USDA will no longer refer to small raisins as "midgets," after Little People petition


Since around World War II, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has referred to small raisins used mostly for cooking as "midgets."

For many smaller-statured persons, the word "midget" is a really hurtful slur–the "M Word." So The Little People of America asked the USDA to find a new term, and the government basically said, "okay."

Starting soon, the Agriculture Department will completely remove the word from its Standards for Grades of Processed Raisins.

From the Washington Post:

The Little People of America, an advocacy group for people 4 feet 10 inches tall and under, petitioned the USDA in May 2013 to remove the official reference, and the agency passed the request on to the Raisin Administrative Committee, which runs the nation's raisin reserve. The response was, essentially, "no problem."

"It was really just 'Okay sure, whatever,'" Hector Omapas, the committee's director of compliance, told the Loop, his shrug almost audible over the phone. "It was really much to do about nothing."

The committee, which runs the nation's raisin reserve, has already stopped using the term in its marketing orders, Omapas said.

This Aug. 21, the USDA got around to soliciting public comment on a proposed rule that would officially remove the five references to "midget" raisins from the federal standards list.