- Miles McEvoyDeputy Administrator
USDA National Organic Program: Reveal the "Certified Organic" Inclusion of GMOs in Public Relations
Most of the common public currently believes that the price they pay for Certified Organic foods is worth the supposed security of their health and that of the environment as well. The safety of GMOs is hotly debated, and more concerning information about them makes headlines daily. It is a farce that the USDA National Organic Program officials make it apparent only to growers that GMOs can be in Certified Organic foods; the actual statutes belie the dodgy verbiage of the USDA's current advertising. People have a right to know. Watch the Keynote YouTube presentation "GMOs in USDA Organic Food," visit the Heaven & Earth blog to see the documentation behind it, and join the Facebook community at "GMOs in USDA Organics - Fight Back."
- Deputy Administrator
Publicly reveal, through your many and various PR outlets, the stipulations regarding the possible inclusion of GMOs in "Certified Organic" foods, as is outlined in the National Organic Program statutes as well as the "Guide for Organic Crop Producers" document (pg. 7-8) available on the USDA National Organic Program website. The people have a right to know that when your organization tells them "genetic engineering cannot be used" in the program, that this is in regards to a prohibited method during enrollment in the program rather than a pre-existing state of genetic material or the state of GM crops that can be used during enrollment in certain situations. The PR verbiage is terse and misleading and must be elaborated upon for total public trust and security. You must make it known also that "the presence of a detectable residue from a genetically modified organism alone does not constitute a violation" of program enrollment and that "no federal agency, including EPA or USDA has established tolerance levels for the inadvertent presence of the products of excluded methods (GMOs)," as so detailed in the memorandum you wrote to address concerns on the issue. The people need total clarity from your department, and they need it in a way that does not require them to sift through the federal regulations. Thank you.
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