jobes organics epsoma when organic is not organic 790 

"Organic"? Really?

In the regular grocery store there are organic and non-organic foods, but in the garden supplies section of most home improvement stores and plant nurseries garden sections, almost every 'natural' product is labeled with the word "organic." When we first went shopping for gardening products in the gardening section, the local nurseries and 'large box' home improvement stores, we became very suspicious that so many of the packaged products had the word "organic" on the package either as the product name and/or somewhere on the packaging, since very few had any independant certifications images/logo, or statements.

Our concern started when we saw "organic" bone meal - of course we did not buy any animal-derived products since we are vegan and we grow our food using the Veganic (Vegan + Organic) methods - plus a few other products were labeled "organic" and we know that the vast majority (on average 90+%) of these products are grown from GMO (aka GE - Genetically Engineered not to be confused with hybridized) seeds (cotton, corn, soybean, canola...) or from animals (parts and/or feces) fed GMOs, in the USA.
We eventually were informed by a salesperson, who explained that if we wanted to grow organically as in no: pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides...), BioSolids (a euphemism for treated toxic sewage sludge), GMOs, toxic pollutants...then we needed to look for OMRI Certified or OMRI Listed on the packages, which is the like the USDA equivalent in organic food. OMRI stands for the Organic Materials Review Institute.

Is "Organic" Labeling Purposefully Deceptive and Confusing to Consumers? Scotts Miracle Grow sewage sludge lined small

The word "organic" on the package labels found in the gardening section usually means that it is comprised of: organic MATTER. As in matter that came from an animal or plant. Not all types of organic MATTER (physical elements) can be allowed in certified organic growing METHODS (a methodology).

Organic MATTER can be from GMO plants/animals or animals fed GMOs, and it can also be 'treated toxic sewage sludge' under the marketing (propaganda) name "biosolids," which the manufacturer is not required to disclose on the package or in the ingredients list!

"Biosolids can be an ingredient (hidden), under the term "compost"
or even "organic compost" on the ingredients list!" [1]

One Way They are Getting away with Labeling NOT Organic as "Organic" and How BioSolids can be Included

"When the proposed Rule first came out in 1997, EPA feared that it would deter new users from using biosolids as a fertilizer and pressed the USDA to exempt biosolids from the ruling. In fact, in 1998, USDA released proposed organic standards that would allow bioengineered crops, irradiation, and sewage sludge in organic production, which became known as the “big three.” The release sparked 325,603 mostly horrified public comments. USDA reconsidered and prohibited the “big three” in the final rule." [1] 

 

The Four Types of "organic": Organic MATTER & COMPOUND vs Organic GROWING METHOD & MATERIALS

1) Organic MATTER - Matter that is composed of organic COMPOUNDS from a once-living organism, is capable of decay or the product of decay, or is composed of organic compounds. biosolids guess small

Example: Plants and animals and their waste products. Can include GE (Genetically Engineered, commonly referred to as GMOs - Genetically Modified Organism) products.

Organic Production and Processing Certifications: None

2) Organic COMPOUND - Scientifically speaking, a compound that contains carbon atoms, which basically includes almost any physical thing that is not only a metal or mineral. Under this definition, fossil fuels (coal, crude oil, natural gas, and its many derivitaves such as plastics, gasoline, diesel) can be considered "organic."

Example: Organic urea, which is made synthetically and it is not approved to use in organic METHODS!

Organic Production and Processing Certifications: None

3) Organic GROWING METHOD - Refers to the certain standards in horticulture, agriculture and farming that are focused primarily on the types of things used for fertilization and pest control.

Examples: USDA Organic certified fruits/vegetables/grains/legumes/seeds/nuts...

