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February 2009 Issue

Proposed Rules for Organic Fish Run Fast and Loose With USDA Standards

Organic Seafood Soon a Reality? The National Organic Standards Board, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which sets standards for all organic foods, proposed organic standards for farmed fish this past November. What about wild? Logic dictates that anything wild is naturally organic. Ironically, however, wild fish will never be labeled organic, because thereís no control over what they eat and whatís in their environment, making it impossible to ensure adherance to any organic standards. Environmentalists and consumer advocates criticize the proposed standards, because they are weaker than existing standards for other foods. Moreover, they donít encourage seafood sustainability.

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