Dear St. Petersburg Times Editor:
Your editorial, "Name game undermines organic labels," was so far off base that it is difficult to know where to start to correct it.
The review process for getting non-organic agricultural ingredients on the National List for possible use as a minor component in products sold as "Organic" was an open process spanning two years. The 38 non-organic agricultural ingredients that your editorial alludes to have gone through intensive scrutiny and review, after a strict petition process, and have been recommended by the National Organic Standards Board to be added to the National List, for use only when an accredited certifying agency verifies that an organic version of this ingredient is not available in the appropriate form, quality, or quantity.
There is a need for more organic production, and allowing these minor ingredients on a temporary basis will help spark organic production. We've already seen this happen with spices, and it can happen again with these other minor agricultural ingredients.
For more information, see http://www.ota.com/Non_Ag_Ingredients.html.
Organic Trade Association