Organic Production and Processing Certifications: "USDA Organic" which is guided by federal legislation, implemented and monitored and by the National Organic Program, which is a branch of the US federal agency, USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). There are several agencies in other countries. In the US "Certified Naturally Grown" is another certification that was inspired by the high cost and legal requirements of USDA certification. It is managed by a private farmer-to-farmer association, CNG (Certified Naturally Grown), and now offers a "non-profit alternative eco-labelling program for small farms that grow using USDA Organic methods but are not a part of the USDA Certified Organic program.""

4) Organic MATERIALS - This refers to materials allowed as input products for use in organic production and processing. Synthetic (man-made) materials are not included.  That is acceptable for inclusion in national/regional certified organic growing methods.

Note: GMO products and sewage sludge (biosolids) are two of several things that are NOT allowed as organic growing MATERIALS for use in organic growing METHODS.

Examples: Products with the label (logo) "OMRI Certified" or "OMRI Listed"

Organic Production and Processing Certifications: Covered internationally by OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute)

We hope that helps you better understand how to choosing truly organic MATERIALS for your organic METHODS products such as: soil, compost, amendments, fertilizers and pesticides.

 

How To Ask about a Companies Use of the Term "Organic" 

Our experience has been that most companies do NOT respond to question that we post from the list below. BUT...we are few and you, the readers, are many!
Here is an example of a company we aksed.

Cottonseed Meal Doctor Earth small

Here we have made ffor you a simple text template, that you can copy and paste. We have used this several times to ask people and companies are using the term "organic." To date not one company has responded to this direct line of questioning, but we know that if enough people ask the company will be forced to answer and tell the truth!

We, the public, demand to be told the TRUTH!

Q: When your company uses the term "organic", in gardening products,
     are you referring to "organic" as:

1) Simply contains organic MATTER (materials from plants and animals)?

2) Simply an organic COMPOUND (contains carbon atoms)?

3) Sourced from farmers using certified organic growing METHODS?

4) Guaranteed to be independently certified organic growing MATERIALS?

 

This image was created to be shared on Social Media, Websites...
Direct link to image: http://ecopeaceful.com/images/images/blog/misleading-organic-claims/questioning-organic-term-use.jpg

questioning organic term use 

What is the Problem with Sewage Sludge?

Aren't BioSolids just like natural fertilizer (humanure)? NO! However, according to statements made by many BioSolids makers and sellers, they want for you to think they are exaclty the same!
If humans are going to use some type of feces for food growing then humans would be and have been, wise to include human feces (humanure) in their food growing crops (when treated properly) since it can actually be more nutritious than most animal manures. The reason being, that some humans eat a much wider range of food sources and nutrients than most captive/farmed animals. BUT, when it comes to treated toxic sewage sludge is not just human feces/excrements, it is toxic sludge that can have any mix of up about 80,000 hazardous chemicals (mostly man made). CSIA graphic revised2 small

"We know now that biosolids have a complex array of biological pathogens, chemical contaminants, pharmaceuticals, hormones, and emerging contaminants that are not completely eliminated by waste water treatment plants. The land application of biosolids should be abandoned immediately, considering that the current regulatory restrictions and biosolid treatment programs allow for the continuing contamination of the environment and threaten human health." [1]

biosolids warning small

We personally make our own humanure fertilizer, but we would never knowingly apply sewage sludge (aka biosolids) anywhere on our property, especially on food plants! 

Here are just a few of the Facts and Problems with sewage sludge:

