Date: Sun, 09 Nov 1997 19:07:11 -0600
From: Douglas Hinds <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: The Big Picture re Organics (fwd)
> In response to DebP@UWyo.Edu (Deborah D. Paulson)'s question. Why must
> certification to use the words organic or natural be
> The reasons are well stated in OFPA...
> I hope this makes clearer why we need mandatory certification of all
> labeld and sold as "organic". If it doesn't or leads to more questions, I
> would be glad to entertain them.
> Best Regards, Eric Kindberg
I myself don't believe the following citations from the OFPA "makes
clearer why we need mandatory certification of all products labeled and
sold as "organic", as Eric Kindberg states.
I DO think it shows us what needs to be changed in order for the OFMA to
serve the purpose for which it was intended - provide a minimum national
standard for organic products
eak: A pleasure. OFPA was not written to provide a "minimum national
(OFPA's purposes are 1 ) to establish national standards governing the
marketing of certain agricultural products as organically produced products;
(2) to assure consumers that organically produced products meet a
The wording is consistent, completely different from "minimum".
without infringing on the rights and well
being of organic CSA farmers and those with gross incomes under $50,000,
as well as contribute toward a solution that provides the greatest good
for the greatest number of people, one capable of fomenting changes at
the world level (access to the U.S.
market provide a lot of incentive) that Earth Day unfortunately hasn't
eak: Douglas, you have heard my suggestion. I have contributed all the issue
merits. Now it is yours and others responsiblity to modifiy the law if you
wish and comment during the public comment period. I know it is more
valuable to deal with the three issues mentioned, the National List, public
access to records and synthetics in processed organic foods.
Nor does it explain why the incredibly unconscious concept of
withdrawing the widely used (if perhaps marginally abused) words
("organic" and "natural"), with their own etymological trajectories and
specifically modern meanings, from commerce (which is certainly as
personal an event as it is public) is necessary, and it has certainly
yet to be shown that any over riding public good exists for co-opting
their use exclusively for certified organic products or the benefit of
the organic biznes power elite.
eak: "natural" as a marketing trustworthy term was irretrievably destroyed
about 6 years ago because there was no consistent criteria for the term.
Certainly, you will allow us that farm organically and us that want to buy
organically to get a consistent, credible and trusted label for the
outstanding work we have and are doing. Actually, I think Dave DeCou made it
clear, take it to Congress. I proposed a suggestion to dealing with small
entities, organic farmers, handlers, certifiers, even provided my knowledge
on the direction to effect positive change-the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
It is all yours from here on out. Organic consumers and certified organic
farmers and handlers know what we need--consistent and uniform organic
farming and handling standards. We learned a long time ago what happened to
the word "natural." Absolutely no meaning.
Maybe that's divisive language but I took the same stance when Eric here
with us a few months ago. There are other, more appropriate and less
damaging ways of assuring that CERTIFIED organic products meet a
national standard, without making the OFPA unenforceable due to the
innately unconstitutional police state action it prescibes. (Guess I
feel this kinda strongly - but I wouldn't have much to say if not out of
conviction - and that's the difference between me and the other guy,
who's literally banking on this).
Sorry Eric, but that's how it looks from where I sit. If that's not so,
prove that by helping look for a solution that addresses these issues
without loosing sight of the positive aspects of OFPA, which isn't cut
in stone - and a lot has been learned since it was drafted and enacted.
There is valuable and relevant input available, capable of resolving the
relatively minor issues of the appropriation of the words "organic" and
eak: "natural" never has and does not now have now anything to do with
exclusively for certified products, and the small farm
exemption that's way too low - and in fact out of line with the SBA's
own guidelines, as you yourself have pointed out.
In short, OFPA itself can and should be improved on in ways that will
make it more effective, equitable and farther reaching, in the best
sense of the word. (More on that later).
Lastly, the best (and perhaps only) way these real and fundamental
differences can be resolved is through a forum such as sanet. My
apologies to those whose interests lie principally in other areas, but I
feel that it's an appropriate use of the medium, although I respect the
opinions of all those who contribute. Furthermore, I'm convinced that a
solution is forthcoming that will encompass and strengthen the concerns
of those whose interests go beyond marketing organic foods, effectively
amplifying the momentum generated by this issue, while both enlarging
the scope of and enhancing the congruence (and therefore legal basis) of
Thank you for your attention.
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