Steve Moore wrote:
> One of the most incredible aspects of the current situation is that a significant segment of the"organic trade" asked for USDA's involvement. A great deal of energy was put into getting congress to even pass the OFPA and then to get USDA to take on this task. Those of us who cried out against this folly were simply ignored. I for one naively hoped that it would all go away like some bad nightmare. Unfortunately, that is not the nature of government beauracracies. The whole concept of OFPA has been wrong from the beginning, but I am very skeptical that the "genie" can be put back in the bottle.
> Steve Moore
First of all, let's say that the battle's still there to be waged. There are a lot of valid reasons that support amending OFPA. And as previously stated, the USDA has no real ax to grind. The USDA's being manipulated by private interests masquerading as organic old timers, and some of them in fact are. The problem is, their interest lies in exploiting OFPA for personal gain at the expense of many others. And this isn't simply my opinion. I can name names and this one person in particular came down here looking for a way to corner the market from this end of things, with no real interest in
promoting sustainable agriculture, organizing farmers or making any real investment of time or money in infrastructure or anything else.
The USDA doesn't need law suits, and it's involvement is not per se bad. What's bad is the WAY they are involved, policing the gospel according to OFPA, which divorces a natural act from it's very nature. Legislating consistent, minimal national standards for organic foods is not bad. And penalties can be designated for products that are sold as organic without fulfilling those standards, without driving the costs of farming organically up by requiring certification, which is best left to be dealt with by the buyer and seller.
Certifiers can be obligated to register with the USDA and meet certain criteria, but growing food itself is a biological process and words simply can't be reserved for only certified, government approved goods. This isn't like allowing a car on the road after it meets emissions requirements. We're talking about natural processes here. The nature of organic foods is simply NOT rooted in OFPA or the salt of the earth organic good ole boys. IT'S INTRINSIC. This is a fucking philosophic issue (metaphysical actually, which means I can use that word this one time) and I can't understand why more people
don't give it more importance. [Is life really that anal compulsive now in the U.S? Are people really that cowed, that disassociated, disinterested or that afraid to intervene, to get involved? The only issue that seems to get people stirred up is the Frankenstein (GE) one. Does that come from watching so much TV? (The Adams family is broadcast in Mexico too but I've yet to watch it). I really do sense a kind of herd mentality and it's a bit depressing. End of harangue, end of digression]. My purpose here is to determine whether any basis exists (in terms of people, of numbers; not in terms
legality nor of logic) for developing a kind of manifest that people who are sympathetic could draw on to make known their positions to the "proper" authorities.
There's little interchange occurring here, and little being said about anyone's plans to following through on this matter. I myself have other things to do but I consider the issue to be an important one and believe furthermore that the injustices are real and meaty enough to be demonstrated, and that therefore, the battle can be won, if enough (and not that many really) people, but the RIGHT people (congruent people), decide to get involved.
What's bad is making certification obligatory, because of the above and other reasons that have been discussed (at least on sanet) before and can be refined and compiled if anyone intends to make use of it; that is, wants to collaborate. This means I need a response, need to be reassured by those who have previously responded, in order to invest more time in this. Although maybe I have to do this anyway, for my own reasons, which I can share when they're done. Another reason that compulsory certification is bad, is because it DOES tend to turn people into dependent, myopic, non prescient
(unconscious), intellectually lazy creatures who gravitate around labels and don't get through to reality. And that my friends, is precisely where your exploiters want you to be. And if that's where YOU too want to be, well then I'm out of luck, aren't I!
One more thing: Let's just say that the war is over and the genie CAN'T be put back in the bottle. Organic certification remains compulsory and the word organic is outlawed for use with anything else. (Let's just say that, because I don't believe that, OFPA or no OFPA - and I've been successfully fighting these kind of things all my life - head on, but on my own. I guess the internet is changing that. There's something else though, there's a need to share it maybe, to plant seeds, to propagate it). So if that happens, who else is going to support alternative labels, and how many are going to stick
with a compromised, excessively controlled and unjustly exploited exclusively "organic" label. I'm particularly concerned about the co-ops doing that. I would think that those who support cooperation, human values, social consciousness and ecology in general, are not going to get hung up on an obtuse marketing ploy on the part of a few (even if they are long haired) turncoats and mercenaries - scabs, of you like! But I'm not sure. I've seen a little of that potted plant syndrome, groupie (or lemming?) mentality at work even there. Healthy, uncontaminated, whole food that doesn't exploit farm workers
nor farmers is where it's at, and "organic" never has addressed all of those issues anyway, even BEFORE the ogre (troll?) made off with (raptured) the word.
What about the socially responsible business crowd? Any feelings on this issue? Does it fit in any of your agendas?
Douglas M. Hinds, Director General Centro para el Desarrollo Comunitario y Rural A.C. (CeDeCoR) (Center for Community and Rural Development) - (non profit) Cd. Guzman, Jalisco 49000 MEXICO Tel. & Fax: 011 523 412 6308 (direct) e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
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