    • FACT - Biosolids are more than just human feces
    • FACT - Federal legislation permits every business, institution and industry in the USA to dump up to 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of untreated hazardous waste into the sewer system every month, without needing to file any reports to any federal agency!
    • FACT - Treated toxic sewage sludge (termed Biosolids) is NOT the same as all natural ingredients found in feces from naturally roaming animals or those from humans in many third world countries who have no access to wet/flush toilets or our wide range (about 80,000) of toxic chemicals (mostly from man made products) used in western sewage treatment
    • FACT - Tens of thousands of potentially harmful chemicals that are dumped down the toilets and sinks of: homes, business (funeral homes, automotive shops, beauty salons...) hospitals, factories...as well as runoff into street drains, somehow gets magically cleaned-up or transformed into harmless, non-accumulating product
    • FACT - USDA and OMRI do not allow the use of biosolids
    • FACT - Less than 1% of potential biotoxins are tested. The EPA currently ONLY tests for 4 harmful pathogens and 10 toxic metals
    • FACT - Class B (the lowest and more contaminated class of biosolids) are even spread on food crop farm lands
    • FACT - Banned for use on food production land in at least 200 counties in the US
    • FACT - Treated toxic sewage sludge ("biosolids") can be an ingredient (hidden), under the term "compost" on garden supply ingredients lists
    • PROBLEM - There is legal evidence of deadly contamination
    • PROBLEM - There is legal evidence of toxin levels being fabricated to show they are low.

Got Pathogen and Toxin Isolation and Quarantine?

When it comes to human, animal and planet health and disease control, the spreading of sewage sludge seems to be a process that is the complete opposite (antithesis) of pathogen and toxin isolation and quarantine.

biosolids application sign small

"There is evidence of pathogen reactivation or sudden increase in indicator organisms 

following anaerobic digestion and dewatering at some treatment facilities." [2]


Common Products that are labeled "ORGANIC"* that are NOT Independantly Certified and/or would Never Qualify Organic

*if they are using the term as Organic MATTER & Organic COMPOUND.
WARNING: These products are most likely from GMO crops and/or contain Treated Toxic Sewage Sludge (aka BioSolids)

Organic Alfalfa Meal
Organic Animal Manure - most animals that includes worms (worm casting) are fed GMO in the USA
Organic Cottonseeds Meal 
Organic Blood Meal
Organic Bone Meal
Organic Canola Meal
Organic Compost
Organic Compost Tea
Organic Corn Gluten Meal
Organic Feather Meal - most likely the birds fed GMO feed
Organic Fish Meal/Emulsion
Organic Soybean Meal
Organic Worm Castings

If we missed something, please add in the comments below.

Branded Products Containing Biosolids (Treated Toxic Sewage Sludge)

Note: If you have any sludge product(s) to add or remove from this list, please notify us on our contact page

All-Gro (Synagro)
Granulite (Synagro)
Chesapeake Sunshine
(Philadelphia, PA)
Nutri-Green (Virginia Beach, VA)
MetroGro (Madison, WI)
ORGRO (Baltimore, MD, Veolia Water North America)
Bay State Fertilizer (Boston, MA)
GroCo (Seattle, WA)
SilviGrow (Seattle, WA)
Oceangro (NJ)
TAGRO (Tacoma, WA)
SoundGro (Pierce County, WA)
Milorganite (Milwaukee, WI)
WeCare Compost (NY)
CompostT (Pennsylvania)
EKO Compost (Missoula, Maui, Lewiston plant on Idaho-Wahington border)
Dillo Dirt (Austin, TX)
Glacier Gold (Olney, MT)
EarthBlends (New York City, a product of Synagro, sold by WeCare)
Agresoil (MA)
Earthlife (New England, a product of New England Organics)
TOPGRO (Los Angeles, CA)
N-Viro Soil
N-Viro BioBlend
Landscapers' Advantage (Camden, NJ)
Hou-Actinite (Houston, TX)
ComPro (Washington, D.C.)
Mine Mix (Philadelphia, PA)
Kellogg Nitrohumus, Gromulch, Amend and Topper (Kellogg Garden Products, Los Angeles, CA)
Growers' Blend by Earthwise Organics (a Synagro subsidiary)
Unity Fertilizer (Unity Envirotech LLC, Florida-baded)
Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Garden Soil (Scott's Miracle-Gro Company says: "Some of the most common organic plant foods are bone meal, cottonseed meal, blood meal, fish emulsion, activated sewage and manures.")
PocoNite (Sumter, SC)

List source: http://www.sludgenews.org/about/sludgenews.aspx?id=5 

 

SOLUTION - Ways to Identify ORGANIC and Avoid Non-Organic Garden Product

1) Ask for (demand) source/origin verification - especially on ingredients known to contain:

A) GMOs - crops with a very high percentage grown as GMO (cotton, alphalfa, canola, corn...)

