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1 Organic-A Corrupted Word You go to the local organic market, buy the more expensive food, and then

find out that what you bought wasnt truly what you thought was organic. It is happening every day in the organic food industry thanks to big business and the government. Even though Government control helps safe guard our food supply, the word organic should no longer be used in the food industry because it is abused and manipulated by big industry. Big industry has taken over the organic food industry and is getting away with manipulating and changing what we, the consumer, think of as organic. Moreover, the government caters to big business by creating laws and regulations that cater to big business which forces out many of the small farmers who are actually farming organically. To begin with, for those who are for government control say, government control helps safe guard our food supply by passing laws and regulations such as S510 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which gives the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), who oversees the FDA, a great deal of flexibility regarding the implementation of product tracing systems (Durbin). Another bill is H.R. 2749 Food Safety Bill; this bill would give the FDA greater regulatory powers over the national food supply and food providers with the goal of preventing food-borne illnesses and ensuring food safety. More specifically, it would increase the frequency of FDA inspections of food processing plants, expand the FDA's traceback capabilities for when outbreaks do occur, give the FDA mandatory recall authority, and require food facilities to have safety plans in place in order to mitigate hazards. Concurrently, the bill would require that facilities that engage in the transport or packing of food maintain pedigrees of the origin and previous distribution history of the food (Dingell).

2 For example, approximately 60% of diseases that impact humans come from animals. Government uses antibiotics in animals for the same reason as for people: to treat and control diseases. Protecting the health of animals helps to protect human health. We know how quickly bacteria can spread from person to person, especially in close groups. For example, if someone in a classroom, a dormitory or any close space contracts a disease like meningitis, everyone around that person is vaccinated to keep them from getting sick. The same thing applies to food animals. Livestock, swine and other food animals live in close groups and share food and water. If one animal gets sick, the entire herd needs to be treated. Thats why its so important for veterinarians to have the ability to administer antibiotics to food animals before they get sick, to minimize the risk of the bacteria showing up in our food (Preservation of Antibiotics). Moreover, population is increasing at a rapid pace. World population hit the six billion mark in the fall of 1999 and is expected to double in the first half of the next century. Biotechnology is a vital tool to safeguard the supply of food for the world population in the future. Although world agriculture has been able to increase food production faster than population growth, one-fourth of the world's population still suffers from hunger and malnutrition. Through agricultural biotechnology, scientists are working to develop new higheryielding crop varieties that will require fewer chemicals and less intensive cultivation, allowing farmers to produce more food and better food using fewer resources (Vantreese). Big industry is taking over the organic food industry and is getting away with manipulating the word organic. First, Dean Foods the nations largest dairy acquired Horizon Organic Milk one of the largest organic milk companies. It was purchased for $216 million to give Dean Foods a foot hold in the organic milk industry. Its part of a recent effort by many traditional food companies to get into the organic business, either with their own products or by

3 buying already-successful organic companies. Over the last four years, General Mills Inc. has acquired Cascadian Farms, French food giant Groupe Danone bought a stake in Stonyfield Farm, and H.J. Heinz Co. has invested in Hain Celestial Group Inc. This is just further evidence, according to Al Krebs of the Agribusiness Examiner that big business is trying to take over the organic industry. Secondly, the USDA developed a set of rules and got pesticides, hormones, and many drugs out of the system. That is all they addressed, there is nothing written about the kind of food that may be called organic. For the finished food to be called organic, these ingredients may not comprise more than 5% of the total product, by weight. For the finished product to be called made with organic, these ingredients may not comprise more than 30% of the product total by weight (Gold). According to Diane Brady, reporter for BusinessWeek, everyone agrees on the basic definition of organic: food grown without the assistance of man-made chemicals. For purists, the philosophy also requires farmers to treat their people and livestock with respect and, ideally, to sell small batches of what they produce locally so as to avoid burning fossil fuels to transport them. The USDA rules don't fully address these concerns. For example, Horizon Organic Dairy, the No. 1 organic milk brand in the U.S. has 8,000 cows in the Idaho desert. There, the animals consume such feed as corn, barley, hay, and soybeans, as well as some grass from pastureland. And none of this breaks USDA rules. The agency simply says animals must have "access to pasture." How much is not spelled out. "It doesn't say [livestock] have to be out there, happy and feeding, 18 hours a day," says Barbara C. Robinson, who oversees the USDA's National Organic Program. Our government caters to big business by creating laws and regulations that cater to big business which forces out many of the small farmers. To start with, HR 2749 empowers the FDA

