> My true interest is "how governments can promote organic agriculture".
> I agree with what you are saying, which I hear as, "organic/truly sustainable
> agriculture can only be promoted effectively if governments quit business as
> usual and begin accounting for the externalities associated with conventional
> agriculture". Please correct me if I have misconstrued your words.
You have not. I'm also saying: This WILL happen, but not until a few
people with vision, courage and intelligence identify with this and
realize that THEY can be the mechanism, the necessary catalyst or
vector; and decide to get it together (so to speak).
> I would like to do my thesis on this topic, or at least conduct a comparative
> study of the various strategies undertaken by governments around the world
> to promote organic agriculture. Do you know if any precedent exists for the type
> of thing you are suggesting? I do know that some countries offer subsidies to
> organic farmers. I believe this is a start, but on its own, it doesn't seem like
> an effective way to internalize negative externalities. Unless of course the
> subsidies were so great that the majority of growers went organic. I look
> forward to hearing your thoughts on this.
In theory that could work, but where would the funding come for the
subsidy come from? The only congruent (and therefore feasible) thing to
do would be to penalize (tax, sanction) those doing the "other" kind of
agriculture, and for THAT to be conceivable it FIRST must be
demonstrated that in terms of technology, it can no longer be said that
it's NECESSARY to use "conventional (i.e. contaminationg) techology in
order to feed the world population.
Hence, legislature mandating the particular country's official research
agency (the National Academy of Science's National Research Council in
the case of the U.S.) to undertake the studies required to demonstrate
that (or whether) this is so, is in order; and for good measure, it
would be appropriate to add a stipulation to the same bill that mandates
Congress (or that country's appropriate legislative body) to develope
additional legislature for the purpose of assimilating the results of
those studies into that county's legal foundations, once available.
Furthermore, since the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 really does
require a well grounded re-evaluation, and possible revision (there's a
little matter of inconstitutionality looking it in the face), this is
one logical place to introduce such a measure - that is, if there are a
few more people fit the description mentioned in my first paragraph.
Now that this has been brought up, it just so happens that there are a
few of us already working on this in the U.S. and a few other countries,
so I suggest that your thesis be done interactively - pro-actively; that
you yourself get practically involved and not just study but also help
MAKE policy. (Later today I expect to hear from someone who did a
thesis on a related concept I was promoting a number of years back, that
is - after 7 seven years - now poised to become reality here in Mexico.
Although the word "organic" is now as much of a marketing tool as
anything else (which is why a would be "organic insider power elite"
hopes inherit by way of OFPA, the benefit of the consumer recognition
that - at no small cost - was established), the tradition and spirit of
organic agriculture is certainly true to the concepts embodied in what
today is known as "alternative, biolgical, ecological and perhaps above
all, sustainable" agriculture.
> Brett in Monterey, CA
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: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, dhinds@.ucol.mx
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