B) Biosolids - undefined or not fully defined "Compost" and "Organic compost"

C) Hormones, antibiotics, pesticidesanimal ingredients, which mostly are from industrial/factory farms (aka: CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation), Intensive animal farming...), which also includes most "Free Range" farms

D) Toxins - All of the above.

2) Look for independant organic certification logos.

For example here is the OMRI certified products logo OMRI listed Organic certifiction small

3) Agricultural products already USDA certified Organic and/or covered by the USDA NOP (National Organic Program) 

 

Learn more about GMOs

Learn more about GMOs  http://responsibletechnology.org
Non-GMO shopping guide  http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com
Scientists Under Attack   http://www.scientistsunderattack.com

Learn more about BioSolids (Treated Toxic Sewage Sludge)

Sewage sludge giveaways, producers, and brands  http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Sewage_sludge_giveaways,_producers,_and_brands
Branded products containing sewage sludge http://www.sludgenews.org/about/sludgenews.aspx?id=5
"JD Mumma: Toxic Sewage Sludge in YOUR Food - On this edition of Health Conspiracy Radio, Nick Brannigan welcomes JD Mumma to the show! JD joins Nick to talk about toxic sewage sludge and it's use in modern agriculture. JD Mumma goes over the harm to human health caused by this product, better known as biosolids" Direct link to Podcast MP3 file http://radio.naturalnews.com/download.asp?fileid=4519

LINKS to References for Organic Farmers, Handlers, Certifiers

http://www.omri.org/links

REFERENCES

1. https://www.beyondpesticides.org/assets/media/documents/infoservices/pesticidesandyou/documents/Biosolids.pdf

2. National Water Program Research Compendium: "There is evidence of pathogen reactivation or sudden increase in indicator organisms following anaerobic digestion and dewatering at some treatment facilities. There is also limited knowledge of what may be in biosolids, due in part to a lack of analytical methods and the large universe of chemicals and pathogens that could be in or released from biosolids. We also need a better understanding regarding a growing concern about antimicrobial resistance and horizontal gene transfer, treatment effectiveness, and whether operation standards (e.g., harvesting and grazing restrictions) work. http://water.epa.gov/scitech/research-riskassess/researchstrategy/upload/compendium.pdf

"current federal legislation still permits every business, institution and industry in the country to dump 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of untreated hazardous waste into the sewer system each month, no reporting required." http://grist.org/article/2009-05-05-sludge-fertilizer-sewage

Pathogens are from 6 categories: viruses, bacteria, prions, fungi, viroids, or parasites. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathogen

Lists of both diseases associated with infectious bacteria and viruses, and pathogens and their associated diseases. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_human_diseases_associated_with_infectious_pathogens

Pathogen: "A bacterium, virus, or other microorganism that can cause disease." http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/pathogen

Quarantine: "The period of time during which a person or animal that has a disease or that might have a disease is kept away from others to prevent the disease from spreading
the situation of being kept away from others to prevent a disease from spreading." http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quarantine

List of infectious diseases: "There are 216 entries in this list, though some entries such as 'Common cold' include a number of distinct pathogens." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_infectious_diseases

International organic certification organizations listed by country and area. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_certification#Regional_variations

A grass roots alternative to certified organic. https://www.naturallygrown.org

Author Info
JD & Lena Mumma
Author: JD & Lena MummaWebsite: http://EcoPeaceful.com
Co-Founders of Ecopeaceful, LLC
About Me
We love educating about eco and peaceful ways of living, and every now and then exposing people and companies that are not acting in the best interest of the public.
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