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Falling into the Loopholes

A few weeks ago it was the scandal that organic pears and apples could be treated with antibiotics. Now, GASP, more organic misconceptions and loopholes. Read on with caution – it’s a bit disturbing.

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After recently learning that USDA approved a final rule (at least until October 21, 2014) allowing organic apple and pear growers to use antibiotics when “natural methods are insufficient to address critical issues of production”, it made me wonder what other loopholes the USDA has created for the farmers to take advantage of.  I did an analysis of the main food categories: meat, fruits and vegetables, and dairy and here is what I learned:


The amount of space or time outdoor and stocking density (crowding) are not regulated for any animals.  Some producers have a small outside space added on the buildings that house tens of thousands of chickens, but only a few birds can access it.  Access to outdoors, does not require that animals actually spend time outdoors which the free-range/free-roaming label implies.  Access may be insufficient relative to the number of animals needing access.  Outdoor access and…

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Rhonda #

    I’m so glad I found this site. As I’m sitting in a parking lot trying to get my daughter back to sleep after a
    Trip to the er. I have 21 month old twins b/g my daughter has been on nutramigen since she was a month old. Slowly as we have been introducing her to new foods,
    She has been battling rashes like never before. It became so severe the pedi sent us to a dermatologist. She biopsied a piece of skin and it came back positive for ezcema. Well, tonight she had something, or even yesterday to cause a
    Sever inflammation response only localized to her bottom and private area. This is where her eczema always flares up. We took her to an allergist and he did bw and we are awaiting for the results. But it is so worrisome that one tiny amount of food
    Can cause this. Do you have any suggestions since I’ve heard that the bw doesn’t always come
    Back correct? Thanks Rhonda


    July 30, 2014
    • Hi Rhonda –

      Have you considered moving to cloth diapers? I know of a lot of parents who battled severe eczema in the diaper area and they found much relief moving to cloth and by stopping all disposable wipes as well. It also sounds like she’s having trouble with food sensitivities, not necessarily full blown allergies. Have you noticed certain foods cause her to flare up? Jennifer


      August 1, 2014
  2. Lisa #

    Hi. I just discovered your blog and have a lot of reading ahead of me! My 22 mo old daughter has mild eczema and I pray it doesn’t evolve into something worse or continue as she grows. This reposted blog, Falling into the Loopholes, shows a couple charts from 2008 and 2007. Do you know if the info on them still applies today? I had heard that Horizon, for example, wasn’t as “straightforward” organic and Organic Valley but I don’t have data on this. Am wondering what may have changed in 4 years since these charts were created.

    Thanks for all the info you research and share. I know I can/should do so much more.


    September 11, 2012

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