WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–October 11 – As collateral damage spreads, with Congress continuing at loggerheads over a Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government, the newest victims include farmers and consumers who depend on the USDA to oversee the propriety and integrity of the organic industry.
The Associated Press announces a new US-Japan deal that could lead to more organic options.
The United States and Japan have agreed to make it easier to import each other’s organic products, the latest step in a global effort that could give consumers access to more — and cheaper — organic food. The Agriculture Department announced an agreement Thursday between the United States and Japan that will allow organic products to be certified in one of the countries and be sold as organic in both. The agreement will allow producers to sell their products in both countries without going through the lengthy process of getting certified twice. The agreement is similar to a 2009 deal with Canada and a 2012 deal with the European Union. Agriculture officials say they are looking at agreements with other countries — South Korea, and possibly India, Brazil and Mexico down the road — that could also make it easier for U.S. organic farmers to sell abroad. Continue reading
Organic farming advocate, Philippe van den Bossche,responds to an article discussing the benefits of eating organic.
According to a Wall Street Journal article, sales of organic food have been rising steadily over the past 10 years, “reaching almost $30 billion in 2011, or 4.2% of all U.S. food and beverage sales, as reported by the Organic Trade Association. Most who purchase organic products believe paying more for organic foods is worth it because it allows them to avoid exposure to chemical pesticides, fertilizers and hormones. However, there are families who are unsure if organic food is worth the extra cost.
Chensheng Lu, an associate professor of environmental exposure biology at the Harvard School of Public Health, argues for eating more organic food. He says that there is some convincing scientific evidence that suggests an organic diet has its benefits and that it should be common sense that consuming food free of pesticides and chemicals “is safer and better for us than food containing those substances, even at trace levels.” In a 2006 study published in the journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, pesticides disappeared from children’s urine after five days of substituting mostly organic produce for conventional produce. Continue reading