The US Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman has criticised a measure passed by congress last month that allows farmer who feed animals conventional meal to label the meat organic if reasonably priced organic grain is not available.

Veneman said in a statement that the measure “could weaken the national organic program.”

“It is important to maintain a strong organic program that ensures the integrity of the organic label placed on consumer products. The best way to do that is by maintaining the organic standards as we implemented them in October 2002. I support bipartisan efforts to ensure those USDA standards remain in place,” Veneman added.