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Organic Left Standing as the Gold Standard for Consumers Looking to Avoid Food Produced With Synthetic Growth Hormones
Date:3/31/2009

Federal court rules that truthful information regarding organic production practices may not be explicitly shared with consumers on product labels in Ohio

GREENFIELD, Mass., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers in Ohio and elsewhere who are seeking to avoid milk and other dairy products produced with synthetic growth hormones will only be able to discern how their food was produced by looking for the organic label, according to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), the leading voice for the $17 billion organic industry in North America.

On March 30, 2009, a Federal District Court in Ohio upheld an emergency rule enacted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture that takes away consumers' rights to receive truthful information about organic production practices on the labels of their milk and other dairy products in Ohio. The ruling also goes against the rights of organic dairy farmers and processors to communicate truthfully with consumers regarding federally regulated organic production practices required for products to bear the USDA Organic seal.

"Consumers have a right to know how the food they feed their families has been produced, and organic farmers and manufacturers should be allowed to tell them," said Christine Bushway, executive director, OTA. She added, "Our country's national organic system is highly regulated and verifiable, and no American should be denied access to truthful information about it."

In order to qualify for the organic label, organic farmers are prohibited from using synthetic growth hormones (rBGH), genetically engineered organisms (GMOS), antibiotics and toxic, persistent, synthetic pesticides. The standards also mandate a rigorous system for inspection, certification and verification of organic practices, all of which protect consumers who choose organic products.

"Even though the court's decision restricts consumers' right to know where their foo
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SOURCE Organic Trade Association
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