Delivering the week’s top organic food news
3.7.2017
100% Non-GMO

Will The Freedom Caucus Sway President Trump to Eliminate the National Organic Program?

A group of Republicans has made organic a real target.


Like many of you, I am in Southern California this week to attend Natural Products Expo West, the biggest organic food trade show in the U.S. with nearly 2,800 vendors.

While euphoria surrounds the industry from a business perspective and consumer demand for organic continues to explode, the noise coming out of Washington, D.C. seems to be at complete odds with what is happening in the marketplace.

And this should be greatly concerning to all of us.

Several weeks ago, my note to you was about the “Dark Forces” in Washington, D.C. who were out “to get organic.”

Within the past few days, we received more clarity on this.

Politico reported that some conservative thinkers want to completely change the composition of the National Organic Standards Board (saying it was not representative of today’s organic) while others want to eliminate the National Organic Program altogether from the 2018 farm bill.

It went on to say that The Freedom Caucus, a congressional caucus consisting of conservative Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives, did not want to kill the entire organic program but just the recently issued organic animal welfare standards.

However, the Center for Food Safety (CFS), one of the most respected organic consumer advocacy groups, sent out a bulletin refuting Politico.

CFS said that The Freedom Caucus, which supposedly has President Trump’s ear, released a “recommended list of regulations to remove.” One of its top ten targets to eliminate is the National Organic Program, which would mean the end of organic food labeling and regulation.

As I head to Expo West and attend numerous sessions related to organic policy, this is one topic that I will be digging into much more. Namely, I’d like to know what our side is doing to fight back. Aside from this one email from CFS, I have heard nothing. And as far as I can tell, the Organic Trade Association has not said a word about it.

To join me in my daily adventures at Expo West, please be sure to follow me on Instagram Stories (@livingmaxwell). I have many interesting lunches, dinners, meetings and interviews already scheduled.

Have a fantastic day!

Max Goldberg, Founder

This Week's News Items

Weekly News Summaries

First Course
The New Food Economy

The Continuing Challenge of Getting Farmers to Go Organic

By Joe Fassler

Despite the fact that the organic industry is booming and Transitional Organic programs are in place, real hurdles remain in getting U.S. farmers to switch to organic.

Civil Eats

Will the Organic Farmers Association Succeed?

By Lisa Held

There is no question that organic farmers need strong representation in Washington, D.C., and many of us are hoping the Organic Farmers Association can be that voice. Whether or not it can have a meaningful impact, however, remains to be seen.

Open PR

In France, 61% of Households Purchase Organic Food

While France may have plenty of problems these days, getting its people to buy organic food is not one of them. Nearly 2/3rds of all households are now purchasing organic.

The Guardian

Biodynamic Continues to Surge in Popularity

By Esha Chhabra

A great look at Biodynamic and why consumers, farmers and retailers continue to embrace this fantastic trend.

Second Course
Mother Jones

Allegations of Undisclosed Conflicts of Interest Regarding GMO Report

By Tom Philpott

Researchers Tim Schwab and Sheldon Krimsky allege serious and undisclosed conflicts of interest in the National Academy of Sciences report on GMO safety. Is anyone the least bit surprised?

CBC News

A Fight to Remove GMO Propaganda Videos from Canadian Schools

The Council of Canadians is demanding that education ministers throughout the country remove videos which promote GMOs, especially since many of the sponsors are pesticide and seed companies.

The Ecologist

An Investigation into the Funding of Pro-GMO Activists

By Stacy Malkan

The same people that are funding climate change deniers are also backing pro-GMO, pro-chemical apologists.

Third Course
CNBC

Foodstirs is Becoming a Force in the Organic Baking Category

By Barbara Booth

With an experienced management team, innovative products and a celebrity co-founder, Foodstirs is making real waves in the organic baking category. And it was just named to the CNBC Inaugural Upstart 25 list, the only organic food company to make the cut.

The New York Times

NYC Schools Now Offering Back to the Roots Organic Cereal

By Stephanie Strom

Children in New York City schools now have much healthier breakfast options, as Back to the Roots landed a major contract with the city and replaced the long-time incumbent Kellogg's. A huge win for the company, the industry and the kids.

TechCrunch

HowGood Closes a $4.2 Million Series A

By Lora Kolodny

NYC-based HowGood, which provides sustainability ratings on food, personal care products and household items, just raised a $4.2 million round led by FirstMark Capital.

Fast Company

The Mission Behind Kuli Kuli's Goal to Popularize Moringa

By Ben Paynter

Having recently secured a $4.25 million round of financing, Founder Lisa Curtis is striving to make moringa a household name through her company Kuli Kuli.


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