vilsack.

The USDA’s power grab includes a critical change to the legally mandated sunset review process for synthetic and non-organic materials approved for use in organic production. These materials receive temporary (five-year) approval for use until organic alternatives are developed, hence the term “sunset.” The USDA’s revision makes removal of the synthetics highly improbable (even if they are found to be a threat to human health or the environment), and dulls incentives for developing organic alternatives. Key congressional sponsors of the original organic legislation (Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont and representative Peter DeFazio of Oregon) have expressed their strong objection to the new policies as have several highly respected former chairs of the NOSB.

The USDA has also removed the ability of the NOSB to set their own work plan and agenda as well as effectively conducting their own meetings. The USDA now even claims the power to co-chair NOSB meetings. Additionally, the Ag Secretary has made legally questionable appointments stacking the NOSB with corporate agribusiness employees who do not meet the criteria established by Congress.

All of these crass and possibly illegal acts by the USDA have the potential to undermine consumer confidence in the certified organic label. Indeed, over the past two presidential administrations, the board has adopted a number of policies favorable towards powerful agribusiness interests and failed to address practices that threaten organic integrity.

Previous research from The Cornucopia Institute has documented how powerful corporate interests, including the industry lobby group the Organic Trade Association (OTA), have been gaming the system for years with the help of a friendly USDA.

But in the past few years, farmers, consumers and groups like Cornucopia have stood up and begun challenging industry proposals pushing increased use of gimmicky synthetics and suspect nutraceuticals in organic food. We have been successful in blocking a number of the industry-backed schemes. In fact, we have been so successful that corporate interests and their minions at the USDA have now decided they need to change the rules in the middle of the game.

The future of organic food and agriculture is at a crossroads. Consumers are increasingly hungry for healthy, nutrient-dense food produced in a sustainable manner and believe that the farmers growing the food should be able to earn a real living wage. Farmers and consumers must again stand together and forcefully request that President Obama step in and force the USDA to back off their power grab and return to the NOSB its rightful powers and authority.

Join with us and sign the petition to President Obama and USDA Secretary Vilsack.
Help save the bright future of organic food and agriculture.
 

Penny C. (83)
Friday August 8, 2014, 5:01 pm
Thanks Kathy.Signed.
 

Natasha Salgado (592)
Friday August 8, 2014, 5:03 pm
Signed-thx
 

JL A. (275)
Friday August 8, 2014, 5:27 pm
S&N-waiting for email confirmation; thanks Kathy
 

AniMae Chi (436)
Friday August 8, 2014, 6:50 pm
Thank you for signing this petition!
You've successfully signed the petition "President Obama: Don't Let the USDA Undermine the Governance and Integrity of Organic Food and Agriculture". Your signature has been verified and counted.
TOTAL SIGNATURES ON THIS PETITION 33,268

Thanx Kathy
 

Rose NoFWDSPLZ (290)
Saturday August 9, 2014, 4:19 am
Signed Kathy Thanks
 

Heidi Wood (17)
Saturday August 9, 2014, 10:57 am
Signed
 

Sue H. (6)
Saturday August 9, 2014, 11:46 pm
Noted and signed, thanks.
 

Betty Kelly (4)
Saturday August 9, 2014, 11:57 pm
To me Organic means no chemicals.
 

Panchali Yapa (19)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 5:01 am
Thank you
 

sandy g. (10)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 9:14 am
Why is the government against our health?
 

Ben Oscarsito (364)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 9:39 am
Done. (Your signature has been verified and counted)
 

Katherine May Williams (0)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 11:16 am
Noted.
 

Lois Jordan (58)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 12:46 pm
Signed & noted and will verify. Thank you, Kathy.
 

Joanne Dixon (40)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 12:51 pm
We used to be able to log in at WhiteHouse.gov, and then didn't have to verify our signature. I would have thought logging in would be safer. I wonder why they changed it.
 

Birgit W. (157)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 12:53 pm
Signed.
 

donald Baumgartner (5)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 2:25 pm
Signed!!!
 

Colleen L. (2)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 3:18 pm
Petition signed. Will verify. Thanks Kathy
 

Joe R. (190)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 3:19 pm
Signed and noted. Thanks Kathy. (Email address confirmed.)
 

Nelson Baker (0)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 3:37 pm
Signed and noted. I believe the USDA is corrupt. Obama should fire the head of USDA and all of his associates.
 

Sheila D. (26)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 4:10 pm
Noted and signed. Thanks, Kathy.
 

Anne K. (133)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 5:24 pm
Signed and noted. Thanks, Kathy.
 

Lona Goudswaard (82)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 6:28 pm
S&N
 

Charlie Rush (78)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 6:38 pm
One can only imagine the progress we could make in the U.S.A., if President Obama as able to implement changes that he believes in his heart would help us all.
 

Fran F. (116)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 6:38 pm
Email confirmed and sent. Noted. TY, Kathy.


 

Eternal Gardener (754)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 7:05 pm
Thank you for signing this petition!
You've successfully signed the petition "President Obama: Don't Let the USDA Undermine the Governance and Integrity of Organic Food and Agriculture". Your signature has been verified and counted.
 

Bonnie Lynn M. (1)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 7:37 pm
Petition signed. Thank you
 

Maria Teresa Schollhorn (41)
Monday August 11, 2014, 1:57 am
Noted. Email confirmed.
Thanks Kathy.
 

Dogan Ozkan (1)
Monday August 11, 2014, 3:21 am
noted and signed
 

Stella Gambardella (241)
Monday August 11, 2014, 8:21 am
Petizione firmata. Grazie.
 

Robert O. (12)
Monday August 11, 2014, 9:52 am
Have signed. Thanks Kathy.
 

Stardust Noel (48)
Monday August 11, 2014, 11:40 am
Signed, shared & noted.
 

Ellen Kent (0)
Monday August 11, 2014, 12:43 pm
signed/sent
 

Theresa Robinson (68)
Monday August 11, 2014, 5:07 pm
NOTED SHARED. CAN'T SIGNED DUE TO POSTAL CODE! I DON'T HAVE A ZIP CODE,AND A LOT OF PETITION HAVE THIS,AND SO IT LEAVES ME OUT! SUCK'S! THANK'S FOR SHARING KATHY:) T R.
 

Carol P. (46)
Monday August 11, 2014, 6:56 pm
Noted. Signed.
 

Panchali Yapa (19)
Monday August 11, 2014, 9:57 pm
Thank you
 

Colleen L. (2)
Monday August 11, 2014, 10:02 pm
Petition signed. Thanks Kathy
 

Alan Lambert (97)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 1:53 am
Signed and Noted, Thanks for Posting
 

Sharon L. (134)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 4:14 am
Signed and noted
 

Sarah Ellissa Markey (39)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 4:23 am
Signed and noted.
 

Mandi T. (432)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 2:28 pm
Signed
 

Mandi T. (432)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 2:29 pm
Your signature has been verified and counted.
 

Kyle N. (1)
Wednesday August 20, 2014, 11:33 pm
Should bring CRP acres back up to 36 million acres instead of 25 Million which Obama cut it back to.
 
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