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Congress Upholds Organic Standard A bipartisan effort in both houses of Congress repealed legislation that would have gutted the organic standard for livestock.

Language in the Omnibus Appropriations Bill of 2003 allowed livestock not fed organic feed to be labeled "organic" if feed prices rose above a certain level. But outcry from manufacturers, political groups and the public convinced lawmakers that the provision would cripple the organic food industry.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., attached the repeal to a war appropriations bill that passed both houses April 13. Even Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., who wrote the original rider at the behest of a poultry producer, supported its repeal.

Hemp Foods Cut Slack By Ninth Circuit Court
Hemp foods remain legal in the United States after the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay April 16, halting the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's "final rule" banning foods with even a trace of tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

The rule, which was to take effect April 21, would have required hemp food makers to reformulate their wares or pull them off the market to comply with the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. A final decision by the Circuit Court is expected within six months to a year, said Adam Eidinger, a spokesman for the Hemp Industry Association.

Meanwhile, shipments of hemp oil, which is similar to flaxseed in nutritional benefit, are crossing the Canadian border. Retailers can expect ample supplies of products made with hemp oil and hemp seeds.

More Retail Revivals Planned for 2003
Produce and deli managers from stores of all sizes gathered in Boulder April 24 for New Hope Natural Media's first Organic Retail Revival.

With 40 participants and a three-day workshop format, the Boulder Revival was worlds apart from New Hope's gigantic Natural Products Expos. "It was small and intimate," said Scott Silverman, organic program manager. "Each person got a lot of attention." Participants visited Boulder Fruit Express' produce warehouse, made the rounds of local stores and ate organic meals.

The formula proved popular. "Two of the participants changed our 1-5 scale to 1-10 so they could give us higher ratings," Silverman said.

A second Organic Retail Revival is tentatively set for October in California, and plans are under way for an East Coast session in the next 12 months. Leaders will again be Allen Seidner of Thought for Food and Mark Mulcahy of Organic Options. For more information, contact Silverman at 303.998.9266 or [email protected]

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