May 26, 2004,
as reported by just-food.com: In a press conference
held today, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman
withdrew four Guidance Statements to the organic rule
under mounting pressure from the organic community.
The statements drafted by the National Organic Program
came under criticism not only for their content but
also for the close-door manner in which they were implemented.
The guidance statements, which were announced on April
28, made clarifications to the organics standards that
would have allowed some pesticides, animal drugs, growth
hormones and antibiotics would be used on organic farms.
In response to the new directives, many environmental
and consumer groups, including the Organic Consumers
Association (OCA), launched campaigns to pressure the
USDA into reversing the controversial directives.
Veneman's announcement this week, which surprised many
organic groups, effectively rescinded all of the new
guidelines. The secretary’s decision was welcomed
by the OCA and other organic and consumer groups.