The Organic Food Production Act, OFPA, is law, for which the Proposed Organic
Rule is the draft of how to effectively implement it. The public comment
period on the Proposed Rule is the opportunity for everyone, no matter how
shrill, devisive or mis-informed to comment. The USDA National Organic
Program staff will have the responsibility of sorting out the comments. OFPA
is so well composed and contains so clear language it will stand all the
contention and provide answers to virtually all the questions raised by
anyone. The USDA/NOP has been informed they must follow OFPA very closely
and thoroughly justify any "interpretations" or changes from OFPA they feel
warranted. A well informed citizenry that is interested in pure and
unadulterated food and sound environmental management--organic food--will
base their comments on OFPA. Whether organic farmers or processors want to
use GMOs is not relevant. The Act very well deals with those issues, its
authors fully aware that organic customers do not want toxics or pollutants
or synthetics in "organic" food. It is clear that all those with vested
economic interest are not going to persuade the USDA/NOP to pervert OFPA into
a program that benefits financially the few. Literally, there will be legal
hell to pay if they do. Organic food is not an issue of Whole Foods, Pure
Pack, Walnut Acres or Pavich farms getting their way or even surviving (all
represented on the National Organic Standards Board), it is an issue of
finally getting pure and unadulterated food, fiber and I hope cosmetics for
the customer to have a choice, for the first time in over 100 years. Organic
foods is an issue of everyone's health, the real betterment of soils for the
future--not making them only sustainable for the future--clean water and air.
Bureaucrats, lobbyist and spin contractors can step aside. Action is about
to begin. I read once that Kissinger near the end of the Vietnam war, from
the cloudy heights of DC, became convinced the US was about to break out in
civil war. The same conditions, though very peaceful, exist today.
Citizens are fed up with how their food has been treated. I bet even
Kissinger wants to eat organic food.
Some folks in DC, in corporations, in successful agricultural businesses may
think OFPA is just another rule that will be implemented like all the rest.
With the economically vested interest massaging OFPA into the processed food
they want for their businesses. This is not going to happen. A
soulsearching revolution has been in the progressing for 40 years. It is now
very rapidly coming to flowering. Literally, millions of US citizens want
pure and unadulterated food--food using natural enzymes, natural cheese
coagulants, ph adjusters, texturizers, emulsifiers in processed foods. No
fake "natural" colorings and flavorings, but real ones if they are needed at
all. Millions of US citizens want livestock products, fish, produce, grains,
beans, seeds, fibers not treated with poisonous pesticides and substances.
A market based on putting your money daily in what you believe is healthy for
humans and the environment has grown beyond anyone to control. Congress by
passing OFPA eliminated all the compromises normally built in by economic
vested interest. Neither business nor the bureacracy were interested in
organics when Congress passed OFPA. In a way it is a monument to grass roots
community action. Neither USDA, FDA, EPA nor the chemical manufacturers nor
the food processors, nor the conventional farmers have treated the US
citizens respectfully. All of them were pulled by short sighted economic
interest, not perniciously, to basically poison human health and the
environment for cash. The chickens are now coming home to roost. Citizens
want a fully trustworthy food alternative--the Organic Foods Production Act
provides that alternative.
The USDA Office of General Counsel can read OFPA. It is simple for a lawyer.
It is even simplier for anyone or group truly interested in sitting down and
thinking it through., If USDA needs help, there are literally millions of
people that know exactly what it means. Skip the beltway leaders and the
professional organic spokes persons. Just read the Act or ask the organic
farmer or customer what they expect when they buy an "organic" product.
Lets talk issues, real issues--pure and unadulterated food.
The story "Food Alert: Can You Trust Organic?" is fine in my book. There is
nothing to hide and no where to hide anything. Either the public and the
environment gets a quality organically produced product or very rapidly a new
market identity will arise to stand for pure and unadulterated food and
fiber. Let me be the first to repeat there will be no compromise on the
language of the Organic Foods Production Act. I suggest everybody read it,
understand what it says, understand how the chapters related to subchapters,
how the paragraphs relate to successive or previous paragraphs. If the USDA
does not understand OFPA and proceeds to pervert the language, a Federal
judge will make the ultimate decision--and that decision will be based on
The discussions on SANET, only set the stage for the many act play coming on
your local PC, TV, radio show, in 3 public USDA meetings to inform citizens
what the Proposed Rule says, on the USDA's website that will take public
comments on the Proposed Organic Rule, in the letters that will flow into
USDA and to their Congresspersons. If people want to assemble 2 million
signatures to not have any kind of GMOs in organic farming and handling, let
me sign on. The most underrated sector of the US is farmers and small
businesses that produce food and fiber and the most underrated sector of
farming is organic farmers that produce pure and unadulterated food and
fiber. Organic farmers need help from consumers to build a quality food and
fiber production, handling and marketing system.
Much of the discussion on SANET has not been based on accurate information
about OFPA, USDA, organic farming, handling and certification. That is not
much different than what we had to deal with from the first NOSB meeting and
when the first USDA organic staff was put together. But we are all learning,
more and faster than we want to, that the trustworthy organic pure and
unadulterated label regulated by an efficient bureaucracy, operating with
minimum paperwork and cost consistent with a quality program must be the
outcome of all this regulatory process.
The issues of small farm exemption, cost and paperwork of certification on
small farmers, handling businesses and certifiers have been aired responsibly
on SANET. And now it is on to all the remaining, substantial issues.
Best Regards, Eric Kindberg
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