OFMA has truly lost touch, because I am not sure that transplanting
broccoli and combining corn will ever occur simultaneously anywhere on
this planet. They seem to be versed only in the language of OFPA which
they so eloquently quote chapter and verse.
Douglas Hinds wrote:
> OFMA, a private organic trade group, has taken a position in support of
> the Organic Foods Production Act's restricting the use of the words
> "organic" and "natural" exclusively to certified organic products as
> currently defined by the OFPA, as the following quote demonstrates:
> Erorganic@aol.com wrote:
> > 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.
> However, for various reasons (which I would be happy to provide if
> requested to do so), a growing number of us believe that the distinction
> between "organic" and "certified organic" is significant, and that ONLY
> products labeled as "certified organic" should be subject to the limits
> presently placed on the words "organic" and "natural" by the OFPA as now
> written, with the use of those words subject only to a legal definition
> and penalties for misuse for noncertfied organic products, rather than
> obligating certification by USDA registered third party entities as
> mandated by the OFPA as it now reads. We also believe that further
> distinctions in labeling should be possible and may well be appropriate
> in many cases.
> Therefore, we have asked OFMA and others to state whether they would be
> agreeable to having this issue re-examined within the framework of the
> original body responsible for the drafting of the OFPA and subject once
> again to legislative and public scrutiny. We ourselves believe that the
> resulting debate will benefit from the last seven years experience and
> take into account factors that were not contemplated at that time.
> No one from OFMA has answered us yet, and I feel it's important to
> determine your own position regarding this issue also, hoping to
> encounter a greater degree of convergence, since it's definitely 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.
> We believe our position is congruent with that of some organic
> certifying entities, as the following quote from the OFMA website
> (http://web.iquest.net/ofma/indyrep.htm) seems to indicate:
> "While you were out transplanting broccoli or combining your corn, Farm
> Verified Organic and OCIA International, two private certifying agents,
> launched a pointless effort to essentially change the Organic Foods
> Production Act ( which, being an Act of Congress can only be modified by
> an Act of Congress ). Their goal: being able to label as superior to
> USDA standards the products they certify as organically produced."
> We ourselves support both the freedom to differentiate (i.e. whether a
> product contains GE organisms or not, or were subject to a more coherent
> standard than that required by the OFPA) in addition to the right of
> organic farmers to market their organic products in Community Supported
> Agriculture or other programs that may neither require nor warrant
> mandatory certification (and the added time, paperwork & expense that
> involves), while still being subject to the remaining minimal legal
> description of organic and natural products provided by the OFPA.
> Rather than divide the organic community, we hope to prevent the organic
> movement from being held captive to private agendas and mercenary
> interests through a legal straitjacket, while maintaining the healthy
> degree of diversity that the words "organic" and "natural" have
> traditionally (and naturally) inferred all along.
> Thank you for your attention.
> 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)
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