Organic Consumer’s Association issues “threat” to Congress.

Just when you thought the crazies over at the Organic Consumer’s Association (OCA) couldn’t get more goofy, they have warned Congress that if the they pass any amendment that would “preempt or nullify any state GMO labeling law” they will work to recall candidates or support their opponents in the next election.

What has their organic hemp panties is a bunch? It’s an amendment by Iowa Congressman, Republican Steve King

The King Amendment would reinforce the Commerce Clause by asserting the right of a state to trade agricultural products with another state. States that a state cannot deny the trade of an agricultural product from another state based on its means of production.

On his website King elaborates

I am pleased that the Committee passed my amendment, the Protect Interstate Commerce Act (PICA) because states are entering into trade protectionism by requiring cost prohibitive production methods in other states,” said King. “PICA blocks states from requiring ‘free range’ eggs or ‘free range’ pork but covers all agriculture products listed in  section 206 of the Agriculture Marketing Act of 1946. By 2014 California will require only ‘free range’ eggs be sold and the impact of their large market would compel producers in every other state to invest billions to meet the California standard of “means of production.” PICA will ensure that radical organizations like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and PETA are prohibited from establishing a patchwork of restrictive state laws aimed at slowly suffocating production agriculture out of existence.”

The Agricultural Committee passed King’s Amendment.

Now what is this section 206 of the Agriculture Marketing Act of 1946 the good congressman speaks of?  Being a good republican, he gets it wrong. There is no listing of products in that section. It’s strictly administrative rules.

No matter. I see what King is going for here and I can’t say I disagree. His hatred for groups like PETA and HSUS not withstanding, I see his point. Whatever his reasons for inserting his amendment it does make sense which makes this an anomaly; a republican doing something that makes sense, but accidentally.

OCA sees this as a slippery slope where there will be more amendments piled on top of each other. They want to stop it by taking direct political action. Legally, can they?

Well, the OCA is registered as both a 501(c)(3) and their lobbying  and legislative arm, Organic Consumers Fund (OCF) is a 501(c)(4).  What’s the difference?

Both confer non-profit status. A 501(c)(3) allows an organization to promote social welfare issues but not engage in politics. They can’t endorse candidates, donate money to them or publicize which candidates agree with them on issues.

As a 501(c)(4), an organization can get involved in politics as long as they don’t spend more than 50% of their funds on political issues.

Its obvious both the the OCA and OCF are the same group.  The OCF website says The Organic Consumers Fund (OCF) is the 501 c4 allied organization of the Organic Consumers Association

Allied?

Organic Consumers Fund · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive, Finland MN

Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive, Finland MN

Both groups have Ronnie Cummmins listed as the big cheese on their IRS 990s, except the 990 for the OCA he’s listed as Ronald Wayne Cummins and on the OCF he’s listed as just Ronnie Cummins

The interesting part of the OCA’s threat is that it comes from their website and they seem to be the arm that is threatening political action, not the OCF arm. If so, that would mean they are engaging in political activity which isn’t allowed under their 501(c)(3) status.

Also on their site they have a list of those who voted for and against the amendment categorized as good guys and bad guys. That sounds pretty much like a 501(c)(3) no no. That sounds like they’re rating representatives.

Whether legal or not, the OCA seems to be engaging in big time hypocrisy here. They are big opponents of the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision. Yet they get to do their thing under the OCF due to that ruling.

On their site they write

The Citizens United ruling “contradicts the notion of transparency that should prevail in a democracy,” wrote the Los Angeles Spanish-language newspaper La Opinion, in their endorsement of the measure.

The great site Biofortfied has a great post which goes into more detail about the OCA,  Progressive Activists or Organic AstroTurf?

It’s obvious the two groups are one in the same. The fact that the names on each organization are slightly different, even though it’s the same person smells of deception.  But that’s not surprising  The Cummins’ groups are hustlers and liars.

3 thoughts on “Organic Consumer’s Association issues “threat” to Congress.”

  1. Wow, great stuff Bernie. Once again it shows something important. While critics of biotech scream of insider corporate philandering and financial manipulation, it seems like they are pretty good at it too.

    The problem is that it gives a black eye to organic production. There are places where it is gaining scientific credibility and traction, only to be hoisted into the kook bin with Cummins and his facade organizations.

    1. “There are places where [organic production] is gaining scientific credibility and traction…”

      Kevin, how can dividing farmers into camps, into clean and unclean, be considered “scientifically credible?”

      Do you mean that certain farming practices are gaining credibility as either sustainable, or efficient, or low-input, etc.?

      If so, what prevents non-organically-certified farmers from adopting such practices?

      Also, the stock-in-trade of the organic movement is debasing “chemicals” and pesticides. Again, how is that “scientifically credible?”

      These are not idle questions.

  2. Very true. Organic done properly is a fine choice for those who want it. But done poorly can be deadly. Perhaps they (OCA) should look in their own kitchen instead of claims all manners of harm from GMO’s, as there is a lot of work to do there to improve the organic food safety record. May I suggest they start with much better manure regulations.

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