What's Up With the Organic E-Mail Scare?

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My e-mail inbox is flooded with copies of the wild message about how proposed food safety legislation will kill organic farming. Ordinarily, I ignore such rumors, but I've had two requests to comment on this one. From Cynthia: "Can you please point me in the right direction on this rumor that the new bill will eliminate organic gardening." From TSR: "Just got an e-mail about the FoodSafety Modernization Act of 2009: HR 875 -- and I'm kind of terrified. I have been checking out many different sources online -- this does indeed seem to be something to be very scared about and very real."

I have no idea what this is about but it makes no sense to me. My suspicion (based on no evidence, really) is that the message comes from opponents of animal traceability who think that having to track animals will be difficult for small farmers. The food safety bills up before Congress are designed to either redesign the system or fix the FDA (see previous posts). As far as I am concerned, all food producers should be following HACCP safety plans and safety rules should apply to all of them. So I don't see the connection.

Or am I missing something here? If anyone has any idea about what this is about, please enlighten.

Update: the Eating Liberally folks forward this summary of myths and facts.

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Marion Nestle is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She is the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics. More

Nestle also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003), and What to Eat (2006). Her most recent book is Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat. She writes the Food Matters column for The San Francisco Chronicle and blogs almost daily at Food Politics.

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