Sustainable agriculture standards effort faces collapse

October 25, 2010 |

In Washington, representatives from national and regional agriculture, food and feed organizations withdrew en masse this week from the Leonardo Academy’s sustainable agriculture standard setting initiative citing “fatal, systemic limitations and chronic biases” within the Leonardo effort.

A letter addressed to Michael Arny, Leonardo Academy president, was signed by ten national agricultural-organization voting members on the nearly 60-member Committee, and endorsed by 46 other agricultural organizations nationwide, including the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).

In a September 11, 2008 letter to ANSI, the U.S. Department of Agriculture challenged Leonardo’s ANSI accreditation as a standards development organization for numerous fundamental flaws in Committee setup and management.

“At the early stages, mainstream production agriculture had difficulty getting a seat at the table,” said Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, executive vice president for food and agriculture at BIO.  “Over the years, it has become clear that the Leonardo ‘standard’ would not represent the needs of the people that actually grow the vast majority of our country’s food, feed and fiber.”

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Category: Policy

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