USDA appoints corporate agribusiness reps to Organic Standards Board
Published on Tuesday, December 19, 2006.
Source: News Target
(NewsTarget) The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced last week that it has appointed four corporate agribusiness representatives to positions on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), which advises the USDA on laws that govern the $16 billion organic industry, according to the Organic Consumers Association (OCA).
The Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) mandates that the NOSB be comprised of a diverse group of organic experts. However, the USDA appointed four corporate representatives to fill open spots on the board.
Katrina Heinze from General Mills was appointed to the position of scientist; Tracy Miedema from Stahlbush Island Farms — a largely non-organic operation — was appointed Consumer and Public Interest Group Representative; Tina Ellor of Phillips Mushroom Farms was appointed environmentalist; and Campbell Soup’s Steve DeMuri was appointed handler.
OCA National Director Ronnie Cummings said the USDA’s appointments are a “blatant attempt” by the Bush administration to stack the NOSB with industrial farming supporters.
“Stahlbush Farms, which admits on its website to using pesticides, fungicides, and insecticides on its crops is not, by any stretch of the imagination, an organic consumer or public interest group,” Cummins said. “Likewise, General Mills is not an academic institution, qualified to submit an impartial ‘scientist’ to serve on the NOSB.”
Read it here.