The U.S. Department of Agriculture is attemping to redefine organic foods to include foods that are genetically engineered, irradiated, factory - farmed, and grown on top of toxic sewage sludge. This represents nothing less than an "unfriendly takeover" of the organic foods industry by agribusiness, chemical-biotech corporations, and giant supermarket chains.

On Dec, 15, the USDA announced their proposed national organic standards. These standards define what can be legally certified and labeled as organic. Following final approval, it will basically be illegal for producers and retailers to uphold and promote standards stricter than the USDA allows.

Currently, when we shop for foods labeled "organic," we can be reasonably certain of what we're getting. But under the proposed USDA laws, there are no explicit prohibitions against:

Genetic Engineering
Using genetic engineering to produce foods.

Factory Farming
Using inhumane, intensive confinement, factory farm style production methods on farm animals

Toxic Sludge
Spreading toxic sewage sludge and industrial wastes, so-called "biosolids," on pastures and farmlands where animals graze and food is grown.

AnimaI Cannibalisin
Feeding back diseased and waste animal body parts, offal, and blood to farm animals.

Food Irradiation
Using radioactive nuclear wastes to "kill bacteria" and prolong the shelf life of food products.




the SOS Action Network in your local area.

Send a letter, fax, or email to the USDA (to the address and docket number listed below) demanding that they maintain strict organic standards by explicitly prohibiting the unacceptable agricultural practices listed on this leaflet. Demand also that they allow private and state organic certication bodies to maintain stricter organic standards than those the USDA requires. Remind the USDA that this is a basic issue of free speech and of consumers' right to choose. Ask your natural food store to provide materials so that consumers can write these letters while they are shopping.

Make copies of your comment letter to the USDA and send them to your legislators and local media. Follow up your letter to your legislators with a telephone call. Tell them that, as a constituent, you want them to put their position on organic standards in writing so that this can be forwarded on to the USDA.

Contact natural food stores, farmers markets, and community-oriented restaurants in your area and get them involved in the SOS campaign.

Letters to the USDA should be sent to:

USDA-National Organic Standards
Docket # TMD - 94 - 00 - 2
Address: USDA, AMS, Room 4007 - S
AgStop 0275, P.O. Box 96456
Washington, D.C. 20090-6456
Fax: Include Docket Number (202) 690-4632
e mail: see http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop

To help organize an SOS Campaign in your local area Contact:
Pure Food Campaign/ Save Organic Standards
860 Hwy 61 Little Marais, MN. 55614
Tel 1-800-253-0681 or (218) 226-4164 Fax: (218) 226-4157
email alliance@mr.net http://www.geocities.com/athens/1527

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