Maybe Eric's on the road again in an area where no phones are
available or his laptop or modem aren't working. In any case, I haven't
heard from him yet and it was suggested to me that you too might be in a
position to be helpful regarding the following post, that you may have
already seen. I'm very interested in your opinion and suggestions about
this (with who, how, when and where should the appropriate steps be
taken in order to subject certain aspects of the OFPA to legislative and
public scrutiny once again), as well as those of other readers.
It's definately not too late to prevent a bad precedent (for a number of
reasons, not the least of which are founded in the Bill of Rights) from
being set, without
undermining the basic purpose of the OFPA: Establishing MINIMUM U.S.
National Standards for organic foods. Thanks.
> not to certify, would be contrary to OFPA itself. OFPA says anyone selling, or
> labeling or implying directly or indirectly that a product is organic must be
> certified. All opinions aside, these issues were decided 7 years ago by
> those that at that time had been farming for 3 to 15 years organically and
> consumer, environmentalist along with organic certifiers.
I think you've hit the nail on the head. You have provided many well
stated and thoughtful reasons in support of your point of view.
However, others have also presented excellent and sometimes pointed
motives in support of alternative solutions (and the need for them) to
these real problems, which may not have been sufficiently apparent at
the time OFPA was drafted. Perhaps these differences help to explain
why OFPA hasn't yet been implemented yet - there seem to be aspects of
the law's implementation that remain unresolved, and a reappraisal of
some of OFPA's basic tenet's (such as obligatory certification), may
well be in order, and many others also seem to believe that is true.
For instance, some have indicated a need for distinguishing between
"organic" and certified organic", whereby "certified organic" would
indeed be subject to a federally mandated, standardized certification
program, while "organic" would be subject only to a legal definition at
the national level.
I would be very interested in knowing whether you personally would be
agreeable to having this issue re-examined within the framework of the
original body responsible for the drafting of the OFPA. I'm sure you
believe in the validity of your reasoning and are confident that only a
strengthened and more unified position adapted by the organic community
as a whole would result from such a re-evaluation. (Does that sound
familiar)? Surely you're not afraid of a little healthy debate - and we
all know that in practice, in the vast majority of cases certification
is a necessary adjunct to marketing. Still, there seems to be instances
where great injustices will be committed in the name of a perhaps
foolish consistency and in any case, enough controversy has been shown
to exist to warrant an OFFICIAL re-examination.
Assuming that this is the case, what would you suggest in terms of
procedure, in order to subject this matter once again to legislative and
public scrutiny? (Who, how, when and where are the appropriate
I have no doubt that your comments will be very helpful in this regard,
so I thank you for them in advance. The resulting debate will benefit
from the last seven years experience and take into account factors that
were not contemplated at that time. And the results will hopefully
settle this issue once and for all (unless other unforeseen
complications or incongruities become apparent once again in the distant
or not so distant future, and lead us into a still more profound
Douglas M. Hinds, Director General Centro para el Desarrollo Comunitario y Rural A.C. (CeDeCoR) (Center for Community and Rural Development) - (non profit) Petronilo Lopez No. 73 (Street Address) Apdo. Postal No. 61 (Mailing Address) Cd. Guzman, Jalisco 49000 MEXICO U.S. Voice Mailbox: 1 630 300 0550 (e-mail linked) U.S. Fax Mailbox: 1 630 300 0555 (e-mail linked) Tel. & Fax: 011 523 412 6308 (direct) e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, dhinds@.ucol.mx
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