> I'm sure Jeff had no idea how true-to-life this debate already is. As
> European union comes about they are having exactly these types of arguments.
> A good example is how much milk vs. how much soyoil is allowed to really
> sell your candy bar as milk chocolate to other Europeans. British consumers
> prefer one flavor of milk chocolate, Belgians prefer another. While all
> these rules are being done in Europe for "consumer protection", there's no
> question that's its an effective method to get your competitors regulated
> out of business.
> >Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 09:09:41 -0500
> >From: Jeff Ishee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> >Organization: Bittersweet Farmstead
> >To: email@example.com
> >CC: firstname.lastname@example.org
> >Subject: 2002 parody
> >Sender: email@example.com
> >Dear Friends,
> >The following news article is a pure parody, intended to shed a bit of
> >humor on the hilarious situation regarding federal organic certification
> >Jeff Ishee
> >Bittersweet Farmstead
> >USDA unveils certification requirements on food adjectives
> >WASHINGTON (June 3, 2002) - Just what makes a bean "green", or rice
> >"wild" or vanilla ice cream "french"? For the first time, the government
> >began answering that question by proposing rules Monday to help
> >consumers get the foods they think they're getting.
> >"The rules are going to clear up the confusion that sometimes exists in
> >the minds of consumers, processors and merchandisers," said one official
> >of the USDA. "For years now, we've heard rumors in the industry that
> >some vegetable processors have been selling 'green' beans, when in
> >reality, the product they were merchandising was olive-colored or
> >lime-tinted. Some unscrupulous operators were were even selling cull wax
> >beans with green food coloring added. The UURGF (United Uncultivated
> >Rice Gatherers Federation) has also been courting our department to
> >certify 'wild' rice as only that rice which, indeed was harvested from
> >wildlands. And we all know that French citizens have unintentionally
> >been offended by the USDA's allowance for certain ice creams to be
> >labeled 'French Vanilla' when the product has nothing to do with France
> >"These adjectives have no place in our system of food production unless
> >they are certified by the government," said Peter A. Rabbit, president
> >of the UCBFP (United Council of Bigtime Food Producers). "The public
> >should say no to them, too."
> >Yet, because there are currently no national rules, consumers could
> >never be certain that products with certain adjectives on the label are
> >actually genuine. Examples include: "sweet" corn, "snow" peas, "baking"
> >potatoes, and "sour" cherries.
> >The Secretary of Agriculture said "We are proposing certification
> >requirements that will guarantee the following:
> > 1) When a consumer buys a can of "green" beans, he can be sure that the
> >beans will be a certain natural color of green, and the color will be
> >uniform year after year.
> > 2) When a U.S. citizen purchases "wild" rice, they will be assured that
> >the rice was not grown by conventional methods, but that, indeed, the
> >rice was gathered from "wildlands" and not commercial farms.
> > 3) When you buy a carton of "French vanilla" ice cream, you can be
> >certain that the beans that produced the vanilla were harvested in
> >France by French farmers, and that the dairy personnel who processed the
> >ice cream were speaking the French language as they mixed the French
> > Officals were uncertain how they would apply the certification
> >requirements to the varieties of ice cream known as "rocky road" and
> >"tin roof sundae."
> > The secretary continued "We don't know how long this certification
> >proposal will take, nor do we know how much additional funding will be
> >requested from congress, but our goal is to have the new certification
> >requirements in place by 2008. We've had a staff of 74 scientists and
> >linguists working on this proposal for three years and they have done a
> >wonderful job. I want to assure farmers that this is a step forward for
> >agriculture, and will not affect the profitability of their operations
> >whatsoever. The cost to have 'green' bean, 'Wild' rice and 'French
> >vanilla' inspectors visit their farming operation for certification will
> >be minimal. We all want this to be as painless as possible for our
> >agricultural community and we hope this will help small farmers continue
> >to build a niche for themselves."
> > For a copy of the 433-page certification proposal on food adjectives,
> >visit the following website: http://www.howdidwegettothispoint.com/
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> Thomas R. Johnson
> Graduate Student
> Department of Resource Development
> Michigan State University
> East Lansing, MI 48824-1222
> 517-353-9501 (W) 517-371-3059 (H)
> FAX: 517-353-8994
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