> Let's assume that Kosher laws have
> nothing to do with food safety and food quality, and that they are a
> set of
> abstract concepts defined by religious belief. Is this what we want
> the term
> Organic to be based on?
> The only good news about making
> Organic based on abstract concepts is that it would allow the industry
> define what can and cannot be included in Organics without worrying
> coming under scientific or government scrutiny.
Exactly. The whole problem with government involvement is that they are
trying to look at this from a scientific perspective. There is a solid
consensus, which at it's base is esthetic and political. If the
"organic foods" community allows this to digress into scientific detail,
the whole concept will lose it's cohesion.
> But again, the bad news is
> that conventional ag will now be able to show that Organic is not
> worth the
> money since there are no benefits to Organics other than it satisfies
> group's beliefs.
That has been the consensus in the scientific community, and mainstream
culture for a long time, but who cares? If organic true believers want
to buy specialty products produced using special methods, why should the
scientific community, or the government stand in their way?
> Do you have scientific proof to show that the present methods of ag
> unsafe, or that the methods for organics are more safe? Do we really
> want to
> get into this kind of debate?
IMO, that would be a mistake, and would miss the point.
> Some people thought that it would be no big deal
> to label a product as produced with the addition of rGBH. The industry
> complained that this could imply that there was some hazard to having
> using rGBH, and yet the government had already declared the use of
> rGBH as
> "safe". Are we going to go down the same road with sewage sludge,
> GMO's, etc?
This is a good point. The number and diversity of practices that the
organic foods community considers unacceptable is bound to grow and
grow. It is unreasonable to try and detail all this stuff on the label,
especially since the regulatory agencies evaluate all these things for
safety. It is much more efficient to label things as "organic", since
there seems to be a consensus about the meaning (notwithstanding the
The government should back off, and let the organic foods community
define organic however it wants. There may be a need to for the
government to certify adherence to the rules. But the rules should be
set by the organic foods community, not by the regulatory agency.
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