This paper is long, but a great read if you care about the integrity of both the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and organics in general. The whitepaper focuses on "The USDA's blatant disregard for the requirements laid out in the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA)" plus looks at how the intent of Congress concerning organics "Is illegal and has inappropriately favored corporate agribusiness over the interests of ethical businesses, farmers and consumers."
Furthermore, Cornucopia notes, "The investigation into the "Organic Watergate" was prompted by the approval of highly processed DHA and ARA oils from genetically mutated algae and soil fungus, petitioned by the $12 billion multinational corporation Royal DSM/Martek Biosciences Corporation."
Key issues pointed out in this whitepaper...
- Many of the appointed NOSB individuals have been directly employed by, or contracted or consulted with big agribusinesses vs. filling the actual slots as set fourth by NOP.
- Some companies have had disproportionate representation on the Board, such as General Mills.
- The current misrepresentation of the board (via big ag member) does little to balance competing interests and corporate power in the organic community.
- Organic consumer organizations cannot count on the public interest representatives on the Board to vote in the public's interest or uphold organic integrity when big ag issues are on the line.
- NOP technical reviews currently have a high level of corporate bias.
The largest section of this paper is devoted to the organics vs. Martek's DHA algal oil scandal - so be prepared for that. Cornucopia goes on to say that, Based on the need, The Cornucopia Institute will now become more intimately involved in providing independent oversight and resources to the NOSB, looking at all petitioned materials, past and present, to assure that all ingredients in food production and agricultural inputs are properly and legally reviewed."
It's a great read, especially if you're on board with getting real representatives of the organic community (such as farmers and real environmentalists) appointed to NOSB and if you'd like to see organic integrity upheld.