Final Organic Food Standards

By Spencer, Peter | Consumers' Research Magazine, January 2001 | Go to article overview

Final Organic Food Standards


Spencer, Peter, Consumers' Research Magazine


After a decade-long debate, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued final national standards for organic foods this past December. The standards establish a single, national definition for the term "organic," as it applies to agricultural products, which presently account for about 2% of national food sales, but are subject to varying definitions.

The standards set the methods, practices, and substances that can be used in producing and handling organic crops and livestock, as well as processed products. The new rules also establish labeling and certification criteria, which, among other provisions, require that all agricultural products labeled organic must originate from operations certified by a state or private agency accredited by the USDA, the agency notes. (Operations with less than $5,000 in organic sales a year are exempted from this requirement.)

Notably, the rules specifically prohibit the use of genetic engineering methods, ionizing radiation, and use of sewage-sludge fertilizer with products identified as organic--practices that raised significant controversy when national standards were first proposed in December 1997. The outcry following that proposal forced the agency back to the drawing board in 1998.

Although final, the standards likely will continue to generate controversy. For example, traditional-food marketers expressed concerns that consumers will take the organic "certification" to suggest that the certified foods represent inherently safer, more nutritious, or environmentally friendly products--a perception the USDA says the standards do not aim to convey. "The organic label is a marketing tool," outgoing Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman said.

The agency says consumers will begin to see new organic labeling by this coming summer, with full implementation by the middle of 2002.

Update on medical privacy: In mid-December, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the first national medical records privacy rules, which will require physicians and hospitals to gain patient consent before disclosing health information.

Overall, the new rules, as the agency summarizes, limit the "non-consensual use and release of private health information; give patients new rights to access their medical records and to know who else has accessed them; restrict most disclosure of health information to the minimum needed for the intended purpose; establish new criminal and civil sanctions for improper use or disclosure; and establish new requirements for access to records by researchers and others. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Final Organic Food Standards
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.