Reviewing comments on proposed fed organic regs: Aside from the Big 3, what
bothers me most is the prohibition against private certification and
labelling using the word organic.
Organic certification agencies have been at work for many years in many
states. Consumers have come to rely on their labels. In most cases,
perhaps all, the requirements for certification are more stringent than the
proposed fed rules.
If these agencies and the producers they certify were to go right on doing
what they have been doing, is it really possible the USDA could bring a case
against them? Presumably it would go to the US Supreme Court, get a lot of
publicity, and be very interesting to watch.
In other industries (cars, non-prescription drugs, breakfast cereals) vendors
seem to get away with making public (advertised) allegations that their
product is better than one or more named products from other vendors. Since
the issue in organic labelling is supposedly not one of safety, how could
our industry be singled out as requiring stricter compliance?
Then there is the question of copyright law, or the common law equivalent
thereof. Since the word organic has been used for so many years by so many
agencies and producers who in general agree on what the word means, I don't
see how the USDA can appropriate the word for its own exclusive use.
If nothing else, seems as though the grandfather clause approach ought to
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