Since they were not addressed, here again are my principal concerns
with on your stance on organic tobacco growing:
1. Who decides which commodities are appropriate for inclusion and by
inference, which growers should be excluded from being considered
"organic" not because of their methodology, but their product?
2. Where do you draw the line? Obviously, there is a line to be drawn
if this line of logic is to be followed.
3. Your response below deals with one commodity, beef. But the negative
implications of tobacco which you infer *are* true on every single point
you make (or have obvious parallels) in the marketing and consumption
of alcohol. Why do you not include those malefactors - the organic
vineyard owners and the grain producers whose product is brewed or
distilled - in your list of who should not be allowed in the club?
And one final distinction: the irresponsible marketing of tobacco
products to which you refer below is not connected in any way with the
families and small companies who grow and market *organic* tobacco.
The marketplace behavior of RJR-Nabisco and Philip Morris - of which
you rightly complain - bears strong resemblance to the lack of social
conscience present whenever corporate concentration is dominant in any
area of agriculture and food distribution. Perhaps something to
consider in your earlier questioning (if I remember correctly) of why
families might be important to sustainability.
On Sun, 15 Oct 1995 WLockeretz@infonet.tufts.edu wrote:
> Several people have commented that if you criticize organic growers for
> raising tobacco, this logically leads to criticizing organic production of
> all sorts of other products, like beef, for example, which also (may) have
> health hazards. However, I don't think we need worry about where else this
> alleged "polical correctness" will lead, nor that we are on a "slippery
> slope," as one respondent put it, for several reasons:
> 1. People don't wear cholesterol patches to be able to quit roast beef;
> no wag ever bothered to say: "It's easy to give up roast beef -- I've
> done it dozens of times."
> 2. No parents' groups have been organized in outrage over promotion of
> roast beef to kids, such as through a "Joe Roast Beef" character.
> 3. Hospitals, schools, offices, etc., have not found it necessary to
> restrict eating roast beef in order to protect the health and comfort of
> those who are *not* eating it.
> 4. If eating roast beef really is harmful to one's health, at least you don't
> see the beef industry sponsoring women-oriented sporting events or
> cynically throwing around money in the black community in the hopes of
> getting these groups to burden their health even more, to make up for
> the decline in their main customer base.
> 5. No fires have been started by eating roast beef in bed.
> 6. After people eat roast beef, they don't throw the scraps on the sidewalk.
> William Lockeretz
> Tufts University