Will Someone New at the Helm of the USDA’s National Organic Program Steer the Ship Towards Congress’s Intent — Protecting Farmers and Consumers?Sunday, September 17th, 2017
by Linley Dixon, PhD, Senior Scientist and Mark A. Kastel, Codirector, The Cornucopia Institute
On September 10, Miles McEvoy resigned from the position of Deputy Administrator at the USDA, running the National Organic Program. He has held the post since early in the Obama administration. Included in his resignation letter was a list highlighting his top ten accomplishments as leader of the program.
After the Bush USDA was widely considered to have delayed implementation of the organic standards (12 years after congressional passage of the Organic Foods Production Act, or OFPA), McEvoy took over, with some fanfare, given his background in organic certification. Initially, The Cornucopia Institute was among those cheering his appointment.
But McEvoy, a darling of the powerful industry lobby, the Organic Trade Association, instead shifted policy during the Obama/Vilsack USDA years to favor the corporate agribusinesses that have acquired most of the leading organic brands (Dannon, Dean Foods, Kellogg’s, Purdue, Coca-Cola, General Mills, etc.). The USDA became a big cheerleader for Big Organic.
McEvoy failed to enforce many tenets of OFPA, causing ethical, law-abiding family farmers extreme financial distress. Since April of 2015, Cornucopia has formally requested that he be removed from his position.
When McEvoy recently announced his retirement to the organic community, he included a 10-point list of his accomplishments. However, while he was rearranging the proverbial deck chairs on the Titanic, more concerned with “process” than whether organic farms and the food they produced were actually organic, he missed the most important big picture impacts.
The following is Cornucopia’s list of Miles McEvoy’s top “accomplishments”: Read Full Article »