Sunday, May 20, 2007

When Is Organic Sausage Not Organic Sausage?

When the USDA permits use of non-organic "casings from processed intestines."

"... the intestinal casing may be from an animal that lived its life on a factory farm in intensive confinement, consuming pesticide laden foods, and treated with an assortment of antibiotics and drugs."
- Organic Consumers Association (OCA), USDA To Allow More Conventional Ingredients In Organics
Why not use organic casings?
"The [USDA's] justification for adding non-organic casings to the National List is based upon insufficient availability of processed intestines from organically produced animals."
- USDA, National Organic Program (NOP) - Proposed Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Processing), [Docket No. AMS-TM-07-0062; TM-07-06]
Let me see if I understand. There isn't enough organic product so you allow manufacturers to use inorganic product and call it (and profit from calling it) organic. Am I making a fair read on that? I can't say I'm a big fan of meat encased in intestines, but it seems the respectable thing to do would be to require organic casings on a meat product labeled "USDA Organic". What in blazes does organic mean anymore?

The USDA is accepting public comments on this proposal until Tuesday, May 22, at Or you can visit the OCA's site and sign their petition.
Photo of sausages from Lex Culinaria

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