Earlier this week, the Organic Farmers Association delivered a letter to USDA in response to a statement made by Undersecretary Greg Ibach. The Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs recently spoke about possibly opening up a dialogue about gene-editing in organic agriculture. The letter speaking against the idea was signed by 79 organic farm organizations. It strongly opposes any form of genetic engineering into the organic standard and expressed opposition against the possibility of including it. Instead, the OFA is asking the USDA to build the organic market by focusing on building healthy soil and addressing the core issues that affect the domestic organic market.
Kate Mendenhall, Director of the Organic Farmers Association, says introducing a dialogue on genetic engineering would be a “major distraction” within the industry. “We have crucial issues in organic agriculture that need the USDA’s full attention, such as stopping organic import fraud, closing certification loopholes, and enforcing current organic standards fairly and equitably,” Mendenhall said.
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