Defending Organic

By Eliot Coleman

The USDA is not defending the honest, old-time, carefully stewarded farming practices that organic used to represent. The USDA National Organic Program has been totally corrupted by the money, the power, and the influence of industrial food corporations. USDA certification is now a hollow sham. For example:

Hydroponic vegetables, grown with artificial lighting and nutrient solutions from the chemistry lab, are now sold as “USDA Certified Organic” with no mention of hydroponic anywhere on the label. (If the “organic” berries come from Driscols, they are hydroponic. If the “organic” tomatoes and cucumbers come from Wholsum Harvest or imported from Holland, Canada or Mexico, they are hydroponic.)

Undesirable additives are allowed in your “organic” junk food. (A lawsuit to stop that was overruled with USDA collusion.) Enormous ‘Confined Animal Feeding Operations’ (CAFOs) with no access for the animals to outdoor pastures (as the regulations demand) are producing the majority of the “organic” milk and eggs in this country. (Most milk from Horizon and all from Aurora Dairy is produced in CAFOs. Eggs from Cal-Maine, Herbruck, or Petaluma/Organic Valley are from CAFOs.) The USDA turns a blind eye to this illegal production. The USDA recently scrapped new animal welfare standards for organic certification at the behest of these CAFOs.

The integrity of the passionate, old-time, organic farmers who started this movement is now nothing but greenwash for the USDA “fauxganic” program.