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ORGANIC FARMERS BREAK PROTEST CAMPAIGN

New Ads Claim New Labeling Rules Are Being Weakened

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The Organic Trade Association launched an ad campaign today to warns consumers of an amendment to the new organic labeling law that lessens the standards for organic products.

The effort, driven by organic farmers, debuted with a full-page ad in The New York Times that features an image of the new U.S. Department of Agriculture seal for organic foods but substitutes "not really organic" where the verification "organic" would normally be. The ad warns, "Only YOU can stop this from happening."

Rule change
The ad refers to an amendment to the organic standards rules inserted recently into the Omnibus Appropriations Bill. The amendment allows producers to label meat, poultry and dairy products organic even if they do not meet the criteria set forth by the USDA last October for feeding livestock 100% organic feed.

Although there has been bipartisan support to repeal the rider, according to a spokeswoman for the trade association, the campaign urges consumers to contact congressional representatives to pass new legislation upholding the original organic standards.

The ads, which the spokeswoman said will likely appear in additional publications beyond the Times, were developed by Fenton Communications, Washington, D.C.

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