EHN [of California]
P.O. Box 1155
Larkspur, California, 94977-0074

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EHN supports AB 2823
Revision of the California Organic Food Act

To speed your letter:

Email address for Assembly Member Strom-Martin is

Fax number: 916/319-2101

Aug. 19, 2002

Assembly Member Strom-Martin
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0001

Dear Assembly Member Strom-Martin:

    RE: EHN supports your bill, AB 2823
    Revision of the California Organic Food Act

The Environmental Health Network supports you and AB 2823. California is looked up to by consumers throughout the United States as the state that cares about its residents, their health, their "right to know." Your bill goes far in assuring that the word "organic" on the label is not misleading. Consumers have come to believe that organic means pure methods and products free of chemical injections, and plant materials raised without the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

EHN's Board of Directors feels there is a decided need to revise the California Organic Food Act to meet the standards set by the National Organic Program. We are very pleased to see your bill extend this revision to cosmetics. Because cosmetic ingredients are absorbed and/or inhaled into the body of the user and nonuser, it is of utmost importance that the California consumer who reads ORGANIC on a label is not led astray. Whether "organic" is used on food products or other consumer products, including cosmetics and personal care items, it is a word that has come to mean safer products, ones not containing needless toxins.

There is an enormous difference in seeing the word ORGANIC on labels of products that are made free of ingredients that are viewed as harmful by astute doctors, researchers and the shrewd consumer, and the word "organic" when used as an advertising gimmick on products laden with synthetic chemicals. It is misleading to use "organic" as a word or in a phrase upon a label as a clever advertising ploy in an effort to capture a growing market of organic consumers.

A cautious consumer will check ingredients, which will give an indication to the overall safety of the product, as well as to its adherence to the principles of the organic industry. However, most people simply assume that all consumer products have been thoroughly tested by our government agencies charged with protecting health, and therefore they could be easily deceived by the misuse of the word "organic" on labels.

Supporting AB 2823 not only supports California consumers' right-to-know, it also supports a growing organic industry. It is clear that both the consumer and the organic industry needs the support of the State of California, as will be provided by AB 2823. Organic must mean ORGANIC.


Barbara Wilkie
President, EHN
Connie Barker, Emily Earhart, Sue Hodges and Events Director, Louise Yost

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The Environmental Health Network (EHN) [of California] is a 501 (c) (3) non profit agency and offers support and information for the chemically injured. HomePage is