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Consumer Reports has released what it calls a "nationally representative survey" saying that a "majority of consumers think organic produce should not have pesticides (91% of consumers) or antibiotics (86%). According to the survey, "an overwhelming percentage of consumers (84%) think the use of artificial ingredients in organic products should be discontinued, if not reviewed, after 5 years; few consumers (15%) endorse continued use of the artificial ingredient without review."

The survey results come as the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meets in Texas to consider new exemptions to federal law, which "prohibits synthetic substances in organic agriculture and food processing, including synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, growth hormones and artificial food ingredients," though the law "also allows exempted materials to be used for five years." The concern is that the NOSB could expand the exemption list rather than limit it.

“Despite the fact that the public does not want a host of artificial ingredients in their organic food, some national advisers and decision-makers in the National Organic Program have overtly expressed a desire to grow the exemption list in order to grow the organic market. We believe this violates the public’s trust of what organic means,” says Dr. Urvashi Rangan, Executive Director of Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability Center.
KC's View:
It seems to me that at a time when there is so much discussion about things like GMOs, and concerns about how GMOs can contaminate even organic products, regulators ought to be stricter about standards. But then again, I tend to worry about relaxed standards in general … that because it seems easier, or cheaper, or more profitable, we allow standards to lapse a bit. When that happens, it seems to me, we then end up with things that are not themselves at all. And it is too late to go back.