Victories and More Urgent Action!

Monday, November 30, 2009 @ 10:11 PM
posted by Rudi Leonardi
“By December 31, 2009, CODEX will be fully employed.” ~Brian Clement
This is a crucial time.  What we do now will dictate our future.  As we return from the Thanksgiving holiday, we remain grateful for what we really DO have – our gift of life, freedom of choice and the pure organic foods we eat and share.  Congratulations on some victories.  We have a ways to go.
As you know, the POP Campaign has cultivated a full-blown effort to strengthen our collective voice to keep this freedom and to ensure that our organic food remains pure.  CODEX becomes fully employed on December 31, 2009 in 182 countries, including the US – through the WTO.  We intend to be heard and make a difference!
Thanks to all of you who took a few minutes to call and fax Senators in November… we got some successes, and we take these victories! CONGRATULATIONS on the push.
We appreciate the leadership of Chairman Harkin and the Senate HELP Committee for their commitment to Food Safety and work on S 510. We especially thank Senators Merkley, Franken, Bennet, Fergunson,Brown, and Sanders for their work in protecting organics.  This is good news! Food safety is an important issue; however, the Senate Members have not brought these issues to the place of the most solid protection levels to Preserve Organic Power in our standards.
New sections were added to S 510, the Food Safety Bill, which mimicked the language of the proposals we submitted and conversations we had with Senate offices. The bill passed unanimously out of committee and is “ordered to be reported” to the full Senate – we don’t know exactly when because of the Health Insurance debate.
What Our Voices Accomplished
The Senate Health Committee added language that requires that FDA guidelines not include any requirements that conflict with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 – a big save.
The FDA also must coordinate with the Department of Agriculture.
New wording was added ensuring the protection of conservation and environmental practices.
The FDA is required to report back to Congress on the impact of its requirements on “certified organic farms and facilities,” including being instructed to “provide flexibility” in its guidelines for those “engaged in the production and harvesting of raw agricultural commodities, including small businesses…that sell directly to consumers….”  Some excellent accountability.
New language states that “nothing in the amendments…shall apply to any dietary supplement that is in compliance with…the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act…..”
The Loophole
There still appears to be an alarming loophole in this bill in spite of the newly inserted “protective” language that connects it to the Organic Food Act.  Specifically, irradiation and pasteurization can still be used on organic produce, fruits, nuts, and herbs as these processes can be considered “organic” methods because the processes use forms of light energy (Co, C’s or electron beams or eV) and heat and/or water. Tricky!
In the Organic Food Act Section 2113 [7 U.S.C. 6512], it is stated that if a practice is not prohibited, then it is permitted. The FDA still provides a framework for irradiation without disclosure, therefore, we want clear language inserted that protects us.
We are proposing two more powerful amendments for the floor of the Senate and if needed, the Conference Committee.  These are called “The POP Amendment” and “The CODEX Amendment”.  Let’s step up NOW.
The POP Amendment
“In the case of farming, production, processing and sale of organic (produce, fruit, nuts, herbs), for consumption exclusively within the U.S. local marketplace, no form of irradiation or pasteurization shall be required or used.”
Secondly, clear language exists in S 510 to “harmonize with CODEX” and be consistent with the World Trade Organization policies.   Nothing grown, produced, and consumed within the “good old US of A” boundaries should be subject to anything trade, CODEX or WTO related.  These are ONLY trade related regulatory bodies and rules. It is essential that these external trade policies be contained and stay this way.  US laws stand alone, without being trumped by the international CODEX food rules or the WTO agendas pertaining to organics.
Further, consistent with the pureness of organic standards and rights, we are requesting that First Nations be exempt from CODEX so as to support the cultural integrity of indigeneous food.
The CODEX Amendment
“Organic produce, fruits, herbs, and nuts, grown and consumed within the United States, including all First Nations, shall be exempt from CODEX harmonization.“
Take Action NOW – Here’s How
S-510 is getting close for a floor vote, so we need you to contact Senators (yours and others) ASAP.  We are in discussions with certain members of Congress to sponsor these amendments.
1) Call 1-866-544-7537 – This will take you to the Capital swithchboard toll-free.  Ask for your Senators’ office or tell them what state you are from and they will connect you to your Senator.  *There is also a list of Senate phone and fax numbers here.
2) What to Say:
“Hello, I am______________, a constituent (if you are) of Senator________ and I am calling to ask him/her to support the following proposed amendments to S 510 offered by the POP Campaign: “The POP Amendment” saying NO to irradiation and pasteurization of organics and “The CODEX Amendment” on excluding organic food and First Nations from harmonization with CODEX. Thank you.
3) Fax a letter: You may copy and paste the following letter and fill in the blanks with your own information.
To: Senator ___________
From: Your Name_________
Re:  S 510 – FOOD SAFETY BILL
Dear Senator _______
I am a constituent of Senator________ and am faxing to ask you to support the following proposed amendments to S 510 offered by the POP Campaign: “The POP Amendment” saying no to irradiation and pasteurization of organics and “The CODEX Amendment” on excluding organic food and First Nations from harmonization with CODEX. Thank you.
Your Signature___________________
4) Forward this email to your networks – Encourage them to ACT TODAY!
5) Tell us how it went: info@popcampaign.org
Thank you – Keep up the momentum – We have a strong voice together.
Rudi Leonardi and Mikaele Holzer, Green Your SPIRIT
Brian Clement, Hippocrates Health Institute
Preserve Organic Power!
Photo lovingly taken at San Francisco Green Festivals by Michael Buchanan.

