Re: Organic certification
Rich Molini (email@example.com)
Tue, 28 Oct 1997 16:32:52 -0500
Gwyneth E. Harris wrote:
> Bob and Debbie seem to have hit on the perfect solution (in my book).
> "Certified Organic" is a term which really is only relevant to me when it
> is applied to the farms I don't know about personally. When I buy
> locally, I buy not according to labels, but according to who, and which
> methods of growing, I want to support. For example, there is a grower
> nearby that is not certified organic, but I know that they spray only one
> crop - I would rather buy from this grower than from some faceless,
> nameless, large-scale grower who is "certified organic",
> but may still be spraying regularly and heavily with pesticides
> which, although they are certified organic, don't fit with my own
> philosophy of organic growing.
> The USDA should not be taking away the
> right of consumers to see and trust the label of organic as they choose.
> The key to "trusting" labeling is to get educated and know where your food
> supply comes from! Growers who already try to grow responsibly should not
> be punished by fees for using a term that they invented! What has
> happened to freedom of speech? I take heart though - Ben and Jerry's won
> their right to label their ice cream as rBGH free. To me this is a
> parallel fight - and as a consumer I WANT the right to know what is or is
> not in my food. Forcing growers to pay to be able to tell us this is
> anti-competitive and anti-consumer. Yet I do understand that there has to
> be some safe guard against fraudulent use of the term "organic". So make
> it "certified organic", and if a grower can maintain a local market by
> establishing trust with that market WITHOUT "the label", let that grower
> advertise food for what it is - organic.
> 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.
> > BOB
> > To Unsubscribe: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with "unsubscribe sanet-mg".
> > To Subscribe to Digest: Email email@example.com with the command
> > "subscribe sanet-mg-digest".
> To Unsubscribe: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with "unsubscribe sanet-mg".
> To Subscribe to Digest: Email email@example.com with the command
> "subscribe sanet-mg-digest".
We are like Sal and Eric. You make my point for me. What is the sense
and sanity of having a certification system, when you can have as you
mentioned " a large certified grower who sprays heavily". We all know
this does and will continue to happen. Certification guarantees nothing
other than someone or something passed an inspection ( and cert.
committee meeting) and primarily guarantees that there are alot of
non-value added activities (which will also now include state and
federal officials) associated with it. The real guarantee is when you
know the veracity of the producer's methods. That is the connection and
trust and reputation building that can only come from building and
starting at the local level.
Deb, the problem of appearrances and costs are artificial and will only
be solved at the re-education or reprogramming of consumers who have
been hoodwinked into believing that the real cost of food is on the
price tag and that they can only get the uniform ( uniform in
appearance,lack of nutrition, lack of taste, and degree of earth
degradation) product. The cost of organic will never be the same as
conventional unless the conventional cost rises to reflect the hidden
costs. The cost of conventional will then be greater than that of a
sensible sustainable organic production.
To Unsubscribe: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with "unsubscribe sanet-mg".
To Subscribe to Digest: Email email@example.com with the command