On Tue, 28 Oct 1997, Bob MacGregor wrote:
> Debbie Teeter is right on.
> I have been wondering why USDA has to preempt all uses of "organic"
> and "natural" when all they really have to nationalize is the term "certified
> organic" to accomplish their goal of guaranteeing consumers are getting
> what they think they are getting. This would avoid cutting off the large
> number of non-certified local suppliers (whose clientele trust them even
> if they aren't certified). The issue of the consumer being able to
> discriminate among the terms is one of education; it isn't a hard concept
> to grasp that certified growers have passed some official test of their
> practices and the others haven't. In the farmer's market, I can buy from
> any local organic grower and trust them even if they aren't certified. In
> the supermarket, I'll be more likely to go for certified organic produce,
> since I have no personal knowledge or connection with the producers.
> I also agree, partly, with the comment about looks and price. Most
> consumers trust their food; they buy by price and appearance -- if
> organic food doesn't look as good and/or costs a lot more, then only
> die-hard "greens" will be paying the premium. The main caveat here is
> that chemically-produced food doesn't have all the external impacts/cost
> of the production methods included in the price that consumers pay.
> That is, conventional produce is underpriced relative to its true social
> cost of production --- the citizenry absorbs the cost in taxes and
> environmental and health deterioration rather than paying it in the market.
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