Center for Food Safety Fights Organic Label on Imports
The Center for Food Safety is urging the attorneys general of 49 states to oppose the practice of labeling seafood imports "organic."
The Washington, D.C., consumer advocacy group is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to prevent consumer deception by enforcing existing organic labeling laws for seafood products until the agency finalizes standards.
"Allowing importers to label their seafood 'organic' when it does not have to meet any U.S. standards is a disservice to American consumers," said Joseph Mendelson, legal director for the CFS, in a press release. "Consumers have the right to know that the labeling on their food is truthful and accurate, and we're asking the states to protect that right."
"Importers should not be allowed to market their products with claims about meeting a standard that doesn't exist," said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, which is also participating in the campaign.
In 2005, California banned the use of the organic label for seafood products until federal standards are finalized.
The National Organic Standards Board meets May 20 to 22 in Baltimore. Final organic aquaculture rules could be accepted by the USDA this year, with standards in place as early as 2009.