4 to regulate how crops are raised and harvested. What is astounding is that it opens the door to the inter-governmental body that sets guidelines and standards to ensure fair trade practices (CODEX), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) good farming practices and will led to the the elimination of organic farming by eliminating manure, mandating genetically modified organism (GMO) animal feed, imposing animal drugs, and ordering applications of petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides. Farmers, thus, will be locked not only into the industrialization of once normal and organic farms but into the forced purchase of industrys products. They will be slaves on the land, doing the work they are ordered to do against their own best wisdom and paying out to industry against their will. There will be no way to be frugal, to grow ones own grain to feed the animals, to raise healthy animals without GMO grains or drugs, to work with nature at all. Grass fed cattle, poultry and hogs will be finished. So, it needs to be made clear where control will take us (Scaredhuman). Next, is S510 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act which will give Monsanto, a U.S.based multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation, unlimited power over all US seed, food supplements, food and farming. Furthermore, it makes it illegal to grow, share, trade or sell homegrown food. And what is the threat? Multinational corporations such as Monsanto, Cargill, Tysons, the pharmaceutical industry, etc. are behind the food safety bill in the Senate (S 510) that will allow the Administrator to enforce regulations that would require farmers to use best practices in agriculture. Unfortunately, those will be defined by the Administrator who is Michael Taylor, Monsanto VP and lawyer and the man who deregulated GMOs and is associated with getting rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone), into the food supply. By being in a position to set the definition of best practices and science based, the Administrator can impose GMOs, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, irradiation of food, chemical washes, and

5 other products and processes for animal health, the environment, and human health. Those products and processes are increasingly rejected by the public and exposed as deadly by scientific journals but they are the lifeblood of agribusiness and the pharmaceutical industry (Big Pharm). S 510 and the other bills would mandate their usage and punish (to the point of elimination) any such as organic farmers who would normally completely avoid such products and reject such processes. American food will become extremely dangerous to human health. But it would be the only food available so it would still sell, and the illnesses it would create would be a high yielding crop to harvest for profit by the pharmaceutical industry (Henning). In conclusion, you can see that although Government control helps safe guard our food supply, the word organic should no longer be used in the food industry because it is abused and manipulated. Big industry has taken over the organic food industry and is getting away with manipulating the word organic. Moreover, but most importantly, government is catering to big business by creating laws and regulations that force out many of the small farmers. This ultimately gives power to big business that has the money to lobby for changing the rules of the organic food industry. The public needs to be more involved in changing the laws unless we want to be told what we can or cannot eat. For those who have not been paying attention it has already begun. What if one day in the near future the government mandated what we can or cannot eat? Would you be willing give up the right to decide what is best for you and your family or would you be willing to let the government decide what is best for you?

WORKS CITED Brady, Diane. "The Organic Myth." BusinessWeek - Business News, Stock Market & Financial Advice. 16 Oct. 2006. Web. 01 Nov. 2010.

7 Dingell, John. "H.R.2749: Food Safety Enhancement Act - U.S. Congress - OpenCongress." OpenCongress - Track Bills, Votes, Senators, and Representatives in the U.S. Congress. Web. 02 Nov. 2010. Durbin, Richard. "S510." THOMAS (Library of Congress). Mar. 2009. Web. 02 Nov. 2010. Gold, Mary. "U.S. Organic Marketing Laws and Regulations. Organic Agricultural Products: Marketing and Trade Resources. Guide 1." National Agricultural Library. Jan. 2008. Web. 01 Nov. 2010. Henning, Patrick. "Why the U.S. Food Safety Bills Should Worry Even Rich Bankers on Wall Street The Bovine." The Bovine. 02 Jan. 2010. Web. 01 Nov. 2010. Krebs, Al. "Corporate America Looming Larger in Organic Sector." Organic Consumers Association. 1 Aug. 2003. Web. 30 Oct. 2010. McEntire, Jennifer C. "Product Tracing in Food Systems: Legislation versus Reality." Food Safety Magazine. Oct.-Nov. 2010. Web. 30 Oct. 2010. "Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2009." Keep Our Food Safe. 25 Aug. 2009. Web. 01 Nov. 2010. Scaredhuman. "Daily Kos: Henry Waxman's Betrayal of Our Existence - HR 2749." Daily Kos: State of the Nation. 17 June 2009. Web. 01 Nov. 2010. Vantreese, Valerie. "BREI-1: Biotechnology in Our Food System: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers." College of Agriculture. Web. 30 Oct. 2010.