This is a crucial time.  What we do now will dictate our future.  As we return from the Thanksgiving holiday, we remain grateful for what we really DO have – our gift of life, freedom of choice and the pure organic foods we eat and share.  Congratulations on some victories.  We have a ways to go.

_DSC0019As you know, the POP Campaign has cultivated a full-blown effort to strengthen our collective voice to keep this freedom and to ensure that our organic food remains pure.  CODEX becomes fully employed on December 31, 2009 in 182 countries, including the US – through the WTO.  We intend to be heard and make a difference!

Thanks to all of you who took a few minutes to call and fax Senators in November… we got some successes, and we take these victories!  CONGRATULATIONS on the push.

We appreciate the leadership of Chairman Harkin and the Senate HELP Committee for their commitment to Food Safety and work on S 510. We especially thank Senators Merkley, Franken, Bennet, Fergunson,Brown, and Sanders for their work in protecting organics.  This is good news! Food safety is an important issue; however, the Senate Members have not brought these issues to the place of the most solid protection levels to Preserve Organic Power in our standards.

New sections were added to S 510, the Food Safety Bill, which mimicked the language of the proposals we submitted and conversations we had with Senate offices. The bill passed unanimously out of committee and is “ordered to be reported” to the full Senate – we don’t know exactly when because of the Health Insurance debate……..

What Our Voices Accomplished

  • The Senate Health Committee added language that requires that FDA guidelines not include any requirements that conflict with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 – a big save.
  • The FDA also must coordinate with the Department of Agriculture.
  • New wording was added ensuring the protection of conservation and environmental practices.
  • The FDA is required to report back to Congress on the impact of its requirements on “certified organic farms and facilities,” including being instructed to “provide flexibility” in its guidelines for those “engaged in the production and harvesting of raw agricultural commodities, including small businesses…that sell directly to consumers….”  Some excellent accountability.
  • New language states that “nothing in the amendments…shall apply to any dietary supplement that is in compliance with…the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act…..”

The Loophole

There still appears to be an alarming loophole in this bill in spite of the newly inserted “protective” language that connects it to the Organic Food Act.  Specifically, irradiation and pasteurization can still be used on organic produce, fruits, nuts, and herbs as these processes can be considered “organic” methods because the processes use forms of light energy (Co, C’s or electron beams or eV) and heat and/or water. Tricky!

In the Organic Food Act Section 2113 [7 U.S.C. 6512], it is stated that if a practice is not prohibited, then it is permitted. The FDA still provides a framework for irradiation without disclosure, therefore, we want clear language inserted that protects us.

We are proposing two more powerful amendments for the floor of the Senate and if needed, the Conference Committee.  These are called “The POP Amendment” and “The CODEX Amendment”.  Let’s step up NOW.

The POP Amendment

“In the case of farming, production, processing and sale of organic (produce, fruit, nuts, herbs), for consumption exclusively within the U.S. local marketplace, no form of irradiation or pasteurization shall be required or used.”

Secondly, clear language exists in S 510 to “harmonize with CODEX” and be consistent with the World Trade Organization policies.   Nothing grown, produced, and consumed within the “good old US of A” boundaries should be subject to anything trade, CODEX or WTO related.  These are ONLY trade related regulatory bodies and rules. It is essential that these external trade policies be contained and stay this way.  US laws stand alone, without being trumped by the international CODEX food rules or the WTO agendas pertaining to organics.

Further, consistent with the pureness of organic standards and rights, we are requesting that First Nations be exempt from CODEX so as to support the cultural integrity of indigeneous food.

The CODEX Amendment

“Organic produce, fruits, herbs, and nuts, grown and consumed within the United States, including all First Nations, shall be exempt from CODEX harmonization.“

Take Action NOW – Here’s How

S-510 is getting close for a floor vote, so we need you to contact Senators (yours and others) ASAP.  We are in discussions with certain members of Congress to sponsor these amendments.

1) Call 1-866-544-7537 – This will take you to the Capital swithchboard toll-free.  Ask for your Senators’ office or tell them what state you are from and they will connect you to your Senator.  *There is also a list of Senate phone and fax numbers here.

2) What to Say:

“Hello, I am______________, a constituent (if you are) of Senator________ and I am calling to ask him/her to support the following proposed amendments to S 510 offered by the POP Campaign: “The POP Amendment” saying NO to irradiation and pasteurization of organics and “The CODEX Amendment” on excluding organic food and First Nations from harmonization with CODEX. Thank you.

3) Fax a letter: You may copy and paste the following letter and fill in the blanks with your own information.

To: Senator ___________

From: Your Name_________

Re:  S 510 – FOOD SAFETY BILL

Dear Senator _______

I am a constituent of Senator________ and am faxing to ask you to support the following proposed amendments to S 510 offered by the POP Campaign: “The POP Amendment” saying no to irradiation and pasteurization of organics and “The CODEX Amendment” on excluding organic food and First Nations from harmonization with CODEX. Thank you.

Your Signature___________________

4) Forward this email to your networks – Encourage them to ACT TODAY!

5) Tell us how it went: info@popcampaign.org

Thank you – Keep up the momentum – We have a strong voice together.

Rudi Leonardi and Mikaele Holzer, Green Your SPIRIT

Brian Clement, Hippocrates Health Institute

Preserve Organic Power!

Photo above lovingly taken at San Francisco Green Festivals by Michael Buchanan.

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