Organic Food Industry Gains Clout On Capitol Hill

Posted by Robyn, May 25, 2013

Organic Foods PoliticsThe organic food industry is gaining influence on Capitol Hill, prompted by its entry into traditional farm states and by increasing consumer demand.

That’s not going over well with everyone in Congress.

Tensions between conventional and organic agriculture boiled over this week during a late-night House Agriculture Committee debate on farm legislation that for decades has propped up traditional crops and largely ignored organics.

When Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., a former organic farmer, offered an amendment to make it easier for organic companies to organize industry-wide promotional campaigns, there was swift backlash from some farm-state Republicans. One lawmaker said he didn’t want to see the industry get a free ride and a second complained about organics’ “continued assault on agriculture.”

Growing consumer interest in organics has proved tough for some Republicans on the committee to ignore. Eight Republicans, most of them newer members of the committee, joined with all of the committee’s Democrats in supporting the amendment, which was adopted 29-17.

via Organic Food Industry Gains Clout On Capitol Hill, Causing Tensions Within Congress.