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From September 20, 2005                                                                                                           

ACTION ALERT: ORGANIC STANDARDS UNDER ATTACK
Write Congress TODAY Before It’s Too Late
Say NO to Dangerous Organic Rider on Senate Appropriations Bill
(Beyond Pesticides, September 20, 2005)
The Organic Trade Association and many food processors are asking Congress to change the Organic Food Production Act (OFPA) in ways that could allow numerous unreviewed synthetic substances in products labeled "ORGANIC" and weaken organic dairy standards.

CALL AND WRITE YOUR SENATORS TODAY Before the Senate Takes This Up As Early As Today!

TELL THEM NOT TO WEAKEN OUR ORGANIC LAW!!!

A recent court decision ruled that the Organic Foods Production Act does not allow synthetic (non-natural) ingredients to be used in foods labeled “organic” and must ensure a strong standard under which dairy cows are converted to organic milk production. See Beyond Pesticides' article on the subject.

After rejecting efforts by members of the public interest and environmental community to reach an agreement on these issues, major food processors in the organic food industry are pushing Congress to “quietly” change the law to allow the use of such synthetic ingredients and potentially weaken the organic dairy standards. This industry’s amendments to change the organic food law have been introduced on the floor of the U.S. Senate today, and may be voted on as early as tomorrow. We need your help to defeat a weakening of our organic food law!

More specifically the industry’s amendments:

**could permanently allow synthetic processing aids and food contact substances, including over 500 food contact substances, to be used in organic foods without any type of public review for their safety and compatibility with organic production and processing.

**leave unresolved whether young dairy cows could be treated with antibiotics and then converted to organic after twelve months;

**create a serious new loophole in which organic ingredients could be substituted with non-organic ingredients without any consumer notice based upon “emergency decrees.” For more details, see Myth and Reality: Proposed Amendments to OFPA Premature and Overreaching.

KEEP THE ORGANIC LABEL TRUTHFUL – REJECT THE INDUSTRY’S AMENDMENTS.

TAKE ACTION: Write a letter (use sample or write your own heartfelt letter) to your Senators TODAY. See Beyond Pesticides' letter and National Cooperative Grocers Association's letter to the Senate. For additional background, see Court Weighs in on Organic Integrity.