> Mr. Hinds,
> I have been following the organic certification debate for some time,
> but found your most recent comments of such interest that I was impelled to
> participate. It seems to me, that your most salient point is that the proposed
> standards are "too shallow." From the beginning of this debate I have gotten the
> distinct impression that the new rules will have little effect on the way
> agrigulture is practiced in the United States. In an effort to make organic
> mainstream, it is being contorted to fit into the conventional approach to
> agriculture in this country. In order to be certified as organic, a farmer need
> only substitute organic fertilizers and pesticides for synthetically, and simply
> go on with business as usual.
That's not quite true. Obtaining certification is supposed to involve soil
building practices and developing a comprehensive organic program plan for
instance, but I agree with your basic statement: Agriculture in the U.S. is NOT
being directed toward the goal of sustainability, and organic agriculture is
nothing more than an increasingly important niche market that never the less
represents no real threat to the vested interests that control mainstream
agribusiness and the petrochemical complex. The problem is one of leadership, one
of vision, of courage and conviction. Our leaders sell us out short, they
compromise their own integrity and in doing so, that of the environment and our
food supply. (Not to mention the future). But maybe the will is there, maybe
someone just has to light the way.
> The problem, as I see it, is one of mindset. All too many people assume
> that organic is inherently sustainable, and that everything would be hunky-dory
> if only everyone would stop using those nasty pesticicides. In fact, the use of
> synthetic inputs is a symptom of the problems of conventional agriculture, not
> the malaise itself. Mankind farmed for millenia without these substances, but
> only rarely did so sustainably. In the end, it doesn't really make much
> difference whether a farmer does his shopping at the local feed and grain store,
> or at the organic boutique down the road. Agriculture will remain destructive of
> soil fertility and structure as long as farmers feed plants rather than the soil.
> Tom Allen
Some farmers feed the soil but are being penalized for doing so by incongruent,
retrograde measures taken by some state governments, and this will increease under
OFPA as it is presently written. Ask Sal about it.
I hope you don't mind if I post this.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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