Now that "Real Food" is making progress the inquisition is in full force.Amplify’d from www.alternet.org
The free exchange of ideas is so essential to a healthy democracy, it was particularly disturbing to learn that Mark D. Keating was terminated as an Agricultural Marketing Specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program (NOP) for expressing personal opinions in communications with the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).
In an interview, Mr. Keating said the official reasons given for his termination were a "complete fabrication." He added, "I was the guy who knew too much."
Mr. Keating is convinced that it was the "political hierarchy" at the USDA rather than knowledgeable civil servants who were responsible for his termination. When asked whether powerful corporate interests had sought his dismissal, he said he had no evidence to support such a claim. He did say that giant agribusiness believes it has provided the "most abundant and cheapest food supply in the world" and the criticism leveled at it by sustainable farming advocates has led to "hurt feelings" in the industry.
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Last September, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) published the results of a survey of USDA scientists and inspectors responsible for food safety. "Hundreds of scientists and inspectors responsible for food safety have personally experienced political interference in their work, and that's bad for public health," said Francesca Grifo, director of UCS's Scientific Integrity Program at the time. "Both the administration and Congress need to act."