announced today the release of a new study, "The U.S. Organic Food Market", by Kalorama Information. Predicting the rise of organic sales, this study attributes part of the projected $12 billion market increase to new industry standards proposed by the USDA. Prompted by consumer backlash to hormone use, genetic engineering and irradiation, the USDA intends these federal regulations to define "organic" and enable this segment to become a nationally recognized part of the food and beverage industry. This new legislation will also validate organics in the minds of consumers, propel sales and instigate an overseas market."European countries currently ban specific American products because of uncertain genetic content," said Claire Madden, VP of Marketing at "U.S. farmers have lost an estimated $200 million in annual sales because of this ban. With the new standards, U.S. products will meet European guidelines and, hopefully, open a new avenue for sales."The use of recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), a synthetic growth hormone that increases the production of milk in cattle, will be forbidden by the new legislation. Use of this hormone has proven to cause mammary infections in cows and resulted in depressed milk prices. Although other controversial issues still remain, the new USDA regulations address most of the serious concerns and should be law by end of 2000.