USDA: Support Farmers Who Want to Go Organic - Provide a Certification Label for Transitioning Organic Farms!

  • by: Julie S.
  • recipient: USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack

The health and environmental benefits of organic foods and organic farming practices are numerous. For example, organic produce has significantly higher levels of antioxidants and vitamins, and far lower levels of toxins, when compared to conventional produce. Harmful chemicals that contaminate groundwater are not used on organic farms. And organic farming supports populations of rapidly declining pollinators - a recent study in the U.K. showed that where chemical pesticides were banned, butterfly populations increased by 50%.

Consumer demand for organic food is increasing tremendously in the United States, yet only 1% of American farmland is dedicated to organic farming. While many farmers want to abandon the use of toxic chemicals, the process of becoming certified as organic by the USDA is time-consuming and costly.

To become organically certified, farmers must keep strict records showing the use of eco-friendly pest and soil management practices for three years during a transitional period. Although these farmers are already practicing organic methods that are more costly for them, they cannot charge significantly more for their products.

In May, the Organic Trade Association requested that the USDA develop a national certification program for transitioning organic farms. With a label on their products to tell consumers that they reflect the higher standards of the organic movement, these farmers would be able to increase prices and offset costs. The potential result is that many more farmers would be able to relinquish toxic pesticides – making America’s farms, food, and people healthier.

Please join me in asking the USDA to develop a certification label for transitioning organic farms. I believe that everyone deserves the right to eat organic food, and that our Earth is in desperate need of better care. Let’s make it feasible for more farmers to transition to organic methods – please sign and share this petition today!

Dear Secretary Vilsack,


I am writing to you today to request that the USDA develop a certification label for transitioning organic farms.


Consumer demand for organic food is increasing tremendously in the United States, yet only 1% of American farmland is dedicated to organic farming. While many farmers want to abandon the use of toxic chemicals, the current process of becoming certified as organic by the USDA is time-consuming and costly.


With a label on their products to tell consumers that they reflect the higher standards of the organic movement, transitioning farmers would be able to charge more for their products and offset costs. The potential result is that many more farmers would be able to relinquish toxic pesticides – making America’s farms, food, and people healthier.


I respectfully ask that you make it feasible for more farmers to transition to organic methods through the development of a certification label.


[Your comments here]


Thank you for your consideration.


Sincerely


[Your name]

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