Apparently Arthur Harvey (the Maine blueberry farmer and National Organic Program inspector who sued the USDA over its management of the program) is not yet satisfied.
You may recall that in a June 2005 ruling, synthetics were effectively banned from products labeled organic. Congress passed amendments to the Organic Food Products Act in late 2005. Then, the list of allowable synthetics was restored earlier this year, 2006.
Now, Arthur Harvey has again taken legal action. He claims “that the Secretary of Agriculture failed to meet the requirements of the Consent Judgment and Order of the District Court” (according to OTA).
That’s it. That’s all I have. But, if you would like a little light reading, I have plenty of articles to offer.
- “Harvey v. Veneman’s spectre of unintended consequences roils organic waters,” by Dan Sullivan in New Farm (Rodale), March 2005.
- “Women Lead Demand for What’s Really Organic,” by Kristin Bender in Women’s eNews, April 25, 2005.
- Letter “To the OTA and to the Community,” signed by a long list of community members, including OTA members, at National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture, November 18, 2005.
- “Higher standards: Blueberry farmer Arthur Harvey continues to stir national debate over organic food rules,” by Sean Donahue in Maine Biz, November 2005.
- “Ruling Prompts Controversy: Organic Trade Association proposals opposed by consumer organizations,” by Cissy Bowman in Cooperative Grocer, November-December 2005.
- “So You Want to Sue the USDA?” Audio tape of panel from Acres USA 2005 conference. Panel includes Arthur Harvey, Jim Riddle, Margaret Scoles & Cissy Bowman (moderator) . 120 minutes of fun.
- “Food Fight,” by Jason Mark in Earth Island Journal, Spring 2006.
- “USDA Criticized for Helping “Industrialize” Organic Farming.” Press release from The Cornucopia Institute at Common Dreams, May 10, 2006.
Happy reading until we hear more about the National Organic Program and the tug over standards.