February 23, 2009
“Kathleen Merrigan is an excellent choice for Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. Given her experience and background, we would expect her to be a strong defender of USDA’s organic standards, which have been under repeated attack for the last several years,” said Jean Halloran, Director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union.
“Merrigan will bring an excellent perspective to a number of troublesome labeling issues now before the agency, including loopholes in the current ‘grass fed’ standard, lack of uniformity in meat marketing claims across meat, poultry and dairy items, defining ‘raised without antibiotics label claims, and weaknesses in the current definition of ‘naturally raised,’” said Halloran.
Consumers Union’s concerns about USDA labeling standards were outlined in a letter to Secretary Vilsack sent February 11, 2009.